Schwinn camelback frame differences (varsity/collegiate vs. speedster/racer)

RustyGold

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Jul 2, 2015
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Greetings...what are the frame differences between a 26" x 1 3/8" camelback and the 27" wheeled versions? particularly in the rear triangle...can one take a taller and/or wider tire than the other, or are they essentially the same?

Would prefer real world comparisons by someone that has, or had, both!

Thanks,
Jason
 
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Jul 30, 2013
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I have both and took some physical measurements. I was surprised to discover that there were noticeable differences between the two--the Speedster frame is more generous in its proportions. My rough findings follow...

Speedster:
BB shell to rear dropout -- 18 3/4 inches
BB to seat stay top -- 16 inches
Chainstay clearance near tire -- 2 inches easily

Varsity:
BB shell to rear dropout -- 18 inches
BB to seat stay top -- 14 inches
Chainstay clearance near tire -- about 2 inches

Remember these are rough measurements but enough to illustrate that there are variations, despite the visual similarities.
 
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No problem. I can provide more accurate measurements, if you really need them. But for now, it's sufficient to say that there is little chance of mistaking a lightweight camelback for a middleweight one.
 
Mar 26, 2017
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Is it safe to assume that the frame that can take 27" rims is a middle weight frame and the one that uses 26" rims is a light weigh frame?
 
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Is it safe to assume that the frame that can take 27" rims is a middle weight frame and the one that uses 26" rims is a light weigh frame?
Actually, it was the other way around. The 27-inch wheel was/is a relatively narrow, high-pressure road bike tire commonly found on their "lightweight" ten-speeds.

The Schwinn 26-inch S-6 tire was a proprietary size (ISO 597) that wasn't exactly chubby, but it did deliver a more cushioned ride. There are only one or two varieties of tire still manufactured in that size today.

We can debate whether a Schwinn Varsity, at 30+ pounds, qualifies as a lightweight. But, in those days, it was one of their popular offerings.