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  1. #1
    kau
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    How much should this cost?

    I have a 70's Schwinn Varsity I just took to the bike shop for repairs.

    It needs all new brake lines as the current ones are frozen.
    Also the rear derailer needs to be replaced.
    The chain I installed might have to be shortened a little as well.

    Ballpark figure, how much should I expect to pay to have this work done?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    It's gonna be expensive.
    I would not hesitate to say that the repair bill will be more than what a 70's Schwinn Varsity goes for at a garage sale.

    I'll give you a hint about the chain. When replacing a bicycle chain, lay the new one down next to the old one. Count the links. If a chain needs replacing, it will typically be stretched by the length of one link or thereabouts. The new chain will be shorter than the old chain, but will have the same number of links.

    Not counting the cost of removing the extra link in the chain, I would say:

    $150 to $175

  3. #3
    kau
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    The bike didn't come with a chain for me to compare unfortuantely. Thanks for the ballpark estimate! At least gives me something to base their quote on.
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    See if your town has some kind of co-op or shop that has workstations to do your own work. At least you would save the labor cost. Do not put too much $ into a Varsity as you will have a $30 bike that cost $400 before you turn around.

  5. #5
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    You can get a chain tool and a set of cables from wallyworld for $10 and order a new derailer for $20. The park tool website has instructions on how to do the work yourself.

  6. #6
    Sasquatch Crossing mycoatl's Avatar
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    It would cost less at my LBS.
    Replace brake cables and housings: $40
    New Shimano Nexus RD (it's an old Varsity, right?): $20
    Install RD and fix chain: $20

    Also, while you're at it, think about replacing the brake pads.

  7. #7
    kau
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    LHBS won't even fix it. They said they either do a complete tune up or nothing so they won't even replace the brake lines.

    So I am on my own now.

    I need to replace the brake lines and I need to replace the rear derailer. Where do I get the parts at?
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  8. #8
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    My shop:
    Brake cables/housings and adjust: $30 labor, $5.90 for cables, a dollar a foot for housing.

    New rear derailleur: $15-20 for basic der, $15 labor to install.

    Shorten chain, nothing as I have to break it to get the der on, no extra to get the length right and pin it back together.
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  9. #9
    crusty jbrians's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kau
    LHBS won't even fix it. They said they either do a complete tune up or nothing so they won't even replace the brake lines.

    So I am on my own now.

    I need to replace the brake lines and I need to replace the rear derailer. Where do I get the parts at?

    The Varsity is hardly the Ferrari of the bike world. Invest a few dollars in cables, chain, RD and a few tools and do it yourself. The Forums are here for help along the way.

    An LBS that WON'T work on a bike unless they get their own way needs to be given the gift of your absence!
    Around and around we go!

  10. #10
    Broom Wagon Fodder reverborama's Avatar
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    As a Varsity owner and fan of the E-F Schwinns I have to say that having it repaired at a bike shop will probably cost more than the bike is worth. In the last year I have picked up 2 Fuji's and a Nishiki for less than $100 each and those bikes are much better bikes than the Varsity. If you want to get the Varsity back on the road, the only cost effective way will be to do the repairs yourself. Brake cables are not too difficult to replace and, heck, I have a Varsity derailleur I pulled off a junk bike a couple of months ago I will send you for free. It's not pretty but it works.

    Be warned -- the shifter cable housings on a Varsity are quite a bit narrower than modern housing which makes replacing them a bit of a struggle.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kau
    LHBS won't even fix it. They said they either do a complete tune up or nothing so they won't even replace the brake lines.

    So I am on my own now.

    I need to replace the brake lines and I need to replace the rear derailer. Where do I get the parts at?
    They just plain didn't want to work on it, obviously. DIY is the only way to go
    with a bike this age. Learn as you go, it's not rocket science like most shops will
    try to make you believe. Wal Mart has full cable kits for $4.23 but the housing is
    unlined. Also shifter housings by the pedals on most older schwinns are very thin, they
    may have to be used over after spraying some lube through them. Brake shoes are
    pretty easy to find too. Check ebay and search Koolstop continental. There was a guy
    selling them for $5-$6 for a set of 4, which is unheard of for good brake shoes.,,,BD
    Last edited by Bikedued; 03-19-07 at 10:33 AM.
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