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  1. #1
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    question regarding Schwinn High Plains

    I recently bought a Schwinn High Plains Mtn Bike at a yard sale for $30 and I intend to use it as a commuter, maybe 30 miles a week.

    I know virtually nothing about bicycles and have a couple of questions that I'm hoping someone here can answer.

    As near as I can tell the bike is a 1991 model and in reasonably good condition.

    When I'm pedaling the chain will feel like it's got slack and then it comes tight again. It feels and sounds like the chain is jumping gears but when I watch the sprockets I don't see it jumping or coming off the front or back sprocket. Can someone tell me why it is doing this?

    Also, I have noticed a slight wobble in the front wheel and fear the rim may be bent. Will it be expensive to replace the rim, can the rims be straightened?

    Here is a picture of the bike: https://s24.photobucket.com/albums/c...=may202011.jpg

    Thank you!

    RM

  2. #2
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    Well, that's a deal but it may be suffering from a version of chainsuck where instead of smoothly traveling between the front chainrings and the rear cogs in a nice big loop, the chain is getting sucked up the backside of the front chainring, causing the chain to temporarily "shorten" and then release when the tension gets high enough. Probably needs a new drivetrain (chainrings, rear casette and chain), but if you haven't given the drivetrain a good cleaning and lube, try that first. A little more tension on the rear deraileur may help too, there is usually an adjustment screw that faces rearward; if you turn it clockwise a bit, it moves the body of the deraileur back a bit. It will be a single screw, not the paired set.

    The wobbling front wheel may be due to loose hub bearings rather than the wheel being bent. To tell, grab the top of the front wheel while you are holding it up in th air (you are standing, not wheelie-ing ) & try to wobble it left to right; if there is some play or looseness, the hubs need adjustment/overhaul, a home job if you are mechanically inclined and have some tools. If that doesn't seem to be the cause, just spin the wheel (it may be easier with the bike upside down) and watch the spot between the brake pads and the metal rim of the wheel; if this space grows smaller, wider, smaller etc. as the wheel spins, it means the wheel is out of true. It can be corrected by adjusting the spoke tension, but this is a little tricky, and pretty cheap to pay a bikeshop to do.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Thanks! Some good information, when you say to "clean the drivetrain", how do you suggest doing this? Can I just use some carb cleaner on everything? After cleaning what type of lubricant should I use?

    I did the wobble test as suggested on the front wheel and can notice no play or looseness.

    thx.

    RM
    Last edited by Riverman1; 05-20-2011 at 07:50 PM.

  4. #4
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    That is a little more highpowered than what I use (citrus based cleaner from hardware store), but my moto friend likes it - just don't breathe too much of it or light a match! Spray the cleaner on the chain, or pour it on a rag and hold it around the chain while you turn the pedals backwards. Repeat until you rag isn't getting so gunky. Also hold the rag to the chainrings while you spin the pedals backwards. An old toothbrush can help too. You can try to clean the rear cogs too, but this is a lot easier if you remove the rear wheel. Don't spray anything in the bearings, like where the pedals go into the frame, or it will dissolve the grease in there. The citrus stuff should be rinsed off and the chain dried before you add new chainlube (something made for bikes, not WD40).

  5. #5
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    Those older High Plains bikes were pretty decent, and I'd say it's worth investing money into if it fits. Now seeing that picture and how the seat is adjusted, I fear that bike is too small for you, or you haven't adjusted it to your liking yet.

    Does that yellow sticker on the cranks say "biopace"? That explains part of the reason the chain feels weird when you are pedaling, as the chainrings are intentionally oval. Some people love it, others hate it.

    If you have mechanical ability, but not bike-specific skills (yet!), use these websites as a guide.

    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help
    http://bicycletutor.com/
    http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/fix/

    For things that require special tools or experience (like straightening (truing) your wheel, most shops charge $15+ for this and it's worth it until you feel comfortable doing bigger jobs like this), I'd recommend going to your LBS (local bike shop) for help.

    Congrats on your new bike, you've come to the right place for help! Hopefully you'll be commuting in no time.
    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountfargo.com

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    Its funny you say that Jason, I wondered if the bike isn't too small for me. I have no idea what size the frame is.

    I'm 6'4" about 225 pounds. I have not ridden a bike much for a couple decades but I feel like the seat is too close to the handlebars, does that make sense?

    Anyway, thank you for the links and I will for sure take a look at them.

    RM

  7. #7
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    Yeah, that makes sense, because bigger frames are not only taller, they have a longer top tube & longer reach to the handlebars. Jason may be on to something. A longer stem (to the handlebars) can help if it's close, but if it feels like a clown bike I would clean it, re-sell it, and find one in your size. Or ride it a while since your commute isn't too long, and then decide.

  8. #8
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    Ok, thanks again.

    I will clean the bike tomorrow and see if I can get it shifting better. If need be, I will look for a larger frame.

    Do you think it would help if I slid the seat back a little bit?

    I really appreciate the advice!


    RM

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman1
    I recently bought a Schwinn High Plains Mtn Bike at a yard sale for $30 and I intend to use it as a commuter, maybe 30 miles a week.

    I know virtually nothing about bicycles and have a couple of questions that I'm hoping someone here can answer.

    As near as I can tell the bike is a 1991 model and in reasonably good condition.

    When I'm pedaling the chain will feel like it's got slack and then it comes tight again. It feels and sounds like the chain is jumping gears but when I watch the sprockets I don't see it jumping or coming off the front or back sprocket. Can someone tell me why it is doing this?

    Also, I have noticed a slight wobble in the front wheel and fear the rim may be bent. Will it be expensive to replace the rim, can the rims be straightened?

    Here is a picture of the bike: https://s24.photobucket.com/albums/c...=may202011.jpg

    Thank you!

    RM
    There is a 4 Digit Number on the headbadge. Give me that number I'll tell you what day and year the bike was built. Looks to be a 1991 though.

    The Chain feeling loose and tight might be the Bio-pace chainrings.

    Front wheel new should cost 40-50 buck but wheel might be able to be straightened

    I found this one in the Garbage in April I Picked it

  10. #10
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    Norm,

    I checked and the numbers are 2490...............I thought it was a 91 just based on pics of other bikes I found online. Thanks.

    Not a bad looking bike for coming out of the garbage!

    RM

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman1
    Norm,

    I checked and the numbers are 2490...............I thought it was a 91 just based on pics of other bikes I found online. Thanks.

    Not a bad looking bike for coming out of the garbage!

    RM
    That Bike was Built on the 249th day of 1990
    So that would make it a 1991 Production model

  12. #12
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    Yeah Riverman, your bike isn`t exactly state of the art, but it`s a good bike and worth spending some cash to get it back into shape if you like it. My everyday ride is a 92 (I think) Schwinn Impact Pro, very similar to yours, and I love it. If you know somebody who can walk you through some of the checks and services, that would be perfect. If you don`t feel comfortable doing it from online refferences, I wouldn`t hesitate to take it to a bike shop.

    For the size, you need to get your saddle set in relation to the cranks first, then set your bars so they`re comfortable. As mentioned, a longer stem might feel better as long as the frame is in the ballpark, which it most likely is. I can`t tell for sure from thte angle of your picture, but it does look like a prety short stem for that bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Normbilt
    That Bike was Built on the 249th day of 1990
    So that would make it a 1991 Production model
    Cool! I just went to check the head badge of my bike- 0322 it says. That would still be a 92 model, being early in the year? That`s the conclusion I came to by the catalogue specs, anyway. What year was the lugged one you found? I didn`t know there were any of those produced.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman1
    ...I feel like the seat is too close to the handlebars, does that make sense?...
    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman1
    …Do you think it would help if I slid the seat back a little bit?…
    look at the size of that frame...it is huge. does nobody notice the size of the headtube? see the difference between Riverman1's & Normbilt's?

    Riverman1 - look how you got your seat slammed forward, of course you should move it back...probably more than a little.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman1

    Do you think it would help if I slid the seat back a little bit?

    RM
    Absolutely, it looks like it's pushed all the way forward. You can use the plumb bob trick (works best with a helper) to get it set right. At least close to right. This is a stolen Chris Carmichael quote:

    "fore aft placement is a function of where the knee is over the foot when the crank is in the 3 oclock position. Pedal around a few times, and stop in the 3 oclock position (crank forward and horizontal) with your foot as it would be if you were pedaling at about 90 RPM. Place a plumb bob at the inferior (lower) tip of the Kneecap. the plumb bob should intersect the pedal spindle and the Third Metatarsal head (3rd toe joint). Saddle position should always be rechecked following other adjustments."
    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountfargo.com

  15. #15
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    I found the biopace chainrings barely noticeable. I had them on an '88 Ritchey Outback.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAG410
    Does that yellow sticker on the cranks say "biopace"? That explains part of the reason the chain feels weird when you are pedaling, as the chainrings are intentionally oval. Some people love it, others hate it.
    I just looked and yes it does say "Biospace by Shimano" or something like that.

  17. #17
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    Today I will do the plumb bob trick and check the seat location and see if I can move it back some.

    I really appreciate you guys jumping in and trying to help me with this old bike.

    RM

  18. #18
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    That is a fairly large frame 58-62 cm by the looks. There is 6' 4" then there is long legged 6' 4". I find a 60 cm fram e nice and my 62 as big as I can handle with the fattest tires (38 mm) I can fit and I am 5' 11" with longish but not long legs. My guess it may still be a bit small for ideal for you in Century rides, but for short commutes, likely fine. A great try it and see bike. My 1984 Schwinn road bike is about as big as I have seen with some frequency at 62 cm. Bigger seems to be rare. Try the seat ALL the way back or close and check out bike fit sites for adjusting height of seat and bar. I wish I could find one like that.

    Enjoy!

  19. #19
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    Brian,
    I measured the frame from the pedal axis to the top of the seat tube and it's 23 inches.

    mtbxplorer,

    I cleaned the chain and derailer up as you suggested with a mild de-greasing car cleaner. All of the parts look like new now, perfect. I put a light layer of lubricant on the chain. I noticed when I was cleaning the back set of sprockets that the back wheel had some left and right wiggle. I then noticed that the inside nut (the hub nut?) was loose so I tightened it and then tightened the outside nut. This eliminated all the left and right wiggle. I took it for a ride and it's not slipping now! Not sure if it was the dirty components or the loose hub that was causing the problem but it's not slipping now.

    I tried the plumb bob adjustment for the seat placement. I adjusted the seat as far back as I could and even so my knee is a bit forward of the pedal axis....about two inches.

    The hub in the front wheel is tight so I'm afraid the front wheel rim may be bent. I will drop it by a bike shop this week and see if they can fix it.

    The only other thing is the tires, huge knobbies that create a significant amount of road vibration. I will try to replace them with something less aggressive.

    The bike looks really good despite being 20 years old. Looking forward to a ride later today.

    Thanks again!

    RM

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman1
    I noticed when I was cleaning the back set of sprockets that the back wheel had some left and right wiggle. I then noticed that the inside nut (the hub nut?) was loose so I tightened it and then tightened the outside nut. This eliminated all the left and right wiggle.

    The hub in the front wheel is tight so I'm afraid the front wheel rim may be bent. I will drop it by a bike shop this week and see if they can fix it.

    The only other thing is the tires, huge knobbies that create a significant amount of road vibration. I will try to replace them with something less aggressive.
    Tightening the bearing locknut: Good catch and probably a good move. Since it was lose, I`s check the bearing adjustment, most likely regrease them if you`ve got time. Park tool`s instruction for that sound complicated, but it really isn`t too bad. You`ll probably need a "cone wrench" that fits your bearing nuts, but they`re cheap.
    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...and-adjustment

    The wheel might well need to be trued- not usually a big deal. You can see if it`s out of true by spinning the wheel with your hand and watching the space between the rim and the brake pads. If that space shrinks and expands a lot (more than about 1/16 inch or so), it could use a truing. Internet resources will explain that or you can have a shop do it.

    I don`t blame you for looking for smoother tires- I don`t like knobbies on pavement either.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman1
    ... ... I then noticed that the inside nut (the hub nut?) was loose so I tightened it and then tightened the outside nut. This eliminated all the left and right wiggle. I took it for a ride and it's not slipping now! Not sure if it was the dirty components or the loose hub that was causing the problem but it's not slipping now.

    I tried the plumb bob adjustment for the seat placement. I adjusted the seat as far back as I could and even so my knee is a bit forward of the pedal axis....about two inches. ...
    RM

    Excellent news, nice going! When you have a chance, as Rodar suggested, repacking both the front and rear hubs with fresh grease and adjusting them will make it roll really smooth and also keep parts from wearing out.

    Since you already moved the seat back, the only other option there is a different seatpost with more 'setback", a curve near the top that puts the clampy thing further back, and thus the saddle further back. If you're intersetde din this, try e-bay but beware they come in different diameters...if you pull yours out, if you're lucky it will have the size stamped on it somewhere. But if you're not doing long rides it may be fine as-is.
    Last edited by mtbxplorer; 05-22-2011 at 06:41 PM.

  22. #22
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    Good idea, I never thought about a different seat post. I will check the size on mine and see what I can come up with.

    Went for a five mile ride tonight and the bike shifted perfectly, not chain slip, no problems. . I put some less aggressive tires on it yesterday and it's working great now. I may try the bearings next!

    Thanks again!

    RM

  23. #23
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    I think Sheldon Brown had a seat post size/bike model database. Certainly the bike isn't too new to be in it! Just in case your post is not marked, and you have no calipers. PS though it is counter intuitive, greasing the post helps hold it in place if properly clamped and prevents it from freezing in place. While the post is out some people put an identifier in the seat tube in case of theft and need to identify.

  24. #24
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    I own this bike. It was actually my first--delivered newspapers on it after school after absorbing from my brother--and after "upgrading" a few times to aluminum frames and going back to it, I realized steel was for real and alloy was for housing soda pop. (Now that I have three chromolly bikes I don't mess with it much, sadly.)

    Things to keep in mind:
    Your brake pads are 20 years old and likely dry and not as safe.
    Your cable housing probably has rust in it that will hamper shifting.

    Also if the frame works out:
    Slick tires are the first investment I'd make. (Schwable marathon plus as fat as you can get 'em, they don't flat out.)
    I didn't like the plastic levers. (10 dollar Avids will work fine)
    The rear wheel spacing is 130 as opposed to the 135 of current 26' wheeled bikes, so if you upgrade you will have to pull out at the stays to get the hub in--not a big deal. But you may wonder why it doesn't fit.
    Disclaimer: I ride really slow.

  25. #25
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    Thanks Clarance,

    The bike actually shifts pefectly. In fact, it shifts so well sometimes I can't even hear it shift. I don't see any rust on the cables.

    I think you are right about the brake pads though, they need to be changed.

    I am sure the front and back bearings should be changed too but I haven't tried to do this yet.

    I am tall and still not totally comfortable on the bike. I moved the seat all the way back but it still needs to go back a bit further.

    The handlebars could come up a bit too, always feel like I am sliding off the front of the seat.

    I will keep trying to adjust it to my liking.

    thx again.

    RM

  26. #26
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    1990 Schwinn High Plains MTB

    Folks,

    I bought this bike back in 1990, new for $450 I think. I quit riding it b/c I'm obese (6'6" 470) and leaning over to grab the handles just made my back hurt worse. The frame has some rust but it's cromo and I know most of the other part will need replacing (it's been sitting out in the back yard for a couple years.)

    I know very little about bikes but I need help deciding what parts to put on it and if the handle bars can be raised up so I can sit upright not bent over.

    thank!
    noob on here so be gentle with me
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails question regarding Schwinn High Plains-image.jpg  


  27. #27
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    Or, would it be cheaper to trade it in and buy new? It's the first and only bike I ever bought.

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    Also, I won't do the work myself, but want an idea of what is available and an idea of the cost to redo it.

  29. #29
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    For the handlebars, you can probably get an inch to an inch and a half out of them by raising the stem that`s already on there. You can do that yourself in about 30 seconds: loosen the bolt on top of the stem, smack the stem down with a mallet or with a hammer against a block of wood, twist a little bit, and pull it up. (good idea at this point to smear some grease on there). There will be a "minimum insertion" mark on the stem- set that mark at the top of the tube the stem goes into and slightly tighten the bolt on top. Sit on the bike and double check that the bars are still straight (if not, just twist them as needed) and crank the top bolt good and tight. See if that helps.

    For the rest of it, shops probably charge a healthy labor rate, so it`s tough to say what fixing that bike will cost, but it IS a bike worth keeping... IF it ends up fitting you and the two of you get along okay. The usual things that go wrong after a bike sits that long are dryrotted tires, brake pads get hard and don`t work any more, chain gets stiff, grease in the bearings turns to sticky goo, and trigger shifters get gummy. I`d say try the bars first to see where you stand.

  30. #30
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    Hi txhk, that's great you want to get back on the bike

    I'm not sure what it would cost to rehab that bike but if I were you I would consider a new bike for comfort and safety. For good advice on choosing one that will hold up, as well as inspiration, check out the Clydesdale forum here on MTBR.

    If you plan to commute, how far is it & what is the terrain like?

  31. #31
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    Get some salmon koolstop pads for the brakes. My favorite for year round conditions. After that, a pair of fenders is a must if you are riding in wet conditions, ever. Depending on the size of the seatpost (if you don't have a pair of calipers, bring it into your LBS. Any one that is worth its salt will measure it for you) you might be able to upgrade to a modern post that has 20mm of set back. To address the issue of sliding off the seat: get a level, and then loosen up your binding bolts right under the seat. Try to get the seat as close to level as possible, and that should help with sliding off. The handlebars could be replaced with 15-20mm riser bars if that would make the bike more comfortable.

    Good luck with your project!

  32. #32
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    If there is a bike coop around that recycles old bikes, you could get some swaps/cheap parts and help in rehabbing the High Plains. Unless you do a lot of the work yourself, the new bike might route be close to the same price if you don't get too fancy.

    I have rehabbed three bikes even older.

    +1 on the salmon KoolStop pads. They are simply the best upgrade you can do. Don't even think about riding the old pads. They last only a few years before they are too hard. The cables may respond to chain lube, that can get you by to see if commuting is your thing but new cables and housings make brakes and shifters work much better and a full set is not that much money. Cleaning and lubing the derailer and brake pivots works wonders. A new chain is cheap and will save you headaches trying to rehab the old one.

    Cleaning and repacking all bearings, because the grease an go all the way to wax and be useless in lubricating. You can do thousands of miles of wear in tens of miles.

    Fit is everything and others have made good suggestions about raising the current stem and bars that will get you more erect. That will take weight off your hands, but padded gloves help to reduce nerve pinching it you get any. A saddle out in the weather and intended for a less erect posture may prove uncomfortable, but that can wait. If a level saddle does not help with sliding forward, then tip the nose up one click in the seat clamp and repeat until satisfied.

    A good fitting bike is a joy.

    BrianMc

  33. #33
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    Folks,

    Here is what I happened. I took the bike to Bike Town and asked them what it would cost to rehab it. After talking with them for a bit, I figured that even rehabbed it wouldn't be what I wanted. With so much weight, bending over to grab the handle bars was killing me back. So, I bought a Electra Townie 7D Original. They let me right it for about 30 minutes.

    It felt great and no back pain. I got to sit up straight. I bought it and they put sealant in the tires and told me to bring it back in 3-4 to have them check it and maintenance is free for the first year. I'm pretty happy and only spent $470. So I'm sure that would be less than what it would cost to fix they other. They said labor would be high.

    I rode 3.8 miles last night and I was worn out but felt great this morning. I'm great downhill LOL

    Now, I'll just sell the bike/frame to someone who will take the time and effort to restore it.

  34. #34
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    Great going txhk, way to get right out there! We all love the downhills

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by txhkman View Post
    After talking with them for a bit, I figured that even rehabbed it wouldn't be what I wanted. With so much weight, bending over to grab the handle bars was killing me back. So, I bought a Electra Townie 7D Original. They let me right it for about 30 minutes.
    I have a soft spot for Schwinns, but you made a good decision. It`s easy to get caught up trying to turn one bike into another, and usually not worth it. Good luck with the Electra!

    And yeah, something about going downhill makes it a joy compared to going back up. The trick might be to just keep moving to lower elevations every day until you finally find yourself with a beachfront address

  36. #36
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    Plus, if you're in it to loose weight, there's no better motivator than a new bike!! (and the fact that you spent some money on it). Good job and good luck! The pounds will melt away.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  37. #37
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    I bought my 1991 Schwinn High Plains new in in July 1990 and rode LOTS until marriage, career, and kids put a damper on that. I love the bike and now my kids are riding are riding. I recent started riding again with them and start wondering about some upgrades. What current technology can I get for my trustee bike and what do I need to be aware of as I begin?

  38. #38
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    Hi, KBC. Welcome!
    As far as what current technology is possible for your bike, pretty much anything for the drivetrain, schnazzier rim brakes, or fancy wheels could definitely be fit to it with a minumum of trouble. If you have a 1-1/8 steerer (probably do), a suspension fork or lightweight carbon fork COULD go in there, though it would probably be way too tall.

    As far as what`s worth doing, that`s an entirely different matter. Do you want to set it up for something other than mtb? Is there a specific problem that you`re trying to cure, or do you just have a hankering to go a little wild with it? If the bike has been sitting for a long time, all that stuff we told Txhkman above applies to you- grease goes bad, rubber dries out, shifters and cables get gummy, etc. So, what`s the situation and what are you dreaming about? Hey, and WHERE`S THE PICTURE???

  39. #39
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    Yeah, a lot of the good stuff on newer bikes, like disc brakes and suspension forks (good for trails, not needed on most roads), are not compatible with a '91. So I would buy enough stuff to make it shift and brake well, and put the rest aside for your inevitable next bike. Comfort items are also worthwhile, like a saddle and new grips.

  40. #40
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    First time poster, prior lurker.

    I have been a bit of a dilemma, myself, on what to do with my 1992 Schwinn High Plains. I am the original owner and have lugged this bike along with me from college in the Northeast, to the Midwest, and down to Florida, but its best days were back in the 90's when I used to ride it more frequently. Since the move to Florida, it has been a bit of a hanger queen and has not seen the road or trail in quite some time.

    The dilemma is what to do to get it back on the road. I believe I would fit into the Super Clydesdale category and would rather spend the money on getting this baby back into shape for some road and light trail work rather than buy a new bike. Obviously, the high humidity and time spent in the garage has done quite a bit of oxidation to some key components. Chain needs to be replaced, cables need to be replaced, some hardware needs to be replaced, and a new cassette is probably in order as well. My initial thought was to keep it a 7 speed bike and upgrade the components, but that looks like it is next to impossible to do or would cost a fortune via NOS. I could get into some higher grade components if I switched over to an 8 speed drivetrain which would likely result in a new wheel set, de-railers, and shifters (all which are probably going to need be replaced, anyway). I am willing to put up to $200 for a wheel set and would probably go SRAM for the de-railers and shifters as their low-mid level equipment seems to get better reviews for quality.

    Is going transitioning this 7 Speed to an 8 Speed simply getting a wheel set dished for the 8 speed and replacing the shifters and de-railers or is there going to be more involvement? I would not mind keeping it 7 Speed (assuming current hubs are still usable), but if I am going to have to go with a new wheel set anyway, I would like to get into some better 8 speed components as they seem to be better quality than the 7 speed components available at a reasonable price.

    V-Brakes. I would like to get some upgraded V-brakes if it is as simple as replacing the levers and brake components. Is that possible or is more involved than that?

    I have always wanted to upgrade the components on the High Plains, but apparently just did not get around to it soon enough when there was better options still available in 7 Speed at reasonable prices. If anyone has any suggestions on some quality/affordable 7 speed components, I am all ears.

    Thank you for your input.
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  41. #41
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    Wow, you weren`t kidding about the rust getting to that puppy! Are you sure the frame is still okay? Stuff doesn`t rust like that around here unless it`s burried, so I don`t have much experience in rust inspections, but do take a good look for bubbly paint or other signs of frame cancer. Take a good peek into the natural openings (inside BB shell and headtube, down the seat tube) also.

    If I were really intent on saving that particular frame, after determining that it wasn`t rusted out, I`d probably buy a whole bike and just switch frames. For the specifics you asked about, brakes V-brakes are a direct swap- you need to swap levers too, as it looks like you already know. Staying 7-speed isn`t hard. Deraillers don`t care how many sprockets they manage, 7-S cassettes and freewheels are still available, chains are the same for 5- through 8-speed, and Shimno spaced 8-S shifters are directly compatible with Shimano 7-S drivetrains (Suntour and some Sram are not). Redishing isn`t going to give you a higher sprocket count. I think you have a cassette hub on that wheel. If for some reason you wanted to keep the wheel and up it to 8/9/10 speed, you`d have to replace the freehub shell first and then redish, probably also play with the spacers or possibly change to a longer axle. I`ve never done it, but been tempted to try "just because". If that`s a threaded freewheel, it won`t go to 8 no matter what. A new wheel will be 8-10 speed compatible or can be used with a shim and a 7-S cassette. Any upping of your sprocket count will also require either stretching the frame each time you install the rear wheel or respacing the dropouts. Both of those are simple and will be the LEAST of your worries. If you move to Sram, just be sure to either use Shimano compatible shifters and deraillers or go to completely "X" models (X-5, X-7, etc) because the two standards don`t mix.

    By the way, that looks like a really small frame for a self described Super Clydesdale. Are you sure it fits?
    Last edited by rodar y rodar; 07-19-2012 at 05:20 PM.

  42. #42
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    Thank you for the reply.

    As far as fit goes, still the same size vertically, just a lot more of me horizontally. Short legs and under 6 ft.

    Frame is in good shape from what I can tell, but I will take a look down the tubes. Weird thing in the rust, the bike has always been stored inside, but I have had similar issues with some golf clubs in the garage. Someone told me it had to do with storing pool chemicals in the garage, so they have been moved to another location. With the golf clubs, it was all surface rust that was easily cleaned off so I am hoping for more of the same.

    I had read that 8 speed shifters were compatible with 7 speed, but what would happen if you shifted into the 8th position by mistake? Or, do they have some way to limit the shifter to only 7 positions?

    I am not sure I want to adjust the frame for a wider axle, but if the hubs are not salvageable I may have to go that route which is why I was considering going to an 8 speed since the other components were going to have to be changed out anyway.

    I am not sure if its a threaded freewheel or not. Any way to tell by looking or does it need to come apart?

    I will have to look around again at shifters and derailers. If 8 speed will work on 7 speed, there are more options. I am still leaning toward SRAM vs Shimano on the shifters/derailers based on what have seen reviews on. The X models 7 speed components seem a bit better than what I have seen from Shimano, although the Shimano compatible stuff from SRAM did not rate as high. Chain and cassette will almost definitely be SRAM.

    Great news on the v brakes. I was hoping that was the case.

    Thanks again for the help.

  43. #43
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    >I had read that 8 speed shifters were compatible with 7 speed, but what would happen if you shifted into the 8th position by mistake? Or, do they have some way to limit the shifter to only 7 positions?<
    Still uses "1" position for the biggest sprocket, and the limit screw on the derailer won`t let you pull past "7".

    >I am not sure I want to adjust the frame for a wider axle<
    With a steel frame, resetting the frame is easy to DIY, or relatively cheap to have a bike shop do. Or you can just stretch the rear triangle and stuff the wheel in each time, which is no big deal either. Or just keep 7-S, of course.

    >I am not sure if its a threaded freewheel or not. Any way to tell by looking or does it need to come apart?<
    Take the wheel out and look to see whether it has a lockring (fancy nut) on top of the sprockets or whether there are splines or some kind of keyed holes further inside for a freewheel wrench. If its a freewheel, the splines will stay put relative to the hub when you rotate the cluster. For a cassette, the nut will rotate along with the teeth. Pictures of common styles near the bottom of this page:
    Freewheel or Cassette?

    >If 8 speed will work on 7 speed, there are more options. I am still leaning toward SRAM vs Shimano on the shifters/derailers based on what have seen reviews on. <
    I haven`t looked for mtb shifters for a while, but I`m pretty sure Sram stopped making 8-S in the "X" lines three or four years ago. The not-so-sexy lines are still available for 7 and 8.

    EDIT: I told you backwards for the 7-S cluster with 8-S shifter setup. It usually uses "8" for the smallest sprocket and the derailler limit prevents you from pulling beyond "2".

  44. #44
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    Welcome! I don't know enough to help like Rodar has on the components, but one problem with rust is that stuck stuff can start breaking/stripping when you go to take it off. I would definitely try that take-off step before buying any add-ons. Also, if you come up with a "bare necessities" list, total it up and see what you can buy for the same $ new or used, you might be surprised. It also depends how much you like (and have time for) "projects" and how soon you want to ride. I love old bikes, but a replacement for the High Plains could be a great commitment to your healthier lifestyle. You are worth it.

  45. #45
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    Thanks again for the help.

    I am pretty sure it is cassette based versus threaded, but I will double check before ordering anything.

    I have found some decent 8 speed components online so I may start there and they should work no matter which direction I end up going.

    Thank you for the welcome mtbxplorer. I was originally thinking going new, but to get into something that will support my weight it would end up fairly high priced. Provided I find no surprises, I would rather update this steel horse. Besides, may be moving in the near future and do not need another bike to transport across the country. It may come down to new eventually, but I would like to keep my original in running order.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyDogTim View Post
    I am the original owner and have lugged this bike along with me from college in the Northeast, to the Midwest, and down to Florida, but its best days were back in the 90's when I used to ride it more frequently.
    ^^Reasonable incentive to try restoring (though its still a gamble).
    Quote Originally Posted by SkyDogTim View Post
    I was originally thinking going new, but to get into something that will support my weight it would end up fairly high priced.
    ^^Recipe for disappointment. "New-to-SkyDog" would cost much less than refurbishing.

    YMMV, but I doubt it.

  47. #47
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    Ordered up some components to get the work started, decided to keep it at 7 speeds for now. Unfortunately, only lower end stuff available, but the price was right: SRAM X3 7 Speed trigger shifters, SRAM X4 rear derailer, Avid SD5 V-brakes with SD7 levers, SRAM chain, and a Shimano 12-28T cassette (and the necessary tools).

    Really like the SRAM concept on the rear derailer so I figured I would give it a go without have to put a whole lot out if they do not work as hoped. Not the highest quality stuff, but at least as good as what is on the bike now if not better. If I end up riding it enough to start breaking them down again, I will be in a better position to decide on how far to take the next rebuild or purchase.

  48. #48
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    I'm glad I found this thread, I just got my bike from 93 with grip shifters back on the road. I'm having an issue with my "new" grip shifters not hitting all the gears but I'll take it because she's back on road and trails.

    Where can I look up on the bike the serial number so I know which year it was built in?

  49. #49
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    Wow, another thread refuses to die- Back for round four!

    Hi and welcome, Joshua. So, you`re pretty sure yours is a 93, but want to confirm? I don`t know how the serial number scheme works, but on post 9 of this thread, Normbilt explained how to determine the year of manufacture by the number stamped on the headbadge. There are two other ways, too. If you google around, you`ll find some awesome Schwinn catalogue scans that you can review to see which year`s color and component mix matches your bike, or (if it has Shimano components) you can go by Shimano model numbers, which can also be googled up. For a 93, it most likely is Shimano.

    Bummer about the shifters. For as much bad rep as they have, I`m beginning to have more faith in twisters than triggers. Hope you can straighten it out. Any idea what`s up with them?
    Recalculating....

  50. #50
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    Yup she's a 93 for sure. As for the shifters, 1,2,3 are good but it's between 4,5 where it jumps. I tried to upgrade my shifters because they were all destroyed from age so they are newish compared to the bike. Just a little bit of adjusting I think and she'll be right as rain.

    Here she is. There is some rough parts on the handle bars and frame from resting against other bikes in Washington State. She's now enjoying the sun in Las Vegas.



    Rear wheel I think is original but I know the pedals are aftermarket.
    Last edited by Joshua Thompson; 04-27-2013 at 07:27 AM. Reason: ad photo

  51. #51
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    Still have mine, still have the parts I bought for it last year, but life got in the way. Short staffed at work and a move to Texas later, work on the Schwinn has yet to start in earnest. As an interim measure, I have a BD 29'er Hybrid (Motobecane Elite Adventure) on the way to get me back on the road as the new location is going to be mostly pavement (poor pavement at that) and bike trails. Once life settles down a bit, the High Plains will be restored. Probably not the most cost effective idea I have ever had, but it is kind of like holding onto and restoring your first car 20 years later. More sentimental value than anything.

  52. #52
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    Enjoy the new Motobecane, Skydog. Hope you get a chance to play with the Schwinn again one of these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Wow, another thread refuses to die- Back for round four!
    Is this round five or round 3 revisited?
    Recalculating....

  53. #53
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    I saw one for sale a few months ago and it made me smile. I considered posting it here to revive the thread, but I see that was unnecessary. Skydog, best of luck with all the changes and with the new bikecommute.

  54. #54
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    Motobecan arrived and is put together, just waiting for the ice to clear before I can tune it. Found my stash of parts for the High Plains and still debating on getting a new wheel set for it. A new wheel set would require a road hub and an 8 speed conversion vs attempting to rebuild the current hubs and keeping it at 7 speeds. At least I can get out on the Moto while I contemplate the final configuration of the High Plains.

  55. #55
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    lot's a love for this ol' girl

    question regarding Schwinn High Plains-dsc00303.jpg

    My brother bought this lugged beauty in 1992 and by 93 I had assumed ownership of it and his cassette copy of Nevermind. This iteration (the third, after being a single speed and a dropped bar commuter) was set up to be kind crappy for trail riding in the pine barrens of southern NJ.

    Currently it has a high stem and cruiser bars for my wife who does not ride it. (I tried.)

    But I have decided to rebuild her once again as a winter touring bike with 38c schwables and mostly deore group from the parts bin. I'm thinking Rando bars for that era appropriate, but I may use the Jones H because I have one in the bin and they work for me.

    She deserves another life.
    Disclaimer: I ride really slow.

  56. #56
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    ^^Nice! The Schwinn High Plains seems like the Dodge Dart of the bikecommuter world. Never dies and always a classic!

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarence View Post
    My brother bought this lugged beauty in 1992 and by 93 I had assumed ownership of it and his cassette copy of Nevermind. This iteration (the third, after being a single speed and a dropped bar commuter) was set up to be kind crappy for trail riding in the pine barrens of southern NJ.
    Cool! I sure wish my Impact were lugged (but I love it anyway). Good luck with the winter tourer. And with the winter touring- brrrr!

    When this thread popped up yet again, I googled "Schwinn High Plains" just to see, and it shows up second after a link to old catalogue scans. That must be the source of so many out of the blue encores.
    Recalculating....

  58. #58
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    Still a great bike- ride it almost every day.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails question regarding Schwinn High Plains-win_20150228_092236.jpg  


  59. #59
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    Help for the old, fat, rookie w/ schwin High Plains

    Hail oh you mighty bicycle visionaries...cutting out your piece of the American pie on your
    two-wheeled knives.

    Sorry I got that line from an old episode of "Kids in the hall" but wanted my first post on this for him to have a little panache.

    I was wondering what this worldwide Internet web thing include anyone who knew anything about the Schwinn High Plains bicycle. Although I am convinced computers are just a fad I was pleasantly surprised to immediately find expertise in this cool forum.

    Have one given to me by a neighbor who's kid had received it new my youngest being smaller than her he thought she had outgrown it and it would fit him and he did use it lightly .seems to be in really good shape with the exception of the shifter mechanism which is broken. My wife and I have reasonably new bikes and we're trying to get our old bodies back into shape. I was thinking about selling this because I was on the impression it would be too small for either of my children who are in their early 20s, after reading some of the posts I began to wonder if perhaps this bicycle might work for my daughter about 5'6" or my son to use at college he's 5 9" and skinny like his old man used to be Wayback in the day.

    Here are some questions I was hoping some of y'all might provide to this not particularly mechanically inclined Rookie I little sage advice and wisdom.

    1. With a longer seatpost and or different handle bars is this bicycle intended for use by adult sized people?
    2. for either fixing this up to sell or if it will work for one of my children, what is a cost-effective wayTo replace the Shimano SIS piece which moves the gears on the back wheel to one of the seven spokes.I believe the front shifting device at the pedals is fine. I am thinking that the part of the frame which holds the back shifting mechanism seems bent with the mechanism possibly moved towards the spokes. I'm not certain it's the frame ( I would think that the frame would continue straight all the way to the end where the shifter is secured but just don't know ) but if so can that be adjusted so that the shifting mechanism wouldwork safely for whoever ends up with this bicycle?

    3. Would it possibly be a better idea to fix this up cheaply but safely for another youngster and use that money to either go towards a largerused bicycle or alternatively to purchase Irish whiskey and forget the whole damn thing?

    I have some pictures and measurements in case there's some advice you can share ...not totally certain how to put them in the post but I shall be valiant in my attempt. Thanks. Y'all seem to be very supportive of new riders on this forum...appreciate y'all being good guys to the new guys. Dennis

    Hope this link will post pics... If I can't figure this part out I probably got no reason to start fixing a bike, huh?

    <iframe width="480" height="360" src="https://s521.photobucket.com/user/Dennis_Michael_Dugan/embed/slideshow/Mobile%20Uploads"></iframe>
    Last edited by duandennis; 09-16-2015 at 02:43 PM. Reason: Add photo link

  60. #60
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    Help the rookie...Schwin High Plains

    Hail oh you mighty bicycle visionaries...cutting out your piece of the American pie on your
    two-wheeled knives.

    Sorry I got that line from an old episode of "Kids in the hall" but wanted my first post on this for him to have a little panache.

    I was wondering what this worldwide Internet web thing include anyone who knew anything about the Schwinn High Plains bicycle. Although I am convinced computers are just a fad I was pleasantly surprised to immediately find expertise in this cool forum.

    Have one given to me by a neighbor who's kid had received it new my youngest being smaller than her he thought she had outgrown it and it would fit him and he did use it lightly .seems to be in really good shape with the exception of the shifter mechanism which is broken. My wife and I have reasonably new bikes and we're trying to get our old bodies back into shape. I was thinking about selling this because I was on the impression it would be too small for either of my children who are in their early 20s, after reading some of the posts I began to wonder if perhaps this bicycle might work for my daughter about 5'6" or my son to use at college he's 5 9" and skinny like his old man used to be Wayback in the day.

    Here are some questions I was hoping some of y'all might provide to this not particularly mechanically inclined Rookie I little sage advice and wisdom.

    1. With a longer seatpost and or different handle bars is this bicycle intended for use by adult sized people?
    2. for either fixing this up to sell or if it will work for one of my children, what is a cost-effective wayTo replace the Shimano SIS piece which moves the gears on the back wheel to one of the seven spokes.I believe the front shifting device at the pedals is fine. I am thinking that the part of the frame which holds the back shifting mechanism seems bent with the mechanism possibly moved towards the spokes. I'm not certain it's the frame but if so can that be adjusted so that the shifting mechanism wouldn't work safely for whoever ends up with this bicycle?

    I'll try to include some pictures and measurements in case there's some advice you can share. Thanks. Y'all seem to be very supportive of new riders on this forum...appreciate y'all being good guys to the new guys. Dennis

    Working on posting pics ... How do I include or link to photobucket????

  61. #61
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  62. #62
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    Hi, Dennis. You need a bike shop. As far as I know, all High Plains were built for "full sized people", no kiddie versions. But as I`m sure you`ve noticed, full sized adult people come in a variety of sizes, as did the High Plains. Whether the particular bike in your possession fits particular person is something much better determined by a bike shop than by trying to hash out over the internet. Fit can be dialed in by changing bars, stem, seatpost, etc provided it`s close to begin with- if the bike is just plain wrong size, it will remain the wrong size no matter what you do to it. Maybe you have a local nonprofit bike co-op in your area. They can be a great resource for information, skilled labor, or used parts. Most will even loan you the tools needed to work on your own bike and coach you through the job if you want to do it yourself.

    Deraillers and SIS shifters can be replaced (cheap parts, not a whole lot of labor) by a bike shop, or you can do it yourself pretty easily with a few tips- should not require any special tools beyond a set of metric Allen wrenches and maybe a screwdriver. If the tab that the rear derailler bolts to is bent, that`s also fixable, but you`re better off having a shop do it so they can confirm it`s nice and straight afterwards.

    Sell it or keep it? If it fits and the new recipient likes the bike, great- fix it up and enjoy. If it doesn`t fit or for some other reason you don`t want it, I would encourage you to donate it to a bike co-op or some local charity. It`s a fine bike that deserves to be put to use, but the monetary value is pretty much zilch, so not worth the price of tuning up if you intend to resell. Read what we wrote earlier in this thread about the parts that tend to go bad on old bikes. Bottom line, they CAN be put back into service as safe and perfectly useful bikes for a minimal amount of $$, but any resale price would be even more minimaller than the cost of refurbishing.
    Recalculating....

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Hi, Dennis. You need a bike shop. As far as I know, all High Plains were built for "full sized people", no kiddie versions. But as I`m sure you`ve noticed, full sized adult people come in a variety of sizes, as did the High Plains. Whether the particular bike in your possession fits particular person is something much better determined by a bike shop than by trying to hash out over the internet. Fit can be dialed in by changing bars, stem, seatpost, etc provided it`s close to begin with- if the bike is just plain wrong size, it will remain the wrong size no matter what you do to it. Maybe you have a local nonprofit bike co-op in your area. They can be a great resource for information, skilled labor, or used parts. Most will even loan you the tools needed to work on your own bike and coach you through the job if you want to do it yourself.

    Deraillers and SIS shifters can be replaced (cheap parts, not a whole lot of labor) by a bike shop, or you can do it yourself pretty easily with a few tips- should not require any special tools beyond a set of metric Allen wrenches and maybe a screwdriver. If the tab that the rear derailler bolts to is bent, that`s also fixable, but you`re better off having a shop do it so they can confirm it`s nice and straight afterwards.

    Sell it or keep it? If it fits and the new recipient likes the bike, great- fix it up and enjoy. If it doesn`t fit or for some other reason you don`t want it, I would encourage you to donate it to a bike co-op or some local charity. It`s a fine bike that deserves to be put to use, but the monetary value is pretty much zilch, so not worth the price of tuning up if you intend to resell. Read what we wrote earlier in this thread about the parts that tend to go bad on old bikes. Bottom line, they CAN be put back into service as safe and perfectly useful bikes for a minimal amount of $$, but any resale price would be even more minimaller than the cost of refurbishing.
    Thanks ! One way or another ill get this great bike into grateful hands.

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