1983 Schwinn Traveler Single-speed Conversion

schwinn_trav_bforI bought this Schwinn Traveler at Denio’s flea market for $55. It was built in January, 1983, at the Giant factory in Taiwan. The wheels are alloy and the frame is 4130 chromoly steel with nicely long, horizontal drop-outs, so important for easy fixie/SS wheel alignment.

Cheap Suntour gears and all other components except brakes were easy to strip in about an hour. schwinn_trav_striptCleanup took a bit longer as you’d expect with a >30-year-old bike.

The rear wheel, a Japanese Sunshine brand, looked good so I removed and discarded the gear cassette, dismantled the wheel, cleaned, regreased and reassembled the cones and balls.

Next I soaked the spoke nipples with WD-40 and trued the wheel. I bought a Shimano 18-tooth freewheel at Bob’s Cycle for $35 and screwed it to the wheel. I already had a black Kenda tire so I installed it with a tube I also had but needed to patch.

The Schwinn front wheel rim was too trashed to use so I bought a proper era alloy Japanese Ukai brand 27×1 1/8″ front wheel for $5 at the Sacramento Bike Kitchen and also bought a used Bell tire for $5- I already had the correct tube with Schrader valve.

The Ukai got the same clean and grease job as the rear wheel and then I mounted the tire and tube and bolted verocrankit to the frame. I adjusted the center-pull Schwinn brakes which I retained when dismantling.

Bob’s Cycle removed the cup-and-cone bottom bracket ($5), and I already had a Shimano sealed bottom bracket so I cleaned and greased the BB shell’s threads and installed the sealed unit.

I got black anodized Vero 171.5mm cranks and spider from my parts bin and installed a 40-tooth chain-ring. The parts bin also supplied the chain while I reused the Schwinn seat and post, pedals, quill-stem, handlebar and brake levers. schwinn_side

The all important chain-line proved to be dead straight from the start. Weight was 29 lbs (13.15 kg) and handling is crisp. Costs are as follows:

Frame- $55
Wheel- $5
Tires- $15
Crank- $35
BB- $35
Misc- $10
Tot= USD $155


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