Was given an antique Schwinn and don’t know where to start

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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
The wheels or proportions look a bit off.

The rear wheel, with the 1960’s or later Red-Band, looks like a very-tight fit, (too big?).

The front wheel looks undersized for the forks, (or are the forks a larger size?).

The fender braces (front, rear, right, left) all look okay to me.

It's definitely a completely pieced together prewar frame that needs a new makeover.
 

Webby_Dean

On Training Wheels
Yep find the serial and we can give you a year. That bike has a whole lot of wrong parts on it so I wouldn't spend a lot of money. Should make a decent rider if you plan to keep it. V/r Shawn
Sorry for the late reply, it was over at my moms house still. Serial number is H80232
 

Webby_Dean

On Training Wheels
Just want to give an update, even though it’s a little late. I found the serial number! It was at my moms, and I finally had a chance to bring it to my place. I looked on the bottom of the hub and there it was: H80232. Funny enough, that seems to indicate it was produced in 1953. It certainly seem as if someone Frankensteined this bike together. It seems Schwinn discontinued the cross bar between the top tube and down tube by then, since the 1953 model would have had an open gap.
 

bloo

I live for the CABE
Not 1953. Did you get a picture of your H80232 serial? Sometimes the font and the way and where it was stamped mean more than the number itself. I am not that well informed, but some of the people around here will really surprise you with how much they know.

Based on my admittedly limited knowledge, and assuming it is really a Schwinn, and I think it is but I can't be 100% sure, here is what I see:

Your rear forks on the frame look like prewar Schwinn. They do not look like 1953 Schwinn. Postwar, those would have been dropout style on a Schwinn, no question about that. Also I think the number would have been stamped on the left dropout in 1953, but someone else will need to confirm that.

H" and 5 digits fits for a late 1941 Schwinn if stamped under the bottom bracket. My 1941 (I am calling it a 1941 due to the crank stamping) Schwinn boys straightbar has "F71444". That really should be a 1940 serial number I think, but Schwinn did supposedly stamp the bottom brackets before they welded the frames. H and 5 digits should be one of the last things stamped before Schwinn shut down ballooner production for the war.... I think. Someone please correct me if that's wrong.

What I am unsure about is what makes a frame different (if anything) at the "DX" price level if it is a girls frame. On a boy's frame it is obvious. The middle tube is curved on a most DX frames.

I think your frame and fork came together originally and are prewar Schwinn, probably 1941. As for everything else.....

Nobody typically got ballooner bikes with a mattress type seat before the war. I mean you COULD have, they existed, but it would have been an uncommon request. In any event the one in the pictures is decades newer, probably 60s or 70s.

The fenders are not prewar Schwinn, probably not Schwinn at all, and would not have been chrome. You could make them look less out of place with paint and maybe some different stays if you wanted to, but they are not that much like the originals.

The back wheel has a "drop center" rim similar to what would have come on a cheaper Schwinn in 1941, I think(?), but the Bendix coaster hub is postwar. The front wheel looks mismatched and newer.

The pedals, crank, and chainwheel look to be Schwinn. They are probably from the early 60s if they came together from the same bike. I suspect your bike probably had a skiptooth chainwheel and a Morrow or New Departure rear hub originally.

Your chainguard is identical to a Western Flyer one I bought at Western Auto in 1976 for my 1941. People here tell me the actual maker is Wald. I painted it years later and filled in the extra holes to make it look less universal, but when new it looked exactly like yours.

Here's my 1941, also with some wrong parts (including that Western Flyer chainguard).

cxss9u3-jpg.jpg
 
Last edited:

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
The frame is 1941 and most everything else is later. There were some 1942 I serial balloon models made before the government restrictions were implemented.
 

Webby_Dean

On Training Wheels
Not 1953. Did you get a picture of your H80232 serial? Sometimes the font and the way and where it was stamped mean more than the number itself. I am not that well informed, but some of the people around here will really surprise you with how much they know.

Based on my admittedly limited knowledge, and assuming it is really a Schwinn, and I think it is but I can't be 100% sure, here is what I see:

Your rear forks on the frame look like prewar Schwinn. They do not look like 1953 Schwinn. Postwar, those would have been dropout style on a Schwinn, no question about that. Also I think the number would have been stamped on the left dropout in 1953, but someone else will need to confirm that.

H" and 5 digits fits for a late 1941 Schwinn if stamped under the bottom bracket. My 1941 (I am calling it a 1941 due to the crank stamping) Schwinn boys straightbar has "F71444". That really should be a 1940 serial number I think, but Schwinn did supposedly stamp the bottom brackets before they welded the frames. H and 5 digits should be one of the last things stamped before Schwinn shut down ballooner production for the war.... I think. Someone please correct me if that's wrong.

What I am unsure about is what makes a frame different (if anything) at the "DX" price level if it is a girls frame. On a boy's frame it is obvious. The middle tube is curved on a most DX frames.

I think your frame and fork came together originally and are prewar Schwinn, probably 1941. As for everything else.....

Nobody typically got ballooner bikes with a mattress type seat before the war. I mean you COULD have, they existed, but it would have been an uncommon request. In any event the one in the pictures is decades newer, probably 60s or 70s.

The fenders are not prewar Schwinn, probably not Schwinn at all, and would not have been chrome. You could make them look less out of place with paint and maybe some different stays if you wanted to, but they are not that much like the originals.

The back wheel has a "drop center" rim similar to what would have come on a cheaper Schwinn in 1941, I think(?), but the Bendix coaster hub is postwar. The front wheel looks mismatched and newer.

The pedals, crank, and chainwheel look to be Schwinn. They are probably from the early 60s if they came together from the same bike. I suspect your bike probably had a skiptooth chainwheel and a Morrow or New Departure rear hub originally.

Your chainguard is identical to a Western Flyer one I bought at Western Auto in 1976 for my 1941. People here tell me the actual maker is Wald. I painted it years later and filled in the extra holes to make it look less universal, but when new it looked exactly like yours.

Here's my 1941, also with some wrong parts (including that Western Flyer chainguard).

View attachment 1670283
Here’s a pic! I used the serial number lookup on bikehistory.org, but like you said, placement matters quite a bit, and I know relatively nothing about serial numbers as it is. Thanks for all the helpful info!
1670429
 

bloo

I live for the CABE
That cannot possibly be correct. It is a guessing game to some extent, especially for bikes built before the war, but the information in the Schwinn serial threads right here on the CABE are as good as it gets. This frame is prewar due to it's lack of dropouts. The fork is likely prewar too because Schwinn girls bikes had a longer headtube before the war. This frame has the longer headtube. An Ashtabula fork like the one shown but from a postwar bike would have a steerer tube too short to fit this frame in most cases. Also, if you look closely it has the "new for 1940" (according to the Schwinn parts catalog) deluxe headset. If you look closely at my 1941, you will see one like it. Apparently not all Schwinn ballooners got those, but any that did are likely 1940-42. The deluxe headsets looked different after the war, first with hex flats on the outer diameter and later with a complete change in the shape of the top cup and a return to knurling. I'm sticking with 1941 for @Webby_Dean 's frame, fork, and headset. The stem might be original too(?) but the pictures don't show enough of it to tell. I don't believe anything else is from 1941. There could be some original parts in the bottom bracket, but I doubt it. That looks like it was stuck in whole from another bike. A look inside might tell the story.
 
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