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  1. #1
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    Tire change on my old Schwinn?

    I have a '77 deluxe varsity which has the tire size 24" x 1 1/4". I'm wondering if I can put any size of 24" tire on the rim, or if I need a new rim. Also: Is it at all possible to put a bigger tire on the frame? I'm new to this, and don't want to buy the parts if they won't fit the bike. Thanks for any help!

    nate

  2. #2
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    Are you sure that it's 24 and not 27. I ask because adult varsitys had 27" wheels, but there might have also have been a 24" version.

    The 27 x 1-1/4 tires are standard and any 27" tire will fit, but on 26" and 24" Schwinn used a proprietary size, ant those tires are hard to find today, and there's no latitude for an alternative. You may refer to this size chart Sheldon Brown compile a few years ago for more info.

    Note, if there's any confusion, see if you can find a ISO size marking on the tire which is formatted as 123-45, or an S-5 molded into the tire. These are very specific and tell you exactly what you need.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    The only 24" Varsity I could find was called a Varsity Sport.

    They had 547mm wheels which could take these tires, a little wider than what you have, you could search for skinnier ones, though.

    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...-8x11-4-37-547
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  4. #4
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    Sure is small.

    I've checked again to make sure, and yes, it does have the 24" tires. On top of this, I feel inclined the bike itself does seem a bit smaller than usual. I see bikes with measurements in the 20's of inches...how do I get this measurement? I'm starting to think this must be a youth version.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaet View Post
    I've checked again to make sure, and yes, it does have the 24" tires. On top of this, I feel inclined the bike itself does seem a bit smaller than usual. I see bikes with measurements in the 20's of inches...how do I get this measurement? I'm starting to think this must be a youth version.
    Definitely a youth version, and I suspect the tires are 24x1-1/4 S-5 tires which is what they used back then. Youth or adult doesn't matter if it fits. You can test by trying it on for size and seeing if at least the seat can go high enough for you, while still having at least 1-1/2" of the seatpost in the frame. That won't be conclusive for a fit, but will be for a no fit.
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    considering I'm only 5'6" I think I'll fit it just fine. Do you know if there is any way to get thinner tires for the rim? The ones on it look like balloons compared to my diamondback's. Also, what is the best place to buy a replacement spoke for this odd size? One of the spokes is bent out of shape, and another is missing completely.

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    As I wrote earlier this is a relatively rare tire size, so your selection will be limited. A few companies have used the S-5 or 547 size more recently, including Fuji so they are available, but I doubt you'll find anything very narrow. Search S-5 bicycle tire, or 547 bicycle tire on the net and see what comes up. Also if there's a local Fuji dealer try them.

    The spoke is easy, just about any decent shop that sells better bikes and builds wheels can cut you one or more spokes to match. They'll probably be in stainless steel so the color won't match, but that doesn't matter.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  8. #8
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    thanks alot dude! you're a huge help.

  9. #9
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    5'6" isn't all that short, even for a guy. You should be on an adult-sized bike.

    But if you're keen to get this thing rolling, most bike shops can order the right tire from QBP. Tell them there are some S-5 tires by Kenda on page 901.

  10. #10
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
    5'6" isn't all that short, even for a guy. You should be on an adult-sized bike.

    But if you're keen to get this thing rolling, most bike shops can order the right tire from QBP. Tell them there are some S-5 tires by Kenda on page 901.
    Here's the QBP listing via Harris Cyclery:
    http://harriscyclery.net/product/ken...r5130-qc49.htm

    The Varsity came with 24" wheels for smaller riders. I think this would fit correctly if you're 4-foot-6. If you're 5-foot-6, you should get a bike with 27" wheels.

    An image from the 1972 Schwinn catalog:

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  11. #11
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
    5'6" isn't all that short, even for a guy. You should be on an adult-sized bike.
    +1 Especially after looking at the picture Jeff posted, that bike is almost certainly way too small for you.
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  12. #12
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Have you ridden it much?

    For however little it may be worth, I bought a youth-sized Schwinn Ranger (with 24" tires) from Target a few years ago, and didn't realize my mistake for quite a while. The price was the same as the adult version, and at 5'8", I was able to adjust it to fit me, although the seat post was maxed-out!

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  13. #13
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    A small bike like that is valuable to a small rider and you should be able to sell it for a good price for a bike of that age/grade.
    Get your 5'6" self a bike that fits.

  14. #14
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    I have a Diamondback by centurion which is my main rider (and it has the usual 27" wheels), but was given this schwinn by my inlaws. I haven't ridden it much, although I know I can. I'll get it in proper running order, and make it look good before I make any final decisions, but I'm leaning towards selling it anyway, especially after it was pointed out that it would probably sell quickly. I assumed no one would want it since its "just a varsity."

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    I think you may be right. I can adjust the seat to make it fit, but like someone else said, its maxed out.

  16. #16
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    My Varsity has a ~17" seat tube and 27 inch wheels, so you can definitely find a full-size one in your size. I believe my bike is sized for people 5'4" to 5'9", but I'm 5'9"-5'10" and it's way too small for me.

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