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Boat Anchor

Old 12-29-19, 03:36 PM
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Boat Anchor

How many models of the Schwinn line up from the 70s-80s would be considered "Boat Anchor's' today?
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Old 12-29-19, 04:42 PM
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Varsity
Continental
World
Caliente
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Old 12-29-19, 04:43 PM
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This is a troll, right?
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Old 12-29-19, 04:56 PM
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Depends on the boat.
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Old 12-30-19, 01:10 AM
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Varsity and Continental define the genre of "boat Anchor". When I was 15, I crashed my Continental at speed into a concrete block with a lamp post bolted to it due to wet pavement and a wide wet paint stripe. Other than a bent fork no damage and thank goodness a week later it was stolen when I was at the library. I was quite pleased.

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Old 12-30-19, 01:24 AM
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Any of their bikes that were "electro forged". They used a lower strength steel on these frames and had to use more steel to keep the strength up. Also keep in mind that Schwinn had a lifetime warranty that customers had no problem returning to the dealer with the slightest problem. They therefore made their bikes and components to withstand abuse.

If bikes went to war, you'd want a Schwinn. Bikes didn't go to war, Schwinn didn't keep up with the market.
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Old 12-30-19, 03:15 AM
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A modern roadie would say “all of them.”
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Old 12-30-19, 06:24 AM
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Not sure I'd agree with Schwinn not keeping up with the market. They built some really good and competitive bikes (Tempo, Peloton, Circuit, Superior, Super Sport, Paramount, The Sting, Sting Competition, Cimarron, High Sierra, LeTour) as far back as the 1960s.

Varsities and Continentals are still being used as DUI transportation to this day.
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Old 12-30-19, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
A modern roadie would say “all of them.”
Maybe not this one. I was surprised to see these too.

https://www.schwinnbikes.com/en/usa/...-105-s11309m10

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Old 12-30-19, 12:41 PM
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One person's boat anchor is another person's Rolls Royce. I rode a 1960's Schwinn Varsity from age 11 to age 16 and it was a Lear Jet to me at the time.

A modern roadie would say “all of them.”


Yeah, but that holds true for about 95% of all the bicycles in the world ridden by "non-roadies". Including both of my current rides, a 2011 Fuji Absolute 3.0 and a 1997 Trek 830 modified.
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Old 12-30-19, 01:00 PM
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I especially liked the Continental and Varsity in the yellow and orange motif. Think of the designation 'High Visibility Boat Anchor".
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Old 12-30-19, 01:10 PM
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Why would some of the models be considered, "Boat Anchor" and not others? I remember lifting some of the models and they were heavy! The touring models of the day weren't light by any means too.
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Old 12-30-19, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Headpost View Post
Maybe not this one. I was surprised to see these too.

https://www.schwinnbikes.com/en/usa/...-105-s11309m10

That's definitely not a 70s/80s model, as per the OP.
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Old 12-30-19, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by retyred View Post
I especially liked the Continental and Varsity in the yellow and orange motif. Think of the designation 'High Visibility Boat Anchor".
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Old 12-30-19, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
That's definitely not a 70s/80s model, as per the OP.
Ah, right you are. Still, I found it interesting, and somewhat relevant, that Schwinn is now making a road bike with a carbon fiber frame. Wanting to add something useful to this discussion I read a little more about it, though, and found out that the Schwinn brand is now owned by Dorel Sports, a corporation that also owns Cannondale as well as a bunch of others. Which means it's not even really a Schwinn anymore, and my post was more irrelevant than I thought.

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Old 12-30-19, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Headpost View Post
Ah, right you are. Still, I found it interesting, and somewhat relevant, that Schwinn is now making a road bike with a carbon fiber frame. Wanting to add something useful to this discussion I read a little more about it, though, and found out that the Schwinn brand is now owned by Dorel Sports, a corporation that also owns Cannondale as well as a bunch of others. Which means it's not even really a Schwinn anymore, and my post was more irrelevant than I thought.
No worries! It's fascinating how brands can survive their original companies and modi operandi.
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Old 12-30-19, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Depends on the boat.


In all seriousness, Other than the Paramount, when the Japan-sourced 'Schwinn Approved' Super LeTour 12.2 made it's debut in about 1976/77, any model that was lower in the line could be considered a 'boat anchor'. The 12.2 was in reference to the bike weight in kilograms which is ~26.5-27 pounds. A Varsity Sport was closer to 40 pounds!!! Looking at the 1978 catalog, even a race Paramount (P13-9) was ~23 pounds
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Old 12-30-19, 07:51 PM
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Of all the boats i've been on, not one had a 'Schwinn approved' anchor!
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Old 12-30-19, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by retyred View Post
I especially liked the Continental and Varsity in the yellow and orange motif. Think of the designation 'High Visibility Boat Anchor".
Laugh all you want. For years I rebuilt every Varsity and Continental I could get my hands on. For a college student's daily transportation, you can't do much better. Weight doesn't matter in those situations. Strength and ability to take abuse does.

And I still think the Varsity is the greatest ten speed ever made. Considering all those customers I sold them to back in the early 70's: People who hadn't been on a bicycle since they were kids, didn't have a clue how to care for a good European road bike, most of my customers would have beaten a Raleigh Grand Prix or Peugeot UO-8 to death in a couple of months. That Varsity was the perfect bike until they learned how to care for one.
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Old 12-30-19, 09:44 PM
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There is a reason that brands are imbeded into the brains of young children. Schwinn in the 1960's and Mickey D's in the 1990's. They will remember them forever and still want to buy them.
The best that can happen is that parents tell the children after watching a commercial is: What are they trying to sell you?
Schwinn still sells today even after being sold off to a Chinese conglomerate because of the marketing in the sixties.
What are they trying to sell you?
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Old 12-31-19, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
There is a reason that brands are imbeded into the brains of young children. Schwinn in the 1960's and Mickey D's in the 1990's. They will remember them forever and still want to buy them.
The best that can happen is that parents tell the children after watching a commercial is: What are they trying to sell you?
Schwinn still sells today even after being sold off to a Chinese conglomerate because of the marketing in the sixties.
What are they trying to sell you?
Smiles, MH
Actually that would be a Canadian conglomerate but the bikes likely come from China
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Old 12-31-19, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
A modern roadie would say “all of them.”
Right on.
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Old 12-31-19, 08:26 AM
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Boat Anchor to me starts somewhere after 50lbs.

Most of the bikes I started with equaled or exceeded my weight, anything under 50lbs. was light.

My older brother's diamond frame three speed Schwinn with hub generator at around 30lbs was a race bike. Wish we'd kept that one.
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Old 12-31-19, 11:03 AM
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Though I have never been close to a Paramount, this Varsity or whatever, did come my way one day. I poop you not, not realizing how boat anchorish such bikes are, I bent over to pick up another vintage Ten Speed. And hurt my back!

Boat anchor? You bet. Someone stole the bike, and, believe it or not, actually brought it back...
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Old 12-31-19, 02:46 PM
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My Dad was a Schwinn dealer for 27 years and we sold tons of these 'boat anchors'. Yes, they were monstrously heavy but they were also virtually indestructable. One of our Schwinn salesman actually told us that they had to 'weaken' the steel frames because riders were hitting solid objects and the fork did not bend, but the frame did. Yes they weighed 40 pounds but you could not kill these bikes. I have worked on 1970's Schwinn road bikes in the last few years and when you disassemble them, clean and relube, they are good for another 20 years plus. Most of the time there is very little wear and tear inside the hubs, head set or bottom bracket. Clean the old grease, re lube with new grease, and you are good to go. Schwinn made an indestructable product for many , many years. When the European and Japanese brands started appearing in the mid 70's the customer was getting a much lighter bike, but at a cost. There were much more repairs due to snapped cables, bent or broken derailleurs, broken shifters, crank problems , etc.
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