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Welch’s Bike: The 1976 Schwinn Speedster

Submitted by on February 20, 2010 – 8:27 pm2 Comments

In Flamboyant Red, single speed, 24 inch frame. I call it “The Spirit of ’76”.

Here is what it looked like when I bought it:

I found it here in East Dallas on Craigslist for $125.00. At the time, it was the most that I had paid for a used bicycle. The guy that I bought it from told me that he found it in his mother’s attic when he helped her move. It had apparently been owned by his step-father and had sat up there for almost 25 years. My version of one of those “barn find stories”. Check out the chainguard, it’s beautiful……..

And the lovely, longish head-tube………

Around the neighborhood (these are actually the tennis courts at the Casa Linda Park near my house). I decided to take the rear rack off of the bike. While I am a huge proponent of the functional nature of bikes (meaning I want to carry stuff), I felt that the rack detracted from the simple elegance of the bike.

I also took the typically uncomfortable Schwinn seat (above) off of the bike and replaced it with a Brooks B-66 that I found on ebay.

My good friend in Gotham, and a reporter-at-large for this site, is Mr. Welch. He has in the past been referred to on this site as Mr. W, but no more. I call this his bike not because he has any legal claim to ownership of this bike, but because he loves to ride it when he is visiting Dallas. When I am visiting him in NYC, he provides me with a bike to ride in that greatest of cities. He’s also a big guy (6’4″) and this is a big framed bike. It’s probably technically too large for me (at 5’11”), but once I get up on it and start riding it, I love the hugeness of the frame. Plus I have short legs for my size, so everything seems too big for me, as far as putting my feet on the ground.

Since these photos were taken, I have completely disassembled this bike and rebuilt and regreased it from the ground up. It is the first bike that I have done this to. I’m kind of proud of myself, honestly. I am always amazed how by how well these old Schwinns were made, and painted. This one cleaned up beautifully, and I always get compliments on it when I ride it. Who doesn’t like a shiny red bike with chrome fenders?

Welch clearly does. Here he is enjoying the Speedster after a Dallas ride with yours truly (that’s me on the 2008 Electrabike Amsterdam Classic 3):


P.S. While I was looking at these photos and deciding which ones to use, I found some pictures of my front garden that I took the same day (last spring). As a harbinger of the spring to come, and as a diversion from mere bicycle photos, I thought that I would share them…….

Here is a close-up:

Ok, and here are my dogs. Maxine is the Boxer and Roger is the Dachshund. That is a gondola from the State Fair of Texas “Sky Ride” in the background.


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Michael W. Hubbard

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