Photoblogger Jim Grey mostly talks about film cameras (with a smattering of old roads) on his blog, Down The Road. But he recently posted a nice set of black and white film images of his 80’s era Schwinn Collegiate three speed.

The Schwinn Collegiate had about a thirty or so year lineage, mostly as a three speed, though I did own a 60’s era five-speed derailleur’d version for a hot minute. (Pro tip: avoid those derailleur versions. I could never get the derailleur to give me all five speeds.) By the 1980’s the Collegiate was solidly three speed, no longer made in Chicago but in Taiwan by Giant. It was lugged and used a Shimano three speed hub, yet still used Schwinn’s funky 26″ x 1 3/8″ wheel size that was larger than the British standard. (597 mm diameter vs 590)

These black and white photos bring back a bit of nostalgia for me, since I had the same bike! I had mine from 2001 to 2004, making it the second bike I owned in Portland. My roommate Chris found the bike around 9/11 and dragged it home. It sat in the kitchen (that’s where we stored bikes) for almost a year, until I decided to give it some love. I brought it to the bike shop to get it rideable, and started riding it in earnest. It was the bike that got me loving three speeds, so the Collegiate has a special place in my heart. Alas, it got stolen in 2004, and it would be a few more years until I got another three speed.

Bonus! Jim writes about this Schwinn Collegiate when he bought it back in 2009.

One thought on “Schwinn Collegiate in Black and White

  1. Thanks for the linkage! I got my first three speed as a teen, used. Then I bought a brand new AMF Roadmaster Nimble three speed in the early 80s and rode it for a decade. I thought I wanted more gears so I bought a 21-speed mountain bike — and never warmed to it. Long story short, I found that Schwinn on Craigslist for 60 bucks and brought it right home.

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