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1968 Schwinn Racer 3-spd

Old 02-26-22, 03:13 PM
  #1  
Mikey58 
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1968 Schwinn Racer 3-spd

Hello All -

Would anybody care to share their opinion as to the worth of my vintage Schwinn Racer 3-spd? Serial number is JD28364 which I *think* makes it '68. It belonged to my wife's brother since it was new. I dug it out of her folks garage and did a light "restoration" - mostly mechanical, some cosmetic. New tires, tubes, brake pads, cables & housings, pedals, and chain. Rebuilt/relubed the hubs, steering head, and bottom bracket. The wheels are still surprisingly true and concentric. Cosmetically, I'd rate the bike as fair, maybe good, at best. I touched up the paint in numerous places. Hope that the attached pics are helpful. Thanks!

Mike





Handlebars show where metal basket was bolted on for paper route duty!

Chrome is in okay shape

Somes bumps and bruises on the rear fender
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Old 02-26-22, 05:09 PM
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wrk101
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Too bad it doesn't have the original pedals. Sold a set of pedals off one of these for $65. You've done a nice job here! It really depends on your location. My location you can't give away a 3 speed bike, other locations 3 speeds have a nice following. Hopefully you are in the latter.
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Old 02-27-22, 08:52 AM
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That is a beauty. I have no idea of the value, but wanted to reply to say I had one of those show up beside the family Christmas tree in 1957.

Mine was red and the leading portion of the front fender was "pinched" to present a centered standup that extended several inches back. At the time I tried to convince my friends it was to done to reduce wind resistance to increase speed. My friend ended up with a Schwinn Corvette. It was fatter and heavier (as was he) and had lots of chrome. I was faster....
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Old 02-27-22, 10:31 AM
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You did an great job with your " light restoration"

It's MUCH better than a light restoration !!!!!!

The value, as others have said, depends on location...AND...if you want to SHIP the bike.

Local sale in the Spring / Summer would be $125 to $150.00

Make sure when you post your add that you mention all the things you have done to it.

Good Luck with the sale..

Maybe keep for yourself **********
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Old 02-27-22, 03:13 PM
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Nice bike, I also had a red one show up under the Christmas tree in 1962, one of the best Santa gifts ever. Mine was fixed gear with a coaster brake, also had the finned front fender. If one of those ever showed up on flea bay, in the tallest frame, I’d probably be in for at least 3 or 4 hundred.
Tim
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Old 02-27-22, 04:41 PM
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Thanks, all, for the nice comments! And, in the scheme of things, the Schwinn Racer really was just a "light" restoration. Clean up and polish the chrome. Touch up the paint here and there. And, the mechanical bits which are pretty simple, even the S-A rear hub. So, thanks again, for all of the kind words.

It's funny, I grew up in the age of single-speed, coaster brake bikes. If you had a 3-spd (we called them "English bikes" back then) you were king-of-the-hill. Lightweight (relatively speaking!) with those skinny 26 X 1-3/8 tires and the indestructible Sturmey-Archer 3-spd hub - it didn't get much better than that; especially when faced with climbing the hills around our neighborhood! Really makes one appreciate what is available to us, now.

Mike
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Old 02-27-22, 08:33 PM
  #7  
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As wrk101 pointed out, the crazies look for sources of those ordinary black waffle pattern Schwinn pedals without reflectors that are period correct for the other more valuable children Schwinn bike restorations. That is the sole reason that the pedals that thrifty bill mentioned are more valuable than many entire Varsity, Racer, and Speedster models. It is like car restoration folks doing Corvette restorations that pay a thousand bucks for a telescoping steering column from a '65 -'66 Chevrolet Corvair. The Corvette people began paying more than $200 for them twenty years ago for the Corvair tele column, outbidding the notoriously tightwad Vair folks, essentially depleting the used parts supply of Vair tele columns immediately each time one comes to market. Vette people want the original GM part that is time period correct and the lowly unloved Corvair also had that tele column as a factory option on the '65-'66 Corvair CORSA. The banana seat folks that love the 20 inch wheeled sting-rays and the folks that love the 26"(559mm) wheeled middleweight cantilever frame sixties beach cruisers from sweet ol' chicago will pay for those ordinary black waffle pattern Schwinn pedals. Often, they'll acquire a typical Racer, Collegiate, Breeze, Speedster, CO-ED, Traveler from the Sixties, and then just pirate the pedals and otherwise dispose, part out, or junk the remainder of the old Schwinn since their sole focus is the high rise banana seat bikes and the cantilever boys' Opie Taylor type style that dominated before the banana seat bikes hit the scene in 1963.

Your modern aftermarket pedals on your '68 Racer 3 speed today are better from a practical--actual riding standpoint than the ancient oem style pedals, but to the very very small collector subset that wants all original '68 Racers or other Schwinn lightweights it reduces value by at least what the current market value of those oem Schwinn pedals, which likely in most cases exceeds the market value of entire '68 Racers and other Schwinn lightweights. Fear not, however because your old Racer still has the value of being a functional, good condition, quality constructed, durable , ordinary general purpose bicycle.
It is a great bicycle. Schwinn electroforged lightweights have no real collector value at the present, though they are great bicycles. Your probable closest maximum market valuation would likely be what noted Schwinn volume seller (shadow27.......on Ebay) routinely gets for his completed ebay sales transactions of such bicycles.
https://waterfordbikes.com/SchwinnCa...0/1968_28.html
https://waterfordbikes.com/SchwinnCa...0/1968_13.html
https://waterfordbikes.com/SchwinnCa...0/1968_12.html

Stay Thin, Ride a Schwinn

Your '68 Racer 3 speed is a nice bicycle that was built to last. Enjoy it.
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Old 02-27-22, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikey58 View Post
Thanks, all, for the nice comments! And, in the scheme of things, the Schwinn Racer really was just a "light" restoration. Clean up and polish the chrome. Touch up the paint here and there. And, the mechanical bits which are pretty simple, even the S-A rear hub. So, thanks again, for all of the kind words.

It's funny, I grew up in the age of single-speed, coaster brake bikes. If you had a 3-spd (we called them "English bikes" back then) you were king-of-the-hill. Lightweight (relatively speaking!) with those skinny 26 X 1-3/8 tires and the indestructible Sturmey-Archer 3-spd hub - it didn't get much better than that; especially when faced with climbing the hills around our neighborhood! Really makes one appreciate what is available to us, now.

Mike
Cool bike, OP.

Indestructible unless you had a curious little brother with a few hand tools at his disposal. I could take a coaster brake apart and reassemble with no problem, but once I got that 3-speed apart I had no idea what all those bits were. Boy was my brother pissed.
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Old 02-28-22, 05:02 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
As wrk101 pointed out, the crazies look for sources of those ordinary black waffle pattern Schwinn pedals without reflectors that are period correct for the other more valuable children Schwinn bike restorations. That is the sole reason that the pedals that thrifty bill mentioned are more valuable than many entire Varsity, Racer, and Speedster models. It is like car restoration folks doing Corvette restorations that pay a thousand bucks for a telescoping steering column from a '65 -'66 Chevrolet Corvair. The Corvette people began paying more than $200 for them twenty years ago for the Corvair tele column, outbidding the notoriously tightwad Vair folks, essentially depleting the used parts supply of Vair tele columns immediately each time one comes to market. Vette people want the original GM part that is time period correct and the lowly unloved Corvair also had that tele column as a factory option on the '65-'66 Corvair CORSA. The banana seat folks that love the 20 inch wheeled sting-rays and the folks that love the 26"(559mm) wheeled middleweight cantilever frame sixties beach cruisers from sweet ol' chicago will pay for those ordinary black waffle pattern Schwinn pedals. Often, they'll acquire a typical Racer, Collegiate, Breeze, Speedster, CO-ED, Traveler from the Sixties, and then just pirate the pedals and otherwise dispose, part out, or junk the remainder of the old Schwinn since their sole focus is the high rise banana seat bikes and the cantilever boys' Opie Taylor type style that dominated before the banana seat bikes hit the scene in 1963.

Your modern aftermarket pedals on your '68 Racer 3 speed today are better from a practical--actual riding standpoint than the ancient oem style pedals, but to the very very small collector subset that wants all original '68 Racers or other Schwinn lightweights it reduces value by at least what the current market value of those oem Schwinn pedals, which likely in most cases exceeds the market value of entire '68 Racers and other Schwinn lightweights. Fear not, however because your old Racer still has the value of being a functional, good condition, quality constructed, durable , ordinary general purpose bicycle.
It is a great bicycle. Schwinn electroforged lightweights have no real collector value at the present, though they are great bicycles. Your probable closest maximum market valuation would likely be what noted Schwinn volume seller (shadow27.......on Ebay) routinely gets for his completed ebay sales transactions of such bicycles.
https://waterfordbikes.com/SchwinnCa...0/1968_28.html
https://waterfordbikes.com/SchwinnCa...0/1968_13.html
https://waterfordbikes.com/SchwinnCa...0/1968_12.html

Stay Thin, Ride a Schwinn

Your '68 Racer 3 speed is a nice bicycle that was built to last. Enjoy it.
Thanks VS, for the detailed explanation on the desirability of those pedals - makes total sense! And, thanks for the Schwinn catalog links - greatly appreciate those (and have bookmarked them)! I was able to locate my first new Schwinn in the '69 catalog - a Collegiate Sport in Sierra Brown. With those five-speeds, I thought that I had died and gone to heaven! https://waterfordbikes.com/SchwinnCa...0/1969_12.html

Mike
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Old 03-01-22, 08:08 AM
  #10  
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I own five lightweight Schwinns, two Racers, two Travelers, and one Speedster. None are 'restored' but all have been gone completely through top to bottom and polished to the very best they can be. While I didn't do any of them to sell for a profit, I wouldn't let any one of them go for less than $300 each. Most all of mine have all original parts, a few may have newer or optional pedals. (My older Traveler has glass reflector 'Schwinn Approved' pedals, and one Racer has a set of newer 70's era factory pedals on it simply because they were what I had on hand when I was putting it back together. I've since found the original pedals.

A rear rack would hide the issues with that rear fender on yours nicely.

I think there are two issues with these bikes, first off they're not the 'In' thing right now, second tire choices are very limited, and the average bike buyer would rather just go buy a $100 bike at the big box store with more speeds. I see bikes like this and they sort of make up about 2% of the market at best.
Collectors seem to overlook them, guys who collect Sting Ray's and Krates don't want them, balloon tire guys have no interest, road bike guys want only high end vintage bikes, and the general public wants mountain bikes.

I bought my Speedster for $25 off CL, it was in riding condition with a leaky tire, I paid $16.50 on eBay for one Traveler, and $55 for the older one, I got one Racer for free with a broken off seat post, and the other for $10 at the local flea market. I bought them over the course of the past 30 or so years and I bought them because they were cheap. The Speedster and flea market Racer were both ride able. I could have ridden either one home if I wanted to. I had watched both of them for months, then finally bought them with the thought I'd part them out if I couldn't make them into decent bikes. Both turned out to be really nice rides, as did the other three I own. I'm in the process of rebuilding my one Traveler again after nearly 30 years of use.

When I look at your bike, I see a few things that jump out at me right away, first is the red cable housings, then the fact that its missing its original saddle, grips, and pedals, plus the rear fender dents and bright yellow tires. Those bikes came new with black tires and for me, black is the correct choice. Its 100% a cosmetic preference but I feel it looks a lot better with the original black tires. Being a black bike, white may also work Gumwalls just don't look period correct on an older bike. Those who like old three speed bikes tend to like them 100% stock and having as many original components may be fairly important to a buyer. They'd rather it look like an amazing survivor than a 'fixed up bike'.
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Old 03-01-22, 08:25 AM
  #11  
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I see a real beauty, and that doesn't always translate to dollar amounts.
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Old 03-01-22, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 2fat2fly View Post
I think there are two issues with these bikes, first off they're not the 'In' thing right now, second tire choices are very limited, and the average bike buyer would rather just go buy a $100 bike at the big box store with more speeds. I see bikes like this and they sort of make up about 2% of the market at best.
Collectors seem to overlook them, guys who collect Sting Ray's and Krates don't want them, balloon tire guys have no interest, road bike guys want only high end vintage bikes, and the general public wants mountain bikes.
Thanks, 2f2f, for your insight into the world of 3-spds. And it sounds like you have quite a history with them. It all makes sense! Unfortunately, it sounds like they're the "red-headed stepchild" of the bicycling community. To each their own, right!?

Mike
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Old 03-06-22, 11:03 AM
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In a college town or large metro area, there could be a good market for this bike. Its probably not going to a collector, so missing original parts isn't that important. Its more about its appearance (it looks good) and whether it rides well (everything works). If so, you could do well.
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Old 03-06-22, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
In a college town or large metro area, there could be a good market for this bike. Its probably not going to a collector, so missing original parts isn't that important. Its more about its appearance (it looks good) and whether it rides well (everything works). If so, you could do well.
Yes, thanks wrk! I share the same thoughts as you. When I redid the Schwinn, I was really just interested in making it a "rider"; for my wife, specifically. So, if it ends up being passed on to somebody, I'm hoping that they'll buy it with the intent of using it for transportation. As you, and others, have said, it really isn't "collector grade" - not by any stretch of the imagination..

Thanks again for your input.

Mike
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