1976 Schwinn Varsity Women's Road Bike - Coppertone

1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
An unassuming Schwinn in an assuming color

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.

Scroll down for more photos.

1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
I like that steel thing by the back tire
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Coppertone cockpit
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
This bike was made by General Motors
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Schwinn Approved type LS2.4 front brake
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Schwinn Approved high-flange alloy hubs
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
High-pressure racing tires
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Schwinn Approved Dia-Compe brake levers
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Left half of the handlebars
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Corroded head tube badge
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Back to the center
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Bars, levers, cables, shifters, stem, from the side
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
"Schwinn" and "Varsity" decals, heavily worn
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Schwinn stem and headset-mount shifters
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Schwinn Approved Comfort Form saddle
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
This doesn't look too comfortable, actually
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Rear brake
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Citadel bike lock bracket
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
You could clean this, but why would you want to?
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Right rat-trap pedal
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
35 years in the basement
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Schwinn Approved front derailleur
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Dekalb County Georgia bicycle license
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
Crank and sprockets
1976 schwinn varsity women's road bike - coppertone
GT 500 rear derailleur & pie plate