Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    37

    90's Schwinn Sidewinder

    Hello everyone,

    I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the correct section of the forums but here goes. I recently purchased an older Schwinn Sidewinder as a summer project with the intention of updating it and using it for city/light trail use. I'm not sure what year the bike is but the headset is shot along with the cassette and derailleurs due to rust. I measured the steer tube on the fork and it measures exactly 1" so 1" threaded fork. I would like to go threadless but I can't seem to a headset that has the Head tube diameter listed for the cups, did all 1" threaded headsets have the same diameter cups? I just want to be sure before I start ordering parts. Thanks in advance!

    Here are some pictures, I'll take some better ones once I get home:


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: djmuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    725
    That's a entry-level mountain bike from the mid 1990s. Looks like you have a nutted rear wheel, as opposed to a quick release. And the rims are most likely single-wall aluminum. The frame is probably high-tensile steel.

    Why do you want to go with a threadless headset? It will require a new fork and a new stem, which is a lot of work and investment for a bike of this level. The original headset cups are probably fine and just need a good cleaning. You can buy some new bearings at your local bike shop and rebuild the original headset with some fresh grease.

    If that bike is anything like the others from that era that I work on, all it needs is a new chain (if that), and some tubes. And then an overhaul, cleaning and repacking all the bearing surfaces. The derailleurs are probably fine. Cables may need replacement.

    This bike is fine for your stated intention- city/light trail use. But sinking more than $100 in this bike is questionable when craigslist is full of solid mountain bikes that have nicer frames and already come with threadless headsets for $100-$200.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by djmuff View Post
    That's a entry-level mountain bike from the mid 1990s. Looks like you have a nutted rear wheel, as opposed to a quick release. And the rims are most likely single-wall aluminum. The frame is probably high-tensile steel.

    Why do you want to go with a threadless headset? It will require a new fork and a new stem, which is a lot of work and investment for a bike of this level. The original headset cups are probably fine and just need a good cleaning. You can buy some new bearings at your local bike shop and rebuild the original headset with some fresh grease.

    If that bike is anything like the others from that era that I work on, all it needs is a new chain (if that), and some tubes. And then an overhaul, cleaning and repacking all the bearing surfaces. The derailleurs are probably fine. Cables may need replacement.

    This bike is fine for your stated intention- city/light trail use. But sinking more than $100 in this bike is questionable when craigslist is full of solid mountain bikes that have nicer frames and already come with threadless headsets for $100-$200.
    Thanks for the reply and advice. The rear wheel does use a nut and it is an entry level steel bike. I live in FL and pretty much anything left outside unattended rusts out to nothing. The headset is still intact and I could rebuild it but it is very rusted inside so I figured I would just do some upgrades. I do realize that converting to threadless will cost a decent amount of money but I enjoy modifying my bikes and upgrading so I don't mind sinking some money into the bike. I actually bought this bike over a newer bike because I was looking for something older to build up and tweak. I guess I'll see how things go with the bike, I'm going to do my best to give it a second life vs. letting it rust away in someones backyard. Thanks again for the advice!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: yo-Nate-y's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,733
    I'd agree that the upgrades are not worth it cost-wise or time wise. But also agree that it can certainly be refreshed and used a nice light-duty rider. If the headset really is shot, pick up a cheap Tange Levin--they are totally decent headsets and cost about $10-20.
    Somec is like the digital Zunow
    And this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD5h3y0a9AU

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    37
    Thanks for the heads up, I measured my headset cups and it looks like I've got a set of 30.2mm cups. I'm still planning to go threadless, should be a fun little project.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: logbiter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2,822
    You can use the existing fork & get a threaded to threadless stem adapter (delta, pyramid, etc) for ~$20. A basic 1" threadless fork like a dimension will run ~$50. (hmm, noboby seems to have the tange 1" anymore, but places seem to have dimension or kona).

    2nd the tange levin headsets, cheap & good, though it probably just needs a good cleaning, a few dollars in new bearings & grease. New rubber, chain, housings w/ cables, brake pads, TLC on rusted parts & grease everywhere should get ya going.
    [SIZE=1][/SIZE]

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by logbiter View Post
    You can use the existing fork & get a threaded to threadless stem adapter (delta, pyramid, etc) for ~$20. A basic 1" threadless fork like a dimension will run ~$50. (hmm, noboby seems to have the tange 1" anymore, but places seem to have dimension or kona).

    2nd the tange levin headsets, cheap & good, though it probably just needs a good cleaning, a few dollars in new bearings & grease. New rubber, chain, housings w/ cables, brake pads, TLC on rusted parts & grease everywhere should get ya going.

    Thanks for the info logbiter. I hear ya on that one. I know I can get the bike back in working order in a more cost effective manner but I bought the bike with every intention of it being a fun project. To be completely honest I don't like how the threaded setups look; I'm using the rust as an excuse to convert. I could replace the bearings and seals on the headset and soak the cups in cleaner and sand them new again but I'd much rather just go threadless since it looks "cleaner" in my opinion and it'll "modernize" the bike a bit.

    i thought about keeping it threaded and running one of those adapters but I would much rather just go threadless. I'm planning to go with a 1" threadless FSA Orbit X headset and a Dimension rigid fork. Add a stem and new handle bar into the mix and I'm looking at around $150-ish. The bike definitely needs a new chain and the plastic on the shifters are cracking from being in the sun too long I'm guessing. I'm going to see about cleaning up the cassette as everything on the hub, etc. seems to be fine, just surface rust. Any recommendations on cleaning up the wheels so that the brakes work a little better?

    It may seem like a waste of money to a lot of you but I really enjoy building bikes, regardless of what it is. I bought this bike intentionally over something newer because I wanted to build up and older bike. At that, I wanted to build a bike that wouldn't normally get any love. Hopefully you guys will like the final product as much as I know I will once I'm done with build. I'll be sure to keep this thread updated as best I can.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    9
    Hey! I know this post is a bit old but I'm literally doing the same thing with the exact same bike. Just curious how it turned out, I've had mine for awhile, it was my first commuting bike in college and I may have left it to rust for half a year but I decided I'd like to restore and upgrade it a bit. I'm especially interested in how making it threadless turned out. Thanks!

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    37
    Hey dewbie,

    I actually ended up keeping it 1" threaded with the original fork. I ended up making it into a commuter/hauler; here are some pictures after I rebuilt it back in 2012'
    Schwinn Sidewinder by Nick Chong | Photobucket

    Now that I'm a little more knowledgeable I can tell you that the back does take a 1" headset and your options are limited if you decide to go with a suspension fork. You're either going to have to dig up something really old from the bikes time period or go with a lower end RST fork (they have 1" threaded steer tubes available for these). Might not be worth it though like everyone else said; the fork is going to cost more than the bike is worth and it will mess up the geometry of the bike. Not to mention if you get rid of the original fork you'll lose the awesome "Bomb proof" sticker . I can assure you that the bike is definitely bomb proof.

    I did end up sinking way more into the bike than I should have because I quite literally stripped it down to a bare frame and replaced just about everything on it minus the rear derailleur. It was a fun project and it's convenient to lug around water bottles and stuff for the little ones on Halloween and picnics so I definitely don't regret the overhaul. What have you got planned for yours?

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    9
    I've been so anxious to ride it I cut back my original plans and pretty much am just getting it into riding condition again. So far, I put some bmx pedals and a funky 80s touring saddle on it but I'm looking for some 80s grips to match. I did have to replace the cassette (rusted allllll the way through) which was so much easier than I ever imagined once I decided to buy the tools necessary. I'm keeping the original fork as well because I don't think I'm quite ready for a project of that scale and hey, like you said, it's got a bomb proof sticker and nothing beats that.

    I liked how yours turned out though, specially with the seat, handlebars, and crate. I also liked how the water holders were blue, nice touch, but I'll post with pictures whenever I finish it up. Thanks for replying!

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    37
    Thanks for the compliments, would love to see what you've done with yours This little $30 Sidewinder brought me into a whole new area of the bike world. After picking that guy up I got bit by the bug and now I have far too many vintage Schwinns and Homegrowns lol. On a side note, I would recommend you go through your headset and make sure everything in there is in good order; mine had a bad locking nut and I had to replace it. Wouldn't hurt to repack the grease in the headset and bottom bracket if you can. Have fun!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •