Peddle back in time with these groovy Schwinn catalog spreads from the 1970s

The bicycle seller perfectly captured the era of bellbottoms, banana seats and BMX.

They don't make bicycles quite like they used to. Oh, how we miss the raised handle bars, tassles, banana seats, shrunken front wheels, headlights and stick shifts. No brand dominated the bike market of the 20th century quite like Schwinn. Finding a gleaming red Sting Ray under the Christmas tree was a highlight of your entire youth.

Thankfully, the website Schwinn Cruisers has faithfully preserved the company's catalogs of the past. Here are some of our favorite photos from 1970s Schwinn brochures. Which bike did you have?

Remember when bicycle salesmen were like car dealers? They gave you handy advice like, "Try not to get your bell-bottoms jammed in the gears."


With their tiny front wheels, the Schwinn Krates were lowriders for middle-schoolers. The perfect ride for cruising Old McDonald's Farm.


What had more groovy engineering and design: this Schwinn Manta Ray or that boy's hair?


A pilot watching his stewardess use an Exerciser inside a 747 — officially the most early-'70s image on record.

Two guys with tandem bicycles. Maybe they should team up?
Image: Schwinn Cruisers


Schwinn offered fetching rides for the silver set, too.


This sweet Hurricane came with the "Positron II Stik-Shift" gear shifter in '79.


The Grey Ghost Krate had to be the coolest of the color options.

The 1970s triathlon: biking, swimming and flirting.
Image: Schwinn Cruisers


Schwinn was all over the rising BMX craze with its Phantom® Scrambler®.


Two foldable Run-A-Bouts in the trunk: the hybrid vehicle of 1970.


Schwinn had something for the entire family, including a firm handshake for pop.

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