1961 Schwinn Varsity First year of 10 speed, transitional model. Hello, up for sale is an excellent condition rare early 1961 Schwinn Radiant Red Varsity 10 Speed Bicycle, made in Chicago, USA. This is an early 61 example of the first 10 speed Varsity bicycles to come out of Chicago.
Serial number denotes April 1961. 30 ½ standover height with tires inflated, 42 ½ wheelbase, axle center to axle center. 1961 was an interesting year for Schwinn and the Varsity. After achieving success the year before (1960) with the all new 8 speed Varsity lightweight, Schwinn upped the ante with the mid-1961 year Varsity ten speed model.They began the first part of 1961 using up the 8 speed parts and getting them out the door to make way for the 10 speeds. There are a few different versions of these mid-model year 1961 Varsity bicycles. Some of the left-over 8 speed parts were re-purposed on the early10 speeds. In the case of this bicycle, it is original, and was built in April 1961. The frame has the original Suicide Simplex Competition front rod shifting front derailleur, Simplex shifter and a Huret Allvit rear derailleur. As far as the spoke guard on the rear wheel, Schwinn started putting them on certain bikes mid-1961. My guess is that they had extra frames left over from the 8 speed model run, and seeing as though they had special braze-ons for the 5 speed shifter and front rod-derailleur, the first 10 speed frames needed the rod front derailleur, and Simplex shifter for the single right shift braze-on.
At this point, they started to use the new Huret Allvit rear derailleur; either they ran out of Simplex Tour De France rear derailleurs, or just decided that this was the time to start putting the Allvits on, as they worked well with the Simplex shifter or Huret shifters. Soon after this brief period, Schwinn went to the Huret double downtube shifters, and Huret Allvit rear derailleur. This bike is a rare, and on of the first 10 speed examples. I went through everything very carefully and methodically mechanically, and wanted to preserve the original condition as much as I could.Original radiant red paint finish has a wonderful unrestored patina. The frame has some scratches, mainly on the top-tube-head tube junction from a lock being fastened, but overall pretty darn nice for being almost 60 years old.
Bike has never been crashed, no dents or dings, amazing lack of rust, decals have some mold wear, but are quite legible, see pics. My guess is that this bike was stored inside for much of its life. Carefully gone over, with all bearings adjusted. Ready to ride or show. I wanted to sell the bike as found, save for cleaning/adjusting and lubing it.This bicycle had a huge impact on American society, as it was the first commercially available mass-produced American made bicycle that provided 10 gears for us to see the world. Off-white non-winged Schwinn oval head badge with radiant red lettering. Headset: Original Schwinn Chrome Steel. Wheels: Original Schwinn 26 x 1 ¼ S6 Tubular Steel Rims.
Original Schwinn steel front hub, original Atom low-flange rear alloy hub (France), 36 hole. Original Schwinn Breeze Touring 26 x 1 3/8 tires for S6 rims, (they show some small cracks but hold air and have little tread-wear). Original 15-gauge lightweight spokes with larger diameter elbows at the hub. 15-25 tooth Atom (France) 5 speed freewheel.
Freewheel: Original Atom 5 speed 15-25t, excellent condition, made in France. Chain: Original Sedis with little wear, made in France. Bar/Stem: Original Schwinn steel handlebars, 37cm. C-c, 40cm outside to outside, forged 60mm c-c steel stem, period grip tape, perhaps original. The original owner had added the grips on the drops in the 60s, and I wanted to keep it as untouched as possible.Brake Levers: Original Weinman 890 drop bar aluminum levers. Brake Calipers: Original Weinman 890 aluminum. Pads show some wear, but useable. Rear Derailleur: Original Huret Allvit. Front Derailleur: Original Simplex Competition rod-actuated with integrated shifter (your hand or foot). Shifter: Original Simplex Tour De France 5 speed braze-on down tube mount. Crankset: Original Astabulah-style Huret Chainrings made in France. 47/50 steel rings, 165mm arm length, excellent original condition.
Very little wear on these original rings. Bottom Bracket: Original Schwinn (Ashtabula-style). Pedals: Original Rat Trap style, made in France.
Saddle/Post: Original Schwinn steel post and chrome steel seat collar. Original Wittkop (Germany) flat-style saddle clamp and leather saddle with tensioning springs on the undercarriage, graduated leather hole drillings, and bag loops on the rear for a saddle bag. Saddle condition is surprisingly comfortable and nicely worn in, but not worn out by any means.
Cables/Housing: Original Simplex rear cable, original brake housing, new brake cables. Original Accessories: Weinmann red brake lever covers, Simplex red rear shift lever cover, Simplex Competition red front derailleur/shift handle cover, red kickstand end cover. Overall: A fine early example of an American icon.
Schwinn made a lot of Varsity bicycles, but very few like this. Feel free to ask any questions, and thanks for looking! This bike is offered in as-is condition and not returnable due to age and used original condition. I try to present items as thoroughly as I can, so please.
Review the images and ask questions you may have before purchasing. I'm happy to answer. The item "Vintage Schwinn OEM Varsity 1961 1st Year for 10 Speed FREE SHIPPING" is in sale since Thursday, August 27, 2020. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Transportation\Bicycles\Complete Bicycles".The seller is "hyvva53" and is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This item can be shipped to United States.