Schwinn Varsity Party Bike

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Captain Awesome

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If the chain has more width, it might be contacting the sides of the cages. But it looks ok. I would take the chain off and check the operation of the cage wheels, then check the cluster and rear wheel to see if there's anything hindering them. And lastly, checking the clearance of the chain around the chain wheels and front derailleur.
That's what I was thinking. Wrong width chain
 

Tallbikeman

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Here she is…. I gave up with the heat at feels like 101.(F)

White walls and wheels: great

Tuned brakes with new pads: great

New chain: great

One seized rear derailleur: NOT Great!
View attachment 203581
Chains for the old 5 and 6 speed hubs were very wide. Sprockets were wider, just a more robust system. As they put more rear gears on they narrowed the chains and sprockets. The chains have the same length between bearings but the width is less. Check to see if the chain is wedging onto the rear/front sprockets. If it is then buy a chain for the the old 5/10 speed setups. Wildcat's advice should be followed also because if a derailleur tension wheel locked up or somehow the rear hub locked up the effect would be the same. If all components rotate freely without the chain then the chain is probably the problem. One other thing. In the past on my Schwinn Varsity's I have put a bolt in the fender/rear rack mounting hole and it touched the chain/rear sprockets and locked up the drive system. Yours does not look like it has that problem. This is a fine looking old Varsity.
 
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Hey guys; I think I got this sorted out.

It’s my error. I had a number of things going on which caused the bind:

1). Finger tight axle nuts: the wheel crept a little in the drop downs so it wasn’t perfectly straight

2). After market chain: still a little wonky on the derailleur, but fine to ride (I think)

3). Shift lever and gears not straight

4). the derailleur did need a thorough lube

Thanks for all the help here guys: back on track for the deadline!!!!!
 
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So, I’m thinking this is the aftermarket chain

The bike pedals fine, but to me, the chain looks like it’s sitting to one side of the idler pulley

If I could get my hands on a Schwinn GT 500 derailleur pretty cheap would it be worth the swap?
8FAFDDB7-B1FD-416B-ADF9-112BAFB02B64.jpeg
0EA6D576-EF6A-4E88-ABE0-EAB57472E915.jpeg
 

OddJob

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It looks pretty well lined up to me. I don't think the rear der swap would make a huge difference. Appears that the chain is seated properly on the freewheel cogs. Any tight links in the chain?
 

Tallbikeman

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Didn't think about loose nuts. That rear shift lever is a friction lever and the bolt with the bail tightens or loosens the friction. Tighten it some and see if it gets rid of your shifter drift.
 

Tallbikeman

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Weighing in on your Schwinn GT 500 rear derailleur or any old Suntour derailleur from that era. All of those will be better than the Huret derailleur that Schwinns came with in the day. However if you keep oiling the parallelogram pivots it will work OK. The Japanese derailleurs were much better. I had more problems with the front Huret derailleur locking up because the parallelogram arms rubbed against one another over time caused them to roughen up and become harder to pivot. Again oil or grease would help but it was a downward spiral of ever worsening performance. I don't use either of these Huret derailleurs on my Varsity. I use a Shimano 10 speed MTB rear derailleur with no front on my present setup. I have an older Suntour front derailleur that fits the downtube in case I decide to put one on. Varsity's have no cable stop for the front derailleur so you have to either get an older front derailleur with a built in cable stop like your Huret has or braze on or bolt on a cable stop. There is always these little issues when dealing with bicycles. Varsity On. New Velocity Chukker rims on my late seventies Schwinn Varsity in the 26" frame. That's Bear keeping an eye on everything.
IMG_1562.jpg
 
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Weighing in on your Schwinn GT 500 rear derailleur or any old Suntour derailleur from that era. All of those will be better than the Huret derailleur that Schwinns came with in the day. However if you keep oiling the parallelogram pivots it will work OK. The Japanese derailleurs were much better. I had more problems with the front Huret derailleur locking up because the parallelogram arms rubbed against one another over time caused them to roughen up and become harder to pivot. Again oil or grease would help but it was a downward spiral of ever worsening performance. I don't use either of these Huret derailleurs on my Varsity. I use a Shimano 10 speed MTB rear derailleur with no front on my present setup. I have an older Suntour front derailleur that fits the downtube in case I decide to put one on. Varsity's have no cable stop for the front derailleur so you have to either get an older front derailleur with a built in cable stop like your Huret has or braze on or bolt on a cable stop. There is always these little issues when dealing with bicycles. Varsity On. New Velocity Chukker rims on my late seventies Schwinn Varsity in the 26" frame. That's Bear keeping an eye on everything.View attachment 204699
-front derailleurs are WAY overrated. Give me, 8, 5, even 3 gears…. I’ll be ok.
 
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Nice work, Jude, and a super cool Varsity. The magic you worked on that old beat paint is amazing! That's a real nice time capsule you've got and it clearly found it's way to the right owner. Love that green!
Thanks @Pondo ! -Appreciate the kind words! I hope to bring it down the home stretch the weekend…. And ride this thing for years to come!
 

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