Confusing Tire Question for Schwinn Varsity:

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sbarner

On Training Wheels
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riding sewups (myself excluded), the previous advantage the 700C had in being the same diameter as a tubular rim is no longer applicable.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.
I just looked at the Uniroyals that Scott has on eBay and I have to say they look exactly what I recall being on my '69 Varsity in terms of tread pattern and general appearance. The 1970 catalog shows the Varsity with blackwalls. Scott's tires look as close to the original as you are ever likely to find, and the price is quite good. The Silver Stars look like knock-offs of that same tire, and they might actually be better as Japanese rubber in the '70s and beyond was generally better than US manufacture.
 

detroitbike

I live for the CABE
Yes lots of 27” tires to choose from as stated above. I carry all these brands in a 27” (630 iso) at my store in detroit .
I personally like the panaracers and schwalbes for fit on the 27 Schwinn rims.
 

Tour De Luxe

Look Ma, No Hands!
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My ‘84 Le Tour Luxe with 27x1-1/4” Vittoria Zaffiro tires purchased from Biketiresdirect.com. Not gumwall like the original Schwinn Passage, but a better tire than the Kenda gumwalls that were on there for a while. BTD also sells the Panaracers and some Continentals in the 27” (630) size clinchers.
 

flyingtaco

Finally riding a big boys bike
Many local bike shops will not have any 27" (630mm) tires and further more, many of their bumbling moron idiots working there will not have a clue as to where and how to obtain 27" (630mm) tires since 27" tires have not typically been seen on road bikes since about 1985. Obviously, you can see these clueless twits are late teens or twenty somethings, so they cannot comprehend something that a bicycle from 35+ years ago would require and they simply do not care because typically so few of that local bike shop's clientele even owns a quality road-bike that is that old.

27" (630mm) tires are widely available HOWEVER YOU WILL NOT FIND THESE AT A LOCAL BIKE SHOP.
Check the bay for webstores of major US web bike stores such as Trailthis, Bikewagon, BikeSmiths and others.
There are none of these players that are any better than any other competitors. They all do a great job and ship you the tires untwisted in just a couple of days at an excellent competitive price. Compare everybody's prices and offerings because it changes like the wind & weather as to which particular player has the best price at the moment and the particular tire in current inventory.

The international standard of the bead seat diameter is (630mm) for 27" tires.
Given that you do have original equipment wheels that are from the bike-boom era, YOU WILL REQUIRE tires with a WIRE BEAD because they will be better situated and likely safer as far as the mounting under all conditions with the rims of the seventies and earlier.

Now, I'm not an expert on the current variances from all the different manufacturers as to how accurate & how much they may do in fact cheat on the published-stated Tread Width of their current tire.
No joke, some tire manufacturers 32 - 630 tire (32mm tread width - 630mm (27") tire) is actually closer to 28mm tread width. Very few are actually 32mm in tread width. Some are. You'll have to do your own COLUMBO detective work on thr particular tire model & brand, because there seems like there are variances within different models of a manufacturer's 630mm(27") tire line.
I have no explanation as to how or why this came about.

The tires made by PANASONIC, the various PANARACERS have long been among the best for those wanting the best overall performance of speed, traction, durability and quality control. PANASONIC (Matsupoopa) ceased bicycle production after the death of the company's founder in 1989 but they did continue producing perhaps the best bicycle tires of their kind in the industry. Panasonic was known for producing very good bicycles from economy models to top grade models during the 1970's and 1980's. You can say that their tires, like their trailblazing electronics' quality, well you can say is Just Slightly Ahead of Their Time.

Just as you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, one does not necessarily need the lightweight, speedy tires. It would probably be a waste on any bicycle that weighs in excess of 30 pounds, and would not do you any good unless your aim is to compete is some simple ordinary "sprint" triathlon or wish to maintain a 19 mph average group riding pace with the "A group" on the local bike shops' weekly rides.

Inexpensive basic (630mm) tire offerings like the 32-630 Kenda K35 is really most all that anyone with a 30+ pound bike boom ten speed would ever need.
Now, I mentioned the width cheating that some manufacturers' model tires engage in....
Here is yet another important consideration:
Some tires like the MICHELIN Protek 32-630 tires have a considerably thicker, and thus taller tread...thus slightly larger outer tire circumference such that with many bicycles with fenders, you could perhaps have a clearance issue depending on how close the fenders are. I have one bike, a 1971 Schwinn Suburban 5 speed with the MICHELIN Protek 32-630 tires. YOU COULD NOT RUN THE FACTORY FENDERS WITH THESE MICHELIN Protek 32-630 tires. They are great tires for what they are (extremely durable, puncture resistant, highly visible with reflective stripe...but extremely heavy tires).
The MICHELIN Protek 32-630 tires are among the widest of all the existing 32-630 tires, as there is no cheating on these models. I knew that the Protek 32-630 tires were also among the tallest, and would likely not allow the use of the factory fenders. Probably a dozen other brands' models 32-630 tires would easily clear the 1971 Suburban's factory fenders. From 1971 until 2016, that Suburban rolled about ten thousand miles with its fenders. If I want to reinstall the fenders, I would have to swap the Michelin Proteks with something like the Kenda K-35' s from another bike in my collection, or get new K35's or Panasellas or whatever that aren't so tall with such thick tread etc.

Do not let anyone tell you that you don't have a decent selection from which to choose from in 27" (630mm) tires.
You have easily more than a dozen different tires to choose from.
NO, Your Local Bike Shop Is Not Gonna Carry 27" (630mm) tires, BECAUSE THEY WOULD RATHER THAT YOU WOULD BUY A NEW BICYCLE FROM THEM, RATHER THAN RIDE A STEEL CLASSIC ROAD-BIKE FROM THE Early80's, Seventies,Sixties,or Late Fifties.
Many local bike shops won't even order 27"(630mm) tires if you ask them to.
Just let your fingers do the walkin on your keyboard to the web and go on the bay or amazon or see what Google brings up as vendors offering 27" (630mm) tires. No joke, the huge web bike shops' on Ebay will likely have better pricing and inventory than Amazon. THIS IS FOR BRAND NEW, FRESH PRODUCTION INVENTORY!! NEVER PURCHASE AGED NOS or USED BICYCLE TIRES AS THAT IS ALWAYS A TERRIBLE IDEA !!! Some cabers routinely do that to match the year of their Bluebird or whatever but doing that for any bicycle that you will ride at above 5 mph is incredibly stupid! You need fresh enough tires and fresh enough caliper brake pads on any multispeed bicycle. Original equipment tires and brake pads are just beyond stupid and can be hazardous to your health if you ride said bicycle at above walking speed!

The SCHWINN 26" (597mm) S5 / S6 TIRES are labeled 26 x 1 3/8 597mm or something like EA-1 for Schwinn S5 / S6 wheels if the tires are 45+ years old. The international 597mm designation didn't yet exist then but as you can see the BEAD SEAT DIAMETER international designation clarifies what actually fits what.
There is the COMMON non-schwinn 26 x 1 3/8 tire WHICH IS 590mm. The 590mm 26 x 1 3/8 will not fit any Chicago SCHWINN. The 597mm 26 x 1 3/8 Schwinn tire is only manufactured by Kenda, called the k23 SCHWINN 597mm tire.
The 597mm 26 x 1 3/8 Schwinn tire WILL ONLY FIT Chicago Schwinns and some ancient rare English bikes from about 70 years ago that require EA-1 tires.
There are at least a half dozen manufacturers of the COMMON non-schwinn 590mm 26 x 1 3/8 tires.
Kenda's k23 597mm 26 x 1 3/8 Schwinn only tire is the only tire being manufactured today that fits Chicago Schwinns requiring the (26") 597mm size.


YOU CANNOT SUBSTITUTE A 26" TIRE for A 27" TIRE !!
YOU CANNOT SUBSTITUTE A 700C TIRE for A 27" TIRE !!!!

Depending on the specified width, generally you can sometimes use a 700C innertube in a 27" tire.
Well, this is because 700C has a bead seat diameter of 622mm, and you know that the 27" has a bead seat diameter of 630mm, so they are close enough that the overall stretch of the rubber tube MAY work FINE, IF, and it is A BIG IF, if the innertube is for a similar wide enough tread width range.

Okay, we established earlier that the 590mm COMMON -and- the 597mm SCHWINN 26 x 1 3/8 tires ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE!!!! The 26 x 1 3/8 innertubes ARE interchangeable because the stretch of the innertube rubber!
IF YOU WERE TO TRY AND ATTEMPT TO INSTALL THE COMMON 590mm TIRE ON TO A SCHWINN RIM, YOU WILL FIND THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE AS THE BEAD SEAT DIAMETER of 590mm Common Tire IS WAY TOO SMALL TO FIT ON TO A SCHWINN RIM. Vice Versa, if you try to Install the 597mm SCHWINN TIRE on to the COMMON 590mm Rim, You will find that the 597mm Schwinn Tire is TOO BIG.
This applies to CHICAGO Schwinn bikes.
The Schwinn factory closed in 1982.
Schwinn did sell a GIANT made, produced in Taiwan bicycle which carried the COLLEGIATE badge in 1983 & 1984 which has a 3 piece crank and common 26" 590mm wheels, but this was a 100% GIANT made bicycle that Schwinn imported when GIANT was not yet a known brand name in the western world.

I hope most of this makes sense and is helpful to anyone wondering about tires.
Remember that whatever you have, that the Bead Seat Diameter must match exactly......630mm for 27", 622mm for 700C,
597mm for the old Schwinn 26 x 1 3/8 , and 590mm for the old Common 26 x 1 3/8
559mm for the old 26" cruiser beach bikes and old mountain bikes

There are a few others too.
GOOGLE: 650 bike tire, Google: 650a bike tire, Google: 650b bike tire, Google: 650c bike tire
YOU WILL SEE THAT SOME OF THE 584mm TIRE SIZE HAS BEEN ESSENTIALLY RAISED FROM THE DEAD BY SOME OF THE HIGH-END BIKE SEGMENT, PROBABLY ONLY TO DISTINGUISH THEM FROM WHAT MIGHT BE VIEWED TOO MUCH AS ASSOCIATED WITH Kmart, Sears, JC Penneys bikes of the 60's & 70's -and- electroforged Schwinn Collegiates, Travelers, Co-Eds, Breeze, Speedsters, Racers, etc....and OH, THE HORROR OF BEING ASSOCIATED WITH SUCH BIKES THAT MILLIONS OF ORDINARY COMMON PEOPLE RODE. THEY PROBABLY REVIVED 584 TO DISTINGUISH AS BEING UPSCALE EXCLUSIVE, INSTEAD OF HAVING THE PERCEPTION OF BEING LOW-RENT.
It is sort of sad that the bicycle industry doesn't consider reviving the 27" (630mm) wheel size as it does offer several practical advantages. The problem is over coming the stigma of being considered by some know nothing young bike snobs as only being appropriate for "bum bikes" as any self respecting cyclist with means would simply upgrade to 700c rims. Yes, this does sound ridiculous and it is in fact ridiculous but this is how many of these young idiots think. One only has to spend some time over at bikeforums to see that probably 35% or more of the more vocal, young "serious cyclists" think like this.
Sure, you have more tire options today at 700C, but you also have plenty of 27" (630mm) options too, you just can't get the 27" tires from your Local bike shop because they don't want you to continue riding that old classic bike, they want to sell you a new bike, or a new set of 700c wheels!
So did somebody put the wrong tire on this 26” S-6 rim? I’m guessing they ripped the tube trying to get it in, and then tried to use fix a flat to repair it. I’m having a hell of a time trying to get this tire off. Any ideas short of cutting it off?
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49autocycledeluxe

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
So did somebody put the wrong tire on this 26” S-6 rim? I’m guessing they ripped the tube trying to get it in, and then tried to use fix a flat to repair it. I’m having a hell of a time trying to get this tire off. Any ideas short of cutting it off?
I had a tire like that once. may as well cut it off, I screwed up the bead on mine after trying to get it off in one piece. you will need a screwdriver or metal tire levers, the plastic levers will not do the trick.
 

J-wagon

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Schwinn specs can be confusing. Schwinn s6 rims came in 2 different sizes iso for 26" version 597mm and for 27" version 630mm
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Archie Sturmer

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I purchased some Schwalbe Marathons for my 27” Murray-built Free Spirit all-steel (Sears) road-racing bike; but today’s modern tire companies seem to discontinue models fairly quickly; their 2nd replacement is likely discontinued by now.
 
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