HI Doug and members,
What kind of RIDE / HANDLING can I expect from the "Fillet-Brazed" Schwinns. I want to ride, not park and look.
Charlie Petry near Jennersville Pennsylvania U.S.A.
That depends on what you are comparing it to and what kind of riding you will do. When I was a kid, it was far nicer to ride than a Huffy. Now that I have been a custom framebuilder and painter for 33 years, it wouldn't be my first choice. Neither would my Masi or Hetchins. Tweaking all aspects of a frame to just fit one person - tubing wall thickness and diameter, geometry, braze-ons and color - makes everything else inferior. And often times really inferior. A true custom frame made to fit one person's position and riding needs - not just a one-at-a-time hand made one - can be a revelation to those that finally get one. So you can see my point of view may be different than yours or someone else's. I'm not one that rides my historic frames because they all ride inferior to what I can make myself. One of the most important things I do with my wall of collectables is show them to my framebuilding students so they can understand the past. It really helps them put the craft in historical perspective.
That said, the 1 piece steel Ashtabula crank makes them heavy. They have a kind of solid, steady feel. It is what I would use on a 3 to 5 mile commute where I would go at a slower pace. I remember helping a pastor in the bike boom of 1971 get a Super Sport. He loved it and decided bicycling was worth investing in as a hobby. Next he bought a chrome-plated Paramount for $350 (when their was that price freeze). He never liked the paramount as well. He didn't feel as steady on it. On the Super Sport he could just ride down the road without thinking but on the Paramount he had to pay attention to what he was doing.
I did my first century ride on my Super Sport in 1966 in Vermont down highway 110 (and other roads). So you can see I like them because they bring back memories from when I was young and because they are nicely made to work on. Take away the emotion and they are kind of heavy clunkers.
Doug Fattic Niles, Michigan USA (but in VA this week end)