Schwinn Varsity back from the dead (at Walmart!)

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

  1. bigsid

    bigsid New Member

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    This is a fantastic thread. It's really been helpful.

    I just purchased the Schwinn Varsity from Walmart today. I tried to haggle for a price like tcar5, but couldn't close the deal. Is it possible to raise the handlebars? It's killing my back.

    I found the Dawes Lightning Sport interesting, I could return the Schwinn, but I was concerned about mail order if I didn't like the feel.

    I also bought the Schwinn Ranger mountain bike from Target, and after a couple of swaps, have been very satified. Target outsources assembly to Huffy and the guy is there every Wednesday and tweaks mine for free(gears,brakes,etc).

    Thanks in advance,

    Sid
     


  2. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    well, I have to admit that I thought the same thing because I went to walmart and found that if I ordered the schwinn, I could return it to the store without a problem. The only thing I would lose is the 20.00 for shipping... and thats why I didn't order from "Dicks Sporting Goods" because they wouldn't follow suit on the "GMC yukon" bike.

    However, because of tcar5's experiences and descriptions, I decided to check out "chicabike" on ebay and there were tons of positive feedback on the bike so thats why I decided on going with that. Add in the fact that the Dawes frame is chro-molly rather than aluminum, I knew it was lighter than my old xmart bike from 20 years ago and just as durable. alot of older high-end bikes
    had chro-molly frames so thats why I went with and Im very happy with it...

    just went on a 10 mile run sunday morning and I really am becoming more
    comfortable on the bike. The reason for the "more comfortable" is because I
    was riding a hybrid with a much more upright position and there is a "break in"
    period with any bicycle for me. I had to add the stem extension so that I can
    get in the drops, which are now comfortable for me to ride in :D
     
  3. Bob Ross

    Bob Ross New Member

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    I'll show my age too: I got a brand new original Schwinn Varsity Sport when I was 12 years old, & that was my only bike for the next 10 years. By the time I reached 15 or 16 years old I had gotten pretty immune to the constant ribbing I'd get from friends with their lightweight (sic) "English racers" ...none of which could have been under 28 lbs, but all of which were a good 8-10 lbs *less* than my Schwinn. That Varsity Sport could've survived a nuclear war.
     
  4. tcar5

    tcar5 New Member

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    Not very much. The ahead is already angled up. It would be easier to lower them by turning the ahead to upside down. You could lower your seat but then not knowing how tall you are you may run into a problem with the pedals.
    Hmmmm, thinking.....Obviously replacing the current fork with a new fork with an uncut full length steering tube and then using spacers you can make it as high as you want it and then just saw off the excess steering tube. That would be your best bet and safer. I don't want to provide advice that will have your fork coming off on your next 25 mph downhill run. If you hit ebay you will find what you want and if your not out for carbon fiber then you can land an uncut fork for $15 with shipping.
    Good luck
     
  5. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    you might try googling for "sheldon brown". he has a bunch of articles on
    bike maintenance and how to improve a bikes fit (i.e. raising handlebars...)

    I have a "threaded" headset so I was able to get a "stem extender" for
    threadless (probably what you have...) you can get another stem as an option
    or you might try the "adjustable" stems that allow you to set the angle/height.
    Unfortunately, I have one on my hybrid and it looks like it was made for a
    armored combat bike. They are made of aluminum and can be bought for
    around 15$ online (not including shipping...).
     
  6. tcar5

    tcar5 New Member

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    The varsity has a threadless headset and an ahead that could also double as a tank drive train component. I looked at it last night trying to figure out a way and there just isn't any room for movement. I am uploading a pic, anyone see any way to get this higher?
     
  7. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    hopefully, Im using the terms correctly.
    the part that holds the handlebar is that the AHead?

    assuming it is... the part that the AHead is attached to is the stem?

    I would think that you could get a longer (higher?) threadless headset...
    it looks like you could re-use the AHead (don't know if a headset comes with that or not...

    the only problem left would be does the brake cable housing allow for the
    rise?
     
  8. tcar5

    tcar5 New Member

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    Yes, the ahead is the angled tube that connects the handle bar with the steering tube. The steering tube is connected to the fork and is cut at an exact length so there is no extra steering tube sticking out over the ahead.
    To take what you have now, the final height no matter what you add is decided by the steering tube. There are some adjustable aheads that can increase the height with angle adjustments. I will upload a pic of one that I found on ebay for $15 - $27 US.
    The ahead that is on the varsity is pretty agressively angled already so I am not sure how much your going to gain by getting the angled ahead option. You may end up only gaining a 10mm rise which is most likely not enough to make your back stop hurting.
    If you replace the fork and ahead (try "vincolo" on ebay) then you can use spacers and increase the height a few inches. I think an uncut steering tube is a standard 12" in length. Thats plenty for whatever you want to raise it to.
     
  9. tcar5

    tcar5 New Member

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    Oh and the cable housing is fine. I doubt that you will extend it beyond the extra play that you already have. But if you do then a replacement cable set is only a few dollars and that will have longer, uncut cable and cable guides.
     
  10. bigsid

    bigsid New Member

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    Thanks guys for the suggestions, I ended up getting a Delta Stem Extender. Worked great, and I decided to go on my first real road bike ride. Houston is not exactly bike friendly but I found a decent bike path(about 36" on the right of a super busy highway). The only problem was it was littered with debris and I got a flat about 20 miles into the ride. I got so frustrated I walked the bike home (5+ miles),loaded it into my car and returned it to walmart. My MTB tires seem to hold up better on the shoddy bike paths around here. I am going to regroup and do some more homework, before I buy a road bike.


    Here was a test I performed: I am able to sustain 16.5 MPH (middle sprocket)at 85% max heart rate on my MTB. I was expecting to be able to hit about 19+ MPH with same effort on the road bike and I would only avg 17-18 MPH(big sprocket).

    Is it the bike?

    Sid
     
  11. tcar5

    tcar5 New Member

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    I'll be damn, I didn't even realize that stem extenders existed......Well time to go home, I have already learned something today...!
    As far as the bike speed, there are too many variables to count over 1 or 2 mph. Wind, energy, grade, ride position and so on. I can average 25 mph on the Schwinn for a little while, but last night I was riding into the wind and just happend to notice that my computer was lying. It was telling me that I was riding along at a whopping 5 mph. Battery was weak.....
    Anyway, I would not worry until you have had a few runs and take the average.
     
  12. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    well I have had the Dawes Lightning sport for about a month now. I have put
    88 miles on it and have had no problems with the shifting or the brakes. If I can sneak out a bit early today, I might be able to go for another run today but, I will have to see... :D

    Last time I went out I did put another seat on it because I thought the seat
    that came with it was mildly uncomfortable (it was harder than the one that
    I replaced it with...) but am probably going to put the original back on...

    other than that no problems and truly enjoy the bike.

    I have gotten around 25.5 on the flats but I tend to average 15 mph as a
    general rule... I guess that makes me kind of slow... (better than my hybrid though...)
     
  13. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    hey tcar, I just did a search on Amazon's website. I couldnt remember the
    model of the bike between the Denali and the Yukon... it was the Envoy. Not sure what the difference was but while there, I noticed a few more Schwinn
    bikes that are similar to the Varsity.

    one was the Katana, (never heard of it before...). Does anyone know what kind
    of derailer the Shimano A050 is? it also looks like it has the top bar shifters (levers not that revo-twist stuff...)

    and there was a "Speedster" model with the "flat roadbars"...

    I suspect that what you could get on amazon is something that will be available
    (if its not already...) on wal-marts website...
     
  14. tcar5

    tcar5 New Member

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    OMG, its the rebirth of the GMC line. I need to search for trailblazer also, maybe Chevy has a line. Sounds like the Dept store has caught onto the Road Bike hype and is getting in full steam. Last year all they sold were mountain bikes. Hey are we in the middle of a Paradigm shift and road bikes will hail again as they did before the MTB hit the scenes.
    I have no idea what A050 is other then according to the Shimano website, its apparently part of the SIS line. If you search A050 you will get a hit on the Shimano site and there are no pics but they at lease list it. I'm sure its marketing trying to avoid the SIS name in the hope of getting more serious cyclist to take notice. Now when walmart starts throwing on Dura-Ace we will know that the Paradigm shift is complete and walmart has finalized its position to rule the world. LBS will only stand for Last Bike Shop and there will be the Mad Max's riding flat black Pinarello's with gun holsters and rotary cannons. The bad guys will all ride the newest Corvette, Porsche and Cadillac branded bikes.
    One positive to this all is that it will eventually drive the price down. Once walmart starts playing (even though right now its a very different playing field in terms of quality) the prices will come down and I will no longer have to shell out $220 for STI shifters again. :cool:
     
  15. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    actually, there are other lines... for example there is the "PT Cruiser" bike which is a "land cruiser" type of bike...

    and Mercedes is producing a line of bikes (both electric and fitness). Supposedly, this is more for promotional items for prospective buyers but I would assume that one could order it from them...
     
  16. tcar5

    tcar5 New Member

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    Well no one ever offered me a GMC Envoy bike when I bought my 2005 Envoy....I read another thread where people were poking at the concept of handing out a bike when you bought a new car. They could have offered me a bike for times when I can no longer afford gas...!
    Oh and Colnago has a Ferrari line, however that is a very different level.....!
     
  17. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    I also found a "chevy" bike but that seems to only be marketed in Japan and its a folding bike.

    I also noticed on amazon that the Yukon IS sub 300.00 (without shipping...) it must have come down within the last month because before it was a bit under 400.00... I also noticed the good reviews for the product.

    Hmmm, I might have to consider it, as it does look cool with the yellow/black...

    you can never have too many bikes right?
     
  18. tcar5

    tcar5 New Member

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    How many bikes do you have?
    I have the following:
    Real Vincolo full carbon / Ultegra
    Replica Vincolo / Ultegra (made from Schwinn Varsity)
    Specialized S-Works / Ultegra
    4 junk road bikes slated for demo or upgrade / repaint.
    No MTB yet, but I am in the market....(last MTB was from Target (Magna), 8 years ago and the right pedal sheered the threads on the crank).
     
  19. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    I have a Trek 7100 hybrid... (21 speed, technically thats my wife's bike now but she doesnt ride that much so I could "borrow" if I needed to...)

    I saved a motobecane mixte frame road bike (12 speed). Not sure why but
    it called to me and I couldn't let it go to the junkyard (it was still in good condition...)

    I have a Dawes Lightning sport road bike (14 speed) my current trusted
    steed. (I love that bike...)

    I purchased a Raleigh Talon CX MTB bike from a yard sale and am in the process of converting from "rapid fire" shifters to above bar thumb shifters. I was going to originally try to convert it to a "road bike" but now want to leave it as a MTB bike for use as a "beater bike" and it has "road slicks" rather than the knobby tires...

    I also have my wifes old Huffy mtb bike that she got from "Jamesway" (which is an old extinct dept store that died over 20 years ago...) interestingly enough though is that I noticed almost no wear on the bike (obviously she
    doesn't like to ride that much... she complains that it didn't fit her but I think she bought it expecting to use it on the road but found the knobby tire to be a pain). I am saving the bike for its components at this point possibly for my Raleigh (you never know what you might need until you need it...) and I couldn't sell it for more than 10.00 anyway...

    Except for the Trek and the Huffy, I got the rest during this season. I got the Trek about 2 yrs ago started really riding it around the May time frame and was dissatisfied with its performance in terms of speed. so then I saved the mixte thinking its free, and to try a "road bike" out to see if it really was any better than the hybrid. I saw the "walmart varsity" thread, and determined from you that I didn't want to go that route so I ended up getting the Dawes. The Raleigh I picked up because I wanted to give the Trek to my wife since she liked the geometry of the bike at the LBS and the salesperson told her that the frame
    would be appropriate for her... so there you have it...
     
  20. tcar5

    tcar5 New Member

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    Nice list of bikes. Funny you mention not getting more then $10 at a yard sale. I have been crusing the yard sales for bikes and parts and while there is very little out there, the few that I come across are were over priced. People think that because they paid $100 15 years ago for that Huffy, they should be able to get $40 out of it today (torn seat and rusted frame included). Nope and I always tell people that they are charging way too much. Unless they have a name with some value on it, $10 is fair. Your MotoB was a good find. I have yet to find anything with any value. When I took my old MTB to the dump, the guy next to me damn near jumped in the pile to get it. I told him, good luck. Of course now I realize that except for its 20 lb frame, 10 lb rims, twist shifters, falcon derailer and die cut flexing V-Brakes, I could have salvaged the chain and used the one piece chainring for killing rabbits. Damn, and I just let it go....!:rolleyes:
    So the search continues....what is the best bike item you have ever found or come across real cheap? (That could be a new thread...)
     
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