What makes a vintage Schwinn a big deal?
Here's a little of Schwinn's history. Ignaz Schwinn, with his partner Adolph Arnold, incorporated the "Arnold, Schwinn & Company" on October 22, 1895. Within a few short years of its creation, the company became an acknowledged technical and quality leader of the American bicycle industry.
|Schwinn 1930's Saddle|
Over 40 patents were issued to Schwinn for bike improvements during their glory years. By the turn of the twenty-first century, the name "Schwinn" brings to mind classic models, like the 1949 Phantom, the 1963 Sting-ray, and the 1968 Krate. Schwinn focused on durability and safety from the beginning. Schwinn is now an American icon, a world leader in technology and innovation. It's no wonder they remain in high demand among collectors unto this day.
From 1970 to 1979 the Chicago Schwinn's had the serial number on the lower end of the head tube.
After that, most serial numbers were stamped onto the bottom bracket shell. If the left rear axle mount is stamped with a serial number, then the bike was made in Taiwan in the 1980s. Pre-1960 Schwinn's had no real system for serial numbers, so you will have to look around and compare them to a database. Here is a link to one that also provides additional make and model designations. Schwinn Serial Numbers And Date Codes
Check the serial number to find the date of production. Up until the 1960's there was no set system to go by. After 1960 you can typically find the month and year of production located in the serial number, as well as the factory at which it was produced. The various number systems all identify when, as well as the country of origin where the bicycle was built.
To get an idea of the value of the vintage Schwinn in question, compare the date of production, the model, and the condition of the bike with one of the pricing tables at Old Roads.com. While these aren't all-encompassing guides, they are certainly places to get general ideas regarding prices. Generally, a Chicago Schwinn will be more valuable than any of its foreign counterparts.
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