Older Schwinn Middleweight Questions - Trying to remember back 50 years.

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dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
As I piece together a handful of bikes here I can't help but remember a bike I had back in the late 60's. I had gotten is as a fenderless mess from the kid who delivered newspapers. The bike had chrome S7 rims, a short piece of the original rear fender that had been bobbed off just past the seat stays, red and white S saddle, and a winged tip style chainguard that said Typhoon. It had been passed along with that paper route for years. It still had two good original Westwind tires on it, the chrome was good all over, only slightly peppered with rust, and it had an old script Schwinn Approved front hub and a Bendix red stripe rear hub.
It was the first bike I completely repainted. I was working at a place with a huge glass bead machine at the time so I stripped down the frame and bead blasted it to bare metal. A trip to the local Schwinn dealer back then netted me everything I needed to restore it. The original CG said Typhoon, so it got fresh Typhoon decals. The bike was flamboyant red.

I was thinking the other day that the bike may not have been a Typhoon at all, one thing that sticks in my mind is that the headbadge the dealer had given me was too small, it was a good 1/4" or so too short, or at least the holes missed by that much. I had to go back and to try and get a larger one but was told they were no longer available even back then. I found that wrong headbadge the other day in the garage, and used it on a '67 Typhoon I picked up the other day. The bike I repainted way back then kept its original badge which I straightened and repainted as best I could back then.
The original badge was aluminum and looked just like the smaller badge but about 25% or so larger.
I also seem to remember it being a larger frame, taller than any of the middleweight bikes I have now.
Thinking back, I was lighter then but already at least 6ft tall, and I don't ever remember thinking it was too small for me, in fact I remember having to lean the bike a bit to get on it where as my current Typhoons are all a bit small for me and I've added wider handlebars and an extra long seat post. I need to run with about 8 inches of seat post showing, which made me reconsider the safety of that after seeing a few bent posts. I since resorted to turning myself a solid post on a lathe at work out of chromoly bar stock and then a dip in the zinc plating tanks down the street at a place that rebuilds auto parts.

I don't recall what the serial number was, or ever trying to decode it, but had taken the bike to the local dealer when I bought all the parts. The seat tube if I remember right was 20" and the bike had what was then the current top tube Schwinn script and not the older more cursive style.

I can't recall what ever happened to that bike after all these years but seem to remember it still being at my pops house in the early 80's and still looking like a new bike. I lost track of it after that and it disappeared by the time we cleaned out the place years later. Its one of the things that pushed me into fixing up older bikes and making it sort of a hobby back then, something that was rekindled when I found one of my current Typhoons in a dumpster one day while at work. But the more I think back about that first one the more I think it may not have been what I had thought it was back then.
I have no doubt it was a middleweight, and considering the source, it was unlikely anyone swapped out the wheels or anything major on it By the time I had gotten it though it had been through a half dozen owners, all using it to deliver papers on. The original bars were wide cruiser type, not the narrower bars that came on Typhoons then, it had the clover style chain ring and the then new fenders I used likely came from current stock in the latter 1960's. I seem to recall the whole repaint, new fenders, and new grips only cost me about $20 including the factory Schwinn primer, silver base and red top coat. I think I bought 4 cans of each. For some reason the bike seemed a lot older then for some reason then it likely was, considering that Schwinn had only made a middleweight for about 14 years or so a that point.
Decal wise the bike was the same as the bikes that were currently on the showroom floor.
I can see that it couldn't have been a 1962 because it had a typical curved cantilever frame.
For some reason I seem to remember it being a darker red than what I now know as Flamboyant red but that could just be me. I do remember the new paint being a dead on match for the old paint on the steer tube but it was lighter than the paint on the frame so it may have either darkened with age or been sprayed over with something at some point, which again makes me think because all the decals were clearly intact before I bead blasted the frame.

What year did they change the headbadge screw hole spacing and badge size?
What years used a large aluminum badge?

One thing that don't jive in my mind is that it definitely had a larger headbadge and that I seem to remember it was likely a Kingsize model from the 60's. Did the the two features ever co-exist?
 

sworley

Wore out three sets of tires already!
No, the larger head badge stopped in the 50s and the first King Size was ‘62.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
The large aluminum head badges were used thru the 1960 model year. The Schwinn spaghetti top tube decal came out on the 1959 models and the Flamboyant Red color started on a few of the 1962 models like the Fleet, Typhoon and Skipper. Then FR replaced the darker Radiant Red in 1963.
 

dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Thanks for the reply!
It sounds like the bike I had then couldn't have been newer than 1960 because of the size of the headbadge.
I seem to remember that the original paint was a bit on the burgundy side, but the paint was in really bad shape from years of being used as a newsboy's bike. If the bike was a '60, then it was 9 years old when I repainted it. I'm fairly certain that the CG had a Typhoon decal though, but I won't swear to it. I do seem to remember the bike not having a CG on it at first but I got it from one of its former owners, there's always the possibility the CG that I got really wasn't from that bike, but it did match color wise.
If that's the case, if its still around, someone is likely trying to figure out how they got a 1959 or 60 Typhoon.
One of the things I did when it came to the decals is that I bought the original decals, in both white and black. I used the black decals to develop silk screens and we screened on the 'decals' with sign paint. I did paint it with a spray can but the result was excellent, at least to my eyes. I also remember reworking the tubing fillets a bit before painting, making each joint perfect. After it was all painted we gave it two coats of clear to make it really stand out.
I actually screwed up in doing all that because I was always afraid to scratch it.

What years used the Red Band Bendix coaster brake?
In looking for a good wheelset for the '58 American I'm finding a lot of wheels with German hubs and not Bendix.

Something else that comes to mind about that bike is that I seem to have had to paint it twice. I think I had painted it the first time and had used only the gray primer/sealer on it under the aluminum coat and the bike looked too light or too bright. So I stripped it again and redid it with dark red oxide primer under the silver base coat with three layers of red.
 
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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
From your description on the color of paint, head badge size and top tube decal, it would seem the bike was either a 1959 or 1960 model. Have you seen Findley's catalog scans? Check out the 1959 scans, good pictures and basically the same models were offered in 1960. https://waterfordbikes.com/schwinn-catalog-scans/
 

B607

Finally riding a big boys bike
You want to buy another red Typhoon? I have one for sale. I'd take $100 for it. 2 speed. Near mint. All original. Pick up only in Cent. IL. Gary

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dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
You want to buy another red Typhoon? I have one for sale. I'd take $100 for it. 2 speed. Near mint. All original. Pick up only in Cent. IL. Gary

View attachment 1387282

I wish I was closer, but your close to 900 miles away. There's a black one listed locally for $600. I was offered $400 for my '72 a few years ago. Right now, all of my Typhoons are campus green, not by choice, just by chance. All but one were dumpster finds years ago. I've been looking for a pair of good chrome wheels for my American but so far I've had no luck. Everything here is rusted or bent, and they still want $100 even for a set of really rough wheels.
 

dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
From your description on the color of paint, head badge size and top tube decal, it would seem the bike was either a 1959 or 1960 model. Have you seen Findley's catalog scans? Check out the 1959 scans, good pictures and basically the same models were offered in 1960. https://waterfordbikes.com/schwinn-catalog-scans/
Another point that don't fit what I'm seeing is that the bike had a bobbed rear chrome fender, someone had cut the rear fender and tried to flare it like a Sting Ray fender with a pair of pliers. There were no rear braces, only the two frame connections. Both stays were cut off above the lower mounts.
I'm fairly sure the original fenders were chrome, with the type of work that had been done to chop up that fender, I highly doubt anyone changed from painted to chrome fenders. There was no chrome on the CG, but the CG had a Typhoon decal.
I don't remember the CG being a different color than the frame, even though I got it a few months after getting the bike. The front forks also had the small 'V' design, not the longer style, I still have the second set of fork decals that we used to make the silk screens and they match those on my newer bikes. I remember that the original decals on the forks were still visible even after the forks had been glass beaded clean. Made a mask/tracing of the original forks which I used to ensure the design was in the exact position after the repaint.

The size of the headbadge mean it had to be 1960 or back, the sweeping chainguard means its after 1959 but I now can't say if the CG was correct for the bike, likely not.
I looked through the Findley scans, and its hard to say which model it could have been. The handlebars on that bike, where like those on the 59 Speedster.

A few more things I do remember is that the new fenders had two braces in the rear, already riveted, and only one in the front, since I never had the original front fender, I didn't know any better whether or not it was correct. Both were likely current production for the Typhoon that year. The parts came from mostly one dealer, but I remember having to travel to another dealer for something over in Cherry Hill, NJ, the dealer was right near the old horse track there. I think they ended up having a correct headbadge for the bike, which I found a while after the bike was done.
 

Jeff54

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
U no, Middle weights made their presence 1954 and if originally chrome fenders, or stainless steal falls in the time line when the larger badge was used too. It could be Opal red and there's a verity of models to chose from and smaller depending on chrome and stainless steal. But off hand, Corvette, American and Jaguars don't always have caliper brakes and 2 or 3 speeds stock, and coaster brake more likely to get that, choice red Bendix arm with red striped hub. IDK but maybe 1956-ish, try looking there. U may not see photo in catalog but, Coaster brake was availed as lowest price choice. . Maybe they'll ring a bell.

If you replaced the top tube decals or were warn off the likely you got newer style and didn't know it. As far as size of bike then? yeah, you're bigger now or it just feels that way.

And if you're thinking Burgundy back then? you ain't thinking Schwinn unless it has no metal flake coloration then it's really old school and not a middleweight, or it's Huffy, Murray or other makers with metal flake Burgundy which in paint is ,a whole different ball game and easy to buy anywhere. . . Not so with Schwinn and Opal red can very in the tint's depending on the batch mix.
 
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