A couple Schwinn Tiger questions


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shawn57187

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 8, 2011
231
11
Portland, OR
#1
I have in my possession a 3-speed Schwinn Tiger bicycle that I am in the process of restoring. As I am restoring the bicycle, I have a few questions:

- I believe that it is from the 1950's because the chain guard has a small picture of a tiger on it. Is that correct?

- The bicycle came with an aftermarket seat. At a swap meet, I found a red/white Schwinn saddle seat with a monogrammed S on it. The seller said it was from the late 50s/ early 60s. After purchasing the seat, I noticed that some Schwinn seats from this period had a chromed metal bar on the back. Mine doesn't have a bar like this. What style seat is correct for a 50's Schwinn Tiger?

- Would it devalue the bike to repaint it? The paint is fairly faded, so I'm wondering if a FULL restoration would increase the value.

- Do they make reproduction decals for the older style Schwinn Tigers? I've only seen kits without the tiger picture.

Thanks!
 

patrick

Look Ma, No Hands!
Aug 21, 2010
80
1
#2
First of all, post pics! This sounds like a cool bike.
Does it have s-7 or balloon rims?
I'm not sure about the decals, I'm making a Schwinn Jaguar that is around the same age as your tiger and i found decals for it on Ebay but I'm not sure at Tiger decals.
The seat would be a messenger which could have a crash rail like you said here's a pic.
1955-schwinn-tiger.jpg
 

Adamtinkerer

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sep 8, 2008
3,527
552
Western North carolina
#3
Welcome to the forum! ..Sounds right, the 54-57 Tiger had the "hockey stick" chainguard, with one small and one longer indentation where the decal is. I have a '63 Tiger, which has different graphics, chainguard, chrome fenders, and "S" seat.
63tiger001-1.jpg

A 54-5 would have the earlier 50s style Mesinger seat, a late 55-6 might have a tan touring style seat, and 57-8 would have a plain two tone seat to match the frame color. The classic S seat didn't arrive until 1959. I believe Tigers did have the chrome crash rail on the seat. Decals are on ebay regularly. As far as painting, it's somewhat subjective. Yes, original piant bikes are worth more, but after a certain point of wear, it's a wash. Post a pic, and folks will weigh in on a repaint or not.
 

BWbiker

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 1, 2007
714
157
Beaverton, 97005
#4
'59 Tiger

59 Tiger 004.jpg
59 Tiger 001.jpg
59 Tiger 002.jpg
59 Tiger 003.jpg

Here is my '59 Tiger, unrestored. The only thing not correct is the pedals. You can almost see the S on the seat. It was built in December '58 for the '59 Market. Brad
 

jpromo

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 26, 2011
3,871
124
Plymouth, Michigan
#5
Beautiful bike there! Love the checkerboard decal and the condition of literally everything. Thanks for showing :D
 

Ozark Flyer

I live for the CABE
Jun 28, 2010
1,236
85
Boise, i.d.
#6
Here's mine. Sounds like close to what he's talking about. Note tiger guard and crash rail on seat. If he has a three speed with a Roaring Tiger chain guard, I'm guessing 56. Could easily be wrong but I think there were a few single speeds made for Christmas of 54 as they were ramping up production of the new middleweight frame style. I think this to be an Oct 54 model. Disregard manual two speed. Thats my addition so an overweight middle aged guy like me can get up the hill in my subdivision. I have the original New Departure model D hub. Of all my bikes, this is my fave. Just something about it.


60b5fda7.png
 
Last edited:

shawn57187

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 8, 2011
231
11
Portland, OR
#7
Thanks everybody for your feedback! :)

Ozark Flyer, my bike looks almost identical to yours. I have the painted fenders (not chrome), no balloon tires, and the same hockey stick chain guard. Unlike your bike, I have red grips, hand breaks, and a gear shifter.

The seat that I have is in the styling of the black 59 posted to this thread. I'm still a little confused, though. Should I be looking for a seat similar to the one on Ozark Flyer's bicycle? the one I found doesn't have a crash rail.

I will post pictures of my bicycle soon. I loaned it to a friend who is using it for our local Rose Festival parade!

EDIT:
I just saw the picture that Patrick posted. Looks like I will need to find a new seat! Does anyone know where I can buy one?
 
Last edited:

Ozark Flyer

I live for the CABE
Jun 28, 2010
1,236
85
Boise, i.d.
#8
Yea, from your description of the 3spd and hand brakes, I was thinking 55 which would have the older seat style. I think another indicator would be the headbadge style. I may be corrected but I think from 56 back they had the larger lettered headbadge and no "Chicago" lettering at the bottom.
 

BWbiker

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 1, 2007
714
157
Beaverton, 97005
#9
Shawn, please post pics. It makes it much easier to help. Also, the ser# should I.D. the month & year. Brad
 

Brutuskend

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 3, 2011
289
249
Eugene / Springfield Oregon
#10
I have a '55 tiger (first year for the tiger) and the chainguard decals are available since I bought 2 or 3 on ebay for my prcject. Unfortunatly I'm pretty sure I sold any extra decals I had for the tiger.
 

tyremol

On Training Wheels
Sep 12, 2015
1
0
#11
Schwinn Tiger Questions

I have a '55 tiger (first year for the tiger) and the chainguard decals are available since I bought 2 or 3 on ebay for my prcject. Unfortunatly I'm pretty sure I sold any extra decals I had for the tiger.
I have an old Tiger, but not sure how to figure out what year it is? Any suggestions? Does anyone know if Schwinn remade this model after the original production?

Thanks in advance!

-Ty
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
9,388
7,390
Central Arizona
#12
Get the serial number off the left rear dropout (above the axle nut) and then go to the serial number thread at the top of the Schwinn section here.
 

Artweld

Finally riding a big boys bike
Sep 4, 2015
135
118
#13

mack0327

Look Ma, No Hands!
Aug 11, 2015
82
56
Oswego, IL, United States
#14
My thoughts... Keep it original I would do a complete tear down detail detail detail... repack grease...assemble and let it shine....refresh that orinigal patina.... Great find in black
IMG_20150913_172251572.jpg


Here's what a couple of 62's look like after a good cleaning and re-greasing. We get compliments everywhere we go. These bikes are a lot of fun!
 

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