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Schwinn Varsity upgrades

Old 03-15-12, 09:12 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
I've done a few Varsity builds by now, here's what I've learned:
Great info throughout and a nice looking bike.

Any opinions on the forged Varsity fork vs. the tubular Continental fork?

David S.
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Old 03-15-12, 05:52 PM
  #27  
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Hi David, I'm Dave/David S. also.
I see you're in Toronto. Got Snow? It's raining here, so I'm hoofing it today.

As I mentioned, the Varsity fork weighs 4 pounds, about twice what the Tubular Continental fork weighs.
The Varsity forged fork is also much more flexible, particularly in the twisting direction.

Most of the 1960's forks (Varsity and Continental) have normal 22.2mm steerer inside diameter, so it's no problem finding stems in any length or material for them.
Starting in the late '60's though, they all went to .833" ("BMX" diameter), including the SuperSports.

My GreenMachine is from late 1964 production, so I just used a normal 22.2mm SR forged 10cm stem and SR alloy bars with the cool engraved/knurled center sleeve.

My 1962 Continental also has a normal 22.2mm I.D. steerer, but came from the factory with a loose-fitting French 22.0mm AVA stem, so I've shimmed it.

Last edited by dddd; 03-15-12 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 03-15-12, 07:11 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by sneakywrist View Post
Ben, I like the ebay find, what description did you use to find it?
I think it was "Ashtabula Triple".
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Old 03-16-12, 04:55 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Hi David, I'm Dave/David S. also.
I see you're in Toronto. Got Snow? It's raining here, so I'm hoofing it today.

As I mentioned, the Varsity fork weighs 4 pounds, about twice what the Tubular Continental fork weighs.
The Varsity forged fork is also much more flexible, particularly in the twisting direction.
Almost no snow here this winter and an early spring. I've been riding to work odd days for the last couple of weeks. (anybody want to do a vintage ride?)

I've got a Super Sport, a Twinn Sport Tandem, and my Dad's old Suburban for Schwinns. I wouldn't mind a nice Continental. I fondly remember my old traveler that I stripped down to turn into some kind of 3 speed racer. It had the forged fork and I remember you could "twang" it like a low frequency tuning fork.

Good stuff,
David
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Old 03-16-12, 08:10 AM
  #30  
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dddd, what wheels and brifters did you use?

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Old 03-16-12, 02:57 PM
  #31  
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The brifters got me started when I found a pair of the Record-10 carbon brifters in the shop's trash.
Left lever had a broken body, but the right one needed only a quick rebuild to extract a broken-off cable head. I found an orphaned new left Veloce brifter at the swap meet for $30 or so.
I also bought a Dura-Ace-9 rear derailer at the swapmeet (negotiated to $35), so combined with the Campag-10 shifters it indexes 8-speed spacing perfectly.
I lenthened a too-short (but new) Campag C9 chain that had also been discarded by a local pro shop. The C9 chain works perfectly with the original 1964 crankset and "Sprint" (allvit) front derailer.

The wheels are some Ultegra 7-speed cassette hubs that I had previously built to a good used pair of 32h MA-40's.
I found a very light (well-perforated), steel, 8-sp SRAM cassette in the dumpster, so took off the 12T (now it's a 13-26t) and it fit right on the 7-speed freehub body with a 1mm spacer.
I also found a dumpstered set of four dual-compound "Kool-Stop MTB" V-brake pads that give fantastic power on the worn-bare sidewalls of the Mavic anodized rims. A previous set of the smaller Matthauser pads I tried didn't give enough power.
For quick-releases, again the swap meet provided a set of somewhat beat-looking titanium skewers, but with distinctive bands engraved into the minimalist curved handles.
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Old 03-16-12, 05:52 PM
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Those special 1/2" pedals:


These things seem to have disappeared from the market, at any price.
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Old 03-16-12, 08:30 PM
  #33  
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Sweet........I talked to my LBS today and they are very interested in my project. They want to see the frame before paint or powder coating. I've compiled a list from the information here. I will post pics next week of the tear down. In looking for 3x5 or 3x6 brifters I came up short....
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Old 03-17-12, 03:16 AM
  #34  
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If you can find a pair of the earlier (pre-2002) Campy 9-speed ErgoLevers, these will properly index a 6-speed freewheel if you use a Shimano derailer.

Just don't use a pre-'96 Dura-Ace 74XX-series rear derailer (those are different), unless you decide to use 10-speed ErgoLevers.

I think a 7-speed freewheel offers no dis-advantages, and is only about 3-4mm wider than a 6-speed freewheel.
Shimano RSX Brifters were offered originally as 7-speed, with 2 and 3-ring left shifters.

A Suntour Command shifter 7sp setup with suitable freewheel, derailer and chain should come to only 100.00

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Old 03-17-12, 12:37 PM
  #35  
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Great info....
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Old 03-17-12, 12:57 PM
  #36  
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Hey Sailorbenjamin, Need some advice. I like the alloy crank retainer. Think I could shave a little weight if I use it. What items will I need to purchase to complete a triple chainring. Gear suggestions and bolt sizes to hold the rings on is what I need. I'm fairly mechanical but I'm in unchartered waters. My reason for upgrading to a triple is better hill climbing ability for my worn knees
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Old 03-17-12, 04:04 PM
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Yeah, I live in the hills, too. I just happen to have a 32/42/52 set that I'm going to use with this thing but I bet some compact rings would work. I'll have to dig it back out of the basement to get the BCD.
The bolts are these double ended allen things;
http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHAINRING-BO...ht_2479wt_1344
for the big double rings and then the little granny bolts to the back using just the male end. There are some triple sets on Ebay with all the parts but I just got 2 sets from the LBS for $5 and put the second set of female ends in the parts bin.. They come in colors, too but they also come in allen head and that funny star shaped kind that looks like allen head if your not paying attention.
Search "chainring bolts" and you'll get like 7 pages on Ebay. I wonder if Niagara sells them cheap.
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Old 03-17-12, 04:26 PM
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Thx everyone this is going to make my project enjoyable
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Old 03-17-12, 04:55 PM
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If you decide to go with a triple, I recommend finding a complete Shimano MTB triple crank as a ring/bolt donor.

A factory-matched set of rings will always shift best when shifting back and forth from the small to middle ring and back.
An indexed shifter will especially work best with the matched rings.

Sometimes I buy a complete bike that has been sitting outside for years, just to get the crankset! And might be the cheapest way to go.

Shimano front derailers that are from the same parts gruppo as the rings will improve shifting even more, and again are most important with an indexed front shifter.
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Old 03-19-12, 01:07 PM
  #40  
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Ok the break down went really good but I need help. The cups for the forks are they pressed on or screw on and of course the kick stand removal. I know there's a tool but haven't justified the cost yet
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Old 03-19-12, 01:32 PM
  #41  
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All the races are pressed. With the headset I used a rubber mallet and a piece of rebar I had left over from a landscaping project and smashed them out from the opposite side. You really can't hurt these parts (or the frame), so bash away until they come free. A couple hard shots with a rubber mallet will get the race off the fork also.

With the kickstand, you need to push the ring that goes around the kickstand inward and pull the pin. This may be worth taking to an LBS to yank it. If you want the adventure, just get creative and you will get it out.
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Old 03-19-12, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by DsmBerg View Post
All the races are pressed. With the headset I used a rubber mallet and a piece of rebar I had left over from a landscaping project and smashed them out from the opposite side. You really can't hurt these parts (or the frame), so bash away until they come free. A couple hard shots with a rubber mallet will get the race off the fork also.
+1


"With the kickstand, you need to push the ring that goes around the kickstand inward and pull the pin. This may be worth taking to an LBS to yank it. If you want the adventure, just get creative and you will get it out"

I've heard of Schwinn owners using all manner of home-spun methods to compress the ring in. Pliers, prying against the inside of the crankarm, takes 30-40lbs of force but only has to move a small fraction of an inch.
I've never removed on myself though.
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Old 03-19-12, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
+1


"With the kickstand, you need to push the ring that goes around the kickstand inward and pull the pin. This may be worth taking to an LBS to yank it. If you want the adventure, just get creative and you will get it out"

I've heard of Schwinn owners using all manner of home-spun methods to compress the ring in. Pliers, prying against the inside of the crankarm, takes 30-40lbs of force but only has to move a small fraction of an inch.
I've never removed on myself though.
It comes out very easily if you slide two box end wrenches over the rod of the kickstand and lever them against each other to compress the ring. Then use pliers to pull the pin out. If you do it this way it will take about 2 seconds and damage nothing.
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Old 03-19-12, 02:40 PM
  #44  
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Any advice or recommendations on powder coating ie parts I need to stay away from coating
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Old 03-20-12, 02:40 AM
  #45  
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Don't paint anything that a wrench will act on, or anything that fits tightly in something else. A seatpost comes to mind, or a handlebar center section. I wouldn't paint anything chromed, or where a brake pad will rub.
Anywhere a washer or nut will get compressed onto might see paint flaking off.
Don't get any paint inside the bb shell or head tube where the cups will be pressed in.
Hopefully your powder coater has done bike frames before.
You'll want to remove the fork crown race and the chrome cap on the crown, then mask the crown race seating surface.
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Old 03-20-12, 06:47 PM
  #46  
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Got it... Im dropping both bikes off tomorrow. In the mean time I'm starting to order anything that needs replacement. To say these bikes are 33 to 35 years old the bearings and such were in great shape. I will stick with the one piece crank running a triple chainring. The wheels for my bike will be built with a freewheel. Is 6 gears good or will seven fit in the rear? I took lots of pix and will post as soon as I can. My LBS removed the kickstands in one minute for no cost.
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Old 03-22-12, 10:00 PM
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The one with the helmet is my current varsity. The other photos are of the two bikes I took apart on Monday.....
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Old 03-25-12, 07:54 PM
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A funny observation this weekend. I participated in a charity ride as part of the Redlands Classic. I watched several riders with very expensive bikes looking for a place to LEAN their ride up against. Ill keep my heavy kickstand!
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Old 03-25-12, 11:15 PM
  #49  
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Hell yeah, keep the kickstand, LOL.

The Allvit derailer won't shift a 6-speed without modification AND overall very exacting setup.
I've done a few with 6-speed freewheels, but it would be hard to explain the modification to the linkage as well as the mounting bracket shimming modification, which is a custom fit to the particular bike in each case. Stick with 5sp or use a Suntour derailer would be my advice.
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Old 03-26-12, 03:42 PM
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dddd, where did you find your water bottle holder bracket. I dont want to use the ole c clamp
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