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Recovered Schwinn Varsity from Trash

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Recovered Schwinn Varsity from Trash

Old 05-19-04, 06:32 AM
  #1  
markm109
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Recovered Schwinn Varsity from Trash

On the way home Tuesday, I saw a bike setout for trash at a house down the street. Upon further investigation it was a Schwinn Varsity and it looked like it just needed new tires / tubes and some TLC. I immediately removed it from the trash, soothing it that it would be ok and not to worry, it had found a new home. I was shocked that someone would throw out such a classic piece of history.

Looking up the serial number, I discovered it was built in August 1971, just 4 years younger than I am. For about $50 I figure I can have this bike restored to like new and have a classic to ride for fun and a good conversation piece. And I hope rebuilding and cleaning it will interest my 13 year old son to get him on a bike and out riding with me.

Any suggestions on this restoration project would be appreciated.

Mark
'03 LS Blue Ridge
'01 GF Tassajara
and soon '71 Schwinn Varsity
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Old 05-19-04, 07:06 AM
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What a lucky bike, to have found you.
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Old 05-19-04, 07:17 AM
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Was it blue with white bar wrap. Center pull brakes and a Brooks leather seat? Cause if so, it was mine, stolen some 30 years ago.

I want it back !!
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Old 05-19-04, 11:17 AM
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People like you make old steel happy.
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Old 05-19-04, 11:47 AM
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seely
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That would be an awesome cafe bike with a little paint and some TLC... singlespeed!!!
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Old 05-19-04, 12:52 PM
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Make it a fixed gear and ride it like you stole it. Older framesets love to become fixed gear bikes. I promise.
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Old 05-19-04, 03:19 PM
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Pics!!!!
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Old 05-19-04, 03:26 PM
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Shweeet. Used to hang my baseball glove off the handlebars and ride one to games.

Gotta love those dual lever brakes!
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Old 05-19-04, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by MERTON
i had one of those. the neighbor "borrowed" it with out asking me (even though i was in the house and he had to pas through the house to get to the back proch, and my roomate had to let him get to the back porch) and now it's gone... along with my landlords lawn mower. but it was a girls and too small anyway.
Was that the meth head, the crack head or the pot head that did the borrowing???
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Old 05-19-04, 04:08 PM
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My dad's got an early 70's schwinn varsity super sport that's been hanging on the garage wall since about 1979. Somebody should "liberate" it.
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Old 08-30-04, 01:59 PM
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I've been eyeing a Varsity at a flea market for $75. It's in great condition, but I think that's a little too much for it. Was going to ask $50. The reason I didn't was because when I picked it up to look at it, it weighed a TON. I want to 'fix' it, but the weight really turned me off. Are these really as heavy as it seemed, or was what I was lifting mostly componants? It felt like 50lbs.
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Old 08-30-04, 02:26 PM
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They are well into the 50lbs arena.
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Old 08-30-04, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by markm109
On the way home Tuesday, I saw a bike setout for trash at a house down the street. Upon further investigation it was a Schwinn Varsity and it looked like it just needed new tires / tubes and some TLC. I immediately removed it from the trash, soothing it that it would be ok and not to worry, it had found a new home. I was shocked that someone would throw out such a classic piece of history.



Any suggestions on this restoration project would be appreciated.
Should have left it in the trash.
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Old 08-30-04, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by seely
They are well into the 50lbs arena.
But is that because of heavy wheels (I have replacements) and other componants? I am only looking for a frame right now. Would this be a frame worth $50 if I intend to strip it and use other parts - I guess that's what I'm asking. It was in very good condition, a nice purty yellow. I think I could play up on the "crappy heavyness" of it and get it knocked down in price - if it's worth it.
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Old 08-30-04, 03:23 PM
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The frame is a "gaspipe" frame, which is heavy heavy straight gauge steel. Truly if you replace the wheels you are wasting your time because they are a proprietary Schwinn size most likely (27x1 3/8, AKA "S7") since they are actually a different diameter than a 27x1 1/4. I would run away from the bike at $25 personally... I've seen decent roadbikes for $50 and less. Someone I know got a Shimano Sante equipped Reynolds tubed Falcon for $25, which when weighed came in at about 23lbs.
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Old 08-30-04, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by seely
The frame is a "gaspipe" frame, which is heavy heavy straight gauge steel. Truly if you replace the wheels you are wasting your time because they are a proprietary Schwinn size most likely (27x1 3/8, AKA "S7") since they are actually a different diameter than a 27x1 1/4. I would run away from the bike at $25 personally... I've seen decent roadbikes for $50 and less. Someone I know got a Shimano Sante equipped Reynolds tubed Falcon for $25, which when weighed came in at about 23lbs.
Even if Schwinn used a slightly different diameter wheel, you can replace it with a standard 27 inch wheel. Unless Schwinn's size was so far off that the brakes will not reach there should be no problem.
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Old 08-30-04, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MERTON
no. it was the guy next door that tried to sell me some "white ass" the other night... she hadn't taken a shower in three days my roomate said. (i declined if you were wondering. i referred to her as a hoe.. but the neighbor said everyone has a price... so.. O_o) it's sad how some people are. o_O ...
Knowing how I feel right now, i'd take it
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Old 08-30-04, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by supcom
Even if Schwinn used a slightly different diameter wheel, you can replace it with a standard 27 inch wheel. Unless Schwinn's size was so far off that the brakes will not reach there should be no problem.
Yes but my point is that its not worth it. Its like repairing an 8 track player.
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Old 08-30-04, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by seely
Yes but my point is that its not worth it. Its like repairing an 8 track player.
That all depends on your perspective. Some people enjoy restoring old things like bicycles, automobiles, and 8 track tape players. I have a collection of antique radios. Some of them were 'quality' radios in their day, most are common items. Even though a cheap walkman has far superior sound and performance, using an old radio has a certain charm to it. It's a link to our past.

The same thing applies to old bikes. I find riding old bikes kind of fun. In some ways it's an anti bike-snobbery thing. In others it's that link to the past. It's a cheap way to get a bike as well. A common bike can be fun to play with since I don't worry about devaluing a 'classic' by changing original components for new. Besides, some of these old bikes are really nice rides with stable relaxed geometries.
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Old 08-30-04, 09:46 PM
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I love old bikes but a Varsity is a dime a dozen and not worth $50 dipped in gold. You can find them in the trash on any college clean out day, or at a goodwill for $5. I knew someone would go through the effort to pick apart and read into my 8 track analogy.

BTW my road bike is a lugged '89 Paramount but like I said a Varsity is a dime a dozen.
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Old 08-31-04, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by seely
I love old bikes but a Varsity is a dime a dozen and not worth $50 dipped in gold. You can find them in the trash on any college clean out day, or at a goodwill for $5. I knew someone would go through the effort to pick apart and read into my 8 track analogy.

BTW my road bike is a lugged '89 Paramount but like I said a Varsity is a dime a dozen.
Yes,but you are 'dissing all that Schwinn 'history'. Junk Huffys get no respect coz they have no 'history'.
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Old 08-31-04, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by seely
I love old bikes but a Varsity is a dime a dozen and not worth $50 dipped in gold. You can find them in the trash on any college clean out day, or at a goodwill for $5.
I agree with seely. I think that the best place to sell a Varsity is at a yacht club. Those folks love old Schwinns because they hold a boat as well as an anchor but you don't have to pull it up. Just cut the rope.
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Old 08-31-04, 11:01 AM
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Rebuild it and polish it up and give it to a kid or charity. I'm not as "elite" as some of the riders here but I know kids that have gone through a rough patch would kill to have a bike...even a Varsity.
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Old 08-31-04, 12:01 PM
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I wish Schwinn Varsities were only $5 around here. I would make a killing selling them on Ebay.
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Old 08-31-04, 12:13 PM
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I agree that the old Schwinns are a dime a dozen but that does not mean they don't have some sentimental meaning to someone. My first new 10-speed was a 74 Schwinn Continental and I was lucky enough to find a 73 Conti years ago and restore it. I replaced the old steel rims with aluminum ones and replace the chain and freewheel and got a nicer seat and it rides great. I take it on 20-30 mile rides all the time. I don't have the money for a fancy lighter frame bike and I have people donate these old bikes to me so I can fix them up and give away to people who don't have a bike. I get mostly old Varsity's, Conti's, Sprints & an occasional Raleigh. I just like working on them and trying to bring them back to their original state. I personally would not give $75 for one unless it was in perfect, rustless condition and the most I gave for one was $50 but usually they are given to me or I'll get them at garage sales for less than $5. A guy needs a hobby and for some of us who can't afford the top line equipment we restore and settle for less.
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