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1987 Schwinn Super Sport

Submitted by on February 22, 2011 – 8:17 pm30 Comments

I found this bike on CL last week, and it has proved to me to be an interesting lesson.  It’s a 1987 Schwinn Super Sport. The guy that I bought it from told me that his brother bought it new in 1987, rode it only a few times, and died very soon thereafter. It has been in a garage ever since.

I’m a Schwinn fan, but my knowledge of these bikes is more confined to the 1960s and 1970s models. This beauty is pristine:

  As Schwinn began to go to hell in a hand-basket in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I knew that they had begun to move some of their manufacturing to other countries, and that they had also begun to buy parts, frames, wheelsets, etc.  from various other manufacturers. Some of the bikes were well-made, and some weren’t. But I had no idea that some of these late 1980s Schwinn Road Bikes were made with such quality components.

 

When I called about the bike, the owner told me that it was a “purple Super Sport”. The photo in his ad was so bad you couldn’t tell what it was, so I was thinking that it was a Violet 1970s model. He didn’t tell me the story about his brother until I got there. He was asking so little for the bike that I knew there was gonna be blood in the water in CL land, so I sped to Hurst, Tx right away. 

 Obviously, it isn’t “Violet”.  In Schwinn’s 1987 catalogue, they call it “Magenta”. In 1987, this “Magenta and White” color scheme was the only color that you could buy this bike in.

It’s immaculate.

I was shocked to see a Cinelli stem and Cinelli bars on this bike. I thought for sure that they were after-market, but I was wrong. They are stock. Two bottle cages came with the bike, although only one is shown in the first pic.

The frame, too, is apparently a product of Italy. It’s Columbus Tenax Double Butted Frame Tubing, with chrome-moly stays and forged dropouts. The Super Sports, as well as the Circuits, were right below the Paramounts in Schwinn’s top of the line. They were serious bikes for tri-athletes and the like.

The components are all Shimano 600 Ex Grouppo with index shifting.  Biopace crank-set and Aero brakes.

This is the way I found the bike. I haven’t cleaned it.

The pedals and toe-clips are Shimano 600, as well.

It has the original ‘Christophe” toe-clip strap.

Beautiful!

I’m always buying bikes on CL that need work, but not this one.

OK, that little rubber thing needs to be adjusted. I just noticed that.

The bike came stock with a San Marco saddle:

French-made Rigida 32 spoke black anodized SX100 Alloy roms with 700 wheels.

The bike came with his brother’s original 1987 Reebok shoes that fit me. And the pump. And a chain rest. And new Michelin tires. 

It’s a 56 cm frame (Schwinn calls it a 2i inch). I usually ride a 58, but I have short legs, so I’m trying this out to see if this frame geometry is a better fit. The Miami Vice looking color scheme is growing on me. And it’s just a really nice bike. Lightish for steel, maybe 22 pounds. And zippy. It’s also the only unrepresented decade in my bike collection (that’s going back to the 1960s, no farther).

If I don’t keep it, I might break it down for ebay so that I can have the Cinelli stuff. But maybe not. Maybe I’ll save it for a true believer and make someone’s day. It sure made mine.

-H

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Michael W. Hubbard

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