Dating schwinn bikes
The boom in bicycle sales was short lived, saturating the market years before motor vehicles were common on American streets.
By 1905, bicycle annual sales had fallen to only 25% of that reached in 1900.
The middleweight incorporated most of the features of the English racer, but had wider tires and wheels.
In August 1955, the Eisenhower administration implemented a 22.5% tariff rate for three out of four categories of bicycles.
However, the most popular adult category, lightweight or "racer" bicycles, were only raised to 11.25%.
The administration noted that the United States industry offered no direct competition in this category, and that lightweight bikes competed only indirectly with balloon-tire or cruiser bicycles.
Though substantially heavier than later European-style "racer" or sport/touring bikes, Americans found them a revelation, as they were still much lighter than existing models produced by Schwinn and other American bicycle manufacturers.
Ignaz Schwinn was born in Hardheim, Baden, Germany, in 1860 and worked on two-wheeled ancestors of the modern bicycle that appeared in 19th century Europe. In 1895, with the financial backing of fellow German American Adolph Frederick William Arnold (a meat packer), he founded Arnold, Schwinn & Company.
Schwinn's new company coincided with a sudden bicycle craze in America.
By 1950, Schwinn had decided the time was right to grow the brand. In exchange for ensuring the presence of the Schwinn name, distributors retained the right to distribute Schwinn bikes to any hardware store, toy store, or bicycle shop that ordered them. In the 1950s, Schwinn began to aggressively cultivate bicycle retailers, persuading them to sell Schwinns as their predominant, if not exclusive brand.
At the time, most bicycle manufacturers in the United States sold in bulk to department stores, which in turn sold them as store brand models. During this period, bicycle sales enjoyed relatively slow growth, with the bulk of sales going to youth models.