A couple of weeks later, the bike is ready to ride. There are still some things that need some attention, but I think it's ready for casual riding. My initial goal is to sample road cycling at minimal cost. Should I enjoy the activity, and should the Schwinn frame seem suitable, then I may begin to upgrade components.
Now, let's cut to the chase and see how it's worked out so far.
Note that the before picture was taken in the evening, and the after picture was taken during the day. So, literally, the difference here is "night and day."
In reality, not much has changed. There are very few new parts:
- cable housings
- brake pads
- bar tape
- chrome valve stem caps, given to me for free at the auto parts store when I went for some bearing grease. The manager discovered he'd been shipped a pack of caps with only three in the package. "I can't sell these, do you want them?"
- rims, spokes cleaned with WD40 and fine steel wool
- cranks, pedals, chain rings, all other shiny parts also polished
- frame wiped down
- chain lubed
- trued the wheels (they aren't perfect and should probably be taken to the bike shop for a proper truing
- overhauled the front and rear hubs; took apart, degreased with WD40, wiped clean, and repacked using fresh grease
- stripped off all old cabling, replaced housing and cabling for brakes and derailleurs
- the worst bar tape job since the invention of bar tape, but it will last until I replace the handlebar with something to match my shoulder width
- 1970s braking systems pale to modern brakes. If this bike is to be ridden with any regularity, especially in commuter traffic, the brakes must be upgraded
- both axles are warped slightly
- a big rust spot on the inside of one of the rims (see photos). Chromed steel rims should probably be replaced with modern aluminum rims
- handlebars are just too danged narrow for me
- wider, more comfy handlebars
- clipless pedals
- new brakes
- new shifters, derailleur system
- new wheels, including hubs, and hardcase tires
- new saddle
- maybe a rack for commuter bags or maybe I'll wear a messenger bag