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1969 Suburban

Old 12-17-18, 02:36 PM
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1969 Suburban

I have a Chicago made Schwinn Suburban 5-speed.When I go to look it up on the Schwinn website,all I see is other Schwinn Suburbans,just like mine but they have the different models like Collegiate,etc.I would like to know the value of my Suburban 5-spped.I know this isn't much help.Here is the stamp number:ME28248.I know what the M stands for.Not sure bout the E.I can send a pic of the bike to whoever respons back.Its all original except for the seat,rack.Email is kaiserpass07@gmail.com Serious only.
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Old 12-17-18, 06:29 PM
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Thread approved and moved from Classic & Vintage to Classic & Vintage Appraisals.
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Old 12-17-18, 07:44 PM
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The Schwinn Suburban was introduced in 1970, there was no Suburban in 1969. Schwinn stamped the serial numbers into the head tubes before they were welded into the frames so you can't always date these bikes by the serial number as it pre-dates the actual bike build by weeks, months or even years. Most likely you have a 1970 Suburban, which was the first year they were built. Unless it is in brand new mint condition it is worth anywhere from $25 to maybe $100.
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Old 12-22-18, 09:06 AM
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I've bought a few Suburbans over the years, anywhere from $5 to $15; mens style only. Women's style has essentially no value, men's style not a lot. I've stopped buying them as the market has gotten a lot worse over the last several years. Really heavy bike with bottom of the barrel parts. Condition is everything, all those steel parts are rust magnets.

All original? That means cables, housings, tires, bearings, grease, chain, freewheel, brake pads, etc. are all almost 50 years old. Stuff wears out, rubber dry rots, brake pads get rock hard, grease dries out, and everything requires maintenance. Only a D-I-Y'r could make this work out as it will need a thorough rebuild and new consumables. In the bike world "all original" = needs a lot of service work.

Really only suitable value wise for someone that wants a Chicago Schwinn. While Schwinn made some fine bikes in Chicago, they made many more really heavy and really basic bikes. IMHO, its one reason Schwinn went bankrupt. They were too slow to improve their product, and once the Japanese entered the market, they were caught way behind. Then they decided to solve labor problems by closing their plant.
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Old 12-23-18, 02:54 PM
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When I close my eyes and think about 1970 Schwinn Suburbans I see boat anchors. When the planet explodes, all the old Schwinn Suburbans will still be floating around in space for eternity. Lawn art is probably the best thing to do with it. Put baskets on it and plant a tree on it.
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Old 12-23-18, 06:58 PM
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Suburban 5'speed

Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
The Schwinn Suburban was introduced in 1970, there was no Suburban in 1969. Schwinn stamped the serial numbers into the head tubes before they were welded into the frames so you can't always date these bikes by the serial number as it pre-dates the actual bike build by weeks, months or even years. Most likely you have a 1970 Suburban, which was the first year they were built. Unless it is in brand new mint condition it is worth anywhere from $25 to maybe $100.
Bummer.The info I read has a lot of info.Why would Schwinn put a stamp on a 1969 bicycle when it was a 1970?Sounds like a big bo- no by Schwinn.Thought my bike was a classic. It sucks to find out my bike is only worth $100.Still keeping it
At least I know it's a 1970.Thank you Metacortex.Where did you find that info?I tried,but mothing.Alot of 1970 bikes,but no Suburban.
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Old 12-23-18, 07:33 PM
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Why do people that have this kind of stuff think it's gold......

Also, it doesn't apply in this case, and would not for the most part on this site forum, but be careful about asking about evaluations on the net, or even at auction houses. They could completely be waaaaaay offfff!!!! I am talking about anything....
Your best information will come from your own time, and research.

It's rare to have a bike hanging in your garage that is worth hundreds of dollars that you have had for decades. Think about what it cost you new, and look at how it's made. Once you can evaluate a bike based on components, and frame without touching it then you will know!!!
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Old 12-23-18, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by StarBiker View Post
Why do people that have this kind of stuff think it's gold......
Shows like American Pickers.
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Old 12-23-18, 09:13 PM
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Those frames morphed into Schwinn's early mountain bikes. Great bikes to learn basic bike mechanics. You can buy a parts bike for about what you might pay for brake pads on another bike.

Last edited by curbtender; 12-25-18 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 12-25-18, 10:08 PM
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I have nothing but respect for the noble Schwinn Suburban. It's the only bike ever designed by American Engineers to be able to withstand being run over by a 1/2 ton pick up truck and still function normally. Schwinn Suburbans are the holy grail of indestructible bikes. After all the DeRosas, Paramounts and, Peugeots are all rusted out and gone to hell, the Suburbans will still be with us. Fo . ev . ah.
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Old 12-26-18, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Suburban105 View Post
Why would Schwinn put a stamp on a 1969 bicycle when it was a 1970?
Back then Schwinn didn't start building a given model years bikes until well after the first of the year. However in advance of actually building bikes it did accumulate parts and manufacture frame parts such as dropouts, which were stamped with serial numbers before being welded into frames. As such the serial number does not actually date the bike, it only indicates the month and year the frame part was stamped. Also while the Suburban name was new in 1970, what was essentially the same bike had been offered in 1969 and earlier as the Varsity Tourist.
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Old 12-26-18, 04:15 PM
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Suburban 5'speed

Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
Back then Schwinn didn't start building a given model years bikes until well after the first of the year. However in advance of actually building bikes it did accumulate parts and manufacture frame parts such as dropouts, which were stamped with serial numbers before being welded into frames. As such the serial number does not actually date the bike, it only indicates the month and year the frame part was stamped. Also while the Suburban name was new in 1970, what was essentially the same bike had been offered in 1969 and earlier as the Varsity Tourist.
Dude,you are awesum!!!!A wealth of info on Suburbans.Wood u happen to own a Schwinn and what year?😁🚲👍
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Old 12-27-18, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Suburban105 View Post
I have a Chicago made Schwinn Suburban 5-speed.When I go to look it up on the Schwinn website,all I see is other Schwinn Suburbans,just like mine but they have the different models like Collegiate,etc.I would like to know the value of my Suburban 5-spped.I know this isn't much help.Here is the stamp number:ME28248.I know what the M stands for.Not sure bout the E.I can send a pic of the bike to whoever respons back.Its all original except for the seat,rack.Email is kaiserpass07@gmail.com Serious only.
Here's the format for the serial# decoding for that year range.

The Chicago serial numbers consist of a letter representing the month of manufacture, a number indicating the last digit of the year (1960 - 1964; 0=1960, 1=1961, etc.) or a letter indicating the year (1965 - 1979; A=1965, B=1966, etc.), followed by a sequential series of five or six digits (e.g. A367584 or CB77584). If letters were used for date codes, they skipped the letters "I" and "O" as they looked too much like numbers. Note: This scheme is for all Chicago built non-Paramount models excluding 1962-1963 Superiors and 1964-1969 Super Sports (whose serial numbers are located on the left rear axle hanger and consist of a single letter code for the month [again, skip "I" and "O"], the last digit of the year and a 3-digit sequential build number -- e.g. 'K6018' is the 18th frame built in October of 1966).

So, the M is for 12th month, December, the E is for 5th year between 1965 and 1969. Frame made in December 1969.
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Old 12-27-18, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jj1091 View Post
So, the M is for 12th month, December, the E is for 5th year between 1965 and 1969. Frame made in December 1969.
That actually means that the dropout was stamped in December 1969, before it was welded to a frame. The frame was most likely built a month or two later.
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Old 12-27-18, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Suburban105 View Post
Wood u happen to own a Schwinn and what year?😁🚲👍
I've got around 50 of them dating from '67 through '87, however most are from the early to mid-'70s, my personal favorite years.
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Old 12-27-18, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Metacortex View Post
That actually means that the dropout was stamped in December 1969, before it was welded to a frame. The frame was most likely built a month or two later.
I think it means the frame was built in December 1969. If it has a headbdge with a 4-digit code, that would tell you the date the whole bike was assembled, not the date the frame was welded together. I don't believe they would have stamped a bunch of dropouts, and left them in a pile to put on whatever frame parts that came along. That doesn't make any sense. It's always been the case that the dropout date was the date the frame was put together, and the headbadge date was the date the parts were assembled onto the frame. I've never heard it any other way. Who knows.....
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Old 12-27-18, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jj1091 View Post
I think it means the frame was built in December 1969..
That is incorrect.When Schwinn built EF (electro-forged) frames it stamped the dropout or headtube with a serial number before that component was welded into a frame. Here is some information about the headtube stamps:https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/sc...tamping.86093/

As with the headtubes I also have bulletins from Schwinn that indicated the dropouts were also stamped before being welded to the frames. Bottom line: the serial number on EF (electro-forged) or FB (fillet brazed) Schwinn frames only indicates when that frame component (dropout or headtube) was stamped, before it was welded or brazed into a frame.The actual frames were built days, months, or in some cases even years later
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Old 12-30-18, 11:53 AM
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I would wrap it in aluminum foil & soak it with gasoline. Then, light it on fire as I push it off a cliff in the desert.
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Old 01-20-19, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
I've bought a few Suburbans over the years, anywhere from $5 to $15; mens style only. Women's style has essentially no value, men's style not a lot. I've stopped buying them as the market has gotten a lot worse over the last several years. Really heavy bike with bottom of the barrel parts. Condition is everything, all those steel parts are rust magnets.

All original? That means cables, housings, tires, bearings, grease, chain, freewheel, brake pads, etc. are all almost 50 years old. Stuff wears out, rubber dry rots, brake pads get rock hard, grease dries out, and everything requires maintenance. Only a D-I-Y'r could make this work out as it will need a thorough rebuild and new consumables. In the bike world "all original" = needs a lot of service work.

Really only suitable value wise for someone that wants a Chicago Schwinn. While Schwinn made some fine bikes in Chicago, they made many more really heavy and really basic bikes. IMHO, its one reason Schwinn went bankrupt. They were too slow to improve their product, and once the Japanese entered the market, they were caught way behind. Then they decided to solve labor problems by closing their plant.
Yes, I saw this being the reality in 1973. When bike shopping (just before the big bike boom). I was 9 years old, almost 10 years old. Needed a new bike. I had a 3 speed junior sized Raleigh sports 3 speed. Great bike, reliable, and well made. But I was just going through a growth spurt. Schwinn's Sports Tourer, Super Sport were over $225 new, (the Sports Tourer $285). The Paramount Touring model was $420 new. End of the year. Paramounts were two sizes too big, too late to order. Super Sport for me was too heavy, too expensive, seemed too lacking, Super Sport too small, decent but expensive. I had $450 in my pocket, cash. Had a week off due to a lot of overtime. Went to my late Grandmother's house in Alcoa, the Raleigh dealer was in nearby Maryville (Drake Auto Parts). Walking distance. I see the catalog. See small enough sized frames are available, even in International and Professional. Ask about an International (as it was sensible for me and priced right). Gentleman behind the counter said, you've gotten several bikes from us new and trade ins. I think we have a bike for you in the back. He comes out with a 1971 British Green International (my size and room to grow enough for a few years). He said, the Campagnolo Nuovo Record Rear Derailleur had been removed due to defective one on another customer's bike, we have a replacement, I can fit and adjust it for you, give me 2 hours, come back. It's yours if you want it, $195. Tax included. I do so, ride it home. It is my main daily bike for 6 years (up to 1978). I sold it on to a short announcer I worked with, he paid me what I paid for it. He rode it and still does, many years later. I then buy a demo Le Tour which fits me (and buy upgraded parts). I rode it 7 years, got another two along the way, then a long layoff. Some 29 years later, a used 2002 Trek 800 series singletrack, I am back on a bike (and I plan to be the rest of my life).
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