|1895||Arnold, Schwinn and Co. is founded in Chicago.|
Introduced in 1963, the original Schwinn Sting-Ray changed the world of bikes forever. By 1968, its design dominated bike sales. In that year alone, 70% of all bikes sold in America were either Sting-Rays or Sting-Ray knock-offs. Like most great product ideas, the original Sting-Ray was born from the streets. In the early '60s, muscle cars and motorbikes were all the rage. Kids on the West Coast picked up on this trend, building their own "wheels" from used bike frames retrofitted with customized parts. West Coast kids were especially into dragster embellishments like "Ape Hanger" handlebars and low-rider banana seats. In 1962, a young Schwinn engineer named Al Fritz got wind of this growing trend. On a tip from a friend, he decided to journey to California to see these crazy, tricked-out bikes for himself. Inspired by what he saw, he set out to create a bike that not only looked like the newest West Coast creations, but also lent itself to customization, enabling kids to trick out their wheels just as older kids were customizing their hot rods and choppers. After scanning the dictionary for just the right name, he christened his new bike the Sting-Ray, after the winged creature of the sea.
The first Schwinn Sting-Ray (code named the J-38) went on sale in 1963 -- and received a very mixed response. The bike drew resistance from adults who thought the design was "weird" or "ugly." But the true connaisseurs of cool -- the kids -- couldn't get enough of the new customized creations. Priced at a hefty $49.95, Schwinn sold over 40,000 Sting-Rays in 1963 alone. They would have sold more if the company hadn't run out of 20-inch tires.
Bob Osborn, www.vintagebmx.com, january 2005: The steering geometry of the Sting-Ray, combined with the short wheelbase and 20-inch wheels, resulted in surprisingly good handling characteristics. Doing wheelies and riding dirt trails in vacant lots soon became popular.
|1968||Schwinn's annual sales hit one million.|
|1975||1975 Schwinn Scrambler
1975 Schwinn catalog: The new Schwinn Scrambler is a specially designed model with heavy duty construction and BMX features built-in. Every frame joint is reinforced with extra welds. The cranks are of hardened steal. The handlebar has a welded on brace and the forged handlebar stem is built to take it. Specialty designed Schwinn BMX tires with an exclusive deep studded tread design for surer grip on varying surfaces. The new Schwinn Scrambler -ideal for off-the-road, and equally at home on the road for those who demand a sturdy, sporty bike.
|1977||1977 Schwinn catalog.|
Ad in BMX Action august 1978: Here's the new Schwinn SX-100 that will be burning up the tracks this season. New frame design... new tires... new color wheels... competition saddle. So get on what the winners will ride! $168.95.
|1982||Schwinn Predator bikes.
Ad in BMX Action november 1982: An arsenal of chrome-moly BMX machines.
A potent new force of technically advanced BMX weapons has emerged. Designed from the wheels up to be a dominant vehicle in every level of competition. Every Predator has a mainframe crafted entirely of 4130 chrome-molybdenum steel, or "chrome-moly". This revolutionary alloy is, pound for pound, far stronger than ordinary steel. This allows for thinner walls in the tubing and a significant weight savings. And it stands to reason that the less weight you have to move, the more energy you can translate into blazing speed and cat-like agility. Components from some of the best names in the business. All too often, the parts that get bolted onto a BMX machine are decided by "bean-counting" accountants instead of BMX experts. Thankfully, Predator bucks this trend. Our components are hand-picked and precisely matched to the function of each Predator That's why you see superb components from the likes of Dia-Compe, Sugino and Araya, to name a few. Only at your Schwinn dealer
The Predator Arsenal: Sting (Patented in oval frame) $399.95, Team (24" bi-oval frame) $259.95, Team Z (bi-oval frame, Z-rims) $244.95, Team + Alloy (bi-oval frame, alloy rims) $239.95, Cr+Mo+Mag (Mag wheels, free sprocket) $204.95, Cr+Mo+Mag (Mag wheel, coaster brake) $189.95, Cr+Mo+Free (Steel rim, free wheel) $174.95, Cr+Mo+Pit (16" wheel) $164.95.
The Predator Stem.
This chrome-moly, forged-alloy, four-bolt "stem" is designed to withstand even the most brutal twisting, yanking and "torqueing". Its unique low-profile block brings the handlebars closer to the rider for more precise control.
|1986||Schwinn build its freestyle team.
BMX Plus! may 1986: Schwinn is getting deeper into freestyle than ever before. They've signed three riders for 1986: Ron Wilton, Pete Augustin, and Jason Parkes. Wilton was sponsored by Schwinn last year, but the others are new to the Schwinn effort. All three riders live in California.
Schwinn cancelled its summer freestyle tour fearing kids would try to copy the moves of the team, get hurt as a result and sue Schwinn. Schwinn decides to drop Pete Augustin from its team as a result of the cancelled tour.
|1987||Schwinn YO! roller seat for upside down ground tricks.
Schwinn decides to drop Ron Wilton from their team and sign back Pete Augustin.
|1989||In the freestyle world, Schwinn offers its new Flatland Pro sporting new geometry, a redesigned platform, Weinmann 48-spoke rims and Dia-Compe brakes. It also has the brand-new ACS Pro Rotor II, which features double ball bearing tracks for improved efficiency, an idea that Schwinn proposed to ACS.|
|1991||Schwinn 1991 BMX catalog.|
|1992||Schwinn 1992 BMX catalog.|
|1997||Brian Foster is getting a signature bike called Blue Falcon.
Schwinn has scored a major promotional deal with the makers of Honey Nut Cheerios ! Schwinn riders Jay Miron, Dave Osato and Joey Garcia all have pictures on the back of the Honey Nut Cheerios box, which is expected to be seen by 18 to 24 million people.
Questor had purchased Schwinn bicycle from Scott USA in 1997 as Scott sought to escape the US bike business and focus on Europe.
Ride BMX UK october 1997: JAY MIRON has a signature bike out on SCHWINN, at last. The HYDRAMATIC COMP JAY MIRON bike sports his own frameset design, sealed everything, 3pc cranks, new Schwinn 4pc bars, 1.1/8 Aheadset, chrome 48s, the new Schwinn Hucker freestyle tyres [like V monsters], pegs, and a killer pearl paintjob. The complete bike will sell for around £549.
|1998||Ride BMX US february 1998: Shaun Butler is now riding for Schwinn. Schwinn has also hired on John Povah as their new freestyle tour manager, taking that task off the hands of Jay Miron.
Schwinn have two new signature bikes out. Brian Foster has a Blue Falcon signature bike, and Joey Garcia has his El Jefe model. Both frameset are built from 4130 cromoly in America. The BF comes in metalflake blue and the Garcia is in bare metal.
Questor, the money behind Schwinn Cycling & Fitness (150 millions de dollars de chiffre d'affaires), has merged with GT Bicycles Inc. (216 millions de dollars de chiffre d'affaires) to form a global company with two powerful brand franchise and well-established market leadership positions in several bicycle and fitness segments.
|1999||Schwinn 1999 BMX catalog.|
|2001||In spring of 2001 it was obvious that Questor and the banks had decided to get out. Spending was frozen, payments to vendors and subcontractors were stopped. The writing was on the wall. Questor through their holding company, Schwinn-GT inc, declared bankruptcy on 6/27/01. The once mighty duo of bicycle companies was sold to Pacific Cycle through bankruptcy court on 9/11/01 for 86 million dollars. This represented an almost 175 million dollar loss to Questor and a much larger blow to the bicycle community.
Pacific won the battle over Huffy buying the Schwinn/GT corporation. Pacific also owns Mongoose. Pacific makes the quality bikes found in K-Mart and other such stores. Exact plans for the future have not been made but Pacific will possibly put the Schwinn brand in the mass market circuit.
Mean Street, Van Homan signature frame
100% american made 4130 cromoly, 21" or 20.5" top tube, 15" rear center, 74.5° head tube, 6.25 lbs (21"tt).
bmx.transworld.net, october 2008: TJ Lavin was dropped from Schwinn. Since TJ was Schwinns only BMX rider it will be interesting to see if they pick up a new rider or if they drop BMX from their program completely. We havent heard from anyone at their camp yet.
Bill Grad 1994
John Paul Rogers 1996 - june 2000
John Povah is now the Schwinn freestyle team manager (BMX Plus! may 1998)
Adam Banton december 2000: Adam has left We The People and is now riding for Schwinn.
Shaun Butler december 1997 - 1998 the split happened right after the 98 X-Games where Butler's bike got ripped off and had to borrow Aaric Dishaw's Gary Fisher to compete. "It was one of 20 incidents that led to his release" said Schwinn Team Manager John Paul Rogers. Shaun got a bike from S&M the day after his "release".
Chad Degroot january 1996 - ....
Andrew Faris 1998 - february 2001, Andrew leaves Schwinn for Volume: I just didn't feel a good fit at Schwinn.(...) Volume is not concerned with summer tours and contests, wich is good for a guy like me.
Alan Foster 1994 - 1998 and then riding for Free Agent.
Brian Foster 1994 - ....
Van Homan pro model 2001: Mean Street frame
Ron Kimler summer 1997 - ....
Dino de Luca junuary 1987 - ....
Jay Miron may 1995 Jay Miron was signed up back two minutes after he left Hoffman Bikes - august 2000 Jay is leaving Schwinn and starting his own bike company called MacNeil Bikes.
Dave Osato january 1996
Sean Peters 1996
John Povah december 1997 team manager
Brian Wizmerski 2001 then riding for S&M