Old Vintage Schwinn Bike Value & Identification Guide (2023)

It’s true that Schwinn does not have many bicycle models like Holland or Funk. But do you know these still cost around five times more? In fact, in Feb 2023, Van Eaton Galleries sold a Schwinn bike for a whopping $2900! Crazy, isn’t it?

Well, such a high value is pretty normal for old Schwinn bikes, not only for the age-old bodies but also for their carefully designed, futuristic parts. But how do you identify such parts and value the bikes based on them? Join me as I dig into all the answers today!

Key Takeaways

  • Old Schwinn bikes value up to $1000 if they have extra features like cantilever frames, horns, fenders, saddles & back racks.
  • You’ll usually get the earliest 1850s models for $300 – 1200. Of these, the ones with Cantilever or Stingray frames cost more.
  • New & Streamlined Schwinn models, such as those with BMX frames or Knobby tires, cost $40 – 900.
  • There are eight types of vintage Schwinn bike models, of which the Stingray & Cruiser ones cost more, often up to $1000.

What Features Make an Old Schwinn Bike a Collectible?

Vintage Schwinn Bike with a Back carrier & Basket

Most people might collect old Schwinn bikes for their single gears & speeds. But as an antique seller, you can get more value if you verify these features:

  • Slim-line tanks, each with Built-in horns & Shock absorbers
  • Small back racks & Load carriers
  • Large & Curvy fenders at the front and rear wheels
  • Typical cantilever frames between the head tube and rear fork
  • Heavy steel bodies with full or partial chains 
  • Superior Coaster brakes & Springed saddles

A Brief History of the Vintage Schwinn Bikes’ Evolution

It was in 1895 Chicago that Ignaz Schwinn & Adolf Arnold decided to build a bicycle company. They didn’t have any funds or a factory, but their engineering skills helped them innovate four safety bicycle models! And people just loved their speed and quality!

But then, in the 1900s, we had even faster pedal cars & mini-bikes. So, Schwinn tweaked his models with gears, spring forks, and frames. Nonetheless, the company lost its shares!

For the next few years, Schwinn explored different cruiser models, some with saddles, horns, lights & built-in kickstands. And then, by the 1960s, the company made a comeback!

And the 1960s was the era of muscle cars! So, Schwinn used a similar design with banana seats, wheels, and high-rise handles. Plus, they all have unique 10-speed gears, making them popular today!

8 Top Schwinn Bike Models for Every Antique Collector:

Antique Schwinn Bike with a High-rise seat

Not all old Schwinn models have single-gears and tracks; some of them also have multiple suspensions and shock absorbers, as these eight types below:

Sr no.Old Schwinn Bike Type Top  Collectible FeaturesYearEstimated Value
1.PhantomHigh decibel horns, front suspensions, front & rear lights, balloon tires & chrome steel fenders1949 – 1959$50 – 800
2. StingrayKnown for its banana seats, ape hanger handlebars, sissy bars, shock absorbers & stick shifts1960 – 1970$60 – 1000
3. VarsityUpright aluminum frames, 14-speed drive trains, alloy rims, caliper brakes & full fenders1970$60 – 850
4. ParamountSuperior Carbon frames with a full-carbon fork, flat-mount disc brakes, 28mm tires, and a Carbon seatpost1940s$20 – 800
5. CruiserWork on step-through frames, springer forks, large balloon tires & wide handlebars1930s$100 – 1000
6.Krate SeriesFive-speed sticks, Spring suspension forks, rear disc brakes & two-speed rear hub shifting mechanisms1968$50 – 800
7. Schwinn ContinentalUpright steel frames with 10-speed drive trains, alloy rims, caliper brakes & full fenders1950s$100 – 700
8.Jaguar3-speed gears, handbrakes, electro-forged cantilever frames & balloon tires1954$50 – 600

6 Factors to Identify & Estimate Old Schwinn Bikes Value

If you’re not quite sure about your Schwinn bike’s model, use the following guide to identify & value it correctly:

1. Vintage Schwinn Bikes Age & Serial Numbers

Old Schwinn Bicycle from the 1920s

Identifying and aging big antiques may be an expert’s job, but with branded Schwinn bikes, it’s just a matter of some numbers and features. So get a magnifier, and check for a serial number on these spots:

  • Base & Lower head tube
  • Front frames or Bottom bracket shells
  • Left rear for ends & fenders
  • Headlugs

Found it? Now, let’s learn the exact resale value from the table below:

Vintage Schwinn Bike YearsAgeHow to Identify?Serial NumbersAverage Price
1820 – 1920103 – 203 yearsSimple road and racing bikes with single-speed drives, coaster brakes, steel frames & saddlesN.A$100 – 1200
1920 – 193093 – 103 yearsSturdy steel frames, Balloon tires, Stick shifters & High-rise handlebars B12818 – Z12993$100 – 900
1940 – 195073 – 83 yearsDrop handlebars, Multiple gears, hand-operated Caliper brakes, Spring forks, Balloon tires & Built-in hornsAlphabet with a 4-digit number like J5733$80 – 700
1960s54 – 63 yearsBanana seats, high-rise handlebars, Small wheels & Coaster brakesAlphabet & production year like A0 for 1960, A1 for 1961 etc.$60 – 1500
1970s44 – 53 yearsMulti-speed bicycles with 10-speed drives, steel frames, drop handlebars & derailleur gearsStamped years on the front tube$50 – 500

Try to get vintage Schwinn bikes with in-built kickstands, rear-wheel brakes & spring forks for an old make.

2. Antique Schwinn Bike Logo

Unlike other brands, Schwinn doesn’t use the same logo for all its bikes! Yes, the changes might be subtle – just the font, color, or graphics; but today, these different logos help track the bike’s age & value! Let’s see how:

Old Schwinn Bike Logo YearsUnique Features of LogosEstimated Cost
1890sOval or Shield badge with ornate typeface, Head marks & the words ‘Arnold, Schwinn & Company Chicago, USA.’$100 – 1200
1960sSmall & Streamlined logos with the words ‘SCHWINN’ & ‘CHICAGO’ in uppercase$60 – 1500
1970sStylized ‘S’ and ‘N’ letters on a red badge$50 – 500

3. Types of Old Schwinn Bike Frames

Old Schwinn Bike with a Step-through frame

Old Schwinn bikes use six types of frames, each with different sections and joints. For instance, the earliest Cantilever frames have two tubes and forks, while the new BMX ones work on buoyant bars. So, let’s see how such frames affect a Schwinn bike’s value below:

Vintage Schwinn Bike FramesHow to Identify?Average Value
Cantilever FrameLook for two top tubes that curve down to meet the rear fork$100 – 1200
Diamond FrameWork with a hollow top tube that runs straight from the head to the seat$60 – 700
Step through / Mixte frameFeatures a flexible, easily mountable lowered top tube$90 – 850
Sting-Ray FrameWorks on a unique frame design of high-rise handlebars, banana seats & small wheels$60 – 1000
BMX FramesCompact, Durable & Buoyant frames with extra agility$50 – 900
Mountain bike frameFlat, shock-absorber frames for off-road rides & top tubes$50 – 600

4. Vintage Schwinn Bike Tires

Different Types of Old Schwinn Bike Tires

Do you know what makes old Schwinn bikes stand out from the rest? Their wide, shock-absorbing tires, of course! From the 1890s balloon tires to the 1960s road ones, each has superior treads & grooves for friction.

But do all of them cost the same? Let’s check the table below:

Antique Schwinn Bike TiresTop FeaturesAverage Price
Balloon TiresLarge & wide tires with extra shock absorbers$60 – 900
Slick TiresSmall tires with smooth treads & grooves$100 – 1000
Knobby TiresRough tread tires for better traction on dirt and off-road trails$40 – 500
Road TiresThin, high-pressure tires for less rolling resistance$80 – 700

5. Antique Schwinn Bike Color

Vintage Schwinn Bicycle with Hand-painted Red Frames

It’s not just the make; Even superficial surface finishes like color and paint change a Schwinn bike’s value! That’s because the earliest 1890s bikes had painted red, green, and blue finishes. But in the 1960s, makers introduced metallic Silver & Gold models too!

And here’s how to appraise such colored Schwinn bicycles:

Vintage Schwinn Bike ColorsEstimated Cost
Black, White & Gray$80 – 700
Earthy Colors – Brown, Beige & Green$50 – 500
Metallic Gold & Silver$100 – 1200
Red, Orange & Yellow$80 – 700
Blue & Purple$90 – 600

6. Old & Rare Schwinn Bikes

Most vintage Schwinn bikes cost $600 – 700 today. But do you know that some rare ones value up to $3000 too? That’s because these have elevated handlebars, gears & horns that stand out from the rest. Want to know more about such models? Here’s a list:

Rare Schwinn Bike ModelsLast Resale Cost
1972 Schwinn Fastback Stingray Fastback Bicycle$1500
Schwinn 1967 Ramshorn Fastback Stingray Sky Blue $3000
Corvette Bicycle$2500
100th Anniversary Phantom Cycle$2000
P-14 Paramount Track Bike$2900

When Did Schwinn Stop Making Bikes? 

Schwinn stopped making bikes by the late 1990s when the company filed for bankruptcy.

What Material Are Old Schwinn Bikes Made Of? 

Schwinn bikes use lightweight materials like Steel, Aluminum & Carbon fiber for the frames. But, the grips and saddles might have Rubber, Leather, or Plastic tops.

Are Old Schwinn Bikes Waterproof? 

No, old Schwinn bikes aren’t entirely waterproof, but some new models can resist water for 4 – 5 hours.

One thing is sure, branded antiques like old Schwinn bikes always have better features and durability than others. So, as a seller, you can charge more for its frames, bikes, logos & even colors. Who knows, you might have a rare Schwinn model worth $1000 too!

Have you calculated the value of your Schwinn bike? Now, appraise your other automobile antiques like ‘hubcaps,’ ‘tricycles,’ ‘go-karts,’ & ‘car jacks’ using our guides!

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

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