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The "modern" Schwinn lightweight dilemma

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Schwinny

I live for the CABE
Working at the Collective, it's ALL donations, and we are donated at least two Near perfect condition 60s-80s era Schwinn lightweights each month. Many times they come in, in pairs. (His/hers matching)
This last season, out of the couple dozen donated, we sold ONE, a pristine 71' Speedster. The rest have filled the parts bins that no-one frequents and have been scrapped.

I grabbed a lime 71 varsity and set it aside for a winter project. It turned out to be a stripdown, cleanup and build down.
I wish I could save them all, but this one should sell fairly easy in the spring.
  • Two Speed kickback w/foot brake
  • All-rounder handlebars
  • 27" WEINMANN rims off a Prelude.

Smooth and easy.

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Arnold Ziffel

Finally riding a big boys bike
That green 24" frame Varsity that you have built into a coaster brake cruiser, while retaining the front caliper brake is a very nice creation. The fact that it is a 24 inch frame makes it nearly impossible for anyone that isn't at least 5 foot 9 inches tall to ride.
It is a great cruiser for tall people. Shorter folks don't have a chance with the 24 inch frame because even with the seat and post all the way down, it is too much bike for them to safely handle and ride. Thats a biggie.
That is also what is so great about Schwinn's electroforged "lightweight" frames (both step-through & diamond) from the late sixties through the end of the seventies and almost all the way to the Chicago plant closure,....Schwinn offered so many different frame sizes during that period. It leaves us with a great many options on locating the exact size frame that fits whoever will be the primary rider of your latest build project. It is simple to swap all the components from such a period Schwinn frame to another smaller/larger period Schwinn frame if that is what is needed.
You can do a lot with the old one piece crank, electroforged Schwinn "lightweight" frames with the famous classic integral kickstand mainly because you do have so many frame sizes in both step-through & diamond that will accomodate anyone perfectly.
You did not have that with the cantilever classic Schwinn boys bikes in either middleweight variety or balloon tire bikes. Many adults will undoubtedly benefit from the wide variety of "lightweight" Schwinn frames from the bike-boom era of the seventies.
You do not have much in the way of differing frame size offerings today with respect to the China manufactured - Pacific Cycle schwinn & other Wallyworld & Target bikes. Strangely, most of the women's bikes of today at Wallyworld & Target are considerably smaller in frame size than the then larger sized women's Schwinn CO-ED, TRAVELER, HOLLYWOOD, BREEZE, VARSITY of circa 1964--1966, which was before Schwinn offered anything larger than a 19" frame in a ladies bike. You find that during the 1971--1974 bike boom that the 21" frame step-through was also offered in Suburbans, Collegiates, & Varsities. These 21 inch step-through frames are significantly larger than any current men's frames on any of todays' brand new Wallyworld, Target, or Dicks' offerings.
 

DrRumack80

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nice build! The paint is amazing condition. That lime green is later than 1971, though. I think 1974 might be the first year for that color. Here is my 1974 Varsity, all original save for the seat, bars and levers. I replaced the drops with a set of Schwinn 7881 tourist bars (1974 date code), Weinmann gold dot levers, and 70's vintage Schwinn grips. Rides smooth and quiet.

That's really a shame that so many Schwinn lightweights are being scrapped.

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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Nice build! The paint is amazing condition. That lime green is later than 1971, though. I think 1974 might be the first year for that color. Here is my 1974 Varsity, all original save for the seat, bars and levers. I replaced the drops with a set of Schwinn 7881 tourist bars (1974 date code), Weinmann gold dot levers, and 70's vintage Schwinn grips. Rides smooth and quiet.

That's really a shame that so many Schwinn lightweights are being scrapped.

View attachment 1746326
Yeah I think he was wrong with the year, flamboyant lime was taken off the list after 1965, then it was re-introduced as lime in 1974. Campus green and opaque green were the fill in colors for the years in between.
 

Schwinny

I live for the CABE
Nice build! The paint is amazing condition. That lime green is later than 1971, though. I think 1974 might be the first year for that color. Here is my 1974 Varsity, all original save for the seat, bars and levers. I replaced the drops with a set of Schwinn 7881 tourist bars (1974 date code), Weinmann gold dot levers, and 70's vintage Schwinn grips. Rides smooth and quiet.

That's really a shame that so many Schwinn lightweights are being scrapped.

View attachment 1746326
Yes, correct. I was working on two at the time and the other was a 71' (not lime green).
This Lime one I put together is indeed a 74'
 
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