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Schwinn Home

Epilogue and Sources

Serial Numbers
Head Badges

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Schwinn Approved front derailleur

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Schwinn Serial Numbers and Date Codes

Dates between 1948 and 1958 are available because Schwinn kept good records. From 1958 on, several different coding systems were used, from which the manufacture date (and often the assembly date) can be decifered.

All serial number records before 8/18/1948 were lost in a factory fire. For pre-1948 Schwinns try taking out the crankset to check for a date code. If you have a Schwinn from this era, please, PLEASE send us pictures of your bike and serial number (Cutter@Re-Cycle.com). We are in the process of collecting pre-1948 serial numbers in the hopes of rebuilding the date code system for this period.

Locating the Serial Number

(CT = Cycletruck; WZ , S-10 = Whizzer; Tdm = Tandem.)
Pre-1948 B12818
Schwinn built-in kickstand Schwinn's built-in kickstand was introduced in 1946.
1948 D92598 - E262108
11001 - 13398
WZ 1 - 3447
1949 F000100 - F31649
F321358 - F364549
S312650 - S321357
G000100 - G003166
T001000 - T001217
Tdm F160598 - 163107
CT 5000 - 7408
WZ 3825 - 5986

1950 G003167 - G294890
G310130 - G318061
G335123 - G343221
G355966 - G531230
Z294891 - Z310129
Z320777 - Z335122
Z343222 - Z355965
H000001 - H000666
5987 - 6244
S-10 G164355 - G165580
1951 H000667 - H437160
A01370 - A87593
H166581 - H166580
CT H273273 - H437160
CT 6657 - 7738
WZ 7739 - 8110
Schwinn D97XE-OS frame
Schwinn D97XE-6 frame
The DX frames were part of the Schwinn line by 1939.
The DX style frames have a lower top-tube (for lack of a better name) that curves ever so slightly, however the chainstays on the Schwinn D97XE-OS (1939-41) run roughly parallel to the ground while the chainstays on the D97XE-6 (1941) and the D-13 (1953) droop slightly as they travel from the rear dropouts to the bottom bracket.

The -OS frame style seems to have been completely replaced by the more curvaceous -6 style by 1946. I have not found any examples of the DX frame style after 1953 although the 24 inch wheel size equivalent, the J series, was around at least until 1955.
1952 A87594 - A97867
B00001 - B99999
C00001 - C99999
D00001 - D66447
E00001 - E99999
F00001 - F99999
G00001 - G44000
1953 H60001 - H99999
J00001 - J99999
K00001 - K99999
A00001 - A99999
B00001 - B99999
C00001 - C99999
D00001 - D20266
L00001 - L99999
M00001 - M99999
N00001 - N99999
P00001 - P17600
Schwinn Heart-pattern crankset I have found heart-pattern skip-tooth cranksets on Schwinns as late as 1954 and as early as 1917.
1955 P17601 - P99999
R01452 - R99999
S00001 - S99999
T00001 - T99999
U00001 - U56286
1956 U57805 - U99999
V00001 - V99999
W00001 - W93942
L00001 - L99999
M03569 - M25000
N25164 - N99999
P00001 - P25622
R25623 - R38316
Schwinn Chain Guard The Feather style chain guard was used between 1938 and 1956.
1957 B18549 - B99999
C00001 - C99999
D00001 - D24842
7D24843 - 7D49811
7E00001 - 7E99999
7F00001 - 7F10609
R58261 - R61241
R66270 - R99999
S01400 - S47570
HyperLink I have found this decal on Schwinns from 1938 to 1959.
1958 8F10685 - 8F99999
8G00001 - 8G08079
8GL00001 - 8GL39400
New numbering system begins April 17, 1958: First letter is the month; first digit is the year. D136694 = April 1961. I and O skipped to avoid confusion with one and zero.
1958 - A800000…
1959 - A900000…
1960 - A000000…
1961 - A100000…
1962 - A200000…
1963 - A300000…
1964 - A400000…
New numbering system: First letter = month; second letter = year.
1965 - AA00000…
1966 - AB00000…
1967 - AC00000…
1968 - AD00000…
1969 - AE00000…
1970 - AF00000…
The serial number was moved from the left rear dropout to the headtube between 1970 and 1971.
1971 - AG00000…
1972 - AH00000...
1973 - AJ00000...
1974 - AK00000...
1975 - AL00000...
1976 - AM00000...
1977 - AN00000...
1978 - AP00000...
1979 - AQ00000...
1980 - AR00000...
1981 - AS00000...
1982 - AT00000...
Le Tour and Super Le Tour models sometimes began with an 'S' followed by the Japan Made numbering system:
1972 - SA200000...
1973 - SA300000...
1974 - SA400000...
1975 - SA500000...
1976 - SA600000...
1977 - SA700000...
1978 - SA800000...
1979 - SA900000...
1980 - SA000000...
1981 - SA100000...
1982 - SA200000...
1983 - SA300000...
In the 1980s, the 'S' began appearing in other models as well (Passage, Prelude).
1984 - SA400000...
1985 - SA500000...
1986 - SA600000...
Japan Made numbering system: Letter is the month, number in the first or second position is the year.
1971 - A100000... or 1A00000...
1972 - A200000... or 2A00000...
1973 - A300000... or 3A00000...
1974 - A400000... or 4A00000...
1975 - A500000... or 5A00000...
1976 - A600000... or 6A00000...
1977 - A700000... or 7A00000...
1978 - A800000... or 8A00000...
1979 - A900000... or 9A00000...
1980 - A000000... or 0A00000...
1981 - A100000... or 1A00000...
1982 - A200000... or 2A00000...

Locating the Serial Number

1960 - 1969 Chicago built Schwinn serial numbers are found on the left rear axle-hanger or fork-end on the frame.

V67505 = 1956
Left rear dropout serial number location
1970 - 1979 Chicago built Schwinn serial numbers are on the headtube of the frame where the fork enters from the bottom.

LG091296 = December 1971
Head tube serial number location
If it's not there, check the bottom of the bottom bracket (where the pedals go into the frame of the bike).

AY00H11858 = 2000
Bottom bracket serial number location
The Chicago serial numbers consist of a letter representing the month of manufacture, a number indicating the last digit of the year (1960 - 1964; 0=1960, 1=1961, etc.) or a letter indicating the year (1965 - 1979; A=1965, B=1966, etc.), followed by a sequential series of five or six digits (e.g. A367584 or CB77584). If letters were used for date codes, they skipped the letters "I" and "O" as they looked too much like numbers. Note: This scheme is for all Chicago built non-Paramount models excluding 1962-1963 Superiors and 1964-1969 Super Sports (whose serial numbers are located on the left rear axle hanger and consist of a single letter code for the month [again, skip "I" and "O"], the last digit of the year and a 3-digit sequential build number -- e.g. 'K6018' is the 18th frame built in October of 1966).

The 1970 Super Sports with Huret dropouts seem to have used a two digit year ('C70204' -- March, 1970, 204th frame).

The 1978-1983 Le Tour and Super Le Tour models had their serial numbers on the left rear axle hanger and many began with an 'S', followed by the Japan Made numbering system.

SJ306418 = September 1983
Schwinn Le Tour and Super Le Tour serial number

Bicycles from Japan will have serial numbers located on the left, rear axle hanger, on the bottom bracket shell or on the lower section of the headlug. The number will have a production month letter in either the first or second position and a production year number in the other (first or second) position. Examples: J677123 = September, 1976.

Beginning in the 1970s, many Schwinns feature a 4-digit stamp on the head badge that represents the assembly date and consists of the Julian day and the last digit of the year (1246 decodes to the 124th day of 1976 or 1986 -- use decals and components to determine the decade). The Julian dating was adopted for Schwinn's domestic production in 1976. (See the 4-digit date code next to the "I"?) Head badge date stamp
2779 = 277th day of 1979 or 1989 Head badge date stamp
Some Japanese bikes may have an 'X' in the month position of the frame serial number. This was used to connect the remainder of a production run that spilled over into January of the next year. For example ‘X’ may have represented an overrun from the previous year. X9201937 should be Month X and Year 9. But it might be Month January of Year 0. Using this logic, Y9201937 might actually have been made in February of 1980, but was a part of the 1979 production run. I'm still looking for a confirmation of this dating method.

Some Taiwanese (built by Giant) Schwinns have a date code (on the right rear axle hanger or on the bottom bracket shell) in the format 'Gmmyy'. The letter "G" followed by a two-digit month code (01 = January etc.) and two more digits for the production year (81 = 1981 etc.). An example would be 'G0181' and equates to "Giant, January, 1981". Giant date code


The Bicycle Trader August 1996, The West CoasterMay/June 1991

Collectable Schwinn-Built Bicycles by James L. Hurd.
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