Vintage Schwinn Bikes: Are they worth buying?

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As a renowned road bike brand, Schwinn is also famous for its vintage collection. Vintage Schwinn bikes are an excellent place to begin your vintage best road bike collection. They provide the classic look that collectors seek, and some sell for thousands of dollars. 

So, what makes vintage Schwinn bikes so unique? And how can you tell if the bike you’re buying is from the 1970s or 1980s? Let’s find out!

History of Schwinn Bicycle Company

Ignaz Schwinn and Adolf Arnold founded Arnold Schwinn & Company in 1895, starting the vintage Schwinn bike era. The company’s inaugural brochure offered four safety bicycle types in the same year. Two everyday bikes and two cycling bikes were in the inventory.

Early 20th-century motorized vehicles like motorbikes and cars reduced bicycle sales. In 1908, Arnold sold all his shares to Schwinn, who continued making bicycles. His son Frank took over operations after the Great Recession. Frank became CEO and started making high-quality children’s bikes. He also introduced balloon tires, durable, lightweight frames, and coaster brakes, beginning the US cycling revolution. This increased the company’s sales by twenty in the 1930s.

vintage Schwinn Bikes

Schwinn debuted the Paramount model in 1939 with a breakthrough lightweight steel tube frame. The Paramount Racer stirred up the industry and made the brand one of the most revered in the US.

Schwinn made the Hollywood and Jaguar after World War II. Corvettes and Panthers were also famous. Celebrities and kids loved these middleweight bikes.

Schwinn pioneered innovation with the Black Phantom and Stingray, which were instant hits. The Phantom had a spring fork, chrome fenders with lights, a tank horn button, and white wall tires.

Stingrays had higher handlebars, more extended seats, and smaller wheels. Al Fritz introduced the plan to the board in 1962. It sold 42,000 copies by 1964. The Black Phantom and Stingray are still available.

Identifying an Old Schwinn Bike

If you want to find an old Schwinn, look for the “Schwinn” logo on the head badge. It usually comes in different shapes and sizes based on the year it was made. Most bikes have the logo screwed to the head tube. But the logo has changed a little bit over the years, so you might want to get used to those changes.

But just because a Schwinn bike doesn’t have the company’s logo on it doesn’t mean it isn’t old. During the 1950s, models were either made without a brand name or were given new brand names.

How To Tell A Schwinn Bike From Its Design

You can tell if a bike is old or new by looking at the shape and size of its frame. Most older Schwinn frames are curved and have rounded corners. Bikes like mountain bikes and 10-speed bikes have different looks.

Most old Schwinn bikes have tires that look like balloons. They’re a lot like modern tubular tires, but they’re more comprehensive, which makes them better for sand. That’s why Schwinns are called “beach cruisers.”

An old Schwinn bike has a wide seat, which makes long rides more comfortable. Most people can sit on these seats because they are between 10 and 12 inches wide.

Wondering What Size Road Bike Do I Need? Click here

Assessing the Value of Old Schwinn Bikes

Knowing how much a vintage Schwinn is worth can help you decide whether to buy or sell one. When determining how much a bike is worth, there are several things to think about, such as:

  • Hows the Frame Condition

How much a bike is worth depends on how reasonable the frame is. If the structure is dented, rusted, or broken in some other way, it might be hard to sell. But if the frame is in good shape, the bike is likely to sell for more than other bikes like it.

  • Serial Number

Each Schwinn model had a unique number that was stamped on different parts depending on the model and the year it was made. If you know this number, it can help you figure out how much your bike is worth.

Buy these Best Saddles for Road Bikes

  • Paint Condition

Another way to tell if your Schwinn bike is in good shape is to look at the paint. Most likely, a bike with new paint will sell for less. On the other hand, a bike that still has the paint from the factory can sell for hundreds of dollars.

  • Wheels/Tires, Brakes, And Spokes

Bikes with the original wheels, tires, and brakes usually sell for more. Wheels and tyres are important because they affect how well the bike works on different surfaces.

  • Model

You’ll know what kind of Schwinn your bike is if you can tell what model it is. You can use this knowledge to figure out if it’s worth more or less than other models. You can look at old catalogs like the ones on Waterford Bikes to see how your bike compares to the models in them.

Lastly, you should think about how good the bike is in general. All of these things will change how much the bike is worth. A vintage Schwinn might be worth between $200 and $4000 if it’s in perfect shape, but if it’s in bad shape, it might not be worth much.

Popular Styles Of Vintage Schwinn Road Bikes 

Schwinn Wayfarer Adult Bike Hybrid

The Schwinn Wayfarer is a classic cruiser bike for adults. It features a steel urban design frame and matching fenders. You will never have to sacrifice comfort or visibility when you ride since you have a Schwinn-grade spring seat and an upright riding stance. The Wayfarer, like all Schwinn bikes, comes with a limited warranty for as long as you possess it.

Product Features

  • Item Weight ‎16.3 Kilograms
  • Brand Name ‎Schwinn
  • Warranty ‎Limited lifetime
  • Model Name Wayfarer
  • Colour ‎Light Mint
  • Material Steel
  • Suggested Users Unisex-adult
Reasons to buy
  • Sturdy built
  • Stylish yet comfortable 
  • Schwinn 7-speed twist shifter
  • Dual alloy linear brakes 
  • Effortless assembly 
Reasons to avoid
  • Bike pedals need upgrading 

Product Reviews

Final verdict

The Schwinn Wayfarer is a good choice for those who are looking for an affordable road bike that can handle different terrains. With the 7-speed rear derailleur and twist shift shifters that come standard on this model, climbing steep inclines will no longer be an issue.

Schwinn Classic Old School Krate Bike

The Schwinn Krate is a throwback to the golden age of bicycles. It was originally introduced in 1971 and soon became a collector’s item for many avid cyclists. Today, it’s back with a vengeance! The original design features include an adjustable sissy bar, front fender, rear coaster brake, and a high-rise ape handlebar with spring suspension. The 16-inch front wheel and 20-inch rear wheel are ideal for street riding, while the front drum brake and intuitive rear coaster brake ensure dependable smooth stopping.

Product Features 

  • Age Range ‎Adult
  • Bike Type ‎Cruiser Bike
  • Brake Type ‎Coaster
  • Colour ‎Coal
  • Size 20-Inch Wheels
  • Style ‎Classic
  • Frame Material ‎Steel
Reasons to buy
  • Comfortable banana seat
  • Eye-catching design
  • The slick tires provide a smooth ride
Reasons to avoid
  • No hand brakes 
  • It is heavy

Product Reviews

Final verdict

The Krate is the perfect combination of classic and contemporary. With an ape handlebar, strut, and seat post with spring suspension, it’s built to last.

Schwinn Mikko Women’s Cruiser Bike

Schwinn’s Mikko pedals are high style. This vintage-inspired cruiser is excellent for cruising around town, the park, or the beach. The single-speed internal drivetrain is simple to use and maintain. Retro fenders and an intuitive rear coaster brake make stopping easy. The classic cruiser handlebar and padded saddle provide a comfortable upright riding stance.

Product Feature 

  • Age Range ‎Adult
  • Brake Type ‎Linear Pull
  • Colour ‎Red
  • Size ‎ One Size
  • Style ‎1-Speed
  • Frame ‎Steel
  • Frame Size ‎17
  • Handle Type ‎Riser Bar
  • Material ‎Steel
Reasons to buy
  • Simple design 
  • Affordable price 
  • Sturdy steel frame
  • Easy gear shift
  • A great beach bike
Reasons to avoid
  • Doesn’t come with assembly tools

Product Reviews

Final verdict

The Schwinn Mikko Cruiser Bike is one of the most popular bicycles in America, and it can move as quickly as you pedal while also allowing you to coast when needed. This bike checks all your boxes.

Schwinn Pro Team BMX Bike

The Sting Pro is a pro-level BMX bike, with a steel frame and period-correct decals and paint. The single-speed transmission, rear caliper brake, and tubular crankset ensure it’s ready to hit the track.

Product Features

  • Item Weight    ‎ 12 Kilograms
  • Brand Name Schwinn
  • Warranty   Limited Lifetime
  • Model Name Schwinn Sting Pro Kids Bike, 20-Inch Wheels
  • Color Gray
  • Material Steel
  • Suggested Users ‎Unisex-child
Reasons to buy
  • High-tensile steel frame 
  • It has rattrap pedals
  • 80s vintage design 
  • Good for dirt racing 
  • Reliable brakes 
Reasons to avoid
  • It is a little heavy

Product Reviews

Final verdict

The Schwinn Sting Pro BMX bike is the company’s top-of-the-line racing machine. Based on the groundbreaking design from 1989, It is one of a kind bike enthusiasts shouldn’t miss out on.

Expert Opinion

According to our Creative Director, Thomas M. Howard, Schwinn is one of the world’s most well-known and trusted brands and he has also used Schwinn Wayfarer Adult Bike Hybrid and was very amazed by his design and the quality of the material.

Schwinn bicycles are made of high-quality materials. So, with proper care and maintenance, they will last a long time. They have such beautiful designs that people still like riding them.


Since the beginning of the company, Schwinn has maintained a reputation among its clientele as one that can be trusted. Because of this, the company has been successful in attracting a large number of devoted clients, all of whom have contributed to the company’s current position of preeminence in the market for bicycles. Schwinn is still regarded as an outstanding choice among its customers despite the fact that other businesses produce comparable models at lower prices. This is because Schwinn provides a high-quality level for the price they charge.

How to tell if a Schwinn bike is vintage?

Recognizing old Schwinn bicycles using the company’s branding. Look for the “Schwinn” head badge to identify a vintage Schwinn. It comes in a few shapes and sizes, depending on the year of manufacture. Most motorcycles have the logo screwed to the head tube.

What old bicycles are worth money?

Copake Auction in New York staged one of the largest bicycle sales in April. Its website displays past auctions. The selling price often exceeds the expectation. These vintage bikes went for over $1,000.
Rudge “Kangaroo” high wheel, $32,760, 1885 1892 $26,450 C. Telegram. 1890 “The Rochester” $23,000.

What is the rarest Schwinn?

The Grey Ghost is the most difficult to find of all the Schwinn Krate bikes. The Grey Ghost, like the Cotton Picker, never sold well and was therefore only manufactured for one year.

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