How To Identify Chicago Made Schwinn's

How To Identify Chicago Made Schwinn's

Hope this video is helpful to you all – I looked around and didn’t see a video pointing out the tell-tale identifying marks/details only made in Chicago USA Schwinn frames have so I figured I’d just do it myself ☺️

There’s a lot of later made “Schwinn’s” out there but they aren’t really worth anything – there are a lot of people out there who think they have “the real deal” and ask far too much money for a foreign made knockoff – some just don’t know but some are scammers – now you know

I like to scan Craigsist for deals, it’s how I get parts for my Klunker builds, and I’m always seeing things being listed as “Schwinn” that are clearly garbage. I used to post an “add” that was a lesson, a few paragraphs long with pictures of all these details but it would get flagged a lot – I finally decided to make this video…


  1. Out of beer! on November 22, 2022 at 5:32 am

    I’m trying to assemble a 1968 schwinn exercise bike. Is there a video on how to do it from the beginning order,because I think I doing it in the wrong order.

  2. Allan Mercer on November 22, 2022 at 5:33 am

    Thank you, thank you. You made my day. I’ve got a small bike collection but I’m still learning. I have a yellow Schwinn Continental, all original…everything, it even has the original yellow handlebar tape and I figure it is "vintage" but I’m having a hard time finding the actual manufacture date. 1970’s ? I’ll keep looking but so far, ‘nada’. You help me identify that my Schwinn road bike met all your criteria and was made in Chicago. I’m a happy bike rider. Thanks again.

  3. Robert Rivera on November 22, 2022 at 5:34 am

    Thank you for this lesson 👍 I just bought one and I want to know if it’s original

  4. Tim Mccreery on November 22, 2022 at 5:34 am

    My Father-in-Law passed away in 1993, and one of the things he left my wife was a genuine Chicago made Schwinn 26" middle weight- metallic green with original chrome full fenders and a chrome springer front end. I don’t know how old it is, it needs a new seat and tires and a lot of chrome polish and a paint job- I just haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with it.
    The Original lettering- is that decal or paint? It would probably cost more to restore the paint and lettering than the bike is worth…

  5. David Wild Stallion Johnson on November 22, 2022 at 5:35 am

    I have a January 1960 Corvette that while rough has the original pinstripes. cool bike

  6. Richard Galvan on November 22, 2022 at 5:36 am

    Right bro I hella appreciate thi$ video I learned $ome thing about $ome thing I really Love & enjoy bike$

  7. joeswampdawghenry on November 22, 2022 at 5:37 am

    Kool krakkaaaaa

  8. TheSeptemberone on November 22, 2022 at 5:38 am

    I have a JU that I believe is an 83 but I can’t find it in any schwinn database or on any charts. Would you say it’s 83 too??

  9. ♨︎Alice moon♨︎ on November 22, 2022 at 5:40 am

    No Comment’s – Great 👍🏼 Bike’s !!!!!
    Hi 👋 from Russia 🇷🇺 …..
    P.s. President: Chertanovo Chopper’s Custom Club ……
    (Moscow City) 🌆 …..

  10. Ovniware33 on November 22, 2022 at 5:41 am

    5 speed Atom drum brake 80’s Schwinn come with a brake bridge. 70’s come with fender bridge. Another thing that changed were the decals. I know because I have several of both, in mint condition… all original 🤗

  11. Kyle K on November 22, 2022 at 5:42 am

    Thanks for explaining the electro forge process a bit. I’ve always wondered how they did it. I’ve also got a 79 spitfire 5 with the drum rear brake and the bike is 100% original and looks practically brand new. I changed the tires so I could reliably ride it because nothings better than riding a vintage Schwinn. My oldest Schwinn is a 1953 and it rides incredible.

  12. wayne gallant on November 22, 2022 at 5:44 am

    thank you i have a few chicago schwinns

  13. jenbill1602 on November 22, 2022 at 5:45 am

    As a kid in the 60s used to tell by the forks Schwinn had solid forks with the chrome cap on top where other bikes had hollow tube forks had a stingray and a 10 speed varsity

  14. M on November 22, 2022 at 5:45 am

    I was questioned on the badge. It doesn’t have Chicago under Schwinn on the badge, just an R to the bottom of Schwinn. However, it is screwed, not riveted. The serial.number on the left rear indicates may 10, 1960 and it has Bendix on as well.

  15. teem833 on November 22, 2022 at 5:46 am

    I have an old Swinn bike. I purchased the frame, because I always wanted a Swinn growing up. It look like it has all its original parts. But, it is real old! I want to restore it. But, I don’t know where to start!

  16. William Sporing on November 22, 2022 at 5:46 am

    I’ve got a 57 starlette and a 66 panther. I know mine were made in Chicago.
    I’ve met the guy that bought the entire inventory when they shut down. He started the bicycle museum of America in New Bremen Ohio. If you ever get the chance, GO THERE! It’s amazing.
    CWC also made frames with rear facing dropouts.

  17. Caveman Rob on November 22, 2022 at 5:47 am

    I hadn’t thought to klunk out a Varsity. Def have to, now…

  18. Steve Sinclair on November 22, 2022 at 5:47 am

    I met an old man yesterday. I was asking for directions to mountain bike yrails. He showed me his 1956, Corvette Schwinn. I pumped up his tires for him and got one gear working on the 3 speed. Other gears the pedals just wheel grab. Can you explain to me how I can fix it?

  19. Dan V on November 22, 2022 at 5:47 am

    I just found what I think is a schwinn it’s has every thing you described a Schwinn should have but I can not find the serial number

  20. Claudette G on November 22, 2022 at 5:48 am

    How were the decals originally placed? Painted on?

  21. Rob Kunkel on November 22, 2022 at 5:50 am

    This helps a lot. Nice that you repeat your findings so we can remember more easily. Rob Made In Chicago

  22. Michael Newbold on November 22, 2022 at 5:53 am

    I bought a 1970 Schwinn Typhoon back in 2005 for $25.00. I looked up the serial number to find out it’s age. I saw that bike at a rummage sale while walking my dog at the time. I had to get him home so I could go back to buy it. I’m so glad I found it. I wish I could show it in the comment. Could you let me know where I might be able to find an original rear reflector for it? Thanks for this video.

  23. Emmanuel Ilarde on November 22, 2022 at 5:53 am

    Very nice Sir. Thanks for the info.

  24. timeomyside on November 22, 2022 at 5:55 am

    Well done!

  25. Tom C on November 22, 2022 at 5:56 am

    Hi, and thanks for the informative video.
    On that blue bike at the end (at the 6:16 mark), what brand tire is that white wall on the rear? I don’t recognize the tread pattern. And is it a quality tire? Thanks.

  26. John Knopp on November 22, 2022 at 5:56 am

    great info

  27. John J Riggs Archery on November 22, 2022 at 6:02 am

    What an idea! Using a Varsity frame to make a clunker.

  28. Merced Valle on November 22, 2022 at 6:03 am

    What year was the 7speed beach Schwinn beach cruiser meeting

  29. Spoth Ra on November 22, 2022 at 6:03 am

    I have three Schwinn cruisers, a 1960 Panther II, 1980 Cruiser 5 and a 1986 Cruiser. While I knew the 86 wasn’t a Chicago built bike I never noticed that badge on the 86 was riveted.

  30. Neal Sidor on November 22, 2022 at 6:03 am

    Thanks, but to be honest, I’d like a Chinese made krate bike just because I loved them as a kid.
    And my paper route money was spent on a brite orange, ‘cheater slick’ Huffy for $49.00
    (Sting Rays we’re $79.00) and those Krates were even more…

  31. Michael Szczys on November 22, 2022 at 6:05 am

    I have a 26" Schwinn frame I got about 20 years ago, it had a skip – link chain set up, Schwinn tag screwed on, pushed in tubes in the back ( don’t know all those fancy terms he used ) , big bulky seam on the bottom, fender mount, and some numbers that start with LN and I can see the top and front tube look like they were one piece custom cut and bent.
    Sounds like a pretty good one.
    I been trying to figure out what year but still haven’t been able to.

  32. Cuauhtemoc Ramos on November 22, 2022 at 6:12 am

    I got a original 1980 Chicago schwinn how much is it worth around

  33. Pat Raspante on November 22, 2022 at 6:13 am

    To orrow St. Incent DePaul Charity is coming to collect my Schwinn bike and some other donations. I’m a Chicagoan living out West since the late 70’s. This bike came out west with me and my family and has spent a lot of years hanging in my garage and not being ridden. It deserves to be and I was really having second thoughts about letting it go. Well, it’s staying and now I just have to find somebody to service it. I’m the kid who learned to ride on a friends bike because her parents wouldn’t get her a two wheeler. They were so afraid she’d get hurt. Didn’t get hurt and finally bought myself a two wheel Schwinn. You can probably figure out I’m really old, but they say it’s only a number.

  34. Caligula138 on November 22, 2022 at 6:14 am

    You answered 3 of my questions in one straight forward vid! Thank you!

  35. kshugart70 on November 22, 2022 at 6:16 am

    I purchased a stingray that everyone I asked said was a 1953, I’m a 16 year old kid and so far this has been the best bike I’ve ever owned. It’s by no means original its got ape hangers and was painted yellow with house paint, but it’s mine and I love it almost as much as my truck!

  36. STEVE C on November 22, 2022 at 6:17 am

    You’re a more handsome better dressed version of me

  37. Pedie Asuncion on November 22, 2022 at 6:17 am

    Mike I have some pre war j.c. Higgins forks with truss bars I bought them and there the wrong size for my 1937 rollfast bike so I’m thinking either send them back and get my money back or make them fit by threading the threads lower to fit them on the bike but what do u think

  38. Sigogglin on November 22, 2022 at 6:18 am

    I’m a truck driver , drive in Chicago everyday, and visit the old Schwinn factory on Kostner about once a month, I have yet to find any old bikes in there but I’m always looking

  39. Bextar636 on November 22, 2022 at 6:18 am

    My cousin worked at the old Schwinn plant in Chicago in the late 1940s.
    Before being drafted to serve in Korea
    His job was polishing the cranks, he said one day mister Schwinn held a meeting regarding a roomer about workers joining a Union. He said if you want to do that I can’t stop you but I will shut the plant down, I have more money than I will ever spend now so it’s up to you employees .

  40. Cody Hadden on November 22, 2022 at 6:18 am

    Thanks for the info! I was wondering what that red "cruiser" bike frame was from when you were talking about made in taiwan. Can’t find any info on it and have one sitting in the garage! Was thinking about putting it back together!

  41. scott whittet on November 22, 2022 at 6:21 am

    most excellent info Thanks. I would also be interested in some basic Klunker tips videos , IE: bottom brackets , cranksets , I have a Schwinn and am in process for a Klunker build for this year’s Pearl Pass Tour Klunker Tour in September. I will build using front and rear derailleurs and try to keep the weight reasonable. I started mountain biking in 1983 , first production MTB a Schwinn Cimarron , which I still ride – but just missed that Klunker era with the Crested Butte townies , hence gotta do it ! thanks , Scott Whittet

  42. Andrei Sames on November 22, 2022 at 6:23 am

    great video ! I just got a Blu Citi yesterday, when i run the serial number it shows me its a 1955 Schwinn Cruiser, but my model should be an 1988 model, very odd

  43. Deb Bowyer on November 22, 2022 at 6:24 am

    I worked for a Schwinn dealer in Muskegon Michigan in the spring of 72. I have a tandem i got there with a serial number identifying it as new in October of 69. It has most of the Chicago identifying things you talk about. The seem under the crank is only at the rear crank and i’m not sure about the electro forged head tube. Would tandems have anything different about them?

  44. Navigatorbythestars on November 22, 2022 at 6:24 am

    Hello Michael, Do you know what marking should be on a 1963 Sting Ray Kickstand? and what length bend to bend?

  45. Mr Ramos on November 22, 2022 at 6:27 am

    Got a frame looks authentic just serial number don’t come up. The seller said it’s a 1984

  46. Paul Newman on November 22, 2022 at 6:27 am

    Hello, great video , thanks for the info , I just came across a 16 inch 1976 schwinn pixie bike , and it’s crome plated ? Do you know anything about them ?? I can’t find any information about it ? Thanks for any of your time !

  47. G M on November 22, 2022 at 6:27 am

    Can u help me with mine. It’s a White Schwinn twinn. It’s definitely Chicago made. According to Schwinn catalog, white was only 1964. But the bike looks like a 1975-76. Plastic fender-mounted rear reflector. White wheel reflectors. Serial number on head tube comes back as 1958 and sometimes 1971 which seems more like it. The head badge which is screwed on and says Chicago is 0912. The matching seats said made in Tawain not Schwinn approved. Although could have been changed but idk. Lastly, the font is a mystery which I have a picture of, as well as, pictures of the numbers.

  48. D inKC on November 22, 2022 at 6:29 am

    After watching this video, I’m confident that my green,1970 Schwinn, 2 speed Hollywood model was built in Chicago. The badge is screwed on with Chicago printed under the logo. The other identifiers seem to match with what you are saying.

    My late father purchased the bicycle new decades ago and it’s in great condition. It was too big for me when he bought it, but he got it for me to grow into. As a child, I wanted a Stingray like the other kids. I’ll never forget this memory: My best friend’s older brother who behaved like Eddie Haskle towards my skinny, braces on my teeth self with his constant teasing, got on my new bike and rode it up and down the street tooting the tune associated with The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. I was mortified and wished Dad would have got me the Stingray. That kid was a bully and always made me feel like everything about me was not right. However, here I am, years later, and I’ll still be able to look appropriate at my age riding my classic Schwinn cruiser bike and think of my Dad. I went through my Dad’s papers after he passed away almost five years ago, and he saved the original brochure, labels and sale receipt. I would not feel comfortable riding a banana seat bike at my age, so everything worked out and father knew best. LOL! He always told me to hang onto it because they don’t make them like this anymore.

    There was a little rust on the chrome fenders which I was able to polish off. There are a few scratches in the green paint, but I’m pretty sure it’s got to be in better condition than others from the same era. After a lot of research, I just purchased S7 tires for it. The tires have needed replacing for years, and I finally have the correct tires. It has a lot of sentimental value. Thanks for explaining the differences between a Chicago manufactured bike and ones that aren’t.

  49. Raymond James on November 22, 2022 at 6:29 am

    once i watched this and learned what the electroforge head tube was i had to get a real chicago schwinn. just posted a video about it. thanks for the tips!

  50. Walter Heinen on November 22, 2022 at 6:31 am

    Great video. Bought a 1988 schwinn BMX frame. By 88, what countries were making them.