Ok, I got myself a Schwinn- My regular every day bike is a folder, but I wanted a big frame steel bike to ride for longer distances and just because I wanted one. This bike already has aluminum whels, so that is out of the way. Howver, I want to make some changes.
Here are my questions;
1. How hard is it to put a mustache bar and bar end shifters on? Is there a certain brand I should use? Can I use indexed shifters? Do you have recommendations? Do I need to switch all derailer gear, or can I use what I have?
2. Is it possible to replace the crankset with a different, perhaps lighter set? Any reccomedations?
The bike really is fantastic, and rides great as is, but the bars just do not fit.
You can swap the bars out for mustache bars. You'll need to strip the brakes and bar tape off the current bars and slide em out of the quill. Putting new bars on is just as simple, slide em through the quill, tighten em down and put your brakes on.
If your Varsity is like mine and has the shifters on either side of the stem you'll need longer shifter cables in order to run bar end shifters, but your existing derailleurs will work fine as long as they work now. You probably only want to run the rear shifter indexed as many folks find it easier to work the front and make any little adjustments needed with just the friction shifter.
The crankset is a one-piece crank so if you want to upgrade, start with a modern BB and 3 piece cranks, but on a bike as heavy as these Varsities saving weight on the cranks is like a drop in the big heavy bucket