1 2 3
Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/3/19 10:51 a.m.

Hello GRM! 

This will be my first thread in the 2 wheel forum - I'm usually creating long drawn out threads about refreshing boring cars. Anyways, after the 97' Civic I've been trying to take a 1 year hiatus from project cars (June 10th 2020, not that I'm counting). 

So, in the meantime I've been riding and building bicycles a lot more. Bicycles were my first passion, I've been riding BMX since I was 10, worked in a bike shop for a decade, etc. I've always enjoyed bicycles and without a project car I've found myself gravitating back to them which has been a welcome change. This summer I've commuted to work 20 miles round trip a few times a week and gone out for plenty of beer/exploration missions on the bike as well. 

This particular thread is going to be for a bike I do not have yet, pictured in the Facebook Marketplace ad below:

1980 Schwinn Heavy Duti. This will be the basis for a Klunker style build. For those unfamiliar, Klunkers were converted cruisers with knobby tires that pioneered mountain biking back in the mid 70's. Interestingly, one of the guys involved in this was Gary Fisher - which is actually the brand of my daily commuter/mountain bike. I'm excited about the Heavy Duti in particular because it's an extra-beefy version of the classic Schwinn Middle-weight cantilever frame. Should be great for blasting off curbs and through the dirt.

So in keeping with GRM Fashion I am starting this build thread before even having the project in my hands. At the moment I'm thinking about building a set of Sturmy Archer drum brake hubs to some aluminum rims, some nice knobby tires and bmx-style bars. I'm tempted to get a 3-speed internal hub because I want to be able to ride this bike 10-15 miles pretty easily. There is a brewery (Bauhaus Brew labs for those interested) about 15 miles from my house that hosts a very fun motorcycle night the first Thursday of each month, and the goal will be to take this bike there and hit some dirt trails along the way. Basically I want a tough vintage style bike with some modern parts and 'fun' riding characteristics to blast around on. 

This is the aesthetic I'm after, in some fashion (picture stolen from google):

So, here we go! Hopefully this thread serves as motivation to keep me on track. Progress will likely be slow, or I'll have it done overnight, I never know. 

More pictures to come tonight! 

 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
10/3/19 10:59 a.m.

In reply to Gunchsta :

Cool bike! Have you ever used Sturmey Archer brakes/hubs? I had a set in some ACS Z-Rims back in the 80’s, and I remember they had horrible feel - very spongy & vague, then would lock up without much of an increase in lever-pull. The hubs themselves were pretty fragile too. Of course they may have improved all that over the last 35-years...

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/3/19 11:09 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

I haven't used their drum brakes a lot, but I think we had a few come through the bike shop and they were decent? I guess I'm thinking it's either that or some really cheesy rim brakes that are probably guarenteed not to work. 

bigeyedfish
bigeyedfish Reader
10/3/19 11:14 a.m.

Klunkers rule.  Adam Sklar rules.  I'm in.

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/3/19 11:22 a.m.

Following up on the drum brakes - I just read a couple of reviews and it sounds like they're a viable option. I don't think they're anything amazing but people say they withstand mud and dirt well and are pretty maintenance free. Good enough for me! 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
10/3/19 12:18 p.m.

I've owned a lot of Schwinn's.  If it's a steel frame I always feel they're really heavy to pedal around.  

Woody
Woody MegaDork
10/3/19 12:36 p.m.

You know that Schwinn actually made a bike called the Klunker, right? I was all set to buy one a couple of years ago, but the geometry was all wrong for me, almost unrideable. I was sad.

 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/3/19 1:10 p.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

I too have owned a bunch of them, and I won't disagree. They're stout. I'm also a little alarmed because this one is the extra heavy duty version so it's probably especially heavy. 

 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/3/19 1:11 p.m.

In reply to Woody :

I did not know that. Interesting! 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
10/3/19 5:47 p.m.
Gunchsta said:

There is a brewery (Bauhaus Brew labs for those interested) about 15 miles from my house that hosts a very fun motorcycle night the first Thursday of each month,

Any idea if that's the venue that replaced the old first Thursday motorcycle nights at Dulono's Pizza at Lake and Lyndale?  After they moved their restaurant I lost track of where that went (for that matter, it had gotten out of hand at Dulono's, with way too many people and a lot of idiots showing off.) 

 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
10/3/19 9:10 p.m.
Gunchsta said:

In reply to Woody :

I did not know that. Interesting! 

http://www.re-cycle.com/History/Schwinn/SwnA_Models.aspx#k

Klunker 5 (1978-1979) An early mountain bike in style only, the Klunker 5 featured five speeds and durable tires. Schwinn was noticing something going on in the hills of northern California, but it misread the niche market. The Klunker capitalized on the slang term for the mountain bike precursors hitting the trails, but Schwinn's bike couldn’t withstand the abuse that the homemade clunkers could.

In the midst of this growing craze that would become mountain biking, a magazine/newsletter cropped up that went by the name Klunking. The publication reportedly sued Schwinn over the name of the bike and the Schwinn Klunker was renamed Spitfire after only six months on the market. It was never even in the regular Schwinn catalog. This makes the Klunker a rare ride.

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/4/19 7:45 a.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

More or less yes. It's definitely more tame than Dulono's at the end of it's run. It's a really good time, you should check it out! 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/4/19 8:05 a.m.

Phase 1: Teardown

After exchanging conversation and $30 cash I headed home to tear down my new acquisition. 

Here's what we're starting with. Some things I love about it - the tubular fork, the welded (vs. brazed) frame, the 'heavy duti' on the chainguard, and that ugly ass industrial yellow. This thing is just the right amount of beat for my purposes. I'm not going to paint it, although I will clean it up. 

I was hanging with a buddy so I didn't get too crazy on the pictures, but the bike is in great shape for my purposes. And the Heavy Duti does seem to be a much more stout frame, extra welds, the dropouts seem thicker than I remember. It's perfect and I'm stoked. 

Final picture of the night. BB and Headset cups out, heavy dirt and grease cleaned off the frame. I want to build this thing for the river bottoms/puddles/general tomfoolery so it's pretty much as clean as it needs to be. Also pictured are my two other Schwinns, a 1958 Corvette and I think a 68' coppertone Stingray with lowrider fork. That one is a real treat for my 6'2" self to ride :) 

I think the next phase will be to clean and re-pack the headset and bottom bracket bearings and re-assemble all of that, then start buying parts. 

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
10/4/19 8:10 a.m.

I heart klunkers.  I also can't imagine how heavy that frame is. Of course, heavy means it goes down hill fast, much like myself.

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/4/19 8:29 a.m.

In reply to ultraclyde :

So on my drive in to work I thought about how cool it would have been to bring the bike in and weigh it at work. I did not however bring the bike as I had this thought after I'd left the garage. 

 

Anyhow, I too was expecting it to be massively heavy, and I can say with full confidence that it is not. I'm sure it's heavier than ANYTHING modern, but not by any exponential factor. Even with the bars, fenders, etc on when I picked it up it felt 'normal' weight. I'm not one to worry about grams, especially on a bike like this, so I think it's going to be just fine. 

Maybe I'll shoot home at lunch and grab it so I can get a weight; I would be curious to know. 

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
10/4/19 8:49 a.m.

yeah, the weight is generally forgivable for that kind of bike. Years ago I picked up a couple 80s Huffy fake-schwinn cruisers at a yard sale for $10. One got stripped, flat blacked, covered in beer bottle caps and hung with ape hangers. The other got a 50s style paint job and was headed for a klunker project but ended up as yard art. 

laughingly, the bar crawl bike is still heavier than my modern aluminum commuter...

Woody
Woody MegaDork
10/4/19 9:02 a.m.

This is really cool. I don't remember anything about this particular model, but it looks like they made it for a long time.

https://bikehistory.org/bikes/heavyduti/

 

1980


Schwinn Middleweight Models

1980 schwinn heavyduti

This heavy-duty middleweight designed for newboys, commercial delivery and industrial plant use, has a special reinforced Schwinn electro forged cantilever frame, heavy duty.

105 gauge spokes, Schwinn 26" x 1 3/4" tractor tires, heat treated forged steel crank, reinforced kickstand, Schwinn tubular steel rims, wide base handlebars and painted fenders.

Weight 45 pounds.
Color: Golden Yellow.

  • Model M15-6...$119.95
Woody
Woody MegaDork
10/4/19 9:15 a.m.

You mentioned that you want to add BMX bars? I have a nice set of Stingray BX bars that I'm not doing anything with if you're interested.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
10/4/19 9:50 a.m.

45lbs... my Trek 920 off road touring bike was 30lbs with front and rear racks and 29x2.2 rollers. Loaded with gear and bags it's a shade over 50. 

Wow.

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/4/19 10:08 a.m.

In reply to Woody :

Thanks for the offer, I have my eyes on some 'smaller' more modern BMX bars made by SE called the Big Honkin' Cruiser bar

 

I too didn't know about the Heavy Duti until this one came for sale, and it's perfect. I think a large part of that 40+ pound weight was the wheels - I saw the original wheels when I picked up the frameset and the spokes were no joke, they were super super thick. I'm happy to have a cantilever style frame that has been beefed up for surly warehouse workers. It'll be perfect in the dirt and flying off curbs!

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/4/19 10:09 a.m.

In reply to ultraclyde :

Que "They don't make em like they used to" statement... 

42 pounds is absurd for a singlespeed cruiser. 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/7/19 11:31 a.m.

Busy weekend - Father in law's birthday, wedding, and a little retirement dinner for my dad. 

Still snuck out to the garage and poked at the bike a bit and got some pictures to add to this masterpiece.

Greasy! 

Greasy! The grease was pretty fresh though so it means the previous owner must have re-packed these at some point in the recent past. 

I love this branding. I might even love it enough to use the chainguard. 

Everything disassembled and greasy. I dropped it into a mix of Simple Green and water for some overnight degreasing while I put on the dancing shoes for a wedding. 

This didn't work great. It loosened the grease up some, but it didn't all fall off like I'd hoped. For a nice gentle nontoxic solution it was great, but I think some more cleaning is in order on some of the bearing cages. The headset cups are great though, I see no reason not to re-use this headset. I'll repack the bearings and button it back up. 

 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/7/19 11:35 a.m.

I also brought the frame & fork to work this morning to get some information that I probably didn't want... 

The fork is nearly 3lbs

And the frame is a whopping 9.5lbs. This thing is a TANK. Add the drum brakes and all the other heavy crap I'm going to put on this thing and it'll be around 40lbs by the time it's done I bet. Oh well, more momentum when going downhill. 

With the weight in mind I think it'll be in my best interest to go with the 3-speed hub, not the single speed. I think having an under/over drive along with the 1-1 ratio of 2nd gear will be nice on a bike this heavy. I'm trying to make this something I'd actually grab and ride 10 miles to work or out for an evening downtown grabbing some beers. 

Vintage stuff is cool, but if it isn't enjoyable to use I tire of it quickly. I need some functionality with my vintage aesthetics. 

More to come soon! 

dropstep
dropstep UltraDork
10/13/19 10:01 p.m.

How did I miss a klunker build! My personal one is built from a 1947 monark frame. After back surgery I can't ride the bmx anymore so I found vintage bikes. Klunkers and strandies being my favorite style builds! It's been addicting for me though and I now own 8 between completed and project bikes.

 

Mines geared 36/18 and probably weighs a bit more then yours but we don't have many hills around here. 

I soak bearings and other greasy parts in purple power straight. Works great!

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/14/19 7:17 a.m.

In reply to dropstep :

Sweet! I'd love to see a couple for inspiration! I too spent a lot of time in the past on the bmx, and though back surgery hasn't kept me off of it I've moved my interests towards my rigid 26" mountain bike. I get much better exercise pedaling around on the big bike then I do hanging out on the BMX and taking a 1 minute run at a skatepark and then sitting for 5 minutes. 

1 2 3
Birthdays
Our Preferred Partners
19DPDrgaTBmWt7Q9AirhjvE6k7tk6e12slFn6p1eAhENE3ATXVrMOcHUyFHH1qvY