Wald stem on a 60's Schwinn?

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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
That green '54 Hornet got me thinking a bit, I have a neighbor down the road who's in his mid 90's now, he's got a red Hornet hanging in the back of his garage. I tried to buy it several times but he's saving it for his grandkids.
The bike is red, has no tank, has painted fenders, a sweetheart sprocket, Typhoon cord tires, black grips, black saddle, pull back bars with a forged stem, and a huge chrome casting on the tip of the fender that he said he added. The bike has a massive front basket on it. I remember him showing me how he made custom mounts with leather to protect the chrome when he put it on there. I remember the serial number was an L with almost all 5's and ending in a 1, maybe L555551 or maybe I missed a 5, not sure. I used to deliver newspapers myself as a kid, I had wanted that bike for my own use but he wouldn't sell it then either. Its not moved in at least 45 years that I know of. (It was still hanging there last summer when I stopped to see how he was doing).
His doesn't have the Schwinn rear rack, its got a huge black steel rack with an old wire milk crate attached to it with twisted wire.
It doesn't have a tank, but the paint scheme is like the green one above. Otherwise its on par condition wise with the one above as well.
(He also had a 57 Raleigh Sports that I did manage to get him to sell me about 30 years ago, but that bike wasn't his, it belonged to his father-in-law.).
I did take the Hornet down off its hooks for him years ago, I pumped up the tires and oiled the chain a bit and rode it up and down his driveway but he wouldn't part with it. These days it still hangs on the back wall of his garage, but there's a dead '75 Olds wagon backed up to the wall right below it with four flat tires that hasn't run in 25 years or more. To get the bike down, the car has to move. The car is blocked in by a slew of old furniture, boxes and stuff he said came from his in-laws place when they passed away years ago.

I wonder if the level or exact model determined what stem a bike got? Maybe just low end versions got the cheaper stems or was it just luck of the draw?

For the first few years that the Hornet was produced it had the forged stem and built in stand. The Green one above has the Schwinn Spitfire head badge and that confused many people since the Spitfire model was also being produced. The Spitfire name was coined by Schwinn in 1939 I believe. They produced a low budget model that came with no Quality decal and it did not come with any warranty or with any extra options and only in Red. Schwinn called it a Spitfire and the model designation was Z. This bike was to draw in customers and the salesmen were suppose to upsell to a better model. It's a pretty hard to find bike today but they do show up. The 50's and later Spitfire models were just about as low as you could go and continued being Schwinn's lost leader. So it seems that when the Hornets were somewhat downgraded with the detachable stands and rolled stems they were equipped with the Schwinn Spitfire head badge.

Heres some interesting info on Spitfire.

 

schwinnbikebobb

I live for the CABE
Don't know if this really add's anything but in my paperwork sorting I looked stems up. Interesting they call #4 a McCauley stem. Probably expected but no mention of Wald.

001.JPG
 

dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Going by the pics in that catalog page, those stems are not the same as the Wald 3 and Wald 4 found on other bikes. #3 is a rolled steel stem but the clamp bolt is not a through bolt, so it must have a captured nut within the stem, and #4 is longer, and made very different from the common Wald stems.
These are not what I'm finding around here lately, the stems I find are either actually Wald stems or direct copies of one.
There's always the possibility that the sellers of those bikes here are just clueless or just bike flippers telling a tale to sell the bike too, but a few I felt were likely actual original owners, but after 40 or 50 years, anything is possible with a used bike.

The fact that they put Schwinn Approved at the top of that page like that tells me that nothing there was made by Schwinn and was outsourced. The forged stems were most likely Ashtabula made.

I dug through my boxes and one huge barrel of steel stems I have here and found a ton of Wald 314 and 3144 stems, a few later style Wald stems, a few dozen Schwinn forged stems, and about 30 or so unidentified earlier forged stems off old bikes but not a one matching either # 3 or #4 above. The barrel and several boxes were from a couple of huge clean outs I and a buddy did over the past few years.
It wasn't a complete waste though, I did weed out about a hundred bound for the scrap pile due to hammer marks, rust or other damage.
I put a few in the rust tank to see what they look like after a good soak. Maybe I'll post a few pics of the various stems in hopes to ID some of the unknown models when I get a chance.
 

bloo

I live for the CABE
Was the Wald sheetmetal stem available in more than one size? If so, did it have a different number?

The internal diameter of Schwinn's steerer tube changed in the middle 60s, so those Wald stems used in the 50s would no longer fit.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
The #3 stem in the Catalog is noted Type 66 only. That's the one that I've seen on the late 60's Typhoons. Ashtabula? The Schwinn steerer tube I.D. changed in 1966 and all the OD's on those stems are 13/16
 

bloo

I live for the CABE
What does Type 66 mean?

If I am reading that page correctly all listed stems are 13/16, and you can buy a shim to the older size if you need one. The 50s Walds would be bigger....
 

dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
We were always told that the Schwinn Cranks, forged stems, blade forks were all made by Ashtabula Steel & Foundry Co. in Ohio.
I believe the cranks by Ashtabula got the SA mark on them.
They produced for many manufacturers but Schwinn was likely their main buyer of bike parts.

As to the two bikes I looked at, I'm leaning toward both having had their stems and likely bars swapped out since I don't see any proof that Schwinn flat out just used Wald stems during that period. If they're not in the parts book, they likely didn't use them then.

Would you agree that a Wald 314 never belonged on a Schwinn?
 

bloo

I live for the CABE
I think they did it. I remember seeing stems like that in the Schwinn showroom with the carriage bolt in plain view.

Maybe my memory is faulty. Or maybe what I saw were "McCauley" stems, #4 in the page above. It looks identical to me. How would you distinguish a Wald 314 from that? It wasn't the #3 (Ashtabula's stamped sheetmetal stem?) because you can't see the bolt from the top on that one.

What size is a Wald 314? Does it come in both sizes? Wald's current catalog is calling it (or something just like it) a #4 rather than #314. It only comes in the smaller size. They will sell you a shim if needed, like Schwinn will do in the catalog page above. Those 50s bikes that had Wald stems would have taken the larger size. I doubt they came with a shim... did they? How did that work? Was the 314 in 2 different sizes or did Wald have another model number for the second size?

The catalog page posted above is dated 1975, and I am thinking it was more like 1977-1980 when I might have seen Schwinns with stamped sheetmetal stems.

It was generally understood in those days that the Schwinn forged cranks and forged stems came from Ashtabula Forge. In fact not all of them did but a lot of them did.
 

schwinnbikebobb

I live for the CABE
It's nice to be a little more organized. Here is the 79 parts book page. Note that Wald is now mentioned but with a asterisk that not Schwinn or Schwinn Approved.

001.JPG
 

dirtman

Finally riding a big boys bike
Ashtabula made heavy forgings and castings, no sheetmetal that I know of. They started out making bow sockets and forgings for horse drawn carriages, later moved into making parts for early cars such as convertible top pieces and crank handles, and then started making bicycle stems, cranks, and forks. They were around for a 100 years, roughly 1881 to 1982.

The bikes originally in question, mid 60's to early 70's then should not have had the common Wald stem, which appears to have more lines stamped into it then does the earlier Schwinn version.
If the Wald stem didn't appear in the parts books till the late 70's, is it safe to say they weren't used on earlier bikes?

The stem in the middle is what I found on the bikes in question. The ywo outer stems are just newer model Wald stems.

1598411

Wald Stems, (in order, late model 4, original 314, model 3144)
 
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