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Classic and Vintage Bicycles: Whats 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 12-23-11, 04:33 PM   #1
Tarheel1
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Curious as to value of old bike.

I have a 1970 Schwinn Continental 10 Speed. I ride 30 to 50 miles a week. It still works great and I am original owner. It has original rims, frame, brakes, chain, paint, tape on handlebars, and all cables but one (I had to replace it). When I bought it I had the dealer add an option of moving the gear changers to the end of the handlebars from on the frame. There is a little rust on the frame, but the chrome has held up well. What would be the value of something like this. I am considering getting a new bike and want to make a decision as to what to do with this one. I could keep it, trade it in, or sell it.
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Old 12-23-11, 05:00 PM   #2
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The best guide to value is eBay's completed auctions. Looking at recently completed auctions for 70s Continentals, several have sold recently for between $50 and $125, while several others listed for similar prices haven't sold.
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Old 12-23-11, 05:35 PM   #3
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Bar-end shifters are a plus. Value is maybe $75-100 on craigslist if you take really good pictures and have a good ad. Without pictures cut the price in half and expect to wait twice as long to sell it.

It's unlikely a bike shop will give you anything for it on a trade in. If you like it and you've had it 40 years, you might as well keep it.
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Old 12-26-11, 08:09 AM   #4
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Thanks. That was just the type of information I was looking for. It lets me know I can keep it and maybe upgrade some of the components without messing up a valuable item.
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Old 12-26-11, 08:27 AM   #5
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those Continental's, in my opinion, of course are only worth the scrap value! They were only worth their scrap value when they were new!!! But there are people today trying to buy back their youth and a lot of people had those Continentals as well Surburbans and Varsitys and they were all junk. I remember them very well, I had loads of friends that had those bikes. I had something close, I had a Schwinn 3 speed Racer, the only thing good about that bike was the transmission which was bullet proof as long as it was kept oiled, even if you forgot and it failed to shift, just add oil and it work again. I've seen those Continentals go between $50 to $100 (this is in the NW Indiana area, prices do vary from area to area), Varsity's were actually more popular and they go for a tad more from $80 to $250. E-bay prices are inflated, your best judge of price is Craigslist but in the last year or so most sellers are basing their prices according to E-bay which most of the time is crazy over pricing.

I don't know what "upgrades" you want to make but be careful, because the bike is a tank and any upgrade could easily exceed the value of the bike. But the bike is not valuable so I wouldn't worry about "messing" that up. Actually, for some unknown reason, the 3 speed Racer that I had is worth more then any of those 3 models of Schwinn...not sure why because it too was a tank; I won't be buying that part of my youth!!!!

Sorry if I sound so negative, I use to help my friends fix those things because they broke a lot, they never shifted well, the steel wheels were fun to watch someone try to stop when it rained...it was enough for fun for me to try stop with my steel wheels!! And the last big problem was that they weighed over 45 pounds, and felt sluggish due to the heavy wheels and the heavy frame. I knew guys who broke those frames to...but granted they were trying to jump over stuff.
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Old 12-26-11, 09:05 AM   #6
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While Schwinns made millions of them, and they were heavy as tanks, people like them. I've had no problems selling ones in pristine condition, ready to ride. Now with some rust, that scares a lot of buyers, and drops the value a lot.

Regardless, they are not super valuable for sure, but do get interest in that $100 to $150 range (for pristine ready to ride). Upgrades? While the bike is upgradeable, it has a really heavy frame, and some oddball parts. Bikes with standard sizing are easier (and cheaper) candidates for upgrades.
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Old 12-26-11, 09:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
While Schwinns made millions of them, and they were heavy as tanks, people like them. I've had no problems selling ones in pristine condition, ready to ride. Now with some rust, that scares a lot of buyers, and drops the value a lot.

Regardless, they are not super valuable for sure, but do get interest in that $100 to $150 range (for pristine ready to ride). Upgrades? While the bike is upgradeable, it has a really heavy frame, and some oddball parts. Bikes with standard sizing are easier (and cheaper) candidates for upgrades.
I saw a pristine condition Varsity on E-bay go for $350 plus $100 for shipping. Again, in my opinion of course and I am 58 years old so I remember these bike very well, to me their only worth their scrap value. I have never personally seen a pristine condition one except for the one on E-bay. And even in pristine condition I would never buy one unless it was gong for $20 or less!!! But again, I said that's me. A cheap new Walmart bike would work far better and be lighter then one of those old Schwinns.
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Old 12-26-11, 11:31 AM   #8
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A cheap new Walmart bike would work far better and be lighter then one of those old Schwinns.
I wouldn't knock them so hard. I suggest you read this article: http://sheldonbrown.com/varsity-shaddox.html

While they are as heavy as tanks, they were very solidly built and far more durable than a new Walmart bike. The Schwinns were heavy but I've never encountered a lightweight Walmart bike either. Most of their junky dual suspension models weigh upwards of 40lbs.

Most bikes back then used steel rims. With an aluminum wheelset an old Varsity or Continental could be a very solid rider. Someday I might add one to my collection, if only for the fun of it.
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Old 12-26-11, 11:46 AM   #9
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As a kid, back in 1971, I used to ride centuries on my Continental. Now it was flat, but still...

If I had it now (it was stolen in 1975), I would do basic maintenance on it for sure (original cables, 41 years later?), replacing cables, housings, bearings and grease. Personally, I would find an alloy wheelset (used of course, 27 inch used alloy wheels can be found cheap), flush the freewheel, new chain, and tires, and go. If I got ambitious, I would also do the crankset upgrade, several around here have done that. Realize that the list I have above, you will be upside value wise. But since you enjoy riding it, that really doesn't matter.

I've got two Continentals hanging in the shed right now, one my size. I'll probably do what I described above, and keep it for the heck of it.
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