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Schwinn Frames and Bikes

On this page:
Bicycles: 17" Traveler step-through
Framesets: 48cm Le Tour Luxe frameset | 57cm Voyageur Randonneur frameset | 62cm Schwinn True Temper frameset

The Schwinn Bicycle Company was founded in Chicago 1895 by German engineer Ignaz Schwinn with financial backing from meat packer Adolph Arnold. The timing was perfect. The firm was able to capitalize on the first great American bike boom of the late 1890s.

Because of Ignaz's careful management, Schwinn survived both the precipitous drop in sales after the 1890s boom was over in addition to the overall declining sales of bicycles as adult Americans, for a number of complex reasons not related to the increase in automobile sales, gave up using bicycles for transportation. By the 1930s bicycles were mostly sold by chainstores and the bike factories' margins would not even cover the cost of maintaining factory tooling.

Ignaz's son Frank understood the problem and decided to produce high-quality kids' bikes with what we now call clincher tires. The "Super Balloon Tire Bicycle" was a resounding success. The company was saved and went on from strength to strength. In the 1960s and 1970s the Schwinn Varsity and Sting-Ray bikes were seen everywhere.

The next generation of the Schwinn family was incapable of handling the influx of lightweight Japanese and European made adult bikes and allowed its factory to grow increasingly outdated. By the 1980s, almost all Schwinn bicycles were imported.

Imported Schwinns of that era were generally very well-designed and well-made.

Still, the firm was unable to compete and in 1992, Schwinn filed for bankruptcy.

After more financial complications, including a second bankruptcy, the Schwinn name is now owned by Dorel Industries.

17" Schwinn Traveler step-through bicycle. Used, $400.00

  • 4130 lugged CrMo steel frame and fork, forged dropouts.
  • Gripshift 21 speed shifters, Shimano LX rear derailleur
  • Alloy All Rounder bar, Technomic Stem
  • Alloy centerpulls with Koolstop Eagleclaw pads
  • Quick-release alloy wheels
  • Sugino AT triple crankset
  • Blummel fenders
  • Blackburn luggage rack
  • With kickstand

Schwinn Traveler

A bike that will take you where you want to go and let you do what you have to get done.

Schwinn Traveler

Front view

Schwinn Traveler

From the back, showing the fenders and Blackburn rack.

Schwinn Traveler

Front end, showing the controls

48cm Schwinn Le Tour Luxe frameset. Used, $250.00

48cm seat tube x 55cm top tube

  • 85mm head tube
  • We believe this frame was made in Schwinn's Greenville, Mississippi factory in the mid-1980s
  • Made for 27-inch wheels
  • With headset
  • Downtube water bottle braze-ons
  • Made with 4130 Cromoly tubing.
  • Cast fork crown, forged dropouts, eyelets on fork tips and dropouts, seat stay braze-ons for a rack.

Schwinn Le Tour Luxe

With a nice complement of braze-ons, this will make a great around-town or touring bike.

57cm Schwinn Voyageur Randonneur frameset. Used, $300.00

57cm seat tube x 56cm top tube

  • 150mm head tube
  • Two sets of water bottle braze-ons
  • New white powder-coat paint job
  • Cantilever brake braze-ons
  • Forged dropouts with double eyelets front and rear
  • Seat-stay rack braze-ons
  • Cast fork crown and seat lug
  • We date this frameset to about 1988

Schwinn Voyager

Here's a frameset designed to eat up the miles in comfort.

62cm Schwinn True Temper frameset. Used, $250.00

62cm seat tube x 58cm top tube

  • 210mm head tube
  • 2 water-bottle braze-ons
  • True-Temper Cro-moly steel

Schwinn frameset

Horizontal forged dropouts, downtube shifter bosses and cast fork crown mark this as a nice road frame.