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Cant Believe I Bought A Schwinn Varsity

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Cant Believe I Bought A Schwinn Varsity

Old 08-24-13, 12:08 PM
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Cant Believe I Bought A Schwinn Varsity

So I was out doing a random garage sale excursion while in town buying a spoke for my Centurion Elite and here was this 70's Schwinn Varsity in absolutely stock original owner excellent garage kept condition. I am not a flipper and I abhor Schwinns. It had 25.00 on the original seat. So I walked over and offered 15.00 and she took it.

I will indeed spiff (so very little needed) and get this thing out of my shop. Or maybe I'll just keep it for doing reps in my powerlifting regimen this winter.

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Old 08-24-13, 12:12 PM
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HA!!!! Well, you now a a solid bike for bashing around....REALLY SOLID!!! Just try avoiding the hills! Or at least going UP the hills. Storing that in an overhead rack WOULD make for quite a workout! A few reps a day should be good, unless you tear out a shoulder or drop it on your head.
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Old 08-24-13, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
...here was this 70's Schwinn Varsity in absolutely stock original owner excellent garage kept condition.
That looks like a '74 or '75 in Lime with a 20" frame, the smallest available at the time. Here are the original catalog pages:

http://bikecatalogs.org/SCHWINN/1974...ity_Sport.html
http://bikecatalogs.org/SCHWINN/1975..._Traveler.html

It appears to be all original and well worth the price!

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Old 08-24-13, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
That looks like a '74 in Lime with a 20" frame, the smallest available at the time. Here is the original catalog page: http://bikecatalogs.org/SCHWINN/1974...ity_Sport.html

It appears to be all original and well worth the price!
Hey, thanx for the info! Cant believe it is in this kind of condition. Makes me wonder why I cant find a REAL vintage 10-speed in this mystical condition.
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Old 08-24-13, 01:35 PM
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No love for the Varsities...

I would not mind finding one that I could actually ride in good shape for that price. Trouble is, just about everyone around here who has a rusty old bike in their shed seems to think it is made out of gold. Granted, good condition Paramounts and the like are worth more to the right buyer. But someone around here has a Varsity on CL and asking either $125 or $150. Seller says it was stripped down, cleaned and lubed, and all cables replaced three years ago. That was then, this is now. It looks decent, but is far from showroom.

Not trying to gripe too much, but sometimes I think TV shows like American Pickers make everyone think they have a million dollars sitting in their attic.
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Old 08-24-13, 01:42 PM
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Varsities should be respected for what they are: solid, reliable, affordable transportation that got millions of kids riding bicycles over a period spanning decades.
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Old 08-24-13, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
Varsities should be respected for what they are: solid, reliable, affordable transportation that got millions of kids riding bicycles over a period spanning decades.
+1. When I was 12, I got a Continental for Christmas. A whole new world opened for me. The lower priced Schwinn road bikes were "gateway bikes" for many of us. I would not seek one out now but I love them for what they are and what they represent.
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Old 08-24-13, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by WilliamK1974 View Post
It looks decent, but is far from showroom.
You surely didnt hear me say "showroom" however it really is in garage kept original owner with original bar tape condition. Dont miss my point and I wont miss yours

I really do not see the reason for asking so much for these. I wouldnt have given a penny over 15.00 until I called the junkyard for prices on scrap weight. But I wont be asking 150-200.00 either.

I dont like them at all.
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Old 08-24-13, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
Varsities should be respected for what they are: solid, reliable, affordable transportation that got millions of kids riding bicycles over a period spanning decades.
+2. I bought a new Varsity when I was 13 or 14. I rode the heck out of that bike, durable and dependable through many years of use. You sure can't buy that kind of bike now in the entry level arena.
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Old 08-24-13, 03:08 PM
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Even Older Huffys and Murreys were MUCH better entry level bikes than the stuff offered today. I've serviced a couple old Murreys and, YES, they had cheaper components, but mechanically, they were sound...not all this plastic crap that bends and breaks after the first year. (They WERE on the heavy side too!!!)
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Old 08-24-13, 03:47 PM
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I couldnt believe the weight of these when I hoisted it up over the backseat of my wrangler. Wow.
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Old 08-24-13, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
You surely didnt hear me say "showroom" however it really is in garage kept original owner with original bar tape condition. Dont miss my point and I wont miss yours

I really do not see the reason for asking so much for these. I wouldnt have given a penny over 15.00 until I called the junkyard for prices on scrap weight. But I wont be asking 150-200.00 either.

I dont like them at all.
Sorry, my fault for the misunderstanding. Your bike looks sharp as tacks in the pics. What I was talking about was the Varsity I saw on CL for over $100. It looked like a good, ridable bike, but certainly not in mint condition. Several bad paint spots and surface rust in places. I would ride and enjoy it provided it fit me. But not for the asking price. Of course, I could flash what would probably be perceived as an insultingly low cash offer and see if they accept. But I am not out to upset people.
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Old 08-24-13, 03:55 PM
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Could not believe I dragged an early '80s Sprint home last week, probably weighed in at 35#, about 20 less than your Varsity. After I came to my senses , I broomed it QUICK !
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Old 08-24-13, 04:27 PM
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I'm not fond of low end Schwinns but I'd buy it for $15. I'd clean, lube, and tune it, add new tape, tires and cables, saddle, pedals, brake pads as necessary. It'd sell for $90 - $110. The issue with these bikes is that even a minor tune can end up being painful. That said, bikes like Ross, Kent, Pacific, Sprint, and Roadmaster are worse. I much prefer higher end Schwinns, Fuji, Giant, Miyata, Trek, Nishiki, Raleigh, and Jamis.

Of course, in an apocalypse situation, the Varsity would be worth more than its weight in gold.
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Old 08-24-13, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by WilliamK1974 View Post
Sorry, my fault for the misunderstanding. Your bike looks sharp as tacks in the pics. What I was talking about was the Varsity I saw on CL for over $100. It looked like a good, ridable bike, but certainly not in mint condition. Several bad paint spots and surface rust in places. I would ride and enjoy it provided it fit me. But not for the asking price. Of course, I could flash what would probably be perceived as an insultingly low cash offer and see if they accept. But I am not out to upset people.
I'm sorry I am in a bit of a grumpy mood today. Yeah I shake my head at the CL prices.
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Old 08-24-13, 04:38 PM
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I just finished overhauling an early '70s Varsity for a client. VERY heavy, the steel rims were toast, as was the RD.
New wheels and tires, a SunTour Honor, a little sweat, and the bike's back on the street and my customer is VERY happy:



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Old 08-24-13, 05:09 PM
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Varsitys have their own aesthetic. Visually they work, as a road bike they are very limited. But for what they are a durable bike with 2x5 gearing they work.
If that is all you had at the time, it was good. If you got the chance to upgrade to a true road bike you only looked favorably at it as an entry point to road bikes.
Locally, there were a lot of jr. high kids who placed Sting-Ray riser bars on theirs way back. In that configuration they held the local evening paper deliver bags reasonably well. The evening paper, how archaic I sound.
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Old 08-24-13, 05:17 PM
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my quietest bike, rides like a dream. got mine and it needed drop bars saddle and a taller stem
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Old 08-24-13, 06:49 PM
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This has probably been discussed to death, but a Varsity weighing in over 50lbs... Some of that has to be in the steel rims and handlebars, right? I have seen a couple in person down the years, and they do not look like a heavy-duty bike.

Had I come of age a few years earlier, a Varsity or Continental would probably have been what I received on my 15th birthday.

Ok, another browse of CL came up with the local Varsity that I mentioned earlier with upright bars and some surface rust, asking $100. Then, up closer to Nashville, one with drop bars that looked in better shape asking $150. I have been called cheapskate and tightwad more than a few times, but that just seems way too high.
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Old 08-24-13, 07:00 PM
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I have a pair of '67 coopertone colored Varsities sitting in the basement waiting for a major clean up/rust removal/rehab. Total investment for both bikes was $5.00.

They have are the 'touring' model with north road bars and standard for that year, down tube shifters.

Coming from a family with no money, my first 10 speed was a department store bike, and I so wanted a Varsity. Wish I would have known better and aimed a little higher.
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Old 08-24-13, 07:23 PM
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C'mon...I agree with the posters that say "respect it for what it represents..." The Varsity introduced a TON of people to cycling! Don't hate on them...they were what they were!
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Old 08-24-13, 07:31 PM
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For many years the way to show you were a serious cyclist was to bash Schwinns especially the varsity and continental. Looks like the attitude still exists. For what they are Schwinns are quality well built bikes. Yes they are heavy but they will last a long time with minimal maintenance. Although I have some lighter, more costly, fancier bikes I still enjoy riding varsitys and continentals.
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Old 08-24-13, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sonatageek View Post

Coming from a family with no money, my first 10 speed was a department store bike, and I so wanted a Varsity. Wish I would have known better and aimed a little higher.
Sounds like my childhood. I bussed tables for snobby rich resorters in our small town until I had 150.00 to buy a Motobecane Mirage the summer of '73, my first real road bike. Even then I didnt want a Schwinn because they were an American heavyweight. The next summer my girlfriend's folks bought her a shiney new LeTour. And I teased her relentlessly.
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Old 08-24-13, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sonatageek View Post
Coming from a family with no money, my first 10 speed was a department store bike, and I so wanted a Varsity. Wish I would have known better and aimed a little higher.
Same here, though I think it was more that my family didn't want to spend on something that I would outgrow. The first 10spd was a Kent from K-Mart. The chain snapped within two weeks and was replaced under warranty. Got it when I was 10 or 11 and rode the heck out of it. Department store bikes seemed better then than they are now.
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Old 08-24-13, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by WilliamK1974 View Post
This has probably been discussed to death, but a Varsity weighing in over 50lbs...
OK, let's be real here. The 20" Varsity in question here weighs 38lbs. At the time the Continental was about 2lbs lighter as it had aluminum handlebars and stem plus a tubular fork.
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