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Vintage Schwinn Basket Switcheroo: Fair and Compassionate Parts Removal

Submitted by on January 25, 2011 – 12:16 am5 Comments

I am obsessed with vintage Schwinn bicycles. I am also obsessed with what I think of as bicycle utility, which to me means carrying stuff around with me on my bike. I have tried everything: rear racks, front racks, back packs, messenger bags, et cetera, ad infinitum. I even own a Schwinn Town and Country Tri-Wheeler with one of those  removable rear baskets, for crying out loud, and I’m not yet seventy years old!

But there is one thing that I haven’t tried, and I’ve been looking for one. One of those old-school pannier-style metal baskets. I have been looking for a set for quite some time. I know that I could buy a shiny, brand-new Walds, or some such thing, but I want something vintage.

So when I saw an ad on CL for the above bike the other night asking $35, I called the guy and brought it home. It’s a 1972 Schwinn Speedster 3-speed.

With a nice old basket. That’s my cat Robbie Knievel in the picture above. Here’s a close-up of the rather beefy basket:

No more basket!

Here is the front light assembly that I didn’t strip from this bike prior to resale. That’s the Compassionate part: letting someone else enjoy their bike purchase with a little extra.  I also wanted to throw in this pic to show you my fluffy siamese cat, Cocoa Puff.

I ended up selling the Speedster for $40 to cover my cost plus gas. It’s a pretty nice bike, and the guy that bought it was ecstatic. That’s the Fair Part.

So what to do with the basket?

The above bike is my Office Bike. I use it to bomb around Lakewood, E. Dallas and downtown, and I need to carry stuff. My briefcase, groceries, books, beer, etc. I haven’t been satisfied with the capacity of that Schwinn-approved rear rack. I have a lot of bicycle racks, and I don’t mean the kind that you get from the cross-bar.

The rack worked better than expected, and it absolutely doesn’t make a rattle or squeak. That’s an important issue to an anal-tetentive guy like myself: total silence. So what’s the point? Is this some pat on the back story about my great basket? Well, sort of. But the more important story is that you can often find a bike part that you seek on another bike for sale. Buy the bike, get the part, and pass it along.

It’s fun. It’s re-use. It’s green. Try it!
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Michael W. Hubbard

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