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What was the best production year for Schwinn, bar none, for bike desirability?

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What was the best production year for Schwinn, bar none, for bike desirability?

Old 06-22-18, 08:48 PM
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What was the best production year for Schwinn, bar none, for bike desirability?

So, from the minds of the Schwinn aficionados out there... what year do you think Schwinn hit their peak? We are not talking production numbers, but as far as entire lineup featuring the best classic/vintage bikes now?
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Old 06-22-18, 08:54 PM
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1987.

No, wait! 1986.

Well, then there's 1988...
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Old 06-22-18, 08:56 PM
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Road bikes or Schwinns?
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Old 06-22-18, 09:33 PM
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Mid 1960s.
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Old 06-22-18, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Mid 1960s.
I would essentially concur. '63 through '67. Skipping the prugnaut lug era after, one could extend it to 1970
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Old 06-22-18, 10:18 PM
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Schwinn hit its peak in the mid-'70's: multiple well-developed models, several construction methods (electro-forged, fillet-brazed, lugged), multiple sources (Chicago and Japan). If I were looking for rarities, I would try to find the 1976 "Bicentennial" models with their unique decals and paint.

My personal grail bike is a 1977 Schwinn Superior in Flamingo paint. This color was only offered for the first half of 1977 and I've never seen one in person.

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Old 06-23-18, 07:57 AM
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1972. Chrome Paramounts.
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Old 06-23-18, 08:02 AM
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1987. Great year for Tempo, Super Sport, Voyageur, Prologue, Paramount. Circuit. One year away from the Peloton.
Doesn't hurt that 87 was a banner year for components, too.
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Old 06-24-18, 07:02 AM
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For mountain bikes, 1988-89.
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Old 06-24-18, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
Schwinn hit its peak in the mid-'70's: multiple well-developed models, several construction methods (electro-forged, fillet-brazed, lugged), multiple sources (Chicago and Japan). If I were looking for rarities, I would try to find the 1976 "Bicentennial" models with their unique decals and paint.

My personal grail bike is a 1977 Schwinn Superior in Flamingo paint. This color was only offered for the first half of 1977 and I've never seen one in person.

Super-Lite at 26lbs.
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Old 06-24-18, 07:11 AM
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I'll actually adjust my "best year" to the late 1960s/early 1970s. I was thinking the Krate line of bikes (which came out in 1968), which command higher pricing now than a similar era Paramount. While most here are road bike oriented (including me), there are other Schwinns that were more valuable and more collectible.

Growing up in that era, all the rich kids in the neighborhood had Krate bikes. They then moved on to Honda Minitrail 50s and 70s (also collectible). Me, I had some Huffy Stingray clone.

From a road bike quality perspective, I would pick late 1980s: Paramount of course, plus Prologue, Circuit, the full Tenax line, and more.


To me, the Krate line was the last Schwinn product where they were the market leader, every 12 year old boy wanted one. All of their competitors mimicked and copied them. While their late 1980s road bike line was nice, many of their competitors made similar to better bikes.

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Old 06-24-18, 07:27 AM
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Without a doubt, 1987!!!




Circuit, Prologue, and serial #1 for 1987 Paramount



Tempo still waiting it's Ultegra triple build up



Head tube badge has a 1987 number but the frame is a Jan 1988 number so I'm confused.




Circuit I found local for my son.



Nice!

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Old 06-24-18, 08:58 AM
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Gonna have to go with last '70s. Bought a '78 Le Tour III. Pretty much a weeks pay at that time.
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Old 06-24-18, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
Schwinn hit its peak in the mid-'70's: multiple well-developed models, several construction methods (electro-forged, fillet-brazed, lugged), multiple sources (Chicago and Japan). If I were looking for rarities, I would try to find the 1976 "Bicentennial" models with their unique decals and paint.

My personal grail bike is a 1977 Schwinn Superior in Flamingo paint. This color was only offered for the first half of 1977 and I've never seen one in person.
I'm not sure that I wholly agree that Schwinn peaked in the mid-70's (but I'm no expert). I do quite like the script style Schwinn utilized during this period. And I do think the Superior, Volare, and to a lesser extent (because there are more out there) the World Voyageurs have an allure for me.
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Old 06-24-18, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
Schwinn hit its peak in the mid-'70's: multiple well-developed models, several construction methods (electro-forged, fillet-brazed, lugged), multiple sources (Chicago and Japan).
I just cannot agree with it. My 1987 Prologue, Circuit, and Paramount are just as good as any of the "superior" Italian bikes in my collection.

In fact, I post times on the Circuit that I have not been able to beat on anything else I have.

I've got several higher end bikes that feel amazing on the road yet have never beaten what I can get out of the Circuit. I think the mid/late 80's was their peak because they were clearly competing with the world, just a little too late for them by then.
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Old 06-24-18, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
My 1987 Prologue, Circuit, and Paramount are just as good as any of the "superior" Italian bikes in my collection.
See... I don't have the first hand experience with these years/models, thus, why I don't consider myself and expert or aficionado. Someday, maybe, I'll be lucky enough to come across something. My only input would be that the Schwinn logo paint seems to be quite fragile from this period... I've seen many almost devoid of the Schwinn logo's on the forks.
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Old 06-24-18, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
See... I don't have the first hand experience with these years/models, thus, why I don't consider myself and expert or aficionado. Someday, maybe, I'll be lucky enough to come across something. My only input would be that the Schwinn logo paint seems to be quite fragile from this period... I've seen many almost devoid of the Schwinn logo's on the forks.
1984 was the BAD year for Schwinn decals- you'll always see torn up 1984 decals.
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Old 06-24-18, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
1984 was the BAD year for Schwinn decals- you'll always see torn up 1984 decals.
It seems for some years in the 80's, Schwinn had a terrible time getting this figured out. Maybe it just seems that way, as the aging process hasn't been kind to them. Not sure.
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Old 06-24-18, 02:00 PM
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Late 1940s to early 1950s - excellent three speeds, many of which had hand fillet brazed frames, and lots of monogram touches unique to Schwinn.











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Old 06-24-18, 02:00 PM
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1963: "The original Schwinn Stingray was made between 1963 to 1981."

https://bikehistory.org/bikes/stingray/
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Old 06-24-18, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
I just cannot agree with it. My 1987 Prologue, Circuit, and Paramount are just as good as any of the "superior" Italian bikes in my collection.

In fact, I post times on the Circuit that I have not been able to beat on anything else I have.
Well, the OP's question wasn't about performance, was it? It was desirability.

I'll agree that the late '80's Schwinns were probably the best "real" Schwinns (before the company lost its grip), but then there were many similar bikes from other manufacturers.
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Old 06-24-18, 11:46 PM
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1935-1955.

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Old 06-25-18, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
Well, the OP's question wasn't about performance, was it? It was desirability.

I'll agree that the late '80's Schwinns were probably the best "real" Schwinns (before the company lost its grip), but then there were many similar bikes from other manufacturers.
Performance = desirable to me.
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Old 06-25-18, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
My personal grail bike is a 1977 Schwinn Superior in Flamingo paint.
A worked at a dealer in that era and still maintain "Flamingo Caliente" is among the coolest names for a bike ever.
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Old 06-25-18, 10:44 AM
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The handmade in Chicago 531 Paramounts.. ?
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