1. The first phase of the site update has been completed, but the forum software update will occur one evening this week. Will try to keep everyone posted when I find out an exact day. Thanks!
    Dismiss Notice

Schwinn straightbar frame variations

Discussion in 'KLUNKERS & MOUNTAIN BIKES' started by Bretton Rihanek, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. Bretton Rihanek

    Bretton Rihanek

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Messages:
    14
    It was the classic Schwinn straight bar Klunker that caught my eye and got me reinterested in bicycles as I neared retirement age. In my search for a Straightbar I found out that there was more than one style. I'll share what I think I know and hope for some input/insight from some of the sages out there.

    I believe there are four styles of Schwinn Straightbar frame. All have the double top bar in an over/under shotgun configuration. The upper top bar being arced and the lower top bar being straight ( why they are called Straightbars ).

    First - the early pre-war - all tubes are large diameter, the dropouts face rearward with chain tension adjusting bolts, the downtube is also straight. Tube joints at the headtube, bottom bracket, rear dropouts and seat tube are all external and done by hand (sloppy). The seat stays come together and attach to the back of the seat tube.

    Second - the late pre-war - same as before, the only change being the down tube which is now curved.

    Third - the early post-war - the fabled and much sought after "Fatbar". This is a transitional frame created by the changeover from hand built to electroforged made frames (the process for which Schwinn is famous, among others). All tubes are large diameter, the dropouts now face forward and do not have tensioning bolts. Tube joints at the headtube, bottom bracket and rear dropouts are smooth with no weld evident (electroforged). The seat stays now attach to the sides of the seat tube and the upper seat tube joint and the lower top bar joints are the only hand welded/brazed joints on the frame.

    Fourth - the late post-war - finally, the most common (probably due to high production ability). Same as the early post-war with one important change ... the lower top bar is now a smaller diameter tube with no welded/brazed joints at either end. The only manually blazed joint is now at the junction of the upper seat tube and the seat stays. I'm guessing that some type of electric weld was used on the lower top bar.

    Give me your thoughts.
     
  2. Speed King

    Speed King

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Messages:
    142
    I've been wondering about those frames & the differences between them, thanks. Any year guidelines as to what years each was made?
     
    rrtbike and RustyGold like this.
  3. Dizzle Problems

    Dizzle Problems

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,191
    I think the straight downtube (early prewar) was until '37.. no expert tho
     
    rrtbike and RustyGold like this.
  4. Bretton Rihanek

    Bretton Rihanek

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Messages:
    14
    Again if you have better info please correct me.
    These are approximate guesses. If you look on the CABE they talk about overlap of production years.

    1) 34 - 37
    2) 37 - 41
    3) 46 only
    4) 46 - 56
     
  5. scrumblero

    scrumblero

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,627
    Location:
    S.F. bay area
    theres the double straight bar in there somewhere..
     
  6. Bretton Rihanek

    Bretton Rihanek

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Messages:
    14
    An additional note: these are all heavyweight frames. Schwinn introduced the Corvette middleweight 54-55 and the straightbars also became middleweights. So approximately 56-59 there are middleweight striaghtbars that match the late post-war description but are narrower.
     
    RustyGold likes this.
  7. Bretton Rihanek

    Bretton Rihanek

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Messages:
    14
    The double straightbars or twin bars come in 2 styles. The early where the bars stand alone and attach at the seat tube and down tube side, and the later where the seat stays pass the seat tube and continue straight to the front downtube. These are early sixties (I believe) and both middleweights.
     
    SILVERKINGPC and Speed King like this.
  8. Bretton Rihanek

    Bretton Rihanek

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Messages:
    14
    I found the early Twinbar listed in the 1958 Schwinn catalog as a Tornado model and the later Twinbar in the 1962 Schwinn catalog as a Typhoon
     
    Speed King likes this.
  9. Dizzle Problems

    Dizzle Problems

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,191
    There's also the flying star and skipper. I believe the double where the seat stays continue all the way through were one year only.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
    Wildcat, rrtbike and RustyGold like this.
  10. rrtbike

    rrtbike

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,263
    Location:
    Atlantic Iowa
    I think I read once 1956 was the only straightbar middleweight frame.
     
  11. Phil Fink

    Phil Fink

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Messages:
    442
    Location:
    Kalifornia / Toes Beach
    I wonder if some of my older bikes might have been Mead, Schwinn-built. One might be called a double straight bar in ads, or twin-truss, (as opposed to double bar drop frame), but does not quite fit the description above. Perhaps, in some other makes and models, (e.g., Snyder, Rollfast, Wards), the so-called straight bar might refer to the down tube?
    upload_2018-2-24_7-13-18.png
    The question that I have is, are some of the terms applied retrospectively, or did some manufactures or retailers use those terms in their patent applications or advertisements?
    upload_2018-2-24_7-34-0.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    SILVERKINGPC likes this.
  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    7,580
    Location:
    Mililani, Hawaii
    My friend has a 61 Skipper with the continuous bars, like the 62 Typhoon. Those frames are great for Klunkers.

    In the 60's, Schwinn made an oversized cantilever frame. I wonder if they ever made a larger straight bar frame.
     
    Dizzle Problems likes this.
  13. Dizzle Problems

    Dizzle Problems

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,191
    One with the continuous bars is on my wanted list for sure!

    And yea, the King Size! They made a king size american, and heavy duti. 20 inch seat tube (vs standard 18) Not sure of any oversized straight bars from that era, but pre war they did make bigger ones, in a variety of frame designs. You could get a 16,18, or 20 seat tube for many models
     
  14. SILVERKINGPC

    SILVERKINGPC

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,333
    Location:
    Utah
    One of my 1st Rats. A 60's Schwinn twin-bar I built in 1980. All Schwinn-Germany headset and crank hardware. Stolen in 94. Wish I still had it.:(
    001.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
    RustyGold and Dizzle Problems like this.
  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    7,580
    Location:
    Mililani, Hawaii
    They had different sizes for the diamond frames, but probably not for the straight bars, although I wish they did. I've never seen one. If they had them prewar, then I'll keep a slush fund to buy one in the largest size. Maybe I can take an existing frame and have it stretched into a big straight bar.

    The oversize cantilever frames were in 64 and 65 if I recall correctly.

    Just dreaming.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    RustyGold likes this.
  16. Dizzle Problems

    Dizzle Problems

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,191
  17. SILVERKINGPC

    SILVERKINGPC

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,333
    Location:
    Utah
    $_57[1].jpg

    3o'sschwinn.jpg
    In 1933 & 34, post depression, the popular motorbike double-diamond straight-bar frame designs evolved from 28" to a more versatile 26" "plus" size wheel, opposite of what is going on today with most bikes. ---:wondering: Hmmmm....
    The Schwinn examples of these frames, were pretty nice IMO. I think they were made for different companies wearing different badges as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
    Wildcat and RustyGold like this.

Share This Page