Re: Re: Schwinn Giraffe
You got better foam than me and Bradley. The foam in our old Schwinn seats crumbled away to dust. Later foam inserts were made out of a better quality foam, which apparently didn’t have such an adverse reaction to oxygen, or the passage of time, or whatever.
But I remember taking apart old Schwinn seats and having a handful of dust and a vastly deteriorated blob of foam come out!
My Schwinn Giraffe was the first unicycle I ever bought. Before that I only rode on borrowed ones. I believe I paid $109 or so, in early 1980. Its value to me today is priceless. The “retro Schwinn” aspect is not what makes it cool. It’s just a real solid, good-looking, professional-quality unicycle. Today’s closest equivalent is the Semcycle Giraffe, but it costs much more.
My Schwinn currently has a white Semcycle seat cover, and all original parts otherwise, except a quick-release. Most of the hardware on the cycle has been chromed or re-chromed, to make it more shiny than a regular Schwinn:
- seatpost and seat nuts, washers
- seat clamp
- bottom bracket hardware (bearing races, nut, washer)
- bottom sprocket
- wheel nuts & washers
- chain tighteners
I still have a whitewall Schwinn “Unicycle” tire on there, though it’s got cracks. I have one more of those tires waiting in the wings, but not sure how strong it is, having been manufactured in 1980 or earlier. My drivetrain has a one-tooth difference between top and bottom, so the tire wears evenly. But when my old Schwinn tires finally die, it’ll probably be time to move to a more up-to-date wheel.
But, being the collector I am, I’ll probably try to keep as much of the original hardware as possible.
Make sure the cycle you are bidding on isn’t a destroyed piece of junk before closing the sale. It could be bent, rusty, etc. Jacquie bought me a “spare” giraffe a few years ago, and I have it in the garage in pieces, waiting to be restored. You probably didn’t see that one, or the Excessory Cycle, which is mostly in a couple of tupperware containers, also waiting for restoration and reassembly.
Also, older Schwinn Giraffes have track hubs with threaded-on bottom sprockets. This design does not have the three bolts holding the bottom sprocket to the hub, which is how you can tell the difference. If it’s one of those older ones, make sure the drivetrain is good and tight. If it comes loose, the fall can be sudden and very dangerous. Best to have it removed, clean the threads, then put it on as tight as possible with red Loctite.
If you have the three-bolt design, check the bolts every once in while for tightness. If you don’t, you’ll eventually lose them.
If you don’t buy that Schwinn, somebody else will. Go check it out!
The Schwinn chrome in those days was so tough, the original chrome on the frame still looks great