The Schwinn Varsity and Continental thread.

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I swear every time I see that my local bike shop has old Schwinn Varsity or Continental bikes that they are willing to give to me for free. I have gotten a couple of these frames, but ended up getting rid of them and never committing to build them fully. Have any of you done any interesting builds with Schwinn Varsity or Schwinn Continental bikes?

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Tallbikeman

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Late 70's 26" frame Schwinn Varsity. The Varsity has the better fork for bigger tires and overall strength. Bike is a 1x10 with a Shimano Shadow MTB rear deraileur. 700C x 40mm Schwalbe Marathon Pro tires on Velocity Chukar rims. The bike is equipped with a Profile 180mm BMX cranks and Profile chainring. S and M handlebar with BMX stem. The bags and rack are by Jannd. A pair of Tektro 559 brakes really stop this rig well. I've had the bike for over 20yrs. Traded a ladies style Varsity I was given for this bike since it fits me. It is awesome on and off road. This is my favorite ride of all the bikes I own. Schwinn really had the frame fork angles dialed in.
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This is 2014 or so with taller handlebars, IGH. I believe this is the Sturmey Archer 5 speed IHG I tried for a while. 1st gear always slipped and eventually I gave up on IGH and went to a 10 speed cassette/derailleur setup. I tried a Shimano Nexus 7 speed IGH which worked well but wore out rather rapidly. It lasted about 7 years. A Shimano Alfine 11 which was a rolling disaster. The Alfine was gone in one year. The Sturmey Archer 5 speed for a couple of years. By that time I'd had enough and in 2017 or so switched to derailleur which is dead simple, easy to adjust and reliable. This pictured version has drum brakes front and rear. The front is a Sturmey Archer 90mm drum brake and it worked really well. The rear drum/5 speed hub brake was more than adequate for my riding. Bike has rim brakes now. The sweet chainguard came from Velo Orange a decade back or so. Rattle can paint job.
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I had a 71 Varsity and a 65 Continental. I converted the Varsity from it's original 10 speed setup and got the Continental as a bare frame/fork. It had a Sachs 3 speed w coaster and 26 x 2.0 tires. and regular Schwinn chain wheel.
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The yellow 71 Varsity with a S7 yellow band Bendix two speed and 26x 2.00 front tire. Regular Schwinn chain wheel.
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The silver bike was a Racer, but same type of frame changed over to 26" wheels.
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Tallbikeman

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I had a 71 Varsity and a 65 Continental. I converted the Varsity from it's original 10 speed setup and got the Continental as a bare frame/fork. It had a Sachs 3 speed w coaster and 26 x 2.0 tires. and regular Schwinn chain wheel.
View attachment 196419
The yellow 71 Varsity with a S7 yellow band Bendix two speed and 26x 2.00 front tire. Regular Schwinn chain wheel.
View attachment 196420View attachment 196422
The silver bike was a Racer, but same type of frame changed over to 26" wheels.
View attachment 196421
Very nice Klunks. I built two of these Klunks and raced MTB races in northern California in the very ealy 1980's. I used 26" wheels, rear coaster brake, brazed on Mafac cantilever brake studs and brakes on the indestructible fron fork. 1.75" tire is all that will fit in rear fork, but that is enough for MTB racing. Good to see these Schwinns soldiering on.
 
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"Have any of you done any interesting builds with Schwinn Varsity or Schwinn Continental bikes?"

I've done about 50 conversions using old Schwinn, Huffy, Murray and many other brands. Quite a few Varsity, Sierra, and Continentals. Using 26" aluminum rims really improves the ride.

here are most of them in a flickr album:
 
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"Have any of you done any interesting builds with Schwinn Varsity or Schwinn Continental bikes?"

I've done about 50 conversions using old Schwinn, Huffy, Murray and many other brands. Quite a few Varsity, Sierra, and Continentals. Using 26" aluminum rims really improves the ride.

here are most of them in a flickr album:
Those look great. The Schwinns look best though, especially the old red Varsity. The mixte gives me an idea for a build. I have one more frame, a mixte from the 80's, from the pile of never used scrap frames I picked up a couple years ago. It's going to make a good klunker but only can take 1.75 tires.
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Tallbikeman

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"Have any of you done any interesting builds with Schwinn Varsity or Schwinn Continental bikes?"

I've done about 50 conversions using old Schwinn, Huffy, Murray and many other brands. Quite a few Varsity, Sierra, and Continentals. Using 26" aluminum rims really improves the ride.

here are most of them in a flickr album:
Great set of bikes. That last Red Varsity with the huge front chainwheel must be one of those speed record bikes I've seen pictures of.
 

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