Collector Car Showcase
Collector Car Showcase

1952 BF Goodrich Schwinn Streamline Bicycle

1952/53 BF Goodrich Schwinn Streamline.  Phantom Model

A box was found in the basement of a clothing store in NYC in the late 80's.  In it was this BF Goodrich Streamline.  The bike was assembled and on display ever since. The bike had all it's original accessories, stickers, and tags. This bike is also equipped with a rare Rollfast speedometer. 

As early as the 1880's, Goodrich produced a solid band rubber tire for bicycles. In 1890, the pneumatic tire was developed, providing greater cyclist comfort, and the Goodrich company cashed in on the growing popularity of cycling. Cord tires followed, allowing faster speeds.


In the 1930's, the Schwinn bicycle company developed several innovations that made cycling more fun. However, these bikes had a higher price tag and the large chain stores refused to sell them. Schwinn offered the bikes to independent bike dealers, among them the B.F. Goodrich auto store chain. The quality of Schwinn bikes impressed the new dealers and Goodrich asked Schwinn to put the Schwinn "seal of quality" on their private label bikes.


After World War II, Schwinn decided to focus on building their own brand. At that time, about half of all Schwinn bikes were sold through specialty bike stores. Another 25 percent were sold through B.F. Goodrich chain stores. B.F. Goodrich was willing to sell Schwinn bicycles instead of their own brand. However, B.F. Goodrich discounted the bikes and refused to service them. In 1960, Schwinn eliminated B.F. Goodrich as a dealer.


In the 1950's, the Department of Justice filed antitrust cases against Schwinn, many independent distributors and B.F. Goodrich. The case lasted 10 years, although B.F. Goodrich settled out of court. Schwinn was eventually held liable for conspiracy to divide the market among its distributors.


In the 1950's, Schwinn built several bikes exclusively for sale by the B.F. Goodrich stores. These included cycle trucks used as heavy duty delivery bikes and the Whizzer, a motorized bicycle. Collectors can find these vintage bikes and many other models for sale online. Vintage B.F. Goodrich tires also are available online for people trying to restore one of these bikes.