Is My Bike A Prewar Schwinn??

This information applies to ballooner bikes only, 26 x 2.125 size tire. First, let's start with some general facts! On all prewar Schwinn bikes, the rear wheel exits away from the crank. The rear fenders have an unreinforced lower tab and all girls fenders were drilled for skirt lacing. On front fenders, if the bike had struts or a springer, then the front fender had one long slot per side as opposed to the two indents per side that you would find on the post war fender. Most all prewar ballooners had dogleg cranks and the chainguards clamped on as opposed to bolting on.

Now for some "first year" parts. 1936 was the first year for the Cycelock. 1937 saw the introduction of the Forebrake.


Up until 1938, the "Hockey Stick" type of guard was mostly used, when used. Most of the mens bike models came unequipped with chainguards.

Hockey Stick Guard

1938 saw the introduction of the "Knee Action Springer". Also the feather guard was put into use.

Feather Guard

1938 also saw the first cantilever frame. 1939 saw the introduction of the Cycle Truck. That year also saw the introduction of the common "DX" type of frame. In 1940, the Schwinn fender light was introduced. 1940-41 the hanging tank started to be phased out with a more permanent version replacing it.

With 1941 came the more deluxe type of Phantom chainguard.

Deluxe Chainguard

By 1946 the rear wheels exited toward the crank and the frames had the "new" welded on kickstand mount.

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