How To Find What Year My Schwinn BMX Bike Is

"How to find what year my Schwinn BMX bike is?" is a question many Shcwinn BMX bike owners ask. Knowing the year of your Schwinn BMX bike can help in the case of restoring an old Schwinn BMX bike or finding replacement parts. There are a few methods Schwinn BMX bike owners may use in order to identify the year their bike was manufactured.

  1. Locate the Serial Number. The easiest method of identifying a Schwinn BMX bike is by locating the serial number. The serial number may be used to immediately tell when the bike was made and possibly where the bike was manufactured. Older Schwinn bikes’ serial numbers were stamped on the left fork end of the bike. This was changed in the early 1970’s and serial numbers were placed on the head tube near the head badge or on the bottom bracket shell in some models. Do not confuse a part ID number for the Schwinn serial number. Schwinn bikes that were mass produced since 1965 are data coded by the first two letters in the serial number. The first letter indicates the production month, while the second tells the production year. If the letter is an A through M it refers to production month, with A being January, B being February and so forth. Serial nubmers skip the letters “I” or “O” so they would not be mistaken for numbers.

    Limited Edition Schwinn Bikes like the Letour, Sting and Paramount models produced during the years 1970 to 19799 include a production month letter followed by two numbers telling the production year. For example, the number 79 equates to the year 1970 and so forth.

    Schwinn BMX bikes produced after 1981 brought along changes in serial numbers. Bikes from the 1980’s may include the letter W followed by a series of numbers where the first two signify the production year, where 81 indicates 1981. Some of the LeTour and Super LeTour models sold in the 1980’s were manufactured in the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s. These models’ serial number includes the letter S followed by a number indicating the production year where 8 equates to 1978 and 0 equates to 1980. In case the serial number is not visible, it is still possible to determine the year your Schwinn BMX bike was made.

  2. Go to a Local Bike Shop. If for some reason your serial number is not legible head off to a local bike shop to determine the year of your Schwinn BMX bike. Avoid department stores that sell bikes as no one skilled in Schwinns may be available. Show your bike to the owner or someone who knows something about Schwinns and see if they can help you identify the year your Schwinn BMX bike was made.
  3. Search an Online Catalog. If a local bike shop fails at helping you identify the year your Schwinn BMX bike was made, compare them against an online catalog. Website’s like Gene’s BMX  catalog have Schwinn BMX catalog timeline’s dating back to the early 1960’s when some of the first Schwinn bikes were made.
  4. Ask a Schwinn Enthusiast. If you can not find an online catalog, visit a Schwinn BMX bike forum and as a few forum members to help you identify your Schwinn BMX bike. Lots of Schwinn aficionados convene in these forums so they may be able to help you identify the year your bike was made. Take a few photos of your bike and post them. Be sure to take some photographs of distinct parts like foot pegs and the rear fender to help make identifying the year your Schwinn BMX bike was made easier.
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