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Old 03-29-16, 08:46 PM   #1
sneakywrist
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Varsity Groupset Upgrade

Looking for suggestions for a 3x7 Groupset for a 70's Varsity, in particular, brifters and front and rear derailleur. Could you please include part numbers. Thank You
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Old 03-29-16, 09:05 PM   #2
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Some suggestions were previously posted here: http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...-upgrades.html
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Old 03-29-16, 10:19 PM   #3
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If costs are a concern, buying a Le Tour, Traveler, or a World Sport may be cheaper than upgrading.
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Old 03-30-16, 01:50 AM   #4
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If costs are a concern, buying a Le Tour, Traveler, or a World Sport may be cheaper than upgrading.
Agreed. Buy something lighter and sportier to begin with. Unless you have a sentimental attachment to the varsity. My dad did when he rode. They are truly hard to kill.
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Old 03-30-16, 07:10 AM   #5
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http://www.amazon.com/microSHIFT-Shi...SNYS9KEDG652BN

3x7 shifters, front derailleur, and rear derailleur for under $100.
The RD is a short cage though, which is odd since they have a long cage and its a 3x7 system. You could sell the short cage or just keep it as an extra. Pick up basically any long cage indexed Shimano derailleur from the last 35+ years and itll work.




http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Tourne.../dp/B00GQCC9A0
This is also an option as they are 3x7.
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Old 03-30-16, 11:19 AM   #6
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I prefer the a-la-carte approach to upgrading a bike like the Varsity.

This way, you focus on the specific items that seem to be a nuisance, while leaving the bike's character as original as possible, and saving money and time.

Bike's like this make for more-complicated upgrading, everything from dropout spacing to bb shell standards to cable housing stops introduces additional fussing (i.e. work).

So start with say, the bike's miserable saddle and handlebar, then maybe the wheels and finally the modernized drivetrain that will lead to cabling concerns.

Best to leave the crankset alone and search out suitable 1/2" pedals, or a different bike.

Likewise with the excellent .9lb kickstand, if you're even thinking of removing it then you are using the wrong bike!

At least these bikes easily accept 700c rims, which actually lowers the bb shell height a little closer to normal. I use Kool-Stop long MTB brake pads on my original Weinmann calipers for really good braking effect o the 700c rims.
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Old 03-30-16, 11:39 AM   #7
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I'm still contemplating the title of this thread. Makin my head hurt.
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Old 03-30-16, 11:58 AM   #8
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1. Buy a different bike.

2. Buy Varsity decals and apply them to the new bike.
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Old 03-30-16, 12:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dddd View Post
...This way, you focus on the specific items that seem to be a nuisance...
Which in this case, would be the frame (for me)
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Old 03-30-16, 12:09 PM   #10
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Before you buy a fd messurements the seat tube. It is narrow and a lot of deraileur will not fit
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Old 03-30-16, 12:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneakywrist View Post
Looking for suggestions for a 3x7 Groupset for a 70's Varsity, in particular, brifters and front and rear derailleur. Could you please include part numbers. Thank You
I thought this was more than a bit of a silly idea, then I looked at DDDD's restomodded green Varsity in that other link. So cool! I want one!

Even so, I'd start with relacing or swapping out the steel wheels for something aluminum and putting better tires on. Derailleurs and drive train components won't make it any faster. Tires and lighter wheels will.

You will need to respace the frame (bend it open by 6mm) and realign the dropouts to use a 7 speed rear end on that bike. It's perfectly doable, just a heads up. (You may already know this) You will also need an Ashtabula bottom bracket adapter.

Has anyone ever made a titanium Ashtabula crank? Now that would be cool.
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Old 03-30-16, 03:42 PM   #12
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I thought about whether a lighter 1-piece crank could be made, hollow maybe, but titanium would be flexy as hell.

I'll post a picture of the green machine, for reference. I used parts that I had already, so built it on the cheap!




This month, I sort of "resto-modded" a new department-store "650b-plus" bike with the older spare parts I had laying around. The Kmart bike needed better shifters, grips and brake levers real bad, so those went on the first day. After riding it some more, I rebuilt the fork since it so easily became contaminated inside, and added the rubber boot gaiters while I had it apart.
I had also got tired of having to re-adjust the bb after every ride, so yesterday replaced the whole crankset and bb with lighter parts. Steel handlebars gave way to carbon, a better chain went on, and an Ultegra Triple rear derailer replaced the plastic crap.
Now it finishes rides without having to be fussed over every time.
Pictured at bottom, it was a $250 bike (bought on sale for $189). I value the parts that I added at about $225, bringing the "total" to just over $400, plus labor.

Funny thing is, the "retro" part of this "resto-mod" is the components, while the frame/fork/wheels/brakes are the new stuff!




Last edited by dddd; 03-30-16 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 03-30-16, 04:45 PM   #13
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Nice
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Old 03-30-16, 05:34 PM   #14
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I just noticed that some of the overseas sites now sell Campagnolo Xenon 10s Ergolever sets, with complete cabling, for about $80.

I mention this because these are easily paired with Shimano derailers to correctly index either 9s, 8s or a slightly-respaced 7s cassette, depending on how the cable is anchored at the derailer. This makes these shifters versatile as an upgrade item that lends a touch of quality and class vs. typical low-end Microshift-built (and much heavier) Integrated levers. And the lever shape is the very popular Gen-2 style hoods.

I just bought two sets, to keep my imagination rumbling and to get some good flippers out of the door.

This is about just a $60 upgrade in lieu of simply replacing hoods and cables with lowest-cost options!
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Old 03-30-16, 06:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidney Porter View Post
Before you buy a fd messurements the seat tube. It is narrow and a lot of deraileur will not fit
It is a 1" seat tube. Just get a 25.4 to 28.6 shim (these are for 1 1/8" threadless stems to a 1" threadless steerer tube. Just hacksaw it in half and use it to shim a front derailleur with a 28.6 clamp.
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Old 03-30-16, 06:28 PM   #16
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It is a 1" seat tube. Just get a 25.4 to 28.6 shim (these are for 1 1/8" threadless stems to a 1" threadless steerer tube. Just hacksaw it in half and use it to shim a front derailleur with a 28.6 clamp.
I found a 1" round bronze bearing at my local ACE and did the same. Works like a champ and is flexy enough to fit snuggly around the seat tube without slipping out of place while you position the FD.

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Old 03-30-16, 07:13 PM   #17
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Looks good and it works
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Old 03-30-16, 07:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky View Post
1. Buy a different bike.

2. Buy Varsity decals and apply them to the new bike.
Honestly, it would be quite cool to get a fillet brazed steel frame and have the builder round out the seat stays tips. Then paint it to look like a Varsity. I'd make all the rest of it modern so I could hang a new Dura Ace group on it.
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Old 03-30-16, 07:35 PM   #19
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Honestly, it would be quite cool to get a fillet brazed steel frame and have the builder round out the seat stays tips. Then paint it to look like a Varsity. I'd make all the rest of it modern so I could hang a new Dura Ace group on it.
This actually is a project I've been thinking about for a while. Get one of those Match Cycles built Reynolds 853 Pelotons from the late '90s with bad paint, rattle can it Varsity purple, and hang an 11 speed group and carbon wheels on it. Then apply Varsity decals, complete with "Caution: wet rims increase stopping distance."
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Old 03-30-16, 08:14 PM   #20
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What I first thought of when I saw the thread title...

Campagnolo Super Record 11 Speed Carbon Double Groupset - Groupsets - Ribble Cycles
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Old 03-31-16, 12:56 AM   #21
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Your Varsity is what it is. Practically an icon. Clean it up and ride it the way it is. Save the brifters for some other project.
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Old 03-31-16, 03:23 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
I'm still contemplating the title of this thread. Makin my head hurt.
Yep
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Which in this case, would be the frame (for me)
Uh-huh

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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
I found a 1" round bronze bearing at my local ACE and did the same. Works like a champ and is flexy enough to fit snuggly around the seat tube without slipping out of place while you position the FD.

Campy on a Varsity? Now I've seen everything.

Quote:
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1. Buy a different bike.

2. Buy Varsity decals and apply them to the new bike.
Or make up your own.
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Old 03-31-16, 04:23 AM   #23
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@gugie it is a '62 Continental. Sometime later this spring I'll unveil the '65 Continental I've been rehabbing over the winter. Takes this one to a different level.

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Old 03-31-16, 08:32 AM   #24
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@gugie it is a '62 Continental. Sometime later this spring I'll unveil the '65 Continental I've been rehabbing over the winter. Takes this one to a different level.

A different level... What? Aero levers, crabon crank and wheelset? Tubulars? What?!?
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Old 03-31-16, 07:57 PM   #25
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A different level... What? Aero levers, crabon crank and wheelset? Tubulars? What?!?
You guess correctly.
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