Author Topic: '72 Kool Lemon Varsity  (Read 93 times)

Offline KoolNick

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'72 Kool Lemon Varsity
« on: April 20, 2017, 07:40:35 PM »
Long time lurker here, first-time poster... mainly because I've been waiting for a spell to get my Dad's 72 Varsity. Last weekend, I went home for Easter and came back home with it.  :D

Cool things: my Dad always keeps all his paperwork forever, so I have the manual that came with the bike and he stapled to the front cover his receipt! He bought it on June 23, 1972, for $91.75 (after tax) less a $10 deposit from Ray's Bike Shop in South Bend, IND. Also, my Dad still had his generator and light set! No idea if it works, but we'll see.

Even though it was my Dad's bike until I convinced him to let me have it, I have fond memories of this bike. He would ride it next to me when I was a child and we'd go on after dinner bike rides together. Also, when I was in middle school and high school, I had a paper route and I used this bike every day to deliver the papers, so I sometimes wonder if I haven't already logged more miles on it than he did.  ;D

I've already started taking it apart to overhaul it and found a few quirks. First, it looks like the seat took the brunt of a fall at some point. I vaguely remember it being like that back in HS, but never did anything about it. Also, my tear-down stopped at the bottom bracket as I need to get a cheater bar... those pedals are not coming off very easily, haha!
1972 Varsity

Offline acg_schwinn

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Re: '72 Kool Lemon Varsity
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 08:07:30 PM »
Also, my tear-down stopped at the bottom bracket as I need to get a cheater bar... those pedals are not coming off very easily, haha!

At the risk of telling you something you already know, the left-side pedal unscrews clockwise, not counterclockwise, so I trust you're forcing it in the right direction...?  ;)

Offline Eric94TA

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Re: '72 Kool Lemon Varsity
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 08:56:53 PM »
Really awesome to have your dad's Schwinn! Congrats! 8)

(He must be one tall cat!)
70 Campus Green Suburban 5-speed "Green Hornet"
72 Kool Lemon Collegiate "Old Yeller"
74 Opaque Blue Suburban ST 5-speed "Baloo"
77 Sunset Orange Runabout "Orange Crush"
74 Sunset Orange Collegiate ST (project)
77 Sunset Orange Runabouts ST, (project)
78 Flamboyant Red Varsity (project)
78 Sky Blue Breeze (project)

Offline JenniferC

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Re: '72 Kool Lemon Varsity
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 09:10:16 PM »
Welcome to the forum. The bike itself looks to be in really nice shape. The saddle probably wasn't all that when it was new so if you're going to ride it much you might consider something a little more comfortable. Andy said what I was thinking about the pedals. Make sure you're going in the right direction. Have fun.  ;)

Offline Nick

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Offline Bikes42

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Re: '72 Kool Lemon Varsity
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 03:20:10 AM »
Welcome to the forum!

Great story and it's nice to hear that you want to give a new life to your Dad's bike. I'm sure that it's giving him a good feeling.

Good luck, keep us informed of your progress and ask questions along the way if you need to.

Tad
1940 Maroon New World
1959 Radiant Green Tiger
1961 Radiant Blue Varsity
1964 Flamboyant Red Racer
1967 Sky Blue Paramount P13
1971 Burgundy Super Sport
1972 Flamboyant Red Paramount Tandem
1972 Opaque Green Super Sport
1972 Kool Lemon Sports Tourer
1973 Opaque Blue Continental
1973 Sunset Orange Continental
1973 Opaque Blue Super Sport
1974 Opaque Blue Typhoon
1977 Violet Le Tour II
1987 Ice Pink Prelude
1993 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra
2001 Bianchi Eros

Offline Echo_Delta

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Re: '72 Kool Lemon Varsity
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 05:47:34 AM »
Welcome to the forum!!  It is AWESOME you have an interest in your Dad's bike. It will clean up GREAT!!
1939 Maroon New World
1954 Black Phantom
1955 Blue Corvette 3 speed
1961 Black Corvette 2 speed
1968 Blue Mini Twinn 2 speed
1972 Mens Burgundy Super Sport
1972 Ladies Burgundy Super Sport
1974 Blue Paramount
1979 Flamboyant Red Deluxe Twinn Tandem

Offline KoolNick

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Re: '72 Kool Lemon Varsity
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 12:39:39 PM »
Thanks for the tip on the pedal direction. It was the first thing I thought of when it wasn't coming off easily... and I was initially doing it in the wrong direction!  ;D That might have tightened the left pedal, but the right one I've only done in the correct direction (I switched to see if it was any easier, lol) and it's not budging either. I think I'm going to take it to my LBS and make friends with them later today.

I am planning on riding it as my go-to bike when I'm done. Believe it or not, I actually liked the saddle! But I can't seem to find a vintage one that I like, so I'll probably end up with a Brooks new replacement. My philosophy for this bike is "original or NOS if possible (or as long as I have patience to look for it!), but I'm ok with new and will try to keep the overall aesthetic feel." Not that I need to get much for it, though, as everything's original and I can reuse it... except for the tape, cables and chain which I'll replace, and the saddle as mentioned above.

Oh, and something else on my mind, I've found lots of complete sets of lights, but haven't found just the glass that I'll need for the rear light (assuming it even works as my Dad removed it before I even started riding it).

Ok, enough for now.  :D

1972 Varsity

Offline acg_schwinn

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Re: '72 Kool Lemon Varsity
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 01:57:43 PM »
Oh, and something else on my mind, I've found lots of complete sets of lights, but haven't found just the glass that I'll need for the rear light (assuming it even works as my Dad removed it before I even started riding it).

Your lighting set is a first-generation Schwinn Deluxe set by Union of West Germany, as seen by that (rather rusty) headset ring mounting bracket. You might want to consider ditching that rusty bracket in favor of a second-generation Deluxe bracket instead, which just clamps around the stem. The headlight will fit either one.

Your missing taillight lens is part number 04 160 (lens and reflector in one glued unit), but unfortunately Union did not supply individual replacement lighting parts to Schwinn like their other suppliers such as Soubitez did (which makes you wonder why Schwinn even bothered assigning individual part numbers for the Union generator set components... force of habit, I suppose  :) ).

Further compounding the frustration is that those lenses tended to crack, especially around the small triangular retainer tooth that fits in the matching hole in the top of the chrome housing, after which the lens could fall out, and frequently did. Your best bet will be to snag a complete replacement taillight from a swap meet, eBay or elsewhere. In addition to finding one in a parts bin or off a donor set, it was also sold separately as an accessory taillight, as seen on this catalog page here:

http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1971_1980/1972_46.html

That page also shows a couple of other choices you could use as well. One is their 04 181 bullet taillight, which is a really nice example of that design (made by Cat Eye in Japan), but kind of small. My choice would be the 04 180 model on that page, which is not photographed very well there, but actually has a forward-facing amber lens in addition to the red one visible in the photo; very slick. That was also made by Cat Eye, and examples of that are pretty common on eBay. I've sold several Deluxe sets like yours in which the amber/red Cat Eye taillight had been installed as an upgrade. Good luck with the search...