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Refurbing Schwinn Varsity? i think
#1
I just took on a project for a sick friend, I want to refurbish his old Schwinn Varsity, Im not to sure of the year, off the top of my head I can say it is a red road bike with the four brake levers and the gear shift is located where the handle bars meet the frame.

So what Id like to do is replace gears, tires, saddle, and brakes, also remove a set of the brake levers.

Any help would be very awesome,

thanks
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#2
Robert; a very thoughtful project. Unfortunately, we need pictures to offer any concrete suggestions. Also, what is your budget? Are the wheels true? Are the spokes free of corrosion (rust)? What size tires are currently on the bike? When you say gears: do you mean the freewheel, the crank set, and/or the derailleurs? How about the shifters? When you say brakes: do you mean the pads, or the whole brake assembly? Brake levers - are you going to replace them with aero levers and cross levers? Are you wanting brifters? Shifting - do want indexed, stem mounted, bar-cons, brifters? Saddles are a personal thing, what kind does you friend like?

Consider a tune up:
* new tires, tubes and rim tape.
* new cables and housings for brakes and derailleurs.
* kool stop salmon brake pads.
* take apart, clean, new bearings and grease: front and rear wheel hubs, bottom bracket, pedals and head set.

the above can be done for about $100- plus labor.

* check the chain for stretch - if stretch, replace chain and freewheel - less than $50- plus labor.
Nigel
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#3
thank you for the response,

budget really id like to keep it fairly simple. not too expensive but not too cheap either.
He informed me that everything on the bike is the same as it was when it came out of the factory.

I will upload pictures when I get home.
thank you for the response,

budget really id like to keep it fairly simple. not too expensive but not too cheap either.
He informed me that everything on the bike is the same as it was when it came out of the factory.

I will upload pictures when I get home.
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#4
(07-30-2014, 03:45 PM)Robert.Cerra Wrote:  ..... not too expensive but not too cheap either. ....

So somewhere in the $500- to $1500- range?
Nigel
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#5
I was told if I want to replace the crankset that I would need this.

http://harriscyclery.net/site/itemdetails.cfm?ID=1335

is this true?
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#6
I think $250-500
I think $250-500
I personally really want to get rid of those twin stick shifters, I personally think they are ugly and not practical
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#7
If you do all that it's no longer a Schwinn Varsity, will cost 2-4 times as much as an equivalent used bike, will still weigh in excess of 35 lbs, and if you aren't replacing the tires it will have steel rims that are unsafe when wet, so please what is the point? It would be better to shine it up and hang it on the wall for sentiment and spend the money on a much, much safer and better operating bike. The Varsity was not even a terribly good 10 speed - just bombproof. If your friend's heart is set on riding the Varsity replace only what is necessary - certainly not the cranks, as in addition to the cost you can't just slap any BB/crank on a bike - look up "chainline."
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#8
Here is a link to Schwinn catalogs, you can find the bike there. I agree re loosing the double brakes and the stem shifters. You can get a set of down tube shifters appropriate to the era.
IMO fix only things that need fixing, service all bearings replace bearings, usually 3/16"and 1/4' in crank, use a waterproof automotive grease. I like Bel Rey. New cables and a seat, tires, rim liner, tubes . Look at Nashbar site for seats. Do not get a big cushy springy one they do not work well. I like the Terry leather Liberator.

http://sheldonbrown.com/varsity-shaddox.html

http://www.trfindley.com/pg_schwinn_cats.htm


http://www.terrybicycles.com/Saddles/Mens-Performance/Liberator-Race-Saddle

Why do you want to replace the crank? If servicing it does not work, you can just replace the bottom bracket with say a Shimano UN 54 or other. This I suggest to be done at a shop as tools are needed. Maybe a DIY bike shop in your area
Never Give Up!!!
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#9
(07-30-2014, 03:52 PM)Robert.Cerra Wrote:  I was told if I want to replace the crankset that I would need this.

http://harriscyclery.net/site/itemdetails.cfm?ID=1335

is this true?
Need if you want to change to a three piece crank set. On top of that, you'll need the crank set ($40- and up); Bottom Bracket ($15 to $20 at the low end) and new pedals ($20- and up).
(07-30-2014, 05:12 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  ........you can just replace the bottom bracket with say a Shimano UN 54 or other......
George; no you can NOT.
http://sheldonbrown.com/opc.html
(07-30-2014, 04:07 PM)Robert.Cerra Wrote:  I personally really want to get rid of those twin stick shifters, I personally think they are ugly and not practical
And replace them with what? Downtube, barcon or brifters?

Just the shifter change will take half your budget; and it not even on the list of effective changes to improve the performance of the bike.
Nigel
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#10
You are right Nigel, forgot it had a one piece crank. Got to be a sentimental labor of love. Converting to downtube shifters is not that expensive maybe $50 for cables and shifters max.........

http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1981_1990/1981_17.html
Never Give Up!!!
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#11
(07-30-2014, 05:06 PM)cny-man Wrote:  ... and if you aren't replacing the (tires) **wheels** it will have steel rims that are unsafe when wet, ..

sorry, my error
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#12
(07-30-2014, 10:00 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  ....Converting to downtube shifters is not that expensive maybe $50 for cables and shifters max.........

http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1981_1990/1981_17.html
Don't forget the clamp for the shifters. http://www.amazon.com/Origin8-DownTube-Shifter-Adapter-28-6mm/dp/B007Q4NKN2/ref=pd_bxgy_sg_text_y
Nigel
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#13
(07-31-2014, 12:12 AM)nfmisso Wrote:  Don't forget the clamp for the shifters. http://www.amazon.com/Origin8-DownTube-Shifter-Adapter-28-6mm/dp/B007Q4NKN2/ref=pd_bxgy_sg_text_y

Hmm - ignoring for the moment my belief that this is an unwise project, I don't think that will work for a Varsity down tube without a plastic shim.
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#14
Lots come with clamp on shifters. This is an inexpensive set. There are better ones but that's the idea.


http://www.amazon.com/SHIFTER-SUNRACE-STEM-SLR03-FRICTION/dp/B00A8M6NCY/ref=pd_sim_sg_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=10FK9DR3C2EDBGDRH2CE

I am happy with my oem downtube friction shifters. The stem shifters were called suicide shifters by some, as poorly located and hard to use.

The fancy current set ups are major bucks.

Each to their own.

Perhaps PK can offer some info and robar some parts.....BTW do check in the sales section here.

At this point I'd like to hear what the OP plan is, now that he has some info. Photos would be great too. Whole bike, crank, deraileur etc.
Never Give Up!!!
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#15
My advice is this, one would typically refurbish a Schwinn Varsity to bring it back to its original "Glory", mostly for sentimental reasons and not the optimum choice for updated users. For many reasons already mentioned, i.e. weight, steel wheels, brake/shifter issues, bogus component swap that cost but do not add nor retain value to said bicycle. certain tool requirments. cable modifacations, etc.. the list goes on and on. Generally, if the bicycle is not special in any way such as a finer grade tubing such as Columbus, Reynolds and or a specific style such as a touring type of Schwinn then the bike should basiclly remain as it was intended however good or bad it was. Again realize that is coming from someone who would gladly restore your bicycle and it would cost dearly. I classify these bikes as "niche" bikes, meaning there are certain people that these bikes are their cup of tea so to speak, nothing wrong with that at all. I would like to see some pics of what you are dealing with, but for the money and all around bang for the buck user. I say sell it to the "Niche" guy and go more practical. there are many older Schwinns worthy of an updated user that would make a Surly blush if redone right. Such as a Passage or a VoyogeurSp or even many bikes like Miyata, Univega, Fuji, and so on that have higher quality frame sets.Try to get out of the 70's and closer to the early to mid 80's, then put a couple hundred in those and have a bike that would be nicer than any new bike for your money spent, as long as you do the work yourself.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#16
(07-31-2014, 12:42 AM)GeorgeET Wrote:  Lots come with clamp on shifters. This is an inexpensive set. There are better ones but that's the idea......

I am happy with my oem downtube friction shifters. ......
Hi George;

Doesn't your frame have features brazed on the hold the down tube shifters? My 310 has a triangular piece that is brazed flat against the bottom of the down tube, that the clamp on located shifters against, so the clamp is not taking a sliding load. This is typical of most frames that had down tube shifters to minimize the clamp load.

The Varsity does not have these features.

Stem mounted shifters often ended up pulled down against the head set nut - the clamp just slid down......
Nigel
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#17
My 1985 Fuji del Rey with a nice Quad butted valite frame , Fuji cro mo, has bolt through the frame shifters. Not clamp on.
Never Give Up!!!
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#18
Good looking bike Geroge!
Nobody ever said "I wish I would have gotten less of a bike!"

Cervelo S5
Cannondale F29 1 alloy Lefty
Trek X-01 Crossbike
2017 Trek Farley 7
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#19
Good looking bike Geroge!
Nobody ever said "I wish I would have gotten less of a bike!"

Cervelo S5
Cannondale F29 1 alloy Lefty
Trek X-01 Crossbike
2017 Trek Farley 7
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#20
I recently rebuilt a '73 Varsity. The only real money spent was for a new freewheel, chain and cables. It was a learning experience. How to remove rust, clean paint etc. It is currently in parts in my shop and the frame went out on the street (sans fork). Way too heavy for everyday use. Did learn a few things re-doing it.
If he really loves the bike, go for it. Otherwise get something better.
http://s228.photobucket.com/user/cradom/library/1973%20Schwinn%20Varsity?sort=2&page=1
Craig Domingue - East Texas Hick
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