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The History of the Schwinn Scrambler, The first mass produced BMX bike in 1975
Ken Pliska
post Oct 14 2008, 12:51 PM
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When Schwinn introduced the Stingray in 1963, it paved the way for the modern BMX bikes. It was Schwinn that was the first to mass produce BMX specific bikes on a grand scale in 1975 with the release of the Schwinn Scrambler.

(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scrambler_1975_1a.JPG)

The 1975 Scrambler came with stout HD S-2 Steel Wheels wrapped with 20"x2.125" Aggressor MX tires, Diamond tread rubber pedals, Hunt Wilde "Ribbed" Grips, Black Ashtabula Stem, Chrome Ashtabula Cranks, Chrome Varsity 39 tooth sprocket, Ashtabula Bladed forks and the Classic Schwinn "Banana" Seat in Black.

(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/1975_Scrambler_1.JPG)


The Scrambler was a beefed up Stingray frame with extra welds at a few points on the cantilever portion of the top tube. In 1975, the chainguard was a bolt on style that was just like that of the Schwinn Varsity 10 speed except painted Black (Scramblers used the exact same 39 tooth steel front sprocket of the Varsity).

(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scrambler_Bars_1.JPG)
For the early 1975 model Scramblers, the kickstand was a bolt on type. The handle bar that would become the industry standard for years to come, was simply a Stingray bar (rise, sweep, and complete measurements) with a crossbar welded in for strength. The crossbar was flattened at the ends so that the single stem produced by Ashtabula would fit easily over it during installation. Scrambler frames, like the Stingrays they evolved from, ran 13/16" seatposts.

(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scrambler_Sprocket_1.JPG)

The 1975 International Bicycle Show (that would later evolve into Interbike) featured a Schwinn display with several prototype (Diamond Shaped) straight tube frames. They used Chromoly tubing and borrowed the huge seat tube from the Schwinn Paramount line of high end road race bikes. By early 1976, these were released as Schwinn's top of the line race frames, the Scrambler Competition Model.

These are two of the display frames from the 1975 Schwinn Display. Note that they are both longer than the production Schwinn Scrambler Competition Model frames and both of these have bolt on kickstand mounts with no chainguard tabs.

(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scrambler_Comp_Proto_1a.JPG)

This one isn't even split at the top of the seat tube (to allow clamp down on the post). Serious prototypes here.

(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scrambler_Comp_Proto_2a.JPG)

May 1976 Production Scrambler Competition Model.
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Comp_Blue.JPG)

1976 Schwinn Scrambler (Stingray type)
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scramber_1976_1a.JPG)

More to follow.........

This post has been edited by Ken Pliska: Oct 14 2008, 01:57 PM
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Ken Pliska
post Oct 14 2008, 01:02 PM
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The Scrambler Competition Model would grow longer and the finish would become key as it morphed into the Flagship of the Schwinn BMX line, the Schwinn Sting model.

1977 Scrambler Competition Model
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/1977_Schwinn_Comp_Scrambler_1.JPG)

(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/1977_Schwinn_Comp_Scrambler_2.JPG)

1982 Schwinn Sting
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Sting_1a.JPG)

The Mag Scrambler (a frame with the Stingray rear end and a diamond front end) started as a mid range model bike (between the Stingray style Scrambler and the Scrambler Competition Model). It was also offered in a less expensive model with Steel Wheels and called the Scrambler 36-36 (36 spokes per wheel).

1977 Mag Scrambler Frame
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/1977_Scrambler_36_36_Frame_1.JPG)

Most Mag Scramblers came with the original nylon-zytel Skyway Tuff Wheels with Bendix 76 rear hub. In Schwinn Brochures and Catalogs from the era, BMX Products Motomags and Lester Mags were also offered. In later years, they would come with the Skyway Tuff II models with metal hubs.

1978 Mag Scrambler
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/1978_Mag_Scrambler_Blue_1.JPG)

1977 Scrambler Competition Model
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Comp_Black.JPG)

1978 Mag Scrambler
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Mag_Scrambler_Black.JPG)

Late 1979 Mag Scrambler SX-100
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/SX_100_1.JPG)

The reverse dropout (stingray type rear end) Mag Scramblers, Phantom Scramblers and Scrambler 36-36 models would be phased out by then end of the decade and would receive a gusset in the front of the triangle and rear facing dropouts. The new frames would be the SX line. The Mag Scrambler SX-100 would be a hot seller. The SX-500 and SX-1000 were also models of note. The SX-1000 was basically a Scrambler Competition Model with a gusset added. By this time, there were so many players in the BMX frame market that Schwinn never got back to the market dominance they enjoyed in the beginning.
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Ken Pliska
post Oct 14 2008, 01:08 PM
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1977 Scramblers were available in a single saddle version
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/1977_Scrambler_Grey_2.JPG)

1978 Scrambler
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/1978_Scrambler_Grey_1.JPG)

Mini Scrambler 16" wheels
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Mini_Scrambler_1.JPG)

1978 Scrambler
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Yellow_Scrambler_1.JPG)

Mini Scrambler SX-style
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Mini_Scrambler.JPG)


(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Mini_Scrambler_Blue_1.JPG)
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Ken Pliska
post Oct 14 2008, 01:13 PM
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More shots of the 1975 Scrambler Competition Model prototypes from the Schwinn Display

(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scrambler_Comp_Proto_1b.JPG)


(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scrambler_Comp_Proto_1c.JPG)


(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scrambler_Comp_Proto_1d.JPG)


(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scrambler_Comp_Proto_2b.JPG)


(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scrambler_Comp_Proto_2c.JPG)


No slit for the clampdown of seatpost
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scrambler_Comp_Proto_2d.JPG)

bolt on kickstand mount
(IMG:http://images.vintagebmx.com/web_pages/KenPliska/Scrambler_Comp_Proto_2e.JPG)
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Ted Carl
post Oct 14 2008, 01:17 PM
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Most excellent thread!

I can't wait to get a few more minutes to go through the morph in more detail!

Most excellent thread!

I can't wait to get a few more minutes to go through the morph in more detail!
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Paul Springer
post Oct 14 2008, 01:25 PM
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Great thread Ken, I look forward to seeing it grow with more pictures and details.

I know Ted will have a lot to add to this as well...

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/good2.gif)
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TONE
post Oct 14 2008, 01:26 PM
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thanks for taking the time to post all this ken.

great info in there!
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JAY MADDEN
post Oct 14 2008, 06:17 PM
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I cant see the pics?......bummin!!!!


nevermind i see 'em now.

This post has been edited by JAY MADDEN: Oct 14 2008, 06:21 PM
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MikeCarruth
post Oct 14 2008, 06:32 PM
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This is a first! I am certifying this thread as TOF based on it's merits and how core it is to the community.

This thread has been certified an official VintageBMX "Topic On Fire," earning Ken Pliska a limited edition T-Shirt for starting the thread.
(IMG:http://www.fiodan.com/vintage/vbmx_topic_on_fire.jpg)

Please PM with the following info:

Size: M, L, XL, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X, 6X
Screen Name (I know, I have it already, but helps me keep track)
Name:
Shipping Address
City, State Zip

Please also include a link to the thread in the PM


Congrats on starting a thread that is truly a "Best Of in the making!" (once we get that tech going!)

Best,

M
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jerry a hutcher
post Oct 14 2008, 07:13 PM
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Very worthy of a shirt for sure ...this thread is roots !!prduction roots! ..thank you ken beautiful bikes and valuable info!
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