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Schwinn Varsity Vintage

Old 04-06-17, 04:55 PM
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Ezgoing469
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Schwinn Varsity Vintage

I just acquired a vintage Schwinn Varsity ten speed road bike which when I search data bases for the manufacture date from the serial number I'm getting conflicting dates. Can anyone help me on the?

The serial number is on the left rear lower fork and is #B 14477. It has a 22" radiant coppertone frame, 27" quick disconnect chrome wheels with gumwall tires, Center-pull brake calipers, double chain ring with a five gear cassette, sprint derailleurs, with suicide shift levers mounted on the downtube, drop bar brake levers with safety lever, Schwinn approved leather saddle. I come up with it being a 1952 or 1953 or 1956. Please help!
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Old 04-06-17, 05:08 PM
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juvela
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Hello Ezgoing469 and welcome to the forum.

The Schwinn Varsity model launched in 1960 as an eight speed bicycle so if your machine is a Varsity is cannot be from the 1950's.

"safety levers" did not appear prior to 1970.

Readers would be able to give you more and better assistance if you could post some pictures of the bicycle.

Member @Metacortex will be along momentarily with far better help.

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Old 04-06-17, 06:09 PM
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howsteepisit
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Also the Varsity did not have QR wheels. I have never heard of downtube suicide shift lever, What ae they? Pictures are a must here as there ae many contradictions.
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Old 04-06-17, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Ezgoing469 View Post
I just acquired a vintage Schwinn Varsity ten speed road bike which when I search data bases for the manufacture date from the serial number I'm getting conflicting dates. Can anyone help me on the?

The serial number is on the left rear lower fork and is #B 14477.
That is almost certainly an early 1966 model. Schwinn frame dropouts stamped through Feb. 1 that year were missing the 2nd serial number letter indicating the year (which would have been a "B"): THE SCHWINN DATE CODES BY YEAR,MONTH AND DAY

In other words your dropout was stamped on Feb. 1 and the in your case the serial no. should have read BB14477. Here is an example of another early '66 frame also missing the 2nd letter:



Here is the '66 Varsity catalog page and dealer spec. sheet:




It has a 22" radiant coppertone frame, 27" quick disconnect chrome wheels with gumwall tires, Center-pull brake calipers, double chain ring with a five gear cassette, sprint derailleurs, with suicide shift levers mounted on the downtube, drop bar brake levers with safety lever, Schwinn approved leather saddle.
The quick-release wheels, center pull brakes and brake safety levers are not original to the bike, they must have been added later. 1966 was the last year for downtube shifters on the Varsity.
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Old 04-07-17, 03:35 PM
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AlexCyclistRoch
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I can assure you if you have a fork on the rear of the frame, somebody has messed around with it....
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Old 04-08-17, 11:53 AM
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Ezgoing469
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Thank you so much for your quick response and I believe you hit the nail on the head in regards to your conclusion. I really do appreciate it and I realize my terminology was wrong for I have been working and restoring bikes for some time now. Do you have any idea what an average worth on the bike might be? I believe from what I've researched that the quick disconnect wheels as well as the center pull brakes are original and they were added options when the bike was originally purchased. The bike is in exceptional shape for being fifty years old but does have numerous scratches and surface rust on the wheels which I will do my best to remove. And the handlebar tape needs replacing.
Thank you, Mark
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Old 04-08-17, 12:09 PM
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That's another one of those electroforged classics. Built to last. Strong like bull. When the planet explodes, that thing will be floating around in space forever.
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Old 04-08-17, 01:27 PM
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howsteepisit
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There seems to be little love for the Varsity. I would think the best you can do is 100-150.
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Old 04-08-17, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ezgoing469 View Post
I believe from what I've researched that the quick disconnect wheels as well as the center pull brakes are original and they were added options when the bike was originally purchased.
The quick-release hubs and center-pull brakes were not original to the bike, they were changed either by the dealer or a previous owner. The brake safety levers weren't available until 1969, and the stem, handlebars and at least one of the pedals have also been replaced. If the quick-release hubs were procured from Schwinn they should have date codes allowing you to verify when they were made.

Do you have any idea what an average worth on the bike might be?
In that condition and missing so many of its original components I'd estimate it is worth around $50 to $100. If it had the original wheels, calipers, brake levers, stem, handlebars, pedals and especially the saddle it would be worth a bit more. The Sprint saddles alone can fetch a pretty penny, especially if in good condition: Vintage Schwinn Sprint Leather Bike Saddle Original Road Bike Seat Brooks Style | eBay
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