Upgrades to my Schwinn in 2009

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When I got this bicycle in the early 1980s, it had a Shimano front derailleur and a SunTour rear derailleur. It may have originally come with a SunTour freewheel (stock Sportabouts did), but since my bicycle's original rear wheel was wrecked in 1993 I don't know for sure now.

For many years my bicycle remained virtually unchanged, just a little cleaner or dirtier from time to time, occasionally receiving new tires or tubes, etc. From 2001 to 2003 there were some upgrades, notably a professional paint job, quick release wheels and center-pull brakes. 2009 saw major improvements done to this bicycle, following through on all of the suggestions made by Raleigh D. in April of that year.

In 2008, the Shimano front derailleur was replaced by a SunTour one that needed a shim because the clamp wasn't made for Schwinn's skinny seat tube size. In that SunTour front derailleur was replaced by another SunTour front derailleur made for Schwinn that has the correct 1″ clamp size. The original Sportabout crankset was replaced by a Schwinn “diamond” crankset at this time too, one of Raleigh D.'s suggestions.

Raleigh D. says he would have replaced the original steel handlebar and stem with an aluminum handlebar and stem as his very first change to improve my bicycle. I had this done early .

The biggest change recommended by Raleigh D. was to replace my wheels' steel rims with aluminum rims. When the new wheels were built in late September / early October 2009, the LBS (local bicycle store) guy used Schwinn Approved hubs (similar to the ones on the earlier wheels) and laced them to modern Sun aluminum rims. The new rear wheel has a Schwinn spoke protector (pie plate, dork disk) and a SunTour freewheel.

Fall 2003 and Fall 2009 configurations

Not all of the changes happened in 2009, but most of them did. Click on the names to learn what they mean and why they changed from Sportinental to Super Sportabout .

Schwinn “Sportinental” in 2003

My Schwinn as it appeared in Fall 2003

custom professional paint job

steel Maes-bend handlebar

forged steel handlebar stem

1 headlight and 1 tail light

cheaper stock Schwinn Sportabout crank

Shimano Positron front derailleur

regular Schwinn freewheel

Schwinn S-6 steel rims front and rear

regular brake pads

good tires but not the best available

black and red Schwinn seat from a BMX

Schwinn “Super Sportabout” in 2009

My Schwinn as it appeared in Fall 2009

paint job has needed “touching up”

aluminum randonneur-bend handlebar

aluminum handlebar stem

2 headlights and 2 tail lights

better-looking Schwinn “diamond” crank

SunTour Spirt front derailleur

SunTour Perfect freewheel

Sun CR-18 aluminum rims front and rear

Kool-Stop “salmon” brake pads

pricey Continental Ultra Gatorskin tires

red glitter Schwinn seat from a BMX