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Facts About Scheinn Bicycles
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Schwinn is one of the most recognizable names in the cycling industry.
History of Schwinn
The company was founded and named after Ignaz Shwinn, a German-born engineer, in 1895. Together with his friend Adolph Frederick William Arnold, another German American, Schwinn formed the Arnold, Schwinn & Company in Chicago.
Although their initial efforts were successful, the atmosphere in America drastically changed as bicycles were quickly replaced by automobiles and motorcycles.
Reacting to the times, Schwinn expanded and purchased Excelsior Motorcycle Company and Henderson Company in 1912 and 1917 respectively, and went into the motorcycle business. His instincts proved to be correct as the new motorcycle division of the company flourished and ranked third to legendary motorcycle companies Indian and Harley-Davidson.
As the Great Depression hit the United States, it carried with it the destruction of many of America's industries. Unfortunately, the motorcycle industry was not spared and Excelsior- Henderson (as it was known) was almost bankrupt. It took Ignaz's son, Frank W. Schwinn to find a solution.
The Schwinn Aerocycle Was Born
His approach was to concentrate all of the company's efforts back into bicycle making providing low-cost bicycles to the market. After getting ideas in Europe and staying true to their motorcycle pedigree, the Schwinn B-10E Motorbike, better known as the Aerocycle was produced.
Did you know...?
Did you know that Schwinn bicycles come with a limited lifetime warranty?
Should your bicycle frame fail due to flawed materials or faulty construction, it will be repaired at no cost. Just take it to the place of purchase and the dealer will contact Schwinn for repairs.
This is part of the "customers-first" corporate policy that has made Schwinn such a well-loved brand throughout its illustrious history as one of the world's leading bicycle manufacturers.
This bicycle was unique in that it imitated the look and feel of a motorcycle. To further add to the association, Schwinn asked the help of the American Rubber Company to specifically outfit the bicycle with 2.125 in. wide balloon tires.
All of these enhancements gave the Aerocycle its unique look and feel which would eventually turn it into a classic and become known as the paperboy bike or more famously, the cruiser bike.
You can read more about the Aerocycle and about other old Schwinn bikes in my page about vintage Schwinn bicycles.
Schwinn is Sponsoring Bicycle Racing Teams
Simultaneous with their new innovative design, Schwinn also ventures into sponsoring bicycle racing teams. This project was headed by Emil Wastyn who also designed the bikes. This new bike team competed in 6-day races which ran across the United States giving the brand a legitimate racing pedigree.
It was a dominant time for Schwinn, and Frank W. Schwinn was very aware of it, so much so that in 1938, he introduced the Schwinn Paramount series. This new product line showcased the crème de la crème of Schwinn technology and craftsmanship, featuring only high-strength steel Chromoly alloy tubing and brass lug-brazed construction.
To further add to the prominence the company was experiencing during this time, Alfred Letourneur, on May 17, 1941, while riding behind a pace car in Los Angeles beat the motor-paced world speed record using a Schwinn bike. His top speed was recorded at 175 km/hr.
The innovation and creativity within Schwinn Bicycles did not stop in their engineering department. Aggressive marketing efforts are as much to praise as quality design and engineering in making Schwinn the famous brand it is today. In the 1950s, Schwinn Bicycles were one of the first to resist the rebranding of bicycles by retail stores. Instead, they insisted that stores sell Schwinn marked bicycles, which carried with it their mark and guarantee. As a result, their brand became one of the most recognizable names in the industry, and in the US one in four bicycles sold was made by Schwinn.
Schwinn Bicycles Today
Today, Schwinn Bicycles produce a wide array of bicycles from discount bikes to high-end rides. They also sell and boast of different styles from Cruisers, Mountain Bikes, Road Bikes, Hybrid Bikes, and Electric Bikes. It is currently owned by Dorel Industries which in turn bought it from Pacific Cycle Corporation, the original company that bought the Schwinn Company brand.
Where to Buy Schwinn Bicycles?
If you are interested in buying Schwinn bicycles, you can buy them in one of these trusted online stores: