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Varsity ATB

Discussion in 'KLUNKERS & MOUNTAIN BIKES' started by jamesdart, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. us56456712

    us56456712

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,548
    Location:
    The middle of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
    Mine had the usual sucky front brake but a coaster rear.
     
  2. rickpaulos

    rickpaulos

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Iowa
    I rebuilt several Varsitys and Contis as single speed bikes.
    They actually ride much better that way. The original Schwinn wheels must be about the heaviest road wheels ever. I always use 26" aluminum rims from boxmart mountain bikes and a 36h rear coaster hub. The stock rear wheels use a hub flange size that is close enough to the coaster brake hub flanges so you can reuse the spokes. The cranks and ring are usually stock as are the seat and stem, bb, headset, seat post and clamp. Flat bars. The Varisty has that flat blade fork so you can fit a wider tire in there. The Conti tubular fork limits the tire size to about 1.6" max. Takes about 8 pounds off the bike. The stock brakes and derailleurs work pretty poorly. The final and optional step is removing the cable stops. Those like to grab flesh. One sold so fast I didn't have time to take a photo.

    Here are some others I did:
    20" red varsity with 26 x 1.95 tires
    [​IMG]

    24" yellow varsity with 26 x 1.95 tires
    [​IMG]

    20" yellow conti 26x1.95 rear, 26x1.6 front
    [​IMG]

    28" black conti with 26 x 1.5" tires
    [​IMG]

    Frontier with 26 x 1.75 to replace the stock 650B wheels. Have 2 more in the works.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
    rrtbike, horsefarmer and RustyGold like this.
  3. rrtbike

    rrtbike

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,263
    Location:
    Atlantic Iowa
    Those are all great builds @rickpaulos ! The black Continental has a mini velo look going on! :)
     
  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    7,580
    Location:
    Mililani, Hawaii
    Have you tried car wax to see if that will bring out the shine?

    I've made a few Schwinn diamond frame conversions over the years.

    1971 Varsity:
    250qmqd.jpg

    1965 Continental:
    168752_10150097307226737_2002242_n.jpg

    1974 Racer:
    552607_10151228395461737_782933531_n.jpg
     
    rrtbike and hammer mechanic like this.
  5. jamesdart

    jamesdart

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Messages:
    862
    Location:
    nj
    I tried to hit it with a buffer, compound, polish... That paint is DEAD.
     
  6. ParkRNDL

    ParkRNDL

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    southern PA
    Ok so this thread has me thinking...

    A couple years ago, I stripped this old 26" Ross 10-speed and used the wheels and drivetrain to turn a derelict Schwinn Speedster into a wannabe 5-speed Collegiate.
    20160621_154003.jpg

    Here's what was left:
    20190201_191648.jpg

    The frame has been kicking around since then doing nothing. But then last week I noticed this thread in the For Sale section for a Ross Diamond Frame Cruiser. Folks made a big deal out of the fact that it was a lugged frame. I got to thinking... is that old Europa the same frame?

    Turns out some of the details are very close:
    20190201_191716.jpg
    20190201_191749.jpg 20190201_191726.jpg 20190201_191918.jpg

    For what it's worth, it appears to be a '74.
    20190201_191824.jpg

    You guys have me thinking about scrounging some parts for a build on this thing. I guess something I could ask off the bat is how do you get the rear 5-speed spacing to work with a coaster hub? I've seen the thing on the Sheldon Brown site about placing part of the frame on a 2x4, standing on another part and applying pressure. Is that the preferred method, or is there another trick?

    thanks!
     
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  7. Dizzle Problems

    Dizzle Problems

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,193
    A coaster brake will be spaced at 110mm, the 5 speed at 120mm. Just add 5mm spacers on each side and you'll be fine.
    I wonder what width tire that frame could take. Assuming it was originally 26 x 1 3/8, I bet you could get a 26 x 1.75 'knobby' tire in there...
     
    rrtbike likes this.
  8. Wildcat

    Wildcat

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    7,580
    Location:
    Mililani, Hawaii
    Since the bike is black, I would mask off the decals and give the rest a light sanding. Then spray using gloss black rustoleum to give it as close to the shiny look it would have had originally, without spending a lot and doing a complete repaint.
     
  9. MoreTony

    MoreTony

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2019
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    "


    Yup, one of those bike "lifehacks" right there.
     

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