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1982 Schwinn Scrambler

1982 Schwinn Scrambler

2016 BMX Museum Open Class Submission- I didn't come in last!

Here is the Build History:

1984 22 inch Ukai Rims laced to Suzue Hubs

This summer, I scored a 22 inch Schwinn from the early 80's. I had seen 22 inch NOS freestyle tires at my local bikes shop and was told that they were left overs from Schwinn trying out 22 inch wheels for a few years in the early to mid 80's. I was psyched when I scored a set from a lot of 22 bikes that I bought- Suzue hubs laced to Ukai rims with OG Scwhinn tires 22 X 2.175.

The Scrambler 22 inch Cruiser is Born

22 Inch wheels and a 1982 Schwinn Scrambler. From restoring lots of old Schwinn's, I know that there is a lot of room in the rear stays so i tried the 22's on a 1982 Scrambler. They fit nice. After trying every fork I had in my shop (about 15 at the time), I found that a NOS WALD replacement fork had more than enough room to accommodate the 22 inch front wheel. So, with this coupling, I thought that I would do a 22 inch cruiser for the Open Class BMXmuseum Calendar Build off for 2016.

The 1982 Schwinn Scrambler R&B 22" Cruiser

After 100's of bike restorations, I have accumulated a LOT of spare parts. So, I thought it would be fun to see if I could do a build just with the stuff I have on the Racks and in the Bins of my shop. Almost everything I have has been sourced here in Pittsburgh from scrapper, hoarders, BMX collectors, Swap Meets, and at my LBS, which has bought out 36 bike shops in the past 35 years- it's a pickers paradise. With this plan in mind, the Rack & Bin Cruiser (R&B) should be a lot of fun and a challenge to build.


I was able to source about 95% of my build from what was on the Racks & Bins in my shop but I came up short on a Scrambler Sprocket and a Dia-Compe straight lever. Oh, and I found a set of silver metal flake and orange Schwinn vinyl BMX pads on the BMXmuseum that I pretty sure I am going to throw on. Luckily, I was able to dig up a Scrambler sprocket from deep within the sprocket bin of my LBS. I had remembered it being there when I organized a bin over the winter while working at the shop as a volunteer. And, I sourced a right Dia-Compe Stright lever from a member on the BMXmuseum which should be in the mail soon.

Here is the complete build list.

Frame, Fork & Wheels

Frame: 1982 Schwinn Scrambler in "Spicy Chestnut"

Fork: NOS Chrome Wald Fork

Wheels: Suzue Hubs laced Ukai Rims with OG Schwinn Gum Walls 22 x 1.75

Cock Pit

Stem: NOS SR XL Stem

Bars: Schwinn Predator Bars 1982?

Grips: Schwinn Pradetor Grab On Style Grips

Brake Levers: Diacompe Stright Levers from the late 70's to early 80's

Brakes: Schwinn Approved Weimann Center Pull (Dirt Brothers Inspired) from late 70's or 810 Side Pulls.

Brake Cables: NOS Schwinn Transluscent Silver

Drive Train

Cranks: Schwinn Approved 175mm

Bottom Bracket: Schwinn Stamped

Sprocket: Schwinn Scrambler 39T

Chain: I.D.D 1985 from a Schwinn Enduro

Pedals: Schwinn Approved KKT Style

FreeWheel: Shimano 16T


Seat: Messinger Schwinn Scrambler BMX circa 1980

Seat Post: Schwinn Alloy

Seat Clamp: Schwinn Stamped Scrambler Clamp


I am pretty committed to keeping things original and period correct if possible. But, I also know that BMX has always been about adaptation. We adapted the Schwinn Sting, the Schwinn Cruiser and the Motorcycle to form what we now refer to as Old School BMX. We made our bikes act like skateboards to form pool riding and then ramp riding. We took from circus bikes and formed brand new stuff to make freestyle and flatland a reality. We have also taken from road and mountain bike technology (Euro BB's, v brakes, integrated seat clamps) to form new school rigs. So, instead of taking a cruiser and making it into a BMX bike, I want to take elements from the past to build a 22' cruiser using parts that have lots of cross over use- wheels, brakes, stem, levers.

One of the things that inspired me in this build was seeing OG 89's Dirt Brothers Tribute bike with Shimano 750 center pulls on it. They looked so burly and innovative; kind of pre-Pit Bullish. Since seeing that I have always wanted to do a BMX build with center pulls. So, with this build, I will be trying out center pulls on the front and back. Yeah I know, this will get criticism from purists and some people will say it isn't BMX. No worries. I can't wait to see how this 22 inch R&B cruiser turns out with these on it. Oh, and I have some side pulls out just in case it doesn't work.

From OG 89's Build

NOTE: Parted Out Spring 2016

Submitted by Jayrev67

  • Dirt Jump / Trail
  • Company: Schwinn
  • Model: Scorcher
  • Wheel Size: 22"
  • Headtube size: 1"