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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 09-18-12, 07:28 PM   #1
mrn5022
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1977 Schwinn Varisty Help

Hi everyone. I am new to cycling and this is my first post, ad I need your help! I recently bought a Giant Roam Hybrid and I am really loving it, however lately I have wanted to get my hands on a road bike. Since I just bought a new bike recently I dont want to spend a lot of money, and i like the idea of owning a vintage bike, so I have been looking on craigslist and I have found a bike that might be a winner.

Here is a link to the post on craigslist:

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/3277047887.html

It is a vintage 1977 Schwinn Varsity. It is listed as mint except the tires, and from the photos the paint job looks to be in good condition without rust. I was told that the tires are dry but show no wear. Its a 10 speed. 56 CM,which is the size am looking for, and the serial is CN so i know its made in March 1977.

I guess I am asking is this a good deal for $100. I am pretty new to cycling and dont know much about the worth of these older bikes so any help would be amazing. Ive been told that these old bikes are very heavy but are built really well.

Another option would be for me to just wait and save some money and buy a better road bike down the road while I keep riding my hybrid, but that wont fix my instant desire right now.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-18-12, 08:52 PM   #2
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Moved from C&V to Appraisals.
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Old 09-18-12, 09:07 PM   #3
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I would likely pass on this bike even at the $100 price which just OK. The Varsity sport is pretty low end heavy bike which Schwinn made millions of so if you pass another one will come along in a day or so. Being all orginal it will likely need to be fully serviced all the bearings cables redone, new brake pads, chain, bar wrap tires and the seat doesn't look to good so you would end up spending $180 or so. If your serious about a vintage road bike you should be able to find something much nicer for not a lot more price wise.
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Old 09-18-12, 09:12 PM   #4
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It looks to be 100% original and very clean. The '70s Varsity is very heavy (38lb.) but also a very well made and durable bike, practically indestructable. Schwinn paint and chrome also cleans up extremely well, and the Flamboyant Red paint/decals and chrome on that bike look to be in excellent condition. Here is the original catalog page:



While others may disagree, I'd say it is worth the price so if it fits and you like it, I'd say go for it. You could ride that bike for a year or so, and with it cleaned up you could sell it for equal or even more than you paid, sort of a no-risk proposition.
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Old 09-18-12, 09:35 PM   #5
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If you are looking for an indestructible monster, sure. You will probably never break it. But they are very heavy and "100% original" = needs a complete overhaul (bearings, cables, etc.) So unless you are going to do the work yourself you'll quickly spend more than you paid for the bike getting a shop to give it a proper tuneup.

As a rider, honestly your Giant hybrid is likely far better. Probably about 10 pounds lighter and with much more user friendly components. If vintage is what you're after that is fine, but I would aim higher.
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Old 09-19-12, 07:56 AM   #6
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the ad is gone, did you buy it? I love my old varsity. don't ride it much but it was great catch when I added it to my stable. took it on a camping vacation this year with the family and had some fun with it. '77 was the year I graduated HS and I had a green one back then. the red one I have now needed work but it was easy to do myself. maintaining an old bike is as easy as riding one ... :-)
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Old 09-19-12, 09:26 AM   #7
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While others may disagree, I'd say it is worth the price so if it fits and you like it, I'd say go for it.
If you're interested in a road bike for any kind of performance reasons, this is about as a bad a choice as you could make. While there are performance upgrades you could do, they are hardly worth it since the frame weighs as much as a tank. Now, if you just want something to buzz around on, and don't care about performance too much, it's not an awful value for $100.

This bike is $200, which is a little high, but is much closer to being a "real" road bike.
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Old 09-19-12, 10:00 AM   #8
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oh yeah that cromoly frame is much better!

I rode my old varsity to work one day and was hit with the worst ridcule of my bike commuting career. (by non bike commuters so it wasn't so bad, don't miss those cycling snobs anyway ... they didn't like my shoes either)
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Old 09-19-12, 10:47 AM   #9
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... they didn't like my shoes either)
...and your mom dresses you funny.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 09-19-12, 11:09 AM   #10
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+1 Old Varsities have a steep nostalgia premium, so if you are into the whole nostalgia process, great. I had a C/L bidding war on a Varsity I was selling. Fortunately, I had two, and had only posted one, so I satisfied both buyers. For the price I got for a 40 pound Varsity, buyer could have had a mid 1980s Japanese bike, that weighed around 24 pounds, with 700c wheels, much better components, etc. But buyers were looking for an old Chicago Schwinn, and nothing else would do.

Does it make ANY sense to me? No. But I do not argue with the market. And occasionally, I am on the other side of this process, where I have a great bike, but the market has zero respect for it, so I sell it cheap. It cuts both ways.
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Old 09-19-12, 11:38 PM   #11
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the ad is gone, did you buy it?
It's not gone, just relisted: http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/3281705268.html
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Old 09-20-12, 06:38 AM   #12
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nice bike, if I didn't already have 5 bikes, 3 road bikes, a roadified hybrid fixed for commuting and a MTB, and if it was 5 years ago, and if I didn't know what I know now, I'd scoop it up in a heartbeat!
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