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My Schwinn Jaguar project

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  • My Schwinn Jaguar project

    I am not sure where to begin with this thread because I have so much to say about this new hobby. First I guess I will repeat that, yes I have another new hobby.

    I got hooked on the idea when I visited my mother in Tucson AZ, earlier this spring, I saw one and got the chance to check it a little and that was about all it took. I have been wanting some type of mechanized means of transportation besides my automobile, to benefit from an increase in fuel economy for quick trips to the store or visiting with friends in the neighborhood. I looked at the Electric scooters, a friend of mine has one with dual batteries and uses it to drive back and forth to work and other business. I thought about a golf cart, some of the kids around here bought these pit bikes, I see quad's and various other types of ATV's running up and down the street in this village.

    So anyway, on my trip to visit my mother in Tucson AZ, earlier this spring, I checked out this bike another dude was riding who was working on my mothers car for her, and it had a motor on it, I thought to myself, wow what a novel idea to put a small gas motor on a bicycle. But then after I got home and researched it a little I found out that its not as unique as you might think, they are fairly popular in Tucson AZ and Phoenix AZ.

    There are 2 separate locations for a bicycle shop called Spooky Tooth Cycles and they produce them for their main clients witch are college students, You have the University of Arizona in Tucson and in Phoenix you have Arizona State University. Further research into the idea and I found out that these bikes can get up to 200 MPG depending on various circumstances. So I got more interested.

    Later I found myself searching the internet for more information and I ran across a very popular community forums called the Motorized Bicycle Forum and after some time reading I couldnt help myself and I ordered a kit from a vender on Ebay, Boy Go Fast, for $129 shipped. I figured I would through the motor kit on my old Schwinn Spitfire that I have owned since I was a kid and road to my first job ever, Sears, Roebuck and Co, 7 miles each way for $3.25 an hour.

    As it turns out the Old spitfire has a large drum brake on the rear wheel and this is not desirable because the kit requires you to mount a sprocket on the rear wheel for the motor driven chain and it gets in the way, besides the bike is practicably a collectors item as it is, So I ended up picking up the Jaguar for $149 at Target, for those of you keeping track the project is up to $278 at this point, remember that for later.

    These days all bicycles, particularly the Schwinn are made in china, and no offense to the Chinese, but the quality really sucks. Schwinn apparently has not figured out what people around the globe have already about the Chinese, if you accept poor quality workmanship, then that's what they will happily pump out of their factory's. However if you send the items back ( Company owners ) then they will produce an excellent quality product and do their best to make you happy. That said, I had to upgrade a few of the items on the bicycle to meet my personal standards.

    The first area I took aim at was the front end, I needed to upgrade the front wheel and forks, fact is these bicycles were just not designed to haul a 150 - 200 pound man around the world at speeds up to 45 MPH, I read a forums string that a guy said he was clipping along minding his own business and not paying close enough attention, when BAM!!! he hit a pot hole and broke 9 spokes and 3 ribs, I started the upgrades at the front wheel shortly after reading this. I was able to find a springer front forks on ebay, I have read these help to cushion the bumps, $35. Next I was able to locate a front hub with a drum brake at a Schwinn dealer in Antioch, $25. I needed the drum brake because the springer front forks eliminates the stock Cantilever brakes and gives you no place to mount good brakes, the drum will give me better stopping power. I had the hub laced onto the rim for and $40 including spokes. My total is up to $378. If I do it again I found a place that sells front rims with drum brake hubs in then already for $85 and they have 12 gauge spokes, mine only has 14 gauge at this point stock.

    Next, I needed to move the seat back because the jaguar is made for midgets or something, $7 for the laid back seat post, I need a speedometer to tell how fast I am going, $15 and a headlight/taillight kit, $20, I plan to carry a spare tube with me (had one) so I needed a tire pump $10. and my total is up $430.

    The last thing I have done to date was to order a new rear wheel, learning from my experience with the front wheel, I elected to order a complete rear wheel with both a motor drive sprocket and the pedal driven sprocket, from a place in the United Kingdom called and at this point I am waiting for the wheel to arrive in the mail, $100 even and this brings my total as of today up to $530. I plan to purchase at some point in the future a rear pannier bags and rack, this will cost about $16 for the rear rack and $30 for the bags.

    So, at this point my bike sits incomplete awaiting more parts, I have thoroughly enjoyed the project, the education and the hobby time, I am very lucky to be blessed with a loving wife who appreciates me and understands that my driving force, the thing that keeps me young (besides my love for her) are these fun hobbies and projects I keep dumping all of our hard earned money into.

    I plan to keep the thread alive as the project continues, so stay tuned....


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  • #2
    Well my currant progress on the bike has been slowed down a bit with some other projects and a small parts snafu from As I mentioned in the first post, I had ordered a complete wheel assembly, but when it got here it was only a hub and sprocket. I was a bit upset and I had to wait untill the deal had been finished before I was able to continue with the jaguar project. To make a long story short, after multiple emails and forums posts, did do the right thing in the end and refunded some of my money. I took the hub and my stock wheel to my local bike shop to get it laced up and this cost me $30

    So this drops my total money spent to an even $500 for now....