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Classic and Vintage Bicycles: What's it Worth? Appraisals and Inquiries Use this subforum for all requests as to "How much is this vintage bike worth?"Do NOT try to sell it in here, use the Marketplaces.

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Old 05-20-12, 04:10 PM   #1
carmen617
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1967 Schwinn Ladies Super Sport (I think!)

I bought this bike at a yard sale about 15 years ago, when my kids were small, and used it as a "mommy" bike to trail behind them for years. It's in pretty good shape, but not as pristine as the picture appears, although it came complete with a wicker basket and a St. Christopher medal!



I think I have identified it from this advertisement as a 1967 (maybe later? but not much) Schwinn Super Sport Varsity in Collegiate Green, original retail price $113.95.



Recently with my kids in college my husband and I have taken to doing some gentle bike riding around our town and on some bike paths. I have never quite figured out how to use the gears on this bike (as a matter of fact I didn't realize that it's a 10 speed) and I have been using my daughter's more modern road bike for those types of trips.

She's graduating college and coming home, I am trying to decide if it's worth it to get myself an inexpensive road bike, or put some money into this Schwinn. I don't really know what it needs, but as I said I don't think the gears work right and the brakes are quite weak, the tires are probably original, etc. I took it to an independent bike shop when I first got it and had it "tuned up" - at the time I didn't notice any difference. Since then I've basically just cleaned it once a year to try to keep the corrosion off the chrome, and sprayed the chain with WD40.

I love this old bike but don't really want to invest more in it than what it's worth - any ideas? Does it have any collectible value or is it a worthy candidate for an everyday road bike? I've posted just one picture but can take as many as you like and put them up on a hosting site so you can see more details. There are some scratches in the paint, a bit of rust, a small dent in the front fender, etc . . .

Thanks!
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File Type: jpg Schwinn Super Sport small.jpg (55.8 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg 1967-schwinn-super-sport-varsity-tourist-ladies.jpg (73.3 KB, 22 views)
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Old 05-20-12, 06:29 PM   #2
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Welcome.

The serial number will tell you the month and year the frame was made, but it won't tell you the model. The Super Sport has a hand built fillet brazed frame made with 4130 chromium-molybdenum tubing, while the Varsity has a mass produced electro-forged frame made from heavy gauge 1010 carbon steel tubing. They look similar, but the Super Sport is a significantly better bike than the Varsity.

The Varsity has an oval shaped head badge, while the Super Sport head badge is round.

Here is the serial number key.



The serial number should be located either on the non-driveside (left) rear dropout or on the head tube just above the lower bearing cup.

Left rear dropout:



Head tube:

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Old 05-20-12, 06:51 PM   #3
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Where I'm sitting, it looks like a Super Sport. Why not buy an inexpensive road bike AND fix up the old Schwinn ? Yeah , that's the ticket ! ( Oh, WD40 on the chain is a no-no )
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Old 05-20-12, 07:11 PM   #4
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Lol - tell my husband about the WD40 - that's the sum and substance of his bike repair knowledge - well that and putting air in the tires. So what should I tell him to buy instead?


The bike is definitely a Super Sport - attaching a picture of the name painted on it (and you can see the scratches I mentioned). The badge is round. I will probably eventually own a cheap road bike and this bike but - um, let's see, daughter just graduating college, son is a sophomore at another college, you do the math!

I guess it's not so much "what is this worth", as will the amount of money I have to put into it to make it a decent road bike be less than what I would spend buying a comparable ride for my needs - riding about 5 miles up hill and dale on country roads to a pond, taking a quick dip, riding back, and calling that my workout.

Oh and I tried to take a picture of the serial number but it didn't come out - but it doesn't make any sense. It's on the left rear dropout (sheesh, that's what it's called??) and it's D8002. I checked it this morning too, and looked as well as I could with a flashlight. I know it should be more numbers, so what does that mean?
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File Type: jpg shwinn.jpg (97.3 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg supersport 2.jpg (105.3 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg supersport.jpg (107.0 KB, 15 views)
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Old 05-20-12, 07:25 PM   #5
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If you're just using this to cruise around on, you could have it tuned up for not much money and probably ride it another 15 years no problem. If you plan to serious road riding I would get a different bike as the amount of money you would stick into this one just wouldn't be worth it.

If I were to give this to my mom, I'd put on new tires and redo the cables. I would think you could get this done for $50-75 at a bike shop. Then drip/pour some motor oil into all the bearings periodically and you should be all set. It's not that the gears and brakes are "broken" but rather that the cables are probably just frozen up from sitting so long.

As far as selling it, yes it's a Super Sport but it's the women's model which reduces the value considerably. It's also needing a tuneup so I'd put its value at about $50-75 as-is. You're probably better off keeping it and riding it than selling it for a different bike.
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Old 05-21-12, 04:07 AM   #6
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As far as chain / freewheel lube, I use a Teflon spray product ("Giant" branded) . Not messy and it does not attract tons of road grime.
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Old 05-21-12, 07:23 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies. In thinking over my next step, I guess it's not so important to me what the bike is worth on the market (I don't plan to sell it and I think I paid a total of $5.00 for it when I bought it) as whether the money I have to put into it to make it work really well is more or less than I would have to spend to get a new bike that worked equally well.

I already did a tune-up on the bike once, when I first got it, and didn't notice any improvement in things like shifting or braking. I think rather than a tune-up (which runs between $75.00 and $125.00 around here and doesn't include the new tires and cables that have been recommended) I'd prefer to invest in an "overhaul" as per this article:

How do I go about reburbishing my old Schwinn bicycle?Well, you'll want to clean out all the bearings, repack them with fresh grease, re-assemble and properly adjust. This would include the front hub, the rear hub, the fork bearings (headset) and crank bearings (bottom bracket). Regreasing all the bearings is commonly known as an "overhaul". Many bike shops offer an inexpensive "tune-up" service. A tune-up is a minor service and will not address the main problem with the older bikes, which is that the original bearing grease has dried up and the bearings are running dry. Running a bike without grease is somewhat like running an automobile without engine oil. So spend the extra money and get all the bearings re-greased.



So, I live in the Boston area - do you think I can find a good independent shop that will do this overhaul, also replace the tires and the cables, and I can stay under, say $250.00? Seems to me that the shops here are either very expensive or pretty unprofessional - any recommendations for where to got? Or do you think for that same $250.00 I can purchase a new bike that will be suitable for my needs and superior to this one after I put the money into it, and I am being foolish thinking I can get a smooth running new feeling bike out of this yard sale find?

Also, I may be a mom and just a weekend rider but I'm not decrepit, lol - I'm in my early 50's. I like the idea of this cute vintage bike with its big wicker basket to ride to the Farmer's Market and take 5-10 mile countryside trips, but right now I have real troubles getting it up hills as the shifting is balky and, as I said before, I don't really know how it works. I found an owners manual for this bike online but it didn't have shifting instructions in it - is there anywhere I can read about how to manipulate those Schwinn gear levers properly?

Thanks again for your help and sorry for my ignorance!
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Old 05-21-12, 09:49 AM   #8
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You move the levers until it shifts and quits making noise. When its in for the overhaul (bearings & grease) you will find that it needs new cables to shift and brake properly. See if the shop can fit some Koolstop brake pads, they do wonders for these old handbrakes.
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Old 05-21-12, 11:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by carmen617 View Post
So, I live in the Boston area - do you think I can find a good independent shop that will do this overhaul, also replace the tires and the cables, and I can stay under, say $250.00? Seems to me that the shops here are either very expensive or pretty unprofessional - any recommendations for where to go? Or do you think for that same $250.00 I can purchase a new bike that will be suitable for my needs and superior to this one after I put the money into it, and I am being foolish thinking I can get a smooth running new feeling bike out of this yard sale find?
Personally, I would not spend $250 on this bike. I would not worry about having the bearings serviced, just pour some oil in them and they will probably work just fine for as long as you own the bike. The cables and housing is what's keeping your brakes and shifters from working properly. But that's a much cheaper repair.

For $250 you could probably buy a nice used bike from a shop that is fully refurbished and much newer and easier to ride than your Super Sport.
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Old 05-21-12, 07:16 PM   #10
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But as a way cool vintage bike, no one within a hundred miles has anything like it.

I would give it some TLC and ride away.
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Old 05-21-12, 07:54 PM   #11
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But as a way cool vintage bike, no one within a hundred miles has anything like it.

I would give it some TLC and ride away.
OK that's just what I'll do, thanks!
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Old 05-24-12, 04:37 AM   #12
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No more that you are talking about riding,,,, YES, I would spend a little to get this bike in better shape, but not $250. In very good condition, that bike would sell for $125-175, here, but this is a " hot market " area to sell bikes. Too bad your Hubby cannot do some of the work to save some money. I, also, recommend " Koolstop Salmon brake pads " to improve braking & keeping the sides of the rims wiped down with alcohol, also helps. It is not hard to put on the pads & cables, & there are online sites , with videos , to show you how. Just a few tools will get that done. GOOD LUCK !
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Old 05-25-12, 05:57 PM   #13
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Adi's Bike Shop in West Roxbury. Father and son shop.Very good with older bikes. I have had them assist me with several projects, including two Super Sports. You can also try Harris Cyclery in Newton. Also very good but a little pricier. Best of luck.
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Old 05-28-12, 05:29 AM   #14
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I ended up finding a young guy who has a mobile bike repair service - he came to me in his truck and spent 3 hours in my driveway working on the bike. I chose to have the full overhaul done as he only charged $30.00 more for that than for a regular tune-up. So I had the bike broken down, cleaned, regreased, and put back together with new tires, new brakes and new cables. He was very nice and also showed me the proper sequence of the gearing and adjusted the bike properly for me. That cost me a little less than $150.00 (yes, I know, more than the bike is worth but don't forget I paid $5.00 for it and I actually love the bike) and it rides incredibly better now.

Thanks for all you help!
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Old 05-28-12, 05:35 AM   #15
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That sounds perfect, enjoy the bike, I think it is very cool!
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