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Found Old Schwinn Varsity in Alley

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Found Old Schwinn Varsity in Alley

Old 06-30-13, 02:17 PM
  #1  
Tank2379
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Found Old Schwinn Varsity in Alley

Hi everyone Newbie here and trying to get some info.I guess someone didn't want to finish this project, and I need to Bike and been wanting to buy a custom build bike and see so many cool single speed bikes. Is there anyway I can transform this into a Single speed I found this as is with no other parts?





Any Help would be appreciate it.

Thanks
Frankie
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Old 06-30-13, 02:24 PM
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Yes, you have a great start point. Read this.

https://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

Looks like you really just need a seat, chain and some wheels.

I got a set up like that at the swap meet for $10. I put a coaster brake on the back. It my fave bike to ride. I call it my pub cruiser.


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Old 06-30-13, 02:30 PM
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You could build this bike up as beater Single Speed wouldn't make much sense though. It would cost more than you could by a a much better road bike in good used condition for.
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Old 06-30-13, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
You could build this bike up as beater Single Speed wouldn't make much sense though. It would cost more than you could by a a much better road bike in good used condition for.
Makes perfect sense to turn it into a single speed. I've got less than a Benjamin in mine and take it on 20 mile bike rides.
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Old 06-30-13, 03:13 PM
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Any good crankset sets you guys recommend?
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Old 06-30-13, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
While possible to do for another $40, you have wheels, tires, tubes, different crankset (which requires an adapter), freewheel, chain, saddle, pedals, bars, different stem. To complete this work for $40 you did very well.
If you have A local bike kitchen, they'll help you build it up. They helped me get some parts cheap so I was able to keep cost low. For its function, I'm happy with it.
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Old 06-30-13, 03:48 PM
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Since no one else mentioned (unless I overlooked,if so apologies),you gots semi-horizontal drops in that too-EASY to make it an SS and adjust chain tension.

Just that it's an old steel Schwinn that's easily singled out would make it worth it to me to start looking/scrounging and bartering for parts If you likes it,build it and don't worry what anyone else thinks,they ain't footin' the bill for you (nor are they gunna pay your bills while you're out scrounging)
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Old 06-30-13, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Tank2379 View Post
Any good crankset sets you guys recommend?
I wouldn't bother changing it -- one-piece cranks are all pretty much the same. You can get an adaptor that would let you stick a regular 3-piece bottom bracket in there, but it'd be way more money and effort than that Varsity is worth. I'd just put the chain on the smaller chainring and call it a day.

If you don't like the looks of the extra redundant outer chainring and bashguard, you might be able to pull 'em off -- here's a picture.

If you really wanted to get fancy, you could probably just use any ol' chainwheel of your choice.
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Old 06-30-13, 04:30 PM
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As of now I don't mind putting in the cash to get this thing going it's like buying a new bike but with modifications. I would like to custom build it if possible and I would definitely like to do away with this old school crank and get a solid single crank if I can I just need a recommendation on good Cranks you guys know of any. I know there are probably a ton of different applications but with the way Gas prices are here in Chicago I would rather spend a little more fixing this thing instead of buying new, even though the money I put in would be like new but hey I like to tinker and it would save me money riding to work in style instead of blowing about $80 bucks a week on gas.

Thanks for all the recommendations if anyone else has some more info please send me a PM or post here

Thanks
Frankie
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Old 07-02-13, 06:27 AM
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Since I found this bike I basically gutted the rest of the Bike I am going to switch out the BB to a euro style ride since most of the parts where missing I might as well start from sctratch and just do a over haul on it.

First question I notice that this frame and size bike required 27"in wheels and I notice this bike might be too tall for me but was wondering if I can get 26" wheels that would still fit and turn this into a single speed without any issues and make it fit for me? Let me know if this is an option?

Here is with a bare frame





One more what size bare bottom bearing should I get? I know they make them in serveral different sizes but for single speed would a 107mm work or 113mm?
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Old 07-02-13, 06:58 AM
  #11  
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That looks like a 26" frame. Since these are relatively rare and since you mentioned that it is too tall for you, you may want to look for a 24" and sell this one.

If you have your heart set on single speed (not my thing -- I would choose an internally geared hub if I were going for the no-derailleur look), just keep the current crankset and remove the outer chainring.
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Old 07-02-13, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
That looks like a 26" frame. Since these are relatively rare and since you mentioned that it is too tall for you, you may want to look for a 24" and sell this one.

If you have your heart set on single speed (not my thing -- I would choose an internally geared hub if I were going for the no-derailleur look), just keep the current crankset and remove the outer chainring.

How can I measure this? Do I just take a tape measure? Sorry I am still a newb at this
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Old 07-02-13, 07:27 AM
  #13  
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Tfrue, but...

Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
You could build this bike up as beater Single Speed wouldn't make much sense though. It would cost more than you could by a a much better road bike in good used condition for.
Yes, but a pair of those pre-built CR18 rims with a cheap fixie hub won't be much more than used junker that will need tires and a decent saddle anyway. I dunno, I know my Dunelt 650A fixie conversion was the same price to build as a bike I could have gotten used, but it's mine and it's the only one like it.
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Old 07-02-13, 08:15 AM
  #14  
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No need to measure it yourself, I can confirm that's definitely a 26" frame, the largest size Varsity they made. That will have a standover height of about 35.5" and you'll need 36" or longer legs to fit.
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Old 07-02-13, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
No need to measure it yourself, I can confirm that's definitely a 26" frame, the largest size Varsity they made. That will have a standover height of about 35.5" and you'll need 36" or longer legs to fit.
So even if I put 26" wheels instead of the 27" wheels on this Bike it wouldn't make much of a difference?
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Old 07-02-13, 10:15 AM
  #16  
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If it doesn't fit, it is a non-starter. If you're under 6', this frame is too big.
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Old 07-02-13, 10:57 AM
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If you put a bunch of money into this bike, you will regret it. Seriously. Once you get it built up you will realize your mistake. It's fine if you want to slap it together with stuff lying around, but I would not buy an adapter, bottom bracket, and new crankset. That's nuts.
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Old 07-02-13, 11:09 AM
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Please listen to the wisdom of the knowledgeable in this group.
You are wasting any money you are putting into this bike.
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Old 07-02-13, 11:10 AM
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Too big is too big, but there are three important caveats here, because this is a VARSITY.

First:
Varsity and Continemtal frames have very high bottom bracket heights to accomodate very wide pedals and the riding skills of beginners, so the possibility of using smaller wheels is worth considering.

Second:
The Varsity's frame size is measured to the top of the extended seat tube, but the Varsity's top tube is about an inch lower.

Third:
The frame geometry (specifically the layed-back seat tube angle) makes the top tube feel a lot shorter than it is, since it's entire length is moved rearward relative to the bottom bracket. And further, the layed back head tube angle means that a longer stem will mess up the bike's handling. These issues mean that a relatively tall frame is the best size when selecting a Varsity or Continental, particularly when it's a singlespeed where the rider occasionally needs to stand up and get their weight foreward to charge up steep hills or to accelerate from a stop.

Brianinc-ville posted a link showing that the small ring can serve as a single ring, with the heavy big ring removed.
I would consider this as the stock bb and crankset is very durable, creak-free, long-lasting and easy to service.
This is a Schwinn, not a Huffy, so these parts are actually made to very high durability standards, including Schwinn's finer 28tpi threading.

Last edited by dddd; 07-02-13 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 07-02-13, 11:58 AM
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Great observations, with explanations, from dddd.

If you insist on swapping out the crank you will need this:
https://www.treefortbikes.com/product...FegWMgodfWIA1Q

Be sure to press this adapter in evenly. Clean up the inside of the bb shell for ease of entry. Next buy an alloy crank off fleabay, then measure carefully, and then buy your bottom bracket.
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Old 07-03-13, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by 67tony View Post
Great observations, with explanations, from dddd.

If you insist on swapping out the crank you will need this:
https://www.treefortbikes.com/product...FegWMgodfWIA1Q

Be sure to press this adapter in evenly. Clean up the inside of the bb shell for ease of entry. Next buy an alloy crank off fleabay, then measure carefully, and then buy your bottom bracket.

Thanks It's been purchase and on it's way should see by friday.

I know some of you guys are not wanting me to put money into it but hey what do I know i'm just newb. I just feel like it's an old bike that needs some restoring, plus if it's not worth it, it would be worth it to me becasue I put the time and effort. Plus even if I can't ride it I would at least try to see if someone would need a bike
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Old 07-03-13, 06:17 AM
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POINT to watch out for as you move forward, IF you change wheel size, brake reach becomes an issue. I did a wheel change on an old Schwinn LeTour, 27x1 1/4 to 700c. They fit pretty well, even the brakes reached, adjusted as far as they would go. With 26...brakes will probably not reach. If you are doing a Fixie with NO brakes...that is different. OR, if you do a single speed with a coaster brake...that is an option.
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Old 07-03-13, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by RubberLegs View Post
POINT to watch out for as you move forward, IF you change wheel size, brake reach becomes an issue. I did a wheel change on an old Schwinn LeTour, 27x1 1/4 to 700c. They fit pretty well, even the brakes reached, adjusted as far as they would go. With 26...brakes will probably not reach. If you are doing a Fixie with NO brakes...that is different. OR, if you do a single speed with a coaster brake...that is an option.

I plan on keeping it close to the original wheel size and tires but putting on 700C instead of the original 27" X 1/4" tires
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Old 07-03-13, 07:03 AM
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Do you have brakes/levers? I'll look around, I may still have the old "Schwinn Approved" I stripped off my LeTour
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Old 07-03-13, 07:49 AM
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Frankie, don't listen to the naysayers. You found a free frame. When you finish building it up, if you don't like the ride, fit, color, or anything else, just pull the parts off and throw the frame back in the alley. The parts can then be used on a different frame and you have lost nothing. Have fun scrounging around for parts and learning a lot on the way. That's what this forum is supposed to be about anyway.
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