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Old 10-08-10, 12:03 PM   #1
Neon.Dove
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light vs. heavy bikes

Hello Everyone. I love biking, but I'll be the first one to admit that I am a total noob to this, so pardon my ignorance in my following question.

I live in Brooklyn and recently came across an incredibly beautiful emerald green 1970s Schwinn Varsity ride (I think it was a 10 speed). I currently ride a Black 1980s Schwinn World Sport (18 speed). [I'll post a link for a pic of the varsity I found on the net].

My current bike does me fine, but this green one was just gorgeous. The frame fits me well and she rides nice (just went around the block). The only thing that scares me about the Varsity is it is considerably heavier than my Black Schwinn. Is there an advantage/disadvantage to such a heavy bike?

The Green is in very good condition (looks brand new) and the asking price is $220. Is it a deal? Am i better off sticking to my black Schwinn??

Any sort of help would be great appreciated. Thank you so much!!!

Here is a photo of the Varsity. it looked just like this: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...1t:429,r:1,s:0
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Old 10-08-10, 12:37 PM   #2
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Flash welded Schwinns are reliable because though they used lower cost steel, they used plenty of it.
I'd say $220 is pushing it too high .. maybe if it's still unsold in a few months they will knock it dowmn a bunch..

Steel rims and rubber friction brake pads are needing a long stopping distance, dry,
and that doubles or triples in the wet.
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Old 10-08-10, 12:56 PM   #3
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Good evening,

I had years of pleasure riding 3 speed hubs and then 5 speed derailleurs, until I discovered 531, tubulars and double ringed chainsets, it went downhill from there, "gotta have.....".

In the UK a bike of similar spec to the referenced bike is bottom of the range and maybe worth 20 ($35). That doesn’t mean that on ebay it won’t fetch more but it is not an upgrade from anything.

If you aren’t racing, bike development stopped in the late 1970’s, it even went backwards with STI/Ergo shifters and clipless pedals.

Bye
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Old 10-08-10, 01:42 PM   #4
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The only advantage is that you will get a better workout and be stronger for it.
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Old 10-08-10, 03:42 PM   #5
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It will be faster downhill....your World Sport is a better bike.

Last edited by Booger1; 10-08-10 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 10-08-10, 04:09 PM   #6
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My first bike as an adult was a Continental, which was slightly lighter than a Varsity. It was sturdy and stable but quite mediocre. Did I mention heavy?
Conti's and Varsity's make great boat anchors.
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Old 10-08-10, 04:24 PM   #7
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I've got some light bikes and one particularly heavy bike. To be honest, the heavy bike is easier to keep at speed, but the lighter bikes are much more fun to ride. Quick and agile. Depends on what you're wanting to do with them.

That is a nice looking bike, but I don't think I'd pay that much for it. $125 at the most I think. Keep your other bike and save up for a nice modern entry level bike.
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Old 10-08-10, 07:43 PM   #8
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I've sold several nice Varsinentals for under $100. Every one was found in the trash and given the complete once over... De-rusting, polishing, re-greasing, full tune up. If the bearings on one of these 30 plus year old bikes have never been re-greased, they'll need it before you commence regular service.

I always list my bikes below market and FIRM, because I know they are %100 ready to roll and look much better than the competition. Usually the first person to show up buys them and is more than thriled. It's a fun hobby. This one went for $60 and the kid who bought it kept asking me what was wrong with it!

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Old 10-08-10, 08:42 PM   #9
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I would base my opinion upon how many steps you have to carry the bike up to your apartment!
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Old 10-08-10, 09:09 PM   #10
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$200 for a Varsity? I think they sold for $45 when they were new! And they certainly don't have any collector value because there's still tons...well each bike weighed a ton, so literally tons and tons of these bikes still in peoples garages gathering dust. There is no way I would pay more then $25 for a Varsity and even then I wouldn't buy for fear the weight of it might break my garage floor. There are plenty of nicer bikes that can be had for around the $200 range.
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Old 10-08-10, 09:17 PM   #11
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$200 for a Varsity? I think they sold for $45 when they were new!....

Try $97 in 1969 ($589 today), that's what I paid for my first Varsity.
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Old 10-08-10, 09:50 PM   #12
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One of my favorite bikes to ride is a Schwinn Mirada. It's an overweight early 80's mountain bike. It's never been on a scale, but it's well over 30 lbs. But it fits perfectly. Has a fine stately ride of comfort. With MTB gearing, hills aren't much of a problem. Besides, I ride for exercise. Buying a lightweight bike would be spending extra to defeat the purpose.
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Old 10-08-10, 10:30 PM   #13
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There are plenty of old Peugeots and Nishikis out there for 100 to 150 bucks that are a better buy than the varsity. But the varsity would be close to indestructible. More like the bicycle equivalent of a bicycle tank. Yes I had one and a Continental as well. No I don’t really miss either one.

There are plenty of old Peugeots and Nishikis out there for 100 to 150 bucks that are a better buy than the varsity. But the varsity would be close to indestructible. More like the bicycle equivalent of a bicycle tank. Yes I had one and a Continental as well. No I don’t really miss either one.

If you run across and old Paramount for $200 to $300.00 let us know and we will check it out for you.
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Old 10-08-10, 10:56 PM   #14
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Try $97 in 1969 ($589 today), that's what I paid for my first Varsity.
I never bought a Varsity so I was going on much distant memory of the price. Regardless if it cost $100 back then, the point is the bike is not anywhere near worth $200. You can find way better bikes like the ones that Robert Foster mentioned in his post, as well as others especially Japanese brands like Panasonic, Miyata, Lotus, Nishiki, etc. all for around $75 to $200.
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Old 10-09-10, 12:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Neon.Dove View Post
Hello Everyone. I love biking, but I'll be the first one to admit that I am a total noob to this, so pardon my ignorance in my following question.

I live in Brooklyn and recently came across an incredibly beautiful emerald green 1970s Schwinn Varsity ride (I think it was a 10 speed). I currently ride a Black 1980s Schwinn World Sport (18 speed). [I'll post a link for a pic of the varsity I found on the net].

My current bike does me fine, but this green one was just gorgeous. The frame fits me well and she rides nice (just went around the block). The only thing that scares me about the Varsity is it is considerably heavier than my Black Schwinn. Is there an advantage/disadvantage to such a heavy bike?

The Green is in very good condition (looks brand new) and the asking price is $220. Is it a deal? Am i better off sticking to my black Schwinn??

Any sort of help would be great appreciated. Thank you so much!!!

Here is a photo of the Varsity. it looked just like this: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...1t:429,r:1,s:0
not a deal, but if you gotta have the Green thing, then it's a call you make...
heavy, light, in NYC that really means only how many flights of a walk-up you have to haul the thing.
I will say you'll need a big, heavy chain
cause that Green thing will be a Hi-vis target for the bike thieves.
ride it only where you won;t get knocked off and have it stolen.

one things for sure
I'd sooner get that Green thing well before any blinged out fixie...
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Old 10-09-10, 06:47 PM   #16
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Well everyone. Thanks for the responses. Really appreciate the assistance. In the end, I don't think I'll take the dive. Maybe just tweak up my black world sport a bit. Although the green is pretty, it probably doesn't make sense to take the drop in riding experience just for style...
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Old 10-09-10, 07:33 PM   #17
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Well everyone. Thanks for the responses. Really appreciate the assistance. In the end, I don't think I'll take the dive. Maybe just tweak up my black world sport a bit. Although the green is pretty, it probably doesn't make sense to take the drop in riding experience just for style...
That World Sport was a way better bike then the Varsity anyway's, so I agree, take the money you wanted to spend on the Varsity and spruce up the World Sport. Or save up another $350 thus you would have $550, you can buy a new bike at an LBS in town or go to Bikes Direct and take a look at their offerings in that price range of $550.
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Old 10-11-10, 10:39 AM   #18
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That World Sport was a way better bike then the Varsity anyway's, so I agree, take the money you wanted to spend on the Varsity and spruce up the World Sport. Or save up another $350 thus you would have $550, you can buy a new bike at an LBS in town or go to Bikes Direct and take a look at their offerings in that price range of $550.
Rekymeyata, What sort of sprucing might be worthwhile?
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Old 10-11-10, 02:55 PM   #19
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Rekymeyata, What sort of sprucing might be worthwhile?
Make sure the bike isn't rusting through anywhere.

The biggest single improvement, assuming the derailleurs all work good, is to replace the rims with better ones. You don't need to go expensive either. Sun rims have a couple of good rims like the Venus (an modern looking Aero rim), or the ME14A a light box style rim. Use the old hubs if their still good or can be by either relubing or rebuilding, if not new Shimano 105 hubs are very good and not real expensive. Spokes, DT Competition double butted spokes will help keep the wheel weight down, and brass nipples for reliability. The reason I suggest going to build (hand built) up rim is because your older bike uses freewheel system instead of cassette system. In order to switch to cassette you would have to have the rear stay spread from 125mm to 130mm; not a problem if the LBS knows what their doing. They should be able to build a newer wheel set like I mentioned for around $125 for both, but I'm guessing on the price talk to your LBS.

The only issue you may encounter with a new rim set is whether or not your current wheels are 27" or 700c, no problem if 700c, small problem if 27" because the new wheels will be 700c and this will require the brake pads to be lowered, or worse case scenario new brake calipers but that's rare.

If your current bike has a 5 speed cluster in the rear, you can have that upgraded to 6 maybe even a 7 speed if the bike will take it without spreading the rear stays again. But a 6 is good. Do that at the same time of the wheel build. The rear cluster is cheap at about $30 plus or minus $5.

Make sure you shop the internet for best prices on decent tires and tubes, places like Nashbar, and JensonUSA generally have the best prices beating an LBS by as much as 50%! So don't get the tires at an LBS unless you did your shopping and by some odd chance they had good tires on sale cheap.

Get a new chain if the old is worn out, the LBS can check that.

Have the bike gone over to make sure everything is lubed and working at it's best, you may need new cables but those are cheap as well.

Keep in mind, I'm not there to look at your bike to see what you have, what condition it's in etc so I'm guessing as to what you might need. It's possible if you don't want to soak money into that the wheels may be still good even though their older and heavier but they may still be ridable if that's all you want.
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