1976 Schwinn Varsity Women's Road Bike - Coppertone
According to the Dekalb County Police Department bicycle license on the seat tube, this 1976 Schwinn Varsity women's road bike was once a Georgia peach.
Southern and fruity are sweet concepts. But old steel women's Schwinn road bikes can be really ugly. The stubby little seat, the awkward drop handlebars, and the skirt-accommodating slope of the top tube create a compact form that makes the front sprocket's chrome pie-plate seem comically oversized. There's a weird spatial void above the rear wheel, and the front end is so laid back that the handlebars might as well be in the rider's lap.
But two things save this Varsity from a fate of kitchy vintage hideousness: a wise color choice and 35 years of deterioration.
Look at that phenomenal coppertone paint! And the matching translucent handlebar tape! The rotted sidewalls of the decades-old tires! The hazy film of surface rust on every square inch of chrome!
Of course, the Varsity will need new tires before it's ready to roll. A cool new seat and a set of upright handebars wouldn't hurt. But as it sits, copper and crust have taken it from boring to beautiful.
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