Schwinn Varsity Party Bike

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I'm facing that challenge with my build off bike, weird Canadian size 26 wheels. They're not decimal sizes, but also different from the old Schwinn sizes. If I don't switch the rims to something more common, I'm looking at approx. $200 for rubber. More than the bike is worth on any day!
Ha-Ha! that makes me feel better!!! I thought I was the only guy who doinked with odd-ball wheels and bikes!

tires are 1000% worth the money and in my opinion can completely transform a bike. -even if you have to do a wheel swap.

The standard wheels sizes of course offer a lot more selection on colors and style. To me, it’s worth the cost to get the tires and look you want on a bike. Sometimes it’s hard to justify the cost, but to me, definitely worth the expense.
 
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.....And here she is! Tonight’s guest project!!!! The Flying Tigers ghost bike!!!!

I finished this thing about a year ago and have only ridden it once!!!

As it looks nice there was something funky going on in the bottom bracket.

All the hardware was right and snug, but there was a little play in the crank.

As I repurpose a lot of parts, I tore it apart to see what was up. Turns out I repurposed some funky BB cups: they were nice and shiny, but upon closer evaluation, they look slightly deeper and somewhat “squared” in depth vs standard cups.

After an hour or so of cussing and grease everywhere, she’s alive and PERFECTLY functional.

This Saturday, Syracuse Classic Bikes will be participating in a Memorial Day parade..... can’t think of a better bike for the ride than this one!!!!!
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I really appreciate your input on this! I had no idea Schwinn made in year model changes.

it does make since though as @Wildcat pointed out, the 10 speed technology was being used on the continental in the same year.

If the varsity was the top of the line bike, I would think it would need 10 speeds too.

sort of like a ‘64’ 1/2 mustang! Lol!

our bikes are super close. I definitely have a different rear derailleur. Your decals are in way better shape!!!

any idea on bar tape colors? I’ve seen this bike on line and they all have white tape. Curious as to how mine got the green.

Stay tuned! I’m going to tune this puppy up and ride it! Thanks for your input and interest
Schwinn made constant changes. I think they all had the white tape when new. I think the green tape is pretty awesome. It looks like the tape they used a little later.

I’m not totally sure on this but I think the 1962 varsity’s had switched to the double down tube shifters instead of the stick shift. Also, I don’t think varsity was top of the line. It was somewhere in the middle. The continental was a more expensive bike.
 
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That's right, Varsity wasn't the top of the line. At 70 bucks it was expensive though. That's almost 700 dollars in today's dollars. Continental was $87 back then. From the 61 catalog:
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All the 8 and 10 speed bikes show white handlebar tape in the catalogs. That black seat they show shouldn't be too hard to find, most had the same kind, they actually have springs and aren't that bad.

Since it's a rare and early 10 speed, I would just keep all the components and use the frame with original paint as a klunker. Schwinn paint is known to be high quality back then and should shine up well. You wouldn't worry about damaging it too much. And then you could convert it back to all original in good shape if someone wants to spend some dough and buy it. That's what I did with this bike, it was a 2 speed conversion but I had an offer that was too good, so I put it back to original 10 speed and sold it.
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That's right, Varsity wasn't the top of the line. At 70 bucks it was expensive though. That's almost 700 dollars in today's dollars. Continental was $87 back then. From the 61 catalog:
View attachment 194746

All the 8 and 10 speed bikes show white handlebar tape in the catalogs. That black seat they show shouldn't be too hard to find, most had the same kind, they actually have springs and aren't that bad.

Since it's a rare and early 10 speed, I would just keep all the components and use the frame with original paint as a klunker. Schwinn paint is known to be high quality back then and should shine up well. You wouldn't worry about damaging it too much. And then you could convert it back to all original in good shape if someone wants to spend some dough and buy it. That's what I did with this bike, it was a 2 speed conversion but I had an offer that was too good, so I put it back to original 10 speed and sold it.
View attachment 194750
The klunker is epic. I’m a wimp with stuff this original, particularly this bike which appears to be such an early 10 speed varsity.

With exception to a few easily swapped mods, this bike is going to be about as original as can be or will be very easily restored to factory original.

I also did not realize the continental was the top of the line. I always thought varsity was the marquee bike.

I have a beautiful patina, baby blue continental in my storage garage…. I was going to get a little crazy with that thing: upgrading wheels, fork, saddle, bars, etc. I was going to turn it into a trainer…. Now I’m half scared! Lol. That reminds me…. I think I have a black Schwinn saddle!
 
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View attachment 194751
The klunker is epic. I’m a wimp with stuff this original, particularly this bike which appears to be such an early 10 speed varsity.

With exception to a few easily swapped mods, this bike is going to be about as original as can be or will be very easily restored to factory original.

I also did not realize the continental was the top of the line. I always thought varsity was the marquee bike.

I have a beautiful patina, baby blue continental in my storage garage…. I was going to get a little crazy with that thing: upgrading wheels, fork, saddle, bars, etc. I was going to turn it into a trainer…. Now I’m half scared! Lol. That reminds me…. I think I have a black Schwinn saddle!
Don't worry too much about the originals, they made millions of these bikes. They probably won't ever see the worth they should have. The value should be on the way they were built and that they were made in America with good quality control.
The seats I've seen on most of the Varsity bikes were black plastic, but had springs running the length of the seat and were actually comfortable.
 

kingfish254

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Cool bike and history too. Never heard of the 8 speeds before.
 
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So..... wow! Epic Day!!!

Started the day in the Jamesville Memorial Day parade, in rain, on the Flying Tiger....
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Finished the day on the yella’ Ross, in a beautiful evening, at my maiden voyage of the Syracuse Bike Party!!!!

I’ve been trying to hit this for about a year and finally fit it into my schedule!!! (This was the 1 year anniversary ride)

It was a Total blast!!!! Can’t wait to take the varsity!!!

About 120 riders; all types of bikes (a lot of road bikes and hybrids), and all types of demographics. A truly amazing and fun experience, with the common thread of everyone loving bikes and riding.

I talked Mrs. Jude into coming.... one of the ride organizers actually set up with an ice cream stand at the halfway point for FREE ICE CREAM for all riders!!!!

What a night! The total ride was about 8 miles and ended at a bar with a social. An epic, epic evening..... can’t wait to take the Varsity!!!!
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Really dig the ride event reports and photos, Jude! The riding of our cool build bikes is more than half of the fun!
 
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Really dig the ride event reports and photos, Jude! The riding of our cool build bikes is more than half of the fun!
Thanks OJ: the yella’ Ross got a lot of comments…. I was cracking up. People thought it was the most amazing bike they had ever seen. I laughed. I was thinking to myself: “you should see the bikes on RatRodBikes.com!”

i actually did speak with one of the ride‘s founders just prior to the ride and told him about the website and our build offs. (I told him I’m building a bike specifically for the event). He was definitely surprised at that as 99% of the bikes i saw were road/hybrid/mtb/ebike “off the shelf” type stuff. There was a mad-man there who did the whole ride on a unicycle!!!!

there were definitely some vintage high dollar road bikes there and a handful of custom builds (my fave’ was a gold tandem with pink tires that was painted like a garden bike: it had bongos built into the back for the rear rider to play!) -but most of the Stuff there were just purchased bicycles.

I guess there’s a Baltimore Bike Party and they’re drawing close to 1000 riders per ride. That’s the goal right now of the SBP team, to really pump up the numbers To be like Baltimore.

It would be interesting to see if we have anyone on here in or near Baltimore that could get us more info on that beast of a ride.
 
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my fave’ was a gold tandem with pink tires that was painted like a garden bike: it had bongos built into the back for the rear rider to play!
Honorary Rat Award!
I bet the lovely Ms Dice would want a set for our tandem, she'd be setting the pace from the Stoker seat!
 
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Bongos on a tandem! What's next?
Thanks Wildcat! I’ll do a better job of snapping pics of unique bikes on the next ride, but very few of the bikes there seemed to be built by the rider.

one person asked me about my bars on the yella’ Ross and I told them they were original to the bike and I just removed the grips, flipped the bars and put tape on them and they said they could never fathom a project like that! Lol!

I guess I never realized how many people DIDN’T work on their own bike!!!!!

Besides the bongo tandem, there were some cool OCC style stingrays…. one had a pretty wicked stretch and rear suspension.

there was a guy on a red, white and blue Eddy Merckx road bike that looked showroom new. there were some fat tire bikes and 4-5 high end mtb’s and some nasty looking downhill bikes with super soft suspensions.

There were some cool old Schwinn’s, but nothing really modified.

-maybe just some lights, a bell or a horn and maybe a strapped on Bluetooth speaker. But really Just 70’s and 80’s Schwinns And newer general purpose bikes.

-some guy had a thrashed light blue Womens collegiate with fat slicks stuffed under the fenders but that’s about it.

I’ll get more pics next ride…. This was my test run and learning experience!!!!
 
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I guess there’s a Baltimore Bike Party and they’re drawing close to 1000 riders per ride.
The biggest bike party ride I have seen so far was in August 2006, Midnight Ridazz "Double-Trouble" ride. It was reported to have had 1,800 Ridazz. I have a bunch of pics taken with my good camera from that ride, stored on a disc...somewhere.

 
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So, today’s goal was to set the yard up for summer and get this party bike going!!!!

first and foremost, I can do this, today, thanks to our veterans.

THANK YOU VETERANS!!

-finished the weeding with my wife, purchased and planted some flowers, hung the buntings and got after the Schwinn!

Will be firing up the grill shortly!

great day! Thank You!
 
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So, I haven’t really been “close” to this bike.... ever.

I started to scrub it up and the surface rust is a little heavier than I thought. It’s not atrocious, but I actually thought the bike was a little cleaner.

My goal for today is to clean it up, see what I really have and maybe take a ride on it.
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