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1977 Schwinn Volare

Old 03-11-20, 09:33 AM
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reluctantsuburb
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1977 Schwinn Volare

Hey all,

I've been cruising my local (Dallas) Craigslist for some time in search of a Poor Man's Rivendell (inspired by another post on the forum, not enough forum posts to provide the link). I'm looking for a steel commuter and coffee shop runner that can carry some stuff (whether racks or something like a Carradice bag system). Hopefully it would also have fair tire clearance and the potential for fenders, although I have another bad weather bike, so not a hard need for fenders. Biggest desire is the slack/upright geometry of a Rivendell.

So far, Dallas has not had much in my size in the past ~year of searching. I am 6'1" and am likely after a 58 or 60cm frame.

This 1977 Schwinn Volare came across my search and I was curious what you all think. It seems to hit a lot of the aesthetic considerations and the components and frame material seem to be premium, but I am thinking perhaps its posture is a bit too aggressive for what I'm after? I would definitely look to swap the bars for something more upright. Bike looks to be in good shape, but very pricey at $600, though I understand this model to be sought after.

It looks like I still do not have enough forum posts to link the bike or pictures. It looks to be in great condition, with all original components. That may contribute to the high price; honestly, I'm not all that interested the "originality" of the bike, I'm interested in it being a fun, comfortable ride. Again, I welcome your thoughts. Thanks in advance!

Edited to say: I've linked an imgur album of pictures to my bio since I can't attach to the post.

Last edited by reluctantsuburb; 03-11-20 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 03-11-20, 10:02 AM
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...they were nice bikes at the time. For 600 bucks here (and NorCal is considered a higher priced area for used steel bikes), I can buy something significantly more upscale. That's the lower threshold for some of the decent Italian stuff here. And over the winter, I've seen at least one Paramount in that price range (admittedly not pristine, but not that bad). Almost everything from before the late 70's/80's will have tyre clearance and most of them will have fender eyelets (although some of the full race Italian stuff might not).

Slacker geometry is often encountered in the frames designed and sold in that era as "touring", although if you can go back to the early 70's/60's almost everything will seem pretty slack. If you want a good, all around bike for your purposes that usually flies under the radar in terms of pricing, the Voyageur series from Schwinn (especially the earlier ones) are a good bet. But there are many, many others floating around. Try a search of the local CL for "touring" in bikes.
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Old 03-11-20, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
If you want a good, all around bike for your purposes that usually flies under the radar in terms of pricing, the Voyageur series from Schwinn (especially the earlier ones) are a good bet. But there are many, many others floating around. Try a search of the local CL for "touring" in bikes.
Thanks for the background on this bike, the perspective from your market, and the suggestion of another bike to be on the lookout for. One thing that I've run into is that often, when I come across a potential bike candidate on CL, I'll search for it here and very regularly I hear from posters that these bikes were on the "low" end of the production spectrum; usually that scares me off.

I've been searching for touring bikes for some time, but it seems like Dallas largely has road bikes and vintage MTBs (at least in my size!). Again, thanks for your reply.
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Old 03-11-20, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
Voyageur series from Schwinn (especially the earlier ones) are a good bet. But there are many, many others floating around. Try a search of the local CL for "touring" in bikes.
Sorry to double reply--just did a quick search for Voyageurs in my market and came across one from the early 80s; they are describing at a road bike with an aluminum frame. Did the model change somewhat over the years?
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Old 03-11-20, 10:23 AM
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You might want to start a new thread. If you give an idea of what sort of bike you are looking for, the size you need, and where you live (Dallas in this case), posters will search CL and help you find a suitable bike or two or three.
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Old 03-11-20, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
Sorry to double reply--just did a quick search for Voyageurs in my market and came across one from the early 80s; they are describing at a road bike with an aluminum frame. Did the model change somewhat over the years?
It it's truly from the 80's, it's steel and the seller might not be aware. I really like the Voyageurs, but you should be aware that they did change in spec a lot. I like the mid-80s models. Those are full blown touring bikes with cantilever brakes. I think it's good advice not to get hung up on brands. Lots of manufacturers were cranking out fantastic touring bikes in the 80s. Miyata, Lotus, Centurion, Schwinn, Cannondale, Trek, Panasonic, etc.

Here is another forum members 1986 voyageur:

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Old 03-11-20, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
Sorry to double reply--just did a quick search for Voyageurs in my market and came across one from the early 80s; they are describing at a road bike with an aluminum frame. Did the model change somewhat over the years?
Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
It it's truly from the 80's, it's steel and the seller might not be aware. I really like the Voyageurs, but you should be aware that they did change in spec a lot.
...this. These Voyageurs that pop up from time to time that are poorly understood by the current owner can be good deals, if correct in size. The earlier ones are not full on touring bikes, but still have the geometry and characteristics you seek, just with slightly less desirable components. The earliest ones were tres tubi bikes of Tange and something else, without all the improvements like cantilever brakes. So cheaper in the CL marketplace. I bought mine for a hundred bucks, and built better wheels for it. I eventually installed fenders.

Quite delightful to ride, in more of the sport touring category.




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Old 03-11-20, 10:46 AM
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Link and pic asst. FMV IMHO.

https://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/bi...079579271.html

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Old 03-11-20, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
Quite delightful to ride, in more of the sport touring category.
Thanks for sharing your experience and the pics. Looks like a great bike. I think sport touring is an accurate description of what I'm after, based on what I've read. The bike in question is here, if you can help me with any particulars of this specific one!

Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
It it's truly from the 80's, it's steel and the seller might not be aware. I really like the Voyageurs, but you should be aware that they did change in spec a lot. I like the mid-80s models. Those are full blown touring bikes with cantilever brakes. I think it's good advice not to get hung up on brands. Lots of manufacturers were cranking out fantastic touring bikes in the 80s. Miyata, Lotus, Centurion, Schwinn, Cannondale, Trek, Panasonic, etc.
Likewise, thanks for the pic for reference. And I hear ya on sellers potentially not knowing. Here is the bike that's currently available in Dallas at or near my size, if you have any thoughts.

Thanks for the brand list. I try to investigate everything from late 70s-80s that is Japanese built, at least!
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Old 03-11-20, 11:07 AM
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Thanks for linking! Looks like I just hit the 10 post mark to be able to post pics; appreciate you helping.

It is a beautiful bike. Appreciate you weighing in on its value.
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Old 03-11-20, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
You might want to start a new thread. If you give an idea of what sort of bike you are looking for, the size you need, and where you live (Dallas in this case), posters will search CL and help you find a suitable bike or two or three.
Great suggestion, can you help me on forum etiquette: is there a particular sub-forum that would be best in?
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Old 03-11-20, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
Great suggestion, can you help me on forum etiquette: is there a particular sub-forum that would be best in?
That's not a crazy price on that bike. If it's your size, you might want to consider buying it at a more reasonable price. That bike is worth closer to $400 but vintage Schwinns command a premium and this is a good one.


Just post a new thread in the valuation forum with an appropriate heading and put the pertinent information in the first post.
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Old 03-11-20, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience and the pics. Looks like a great bike. I think sport touring is an accurate description of what I'm after, based on what I've read. The bike in question is here, if you can help me with any particulars of this specific one!



Likewise, thanks for the pic for reference. And I hear ya on sellers potentially not knowing. Here is the bike that's currently available in Dallas at or near my size, if you have any thoughts.

Thanks for the brand list. I try to investigate everything from late 70s-80s that is Japanese built, at least!
Hmmm, that fork does not look original, which is a big red flag. I am not a Schwinn expert, but the frame looks late 70ís-early 80ís, while the fork looks mid-80ís. It may be fine, but it may be more trouble than itís worth.
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Old 03-11-20, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
That's not a crazy price on that bike. If it's your size, you might want to consider buying it at a more reasonable price. That bike is worth closer to $400 but vintage Schwinns command a premium and this is a good one.
I reached out to the seller and he said that he bought it for $700 in California and had $200 in upgrades into it, so wouldn't budge on price. Maybe I'll see if it sits for a while.
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Old 03-11-20, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
I reached out to the seller and he said that he bought it for $700 in California and had $200 in upgrades into it, so wouldn't budge on price. Maybe I'll see if it sits for a while.
Move on. There are so many great bikes available for less than that. The fact that the seller overpaid (assuming the seller is actually telling the truth) is not your problem.
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Old 03-11-20, 11:53 AM
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Too much $$$$$ IMO

Be on the lookout for a 1971 -1975 Schwinn Sports Tourer !!!

I have a few of these and they are GREAT!!!

VERY smooth ride, and comfortable !!!

Range should be 200.00 to 400.00 depending on the condition

Good Luck and be patient
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Old 03-11-20, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemike73 View Post
Good Luck and be patient
Thanks for the tip! I'll try to follow your advice on the patience
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Old 03-11-20, 11:59 AM
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Avoid that Voyaguer. Bike is from around 1981, fork is around 1986. Forks do not get "lost" they typically get damaged in a CRASH.

BTW, I prefer the Voyageurs from the mid 1980s: cantilever brakes, better components, etc.
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Old 03-11-20, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
I reached out to the seller and he said that he bought it for $700 in California and had $200 in upgrades into it, so wouldn't budge on price. Maybe I'll see if it sits for a while.
1. He should have sold it in California.

2. He paid too much for it.

3. You rarely to never get your money out of upgrades. You do them for yourself, and either un-upgrade the bike, or consider the upgrades to be a donation to the new owner. I am kind of known for over-upgrading my personal bikes. Some I have un-upgraded prior to selling, others I have taken the hit. Its how it goes.


All that being said, its a waste of time trying to convince a seller to be reasonable. Sellers have the right to ask too much. There is a seller in my area asking $2500 for their Santana tandem. They have held that price for FIVE years. Meanwhile, there is another Santana for sale right now for $350....


I've got some Washington Mutual stock, I paid $14 per share. I can let it go for $12 (nice discount). Oh yeah, they went bankrupt during the financial meltdown. That money is GONE, GONE, GONE.


+1,000.000 to below: Want a Rivendell knock-off? 1980s rigid frame MTBs are the way to go. And FB marketplace around here has the best deals (fewer buyers, more sellers).

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Old 03-11-20, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
Hey all,

I've been cruising my local (Dallas) Craigslist for some time in search of a Poor Man's Rivendell (inspired by another post on the forum, not enough forum posts to provide the link). I'm looking for a steel commuter and coffee shop runner that can carry some stuff (whether racks or something like a Carradice bag system). Hopefully it would also have fair tire clearance and the potential for fenders, although I have another bad weather bike, so not a hard need for fenders. Biggest desire is the slack/upright geometry of a Rivendell.

So far, Dallas has not had much in my size in the past ~year of searching. I am 6'1" and am likely after a 58 or 60cm frame.

This 1977 Schwinn Volare came across my search and I was curious what you all think. It seems to hit a lot of the aesthetic considerations and the components and frame material seem to be premium, but I am thinking perhaps its posture is a bit too aggressive for what I'm after? I would definitely look to swap the bars for something more upright. Bike looks to be in good shape, but very pricey at $600, though I understand this model to be sought after.

It looks like I still do not have enough forum posts to link the bike or pictures. It looks to be in great condition, with all original components. That may contribute to the high price; honestly, I'm not all that interested the "originality" of the bike, I'm interested in it being a fun, comfortable ride. Again, I welcome your thoughts. Thanks in advance!

Edited to say: I've linked an imgur album of pictures to my bio since I can't attach to the post.
Best bet is a vintage MTB. They are more attractively priced than similar quality roadbikes and they fit your idea of a sort of Rivendell knock off. Also look on facebook marketplace as well as craigslist.
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Old 03-11-20, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Best bet is a vintage MTB. They are more attractively priced than similar quality roadbikes and they fit your idea of a sort of Rivendell knock off. Also look on facebook marketplace as well as craigslist.
Any models in particular jump out to you? I see a lot of rigid stumpjumpers come across. Aside from that, I don't really know how to distinguish them.
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Old 03-11-20, 12:29 PM
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...that Volare does look pristine. If the upgrades include some kind of custom wheel build by someone who knows what they were doing, and the wheels are in good shape in terms of even spoke tensions, and I was looking for a sport touring bike, and I had been looking for something in my size with no luck, and I didn't already have so many bicycles, I'd be very tempted to just buy it. Paying a couple of hundred bucks more for a bike that people here tell you is worth less, and is in more or less pristine condition, requiring no work or further investment at all on your part, often turns out not to be all that crazy. I paid $1200 bucks for a local Cinelli here a few years back, had to do some significant paint touch ups, and I still am not unhappy with it.

But it has to be a great fit and you need to make sure there is nothing currently wrong with it that will cost you money. A set of decent fenders are pretty cheap, and you can rack that one easily. Make sure the rims have a bead hook, because some of the Schwinn bikes from that era have alloy rims, but the bead hooks are small or non existent, so it's hard to use high pressure tyres. But you should check for fender clearance, because with the current tyres, it looks close.

I routinely drop a couple of hundred bucks into a used bike I buy to ride around here.
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Old 03-11-20, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...that Volare does look pristine. If the upgrades include some kind of custom wheel build by someone who knows what they were doing, and the wheels are in good shape in terms of even spoke tensions, and I was looking for a sport touring bike, and I had been looking for something in my size with no luck, and I didn't already have so many bicycles, I'd be very tempted to just buy it. Paying a couple of hundred bucks more for a bike that people here tell you is worth less, and is in more or less pristine condition, requiring no work or further investment at all on your part, often turns out not to be all that crazy. I paid $1200 bucks for a local Cinelli here a few years back, had to do some significant paint touch ups, and I still am not unhappy with it.

But it has to be a great fit and you need to make sure there is nothing currently wrong with it that will cost you money. A set of decent fenders are pretty cheap, and you can rack that one easily. Make sure the rims have a bead hook, because some of the Schwinn bikes from that era have alloy rims, but the bead hooks are small or non existent, so it's hard to use high pressure tyres. But you should check for fender clearance, because with the current tyres, it looks close.

I routinely drop a couple of hundred bucks into a used bike I buy to ride around here.
Agreed, paying more than the posters here suggest is not a bad idea if that bike is in excellent tip top condition.
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Old 03-11-20, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
Any models in particular jump out to you? I see a lot of rigid stumpjumpers come across. Aside from that, I don't really know how to distinguish them.
Vintage (rigid) stumpjumpers are fine bikes. I own two of them. Also good are the lugged 900 series Treks. The Bridgestone MB series are also excellent. There are other good mountain bikes but any of those three will make a fine platform to build a Rivendell type bike.
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Old 03-11-20, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Agreed, paying more than the posters here suggest is not a bad idea if that bike is in excellent tip top condition.
Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
I routinely drop a couple of hundred bucks into a used bike I buy to ride around here.
With that in mind, I may try to take it for a test ride. My one fear is that I won't really get a feel for the same ride as I'm looking for with the current drop bars, but it is likely worth trying. Just reached out to the seller.
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