The Red Schwinn

Completion Date (In new owners’ hands by) -Mid April 2015

The Red Schwinn will be Bike and Brain’s first rebuild and donation to someone in need. Please follow this page for updates as the project progresses


Prior to the rebuild (2/17/15)

The Red Schwinn is dear to my heart. It’s the bicycle I rode following the collapse of my father’s bike. I rode the Red Schwinn for the better part of a year before retiring it. That bike was fast and agile. The frame is small and easy to control, yet is it strong and sturdy.

The bike has been hanging in my garage for about 4.5 years. I stripped many of its parts while constructing my current ride. It needs a few new parts and a descent tune up before it can be ridden again. Bike and Brain will ensure that this bike is equipped with everything needed to make this bike functional.


As pictured below, the bike has no front or rear brakes. This would pose a real problem if the bike was being used with its freewheel. Currently, the bike is on 27 in wheels with a flip/flop hub. The bike has both a locked cog and a freewheel. By the end of the conversion the Red Schwinn will be sporting a new wheel set. In addition, the bike still has the original crank set. A new one is on the way, which will be followed by a new bottom bracket…. straight butter!


2/20/15: Update



The crank has arrived. This is the first part that has been ordered for the re-build. It’s a heavy, but solid crankset. I used the same one for about 4 years and had no issues. I beat the s@#t out of it too. I ran it through the rain, snow, sand, and all around grime of NYC. The crank also looks good with the thick chainring and fresh, white color way.

3/3/15: Update


Another part has arrived. Although it is small, it is essential. I decided on a bright red chain to match the color scheme of the bike. You can probably guess what the colors of the bike are going to be. This chain will power the bike as it is a single speed/fixed gear. I have always used KMC chains not only for the bright colors, but because they are durable as heck. I used my chain for a solid 4 years before I changed it out. 4 years of rough, year round, city riding.

3/17/15: Update

Unlike the other two updates that have beautiful pictures associated with them, this one does not. That’s because not everything goes to plan. There are certain things that fall out of our control. The update that was supposed to consume this space was going to be a nice new wheel set. Obviously a crucial part to the bike, but it was lost in the mail. At least that is what I was told. Initially I felt a bit irritated, but that subsided. The wheel set will come in due time. This was nothing terrible and certainly nothing to quit over. In fact, this “loss” fits in nicely with the Bike and Brain theme: we can only control ourselves within the circumstances we are dealt . So I am going to wait patiently for a  new order to come and work on the other aspects of the bike. It’s all good and I assure you this bike WILL have wheels. Stay tuned. Stay in control!

3/22/15: Update

IMG_2743 As expected the wheel set arrived. They are a crisp white and will look great against the red frame. The purpose they will serve is pretty self-explanatory, so there is no need to elaborate any further.

The seat post also arrived. I went with the 350 mm for maximum adjustment potential. I was really hoping for a white post, but silver was the best I could get. It will definitely still match and serve it’s purpose.

IMG_2742Along with the post came the crank bolts (pictured to the right of the post). Although they are small, they serve a crucial purpose in the rebuild. The bottom bracket (on its way) is made for screw in bolt as it is modern. On most old bottom brackets, the crank is secured with a nut. These bolts will ensure that the crank is fastened to the bicycle allowing the rider to move the bike.

The parts keep coming in and everything seems to be exactly as pictured. I can’t wait to get this up and running.

IMG_2741IMG_2753 3/28/15: Update

More parts have arrived. This is a a majority of the build, along with some accessories. In this lot came the bottom bracket, saddle, U-lock, grips, panniers, rear rack, pedals, and toe clips. IMG_2755

IMG_2754The rear rack is the Explorer by Topeak. It’s the same rack I traveled the coast of California with. It’s extremely rugged and durable. In addition, the panniers are the Axiom Monsoon DLX, 35 L bags. These can hold a ton of stuff and they are water proof. Enough said! Stay tuned.

IMG_2758IMG_2756 IMG_2757

4/3/15 : Update


The final components have arrived. First, is a pair of nutted brake calipers. The fact that they are nutted makes them compatible with this older frame. It was a relief to find these. The other option would have been to drill into the frame in order to install the brakes with the flush bolt on the back.


There is also a pair of cross levers. These will activate the front and rear brake. If the person decides to ride fixed, the brakes will also be optional. They can be completely removed or they could just run a single brake. This is usually preferred due to the cleaner look.


The cog and freewheel have also been installed on the new rear wheel.  This allows for complete versatility. The rider will have the option to cruise and coast or constantly pedal (way more fun than it sounds).

I can’t wait to put the bike together. Stay tuned!

IMG_29534/4/15: DONE!

Not much explanation is needed here. The build is done. I spent the day putting all the pieces together and rebuilding the Red Schwinn. There were no major mishaps. It is ready to go. This bike has big things ahead of it. Stay tuned!


6 Responses to The Red Schwinn

  1. Pingback: 5 Reasons I Have Decided to Give Away Free Bikes | Bike and Brain

  2. Pingback: Red Schwinn Update | Bike and Brain

  3. Harv says:

    Loving the red chain! I’m attempting to breathe some life back into my own bike build project. I’m going for smething classic. Bianchi steel frame in Cesleste, Campagnolo Group Set, Cinelli handlebars. Very exciting. I just have to actually go out and find the parts now. And of course learn how to build a bike.

    Look forward to seeing how your project progresses.


  4. Pingback: The Girl in the Taxi | Bike and Brain

  5. Pingback: Not Everything Goes To Plan | Bike and Brain

  6. Pingback: The Red Schwinn: DONE | Bike and Brain

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