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Old 06-19-09, 08:12 AM   #1
wrk101
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Known Varsity Basher Completes First Rebuild

Well, I finished my first Varsity rebuild. While I certainly notice the weight whenever I lift it to hang on its hook, I think it turned out pretty nice.

I picked up this Varsity at a local thrift shop. I let it sit several days until senior day, hoping someone else would snag it. But that didn't work, it was still there, so I picked it up. Although it needed the normal stuff: tires, tubes, cables, bearings, and brake pads; the rest of it was all there and in pretty good shape. The chrome had the typical rust, but not too bad. And I thought the paint and decals were in really good shape, with no frame rust.

I put all of the crome parts: the handlebars, stem, crank, fork, shift lever bracket, and headset bottom cup in my trusty oxalic acid bath. It worked its normal magic.

I haven't done anything with bartape, as I don't have any of the vinyl stuff, and am not sure my normal bartape would look right on this bike.

The only thing not original is the rear wheel. I took a spare that came off a Schwinn Traveler, as the rear on the Varsity needed quite a bit of clean up.






Last edited by wrk101; 06-19-09 at 08:47 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-19-09, 08:14 AM   #2
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very clean 40#er
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Old 06-19-09, 08:15 AM   #3
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Looks just like it should!
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Old 06-19-09, 08:21 AM   #4
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Very nice. Hold out for some of the original tape if you can. Just saw a guy on a social ride here in LA on this very model...
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Old 06-19-09, 08:49 AM   #5
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By far my greatest objection to the Varsity is those absurdly heavy steel rims, which provide worst-case rotating mass and lousy braking performance. A Varsity or (preferably) Continental with aluminum rims and KoolStop brake pads is a surprisingly enjoyable ride.
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Old 06-19-09, 09:02 AM   #6
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I had the Continental. The full size. it had a 12" steer tube on it. Heavy as a truck. Yellow.
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Old 06-19-09, 09:09 AM   #7
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I might have some bar tape for your Varsity - I've a bagful of OEM tape rolls from a shop that went bust - maybe I have that green, I'll have to check. PM me if interested.
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Old 06-19-09, 09:13 AM   #8
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The Varsity had see through green tape, right?

My Continental had yellow see through, I think. Maybe it was white. 'Been a long time since that rig gave up the ghost.

Last edited by thompsonpost; 06-19-09 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 06-19-09, 09:23 AM   #9
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Nice looking Varsity, note how improved the appearance is without the chrome dork disc. Imagine how much better they would have looked without the front chain guard.....
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Old 06-19-09, 09:26 AM   #10
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Yes, I agree, I usually dump the chrome chain guard, side stand and dork disk.
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Old 06-19-09, 09:29 AM   #11
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Nice looking Varsity, note how improved the appearance is without the chrome dork disc. Imagine how much better they would have looked without the front chain guard.....
Have to disagree here RK the Varsity and its other brothers in the Schwinn line up are like a 59 Caddy big heavy and loaded with chrome. They just don't look right without all those shiny chrome steel acoutrements. That said when I did my Conti I went with the alloy rims. I got it just at 30 lbs still rides like a dream
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Old 06-19-09, 09:37 AM   #12
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Lookie what I just found for you......

http://itemlistings.ebay.com/sdcsrp_...26153002r17889

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Old 06-19-09, 09:39 AM   #13
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Yeah love the cruizemobile chrome. Chrome is falling by the wayside.
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Old 06-19-09, 09:57 AM   #14
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I would definitely keep the dork disk and the chainguard. It's a Varsity, it would look wrong without them.

Be careful not to park it near the edge of a concrete slab. Varsitys have been known to cause cracks due to their sheer weight.
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Old 06-19-09, 10:44 AM   #15
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I took the chain guard of the chain ring on my Varsity and then.... I put it back on. It just wasn't right without it.
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Old 06-19-09, 10:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
Lookie what I just found for you......

http://itemlistings.ebay.com/sdcsrp_...26153002r17889
Depending on the specific shade of green. that seller's price varied from $5.99-$9.00

Not bad if it is what you want/need to get a bike looking right.
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Old 06-19-09, 12:25 PM   #17
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Purdy.

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I had the Continental. The full size. Heavy as a truck.
Still have mine . . . '76.

Quote:
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I would definitely keep the dork disk and the chainguard. It's a Varsity, it would look wrong without them.
Agreed.
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Old 06-19-09, 12:41 PM   #18
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Depending on the specific shade of green. that seller's price varied from $5.99-$9.00

Not bad if it is what you want/need to get a bike looking right.
But the Benotto tape isn't "right". It needs to be Schwinn (Hunt-Wilde) in Campus Green. I think I still have some if "bigbossman" doesn't.

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Old 06-19-09, 12:59 PM   #19
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you could always go white on the housings and tape.

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Old 06-19-09, 07:38 PM   #20
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I'm in the middle of putting white housings on my Varsity. A white seat and white grips (just put tourist bars on it) might set it off nicely. Thanks for the idea.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-19-09, 07:43 PM   #21
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I was able to clean up and keep the original housings, trimmed the ends a bit, and installed new cables.
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Old 06-19-09, 11:47 PM   #22
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oh man i gotta get my varsity looking like that!
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Old 06-20-09, 12:49 AM   #23
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But the Benotto tape isn't "right". It needs to be Schwinn (Hunt-Wilde) in Campus Green. I think I still have some if "bigbossman" doesn't.

Bob
Bob,

I've got some Hunt-Wilde in dark green - looks to be a match to the bike in the OP's pic. Already PM'ed, and will be on the way in a day or two.
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Old 06-20-09, 12:50 AM   #24
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you could always go white on the housings and tape.

That Regal is worth twice as much as the rest of the bike.
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Old 06-20-09, 05:26 AM   #25
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I too bashed the noble old Varsity. Then I fixed up and road one for a couple of commutes. I had to eat my words, it rode nice for what it is ( that depends on what is, is). I was going to ride it for a week, but about the time I got it all set up and liking it, a guy came and traded an 88 Raliegh Elkhorn for it. Moral of the story becarefull what you bash, you may end up riding it some day
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