Schwinn Varsity back from the dead (at Walmart!)

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by the beef, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. renewkir

    renewkir New Member

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    Hey guys...

    Just an update... I took the Varsity back a while ago and bought the Lightning Sport. Got it in the mail the other day, got it assembled today (I had to figure out how to do some stuff I've never done before, and I'm glad I did) and took it on a short ride to make sure it wouldn't fall apart. So far, I think I'm going to like it.

    Any tips as to what I should make sure of, as far as assembly, so I don't end up killing myself?

    I'll update again shortly with my progress. Thanks for the tip, though...
     


  2. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    things I did:

    - pumped up the tires
    - adjusted the brakes,
    - adjusted seat height
    - added a stem extender ( I like the handlebars even with my seat...)
    - made sure the handlebars were tight (also adjusted angle to my liking...)
    - added a seat bag to carry tire levers, extra tube, and bike tool...
    - added a cheap cycle computer to determine distance/max speed/avg speed
    - took a test run out on a quiet road to get the feel of the bike and to verify
    shifting...
    - added a blinking lights front and back

    I have about 400 miles on it since the end of july... I still think its a fantastic beginner type of bike...

    some general cycling tips:

    measure the height of the seat by getting on the bike (hold onto something to help keep balance) and putting your heel on the pedal and rotate the crank to the bottom position. Your leg should be straight without you leaning left or right. if you need to adjust then adjust from that starting point no more than 1/4 inch before a ride to determine exact comfort position.

    try to use gears to keep your cadence (speed you are pedaling) around 90-110 rpm...

    in the beginning try riding based on time and I find that if you are new to cycling... skip a day between rides to let your rear end recover... you'll know when you can then graduate to using "recovery" rides... oh and you might want to look into buying some padded bike shorts.
     
  3. renewkir

    renewkir New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. Yeah, When I first got on and started to ride, the handlebars werent tight and i almost lost the whole thing right there.

    But i'll take the rest of your advice and tell you how it goes...

    Since it's starting to get cold, though, i think i might invest in some rollers so i can still use my bike in the winter.
     
  4. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    How about some gloves and shoe covers, and a brush and bucket?:)
     
  5. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    yeah, I am planning to ride on the weekends during the winter months and see how it goes... I am willing to do the exercise bike during the week but it really is not a substitute for a real ride...
     
  6. dougadam

    dougadam Member

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    I used to love my Schwinn Varsity
     
  7. blindsaint

    blindsaint New Member

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    So a while ago I got an e-mail asking to post how my expirience with the Varsity has been. I had some problems for a while with my pump and between work and other responsibilities, I hadn't had time to sit around and figure it out, or to go buy a new one. Well Saterday night, I thought I'd ride my bike to Target and get in line for the new Nintendo Wii (which came out Sunday morning). I sat down at 1:00 am and figured out what I was doing wrong. I finaly got the pump working, got my tired pumped and, after probably a month without riding it, rode 10 miles without a hitch. ( I got the Wii, and it's totaly awesome)


    Today I went on what was supposed to be a 50 mile ride with a 20 minute break in the middle (I picked a destination to sit, get something to drink, and rest that was almost exactly 25 miles). I got there in better timeing than I had expected, averaging just over 20 mph. On my way back though, I got a flat abuot 10 miles from my home. I'll be going to a LBS tomorrow to pick up a new innertube and some other neccesities....

    The only things I've found bad are that I think the cables have stretched a little (which was mentioned above I believe) and the seat is like sticking a bar between your cheeks. the wheels aren't the best, and I'm sure the Dawes Lightning wheels are probably better. The problems have all been minor, nothing I can't fix and nothing that will make it more expensive (which was the point from the get-go).

    I love it. I've put 50 miles on it in the last few days, and a couple hundred before. Those are the problems I've had with it.

    Next bike I get will probably be a Dawes Lightning just to try it out.

    oh yeah, I'm 6 feet tall and 155lbs and it fits almost perfectly. With a few parts, it'll fit like a glove I'm sure.
     
  8. backtobiking

    backtobiking New Member

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    If anyone is interested in one My friend would like to sell his. Like new hardly used at all. PM me...
     
  9. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    thats a pretty good speed to ride at for a non-lbs bike... maybe even phenomenal... you mean to tell me you didn't have a carbon fibre fork or other carbon fibre doo-hickeys? :D

    you at least took the kickstand off right? :D
     
  10. singlespeedemon

    singlespeedemon New Member

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    I have followed this thread for awhile and just received a Schwinn Varsity yesterday. Not a bad bike, IMHO.
     
  11. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    hey singlespeed, it would be great to know how the bike turns out for you. so
    please keep us up to date on how much mileage you put on the bike and any problems you may encounter...
     
  12. singlespeedemon

    singlespeedemon New Member

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    Will do!

    I'm new here, but have been following this thread for some time now. I normally post on bikeforums, but they're not-so-friendly to anyone who thinks department store bike might actually be a decent riding machine.

    I'll tell you, for $200, it is a decent starter bike.
     
  13. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    your comment about bike forums is pretty much true. however there is an archived thread that talks about the GMC Denali that you can get from Walmart, target, dicks sporting goods, and Amazon...
    it seems that the guy bought it to use while he was rebuilding his peugot and within the warranty time frame for walmart (90 days) he put over 2000 miles on it with no problems...
    I bought one as a "beater" because of that thread, but haven't put much mileage on it. though it has performed well for the mileage that I have put on it which is around 50 miles... I bought it from walmart for 150.00
     
  14. singlespeedemon

    singlespeedemon New Member

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    I read that thread...I found it informative and entertaining. Despite some negative feedback, the OP just stated the facts and didn't get on the defensive.

    I'll never act like a $200 Dept Store bike is as good as a high-end racer, but they aren't as different as people would like to believe they are.
     
  15. Rocket_Man

    Rocket_Man New Member

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    My next door neighbor got a GMC Denali. He rode his a TON last year...I actually was really suprised by how well it held up, so...I was saving up for one...actually thinking of the Yukon...around $250. Well, wating for Wal-Mart to get one in...I stumbled across a deal!!! While making one of my weekly trips to WM, I saw a bike in a pawn shop window. At first I thought "Yeah, its probably still really expensive" and passed it up. While doing my shoping I figured I ought to go back and just look. Low and behold it was a Trek 1000SL. Exactly like I was looking at late last summer (just never had the $ for it). They had a price of $250 on it, but I got it ofr $225...it needs new handle bar tape, and a rear quick release skewer. Other than that...PERFECT!!! Also, FWIW, must be a 2005 bike...it has a sticker under the top bar that says "6 time Tour de France Winner"...kind of a collectors item some day???
     
  16. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    that sounds like a sweet ride... (why can't I find deals like that? whine whine...)
    darn! (green with envy....:( )
     
  17. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    So how are you guys doing with your Varsitys and Denalis? I am sure the singlespeed conversions are holding up fine but what about the others? How's the rear wheel? Wobbling yet?
     
  18. Rocket_Man

    Rocket_Man New Member

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    Yeah...I'm a happy camper!!! Though, I did have to wait for about a year for a deal to come along...it wasn't the easiest to do, well, then again...I didn't have the money anyway, so I guess it wasn't that bad of a wait. ANYWAY...I hope that all made sense!!! Just in the right place at the right time, though, almost passed it up.
     
  19. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    actually, I haven't put much mileage on lately because of the weather. I have been using an indoor trainer during the week and have used the bike on the
    weekends when it have been fairly nice... I haven't hand any problems with the bike and if the rear wheel gets a bit wobbly, I can true it...

    by the way, hows that cadillac holding up for you?
     
  20. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Cadillac's fine, hub's smooth, been putting mileage on other bikes so it only has a few hundred. The shifting needs adjustment, though.

    When I say the rear wheel will start to wobble on a freewheel bike, though, I don't mean the rim.

    The axle will bend and will thus open up the hub bearing clearances. The bearings will then wear out quickly, making it ten times worse.

    In other words, the wheel will become loose on its axle.

    This almost always happened on the old freewheel style bikes for me. I like old 10-speeds but bought a freehub-style rear wheel for the one I have left.

    Most department store derailleur-equipped bikes still have the old freewheel design, except that they have 7 speeds and are even more bending-prone because the overhung part of the axle is longer in order to clear the wider rear cluster.
     
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