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Rear wheel/chain issues on old Schwinn
I have an old 1974 Schwinn Varsity. I finally got new tires; I am trying to put the rear wheel back on, but I TOTALLY messed up the chain/derailler and can't figure out how it goes! I am at my wits end and about to take it into my bike shop. I'd like to figure it out myself, but I am stuck. Everything I find online is for newer bikes. I can't get the wheel on and the chain right. Help!

I've attached a pic.


You need to remove the wheel to "straighten out the derailleur.
The derailleur part with the 2 small cogs should be pointing straight down
Look at the photo's on Wikapedia and follow the chain routing. All derailleurs / chain follow the same route no matter age or make.
Chain goes under lowest small cog, then in front of next one. Finally over the sprockets.
A bit fiddly to get it right but easy when you know how.

I've just realised that the part with the two small cogs also needs winding anti-clockwise. It has unwound and needs to be tensioned so that it it pulls the lower chain run backwards.

Hope you understand that?
Ride hard or ride home alone!
Wow I have no idea what you have done. Nothing much has changed in chain threading.

The upper section goes over the rear cogs, goes around and threads inside the top cog and outside the lower cog.
Disconnect your cable , get the lower gear to hang down and re thread chain . Follow adjustment procedure on this site.
Never Give Up!!!
I did it!!! I have no idea how, but I fixed it!!! yay! Smile
Ye, BTDT. If you try enough things one will work. :-)))

Great now lub all your bearings: Wheels, Bottom Bracket, steering head.

Take notes and photos so you do not get stucken again.
Never Give Up!!!
Nice bike by the way!!
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
See you've done it, good.
You haven't looped the chain around the gear before feeding the wheel into the drop out, also some of these early changers had a metal tag on the body bent over to act as a stop to prevent it winding up like this, if this has been bent or damaged, this happens.

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