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Old 02-27-10, 04:51 PM   #1
EZMatt410
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Need some help.

I just grabbed these three bikes from a job i did for an older lady cleaning out an old shop.. Just wanted your guys input. I dont know anything about classic bikes, so if you say they are junk Im going to donate them. If they are worth something then Im going to selling them. I love the oldschool child seat, looks dangerous though.

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Old 02-27-10, 05:07 PM   #2
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They are quite a find, each one of them. The Rollfast I know very little about, but it's made in England, probably either Brighton (by Hercules) or Nottingham (by Raleigh). If the rear hub is a Sturmey Archer AW, it is probably Raleigh built (I should know but I forget at the moment). If it is a Sturmey Archer AW (it should be marked right on the rear hub), there will be a date code of something like 64 8 which in this example would signify an August, 1964 build date.

The Varsity is an old one I think, probably from the 1960s. There should be a marking on the head tube beginning with something like CJ5976078. The first two characters are the build date, wither first letter being the month (C=March) and the second being the year (J=1973; you can count back from there). The downtube shifters, seat tube decals and leather seat indicate an early Varsity, so maybe kind of collectible but remember that the Varsity was a fairly low bike in the Schwinn line.

The Centurion... I can't make out the model name. It looks like a 1980s bike, probably decent quality Made In Japan. There was a wide range of Centurions though; it could be anything from "Eh" to "Wow!"
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 02-27-10, 06:01 PM   #3
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Here is some better pics
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Old 02-27-10, 06:58 PM   #4
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To start KEEP the coppertone varsity!!! Whoa, what a cool bike, in great condition! Early sixties possibly. I know I have never ever sen one with downtube shifters!,,,,BD
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Old 02-27-10, 08:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by EZMatt410 View Post
I just grabbed these three bikes from a job i did for an older lady cleaning out an old shop.. Just wanted your guys input. I dont know anything about classic bikes, so if you say they are junk Im going to donate them. If they are worth something then Im going to selling them. I love the oldschool child seat, looks dangerous though.

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I love that coppertone Varsity as well. You should donate to me in Savannah, GA.
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Old 02-27-10, 09:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
They are quite a find, each one of them. The Rollfast I know very little about, but it's made in England, probably either Brighton (by Hercules) or Nottingham (by Raleigh).
Nah... Rollfast was a good ol' American brand. H.P. Snyder Bicycle Works (later H.P. Snyder Manufacturing company) started at Little Falls, NY sometime around the late 1890s and died in the mid 1970s. Used to compete with Schwinn with balloon tire bikes. This is a very nice example.

The Centurion is an entry-level model. These bikes are worth about $50-100 each depending where you are located and their condition. That's a nice saddle on the Varsity and with that vintage child carrier might bring more on a place like ebay...
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Old 02-27-10, 09:19 PM   #7
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About that Varsity... that looks like a 1963 and the color is called "Radiant Coppertone". Huret drivetrain and all Varsities had DT shifters before the bike boom. The saddle looks original. This bike, if everything is proper can bring you about $200 on ebay.
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Old 02-27-10, 09:19 PM   #8
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There's a decal on the bike stating "Genuine English lightweight"? It was a rebadge, made in England, probably by Raleigh Or Hercules, as stated.,,,,BD
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Old 02-27-10, 10:21 PM   #9
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I have a Hawthorne (Montgomery Ward house brand) made in England by Hercules, and it has the same decal with the English crest and all. When I looked up Rollfast it says they also supplied bikes to Montgomery Ward, so maybe it's a Herc rebadged as a Rollfast for whatever reason. That would make sense since it doesn't look like a Sturmey Archer shifter. Herc was bought by Raleigh in 1960 but prior to that, they made their own Hercumatic hubs and the shifters would have looked different. So I'm guessing it's a pre-1960 bike... pretty cool stuff. The Varsity is pretty awesome too.

Turning to the Centurion, from my observation any Japanese bike boom bike that has "Sport" in its name generally indicates a low-end bike. Here's a link to the 1984 Centurion catalog showing the Sport DLX... which, along with the Cavaletto was the bottom of the Centurion line. Probably an okay bike but nothing spectacular.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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Old 02-28-10, 01:16 PM   #10
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Thanks guys for your input its been very helpful. I agree the Varsity is a pretty sweet ride and its grown on me so it looks like I made myself another project. Im going to Craigslist with the cruiser to see if I can get any bites. The Rollfast is Made in England by Hercules and is stamped with English made parts, I have been looking all over for a stamped date of mfg. but to no success. The Centurion is Made in Japan and my Japanese neighbor gave me 75 bucks for it (I think I pretty good). I can tell I'm getting sucked into the classic bike scene and will be watching for my next treasure.. Thanks again guys
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Old 02-28-10, 01:40 PM   #11
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Thanks guys for your input its been very helpful. I agree the Varsity is a pretty sweet ride and its grown on me so it looks like I made myself another project. Im going to Craigslist with the cruiser to see if I can get any bites. The Rollfast is Made in England by Hercules and is stamped with English made parts, I have been looking all over for a stamped date of mfg. but to no success. The Centurion is Made in Japan and my Japanese neighbor gave me 75 bucks for it (I think I pretty good). I can tell I'm getting sucked into the classic bike scene and will be watching for my next treasure.. Thanks again guys

Look at the hub. If it a SA, it should have the date stamped on it.
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Old 02-28-10, 10:13 PM   #12
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Based on the shifter I'm thinking it's a Hercumatic or whatever Hercules called their Sturmey Archer clone. I'm thinking more and more that it's a pre-1960 bike which means pre-Raleigh ownership of Hercules.

And $75 for the Centurion seems like a pretty good deal for both parties.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 03-01-10, 08:07 AM   #13
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Cool bikes. What model number Ideale saddle is on the Varsity?

Thanks,

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Old 03-01-10, 05:29 PM   #14
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Cool bikes. What model number Ideale saddle is on the Varsity?

Thanks,

Bob
The saddle is a Ideale 41.

I also got the serial number off the schwinn its: L353874 does anyone know what year this is?

I just sold the Roll-Fast today for $150. I even aired up the tires and rode it a little before the tires started to tear. That is one sold smooth little bike and that 3 speed shift is really nice hate to see it go but Im way to big for it.
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Old 03-01-10, 06:43 PM   #15
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The saddle is a Ideale 41.

I also got the serial number off the schwinn its: L353874 does anyone know what year this is?
L3xxxxx would be November 1963. I have the same bike in red, but not as nice as yours. My saddle was replaced with a solid plastic (fake leather) clone.

Thanks for the info!

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Old 03-01-10, 07:40 PM   #16
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It just occurred to me, you might have the nicest 63 Coppertone Varsity in the country, hehe. How about some more pics of this gold beauty!!?,,,,BD
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Old 03-01-10, 08:04 PM   #17
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Yeah, that really is some bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Schwinn Varsity (1960-1986) by Tom Shaddox;
Remembering the bike today, it's easy to forget that for the first years of it's production, it's sales (combined with it's slightly upscale brother, the Continental) were greater than all other U.S. derailer bike sales combined. When the production run was finally over, the Schwinn Varsity had been manufactured in greater numbers than any other single model of derailer geared bike in the world ever. Built with unique technology to meet an entry level price point, it was the only bike in the national market in the 1960s that was simultaneously inexpensive enough to get non cycling adults to give it a try, and well built enough to make them conclude, "Hey, this is fun!" The Varsity was the foundation of reintroducing American adults to the joys of cycling and a cornerstone in building the modern adult cycling infrastructure of events, clothing, magazines, clubs, businesses, etc...

The Varsity is the single most significant American bicycle.


...and that's why
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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Old 03-03-10, 02:17 PM   #18
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It just occurred to me, you might have the nicest 63 Coppertone Varsity in the country, hehe. How about some more pics of this gold beauty!!?,,,,BD
Here is your pics BD.. I ran a toothbrush over her and made her shine. I even got that old grip tape off of it(what a pain).. I must say its looking pretty nice for a free bike.

Next it some new grip tape, still haven't figured out what color to go with, the stock color white or something that makes the bike pop. I also have some new brake lines and pads coming need to be able to stop my big a$$! All in all its going to make a nice commuter bike, and the nice weather is finally here in sunny Colorado!
P1000018.jpgP1000015.jpgP1000017.jpgP1000016.jpg

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Old 03-03-10, 04:42 PM   #19
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Wow -- that cleaned up nice! I would use either the white or coppertone Hunt-Wilde (Schwinn Approved) plastic tape.

Your '63 is so much nicer than mine. Here it is with it's original owner (he had it from 1963 - 2007). I do like my stem better ...

Bob
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Old 03-04-10, 07:57 AM   #20
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Sweet! Put the tape back on, though.,,,,BD

Or find some NOS, and rewrap it....
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Old 08-24-11, 08:46 PM   #21
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I can send PM looks like, as I'm still too new. But I wanted to ask about the child seat - do you still have it?
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Old 03-30-12, 12:27 PM   #22
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(I know...two years late, but I had to chime in)
the only thing American about that Rollfast is the DP Harris seat tube label.
I have one with the exact same seat, Sturmey Archer AW says '63, Dunlop rims, Phillips brakes, Phillips pedals, Nottingham lugs, the whole lot.

wonder what happened to that bike?
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Old 03-30-12, 02:01 PM   #23
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Sold the Rollfast for $150, I think you did pretty well there.

As noted the Centurion is a lower end bike, $75-100 makes sense.

You have the coolest Varsity I've ever seen. I didn't know they existed with DT shifters. Varsitys are generally not worth much but this one is much more special. I'd hang onto it.
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