Coppertone Fastback: A Penny, Saved

Sep 13, 2006
854
1,698
50
southern PA
I've been riding with the same bunch of vintage bike nuts for 4 summers now. There are at least 7 or 8 Schwinn Fastbacks in our group, and lately I have been REALLY yearning for one of my own. So now in the last month, I have managed to pick up not one, but two starting points for Fastback projects.

This '69 has been passed around to a few of the guys in our group, pretty much as you see it here. The last guy who had it ended up with two complete original paint bikes after he picked this up. He decided he didn't need it anymore and made me a great deal on it.
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Then this past weekend, I made it to the Trexlertown, PA swap, where one of my friends convinced me I just HAD to take this pile of early '67 home. I'm glad he did; I think there's some great bones to work with here.
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For this build-off, I will most likely go with the Coppertone bike. I am inspired by @furyus ' Coda from last year, where the journey was as meaningful as the destination, and it was more about resurrecting and preserving than restoring. I will probably use the '69 shifter because I have it on hand, and I am on the lookout for a set of appropriately weathered '68-69 bars just because I'm not a big fan of the '66-'67 design. I have a lead on a sissy, and the seat is an unknown at the moment, but I will do my best to keep it all Schwinn. Looking forward to getting a wrench on this stuff.
 
Jan 31, 2011
513
1,116
Leesburg, VA
Wow, I’m honored to have a build that gives inspiration for your project. That’s humbling, and better than any vote. You have always put together some nice, tasteful rides without any help from me.

Check out this post in the classified: https://ratrodbikes.com/forum/index.php?threads/schwinn-sprint-parts-50-shipped.109087/

I’d like to donate the Sprint freewheel to your project if you’re interested. I don’t think it’s the same as the Sprint freewheel that came on a ‘66, but it’s in great condition and would be a nice touch. Count the teeth and see if it’ll work for you and it’s yours. I’ll even try to deliver it to the swap meet in a couple of weeks.

furyus
 
Aug 17, 2019
263
416
48
I've been riding with the same bunch of vintage bike nuts for 4 summers now. There are at least 7 or 8 Schwinn Fastbacks in our group, and lately I have been REALLY yearning for one of my own. So now in the last month, I have managed to pick up not one, but two starting points for Fastback projects.

This '69 has been passed around to a few of the guys in our group, pretty much as you see it here. The last guy who had it ended up with two complete original paint bikes after he picked this up. He decided he didn't need it anymore and made me a great deal on it.
View attachment 106187 View attachment 106188

Then this past weekend, I made it to the Trexlertown, PA swap, where one of my friends convinced me I just HAD to take this pile of early '67 home. I'm glad he did; I think there's some great bones to work with here.
View attachment 106189 View attachment 106190

For this build-off, I will most likely go with the Coppertone bike. I am inspired by @furyus ' Coda from last year, where the journey was as meaningful as the destination, and it was more about resurrecting and preserving than restoring. I will probably use the '69 shifter because I have it on hand, and I am on the lookout for a set of appropriately weathered '68-69 bars just because I'm not a big fan of the '66-'67 design. I have a lead on a sissy, and the seat is an unknown at the moment, but I will do my best to keep it all Schwinn. Looking forward to getting a wrench on this stuff.
Cool! I was in Trexlertown too! Saturday only. Drove down from central NY. Visited my son a freshman at Scranton on the way home. I was pulling around a rat wagon of parts looking to trade with vendors. (Which is apparently frowned upon at bike swap meets?)

I scored a fork for my MBB that I hope to post tomorrow.
 
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Sep 13, 2006
854
1,698
50
southern PA
Wow, I’m honored to have a build that gives inspiration for your project. That’s humbling, and better than any vote. You have always put together some nice, tasteful rides without any help from me.

Check out this post in the classified: https://ratrodbikes.com/forum/index.php?threads/schwinn-sprint-parts-50-shipped.109087/

I’d like to donate the Sprint freewheel to your project if you’re interested. I don’t think it’s the same as the Sprint freewheel that came on a ‘66, but it’s in great condition and would be a nice touch. Count the teeth and see if it’ll work for you and it’s yours. I’ll even try to deliver it to the swap meet in a couple of weeks.

furyus
That's very generous, and much appreciated; I'd be happy to use it in the build. And believe it or not, it may actually be the EXACT same freewheel used on a '66 Fastback.

I wouldn't have thought so either; my original plan was to cannibalize an old 5-speed Collegiate I have here for the drivetrain, brakes, and some other bits. But I just did a little poking around online and found this Fleabay auction. Going by the pictures, it's the same one as in your thread. And going by the seller's description, it's actually CORRECT for a '66. Starting in '67, they used the "Schwinn Approved" gear cluster, but for first-year '66 models only, they used the "SPRINT" cluster. It'd definitely be cool to have that in the build. Thanks again.

I'll stay in touch re: the swap. Hope to see you there.
 
Last edited:
Sep 13, 2006
854
1,698
50
southern PA
Cool! I was in Trexlertown too! Saturday only. Drove down from central NY. Visited my son a freshman at Scranton on the way home. I was pulling around a rat wagon of parts looking to trade with vendors. (Which is apparently frowned upon at bike swap meets?)

I scored a fork for my MBB that I hope to post tomorrow.
Yeah, we were Saturday only also. I was riding around on the yellow Iverson Dragstripper. I was COMPLETELY blown away by the stuff there. If I had had my wits about me I probably could have scored some more stuff for this build at decent prices, but I was too busy being overwhelmed. I will definitely be back next year.
 
Aug 17, 2019
263
416
48
Yeah, we were Saturday only also. I was riding around on the yellow Iverson Dragstripper. I was COMPLETELY blown away by the stuff there. If I had had my wits about me I probably could have scored some more stuff for this build at decent prices, but I was too busy being overwhelmed. I will definitely be back next year.
Ha-Ha! I talked to you! I told you you had a cool bike! I’d love to have an old drag stripper!!!! I was the dude In the orange shirt with a muscle bike on it dragging the little wagon! lol!

Trexlertown was a long drive from CNY!!!! Im not sure about making the trip next year. Definitely a lot more bikes than parts; I was thinking it would be more like a car or motorcycle swap meet. -Parts galore and lots of trading. This was more like a craft show with people selling primarily complete bikes (some parts) and not wanting to trade.

Someone actually complained to the guy running the show that I had brought parts to trade. Weird. Who’d have thought you’re not allowed to trade parts at a swap meet. Lol.

Definitely a stunning collection and quantity of project and completed bikes for sale. Some really great, friendly vendors too.
 
Sep 13, 2006
854
1,698
50
southern PA
Ha-Ha! I talked to you! I told you you had a cool bike! I’d love to have an old drag stripper!!!! I was the dude In the orange shirt with a muscle bike on it dragging the little wagon! lol!

Trexlertown was a long drive from CNY!!!! Im not sure about making the trip next year. Definitely a lot more bikes than parts; I was thinking it would be more like a car or motorcycle swap meet. -Parts galore and lots of trading. This was more like a craft show with people selling primarily complete bikes (some parts) and not wanting to trade.

Someone actually complained to the guy running the show that I had brought parts to trade. Weird. Who’d have thought you’re not allowed to trade parts at a swap meet. Lol.

Definitely a stunning collection and quantity of project and completed bikes for sale. Some really great, friendly vendors too.
I actually do remember the orange shirt! Don't remember the wagon, though. It'd be a little petty for them to hassle you for not having a swap space; I'm pretty sure there were people trading out of their cars in the parking lot. Heck, that was kinda my plan, but I have a couple friends that got a space and just told me to drag my stuff on in (all I had was 4 bikes anyway).

Yeah, the drive was only 2 hours for me; I'm about an hour south of Harrisburg. I also have some friends from the area that like to go, so it's an easier drive if you're not doing it alone. And yeah, even if I didn't get to buy or sell anything, it's cool just to see all the stuff and talk to people who share your interests.
 
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Sep 13, 2006
854
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southern PA
Let the parts gathering begin.
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This was less than 10 bucks, as opposed to a correct Mag sprocket which is currently going for $$$. I will eventually find one, but I didn't want to hold up the project waiting for one at a price that didn't offend my sensibilities.
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Big thanks to @furyus for this one, which he happened to have available when I first posted this project. It's originally off a ten-speed, but from what I have been able to determine, it is also correct for a '66-'67 Fastback.
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I also have a line on a sissy bar if it pans out.

This is where I am at on the wheels:
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Going to use the drop center rims, so the front one has to be laced to the hub...
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Sep 13, 2006
854
1,698
50
southern PA
Finally started picking away at this.
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At first I thought this chain could be cleaned up and saved...
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...but then I noticed the part where it must have sat in the mud for years. Gonna need a new one of them.
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Then I got around to swapping over the drop center rim. It never occurred to me that there would be enough play in the spokes after loosening them a little to just tape the rims together and move them to the new rim spoke by spoke. Much easier than following a video, though it really felt like cheating.
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The bolt holding on the front of the chainguard was boogered up bad enough at the end of the threads that it needed vise grips on the screw head to get it off.
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You can just see the ghost of the graphic on the guard. I have faked up a pretty good facsimile of the guard graphic on the diecut machine, so I am going to cut a stencil and try to paint on a weathered version of the graphic to match the condition of the rest of the guard. I have a couple ideas for customizing the graphic, but I'm not so sure I have myself sold on any of them...
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