Vintage Schwinn or 70's Free Spirit?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by ticketmaster, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. ticketmaster

    ticketmaster New Member

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    New to the forum as well as running anything put pure thigh power in a bicycle, I thought it'd be a great addition to the garage and a fun commute!


    I found two vintage bicycles, one is a 19?? Schwinn "racer" that looks to be all original but needs to by tidied up (photo below)

    The other is an early 70's Free Spirit that seems to also be all original with time specific tire pump and rear rack (photo also below).

    My question for the the MotorBicycling community is which, if either, would be a good starting point for a moto-bike build? From the photos I've seen and threads I've skimmed over the Free Spirits frame accommodates an engine kit more- that being said I like the Schwinn's original classiness so damn much. Is there engine kits for that style of frame?

    Also, if anyone could point me to the right era that the Schwinn is coming out of that would be greatly appreciated. I've been riding bikes of one sort or another since I was a kid but my current bike is a fixed gear track build and vintage, motor powered cycles are very new to me.
     

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  2. maniac57

    maniac57 Old, Fat, and still faster than you

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    The white bike has a suitable frame for a china kit, but those thin rims won't hold up well to motor power. They can be great bikes, but a mountain bike would probably be a better first build due to heavier rims and tires. Look for something with V-brakes at least, a steel frame shaped like your white bike, and decent components.
    Schwinn, GT, Diamondback, specialized, all made good mid-range mountain bikes in the late 80's early 90's that can be found at good prices now.
    Your free spirit will work, but is not a great platform for a motor.
    Your schwinn is the wrong kind of frame for a bolt in kit due to the low top bar....
    It CAN be used, but requires major modification to work.
     
  3. mapbike

    mapbike Active Member

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    Ditto...........!

    I will add that most of the mens Beach cruiser bikes that you will find at the big box stores are also good first build bikes, low cost and can make a great bike if done right.

    I have a Huffy that I build a couple years ago that has been a really good bike, some on here have nothing good to say about the Huffy bikes but then there are others like myself that have had excellent builds with them.

    pic of my Huffy build all dirty and dusty, main thing with the cheaper bikes is that all bearings are properly greased with high quality grease and all bearing tensions are correct and then they make good builds.

    [​IMG]

    Best wishes for what ever you do, and be sure you don't build a bike with the thin narrow wheels like what is on both of those bikes you posted, they're good old bikes but a chug hole at 30mpg my prove to be a very ugly face plant if one of those thin wheels collapsed under the stress.

    Map
    reddd
     
  4. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    I'd build the Free Spirit myself, but would recommend starting with a cruiser frame- a modern lighter one, with alloy rims. I use alloy 700c and 27" x 1 1.4 rims myself with no problems, but I don't ride off road, and have 14 years of road racing in my distant past- so I'm comfortable with narrow tires, and believe me, the motors are too-

    the bikes and wheels have caught up to the 50 cc motor,if you know how to build a frame that way.

    Your Schwinn is probably mid-1960's, judging by the decals- pretty early- but women's frames are harder for a china build. Nice bike though.

    I'd go with the free spirit- lose the front derailleur at least- I like to put a single freewheel on the back and match the chains, but the derailleur will work fine otherwise, with the advantage of being the chain tensioner- you may not have enough frame clearance on the motor side otherwise, and probably would have to use a tensioner there- I'd recommend this one, if you can afford it:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/49-66-80cc-...05&rk=5&rkt=5&sd=140898911334&#ht_3444wt_1238

    The only other problem with a diamond frame is that the top tube is a litle short and puts the tank in the way of normal peddling- if there's room you might want to play a small plastic tank hung under the top bar at the front-
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Pocket...es&hash=item3a73a5d888&vxp=mtr#ht_1109wt_1255

    there were under top tube steel tanks, but I don't think they've been stocked anywhere for a year or more-

    good luck whatever you decide-

    I like cruiser frames for clearance- you can still find them used cheaply- and I've eveolved to putting the light and narrow rims and tires on. You can build a cruiser and convert later- I started with just a 27 front wheel and a caliper brake- skinny and light and fast rolling, like a chopper motorcycle.

    If you find the serial number on the schwinn racer, you might be able to search the year online
     
    #4 Nashville Kat, Oct 4, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  5. mapbike

    mapbike Active Member

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    "The only other problem with a diamond frame is that the top tube is a litle short and puts the tank in the way of normal peddling"

    I have two of the "Diamond frame bikes adn they have more room for mouting the tank than my two cruisers do, long.......... upper bar and the Free Spirit frame looks to be the same size as he two I have, actually it is longs that my old "Diamond" Frame mountain bike and it has a big 4L tank on it, I'm not a real tall fella but at 5'10" I still have plenty of room to pedal in the event I absolutely have too.

    [​IMG]

    Below, Red bike is a Free Spirit, Blue/green one is an old Columbia and the "Diamond" frame Gold Bike is a Texas Ranger they're all three speed bikes and the Gold one looks like the same frame size, loads of room in that frame....

    [​IMG]

    Map
    reddd
     
  6. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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