Schwinn Bicycle 1970

They could be found all over America back in the day.

Schwinn bicycles of the past were built like tanks, which makes them collectible today. And in the 1970s, it almost seemed as if each one was made in the same color: Varsity Green. Today, many of those bikes survive in storage, thanks to sheds, basements, and garages all over America.  Parts are still available to keep the bikes working, and what can’t be found can be replaced with current technology.

Schwinn Collegiate Ten Speed - 1970

The pictures just above are from the stunning Mrs. BelRedRoad’s “owners manual,” which came with her first grown-up bike – a 1970 Schwinn Hollywood 24:

Hollywood Before

1970 Schwinn Hollywood 24 Before

As with many things in our home, we still have it. The bike was leaning against the wall in the garage when I married her.  It could be ridden, which she demonstrated for our oldest son in 2007 when he asked about the bike, but the tires were rotten. At that point she mentioned passively how fun it would be to have this bike in riding condition again, so secretly I started gathering parts to do just that.  The project also gave me the opportunity to update it while keeping a retro feel.  The results were unique:

Hollywood After

Hollywood 24 After Customizing

The bike shined up nicely.  The chrome fenders – even with their minor dents – polished well and shine in the sun.  The wheels have 144 spokes each; many of the parts were purchased from a lowrider bicycle shop in Redwood CA.  The leather saddle and leather tiki grips are from Electra Bikes.  A full write-up on what I did is HERE. The Hollywood is now a smooth rider with a lot of character.  And these days, the 5-year old who asked about it in 2007 is big enough to ride it!

Of course he’ll have to pry it away from Mrs. BelRedRoad first 🙂