1965 Schwinn Varsity - Value

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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Hi Mbwillwerth77,
I feel that the value of any vintage bicycle is subjective. Your bike is most likely a '67 model, having a Sprint chainring and a guard. The Violet paint is hard to find and could add some value here, as well as the Sprint derailleurs. Closer pictures will show the condition better and help to determine value. I searched high and low for a Violet Varsity, eventually buying one I had owned back from a fellow collector. I paid 500.00 for mine and considered it a gift, factoring in the condition, a Miller generator set, touring pedals and n.o.s. Schwinn whitewall Sports Touring tires. it was a buddy deal, for sure! It would be nice to see your bike cleaned and detailed. I'm not a fan of messing with originality or decals, but that downtube decal is being reproduced. Oh, by the way, welcome to the C.A.B.E.

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You have some of the nicest lightweight examples I've ever come across. The early down tube shifter years are my favorite and have at least one example for each year minus a 1960. Schwinn made minor detail changes on every single year in the Sprint era and it's pretty easy to tell them from one year to the next if you know all the little details. The down tube shifter was moved to the stem on the 1967 models and the 1967 seats on the Tourist models were color matching and no longer black. The chain guard was issued on all the 1967 models but the 1966 pieces were not spec'd with a chain guard. I have seen quite a few 1966 models with the chain guard and I known that Schwinn could very well have added that "safety" component on the very late 1966 production, this type of thing has happened numerous times and on different models with the late production showing up with a new component that was standard issue on the next years models. If the OP's piece is a 67 it would for sure have stem mounted shifters.

Just a note. The seat post decal had a change around this time with a name change. The early ones had Arnold Schwinn printed on them and Arnold was deleted on the later issues.
 

Jeff54

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Cody has a bunch of really beautiful bikes, and a lot of knowledge about these early derailleur equipped lightweights.
It's a shame that we don't hear much from him anymore.
Yeah these don't get much love. Obviously, Schwinn built a ka-zillion of em. In HS I rebuilt a few, was decent money reselling once all cleaned, polished, pull spokes to get everything top notch, lubed, balanced etc. Today, geez they're everywhere and a tough sell at that. My last Varsity, I totally rebuilt, Schwinn Sky blue paint, decals and best parts of the best, the whole deal. Treasured that bike but a few day before grad and moving out of home, stolen. About 8 months later, in my neighbor's side yard, the ##@@@-er! I couldn't get it back too.

Yet, It did not bother me so much B/C while I put 100's of miles on it, Maybe 1,000's IDK, and always kept it clean, like new, save the small paint chips ya get from rattle can jobs. In my travels and bikes I see, while Varsities, Continentals and other Schwinn road bikes were strong, durables to take a beating and keep going, it became abundantly clear that the foreign, especially French were way ahead of the game. I mean, sure the option to build up or buy a Paramount was there, If I could gather the cash, but moreover on the road it had become, sort of embarrassing to be riding a heavy butt clunker. Even the Super Sport, Light? is Nonsense. That was the last of and apparently, for the majority in the same time frame (early 70's), unless you could afford a Paramount and or an actual lightweight loaded up with Campy parts I'd be in seen at a Schwinn store. Well except, those yellow Varsity and the like looked so cool and hot as spit.

Regardless, as most know, Schwinn messed up big time and too late to the party whenever they tried in Japan. Moreover, I was there to the extent that my next 'road bike' was a new Peugeot.

It's does make me sad to see that, all through the 60's Schwinn obviously, from the amount out there; Schwinn was in the game but, hardly valued or desired today. Still old used up Varsity and others are just klunkers now yet are so strong will and have out lasted the pack. And if I was to have an old one today, not yellow, not sky blue, nor red too; Rather, back earlier, in my Stink rat days, most of the Violets I'd seen or recall were girls, I did like the color, but I would not be caught dead on em. However, were I to have one now; Violet looks better than ever.
 
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kostnerave

Finally riding a big boys bike
You have some of the nicest lightweight examples I've ever come across. The early down tube shifter years are my favorite and have at least one example for each year minus a 1960. Schwinn made minor detail changes on every single year in the Sprint era and it's pretty easy to tell them from one year to the next if you know all the little details. The down tube shifter was moved to the stem on the 1967 models and the 1967 seats on the Tourist models were color matching and no longer black. The chain guard was issued on all the 1967 models but the 1966 pieces were not spec'd with a chain guard. I have seen quite a few 1966 models with the chain guard and I known that Schwinn could very well have added that "safety" component on the very late 1966 production, this type of thing has happened numerous times and on different models with the late production showing up with a new component that was standard issue on the next years models. If the OP's piece is a 67 it would for sure have stem mounted shifters.

Just a note. The seat post decal had a change around this time with a name change. The early ones had Arnold Schwinn printed on them and Arnold was deleted on the later issues.
Hi GTs58,
Thank you for the insight and knowledge. The bike I showed pictures of is actually one of the anomalies you mentioned. The frame and fork have '66 stampings, but the frame has cable bosses for stem shifters and an oval head badge! I noticed that the downtube decal logo changed at some point , as well. It went from the "wheel under an oblong shield" to "six stars in a circle". I learn something everyday. Thanks.
 

Goldenrod

I live for the CABE
It would cost $100 to ship it so it should be worth that plus the value of the bike to have it in your stable. I ride these with my bike club. I get more exercise and no flats and bent rims and these spokes never pull out because yours doesn't have thin rims. The expensive new bikes are crap. It is a gents bike and I much prefer straight bars for normal riding with friends. Use it and love it because no new crapo has that nice of a color.
 

Mbwillwerth77

On Training Wheels
Thank you for the wealth of knowledge! Your bike is great looking, I love those style bars & seat. I put the bike in my storage unit for the winter but will take some updated pictures for you in the near future. I paid $200.00 for the bike which I thought was a great deal based on the condition and color.
 
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