Lissa from New York posted a comment about my wife's Schwinn Suburban a few weeks ago, saying that she has one of her own that she has recently invested in as a supplemental and possibly alternative form of transportation to her car. Her beautiful "Blue Bombshell" as I dubbed it (a name that's stuck, apparently), needs a bit of work to get it going again. As she reports (with a few helpful tips on cleaning):
Up until now, all I've done is clean her up a bit -- steel wool and a combination of vinegar and water have cleaned up the rust on the wheels, the handlebars, and all of the little metal bits that surely have specific purposes, but which I don't have particular names for. My friend has all of the tools necessary for restoring her to functional use, so with his help I'll be removing (and possibly replacing) the gears and the chain, the brakes and brake housings, and the inner-tubes....While he has the bike in pieces, I'll do some other cosmetic stuff with the kickstand, rear rack, wheel hubs, and underside of the seat beneath the fabulous leather saddle, making a CLR-based paste to work on some of that rust.
Lissa also wanted to know what would be a good surface treatment to protect the paint. I suggest a few coats of a quality automobile polish which will go a long way to protect against scrapes and scuffs. However, a slightly scruffy-looking bike is a surprisingly good theft-deterrent, so don't make it look too nice!
Lissa is planning a move to New York City and is looking forward to using her bike to haul herself and her accoutrements around the city. She promises pictures of herself tooling about the city with stuffed panniers and baskets full of produce. We'll look forward to it, Lissa, and happy riding!
I am no longer answering technical questions about bicycles or responding to e-mails asking me about value, age, etc. of old bicycles. Please check the resources I have listed on the sidebar if you are looking for this information. This is a comprehensive list of everything I know about, so if you can't find it there, neither can I.