The Return of the Heavy Duti

You may remember that towards the end of last year I decided that my Schwinn Heavy Duti was one bike too many. I made a half-hearted attempt to sell it then, and tried again in spring. I only got three bites, none of them good:

  1. “I want to buy your bike, but tomorrow I will realize I have no money.”
  2. “I will offer half of what you are asking, even though you said it’s a firm price. Oh yeah, I want you to ship it, even though you explicitly stated local sales only.”
  3. “I want you to spend a lot of time and energy to take a bunch of detailed photos of the bike, as I plan to use it for ‘racing’. Oh yeah, I want you to strip down the bike and only send me the frame.” (Did I mention the part about local sales only?)

Dejected, I decided to mothball the Heavy Duti until I figured out its final fate. Spring and summer came and went and I could not muster the energy to relist.

And then as the months went on, I came back around to the Heavy Duti. Maybe there is a place in the fleet for it after all. There’s a few things that made me reconsider.

First, it would be nice to have a more “cargo” bike again. It is not, and will never be, a true cargo bike. But it’s going to be a few years down the road before I have the cash for something like that. In the meantime I can put a bigger basket on it, though not the giant baskets or front racks that previously lived on it.

But the biggest driver is that I came back to the idea of a bar or beater bike. I thought that the Brompton would negate the need for one, as if I was worried about bike security, I could ride the Brompton and bring it inside with me. That of course doesn’t always work. What if I’m going to a movie or a show? Yeah, I haven’t done either for the most part in the last couple years, but may do it again. Yeah, I could take transit, but if it’s a show with a late end, transit can be spotty. (And taxi/rideshare gets expensive.) What about a bike that I don’t have to worry much about?

Movies or shows are theoretical. What actually is happening is I have my darkroom class at Portland Community College. The darkroom is too small and cluttered to bring my Brompton inside. And college campuses are the types of place a beater bike will do well–less desirable for theft than a nice bike, and if something does happen to the bike, I won’t be as heartbroken. Yeah, the amount of stuff I’ve done to the Heavy Duti doesn’t really make it a beater by any means, but it does look the part.

So I have put the Schwinn Heavy Duti back into the active rotation. I realize that this bike is heavy and slow, and that’s okay. It’s a cool-looking, functional bike. I’ve had it for eight years so far, my oldest bike in the lineup. Let’s see if I can get to ten!

For photos of the Heavy Duti over the years, see the dynamic flickr album below.

The Heavy Duti, down at the old SP tracks (SE Taylor St). 3 July 2021
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8 thoughts on “The Return of the Heavy Duti

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    1. Y’know, I get the idea of that fork, but I just don’t like how it looks. If I want a “cycle truck”, I want A CYCLE TRUCK. (And I already swapped the fork on the Heavy Duti once.)

      1. An original Schwinn Cycle Trucks, or one of the newer bikes bearing that name? Cool either way. I know a fellow with a Le Petit Porteur, which is pretty rad. He has a home built seat on the front rack for his toddler. So many options nowadays.

        1. It would be a newer one. I love the look of a vintage Schwinn Cycle Truck, but they are collector’s items. I had a Worksman version for awhile and it was cool, but way, way too heavy to be practical. So a modern version is what I’d look for.

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