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Schwinn Collegiate & Suburban

Old 05-14-20, 07:39 PM
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Schwinn Collegiate & Suburban

Hello! I stumbled across this website and everyone seems very helpful!

Cleaning out a neighbors garage I was given to old Schwinn bicycles. I would love to know the year of them or the value. cleaning out a neighbors garage I was given to old Schwinn bicycles. I would love to know the year of them or the value.There is a decent amount of rust but itís mostly on the rims, I believe everything on the bikes are original.

I have some photos I am trying to upload but every time I do it tells me I cannot post URLs until I have 10 posts. Iím actually only trying to upload photos not URLs. I donít want to flood the forum with New erroneous posts. Does anyone know if replies count as well? Maybe I can email the photos to someone and they can respond to this form with pictures?

thank you!
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Old 05-14-20, 11:39 PM
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The seventies era Collegiates and Suburbans are great riding, extremely durable bicycles but they are HEAVY at approximately 40 pounds.

The 1964 through 1969 Collegiate is not nearly as good as the 1970 through 1977 Collegiate.
The 1964 - 1969 has the French made MODEL F freewheel ( 28-24-20-16-14 ) and a 46 TEETH single front crank & HURET ALVIT rear derailleur
The 1970 - 1977 has a Japanese made MODEL J freewheel ( 32-26-21-17-14) and a 46 TEETH single front crank & Shimano built (either GT-100 or GT-120) rear deraill.
shimano made the MODEL J freewheel.....................GT-100 rear derailleur from 1970 through about Feb 1974 ---and--- GT-120 from about Feb 1974 onwards
*************the GT-100 rear derailleur is three times as good as the ALVIT, ...........the GT-120 is also three times better than the Huret Alvit****************************
THE MODEL J freewheel is a slightly better design than the MODEL F.
Not only is the MODEL J better in design and quality, but it also offers better gearing that allows riders to more easily climb hills (32 tooth first gear INSTEAD of 28 )

The Collegiates of the 1970's have a better and more comfortable all BLACK rubberlike schwinn approved Spring Saddle SEAT made by messinger.
Some folks do prefer the looks of the two tone S saddle of the sixties deluxe Collegiate or the saddle on the regular Collegiate of the sixties. The saddle on the seventies era Collegiate will be much more comfortable to ride on. The 1970's era Collegiate spring saddle is more comfortable in my opinion than the very comfortable matress spring saddle of the Suburban.

You can find SPORT Collegiates. These are Collegiates that have the drop-bars of the VARSITY, and the racing seat of the Varsity, and the rat-trap pedals of the Varsity and typically no fenders at all.
SPORT COLLEGIATE in the ladies step-through frame was not officially offered until almost the 1975 model year.
SPORT COLLEGIATE in the men's frame were offered most years from the sixties onwards.

Around 1970, sometime during calendar year 1970, I think, SCHWINN moved the serial number to the area beneath the oval SCHWINN headbadge.

for example you might see something like this:
BG 040171
The first letter tells you MONTH
(so we can say that B = Feb -and- we know that G= 1971 )

-----------YEARS--------------(remember the YEAR is the second Letter that you see......because the first letter denotes the MONTH..)
1969 = E
1968 = D
1967 = C
1966 = B
1965 = A

prior to 1965, Schwinn had a different system for serial number that you'll want to GOOGLE for the correct information, but off the top of my head,if I recall correctly, they had one letter only and a number but the decoding of the letter was totally different than for after 1965.

SCHWINN did not use either I or O during the 1965 to Chicago end for DECODING month & year
Schwinn skipped the letters I and O because they naturally look too much like numbers.
As you may have imagined the FIRST letter (the 12 months of the calendar year)
A= jan
*************remember that FIRST LETTER tells you MONTH..................and .............the SECOND LETTER tells you the YEAR

THE COLLEGIATES all have 26 x 1 3/8 597mm Wheels (KENDA is the only manufacturer of this 597mm SCHWINN tire............ the 590 tire WILL NOT FIT)
*****important note: during the 1980's schwinn sold a bicycle that was built by GIANT that had the schwinn collegiate nameplate........those do not have the One-Piece Crank, and that GIANT built eighties era collegiate has the 590 wheels as it doesn't have the schwinn wheels of the Chicago era Schwinn collegiates)

The SUBURBAN ten speeds have the less desirable HURET ALVIT rear derailleur and MODEL F freewheel LIKE Varsity and Continental.
count yourself lucky if by chance your Ten Speed SUBURBAN has the GT-100 or GT-120 or an aftermkt SHIMANO or SUNTOUR rear derailleur.
The Chicago factory installed the shimano built GT-100 or GT-120 from the FIVE SPEED on to ten speed Suburbans/Varsity/Conti WHEN THE PRODUCTION LINE WAS OUT OF Huret Alvits.
THE FIVE SPEED SUBURBAN of 1970 to 1977 and the COLLEGIATE of 1970 through 1977 were the most durable multi speed "lightweights" that SCHWINN ever produced. Not only were they the most dependable and durable bicycles that SCHWINN ever made, they were among the best riding bikes that SCHWINN ever made.
They certainly were the best riding electroforged frame "lightweights" that SCHWINN ever produced. As we all know, SCHWINN classified them as "lightweights", but they weighed almost as much as a Volkswagen, if not a Sherman Tank, at around 40 pounds.
These are also extremely simple bicycles that anyone can service.
They aren't super fast. They only have FIVE gears and the gearing 46 at front and 32-26-21-17-14 at the back Will give you just about everything you'd ever need as far as gearing for paved roads and paths with significant hills.
The 10 speed Suburban is just a VARSITY with the (7881 tourist handlebars) and mattress spring saddle, bow type-krate style pedals, and painted fenders EXCEPT THAT THE SUBURBAN HAS THE TUBULAR FRONT FORK THAT IS SEEN ON THE CONTINENTAL. The Continental has center pull brakes, and the SUBURBAN has the L.S. 2.4 side pull brakes that the VARSITY has. The Varsity and Continental had brighter and perhaps cooler colors than the very conservative color offerings on the Suburban during most years.
In 1970 and 1971 model years, SCHWINN offered a 3 SPEED SUBURBAN, a 5 SPEED SUBURBAN, and a 10 SPEED SUBURBAN.
From 1972 to 1978 the FIVE SPEED Suburban and 10 speed SUBURBAN were the only SUBURBAN models offered
THE SUBURBAN NEVER CAME WITH DROP BARS, only tourist handlebars, the bow type krate style pedals, fenders, and mattress spring saddle
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------All the SEVENTIES era Schwinn SUBURBANS came with 27 x 1 1/4 32-630mm tires and steel wheels
Tires are easy to source as many manufacturers still make this tire size. NEW TIRES are incredibly inexpensive at approx $16 each with free shipping on the web/amaz/ebay if not sometimes priced even less than that.
GOOGLE: 1971 Schwinn Catalog
You'll find the Waterford site link which hosts all of the SCHWINN CATALOGS from each year of the 1970's and sixties.
You can find more specifics as to the PAINT COLORS offered on these bicycles based on year model.
There were also many different frame sizes offered, both mens and women's step through frames
Now there is not much market value at all on any SCHWINN COLLEGIATE or SCHWINN SUBURBAN.
They are perhaps worth as much as ten dollars more than the value of a Schwinn Varsity or Continental because the upright riding position and tourist handlebars makes them more desireable. Having said that, as you know, there is no market value to a Varsity or Continental because those folks that want to ride drop bar road bikes do not want to ride anything approaching 40 pounds, no matter how durable or smooth riding.
The 1970 - 1977 COLLEGIATE and the five speed SUBURBAN are fantastic bicycles for those that have no need to go fast and that don't mind the 40 pounds of electroforged steel from the Windy City.
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Old 05-16-20, 11:05 PM
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Ok thanks for that info it is a lot lol. Once my post count raises I will post pics and hopefully get a number
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Old 05-17-20, 06:45 AM
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a bike is worth what you can sell it for. look for similar bikes in similar condition on craigslit. I wouldn't get my hopes up unless someone really wants old bikes. usually a "flipper" will buy low, refurb & sell for $100. the last time I bought an old bike like that I was despearte for a weekend project & any road bike my size. drove to a nearby state for a bike listed for $25. wound up giving him $20 cuz it was a long drive. he was annoyed but agreed. I refurbed it & got some commuting use out of it. after a while I sold it for $100 to a parent who wanted a bike for his kids college transport knowing it would be left outside & abused

you might just donate them to a nearby bike co-op
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