Confusing Tire Question for Schwinn Varsity:

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gkeep

I live for the CABE
I just got a set of these for myself. My kids are both at college and have been riding on these for 21/2 years almost daily. Western Wheelworks in Portland has a great deal on them and they came to me here in the SF bay area in 2 days. https://www.westernbikeworks.com/product/schwalbe-hs159-puncture-protection-27-x-1-1-4-tire. They come in white wall and black.
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I've also had friends speak highly of the Panaracer Paselas . https://www.westernbikeworks.com/product/panaracer-pasela-protite-27-tire.
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Eric Amlie

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Another vote for the Panaracer Paselas.
I'm using them almost exclusively now.
They're affordable, and I think they're great.
I generally use the 1 1/8" width rather than the 1 1/4".
 

davek

Look Ma, No Hands!
Must be odd bike shops, in Ft Collins we have a shop that stocks these tire all the time. I know another shop owner who will order in all you want to pay for
 

Rivnut

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
For an in depth look at bicycle tires and sizes, Google “Sheldon Brown bicycle tire sizing system.” More info than you’d think would be available about bicycle tires.
 

SirMike1983

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
One other thing I should mention: the low-end 27 x 1-1/4 tires are particularly uncomfortable to ride on anything but the smoothest road. They roll slower than you think and they tend to allow for some harsh riding qualities if you hit a rut or hole. One of the best things you can do for yourself in the 27 x 1-1/4 size is to upgrade to mid-grade tire. The Panaracer Pasela is a good choice, but if you like the Schwalbe or another mid-range brand, that's fine too. The ride will be much-improved over cheap 27 x 1-1/4 tires. And it requires no permanent modification to your bike - just a swap of tires.
 

Vicious Cycle

Finally riding a big boys bike
I have gum-wall 27x1-1/4 tires by CST that look very close to the original Schwinn tires, I use them on Varsity, Continental, and Colegate, ride well and look right. $48 / pair delivered in USA

PM me if I can help.
 

vincev

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Amazon has all kinds of them at various prices. Maybe find an old lightweight Schwinn at a garage sale for the tires if they are any good
 

sbarner

On Training Wheels
I have gum-wall 27x1-1/4 tires by CST that look very close to the original Schwinn tires, I use them on Varsity, Continental, and Colegate, ride well and look right. $48 / pair delivered in USA

PM me if I can help.
I would vote for the CST. While I love Paselas, a skinwall tire is just wrong for a Varsity. My first 10-speed was a '69 Varsity and I think it came with blackwalls, which would have been the Breeze. I wrenched for a Schwinn dealer through most of the '70s and, as I recall, Varsities came with gumwall Puffs for most of that time. I disliked the Puff at the time, as it was hard to seat properly, but Schwinn did a good job of matching it to the bike. The Suburban, Varsity and Continental were designed to be rugged, long-lasting, yet affordable bikes. There was nothing about them that I could see that was intended to make them exciting to ride. The CST is a well-made, affordable tire, and I've had some that had a layer of rubber over the sidewall, similar to the original Schwinn tires. The CSTs are definitely a cut above the Puff in performance. Unlike the Paselas, they won't cost more than the bike is worth.

Shops stock what sells and if there is little demand for a size or product, it's likely a poor investment for the shop to keep it on the shelf. I know of no advantage that the 27" has over the 700C. The difference in radius is only around 3/8". On the other hand, with so few people still riding sewups (myself excluded), the previous advantage the 700C had in being the same diameter as a tubular rim is no longer applicable. Still, the 27" was always a relic of a bygone era, after the world more or less standardized on the French A, B, & C sizes.

In 1977, I ordered a Paramount touring model, as I was planning on a cross-country ride that winter. I gave it a lot of thought, and finally decided to order it with 27" wheels instead of going with the "new" 700C size, thinking it might be difficult to find 700C replacements in some parts of the country. I have always regretted that decision, especially since I never needed to buy a replacement tire on the road. I don't ride that bike much these days, as it has other, more egregious flaws, but I have always wished I could go back in time and correct some of the mistakes I made in that Paramount order.
 
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