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1973 Schwinn World Voyageur (in Kool Orange)

Submitted by on August 3, 2010 – 12:23 am12 Comments

When I first got back into bicycling a few years back, I was not interested in road bikes. I was interested in style over speed.  However, as the bike trail network in Dallas County has expanded, and as my stamina has increased (somewhat!), it has become obvious to me that it might be in my best interest to pick up the pace a bit. My Electrabike Amsterdam Classic 3 might get me to Plano from White Rock Lake, but it’s going to take me a while. Like hours……and thus began my search for a road bike.

There are a lot of reasonably priced road and touring bikes on CL, and I’ve purchased several. Thus far, though, something has always been missing, or not quite right. The geometry of these bikes, as well as my own odd geometry, has been confusing to me, so I’ve bought and sold several that didn’t quite do it. Last week, my friend Justin Husman, a contributor to this site and all-around knowledgeable bike guy, sent me a link to this fabulous bike on Dallas CL:

It’s a 1973 Schwinn World Voyageur. Somehow, my obsessive CL vigilance had not brought this bike to my attention. And although I’m a bit of a Schwinn fanatic, my lack of road bike acumen and knowledge had failed to properly make me aware of this bike and its’ interesting history and worth.

This bike is the first bike that Schwinn had manufactured in another country, in this case, Japan. Thus the “World” moniker and the headbadge:

Apparently, Schwinn was having a hard time meeting the demand for bicycles during the 1970’s “bike boom”. I’m no expert on this stuff, but it seems clear that Schwinn was about to collapse for a number of reasons and that most of their manufacturing was going overseas regardless. And yet most of that happend later, in the early 1980’s……..

Good old steel frame………..

This is one of the few Schwinn bikes ever manufactured with these chrome lugs:

The entire frame is chrome, and they then painted over the chrome. So if there is a scratch in the paint, it simply reveals the lovely chrome underneath.

I love this bike. It came in 21 inch and 23 inch frames. This frame is a 23 inch. The bike was offered in yellow, light blue, and this color, “Kool Orange”. Nice Dura-Ace crank.

Close-up.

I added the Brooks B-17 saddle.  I can’t decide whether or not to keep the vintage Schwinn rear rack. I like function, but aesthetics are an issue, as well.

Not sure about the handlebars, either, and white bar tape seems like it will be dirty fast.

Again: I love this bike. It was one level under the Schwinn “Paramount”.

I have never had a bike with bar end shifters like this, but I like them so far.

I bought this bike on Friday morning from some guy in a trailer park in Arlington, TX. My friend Chris and I went for a ride that same morning, despite the heat. I enjoyed riding this bike. It’s going into what I call my “core collection” of four bikes (and one trike).

I’m going to tear it down and rebuild it, but I’m going on a few rides first. Maybe I’ll see you on the bike trails…….

Addendum: A guy on schwinn.com just posted this for me, and it’s a great additon to this article. It’s the original “Bicycling” magazine review of this bike from 1973.

http://velo-pages.com/main.php?g2_itemId=27936&g2_imageViewsIndex=1

-Hubbard

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Michael W. Hubbard

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