What did I buy?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by BHOFM, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    It was cheap and looks like it will make a bike? I was told it is an 80 model?
     
    Ten speed, forty pounds, the tires are marked 27X1 1/4. It shifts but no brakes and
    both wheels have a wobble and loose spokes. The freewheel is in the crank. The
    tires hold air but have a lot of weather checking.
     
    What is it? How much is it worth? How much should I spend on fixing it up. tune the
    wheels and put some tires on it and new pads and cables? I can do all the work but
    the wheels, Thirty dollars to get them both trued.
     
    The handle bars were on it backwards and hit my knees so I turned them around and
    it is fine now. I rode it some, but the brakes are scary to say the least!
     
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    I looked around and this seems to be the best place to ask about this
    as the other section seems to be about new stuff?
     
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  2. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    To me it appears to be an early 90's model after Schwinn started having thier bicycles built by the China Bicycle Co. These were sold in discount stores like Wal-Mart and Costco. As far as "Value" is concerned, if you want to fix it up and ride it and if it gets you riding, then it is valuable. As far as value as in resale value, you might get $25.00. None of the components are very good, mostly bottom of the line stuff. It also looks like there is a lot of rust on the components, but the frame looks like it is in pretty good shape such as it is. The original dedsign of these bikes came from Schwinn's line of BMX bikes and you can clearly see that influence in your frame.

    The biggest thing that you should consider is if it fits you. If the bike does not fit you, then no amount of fixing it up will make it comfortable to ride. Go to one of the online fit calculators ( http://www.veloweb.ca/bikefit.html is a good one) and see if the bike fits. If not, sell it and start over looking for the right size. If this bike does fit, I wouldn't spend too much, only enough to get it rideable so that you can use it until you can afford a better quality bike. There are a lot of good bikes out there that need homes, but only if they fit their rider. The number one reason that people give up riding is discomfort, and this is usually caused by a bike that does not fit correctly.
     
  3. Chapeau!

    Chapeau! New Member

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    You bought a corpse, an accident waiting to happen.

    At the cost of what it will take to build it up & make it road worthy, you could have purchased something half decent.

    lol.
     
  4. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    What did I buy?

    From the looks of it, a piece of Americana .... a Schwinn Varsity. 1980s -ish looks about right. A ubiquitous and utilitarian piece of American history that was designed to do nothing particularly well - other than bring a smile to a child's face who wanted a "10 speed" but whose parents couldn't or wouldn't spend a significant amount of money.

    It's value is really personal. In today's market very little value to a bike enthusiast or even the average "kid". Who would have thought old Chevy Novas and Impalas would command the $$$$ that some do at auction these days .... so you never know. Wouldn't count on it though. If you like restoring old things, then you have something valuable to you and something that you can ride afterward. It will be what it was designed to be ... a functional, but unexceptional bicycle.

    For many a bike is more than just transportation. It is a celebration of human engineering and applied technology ... Art. Some people value that and some people don't. Many older bikes get restored and are in demand because they mark an historical transition in technology or design. The Varsity doesn't do either. However, It is a celebration of apple pie and times gone by.

    Enjoy your new-found project!!
     
  5. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    No, no, no,, you are supposed to say,, "Great find, spend as much as you need to get it on the road"!
    "Where did you find it, interested in selling it, name your price!"

    After some research, it is a 73-78 varsity, made in Chicago, brazed frame! Specs say it tips at 38lbs.

    My neighbor bought it and wants me to get it in shape for him, he thinks it's worth several hundred $$.

    He paid $20 for it at a yard sale.

    I found nice road ready ones on Ebay for under one hundred.

    I will do what he wants, he is paying the bill! I guess I need to learn how to do wheels.

    I found some original type tires for $9.99. So with the freight and all I should get it done
    for under $100, I work cheap.
     
  6. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    My gut said earlier than 1980 - the steel spoke protector and helper-lever brake design taking me back to my childhood in the 1960's. By the 1980's plastic spoke protectors had replaced metal for the most part and the retrofitted top pull lever was out of fashion. I think it was Campagnolo (?) that had a brilliantly engineered and integrated axillary top accessed brake lever around the late 60's. A couple of seasons later the inexpensive retrofit levers showed up that could be added to any drop style brake set by unscrewing the lever retention screw and wedging the axillary lever between the top of the existing lever and the housing, then re securing it all with a longer screw and teflon bushing.

    Have fun!
     
  7. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    Well, the situation has changed! The neighbor has decided not to fix it and now it is mine. Free.

    He was going to give it to his brother in law to help him loose some weight, he is over 300 lbs
    and I convinced him the bike was not what he needed. I recommended he get a cheap mountain
    bike to start with as see if he really wanted to ride any amount.

    Now should I spend the near $100 and get this one in good shape to sell or maybe ride some?

    After looking at the tires and gears, I don't think the bike was ridden any to speak of because the
    handle bars were on backwards and it was near impossible to ride and the brake levers were not
    usable in this configuration. Both tires still have the flashing all the way around the contact surface
    so it has not been on the road much.

    I would like to keep the bike as it is as far as the shifters and such, up grade the pedals, new tires, tubes,
    liners, true the wheels and a good clean up. I hope some lube will fix the cables and the brake pads will
    be ok? maybe? I can get a seat at Walmart that looks just like the one one the bike.

    I really hate to just throw out a piece of history, even if it's not that rare a piece.
    It is not really a money thing, I can afford what ever I want.

    Please, honest opinions and thoughts!

    It will be a winter project, no dead lines.
     
  8. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you are excited to take on this project. The real value will be in the amount of pleasure you take in the restoration and the joy you will have riding your retro bike. I say go for it. I am sure you will will be sharing updates as your project progress's. Have fun enjoy.
    Dave
     
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  9. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    Yeah, if you want a project bike to work on then go for it.

    You know it won't be worth much even after you fix it up, but it isn't always about money.

    I suspect a lot of us have wasted some money on our hobbies once or twice... /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  10. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Look under Craigslist's free section and find something way better - it's amazing what you can find under there...

    It's not a piece of history. Merckx's bikes - they're history. Eugene Christophe's broken forks - they're history. Yours is a relic that needs to be recycled and turned into something that isn't going to plant your face into the back of a car when the brakes fail you. If you feel the need to do something worthy to it give it to the local halfway house or homeless shelter...
     
  11. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    I know all this may seem a bit silly to a lot of you, but,,

    I am going to fix the bike, a local bike shop is going to fix the wheels, no charge, I am going to
    get some tires and tubes. Lube the cables and get everything working.

    Then the bike will be donated to some one that really needs it to get around and can't afford even
    a pawn shop bike.

    The local Adult Development Center will get the bike to give to someone that needs it.

    A nice winter project with a positive out come.
     
    TKOS, 64Paramount and SierraSlim like this.
  12. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    A good use of the bike and a worthy cause. I applaud you sir./img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  13. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    +1 You da man! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/cool.gif
     
  14. dougadam

    dougadam Member

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    It looks like you bought a white elephant.
     
  15. waldowales

    waldowales New Member

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    Good luck finding any parts for that Positron drive train. Clean it up, don't spend a dime on it, give it to a homeless person.
     
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