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Schwinn World Tourist Single Speed Conversion
I'm pretty clueless about bikes in general, and old bikes in particular, but an old (86?) Schwinn Tourst 10 speed just fell into my lap and I'd like to cobble together something rideable out of it.

The Tourist has the weird front freewheel ffs thing going on, so I was wondering whether I could somehow put together a single speed setup using a fixed gear hub and a single track cog in the rear. Anyone have any insight as to whether this will work, what problems I might encounter, and how to do it on the cheap?
Ask the experts over here ---> http://www.schwinnbikeforum.com/index.php

Very cool and helpful in all things Schwinn! Fair warning, though - they will not consider 1986 as 'old'. Smile
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
I doubt the schwinnbikeforum will be of much help because:

* the FFS system is a Shimano thing - and very few people know anything about it.
* the bike was made by Giant in Taiwan for Schwinn, not by Schwinn

The bike you have already has a quasi fixed gear hub; the gear cluster on the rear hub is not a freewheel, but threads on to the hub just like a freewheel. You need a TL-20 tool to remove it, underneath you will find the standard threads for installing a freewheel.

At the front, you can leave the FFS system in place, of remove it entirely. To remove it, you will need a standard crank puller to remove the left side crank. Next there is a jam nut and lock nut on the left side; remove these, and everything falls apart - pull the BB axle, chainrings and right side crank out from the right side. There are loose balls. The two cups thread into the frame, you'll need the TL-20 to remove them from the frame; the BB bracket is threaded ISO/English standard; the two cups have opposite handed threads. Once you have removed the cups from the frame, you can install any standard 68mm BB, like a Shimano UN55 for example. Along with the crankset of your choice.

Many World Tourists; especially the later ones like yours, had steel rims - these are heavy, slow and provide poor braking. Strongly recommend replacing the wheels entirely with modern aluminum alloy rims. 130mm OLD will squeeze into the frame with only a little pulling.

I'd go with ISO622 (700c) wheels.

The original brakes SUCK - get some Tektro R556 or R559 - the "nutted" type, not recessed nut. The will work fine with the original brake levers.

The original fenders are steel, and quite heavy.

Some were equipped with awful steel handle bars - if you have steel, replace with aluminum alloy bars.

See also: http://forums.bikeride.com/thread-3216.html
Thanks Nigel,

I found this forum googling "World Tourist" and saw your posts. Nice the way you included info on the specific parts that worked for you, brakes etc. As you mentioned, WT experts seem to be few.

My goal for this beast is just to clean it up and go single speed. Something I can ride around on a level greenway with my kids (meaning slow Wink so weight and braking power aren't a big issue. I'm thinking I leave the crank and ffs original and put fixie hub and single sprocket on the back, probably a cheap new 700mm wheel. The dropouts seem horizontal enough so I'll have a little slack tensioning the chain.

The result would be a single speed with a chain that keeps moving whenever the wheels are spinning. A totally useless feature, but kinda cool nonetheless I think. I'd remove the rear brake entirely and maybe keep the front wheel and brake intact initially with an eye toward upgrading them ala your ride later on. So I wind up with an odd heavy bike that's hard to stop, but the old WT is back in commission. Or are there tragic flaws in my plan that I haven't considered...

Always get the best brakes you can - it not worth your - or worse - someone else life (like a little child); when having good brakes could have prevented any sort of injury.
Got the WT rolling, and I'm really enjoying it so far. Bought an inexpensive fixie rear wheel and an 18 tooth cog from my LBS, got a little advice about chain alignment and tension, cleaned up the patient and slapped it together.

Still heavy of course with the old steel handlebars and original crank setup but the aluminum rear wheel and everything I removed lightened it considerably. Front steel wheel had already been replaced when I got it. Definitely much better suited for greenway riding with the family vs. my road bike. Works well on this old yard-sale huffy trainer I found too. Brake is adequate for flat ground, but I'm going to ride it down a mountain at the Virginia Creeper Trail in a couple of weeks so l'll need to replace before then.

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