1959 was the last year for the Schwinn Phantom, the highest grade balloon tire bicycle sold by Schwinn since 1949. Middleweight bicycles were now the hot thing, so balloon tire bicycles were out. The ’59 Phantom was a bit different from earlier models. Most notable is the lack of a stop-light/tail-light that was mounted under the carrier, lack of full size rear reflector with chrome housing, vinyl seat cover (instead of leather), newer style springer fork (of cheaper construction) without a locking mechanism, smaller sprocket like the ones used on Schwinn’s middleweight bikes, along with bow-pedals (instead of deluxe A.S. pedals) and modern decals on the tank and chain-guard. While still a cool bike, the ’59 was downgraded a bit and just not as nice as earlier models. It’s probably safe to assume that Schwinn wanted to leave the balloon-tire Phantom behind, so that the newest deluxe model, the Jaguar could be the bike that boys would dream of owning.
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