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Schwinn Starlet Bicycle History

The Schwinn Starlet was a ladies' cruising bike made between the late 1940s and the 1970s. A modern, lower quality version of the Starlet cruiser is available in the 21st century under the Schwinn brand. Although restored vintage Starlet bikes may be worth several hundred dollars to collectors, unrestored models may be found for very little at garage sales or through classifieds.

Starlet (1949-1959)

The original Schwinn Starlet was manufactured between 1949 and 1959. This bike was intended for girls and ladies. Some of the Starlet's premium features included a horn, electric headlight and a spring fork. This was a single-speed cruising bike. At the time, the Schwinn Starlet was considered to be among the highest quality girls' cruising bikes, noted for its sturdy construction, easy control and stylish design.

Starlet II (1959-1965)

The Schwinn Starlet II featured front and rear luggage racks, chrome mudguards and thick white-wall tires. The frame was contoured to accommodate a ladies' dress or skirt. Common color schemes on the Starlet II featured a white saddle and handlebar grips with a purple, pink or blue bicycle frame. The shape of the frame was less ornate and stylized than the Starlet I or Starlet III. The Starlet II is less sought after by collectors than the Starlet I.

Starlet III (1966-1970s)

The Starlet III model is quite sought after among collectors of vintage bicycles. This model featured deluxe luggage racks on the front and rear of the bicycle. The Starlet III also featured a horn and an electric headlight. The Starlet III was manufactured in stylish colors designed to appeal to ladies and girls, such as the purplish-pink Schwinn Violet color. A restored and tuned Starlet III has a market value of roughly $300.

Modern Starlets

Schwinn-branded Starlet bikes are available for sale in the United States. However, these modern Schwinn bicycles are mass manufactured outside the U.S. and are not of the same quality and durability as the vintage Starlets. The contemporary Starlet is a ladies' cruising bike, featuring an aluminum alloy frame, a cruiser saddle and a beverage holder. This single-speed bike is available in yellow or green and retails for around $369.

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About the Author

Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.

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