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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 10-25-08, 06:09 AM   #1
robertr70
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thinking about going skinny-tires that is

I have the opportunity to get a Schwinn Varsity for around $140 and I'm seriously considering making this my first bike. My questions are these, is $140 a good deal on a brand new, never ridden Varsity AND will the skinny tires/frame support my 330lb wieght?
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Old 10-25-08, 06:17 AM   #2
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I have had trouble with old 27 inch wheels. The Schwinn stuff was pretty tough; but there are a couple problems. I had one of those bikes, a 1970, back in 1970. It has steel wheels, which were heavy and slow even back then. Also, steel
doesn't brake well when it's wet. Quite scary.

There are no cheap mass produced 27 inch wheels that I know of, that are tough enough for a Clyde. Building up a wheel would cost twice what the rest of the bike cost.

I'd look at Mtn bikes, you can add drop bars later if you like them. It's not hard finding tough 26 inch wheels.

There is a bike called the Hoss, it's more money, but a number of Clydes here have gotten one and been pleased with it.

http://www.konaworld.com/09_hoss_u.cfm
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Old 10-25-08, 06:40 AM   #3
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I kinda figured any upgrades would probably out-pace the cost of the bike, it's just such a beautiful bike. I've looked at the Hoss and love the 'beefy' look of it but I just can't bring myself to spend $900 on a 'starter' bike. I'm going out today to scour the pawn shops for a decent bike, I would prefer to keep the price under $200, is that even possible? I know I should avoid the big box store bikes but I just want to get back on 2 wheels and morre importantly, lose some weight.
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Old 10-25-08, 07:29 AM   #4
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I'm not up on the "new" Varsity. Is it a commuter/hybrid style or a road bike?

I know the newer non "Wally World" recreations of the Le Tour and other road bikes are a good quality bike with known shimano components and well built. Any upgrades on one of them would be well worth it.

I also absolutely love the Madison, a single speed freewheel bike. Yums.
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Old 10-25-08, 08:38 AM   #5
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If you are referring to the newer generation Varsity, it is one of the nameplates that got put on the Wal-Mart and Target's Pacific produced bikes. Wal-Mart currently has it for $239. I actually looked at last night while I was killing time waiting for the checkout lines to get shorter. It is fairly poor quality and heavy. It is definitely not up to the specs or quality of the current or former LBS quality Schwinn bikes. With that being said, at the price you mentioned, you will be hard pressed to find anything better. You could ride it for a year, and sell it for the same price you are paying for it.
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Old 10-25-08, 08:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txvintage View Post
I'm not up on the "new" Varsity. Is it a commuter/hybrid style or a road bike?

I know the newer non "Wally World" recreations of the Le Tour and other road bikes are a good quality bike with known shimano components and well built. Any upgrades on one of them would be well worth it.

I also absolutely love the Madison, a single speed freewheel bike. Yums.
The Le Tour and Madison are not Wally-World re-creations. They are sold at legitimate Schwinn dealers. The Le Tour, Madison, Fastback, Peloton etc. are all Taiwanese mass produced frames that would hold up against any other manufacturer that use Taiwanese mass produced frames.

http://www.schwinnbike.com/usa/eng/P...d-Performance/

Unfortunately, most people don't realize that because they walk into Wal-Mart and see stuff like the Varsity, and think that all Schwinn's are now crap. I really hate that Pacific watered down the Schwinn name so bad.
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Old 10-25-08, 09:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by txvintage View Post
I'm not up on the "new" Varsity. Is it a commuter/hybrid style or a road bike?

I know the newer non "Wally World" recreations of the Le Tour and other road bikes are a good quality bike with known shimano components and well built. Any upgrades on one of them would be well worth it.

I also absolutely love the Madison, a single speed freewheel bike. Yums.
Quote:
Originally Posted by racethenation View Post
The Le Tour and Madison are not Wally-World re-creations. They are sold at legitimate Schwinn dealers. The Le Tour, Madison, Fastback, Peloton etc. are all Taiwanese mass produced frames that would hold up against any other manufacturer that use Taiwanese mass produced frames.

http://www.schwinnbike.com/usa/eng/P...d-Performance/

Unfortunately, most people don't realize that because they walk into Wal-Mart and see stuff like the Varsity, and think that all Schwinn's are now crap. I really hate that Pacific watered down the Schwinn name so bad.
I agree whole heartedly. I had a chance to pick up a barely Le Tour with full Tiagra drive train and Sora shifters for $375 last weekend, I just don't need another road bike right now, lol.

I'm really concerned that Pacific bought out Cannondale. I wonder how many years we have left of good 'dale stuff.
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Old 10-25-08, 11:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by robertr70 View Post
I kinda figured any upgrades would probably out-pace the cost of the bike, it's just such a beautiful bike. I've looked at the Hoss and love the 'beefy' look of it but I just can't bring myself to spend $900 on a 'starter' bike. I'm going out today to scour the pawn shops for a decent bike, I would prefer to keep the price under $200, is that even possible?
I frequently see used mountain, cruiser, and hybrid bikes on Craig's List for less than $200. They might be 3-5 years old (or more), but most appear to be in decent shape. A couple of weeks ago there were a huge number of really nice mountain bikes in the $100-150 range! If you're just getting back into cycling, I would highly recommend a used bike. Give 'em a test-ride before buying and look for one that rolls and shifts smoothly...
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Old 10-26-08, 12:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
I frequently see used mountain, cruiser, and hybrid bikes on Craig's List for less than $200. They might be 3-5 years old (or more), but most appear to be in decent shape. A couple of weeks ago there were a huge number of really nice mountain bikes in the $100-150 range! If you're just getting back into cycling, I would highly recommend a used bike. Give 'em a test-ride before buying and look for one that rolls and shifts smoothly...
One would think that being close to a 'college town' that the local CL would be just chocked full of decent MTBs/RBs but unfortunately it's not. There are several Nexts and some Schwinn Cruisers but that's really about it. There is a Gary Fisher, slightly used, for $300. I'm going over to ebay right now, you never know when there will be a diamond in the rough on there.
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