LOOKING FOR VINTAGE SCHWINN INFO?

PLEASE READ EVERYTHING ON THIS PAGE

Q: How old is my USA-MADE Schwinn?

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A: First, you must find the serial number stamped into your frame under the crank (1948~1952), at the rear axle (1958~1969), or under and to one side of the front frame schwinn emblem just above the front forks where they meet the frame (1970~1982). This number typically starts with two letters, then a series of numbers. Example: CA015874

Write this number on a piece of paper, then go to your computer and you can easily find out the year of your Schwinn.

DIRECT LINK TO SERIAL NUMBER DATE LIST

Link to Google search for Schwinn serial number lists

Before attempting to contact Jim,

PLEASE READ THIS PAGE AS MOST TYPICAL QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED HERE.

Thank you for your visit to this web page. Please note that there is no reason to doubt the 100% free of charge information on this web page. This is simply a compilation of Jim's experiences from many years in the vintage bicycle collecting hobby and his observations from buying and selling antique Schwinn bicycles. This information is supplied as a service for those individuals who may wish to sort out the simple facts on the Schwinn collecting hobby. Below you will find some usefully links as well a FAQs that answer most questions regarding vintage Schwinn bicycles.

Please scroll down for more information.

Jim knows that people want information about old bicycles and who knows why Jim's web site is at the top of the search engines?

Jim's simple disclaimer - Persons who have a differing opinion about the statements and opinions of Jim are reminded that what Jim offers here is free of charge and the observations and opinions are those of Jim himself. He does not claim to be the absolute authority about this genre. Jim respects the rights of anyone to have a difference of opinion, but Jim also has no interest in entering into debates about facts.

JIM DOES NOT DO APPRAISALS

HOW TO ESTIMATE THE VALUE OF AN ANTIQUE BICYCLE:

SEARCH COMPLETED AUCTIONS ON eBay.

SCROLL DOWN FOR MANY MORE FAQs

CHAIN

JIM'S VINTAGE BICYCLES FOR SALE, CLICK HERE

OLD BICYCLES SHOULD BE ENJOYED FOR WHAT THEY ARE. A TERRIFIC CONVERSATION PIECE, AN EXAMPLE OF FINE AMERICAN ENGINEERING. A MACHINE WITH SIMPLISTIC DESIGN, AND QUALITY OF MATERIALS AND WORKMANSHIP NOT AVAILABLE IN TODAY'S WORLD. YOU CAN BE THE COOLEST CAT ON THE BLOCK WITH YOUR OLD SCHWINN. HANG IT ON THE WALL IN THE DEN, THE FAMILY ROOM. OR GET OUT AND GET SOME EXERCISE. AS A RIDER, A 40 OR 50 YEAR OLD SCHWINN IS MUCH BETTER THAN ANYTHING THAT CAN BE PURCHASED AT THE BIG CHAIN STORES.

CHAIN

THIS PAGE UPDATED, FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Schwinn FAQs.

THESE FAQs MAY ASSIST YOU - FIND THE VALUE OR AGE OF YOUR

USA-MADE SCHWINN BICYCLE

ABOUT CHINA BIKES (Includes Chinese Schwinn bikes from the big-box chain stores)

In case you don't know what is really wrong with "CHAIN-STORE" China bikes... It is almost always about the metallurgy.. The alloys of most Chinese made bicycle components are poor quality. They specifically have problems related to high stress areas such as the frames, the rear hub and gear cluster, and especially the crank bearings and races. In addition, plastic pedals are absolute junk. A Chinese Schwinn is not the same thing as a USA Chicago-made Schwinn. Not even close. Certainly you must realize that a $100.00 new Schwinn from the WallyWorld can't possibly be of any quality. (that costs less than a tank of gas for your SUV or a pair of NIKE shoes) Especailly considering that USA-built Schwinns were more than $100.00 thirty years ago.

After 1995, almost all Schwinns were/are made in China. - Chinese Schwinns have almost ZERO collector value.

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(1) Q: How old is my USA-MADE Schwinn?

A: First, you must find the serial number stamped into your frame under the crank (1948~1952), at the rear axle (1958~1969), or under and to one side of the front frame schwinn emblem just above the front forks where they meet the frame (1970~1982). This number typically starts with two letters, then a series of numbers. Example: CA015874

Write this number on a piece of paper, then go to your computer and you can easily find out the year of your Schwinn.

Simply go to Google.com Type in this phrase and you will find numerous reference pages.

Link to Google search for Schwinn serial number lists

Or try this direct link

(2) Q: Is my old USA-MADE Schwinn valuable?

A: SCHWINN MADE MILLIONS OF BICYCLES, AND MOST ARE NOT VALUABLE AS COLLECTORS ITEMS. WOMEN'S BICYCLES IN GENERAL HAVE ALMOST NO COLLECTOR VALUE.

(3) Q: How do I estimate the value of my antique bicycle?

A: SEARCH COMPLETED AUCTIONS ON eBay. To view completed auctions, you must be an ebay member. Sign-in to your account, type the model and brand into the search. (i.e. Schwinn Stingray Apple Krate) Select the search parameter of "all of eBay" Then select "sort highest price first" This will bring the most expensive items to the top of the sort list. (The bicycles are typically selling for much more than the small parts which makes your search easier.) Finally, select "search completed items" and you are there!

(4) Q: Is there someone who will appraise my bicycle for me?

A: Jim does not appraise bicycles and he knows of nobody who does this service. Certainly, the eBay appraisal method explained in detail above is the best way. The most people will pay for an item is market value, and eBay is the number one place where vintage bicycles are bought and sold.

(5) Q: How do I sell my bicycle on eBay?

A: Remember that bicycles are difficult to ship. Some of the larger ones from the 1950s and older are too big for UPS dimensional limits. Tandems are especially difficult to ship as typically they must be sent via truck freight service. This requires a shipping crate. If you are not comfortable with selling and shipping the bicycle yourself, then you may wish to have an eBay sales store do this for you. Most cities have someone who specializes in representing items on eBay for a commission.

(6) Q: Will Jim buy my bicycle or help me sell it?

A: In 2005, this web page was simply a showcase of images from Jim's bicycle collection. As the page rose on the search engine rankings, more and more people began to theorize that Jim was an authority on Schwinn bicycles. In fact, he is not and he has never claimed to be an authority. Jim was born and raised in the bicycle business, but he is not in the bicycle business now and has not been for thirty years. In fact, Jim does not run a bicycle shop and is not in the business of buying and selling them for profit.

Jim does have a large collection of antique Schwinn bicycles and most of them were acquired fifteen or twenty years ago when they were common $5.00 and $10.00 yard sale items. In fact, Jim has finished selling-off some of his collection to "thin the herd". There are no bicycles that Jim is searching for at this time. Jim is very busy with his work and he simply does not have the time to be a vintage bicycle broker.

(7) Q: What is the difference between perceived value vs. actual realistic value?

A: What Jim does know is that in all types of collecting, there are those who know the realistic value of their collectors item and those who are not realistic.

Generally speaking, actual realistic value is what sells an item and delivers money into the hand of the seller. Those who perceive a value without researching the actual sales history of similar collectible objects are often unrealistic in their expectations. Sellers who base the value of their item on perceived value which is often based on hearsay, are the ones who are often frustrated because their item does not find a buyer. "It may be better to have a small actual advantage than only the chance of a greater one."

FINAL NOTES and common sense advice about collector value and buying and selling: It is best to be realistic about the value of your bicycle. If you have searched completed auctions and do not see a similar one that has sold for what you think yours is worth, then you are probably wasting your time trying to sell it. Schwinn collectors who are buying these bicycles know their value and they are not going to pay more than they are worth as these collectors are a very well informed and tight-knit group. Relying on the estimated value based solely on the perceptions of a person who is not a Schwinn collector is unwise and most often leads to disappointment. Remember that Schwinn made millions of bicycles.

Why does Jim "dig" old Schwinns?

This page is dedicated to Jim's Grandfather Sylvester and his friend and Schwinn dealer, Harold Mulhaupt. It was Sylvester who taught Jim the basic mechanical skills, and attention to detail that lead to his evolution into a master craftsman.

Jim began collecting Schwinns in the early 1990s. Jim was raised in the 1960s in the twin cities of Lafayette-West Lafayette Indiana. His family lived on the edge of the PURDUE University campus. In a campus town, bicycles were a big business. Jim’s grandfather, Sylvester was a locksmith and bicycle repairman at the local Schwinn dealership. Jim grew up watching his grandfather repair intricate devices, and learned his attention to detail. Jim’s grandfather worked at Mulhaupt’s Schwinn. Mulhaupt’s is one of the oldest Schwinn dealers in the USA, and is still in business today. (NEWS FLASH November 2009.... Mulhaupt's closes it's Schwinn dealership after more than 100 years!) In the 1960s, Mulhaupt’s was a 1000 club dealer. This meant that they sold more than 1000 bicycles per year! In the 1960s, the dealers would assemble for the Schwinn national dealer convention. This event was held at the famous Drake Hotel in Chicago. Awards for sales were given, there was the presentation of new models, sales meetings, and banquets. A visit from long time Schwinn spokesman Captain Kangaroo was always a highlight of the trip! Jim’s grandfather was very proud of his association with the Schwinn bicycle brand. In those days, being the local Schwinn dealership mechanic was a career!

Jim's friend, Harold Mulhaupt

When Sylvester assembled a new one, he would carefully align the bolt heads of the mounting screws, and every spoke was tightened to perfection. He went so far as to solder the cable ends to prevent them from fraying, and wound the excess cable into a loop for a nice appearance.

Jim's Grandfather, Sylvester "Syl"

At Christmas time, Jim would be on vacation from school. In the evenings after the store was closed for the day, Jim would help his grandfather who was working overtime to assemble the hundreds of new Schwinns due to be delivered in the week prior to the holiday. In the few days prior to Christmas, Jim and his grandfather would drive around the Lafayette Indiana area in the Mulhaupts van delivering new Schwinns to the designated secret hiding places at the homes of Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, friends and neighbors. An intricate plan to prevent the children from finding out that a new Schwinn awaited them on Christmas morning.

Jim began gravitating toward a career in mechanical repair at an early age. At the age of ten, Jim was already repairing the neighborhood bicycles and had mastered the basic skills of a bicycle repairman. In the early 1970s Jim worked with Sylvester at the Pedal 'N Pack shop at "Five Points" in Lafayette. Selling and repairing bicycles including the fine European brands of Peugeot, Motobecane, and Gitane. These experiences, and the realization that Schwinn is an American icon, led Jim to begin a collection of vintage Schwinns.

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