The Schwinn Company was founded in 1895 by Ignaz-Schwinn. His company quickly became the largest manufacturer of bikes in America and continued in top spot for the balance of the twentieth century. The bicycle craze originated in Chicago, Il and saw Schwinn build 30 factories producing over 1,000 bikes a day at it's peak!
Probably one of Schwinn's greatest bikes to maintain a the preeminent “vintage” status is the Banana bike. Schwinn made a lot of these in between 1960 and 1970. Do you remember the Schwinn Stingray? How about the Apple Krate? The Schwinn Krate was one of the most popular models Schwinn ever produced. Over it's tenure the Krate was made in six different colours: the Apple Krate, Orange Krate, Cotton Picker, Lemon Peeler, Grey Ghost and the Pea Picker.
1969 Schwinn Apple Krate Lowrider Bike
My First Schwinn Krate
I can remember my first bike - it was a Schwinn Krate with banana seat and all the bells and whistles. I wish I knew it was gong to become a classic and a collectable! I would have taken much better care of it.
Schwinn is really an interesting company and continues to reinvent itself. Once synonymous with outdoor cycling - at one almost every kid had a Schwinn Bike - but today Schwinn has morphed and is probably as well known if not better known for it's vast selection of home and commercial exercise equipment. Schwinn elliptical cross trainer machine, rowers and Schwinn recumbent exercise bikes to name a few. Schwinn also is legendary for the AirDyne exercise bike which is still around today in the new updated Schwinn Evolution.
It certainly looks like this brand is here to stay!