Dating your Frame

DATING YOUR FRAME

The serial number can be used to date your frame as the year of the build is part of the value.

The serial number on the Schwinn Sting can be found on the left rear dropout.  The code will be 7 characters long and will be in the format of A#TO###.

As a note, I have seen some variations with the serial number.  I have a 1979 black Sting that has a “T” but no “O” in the code.  I also have a chrome 1979 that has no month of production value.  I have also been told that some of the Black frames (which are warranty replacements) had no serial numbers at all which given the fact that I have one with a serial number is not completely accurate. 

The Normal Serial Number Example

Month of Production Missing Example – Hidden by brazing?

“O” Missing Example on Black Frame

Tig Sting  (see Tig Sting section of frame page).  All of these unique Sting’s had a serial number in the format of AT300XXX with the XXX representing numbers 1-100. 

Information and photos courtesy of Matthew Maclean

Decoding a Serial Number – keeping in mind the exceptions mentioned above

The first character is the month of production:< A=January
B=February
C=March
D=April
E=May
F=June
G=July
H=August
I=September
J=October
K=November
L=December

The second character is the year of the frame
9=1979
0=1980
1=1981
2=1982
3=1983

The Third and Fourth Characters will always be TO

TO is what really identifies your bike as a Sting – it stands for Tri-Oval and the Sting was Schwinn’s only bike to be made with Tri-Oval tubing.  As mentioned above, some bikes may be missing the “O”.

The fifth through seventh characters represent the number of the frame from a production standpoint for a given month. 

So, to decoding the serial number F1TO259 would tell you that this frame was built in June of 1981 – that it is a Sting and that it was the 259th frame built during the month.