Author Topic: '90s Schwinn Cruiser reproductions  (Read 26043 times)

Offline JenniferC

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Re: '90s Schwinn Cruiser reproductions
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2011, 02:28:04 AM »
I'm still tracking it down. and here's a bit of information from an overpriced seller in Madison WI but I'll take information anywhere I can get it when I tracking something down.

This refers to a 1995 Schwinn Red Phantom;

 These are collector-quality recreations using the same manufacturing processes, and in many cases, the original tools and equipment as the first 1949 Phantoms. Schwinn spent over seven million dollars re-creating exact replicas, right down to their packaging. The cost was much more than the limited edition cycles would return in sales. Every bit of manufacturing was done in the U.S. except the double walled rims, which were made with Schwinn’s original S2 rim mills that had been sold to a factory in Hungary. Schwinn also tracked down their original masking tools for painting. The brakes have more stopping power to meet current CPSC standards, but have the same look as the originals, and the spokes are now stainless steel rather than cadmium-plated, which is now considered hazardous. Other than this, the bicycle is exactly as it would have been in 1949 under a lucky child’s Christmas tree.

1995 Made in the U.S.A.


http://budgetbicyclectr.com/1995-schwinn-red-phantom-m

GT didn't make any of the Schwinn bikes either, they made 1000 Harley Davidson bikes at their Santa Anna facilty to compete with the Schwinn and Huffy repops.

The company also signed an agreement with American pop culture icon Harley-Davidson Motor Co. to build a limited edition of 1,000 numbered bicycles resembling Harley-Davidson motorcycles, complete with black frame, a 1950s-style chain guard, chrome accents, thick red-and-cream colored fenders, a motorcycle saddle, a simulated horn tank, and a Harley-Davidson insignia on the front, combined with a modern, quick-shifting, seven-speed internal drive train and custom suspension fork. Built at the company's Santa Ana, California headquarters, the bicycles retailed at approximately $2,300, were released for the Christmas market, and brought the company an estimated $2.3 million in new business.

http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/GT-Bicycles-Company-History.html

The more information I find the more it looks like the only bikes made in the USA by Schwinn during this time were Homegrown Mtn bikes and the Phantom reproduction. The US government's Office of Overseas Investment was quite busy putting American companies out of the manufaturing business into becoming China bike distributors and American workers into McDonald's jobs or no jobs at all with their incentives and tax breaks to companies that moved jobs to China.


Offline JenniferC

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Re: '90s Schwinn Cruiser reproductions
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2011, 03:36:09 AM »
This is an ad  from someone selling some boxed repop Phantoms but he has found some historical information and has copied and pasted from somewhere else but we're getting closer. The reading is difficult because of the writer's poor typing and grammar but the information sounds credible and I will double check it. The seller does state that the only American made Cruiser style bike at the time from Schwinn was the Phantom and all others were made in you know where, the cheese factory. Got to get some sleep but here's what I found and will follow up over the weekend between cutting grass and taking my motorcycle to the shop to have better tires put on and it's first check up.

As a matter of fact, all Schwinn bicycles built in 1995 had a decal on the seat tube that that identified the bike as a 1995 centennial model and had a Statement that simply read, "Schwinn the Second Century". All of this history, and the fact that the new owners of Schwinn had uncovered the original drawings for the Schwinn Phantom as they were cleaning out the original Schwinn factory in Chicago to the decision to once again build the greatest bicycle that Schwinn had ever produced to lay their claim to the next 100 years as America's bicycle company. Ted kirkbride was selected as the black Phantom project restoration manager and began the painstaking process of putting things in place ot bring this dream to reality. According to an article in the November. 1995 issue of bicycle guide; The do-it-yourself philosophy, along with The Schwinn family's legendary standard of quality, is making the phantom a realal headache to reproduce. At the time of the original Phantom, Schwinn made virtually every part for each bike in-house, they even manufactured their own seamed tubing for the frame. It was the tubing that caused the greatest problem. Kirkbride eventually went to Darryl Bassani, owner of Bassani Manufacturing in Anaheim, CA to build the frames for the Phantom Project. Basssni mfg. Is well known to the performance auto enthusiast because Bassani exhaust is probably the best and highest priced exhaust system.

http://bicycles38.110mb.com/Schwinn_Black_Phantom_100th_Anniversary_Model_New.html

Offline JenniferC

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Re: '90s Schwinn Cruiser reproductions
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2011, 04:01:51 AM »
Aerocycle Enterprises Inc. was the name of the company that produced the Phantom, the factory was in Ontario California. I just couldn't stop ;D

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/SCHWINN+SPEEDING+ON+WITH+'BACK+TO+FUTURE'+BIKE+LINE.-a083901429


The Tiffany price tag is attached to the limited number of bikes being made at a small manufacturing plant in Ontario, Calif., where only 5,000 new-edition Phantoms will be made. The high price also flows from replicating manufacturing processes from a half-century ago.

Despite the tony price tag, and perhaps because of its nostalgia appeal and classic styling, the Phantom has attracted customers like Jerry Seinfeld and Hugh Hefner according to Gregg Bagni, marketing director for Boulder, Co.-based Schwinn.

"But it's not just for the Hefners and Seinfelds of the world," he said. "It's for somebody who had a Phantom in the '50s . . . for someone whose had their life affected by a bike."

Rosebud the bicycle?

Because of the small production run, parts for the new bikes were cast in wax, similar to the way jewelry or dental fillings are made. The tool and dies vanished with the past like the Schwinn plant's Chicago area factories.

"The hardest part about this project was that it was fabricated fab·ri·cate 
tr.v. fab·ri·cat·ed, fab·ri·cat·ing, fab·ri·cates
1. To make; create.

2. To construct by combining or assembling diverse, typically standardized parts:  with 1930s technology," said Ted Kirkbride, production manager at AeroCycle Inc., the company producing the new Black Phantom for Schwinn.


Here's another article.

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19960129/NEWS/301299977&emailAFriend=1

Offline Echo_Delta

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Re: '90s Schwinn Cruiser reproductions
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2011, 07:59:00 AM »
Jennifer....  Thanks for all the work on these....  The one guy sure needed spell check....  & sentence structure check.... ::)

Thanks again for the Great job!
1939 Maroon New World
1954 Black Phantom
1955 Blue Corvette 3 speed
1961 Black Corvette 2 speed
1968 Blue Mini Twinn 2 speed (Sold)
1972 Mens Burgundy Super Sport
1972 Ladies Burgundy Super Sport
1974 Blue Paramount

Offline JenniferC

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Re: '90s Schwinn Cruiser reproductions
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2011, 11:19:13 AM »
It takes a while to track down the information because much of it gets lost to time. Sometimes you just have to turn the box over, spill it out on the floor and go through everything and piece together the story. The current foreign owners of Schwinn have no interest in publishing this type of information so it's a digging we must go. ;) 

sportyrb

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Re: '90s Schwinn Cruiser reproductions
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2011, 03:26:13 AM »
Yes Jennifer, thank you so very much for all you've dug out. It would appear then, that my new bike (the '95), was not made in the US. Now, the next step would be, where was it made? This is before the buyout by Pacific, so it was not made by them. I do remember reading that Schwinn had contracted with Giant to build bikes, and then after that, some other Chinese company when Giant decided to build their own branded bikes. What I do not know is when that changeover took place, and what the name of the other company was. I think it was something like China Bicycle, but I may not be correct on that. I do know also that later model Schwinn Cruiser bikes went to a modern, mountain bike style front end, and away from the tubular repop of the old forged fork.

It is sad that Schwinn's current owners don't mind making use of Schwinn's history to help them turn a profit, but do not seem to care about the preservation of that history.

Again thanks Jennifer.

sportyrb

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Re: '90s Schwinn Cruiser reproductions
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2011, 03:35:18 AM »
That single speed looks to be in pretty good shape paint wise. Nothing like having gears though. I got rid of all my single speeds except for my California cruiser.

Looking at your pics, I do have a question.......

What is the point of having part of the shifter or brake cable exposed? I know this was done on old Corvettes. Does anyone know why?

Yes, the single speed is in absolutely beautiful shape for a 31 year old bike, both in paint and mechanical condition, and yes, I agree, gears are nice, which is my reasoning for the '95. I'd like to check out one of those internal seven speeds as well.

The reason for the exposed areas of cable are friction reduction. My custom '97 Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike runs uncovered cable from the nose end of the frame back to where the cables leave the frame for their final derailleur/brake destinations. I've used Teflon coated cable with Teflon lined wrap to reduce friction even more. I have several little rubber "rings" that keep each cable from contacting the frame as it travels along the top tube's length.

Offline larrylowe

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Re: '90s Schwinn Cruiser reproductions
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2011, 01:09:02 PM »
Yes Jennifer, thank you so very much for all you've dug out. It would appear then, that my new bike (the '95), was not made in the US. Now, the next step would be, where was it made? This is before the buyout by Pacific, so it was not made by them. I do remember reading that Schwinn had contracted with Giant to build bikes, and then after that, some other Chinese company when Giant decided to build their own branded bikes. What I do not know is when that changeover took place, and what the name of the other company was. I think it was something like China Bicycle, but I may not be correct on that. I do know also that later model Schwinn Cruiser bikes went to a modern, mountain bike style front end, and away from the tubular repop of the old forged fork.

It is sad that Schwinn's current owners don't mind making use of Schwinn's history to help them turn a profit, but do not seem to care about the preservation of that history.

Again thanks Jennifer.
well altho what "has happened to schwinn (imo)is a story of what has happened to the country in a strange sort of way ...
as i read the history of schwinn i cannot help but feel as if this story has been repeated over and over again in our country
and for me the "name"schwinn has allways been a icon sorta .
so when the other day i finnaly went into "zumwalts" a shop i remember as a stary eyed kid and i was gazing up at a black phantom they have on the wall while chatting to the clerk ..
he says to me "schwinn isn't even a bike now just a name"
i felt as if i had some how lost that childhood experience
(i'm 52 years old)
 how ever lately i've seen the "repops"of the old mustangs (ford) challengers (dodge)
and in my heart i hope that maybe someday the name"SCHWINN" will return (like the phoenix)

in the meantime i belive it is up to folkz like you to carry on the tradition
so those in the future will know of a past where "quality" came first

Offline JenniferC

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Re: '90s Schwinn Cruiser reproductions
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2011, 09:25:09 PM »
LarryLowe, you're right, it's up to us to teach our children the meaning of quality and not just having to buy what the Wal Mart is advertising as low low prices. I've made some statements that get me in trouble about the people in our government that have sold us out. That's all I'm going to say except "be American, buy American and stop buying junk made in China".

Offline Geeeyejo

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Re: '90s Schwinn Cruiser reproductions
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2011, 05:59:00 PM »
LOL - "Budget Bicycle Center" $9999.00 for a repop Phantom!
1955 Green 3 Speed Tiger
1962 Red 3 Speed Corvette
1969 Red 5 Speed Stingray Fastback
1972 Campus Green 5 Speed Suburban
1976 Lime Green 10 Speed Custom Varsity
1979 Red Spitfire 5
1979 Suburban Brushed Steel Fixie
1994 Iron Horse MTB
1997 Gary Fisher Red HKEK
2011 Citizen Tokyo Folder
2011 Downtube 9 Folder

Offline JenniferC

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Re: '90s Schwinn Cruiser reproductions
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2022, 01:39:46 PM »
New information about the production of the 1995 Phantom reproduction has been provided to us by new member Wizbow

Quote
Gary Thams, the original owner of Arc & Spark Welding, Inc. ( Rubidoux, Riverside, CA) was contacted by Ted in 1995. Production started in late 1995, it took Gary 8 months to finish the production ending in 1996. The tube sets were produced by Bassani exhaust, the tube sets were cut and formed then sent to Arc & Spark Welding. Arc & Spark (A&S) pre-aligned the canterlever seat stays, prealigned the chain stays, tack welded, braze welded, machined the bottom bracket shell, head tube, seat tube, then final alignment was done for each frame. After welding, all joints were ground down to take off any excess brass brazing, then went onto being machined. The bottom bracket shell and head tube were chromoly investment cast manufactured in Taiwan.

After the final alignment, the frames were then shipped to Aerocycle, which then got sent out for powder coating. After powder coating they were then sent back to Aerocycle where they did the pin stripping by hand and did the final assembly. Ted had contacted a repop manufacturer who was producing repop tanks (a few flaws) in Orange County California. Ted asked for a bulk discount but was refused, he then proceeded to have a die made in Taiwan to produce exact replicas of the original tanks.

 Ted went to Budapest to produce the rims with the original Schwinn equipment. There were to be 5,000 bikes produced however that wasn't the final number. 200 of the parts were used to produce the black phantom bar stools, 8 were used to produce the 4 tandems, 300 were sent to a gas powered bike shop, 7 were used to produce the one 7-seater bike, 200 were left uncompleted. Aerocycle was only open for the production of the 1995 black phantom, after the run was done they brought all the equipment to Gary at A&S and abandoned there. He had approximately 200~300 tube sets that Aerocycle left outside and had rusted together and were eventually scrapped after Gary realized Ted abandoned everything at the A&S shop.

So only approximately 3,985 black Phantoms were produced out of the 5,000 commissioned, this isn't a hard number because the Gary did not take an accurate count of the abandoned unusable tubes. Gary sold off most of the equipment that was abandoned at his shop. He still has the welding fixtures, the punch press that Aerocycle used to stamp the serial numbers into the bottom bracket shell, and 200 of the bottom bracket shells, bridges, drop outs, kickstand brackets,  10 tubsets, and seat post clamps. Gary has the only barstool that used real schwinn handle bars, the rest were just a bent tube with grips on it. I will send another message with the pictures included.