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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 02-11-07, 07:37 AM   #1
tk4790
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Schwinns - What's the difference?

Does anyone know the big differences between department store Schwinns and LBS Schwinns? A little research shows they are made by the same company. I know Pacific Cycle bought the Schwinn line when Schwinn filed for bankrupcy a few years ago. (along with Mongoose,GT and a few other names)

So what is the big difference? Components? Less mark-up? Are they older leftover bikes found sitting around in some storage bin then shined up and put up for sale?

If it is cheaper componets would it be foolish to buy one then slowly make all the upgrades yourself? It seems to me that would be a good idea unless you have the big bucks to plop right down on a LBS bike.

Any thoughts?

-TK
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Old 02-11-07, 07:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk4790
Does anyone know the big differences between department store Schwinns and LBS Schwinns? A little research shows they are made by the same company. I know Pacific Cycle bought the Schwinn line when Schwinn filed for bankrupcy a few years ago. (along with Mongoose,GT and a few other names)

So what is the big difference? Components? Less mark-up? Are they older leftover bikes found sitting around in some storage bin then shined up and put up for sale?

If it is cheaper componets would it be foolish to buy one then slowly make all the upgrades yourself? It seems to me that would be a good idea unless you have the big bucks to plop right down on a LBS bike.

Any thoughts?

-TK
It's components, that are different as well as usually a service plan when you buy from the LBS> Most of them have a service policy of a free tuneup the first time, etc. You also have assurance that the LBS has assembled the bike and adjusted it correctly.

Purchasing the components after the purchase is also more expensive in the long run. It's kind of penny wise and dollar foolish to buy the bike if you know you are going to have to upgrade it when for a few dollars more, you cab have what you want. It's ALWAYS cheaper in the long run to buy the parts as part of the initial purchase than it is as a replacement. Henry Ford once said that he could afford ti give every adult on the planet a free car if he could be assured that they would buy their replacement parts from him (without even gouging on the replacement part price). I figured out once how much it would cost to build a 1976 Olds 98 I had part by part at the parts store price and the total came up to over $70,000.00! The same idea applies here.

The other thing is that when the LBS I deal with assembles a new bike, they always recheck the machine built wheels spoke tension ad get things right before they sell the bike. Dept Store Schwinn wheels are also lower quality than the LBS version. Costs have to be cut somewhere. If you are a Clyde, the wheels are the only thing keeping you from road rash, and I'm willing to pay a premium to assure a quality bike! I choose to pay for the best because I have issues with dropping down a hill at 50 mph on a "budget" wheelset!
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Old 02-11-07, 07:55 AM   #3
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Where can you go 50 mph?
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Old 02-11-07, 08:01 AM   #4
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Where can you go 50 mph?
In a world you call your own.

Had a co-worker who insisted he had routinely gone 60+ mph on downhills. Then again he also ran the Boston Marathon in a time which placed him in the upper 10%. And he was the best controls engineer in the corporation, in fact he was one of the best in the nation. But he was independently wealthy and just worked for the fun of it.

I wonder what ever happened to him?
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Old 02-11-07, 08:17 AM   #5
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Where can you go 50 mph?
on a 7% grade that's long enough. Tuck in tight and aero down in the drops, keep the knees in to the top tube, cranks at 3 and 9 o'clock position and slide back in the saddle and get the chin down near the stem and freefall once you can't keep up with the pedals. A 2-3 mile downhill should do it!
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Old 02-11-07, 08:18 AM   #6
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Bekologist just said that there is a spot in Seattle where it's possible to go 50 mph (Innis Arden Way)...
If the freeway was closed to cars for the day...

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Old 02-11-07, 08:21 AM   #7
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The components are obviously different, but I would also not assume that the frames are of the same quality because they are made by the same manufacturer (or probably more accurately, assembled by the same importer).
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Old 02-11-07, 09:14 AM   #8
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I have one of the 04 or 05 Alloy SS cruiser bikes from an LBS, and a ladies model Target/Wally steel cruiser. Different as night and day, except for the cranks. They're the exact same. The wally models stem could not hold the bars still no matter how tight you made it. In fact it bottomed out, and you could adjust the bars up/down by pulling or pushing. The Wally models frame isn't junk though, it's just heavy. The only complaint I have about the 05 SS is the rear hub. It's Shimano, chunky and not really good on the braking end. I wouldn't put it on the wally world bike personally. The wally bike has a better feeling, albeit cheaper hub.,,,,BD
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Old 02-11-07, 02:54 PM   #9
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Dept stores often have their own quality and content criteria for many items (including bikes), even though they may be made side-by-side with other items of a particular name-brand.

This is a good article describing how Snapper ended its relationship with Wal-Mart, and why. Makes you wonder what other "name-brand" goods aren't the same there as they may be elsewhere.

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/...n_snapper.html
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Old 02-12-07, 01:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garandman
Where can you go 50 mph?
Go west 130miles! Seriously in the Berkshires there's some Hills that are long and steep. I had an old Schwinn MTB with a cycle computer and the highest speed I ever reached was 45mph in the DAR state park. So 50mph is acheivable on bike (especially a skinny tired one). Really good cycling roads in that area, if you get the chance to go out that way some weekend.

When I got to college in FLA I met a girl that claimed to be a Mtn BIker who was from Boston (Beverly) and I gave her a hard time about there not being any Mtns in Boston .
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Old 02-18-07, 12:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Garandman
Where can you go 50 mph?
I've hit 48.8 on CT rt 67 N from Rt 133 to Rt 202 in Bridgewater/New Milford. Not 50 mph, but pretty close, and not all that steep a hill.
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Old 02-18-07, 09:08 PM   #12
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Where can you go 50 mph?
Fifty six down Mt. Mitchel in western North Carolina a number of years ago on a 84 Trek set up for touring.
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