Fortunately, I picked up two pairs of Campy-equipped 700c wheels along with the Schwinn. But I also had a pair of Phil Wood hubs I wanted to use, mainly because I’d never bent a Phil Wood rear axle back when freewheels ruled the Earth.
I took one of the spare wheels apart for its Mavic rim and built it back up with 14-gauge DT spokes and the Phil hub. The Phil was set up for a six-speed freewheel so I had to reset the back end of the bike: 126mm between the dropouts instead of the original 120mm.
No problem: I used a precision length of 2×4 to apply the necessary leverage. I also ran a piece of string from one dropout to the other via the head tube to make sure the dropouts were the same distance from the bicycle’s center line on both sides. (You measure the distance between the string and the center of the seat tube on both sides of the frame at the points the string passes closest to the seat tube.) Then I realigned the dropout faces so they faced each other.
The front end was a different issue.
First, the front Phil hub didn’t fit into the dropouts. Maybe I used to know this, but I guess Schwinn used to build almost all of its bikes with 91mm front hubs. Today’s road and mountain-bike standard is 100mm. So I clamped the fork into a vise, pulled both legs out a bit, checked the distance and realigned the dropout faces.
Unfortunately, Schwinn also used very thin dropouts on the fork of the Sports Tourer. If the hub axle extends to the outside face of the dropout, like the axle of the Phil did, the quick release won’t secure the wheel. Not good.
Normally, I’d shorten the axle with a hacksaw and/or a file, but I wasn’t about to do that to a Phil. So I altered the Campy hub on one of the spare wheels. (I’ve never bent the axle on any front hub, so the Campy would be fine.)
Then I reassembled the bicycle: the headset, the handlebars, the brakes, the crank, the front derailleur. And the rear derailleur. Hmm.
Here’s something else I forgot. There used to be different rear derailleur attachment standards: Simplex, Huret and Campagnolo. The threading for the derailleur’s attachment bolt is the same for all three, but the angle stop is different.
Simplex didn’t use a stop, and Huret’s stop was forward of Campy’s. After SunTour and Shimano standardized around the Campy angle, Campy quickly became the single standard, which means all modern derailleurs, including Campy, Shimano, SRAM, Sunrace and Microshift, are designed to fit Campy dropouts.
The Sports Tourer has a dropout with the Huret angle stop.
So that’s why Les had fitted a claw-style Shimano Tourney to the slot of the dropout. The direct attachment method didn’t work with a modern derailleur. And here I thought he’d screwed up the threads. What I needed was an adapter.
And there it is: a flat washer I cut, bent and filed. You can see how the adapter creates a new position for the derailleur’s B adjustment screw to rest against. I thought the extra width of the washer would keep the derailleur bolt from fully engaging the dropout, but, like the front, the rear dropout seems a bit thin. The derailleur bolt is flush on the inside, as though the washer/dropout was made for it.
Don’t get me wrong, my adapter is about as far from an example of precision fitting as it gets. But the great thing about an old bike is it has a certain tolerance for the slop introduced by an unskilled machinist.