Timeline

1891 - 1900

1895 Ignaz Schwinn

Ignaz Schwinn

Ignaz Schwinn and partner Adolph Arnold incorporate "Arnold, Schwinn & Company" on October 22, 1895. The company is founded in Chicago. "Roadster" single speed, 19lbs.

1896 Schwinn Starts Racing Program

There are 300 bicycle companies in the US (101 in Chicago, alone). Schwinn starts its racing program. By the end of the year, Schwinn bikes have more victories than any other bike company. In 1896, the Schwinn line is composed of the bicycles ranging in price from $100 to $125 and in weight from 19 to 24 pounds!

1899 1st Man to Go 60 mph

1st Man to Go 60 mph

Paced by a locomotive, Mile-a-Minute Murphy is the first man to go... you guessed it... 60 mph.

1900 Six-day Races Become the Rage

Six-day races become the rage. Board tracks spring up everywhere. Bicycle racing clubs are an outlet for affluent Americans. At the turn of the century, there are two patent offices one for bicycle innovations alone... the other for everything else.

1901 - 1910

1902 Bicycling is an Adult-driven Market

Bicycling is an adult-driven market. A racing bike costs $150 ($3,550 in today's dollars). Time payments are still a long way from reality. Bicycles are where most advances in machining and metallurgy take place.

1908 Road Maps Utilized to Show Bicyclists New Places to Explore Away from their Homes

Road maps are utilized to show bicyclists new places to explore away from their homes. Couples can now "Court" off of their parent's porch.

1908 Ignaz Schwinn - The Sole Owner

Ignaz and the Mrs. Have a baby, Frank. Ignaz Schwinn buys the interest of his partner, Adolph Arnold, and becomes the sole owner of Arnold, Schwinn & Company.

1909 Bicycles Now Available to Children

With the advent of the affordable automobile, bikes become passe for adults. Manufacturing advances mean lower prices, making bicycles available to children for the first time. A new market is born. Tough bikes are developed to stand the punishment that kids dish out.

1911 - 1920

1911 Schwinn buys Excelsior Motor Cycle Company

Schwinn buys Excelsior Motor Cycle Company.

1917 Schwinn buys Henderson Motor Cycle Company

Schwinn buys Henderson Motor Cycle Company

Schwinn buys Henderson Motor Cycle Company.

1921 - 1930

1925 Schwinn Makes Bold Moves

Mudguards are the major technological achievement of the '20's. No appreciable increase in sales results. While the Great Depression drives most bicycle companies out of business, Schwinn makes bold moves to increase capacity and develop new products.

1930 Schwinn - The Standard of Innovation

Schwinn creates a new department comprised of bicycle and motorcycle engineers to improve quality and appearance. Schwinn becomes the standard of innovation for the industry.

1931 - 1940

1933 Bicycle Balloon 26x2.125 Tire

Arnold, Schwinn & Company introduces the bicycle balloon 26x2.125 tire in the spring of 1933 - two years later, it became the standard of the industry. "Ignaz Schwinn's balloon tire is the single biggest innovation in mountain bike technology." - Bike Magazine, May '95

1934 Schwinn Aerocycle

Schwinn Aerocycle

The Schwinn Aerocycle takes bicycles to the next dimension, styled to resemble airplanes, streamlined automobiles and motorcycles. This new aerodynamic style sets the trend for not only the '30's and '40's, but into the '50's.

1935 Schwinn Introduces the Cyclelock

Schwinn introduces the Cyclelock, "the final solution" to the bicycle theft problem. Guess they didn't plan on New York of the '90's.

1936 Schwinn presents the "Auto Cycle"

Schwinn presents the 'Auto Cycle'

Schwinn presents the "Auto Cycle" Deluxe balloon tire bicycle - featuring the Schwinn full floating saddle and seat post, plus twin headlights and speedometer.

1938 Schwinn Introduces the "Fore-wheel" Brake

Schwinn introduces the "Fore-wheel" brake, "Cantilever Frame" and the "Spring Fork." This style is the Grandfather of today's off-road bicycles.

1939 The "Cycle Truck"

The "Cycle Truck" a delivery bicycle built from 1940 until the mid-1960's, and still in use today.

1941 - 1950

1941 Alfred Letourner Sets the Record

Alfred Letourner Sets the Record

Drafting a race car, French racer Alfred Letourner sets the speed record of 108.92 mph on a Paramount bicycle with 255 gear inches. Now that's pushing a BIG gear.

1943 Schwinn Produces Military Items

In World War II, Schwinn produces military items, including top-secret electrical devices, shells, ammunition, plane parts and numerous other war-related items. Schwinn receives the Army and Navy "E" award for Excellence.

1946 Improve Post-War Bikes

Built-in kickstands and new styled drop-outs developed during the war, now improve post-war bikes.

1949 Schwinn Black Phantom

The Schwinn Black Phantom is introduced as the top of the balloon tire line. All the right stuff- chrome fenders and horn, tank, whitewall tires, head and tail lights, spring fork, deluxe saddle, and more. This is the bike every boy wanted. A classic in the making.

1951 - 1960

1952 Schwinn "Authorized Dealer Network"

Schwinn begins an "Authorized Dealer Network" and expands the genuine parts and accessories program.

1955 Hollywood Stars Choose Schwinn Bikes!

Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Ronald Reagan and all the stars from Hollywood's "golden era" choose Schwinn bikes!

1960 Schwinn introduces the Varsity & Continental

Schwinn introduces the Varsity 8-speed and Continental 10-speed bicycles. The Varsity teaches America to ride a touring bicycle.

1961 - 1970

1963 Schwinn Introduces the Sting-Ray

Schwinn Introduces the Sting-Ray

Schwinn introduces the Sting-Ray. With high-rise handlebars, banana seat, Stick-Shift and racing Sliks, it becomes the "in" style machine.

1965 First in-home Workout Machines

Not just bikes anymore. Seeing the trend towards fitness, Schwinn introduces the first in-home workout machines.

1966 Schwinn Bikes are the Best

Schwinn Bikes are the Best

Captain Kangaroo always says, "Schwinn bikes are the best!"

1967 The "Schwinn Bicycle Company"

January 1, 1967, Arnold, Schwinn & Company becomes the "Schwinn Bicycle Company."

1968 The Sting-Ray Krates

The Sting-Ray Krates

Schwinn Bicycle Company introduces the Sting-Ray Krates. These muscle-car era bikes were truly an American Phenomenon. The Sting-Ray is the machine that will father the BMX bicycles of the 1980's.

1971 - 1980

1975 The BMX craze

The BMX craze is in full gear, raising a gear as bike-riders headed towards the dirt.

1978 The "Airdyne" Stationary Bike

The 'Airdyne' Stationary Bike

The "Airdyne" stationary bike is introduced.

1981 - 1990

1985 Mountain Bikes Trend

Seeing the trend toward mountain bikes, Schwinn management calls it like they see it. "A Fad." Oops.

1991 - 2000

1994 From Chicago to Boulder, Colorado

Schwinn moves from Chicago to Boulder, Colorado.

1995 Schwinn, The Second Century

The Homegrown Series brings high-tech, lightweight mountain bike production back to the U.S. And that's just the beginning... Schwinn, The Second Century...

1995 The New Moab S

The New Moab S

The radically new Schwinn line includes the new Moab S voted best of show by Mountain Bike Magazine.

1996 Straight 6 ® Downhill Specific Bike

Schwinn introduces the Straight 6® downhill specific bike, featuring dossiers full of secret technology. World Cup points begin accumulating faster than bugs in our race team's teeth.

1998 Re-introducing the Muscle Car

Schwinn re-introduces its muscle car inspired Sting-Ray and Krate bicycles, wildly popular models offered in the late sixties and early seventies. Nostalgia buffs everywhere shed a collective tear of joy. Schwinn acquires Hebb Industries, a leading manufacturer of treadmills. In an extreme non-coincidental development, Schwinn unveils a new line of 8 quality treadmill models, instantly becoming a serious player in the treadmill business.

1998 Schwinn/GT Merger

Two old rivals form a lucrative alliance as Schwinn and GT bicycles join forces to form the Schwinn/GT Corporation. The competition quakes in its SPD-compatible cycling shoes.

2000 Entering the New Millennium

Pleased to learn that the only thing tragic about Y2K was Dick Clark's lethargic television commentary as The Ball dropped in Time Square, Schwinn employees emerge from subterranean bunkers and enter the new millennium determined to uphold the company's tradition of legendary innovation. Big things are, as always, on the horizon.

2001 - 2010

2001 A New Age Dawns for Schwinn

A New Age Dawns for Schwinn

The gavel hit the bench and Pacific Cycle, Inc in Madison, WI, buys the Schwinn and GT brands in Denver bankruptcy court on September 11. A new age dawns for Schwinn, continuing its 107th consecutive year of quality and maintaining its position as the world's most formidable lifestyle merchant.

2004 Dorel Industries Inc. purchases Schwinn's parent company

Dorel Industries Inc. purchases Schwinn's parent company

Dorel Industries Inc. purchases Schwinn's parent company, Pacific Cycle, bringing further stability and global presence to the Schwinn brand.

2004 Sting-Ray Returns With a New Look

Sting-Ray Returns With a New Look

After more than 30 years, the Schwinn Sting-Ray returns with a new look, but the same soul as the original. The 20" juvenile bike is an immediate success and quickly becomes the world's fastest selling bicycle.

  1. 1891 - 1900
  2. 1901 - 1910
  3. 1911 - 1920
  4. 1921 - 1930
  5. 1931 - 1940
  6. 1941 - 1950
  7. 1951 - 1960
  8. 1961 - 1970
  9. 1971 - 1980
  10. 1981 - 1990
  11. 1991 - 2000
  12. 2011 - 2020