|The frame as I got under way - note chrome fork|
|The decals are getting chipped away|
The frame was in great shape but the paint was less than dazzling and the decals were starting to flake a bit. I figured I could do something with it at some point but had plenty of other projects lined up at the time. I brought it inside the house to my office where I occasionally fiddled around with the silver paint trying to see if I could improve it without a total respray. I did find a close match for the paint at the Hobby Lobby in the model department. Testors makes a silver paint that you can get in either a small bottle, a felt tip enamel paint pen, or spray can. It is actually a pretty close match but I just don't seem to have the patience for it.
|A better look at the chrome front fork and other parts as I cleaned them|
I kept the bike as a 10 speed but used a 5 cog freewheel from a 1980 Schwinn Sprint along with the Shimano Lark II rear derailleur from the same bike. The brakes were "Schwinn Approved" side pulls from the Sprint instead of the center pulls that were standard at the time. I kept everything else original including the 4" tall Schwinn Approved stem mounted shift levers.
I added new handlebar tape, seat, cablehousing, and cable and she was ready to roll.
|Still a great looking bike!|
The final step was to take it for a ride. According to the brochure the bike weighed in at a hefty 39 pounds. I'm sure the alloy wheels, newer derailleur, and brakes lightened that somewhat but it still is a substantial bike. Surprisingly, when I got the bike out on the road the extra weight was barely noticeable. The steel frame gave it a very solid but smooth ride that I found very agreeable. This is a bike people will enjoy riding!
|1976 Schwinn Continental|