Would a '70s Schwinn Varsity have more value as a single speed or original 10 speed? I realize we're not talking a lot of money either way. I guess maybe the better question is, which would be more marketable these days?
I bought a pile of bikes parts and pieces recently that included a bare Schwinn Varsity frame. I paid $35 for the whole pile and sold two forks and a nice seat on E-bay for $75, so I'm ahead of the game. I dug through the pile of stuff and cobbled together a single speed using the Varsity frame and a variety of parts from various bikes. Now, granted, it looks pretty silly but it was a test to see if I liked the single speed concept and it is surprisingly comfortable to ride.
In further exploring the pile, I found most of the parts to restore the Varsity to original. Sadly the paint isn't that great so I'm leaning toward a rattle can resto just to make it look a little better. I've regreased all the bearings, new cables and brake pads and trued up the wheels, so it rides like new. Hard to believe it's a 35lb boat anchor until you try to pick it up.