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  1. #1
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    How to tell if a schwinn is chicago?

    I have a 1970 schwinn varsity and i would like to know the value of it. To really know the value, i have heard that you have to know if it is from the chicago factory or an outsourced factory. Im asking if there are any quick distinctions between the two types?

    Thanks,
    Nic

  2. #2
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    A 1970s varsity would have been made in Chicago. Even with that, they made hundreds of thousands of them... maybe millions. The varisty was pretty entry level in the Schwinn lineup. They are good bikes and have a nice solid ride, but there is a severe limit as far as worth. Maybe 100 dollars for a really nice one.
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  3. #3
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    A 1970 Varsity was definitely built in Chicago, no question. While they were pretty much the most popular and least expensive 10-speed Schwinn made at the time, they have a nostalgia factor that makes them worth more than they should be. I've seen absolutely mint ones with perfect paint, decals and handlebar tape sell for $200 or more, like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/180961000647

    As the condition goes down, so does the price.
    Last edited by Metacortex; 09-16-12 at 01:17 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jjames1452's Avatar
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    My neighbor bought a fairly mint mid 70's Varsity at a thrift shop for $25. The thing is built like a tank. New cables, tires an inner tubes, and he is off and riding.
    My brother rode a Varisty in a couple or TOSRV's (100 mile ea. 2 day event). If I got the same $25 deal on a mint Varsity that fit me, it would probably be my winter training bike. For winter the criteria for a bike is good workout, no worries about wrecking the bike on slick surfaces. Varsities are heavy enough to give you a good workout. I am convinced I would be long DOA in a crash long before I damaged the bike.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jjames1452's Avatar
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    I hope Weeden looks better today. I work in Cinci and hate when the Browns lose to the Bengals.

  6. #6
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Your bike was definitely made in Chicago.

    But made in Chicago vs made overseas is not as important as you might think. For example, a foreign made 1990s Paramount road bike would likely be worth much more than your Varsity. They were low end bikes and they made millions of them. They are incredibly heavy but built like tanks and will probably outlast us all. Value is about $75-100max depending on condition.

    Someday if I can score a nice Varsity in my size for less than $20 I will probably buy it just to have one in the collection.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  7. #7
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
    Your bike was definitely made in Chicago.

    But made in Chicago vs made overseas is not as important as you might think. For example, a foreign made 1990s Paramount road bike would likely be worth much more than your Varsity. They were low end bikes and they made millions of them. They are incredibly heavy but built like tanks and will probably outlast us all. Value is about $75-100max depending on condition.

    Someday if I can score a nice Varsity in my size for less than $20 I will probably buy it just to have one in the collection.
    +1,234,567 Some of the best Schwinns were not made in Chicago, or even the USA. In the 1970s, two great Schwinns, the World Voyageur and Volare, were both made in Japan. They were among the best, and certainly a lot better than a Varsity. Lots of great imported Schwinns in the 1980s as well, bikes like the Peloton and Prologue were both made in Japan.

    Kind of strange to me that Schwinn outsourced some of their best bikes while they insourced some of the lower end stuff. That's backwards from my old manufacturing days. Schwinn of course continued to make their top of the line Paramount throughout that time period.

    Once the Chicago plant closed (1982), Varsities were made by Murray. So a "Chicago" Varsity would have more appeal to many buyers over a Murray built Varsity (but probably most buyers don't know about the change). By 1980, Schwinn put the Shimano FFS on their Varsity, which to me, would be much less desirable than your 1970 Varsity.
    Last edited by wrk101; 09-16-12 at 12:06 PM.
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  8. #8
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjames1452 View Post
    I hope Weeden looks better today. I work in Cinci and hate when the Browns lose to the Bengals.
    Well, he did. He and Richardson played very well. Unfortunately, the result is an 0-2 start. I liked a lot of things I saw, maybe we can give them a loss in Cleveland later this year.
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