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Old 07-16-10, 11:50 AM   #1
mickey85
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Schwinn racer...can you date these things?

Alright, well I think I paid way too much, but I got a Schwinn Racer from a guy that I just met (who incidentally seems fricking sweet). Talked him $15 off his asking price for it. He says he was told it's a '58, and I'm not sure. Can you pinpoint the age on these things? The headbadge has "wings" instead of the straight oval, which might lend a hand. if it still had the Sturmey hub, it would be easier, but some time in its history, the rear wheel was swapped with a Sachs Duomatic hub with a 590 rim (I think). The front is the S6 (597) original with Schwinn branded hub (and reflectorized shiner!).

Given the quality of this thing, I'd have to say that, were I buying a cruiser style bike new in 1958, I'd be really hard pressed to choose between the Schwinn and the Raleigh. But then again, they both ride like a truck. Anyway, on to the pics!








So far, it seems that the rear wheel (and hub) and fenders aren't original, as the rear fender is too short to hit the kickstand mount. hmm...I'm tempted to strip the fenders and just use it to bomb around, but the duomatic lends a great argument to keeping the fenders, fabricating a mount, swapping the front wheel to 590's and using it for a winter beater.
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Old 07-16-10, 12:45 PM   #2
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Nice find. Is there a serial number stamped into the headtube near the lower race?
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Old 07-16-10, 12:51 PM   #3
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Interesting chain guard. That particular style of guard was used by Schwinn all the way back to the mid 1930s. My '36 Henderson balloon tire has one. But this bike looks late '50s or early '60s to me. That's one of the latest examples of that particular guard I've seen. '58 would be right in the range I think, though a Serial # would provide a more exact year.

Schwinn and Raleigh were both at the top of their games in 1950s. I guess if I had to pick from that era I'd take the Schwinn. You really can't go wrong with either brand from that era.
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Old 07-16-10, 01:52 PM   #4
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I don't remember seeing a Racer with the top and downtube graphics like those. They look more like a World, Traveler or early Varsity. The serial will most likely be on the left rear drop-out.

You can decode it here: http://www.angelfire.com/rant/allday...innCodes3.html

Fenders look newer as the '50s Lightweight bikes typically had a peaked front.

Cool bike,

Bob
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Old 07-16-10, 06:00 PM   #5
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The frame has M46212 on the left rear dropout...

Judging from that website, it looks like it was built on 9/03/1954?

I'd have guessed that the chainguard was original, as it certainly looks like it goes along with the rest of the bike, age and patina-wise.
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Old 07-17-10, 11:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mickey85 View Post
The frame has M46212 on the left rear dropout...

Judging from that website, it looks like it was built on 9/03/1954?

I'd have guessed that the chainguard was original, as it certainly looks like it goes along with the rest of the bike, age and patina-wise.
Chainguard could be original. The trouble is that style was used for close to 30 years on various Schwinn bikes-- anywhere from the mid 1930s to late 1950s.
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Old 07-17-10, 02:53 PM   #7
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Right. There are catalogues here: http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1951_1960/index.html

Your bike appears to say "schwinn" on the downtube. What does it say on the top tube? (mid 50s bikes like that all said "world" on DT as far as I can tell)

For the 1954 model year (and 55 too I guess) it looks like a traveler, varsity, or world. You can't tell from the cat what the markings are. Anyway, there was no "Racer" in 54/5 ... at least not in that frame style.

Hmm. There was a "racer" listed in the 56 price sheet ... but no pic in Mr. Findley's catalogue (still varsity/world/trav in that frame).

In 55, you can see from the catalogue that the trav., vars., & world all said "world" on the downtube.
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Old 07-17-10, 03:06 PM   #8
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OK, now we're getting somewhere: http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1...0/1957_05.html

There is a 57 racer available in black ... looks like at least bars and fenders have been swapped out in that case.

58 cat is missing

59: There is a racer avail in black. First time this year, the seat appears to match yours (black portion forms a point at the top when viewed from the side as in your photo above and here: http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1...0/1959_16.html

Compare to the 57 racer, in which the colored and white portions are separated by a vertical border when saddle is viewed from the side.

Seems like a pretty good bet that the bike is a 58 if the chainguard and saddle are original. Was Schwinn really sitting on frames for four years back in those days, though? That doesn't make much sense.

WAIT!!! I'm not making sense. The decal scheme has changed by 57 to the script Schwinn, not the eagle design like you have.

Unless they sat on a painted, decalled frame, then built it up as a Racer for the 58-ish model year.

OK. That's weird.
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Old 07-17-10, 03:09 PM   #9
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You may have a serious mutt, built up by a hobbyist out of spare parts.

&^*!@#)*+% flippers!

Last edited by Roll-Monroe-Co; 07-17-10 at 03:56 PM. Reason: &^*!@#)*+% flippers!
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Old 07-17-10, 05:39 PM   #10
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I would not date a Racer. I am happily married.

That said. You got the DOB correct based on the serial number. That said, +1 this bike is a mutt. Another thing you got to consider: The seatpost clamp is oriented the wrong way.
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Old 07-17-10, 09:53 PM   #11
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I would not date a Racer. I am happily married.

That said. You got the DOB correct based on the serial number. That said, +1 this bike is a mutt. Another thing you got to consider: The seatpost clamp is oriented the wrong way.

Yes, to me it looks like a mix of reproduction and 1950s era parts. But still these are solid, simple bicycles that last.
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Old 07-19-10, 08:12 AM   #12
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Interesting...

Well, I like it. Both top and down tube say Schwinn. The frame is really the only thing good on it anyway, as the wheels are two different sizes, and the stem is one of those crappy stamped Wald stems. Whatever happened with it, it appears that all of the parts have the same patina, and there is evidence on the handlebars of brakes and a shifter, so I'm guessing that the bars are original, the saddle is probably original, and yes, I know the seatpost clamp is backward. The photos were taken about 5 minutes after getting it off the back of my car.
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