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  1. #1
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Padre's garage sale find. [o]

    So my buddy has been on the look out for a beater/commuter for him to ride the 18 miles to work and back. He's on a SUPER tight budget from his wife so the bike budget is pretty limited.
    Fast forward to my road ride yesterday w/ 1x1girl.....Cruising by the church down the street on the way to the river trail the garage sale at the church caught my eye. I always quickly scan a garage sale to see if there are any good bike finds.
    Maybe this time there was.
    It's a late seventies/early eighties Schwinn original, built in Chicago like.
    It's at least 40lbs w/ a rack out back.
    The cranks spin, the brakes function save for the rust in the lines.
    The derailleur is shot.
    There are forward facing horizontal dropouts.
    The stays are big enough to run big cross tires.
    I believe it's a touring model by looking at the girth of the rims.
    Ta da. (if anyone has any info as to the model name that would be cool.)

    Not bad for $9.60
    So, here is my question for you riders and friends...what would you do?
    Should I pull the broken der. and single it before my buddy pics it up? I figure the chain/der. would have to be replaced anyway if he wants gears...

  2. #2
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    single it

    not that weight is a huge issue on a commuter, but taking all the gear related crap off those old bikes removes a bunch of weight. that'll make a good commuter....nice find. i also love checking out garage sales for old diamonds in the rough...my wife thinks i'm crazy.

  3. #3
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    SS it!

    Since the der. is shot and the cables prolly need replacing and your buddy is on a BUDGET, I'd go ahead and SS it. And if he asks why, tell him it'll save him maintenance costs in the long run. I've recently SS'd a road bike and am loving it! Thinking of getting a flipflop hub and going fixed/free! I'm being pulled further into the darkside!!

    I always scan garage sales and even trash piles on garbage days! All this to my wife's chagrin!!! My best garbage bin find was an early 1970's Raleigh Chopper which I'm eventually going to bring back to it's former shine.

    Good on ya for helping a buddy out!

    James
    A good friend will come bail you out of jail.
    But a true friend will be sitting next to you saying
    "Damn... we fcuked up!"

  4. #4
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    Fix it!

    Make it a fixie! Just buy a cog and your buddy can travel in style. Think about the weight loss as you lose: shifters, derailers, kickstand (holy cow, how much does that thing weigh?), rear freewheel, rear brake...

  5. #5
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    no doubt on the ss thang...

    strip her down man! here's one I did last year as a SS roadie. It was an old Gitane that turned out quite nice...
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    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

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  6. #6
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    Varsity or LeTour

    From that time frame it's prolly going to be either a Varsity or a LeTour, but I'm leaning towards a Varsity. If you clean the rear hub the year should be listed on it to give you more spec's. Word of warning, those Old Schwinn's used "Schwinn" tires, so they're not standard 27x1 1/8 - 1/4. Finding the right tires may be a challenge.

    Good karma for hooking a friend up, SS it for sure!

  7. #7
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Nice work Bob! The only letters I can make out on the frame are VA.. so it's probably a Varsity... any hints at finding tires?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Bob
    From that time frame it's prolly going to be either a Varsity or a LeTour, but I'm leaning towards a Varsity. If you clean the rear hub the year should be listed on it to give you more spec's. Word of warning, those Old Schwinn's used "Schwinn" tires, so they're not standard 27x1 1/8 - 1/4. Finding the right tires may be a challenge.

    Good karma for hooking a friend up, SS it for sure!

  8. #8
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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    the shop NEXT to Santiago Cyclery

    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    any hints at finding tires?
    on Prospect in Tustin looks like the type of place that could hook you up. not sure if they'd be having any cx-lookin' knobbies, though. i can't remember the name of the joint, but you probably know the place i'm talking about.
    [size=1][/size]

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Nice work Bob! The only letters I can make out on the frame are VA.. so it's probably a Varsity... any hints at finding tires?
    Padre, I might have a few vintage parts laying around you can have if you pick up the shipping. One is a set of wheels (vintage, nothing fancy) with tires on already. The tires are like new with small knobs. I think I also have a big squishy saddle and a quill stem with cruiser bars and levers. I was gonna pitch the stuff but if you can use it....e me.
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

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  10. #10
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    Hmmmm

    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    any hints at finding tires?
    Wow, finding the tires is going to be a stretch. I can't remember exactly when Schwinn used their own tires and when the started farming out and using standard tires. I'll have to do some googling, haven't thought about that stuff in years. I tried the obvious place www.rivendellbicycles.com, but nothing there. If you do have Schwinn specific tires and they need to be replaced, it may be easier to get some new hoops laced up. I'll do some surfing and contact one of the old skool guys that used to be a paramount nut. I'll ping you if I find anything useful. Good luck!

  11. #11
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    The Update

    Took the advice...
    stripped her of at least 5lbs of extra metal and bam!
    The SS cruiser of death.
    Just need a seat.
    The tires, unbelievably, still look pretty good.
    I appreciate all the leads...
    Here she is SS style...
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  12. #12
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    FWIW
    By my best calulations...and a little help from Fat Bob, Sheldon Brown, and Google..
    I believe what we've come across is a 1977 Schwinn Varsity Sport.

  13. #13
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    I may have a seat

    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    FWIW
    By my best calulations...and a little help from Fat Bob, Sheldon Brown, and Google..
    I believe what we've come across is a 1977 Schwinn Varsity Sport.
    I had a decent extra seat, but I may have used it on another bike. I'll check the garage and if I still have it your welcome to it. I'll PM you if I can find it.
    [SIZE=2]Two Wheeled and Too Big[/SIZE]

  14. #14
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    Sounds great Mattman! The seatpost doesn't have rail grabbers though.. it's the old-school kind that just plugs in to the seat.. knowutimean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattman
    I had a decent extra seat, but I may have used it on another bike. I'll check the garage and if I still have it your welcome to it. I'll PM you if I can find it.

  15. #15
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    Iknowutumean

    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Sounds great Mattman! The seatpost doesn't have rail grabbers though.. it's the old-school kind that just plugs in to the seat.. knowutimean?
    You will need the threaded rod W/nuts on each end, rail grabbers and a seat post grabber all in one POS unit that is hard to get tight. See, Iknowutuneed. I just dealt with one of those on my PUSS bike, I though the rod would strip or break before I finally got it tight. I still have my small ugly Trek on the side of the house which I was trying to give away awhile ago. Nobody wanted it so I was probably going to SS it and try to convert my small brother. I think the seat is a gel seat with a lycra type cover that is relatively intact, I have that for sure.
    [SIZE=2]Two Wheeled and Too Big[/SIZE]

  16. #16
    Ride what you want!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Bob
    Word of warning, those Old Schwinn's used "Schwinn" tires, so they're not standard 27x1 1/8 - 1/4. Finding the right tires may be a challenge.
    Those tires are not that hard to find, I know my lbs carries them.

    That reminds me of a story of the bike that came into the shop with one 27 and one 700 tire and asked for two new tires. They look pretty close in size and I think I grabbed 2 700 tires ripped off the old tires and tubes and commenced to put the new tires on. I grabbed on of the wheels and then tried to get the tire on and couldn't get it to work. Ah, I figured out I had the wrong sized tire. I then grabbed the 2 27's' and then started to put those on, but I grabbed the other wheel. Well, that didn't work either.... But I KNEW I tried the other size tire, what the hell was going on here. You don't know how long it took me to figure out that the bike had one of each wheel. I tried to put the 700 tire on the 27 wheel, and then when i switched tires inadvertently switched wheels to and ended up trying to put a 27 tire on a 700 wheel. Drove me crazy for about an hour.

    george
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  17. #17
    Tonight we ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    (if anyone has any info as to the model name that would be cool.)
    I'm 99% sure that's the Varsity. If you look on the HT you will find the serial number/date code, so you can compare it with a list of Schwinn date codes online and find out when it was made.

    My recent garage sale find is your bike's little brother. The lower-priced Schwinn Suburban. Mine's a 1978, complete with Shimano Front Freewheel System (kind of nifty) and indexed Positron rear derailleur. I'm sure this thing is over 40lbs.
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  18. #18
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Yeah!
    Your's is in GREAT condition though.
    This Varsity is definatley heavier than my Bullit w/ a Jr.T on it!

  19. #19
    Tonight we ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Yeah!
    Your's is in GREAT condition though.
    This Varsity is definatley heavier than my Bullit w/ a Jr.T on it!
    Believe me, the condition is the result of way too many hours of polishing, buffing, touching up, etc. I took the bike apart and went through most of a tin of Nevr-Dull cleaning the chrome. Couldn't get all the rust, but most of it came off. Regreased and adjusted the hub and headset bearings, etc. Rebuilt the speedometer hardware at the front hub too.

    I am never again going to true 25-year old wheels with steel rims, that I promise. Ugh.

    I'm not going to SS this bike, although I have plans for the next suitable bike I find. Maybe it's the novelty, but I really enjoy shifting while coasting and backpedalling. It may be old but I find the drivetrain to be pretty innovative. Mine has the freewheel in the BB so the front chainrings are always revolving. I wonder if there would be any benefits for SS to make a modern version worthwhile. You could have a dishless fixed rear wheel and still coast. . .I guess that's about it.

    I'm going to watch ebay for a vintage bell to complete this bike path-dominating machine. . .

    Fuzzy photo of the detents on the rear derailleur (instead of inside the shifter, which isn't indexed). Seems like a modernized version would work for mtb as well, elminate inaccurate shifting due to cable stretch, a properly adjusted derailleur would always be centered over a cog):
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    Last edited by fonseca; 05-08-2004 at 12:27 AM.

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