Author Topic: Schwinn Panther  (Read 5158 times)

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Offline seadug

Schwinn Panther
« on: July 26, 2008, 09:16:36 am »
I am thinking of getting into bike touring. I have an aluminum Schwinn panther 9 speed. Any thoughts if I could possibly make this work to see if I actually like bike touring. I live in new england and have all lightweight backpacking gear now. The bike does have the braze ons to add a front derailer. This is what I have.

http://www.schwinnbike.com/products/bikes_detail.php?id=666.


FredHiltz

  • Guest
Schwinn Panther
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2008, 08:37:24 am »
Hi seadug,

A bike built for the purpose would of course be better, but this one is probably fine for a test trip or two. Just make sure it will not discomfort you enough to turn you off touring.

The two potential show-stoppers that I see are low enough gears and attachments for panniers or a trailer. If the Panther can handle those, you are all set. You can probably borrow or rent a trailer for a test trip. A rack and bags might be harder to come by cheaply.

In your shoes, I'd seek an experienced cycle tourist to look it over and talk about it. If you live within 50 miles of Burlington VT, please drop me a note at the email address in my profile. If you do not know one near your town, ask at a bike shop. You might find one working there. It is worth finding someone with relevant experience. Should a know-it-all teenager tell you the only way to go is "xxx" or something like that, check here first before you believe it.

Looking at pictures of the bikes that crossed the country in 1976 on Bike Centennial, it is clear that a fancy bike is not needed.

Finally, check out the How To articles linked on the ACA web site for many excellent pointers on getting started.

Fred


Offline seadug

Schwinn Panther
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2008, 09:39:43 am »
Right now the front chain ring has 45 teeth the rear ranges from 31-11. I do have an old Blackburn rack that will fit the back on hand. My bike also has front and rear V brakes. I can add a front shift as the bike is set up for it.


FredHiltz

  • Guest
Schwinn Panther
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2008, 09:11:31 am »
That is encouraging. Most tourists like a lowest gear in the upper 20 inches for moderate hills and the lower 20s or upper teens for big mountains. If you can find a front ring of about 30 teeth and a derailleur that will handle the 15-tooth shift, you will be golden.

Your gear in inches is W x F / R, where
  W = wheel diameter in inches
  F = teeth on the front ring
  R = teeth on the rear cog

so you can figure other combinations.

Given your backpacking experience and gear, I'd say you are set for a 3- or 4-day test cruise. You might even be able to lash a couple of rucksacks to the rack in place of panniers if you can keep the straps out of the spokes.

Please let us know how this all works out. I think creative use of what you have on hand lies right in the old New England spirit.

Fred