Schwinn Varsity Tourist Bicycle, 1965

This ten-speed Schiwinn Varsity Tourist Bicycle was donated to the Museum in 1965 as an example of a bicycle typical to the period.
This bicycle's frame is of the usual lightweight diamond pattern. The frame and forks have a coppertone finish, the tourist-style handlebars have white plastic grips, and the spring saddle is in white and coppertone. A built in kick-stand is mounted on the left, just behind the pedals. This cycle is equipped with a 10-speed, French-made Sprint derailleur. This is so named because the chain can be "derailed" from one sprocket to another, offering ten different gear ratios. The rear hub is fitted with five sprockets (14, 16, 20, 24, and 28 teeth), and the 6 1/2-inch pedal cranks have two sprockets (39 and 50 teeth). Two small levers mounted on the lower main tube of the frame move cables that operate the derailing devices, the left one moving the chain sideways behind the pedal sprocket and the right one moving the chain sideways below the wheel sprocket. This lateral movement causes the chain to crawl up or down to the next sprocket as the cycle is pedaled forward. With this type of drive, Weinmann caliper brakes are used, the pairs of brake shoes gripping the rims of the wheels when hand levers are squeezed-the left one operating the front brake, and the right one, the rear. The 36-spoke wheels have tubular chrome rims and carry 27-by-1 1/4-inch nylon sports touring tires.
Currently not on view
date made
ID Number
catalog number
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Credit Line
Gift of Arnold, Schwinn & Co.
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
America on the Move
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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