Vintage Schwinn Bicycles
Vintage Schwinn Bicycles are highly collectible bicycles, produced from the 1930s to the end of the 1970s.
History of company
The company was founded in 1895 in Chicago, Illinois, by German mechanical engineer, Ignaz Schwinn.
The Schwinn Company was the premier American bicycle manufacturer through the majority of the twentieth century and was commonly known for producing the Cruiser series; a style of bicycle that became highly popular in the youth culture due to its motorcycle imitated design. The style would soon become the industry standard and was copied by numerous other American manufacturers.
The Aero Cycle is often credited as the seminal cruiser bicycle and was first produced in 1934. Improving on the 1933 B-10E, the Aero Cycle featured the elements that defined the cruiser look; a streamlined frame, battery-powered headlight and faux gas tank. Modelled on a motorbike, the cruiser design was every boys dream in the 1930s to 1940s.
Guide for collecting Vintage Schwinn Bicycles
Vintage Schwinn bicycles have become increasingly popular for bicycle collectors since the 1970s and are still widely available on online bidding sites such as eBay and at antique bicycle dealers, such as Sanfrancisco.tribe.net.
Furthermore, rather than being kept as a collectible, due to the durability and build quality of vintage Schwinn bikes, most are still bought with a view to use. The vintage Schwinn bicycle is one of the landmarks in the history of bicycle production in America and as a result is perhaps the most common item preferred by collectors. More information regarding spare parts and references for Schwinn vintage bicycles can be found on Oldroads.com.
Vintage Schwinn bicycles are regularly sold on eBay for highly competitive prices. However, wherever possible, it is recommended that collectors are able to visit and inspect the model to verify that it has not been renovated.
Collectors should be aware that buying vintage Schwinn bicycles is predominantly a U.S. market and so therefore buyers from Britain and Europe would also need to add shipping to their budget.
Collectors can expect to pay considerably more for Schwinn models that have retained their original elements, such as their faux gas tank and original chain guard. Schwinn produced a variety of models but bicycles made before the 1980s are still the most sought after by collectors and their quality invariably remains quite high.
Although modern Schwinn bicycles are still desirable, there is a very strong and competitive market for its vintage models. Their cruiser models are perhaps the most admired vintage Schwinn and no vintage bicycle collection is complete without either a Phantom or Aero Cycle. The Stingray, characterised by its high-rise handlebars, is one of the most recognisable vintage bicycles and has been known to fetch up to $700 on eBay.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Schwinn also produced a variety of 10-Speed bicycles, including the Continental and Varsity, which have since become highly admired by collectors. The limited edition Paramount series is extremely rare.
Depending on the condition of the model, it is recommended to seek professional advice if repairs need to be made as any below average adjustments could compromise the key features of the model. Spare parts and reputable repair shops are often sourced and shared by enthusiasts on specialist websites such as Bikeforums.net.
Notable Sales of Vintage Schwinn Bicycles
In January 2012 a vintage 1959 Schwinn Corvette, complete with its original faux gas tank, was sold for $800 on eBay.
A vintage 1971 Schwinn Surburban mens bicycle was sold on eBay for $100 in January 2012.
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