Schwinn Racks and Carriers
Racks add style and functionality to your Schwinn bicycle. In other words, they look really cool.
Schwinn first added what they called "luggage carriers" to their bikes on early models in the nineteen thirties. From that time to the present there have been many different types of these racks and on this page I will describe and highlight the most common types of Schwinn racks.
Here is the history of the Schwinn rack..
The luggage carriers were added to the rear of certain bicycles early. One of the earliest bike models to always come with a rear rack was the Schwinn MotorBike...
Here is an early model MotorBike from the 1933 Schwinn catalog. The line drawing shows an early luggage carrier on the rear of the bicycle...
Looking through the 1930s we see more bike models being equipped with rear racks / carriers. these early rear racks were a metal frame with three bars, you can't see it very well in the earliest line drawings because they were mostly drawn from the side view.
Here is a 1934 Schwinn drawing, again of their MotorBike model that illustrates the rear rack...
unfortanely we do not have a good description of these early carriers as the early documentation usually described the equipment of the bike with two little words.... "as illustrated". in the above image you can see this -- EQUIPMENT - AS ILLUSTRATED --.
In 1935 the CyclePlane was introduced and it featured a rear "luggage carrier". The documentation described the rear rack as " -- LUGGAGE CARRIER - Welded steel, special design --". The illustration however offered a better look at the rack than earlier ones did...
In 1936 the AutoCycle was introduced and it was a hit.
This Schwinn bike model had a new type of rack. The rack is now described as a "six hole rack" but was then described simply as a "Schwinn Carrier" -- they dropped the luggage out of the name.
This new rack was listed more exactly as ... "CARRIER--SCHWINN - New design, chromium plated, streamlined, heavy duty, with high power reflective button". There was a great illustration done of the top view of the bike that shows of this rear rack well.
It is also the earliest Schwinn rack to be chromed.
Here is a color image from 1939 of the Autocycle, which featured the six hole rear rack...
the four hole rack was introduced when the Phantom came out. This illustration of a Schwinn Phantom shows off the four hole rear rack well...
The new chrome racks came out and were gorgeous. They had four little reflectors and a totally different look than any other earlier Schwinn racks. In the beautifully photographed 1959 schwinn catalog these racks were featured and shown off on several bike models. Below it is on the Schwinn Jaguar, but it was also on the Debutante, the Panther 2, and the Deluxe Hornet.
In 1965 the rear racks were designated as "deluxe" and "standard".
The deluxe of course was the one that had four reflectors on it, and the standard was a plainer relectorless version.
As you can see in the image the difference in price of the two was only 45 cents.
Today a set of those four reflectors alone will cost you up to 60 dollars.
In 1967 the Schwinn rack got a downgrade.
The new racks had only two reflectors. These were still considered the "deluxe" rack, but anyone restoring a bike know that the four reflector version is nicer.
In the 1967 Schwinn catalog the new version was displayed.
Also displayed are the lightweight carrier and baby carrier that could be folded down to act as a regular rack when needed.