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Waht was the consensus on old Schwinn Varsities?

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Waht was the consensus on old Schwinn Varsities?

Old 05-26-05, 12:09 AM
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Sincitycycler
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Waht was the consensus on old Schwinn Varsities?

Good or Crap? Made overseas or stateside? How does it rank with the Le Tour?
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Old 05-26-05, 12:26 AM
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Heavy. But solid like a rock.

Personally, I'd be willing to drop some coin for a nice one...durability is something that most modern bikes need more of.
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Old 05-26-05, 06:24 AM
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Heavy and bombproof. The old US Chicago built Schwinns (Varsitys, Continentals and on up), and the Panasonic (Japanese) built ones, are pretty good bikes. The later US Mississippi built ones I've worked on are decent frames as well. The most I'd spend on one is ten bucks personally, but if someone I know needed a decent beater, I'd have no troubles putting them on a varsinenetal. Obviously, I'd rather get them a Super Sport or a Paramount, but beggars don't always get to choose.
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Old 05-26-05, 07:55 AM
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Regarding the LeTour, they started out as a rather low end bike in 1974 with a lugged frame made from 1020 steel. They had a three piece cotterless crank set though, as opposed to the heavy one piece steel Ashtabula crank on the Varsity. As the years went by, the LeTour evolved into a much better bike gaining a 4130 chrome-moly frame at some point. My opinion is that the LeTours, even the early ones, were better bikes than the Varsities, at least for use by an adult. As I said earlier, the Varsity was marketed toward adolescents who tend to deal out a good bit of abuse to their bikes, so the Varsity with it's heavy, but good quality construction and components would probably stand up better to abuse.
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Old 05-26-05, 05:31 PM
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The only frame that I've ever had break was a 1978 Varsity that someone gave me for nothing when I really needed it most. I treated it like garbage and got a lot of quality miles out of it. I constantly have my eyes peeled for another one in trash heaps everywhere.
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Old 05-26-05, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by catatonic
Heavy. But solid like a rock.

Personally, I'd be willing to drop some coin for a nice one...durability is something that most modern bikes need more of.
I agree 110%. These old schwinn bikes were all about durablity at a workingman's price. These bikes
were not go fast....they were go long. For anybody who just want's get around simply you can't beat'm.
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Old 05-26-05, 10:04 PM
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I still have my '75 Varsity. I have no idea how many miles are on it -- a lot for sure. Still has its original hubs, headset and brakes -- over the years I replaced the rims, crank, freewheel and chain. The Sedis chain that was original to this Varsity lasted longer than the chains on all my other bikes.

The Varsity/Continentals were heavy and slow, but you just couldn't bust 'em.

If you find one at a garage sale, I'd wouldn't pay more than $50 for one that was in "like new" condition. Don't pay more than $25 for an average example. The Varsinentals were great bikes, but they were made in the millions. It's law of supply and demand.

BTW, I still ride my Varsity regularly.
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Old 05-27-05, 12:02 PM
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Bikes: cannondale alpine series(mt), cannondale r6oo, sekine (rd), schwinn varsity, schwinn suburban, western flyer nerdbike, rickshaw from yogyakarta(sp?), ripped up baby trailers to use as a truck, and some other stuff too

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im really glad to see all the positive posts about the old schwinns. it seems like this topic comes up A LOT here and there's always a few people here who just can't understand these bikes. inexpensive. solid. long lasting. sexy as heck. in abundance in garbage cans, yard sales, and thrift stores everywhere.
heavy, slow, yes, but better than having to buy a replacement every few years.
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Old 05-27-05, 04:15 PM
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40+ lbs. of heavy metal; good for running into walls . . . virtually indestructable!
Everymans bike at an everymans price back in the 70s. Owned a Conti and progressed from there.
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Old 05-27-05, 04:27 PM
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Back in the early 70's my cousin had a varsity we thought it was the bomb. so did others because it was stolen and never seen again. but nice bikes don't last long when left unattended. my cousin finished a long cross city ride parked it in his driveway went to get a glass of whater and recieved that I've just been raped feeling deep down in his gut upon returning to his driveway. BUMMMMER!
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Old 06-01-05, 12:46 PM
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Bikes: ' 96 Trek 830 Mountain Track,'74 Schwinn Suburban, '74-ish Fuji Dynamic 10, '73 Schwinn Varsity,'73 Schwinn Breeze, '94 Schwinn Sidewinder. First Schwinn was a '74 Schwinn 24 inch Varsity in Lime Green, and previously owned a '74 Schwinn Breeze

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Schwinn's Varsity was and is a great bike! I had a 1974 24" campus green or lime one as a kid, and I just purchased an adult 1973 Campus Green one. They are great bikes that are vitually indestructible. The Schwinn Suburban of the same era (have one of those, too!) is essentially a Varsity with upright handlebars, and is equally as indestructible!
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Old 06-01-05, 02:50 PM
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Tank

Enjoy
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Old 06-10-05, 11:45 PM
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I would disagree about the strength of the frame only because the old Varsity's made in Chicago had Ashtabula forks which were much stronger than the fillet brazed frame. Hence in a front end collision, the forks wouldn't give but the frame would break at the head-top tube joint. To be fair, front end collisions do not constitute normal use, so for any type of normal riding, the Varsity's held up just fine.
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Old 06-11-05, 12:09 PM
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The Varsity never had a fillet brazed frame. Those belonged to the Superior, Super Sport, Sports Tourer, Sport Limited. The Varsity frame was "electroforged"(Schwinns word), which I think means arc welded by machine.
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