I am known as The Bicycling Guitarist because since the early 1980s I have ridden tens of thousands of miles "no hands" on a vintage Schwinn ten-speed while simultaneously playing a Fender Stratocaster guitar, writing hundreds of songs dozens of which are available on my web site at http://www.TheBicyclingGuitarist.net/

My faithful ride for all these years has been a 1977 Schwinn Sportabout ten-speed bicycle. Over the years it has received several upgrades with parts from the Schwinn Continental and Schwinn Super Sport models to become a "Super Sportabout" (I coined the term this year to replace the term "Sportinental" from the 2003 upgrade).

The Sportabout was a low-end Schwinn bicycle that used the same flash-welded "electro-forged" frame as the better-known Varsity, Continental and Suburban models. What set the Sportabout apart was its use of Japanese SunTour derailleurs and freewheel, which at the time were the finest designs in the world even though they were cheaper than the equivalent French or Italian designs.

In spite of all the upgrades, my "Minstrel Cycle" still has the most important defining characteristics of a Schwinn Sportabout: the electro-forged frame, painted tubular fork, and SunTour derailleurs.

As of October 6, 2009 my "Minstrel Cycle" also has an aluminum handlebar and stem assembly in excellent condition from a higher-priced 1970s Schwinn. That same day it also received new wheels built by lacing vintage Schwinn Approved quick release hubs to modern Sun CR-18 aluminum rims. I also added Kool-Stop "salmon" brake pads to the center-pull brakes that I upgraded to back in 2003.

As of September 21, 2009, The Bicycle Museum of America has dibs on this machine after I die. I had asked them if they were interested in it, and they wrote back that with my story it would make "an interesting display."

I hope to ride and play many more miles on this bicycle, especially now that it has such sweet new parts installed.



Schwinn Sportabout - side view


The Bicycling Guitarist in action

Schwinn Sportabout - side view


Schwinn "Sportabout" - front end setup
Schwinn Sportabout - crank arm detail
Schwinn Sportabout - Top Tube detail




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