Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco California
Bikes: Waterford 953 RS-22
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Originally Posted by parkrun72
Thanks. I checked the Waterford site previously. It mentions the factory code for Waterford as a W. This serial number has a K as the factory code. No other factory codes mentioned. Seller states the bike is a Waterford built bicycle. Would appreciate help in identifying factory. I'm new at this and sure I've overlooked the obvious. Thanks again.
Ahhh. There's a little history behind the lack of a "W" in the serial number.
Schwinn declared bankruptcy in early October, 1992, and the bike you're looking at was built the following month before it was known who the buyer of the company would be or what the future of the Waterford facility would be. In January, 1993, the buyer became known (Zell-Chilmark Fund and Scott Sports Group), but although the new owners didn't want the Waterford Paramount Design Group and its facility, they did want the rights to the Paramount name. Richard Schwinn and Marc Muller purchased the Waterford facility from the bankruptcy court, and continued to build Paramounts for the new owners of Schwinn under contract until September, 1994, but they were also building their own Waterford brand bicycles.
There was a short period in late 1992/early 1993 when things were "up in the air" as far as the future of Schwinn, the Paramounts, and the Waterford facility were concerned. I believe the first letter "K" in your serial number indicates a road bike, while the second "K" was used to indicate the frame was a Paramount. The "L" represents the month of November. The "B" after 550 was used to indicate the steerer tube length of the fork, and would be consistent with a 55 cm frame.
I'm quite certain your bike was built at Waterford in spite of the lack of a "W" in the serial number.