Schwinn Varsity back from the dead (at Walmart!)

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

  1. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    700c is the most common road size though I have never seen tires or tubes at a wal-mart or target, even ones which carried the road models. You have to go to a bike shop or online. You may not find an identical tire but you will easily find an interchangeable one. Of course, 700cX25 is quite common but you can go bigger or smaller (X23, X28, etc), limited only by the need to have the tires fit in the frame and avoid snakebite flats. Which brings me to:

    If the bike went flat after sitting a while, you need to make sure the tires are at proper pressure.

    I had clips and straps. I never got used to them except with certain pointy, smooth soled shoes (dress shoes) which you don't really want to be seen riding in for fear of looking odd. I got SPD-style mountain bike pedals and shoes.

    I looked into the varsity but went with an old, used Schwinn which is actually simpler and lower tech than the new varsity, but added SPD pedals. They are a great, easy to use addition.
     


  2. mikeyeager

    mikeyeager New Member

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    If I was interested in making the same modifications to my Varsity;
    would I buy a 1 1/8" fork and a threadless AHead?
    would I buy a 27mm seat post?
    More specific details, PLEASE.

     
  3. jcrarela

    jcrarela New Member

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    Thanks for all the help! :cool: Very invaluable. As always, ride safely.
     
  4. kahres05

    kahres05 New Member

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    Please excuse the double post here...Schwinn Varsity and Schwinn Prelude are the same bike.....

    I made and upgrade to the SIS derailleur on the Prelude. I went out and bought a Shimano Sora...$27 bucks, very cheap but leaps in quality compared to the one that came on the bike. I bought the short cage and works perfectly didnt need to shorten the chain; seems to be a lot less flex in over all shifting. Not only that, the bike looks like I spent 2 1/2 times the original price for it.
     
  5. Seamusmcseoin

    Seamusmcseoin New Member

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    Can anyone tell me what the avg. size of the Vasity is... in cm? 55,56,57???
     
  6. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    well, based on a reviewer on Targets web site, the bike is a good fit for 5'10'' to 6'2''. which means that the frame is the same as the "middle" gmc road bike 22.5 inches (58 cm?).
     
  7. Seamusmcseoin

    Seamusmcseoin New Member

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    Hey thanks for the response! I wasn't sure you guys were still talking on this. I also have had a bit of trouble with adjusting the rear brake. I made it so the brake pads were close 2mm from the tire...pulled the brake handle down, loosened the adjuster, pulled the cable as hard as I can... Just doesnt seem to get tight. If you cant tell I'm kindof a newbie...so if you have any advise, I'd appriciate at.
     
  8. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    I suggest you get a book on bike repair or at least borrow one from the library.

    I adjust my sidepull calipers with the handle released and the pads held up against the rim. When you release the pads the slack gives the rim enough clearance. Don't tighten the cable too hard on the caliper because you can shear right through the wires.
     
  9. Seamusmcseoin

    Seamusmcseoin New Member

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    Yeah I already have a little frey going on. Do i have to replace the whole cable now?
     
  10. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    See if you have enough cable after adjusting the brakes with the correct technique. If not then yes you do need a new cable.
     
  11. Seamusmcseoin

    Seamusmcseoin New Member

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    ok so i haven't lost enough cable to need replacement.

    For any ony who may read this as I did... trying to learn about road bikes and cheap alternatives. I have had my Schwinn Varsity now for about 3 weeks. It's my first road bike, so i dont have a lot of experience to pull from but, i can say this bike is pretty awesome. It's frame is almost as light if not lighter than some high priced rides. I have upgraded with carbon fiber seat post, bontrager race x seat, and computer... just the basics. I have put about 150miles on this bike and i have no major complaints at all. Obviously, adjustments were needed right out the store but, other wise very glad I only spent $200. The only real down fall is the components are not quality so gear shifting isnt always perfect. I haven't made any major adjustments to the derailer yet but, it is what is it. It's gotten the job done so far, and i live in an area with lots of hills. So it may not be great quallity shamano product but, I've road quite a bit with no real problems. Anyway, if you dont have a grand to drop on a bike you may or may not use, this option will not disappoint.
     
  12. par

    par New Member

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    Hey, thought I posted this already...

    Anyway, I am a novice to road biking, and am wondering if this bike will make a good introduction for me, with the possibility of upgrading some parts, like I hear people on this thread talking about. Is there a compiled listing of the upgrades you guys have done to this bike? Or some kind of ranking of what's most important to upgrade first? One more question, would it be possible to turn this bike into a fixed gear? If not, what kind of bike would I be looking for for that. Thanks!
     
  13. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Any bike can be used as a fixed gear. All you really need to do is not shift:D . Seriously though, your LBS or any of the better mail order retailers should be able to fix you up with the right components to make it a fixed gear. Basically it is either a new rear hub or spacers and one cog it you want to use your existing freehub, and you will want to remove one of your front chainrings (or two if you have a triple). Of course you will remove your derailers, shift cables, and shift mechanisms unless you have brifters. In this case, you may want to switch to standard brake levers if you are concerned about a couple extra grams.

    If you replace the hub, you might need to play around with your front chain ring to get a straight chainline. If you use the spacers on your existing freehub, you can move your cog to the position that gives you a straight chainline.

    IMHO, if you want to get a Shwinn Varsity from Wally World you might get a decent road bike if you change everything but the frame. Even then, you should probably replace the forks with carbon forks. At the very least you will want to upgrade the brakes, derailers, and both wheelsets. Wheelsets are where a bike manufacturer saves most of the cost when he is trying to reduce price. You can put heavy, low quality wheelsets on a bike and the average joe off the street won't know the difference. Anyone who has ever ridden with high quality wheelsets will be able to though.
     
  14. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    I have had a few cheap bikes. I think the main thing you need to upgrade is the engine. Better components may shave enough off a racer's time to win a race but if your stock components work then leave them alone. If you find the ride too harsh, try fatter tires or a sprung seatpost. Accept that training will be a bit of a chore regardless of how much you spend.
     
  15. KFCfrySlave

    KFCfrySlave New Member

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    Finally got to have a seat on a Varsity at the local WallyWorld. It was always on the top rack before and I couldn't be arsed to have it brought down.

    I'm 6' and have a true 34 inch inseam so finding a bike that fits taint easy.

    The Varsity seemed like it would basically fit. Seat went up way enough and I could always get a stem extender if necessary.

    What got me was that just sitting on it, it felt like it would break apart on the 1st bump. Don't know if that is how it seems to most or if the assembly was flakey, but I did not feel like I could ride that bike for any distance.

    Which might be caused by this question I have: Are tires on road bikes all that skinny ??

    I'm a newbie to bikes in general and road bikes specifically so that's a legitimate question.

    My neighbor has an old Bianchi and his tires are the old 26" type that I remember growing up. These new 700-whatever tires seem like an ER visit about to happen.

    Just curious.
     
  16. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    As long as the frame is wide enough and deep enough, and your brakes will reach, you can use almost any width tire and corresponding wheel on your bicycle. I suggest that you google "Sheldon Brown" and read up on the wheels on his website. Lots of good info.

    The thinner tires have less rolling resistance than wider tires. You would be surprized at how well they grip the road. They are not much good off the road though. You could always buy a mountain bike or an off road hybrid. They usually have 26" X 2.25" tires and can be used on or off the road.
     
  17. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Try the GMC Denali. They come in bigger sizes. It is also a $200 road bike.
     
  18. newbiebiker

    newbiebiker New Member

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    Hey guys....im only 13, about '5"1, and 90 lbs but i want to get started in road biking. I LOVE:D speed and adrenaline, and am an avid downhill skiier. Isaw this "26 Schwinn Varsity bike at wal-mart yesterday and it looked to me like a good way to get started into road biking, but it seemed too big for me at the seat height it was at:( ......any solutions or ways to lower frame so i can fit onto it? Any would be appreciated!

    P.S. i also saw a GMC Denali bike there for about $150 and seemed a bit smaller but worse quality
     
  19. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    First suggestion: Contact your local bicycling club and ask if someone could help you check out this bike. You can blow through a several bikes as you grow, starting at 13. Whatever you get, you want it to fit only when it is adjusted down as far as it will go with a stem as short as you can get. This way you can adjust it up as you get taller.
     
  20. newbiebiker

    newbiebiker New Member

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    Thanx for the info and i'll check that out:) . i was also wondering, do they make any smaller sizes of road bikes(like maybe "24 wheel size) or could i fit smaller wheels and tires onto a "26 frame? thx again for the info
     
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