How to turn Schwinn Varisty into Fixed Gear Bicycle?

Discussion in 'Fixed & Singlespeed' started by Keith, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Keith

    Keith New Member

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    I have an old vintage steelie Schwinn Varisty. All components are pretty much shot so I stripped it down and want to make it into a fixed gear.

    I assume all I have to do is replace the hub and that's it?

    If so how do I know which hubset to buy?
     
  2. cowboycharlie

    cowboycharlie New Member

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    did you find out anything about this? i have a vintage schwinn i wanted to do the same thing with.
     

  3. dovitsky

    dovitsky New Member

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    what ya need

    you will need a new hub, with a spacing of 120mm. (maybe a new wheel)
    pake makes cheap good fixie wheels
    a cog
    a lock ring
    a new chain (something strong)


    then a plus would be some bull horn handlebars
     
  4. cowboycharlie

    cowboycharlie New Member

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    So I should be able to go to a hub manufacture and tell them what I have and they will tell me which hub? Will I not need a measurement for them?
     
  5. dovitsky

    dovitsky New Member

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    well any older road bike will have a 120mm hub spacing in the rear so you should be ok. always double check. Anyways, any fixie hub will be 120mm spacing
     
  6. 101

    101 New Member

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    Schwinn Varsity's are super heavy bike.
     
  7. retromike3

    retromike3 retromike3

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    I tried and no fun

    I fixed up a varsity for a person and set it up with the standard 40 tooth inner chainring and a fixed rear rear cog. The kid I set it up with hated it. It was way too heavy even with most of the junk taken off it. The shop I worked on was at the top of a hill though. There is a saying that you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear was written for the Varsity.

    You might want to start with a little lighter bike, But if you live in a really flat area and want to build some legs maybe the Varsity is for you.

    Mike Frye
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  8. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    If he hated it as a fixed gear, he probably didn't like it any better as a ten speed. Maybe someone should have explained to him that when his bike was new, it was ridden all over by someone who probably thought it was the greatest thing ever, and never complained. As a pre-teen, I put more miles on my brother's new Traveler than he did.
     
  9. retromike3

    retromike3 retromike3

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    I had a Varsity and a Continental

    My dad started me out with a early seventies used Schwinn Varsity with not quite 26" wheels It was heavy but was basically striped of all of the heavy stuff. I road the wheels off it. I was twelve and skinny as a rail.

    Two years later my dad "moved up" and got me a used(but not as old) Schwinn Continental. It had bigger wheels (27") Bigger frame(maybe 18") and full fenders and maybe a rack on the back. The fenders were steel and front fork might have been hollow but it was as heavy as some frames that are out there now. The wheels were steel with Normandy hubs(I think the front had a quick release.

    THat bike was too big and heavy for a squirt like me to drag around town. Of course my dad had to by a bigger bike than I could use because "he will grow into it" Problem was I was not growing like the other kids in my block. Since then I have quite a few dealings with the Varsity and they usually don't leave a good taste in my mouth.

    There is a group of Varsity fans in Portland OR and they like to cruse around town on there machines and I guess they are a little easier to move than a 26" cruiser but its not my choice for a fun ride.

    Mike Frye
     
  10. Scrodzilla

    Scrodzilla Missing Link

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    I found a red Varsity frame near the dumpster behind work one night and was AMAZED at how heavy just the frame was. I left it there.
     
  11. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Too weak to lift it?
     
  12. funetical

    funetical Slowin it up.

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    I think you missed an opportunity to work on your upper body strength there Scodzilla.
     
  13. Jaronimo

    Jaronimo New Member

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    Maybe I am sentimental, but I love an early 70's Schwinn Varsity. I must have rode thousands of miles on them growing up. Talk about a bike that can take a beating and still be on the road 40-50 years later. I just picked up one that is campus green; I want to make into my daily rider. I would like to convert it to a 700c fixie, but I am unsure about a cheap decent wheelset to go with. Any suggestions? I was looking a Weinmann DP18, a heavy wheel, but lighter than stock and potentially durable. Its all about functionality, low maintenance, low cost, and durability. I want this thing to be bullet proof.
     
  14. retromike3

    retromike3 retromike3

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    Somethings are better off dead

    :(I once made a fixed out of old Shwinn Varsity And I did a bit of work on it and was disappointed.

    I took the large chainring off and kept the stock 40 tooth small ring on it. I then found a 18 tooth cog for the back. Then, took off all of the crome and the extra "Safe-T-levers" Freewheel, Derailleurs and changed it around but still ended up with a disappointed customer.

    It started its life as a pig and no mater what you do to it it will still be a pig.

    There are many steel frames out there that you can justify putting the time and money into them, But I.M.H.O. the Varicity is not one of them.

    mike frye the bike guy.