Schwinn serial dating
Look below and to the left of the badge to find the serial number.Founded in 1895, Schwinn is an American icon, building some of the best-known and best-loved bicycles of all time.During the early years a serial number was hand stamped possibly right after a frame was built but in the later years the thousands of SN’s stamped in one day was done by a benched mounted automatic stamping machine.I personally believe that sometime in the 50’s or possibly earlier, Schwinn actually stamped the serial number on the bikes component prior to the frame build and there is evidence that backs this up.The number will have a production month letter in either the first or second position and a production year number in the other (first or second) position. For some Japanese built Schwinns the headbadge will have a 4-digit stamping that represents the assembly date and consists of the ordinal day and the last digit of the year (2456 decodes to the 245th day of 1976 or 1986 -- use decals and components to determine the decade).The ordinal dating was adopted for Schwinn's domestic production in 1976.
After the "Bicycle Boom" of the 1970s, however, Schwinn's proprietary frame-building technology and heavier bikes became less economically viable in an increasingly weight-obsessed industry--resulting in millions of unique vintage and antique bikes that can be identified by their serial numbers.
This seems to have been a system started by Emil Wastyn.
We found a very early Paramount – claimed to be a 1938-9 vintage – with serial number A545.
Since there are many misconceptions about the Schwinn serial numbers I want to devote this thread to clearing up all the mysteries, myths, rumors and falsehoods that lead one into believing that a date coded Schwinn serial number is the build date of a bike.
The serial number was stamped on a frame for specific purpose, and it was not intended nor does it tell you the day, month and in some cases the year a particular bike was built.