I'm just getting into the biking world and I am in the market for a better bike than my current Huffy bike. I'm looking on Craigslist and I came across a 1980 Schwinn World Traveler bike for $120. Obviously I will be trying to talk down the price but is this going to be a solid bike? Or should I shop around a little more and find something better. If it helps I can post the link to the craigslist page. Thanks for the help!
Solid, yes. Worth it? Probably not.
Unless it has been kept in perfect running condition, a 30+ year old bike is going to need lots of maintenance. IT will also have really outdated parts. Finding spares will be difficult, newer parts might not fit at all. All this boils down to maintenance nightmare.
Even if you find bike that's perfect to ride, it will still be an old bike. It will be heavier and its' gears and brakes won't be as good as in newer models. Unless you get a kick from riding vintage bike (nothing wrong with that), I'd go for more modern one.
This site has 1980 Schwinn Traveler specifications: http://schwinncruisers.com/catalogs/1980.html.
At least the 27" wheels that the Traveler has are going to be trouble. 27" size is not used much these days. Finding new tyres/inner tubes in case of flats will be tricky.
I owned mid-80's Schwinn Traveler and Le Tour bicycles. They were good quality entry-level road bikes for their time. That said, I would likely look for something else for the following reasons:
Unless it was very well maintained and recently serviced you could easily spend $200 on parts and service to have the bike overhauled. A neighbor wanted to start riding his early 80's bike again after years of it sitting, and spent over $300.
Rust works it's way from the inside out on old steel frames like these. While if it has been stored and maintained well it would be fine for years, if not frame could crumble with any significant use.
Parts, while available, may not always be in stock for a bike of this vintage. Things like 27" wheels and tires, and 5-spd freewheels may be hard to find locally.
If you decide to move on, these may be helpful questions to review: