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My hot rod Varsity

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Old 04-08-10, 10:04 PM
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My hot rod Varsity

I have been messing with this for a while now and thought i would share some pics with ya'll
it was a Varsity Deluxe and came with the FFW positron system.
I installed a BB conversion with a Shimano cartridge unit. I used a DiamondBack bmx conversion rings which are a little beefier than the Truvative version I just had to machine the inner faces on the rings a little so the double sized cartridge would work. A set of Sugino GP cranks and rings were fitted to finish out the drive.
I swapped in a nice set of Wienermann rims mounted on some high flange Normandy hubs.
I installed a NOS Suntour 6 speed freewheel and using a early Cyclone derail. I need to find a hanger that works better than whats on there now... the stop doesn't hold the derail exactly where it needs to be. the drive train is pulled by a new SRAM 940 chain.
Here's some pics





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Old 04-08-10, 10:05 PM
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Here's some more!!






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Old 04-08-10, 10:26 PM
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Nice build and a clean look.

Any idea on the weight?
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Old 04-08-10, 10:36 PM
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That's the coolest Varsity I've ever seen - great work there Soonerbills!
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Old 04-08-10, 11:07 PM
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So how's it ride? Better than a Varsity?

Nice touch on the matching pedals!
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Old 04-08-10, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
That's the coolest Varsity I've ever seen - great work there Soonerbills!
Not that Soonerbills isn't the coolest Varsity but you should check out reverborama's attempt to build a mid 20 lbs Varsity. He came in just over 30 lbs.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=264885
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Old 04-08-10, 11:19 PM
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It's much more responsive now that it is lighter.. the tubular forks (which are original!) give a much less harsh feel to the front end than Varsity's with the old solid steel forks. The longish wheelbase seems to smooth out the ride.. all in all very smooth!
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Old 04-09-10, 12:15 AM
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It feels weird to look at a varsity and not want to gag/scratch my eyeballs out.

Good work with that machine. Looks durn' good.
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Old 04-09-10, 02:52 AM
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Nice build. But is that really a Varsity? Tubular fork, quick release hubs, center pull brakes, if it wasn't a Continental before, it is now.
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Old 04-09-10, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Sprint75 View Post
Nice build. But is that really a Varsity? Tubular fork, quick release hubs, center pull brakes, if it wasn't a Continental before, it is now.
Haha! Thats true.

Sweet bike though, it looks slick.
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Old 04-09-10, 03:51 AM
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Well done conversion. Sort of like a Southern Baptist deciding to become a Methodist.

How does the seat post clamp work? Great touch adding the down tube shifters.
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Old 04-09-10, 11:09 AM
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By going with large flange hubs and a large chainwheel that looks "beefy", you did a nice job preserving the Varsity look while making it lighter and more response. Love the pedals as well.

If it were possible to use a pair of double pivot brakes; they would preserve the Varsity (as opposed to Continental) sidepull look, but also offer better stopping power.

That is really neat. A nice update on an old classic.

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Old 04-09-10, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Sort of like a Southern Baptist deciding to become a Methodist.


Good one. Did I read somewhere that you're a Presbyterian?
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Old 04-09-10, 11:43 AM
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Yeah, I lol'ed at that too. I can appreciate the thought, since I'm a Presbyterian and recovering Catholic.
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Old 04-09-10, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by raverson View Post
Nice build and a clean look.

Any idea on the weight?
+1

Very nice. I'd be interested in knowing how much it weighs, too.
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Old 04-09-10, 09:36 PM
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I don't know that I consciously attempted to keep any particular look to the bike. I just stripped it and replaced what I thought was needed to perform as regular rider. I did want vintage parts though so there's that. I really liked the Cyclone derails on my Miyata and the ratchet Power Shifters on my Raleigh were awesome so they were a no brainer and I like the way Suntour components look so I kept it "in the family" so to speak. I find the Dia Compe centerpulls are very effective with the alloy rims so I don't know that using dual pivots would make that much difference.
Pastor, I appreciate the comments, I used a Kenda BMX seat post clamp and then cut a section of the aluminum seat tube off the donor bike it came from, machined the I.D. to fit the Varsity tube and the slotted it to act in conjunction with the clamp. It works well but I had to knurl the chrome seat post to keep it from spinning around. It would stay put vertically but would twist a bit. I will be custom making a new alloy post for it soon since I can't find a alloy post in the Varsity size.
Scooper, I read that a average solid steel fork version Varsity weighed 38 lbs. Mine was a "Deluxe" that came with the FFW Asthtabula and a tubular fork so I believe that number is pretty right on. I don't have a scale but with the replacement of the steel crankset, steel stem & shifters plus swapping the heavy derails and steel rims I'm guessing I shaved about 10 lbs so maybe the bike is around 26-28 lbs now.. I am going away on vacation for a few days but when I return I will find a way to weigh it.
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Old 04-09-10, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
Yeah, I lol'ed at that too. I can appreciate the thought, since I'm a Presbyterian and recovering Catholic.
A a confirmed Knight of Columbus I will leave that one alone....
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Old 04-09-10, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
That's the coolest Varsity I've ever seen - great work there Soonerbills!
Now that is heck of a statement!
I am humbled
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Old 04-09-10, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by soonerbills View Post
Here's some more!!






Okay the burning question is "How heavy is it now??"
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Old 04-10-10, 12:35 AM
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I love that color.
Ya know, they make matching bar tape?

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Old 04-10-10, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by sailorbenjamin View Post
I love that color.
Ya know, they make matching bar tape?
+1 on the color.

Do you know what the Hunt-Wilde name for that particular bar tape is?
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Old 04-10-10, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
Okay the burning question is "How heavy is it now??"
In post #16 he says he hasn't weighed it, but thinks maybe it's now around 26 to 28 pounds. He says he'll try to weigh it when he comes back from his vacation.

I'm very curious as well.
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Old 04-10-10, 05:31 PM
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http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...he-Continental This Continental was right at 28 lbs in the second picture.
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Old 04-10-10, 06:11 PM
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Anything less than 30 pounds for a functioning derailleur equipped, two chainring crank electro-forged frame bike is pretty impressive IMHO.
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Old 04-30-10, 08:28 PM
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Well folks here is a update...
After finally returning home I did buy a scale and the bike weighs right at 27 1/4 lbs.
But the sad story is that the Cyclone derail did not like the set up. I don't know if it could not handle the 6 speed cluster or what but no matter what I did the thing kept climbing up into the freewheel!
So I swapped it with a long cage Shimano Crane and now it shifts nice and no more interference problems now.
I also changed out the rear Weinermann/high flange wheel set up.. It had a hump I just could not straighten.. I guess it hit a curb somewhere. I replaced it with a nice Ukai with a Sunsin hub..generic but it works.
Also changed out the vintage Schwinn Tourer tires with a new set of Vittorias... seems to ride much more tighter? now.. for want of a better adjective.
I'm happy with the results... for a heavy frame it rides not like a tank as it did, but much more responsive and also not so much a chore on grade
In case your wondering.. the Brooks (model unknown) was originally the type with holes along the bottom. The leather was cracked through the holes so I trimmed the seat and spent a long time rehabbing with oil. It's sweet now!
I
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