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73 Schwinn World Voyageur Chrome Custom

a rather interesting piece of schwinn and american history. One of the best mass market touring bikes made in the 70's.

Frame:
23", Hand-Brazed, Double-Butted 4130 throughout, forged Suntour GS fork ends and dropouts. Originally came in 'Crate Orange', this one was stripped down to the chrome. I should name this bike 'Elbow Grease', cause it took a shit ton of it to get it looking/riding how it is :-) Alas, it wasn't my preferred size and got replaced by an 81' Centurion Pro Tour in 62cm. Thankfully, I was able to pass it along to a friend, who now loves it as much as I did.

Fork/Headset:
Tange Falcon Headset

Crankset/Bottom Bracket:
1st Gen Dura Ace, 52T. (Originally this was a 2 chain ring setup, I ditched the smaller ring, and mirror polished the whole thing)

Pedals:
Random NOS rat traps

Drivetrain/Cog/Chainring/Chain:
Sachs 7 speed cassette, which I have the derailer set to reach 5.

Derailleurs/Shifters:
Schwinn approved single stem shifter

Handlebars/Stem:
Map Ahearne Bar, OEM Dia Compe 90mm stem

Saddle/Seatpost:
Brooks B17 Imperial, 26.6 Crip Rider OEM post

Brakes:
NOS Schwinn approved Dia Compe center pulls. Found a guy on ebay who bought hundreds of these when schwinn closed it's doors in 2001. I was happy to find the orange pads, they match the head badge perfectly!

Front Wheel/Hub/Tire:
MAVIC MA40, Campy Record, Panaracer Ruffy Tuffy

Rear Wheel/Hub/Tire:
MAVIC MA40, Campy Record, Panaracer Ruffy Tuffy

Accessories:
Nitto Bar Plugs, Wald shorty chrome fenders,

More Info:
'The Beginning of The End': The World Voyageur was the first bike Schwinn outsourced to Japan, and as Schwinn was one of the first American companies to do such a thing, this particular bike could be one of the first American products ever made by a Japanese company. Only made for one year, (1972 for the 1973 catalog), by Panasonic- who was the only vendor to meet Schwinn's rigid standards, the World Voyageur came lugged with Hand-brazed, double-butted, 4130 cromoly steel, chrome plated head lugs, fork crown and front/rear fork ends, and heavy-duty forged Suntour GS horizontal dropouts with screw adjust. It also featured the first 'Dura Ace' branded Shimano crank, suntour bar end shifters, and Shimano's excellent Crane deraileurs, which were quickly proven to be superior to Campy's Gran Turismo on the Paramount of the same year. This was serious competition to the Paramount series at half the price. In fact now most enthusiasts refer to the World Voyageur as a 'Baby Paramount'. After one year on the market (and not even in the dealer catalog) the World Voyageur was quietly dropped, the Shimano Crane derailleur appeared on the new Paramount Touring, and Schwinn made a large commitment to Panasonic-built LeTours which would become Schwinn's second-most-popular model through the seventies.

Added by heathmusic. Last updated 8 months ago.

As of 8 months ago, heathmusic has indicated that they no longer own this bike.

17 Comments

Nimhskater978

Nimhskater978 says:

I just got one of these in yellow and drops are Shimano not Suntour. This model was actually produced in 1972 for the 1973 Scwhinn catalog but never was shown until Scwhinn released its own advertisement for the World Voyager. Mine came with the rare scwhinn approved barcons shifters which are stock for that model.

Posted 9 months ago

heathmusic

heathmusic says:

Interesting! You are correct about the made in 72' part, but everyone seems to list them as 73', since they were intended for that catalog. Mine didnt have the original handlebars when I bought it either. Apparently, there is also a 25" model that was made in baby blue, but i've only read about one.

Posted 9 months ago

Nimhskater978

Nimhskater978 says:

In my opinion this was a test model for Scwhinn to see how sales went with this model before they invested and came out with an actual Paramount branded tourer. The World Voyager sold new in 73' for $275 where the Paramount was $400-$450 P13 or P14 also take into account new cars costed $3-5000. I've seen alot of vintage used bicycles in my day and this is defiantly a high quality tourer.

Posted 9 months ago

heathmusic

heathmusic says:

I agree. I also feel they were testing the idea of outsourcing in general. I don't think they counted on this bike being so damn nice, but Panasonic was top notch, and like you said it ended up being direct competition to the Paramount at a sizeable discount. Although this is such an interesting piece of history, I have been toying with the idea of selling it, as I prefer riding a 62-63cm frame, and recently came across a 79' Centurion Pro Tour in my size, that I am thinking might be a better fit for that slot in my fleet. Am I crazy?

Posted 8 months ago

Nimhskater978

Nimhskater978 says:

I say go for it and sell it I am gonna be selling most of the parts off mine in hopes to justify keeping the frameset. I believe Centurion also made some full chrome frames.

Posted 8 months ago

heathmusic

heathmusic says:

Yessitr- both my semi pro and pro tour are full chrome under paint. At the end of the day, it's gotta be the right size, so I reached out to a friend and am going to pass the goodness onto him. All is well that ends well.

Posted 8 months ago

outofstep

outofstep says:

those fenders look kinda pointless. hahah don't mean that in a mean way...? but i dig this bike!

Posted about 1 year ago

heathmusic

heathmusic says:

hey, they came with the bike when I bought it, and I ended up liking them more than I thought i would

Posted about 1 year ago

alatus

alatus says:

what did you do to strip down the frame to look like that? beautiful job. as well, did you cut your fenders yourself or did you purchase them from somewhere?

thanks!

Posted about 1 year ago

heathmusic

heathmusic says:

i believe it was airplane stripper- got it at the local auto parts store, super heavy duty liquid or spray can stripper. need to use it in an open space, wear gloves, eye mask and face mask, but it works, and doesnt touch the chrome. the fenders came that way, shortys, i think Wald makes them?

Posted about 1 year ago

ultraspontane

ultraspontane says:

Needs full fenders, but WOW. Poppin some serious candy over here.

Posted over 1 year ago

heathmusic

heathmusic says:

i dont do any riding in the wet, so I can get by on the shortys ;-)

Posted over 1 year ago

Eastsider

Eastsider says:

Whoah, where are my sunglasses :) Very reduced fenders! The black rims are a good contrast too. Do you drive it often?

Posted over 1 year ago

heathmusic

heathmusic says:

thanks for the kind words. I havent even taken it on a proper ride yet, just got it built up last weekend. Looking forward to it though!

Posted over 1 year ago

marwanbhewok

marwanbhewok says:

daaaaang, nice !!

Posted over 1 year ago

MikeyxVx

MikeyxVx says:

Super dope. The gumwalls really set it off.

Posted over 1 year ago

heathmusic

heathmusic says:

agreed. thank you!

Posted over 1 year ago

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