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December 68 Christmas Orange Krate

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highwheelerboy25

Look Ma, No Hands!
Bought this from the original owner’s sister. Rode it until he got a car and hung it up in his workshop until I bought it. The photos are before and after.

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Grey Ghost

Finally riding a big boys bike
Very nice!

Your paint was about as cooked as mine was, not as many chips as mine had though.
Looks like you fixed it well.

A Dec 1968 with a 69 shifter and a front fender.
That’s why I only go by the SN anymore for the date of the bike. Parts really make no difference if everything is close.
Obviously a 1969 dated frame with 1971 parts is not original. But parts that are close to the timeframe of the build may be legit.

I just talked to a guy that had a Schwinn dealership in Chicago in the 60’s and 70’s.
His friend was an engineer at the Schwinn factory.

He said that he got to tour the factory many times and told me a lot about the factory and the assembly process.

At their peak, Schwinn was making over 3,000 frames per day. According to this guy, Schwinn never stored any frames. He did mention how the line might run out of the “correct” part. Instead of waiting for another part to be made/chromed the line would grab whatever parts were close to what was needed and install them on that bike.

Interesting that they had access to the 69 shifter at that time.
 
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indycycling

Finally riding a big boys bike
Very nice!

Your paint was about as cooked as mine was, not as many chips as mine had though.
Looks like you fixed it well.

A Dec 1968 with a 69 shifter and a front fender.
That’s why I only go by the SN anymore for the date of the bike. Parts really make no difference if everything is close.
Obviously a 1969 dated frame with 1971 parts is not original. But parts that are close to the timeframe of the build may be legit.

I just talked to a guy that had a Schwinn dealership in Chicago in the 60’s and 70’s.
His friend was an engineer at the Schwinn factory.

He said that he got to tour the factory many times and told me a lot about the factory and the assembly process.

At their peak, Schwinn was making over 3,000 frames per day. According to this guy, Schwinn never stored any frames. He did mention how the line might run out of the “correct” part. Instead of waiting for another part to be made/chromed the line would grab whatever parts were close to what was needed and install them on that bike.

Interesting that they had access to the 69 shifter at that time.
Sorry Ghost
This isn't a bunch of left over or mismatched parts and the parts do make a difference.

December dated bikes with few exceptions are a transition to the next model year.

In this case, the shifter, seat, and fender are all proper as this was built as a 69 model year Krate on and MD December 68 frame
 
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WillWork4Parts

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Very nice!

Your paint was about as cooked as mine was, not as many chips as mine had though.
Looks like you fixed it well.

A Dec 1968 with a 69 shifter and a front fender.
That’s why I only go by the SN anymore for the date of the bike. Parts really make no difference if everything is close.
Obviously a 1969 dated frame with 1971 parts is not original. But parts that are close to the timeframe of the build may be legit.

I just talked to a guy that had a Schwinn dealership in Chicago in the 60’s and 70’s.
His friend was an engineer at the Schwinn factory.

He said that he got to tour the factory many times and told me a lot about the factory and the assembly process.

At their peak, Schwinn was making over 3,000 frames per day. According to this guy, Schwinn never stored any frames. He did mention how the line might run out of the “correct” part. Instead of waiting for another part to be made/chromed the line would grab whatever parts were close to what was needed and install them on that bike.

Interesting that they had access to the 69 shifter at that time.
Yeah, I'd imagine Schwinn had a timeline that happened something like....the R&D department had a deadline for new features in September... production had til the end of the month to prototype and make the new parts...and usually by November, you'd start seeing the new parts ready for the assembly line to install...and finally advertising rolling out before Christmas to sell the bikes with all the new features. They probably had Quarterly goals like plenty of other companies and there were definitely mid year feature changes that happened.

The MD serial number Krate would certainly have had those 3 new features. I wouldn't be surprised if the handlebars that month were a mix of 68 and 69 year stamps...even the cranks.

This would be THE perfect bike to ask if the sprocket is stamped with "PAT PENDING"!!??
I'd say originality is intact.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Very nice!

Your paint was about as cooked as mine was, not as many chips as mine had though.
Looks like you fixed it well.

A Dec 1968 with a 69 shifter and a front fender.
That’s why I only go by the SN anymore for the date of the bike. Parts really make no difference if everything is close.
Obviously a 1969 dated frame with 1971 parts is not original. But parts that are close to the timeframe of the build may be legit.

I just talked to a guy that had a Schwinn dealership in Chicago in the 60’s and 70’s.
His friend was an engineer at the Schwinn factory.

He said that he got to tour the factory many times and told me a lot about the factory and the assembly process.

At their peak, Schwinn was making over 3,000 frames per day. According to this guy, Schwinn never stored any frames. He did mention how the line might run out of the “correct” part. Instead of waiting for another part to be made/chromed the line would grab whatever parts were close to what was needed and install them on that bike.

Interesting that they had access to the 69 shifter at that time.

A December 68 stamped drop out with a December stamped serial number would without any doubt be used in building a frame in early 1969. The serial number date is the date that the number was stamped on the "part" and sometime later that part was used to build a frame. The Serial number date has nothing to do with any type of build date, frame or otherwise. Next time you look at a 1976 or later Schwinn look at and date the serial number. Then look at the date it was built that was stamped on the head badge. 1.5 months later is the average. Another example is the MR serial numbered head tubes that were made during the strike in late 1980 and into early 1981. Possibly 999,999 MR 1980 serial numbered bikes were built all thru the year of 1981 and that included all the catalog frames that were built and sold just as frame only. There have been a couple bikes that have shown up here that had the MR serial stamped head tubes and the build date on the badge was early 1982! On my Corvette 5 speed registry all the November 27,1961 serial numbered frames were built in 1962 with the new1962 parts and new changes for 1962. Most of the untouched pieces were verified as having1962 dated cranks. The serial numbers only give you a general idea when the bike was built, period. Believe what you want, I still believe there is a Santa Claus because I've seen over a 100 in my lifetime. 😜
 

indycycling

Finally riding a big boys bike
Yeah, I'd imagine Schwinn had a timeline that happened something like....the R&D department had a deadline for new features in September... production had til the end of the month to prototype and make the new parts...and usually by November, you'd start seeing the new parts ready for the assembly line to install...and finally advertising rolling out before Christmas to sell the bikes with all the new features. They probably had Quarterly goals like plenty of other companies and there were definitely mid year feature changes that happened.

The MD serial number Krate would certainly have had those 3 new features. I wouldn't be surprised if the handlebars that month were a mix of 68 and 69 year stamps...even the cranks.

This would be THE perfect bike to ask if the sprocket is stamped with "PAT PENDING"!!??
I'd say originality is intact.

I've seen and own several Decemer Stingrays/Krates with some of the current year parts and some of the next year parts or predominately all of the next year parts, both are correct

This bike does have wide bars and only way to tell year would be the date stamp behind the stem - 68 and 69 are the same style bars

My understanding on Mag sprocket is Pat Pending was used 67-70
 
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