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Old 07-14-05, 01:27 PM   #1
Torellian
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Schwinn any good?

I just went to a major sporting goods store and was looking at their bicycles. In the mountain bike department, they had a Schwinn MTB that regularly cost about $450, and was on sale for $250. It had Alivio deraileurs. I asked a salesman, about why it was so low, and we got into a discussion about the quality of the different brands of bikes, when he told me that Schwinn, quality wise, was "on the way out".

I would like to buy this bike, as it seems to be a great deal, but is Schwinn really going downhill as a company, and is their quality lacking now?
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Old 07-14-05, 01:32 PM   #2
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Well a few years ago Schwinn was bought out by Pacific Cycles, the people who make almost all of the dept store bikes out there. So Schwinn is no longer the all american company it was. Kind of a shame i think. But yea they are not producing the quality steeds they used to.
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Old 07-14-05, 02:38 PM   #3
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I would not necessarily count Schwinn out. My wife owns a 2001 Mesa GSX mountain bike. We absolutely love it (and I own/have owned some very high end bikes) . My buddy in phoenix has a '99-00 schwinn high plains mountain bike with alivio on it. We swapped out the rigid fork for a cheap manitou and rode the CRAP/SNOT/HECK out of it on really rough trails for 2 years. It never had a single problem (we did ruin a BB but that is to be expected) and shifted as smoothly as my older XT stuff. It also had no problem keeping up with the higher end bikes in the group (Specialized FSR, Cannondales, Ellseworth, Kona, etc). It is still going strong and is one of my favorite rides simply because it is so reliable.

The road bikes (fast tracks) have been rated again and again as some of the best values out there. The reviewers claim they deliver sport/race responsiveness without a high price tag.

I did a century the other day and was riding with the wife of the owner of an LBS. She could have any bike she wanted and yet she was on a schwinn fastback (ultegra equipped). She said she absolutely loved it and hoped her husband would not sell it like he has all her other bikes. It should be noted that my wife's mesa GSX USED to belong to her; so it was not her first schwinn.

I am not sure what has happened in the last couple of years, but I think Schwinns can be some of the best values around (like KHS, Raleigh, etc) because they do not have the brand loyalty that other brands have. People tend to trade out of their schwinns out of pride, not because it is not enough bike. Same with the parts group. If you are racing, that is one thing, but I can personally testify that Alivio will take a VERY VERY severe beating again and again and still work great.

It is about weight, price, and pride. In my opinion, schwinn is great stuff. Again, I am not sure about the most recent stuff, but I would personally not shy away from a $250 Schwinn with Alivio on it.

Also, remember that the only thing on the bike that is "Schwinn" is the frame. Everything else is an add-on. The frame must simply fit well and be light/rugged enough to do the job. Lots of people say to buy the best frame you can and then get better components as they wear out. I don't buy it. It is usually more expensive to move up a single componenet level than it is to buy a nice used frame. There are certainly quality differences between frame makers, but at the low-mid range, the real value of a bike is in its component group, not the frame, in my opinion.

One more thing; "Regular price" means very little compared to the asking price of an item. I have seen more than one LBS run better and better sales simply by escalating the "regular price" so that the asking price seemed like a better and better deal. FYI: My wife's bike was used (1 year) and had Deore on it. We payed $425 for it and felt like we got a great deal in 2002. The real question is "Is the bike worth $250 to you".

Last edited by Sawtooth; 07-14-05 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 07-14-05, 08:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torellian
I just went to a major sporting goods store and was looking at their bicycles. In the mountain bike department, they had a Schwinn MTB that regularly cost about $450, and was on sale for $250. It had Alivio deraileurs. I asked a salesman, about why it was so low, and we got into a discussion about the quality of the different brands of bikes, when he told me that Schwinn, quality wise, was "on the way out".

I would like to buy this bike, as it seems to be a great deal, but is Schwinn really going downhill as a company, and is their quality lacking now?

May I ask which local major sporting goods store that was? Thanks.
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Old 07-15-05, 12:53 PM   #5
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t-cycle:

Sure! The store is Scheels All-Sports. I didn't note which Schwinn model the bike was (didn't sleep previous night; wasn't thinking straight).

I'll take another look at it. A $250 bike with Alivio components on it just seems like quite a deal.

Sawtooth:

I will certainly consider what you said. After getting my $350 Specialized bike with Acera components stoen, and now seeing a Schwinn $250 bike with Alivio, well, it makes me think maybe I overpaid for that Specialized, but I feel like there's just something I'm missing.
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Old 07-16-05, 01:50 PM   #6
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Thanks Torellian. Looks like Scheels All-Sports is only in the Midwest. I found a GT Avalanche 2.0 mountain bike with an Alivio rear derailleur on Ebay. (GT is now owned by the same company as Schwinn, et.al.) The "Buy Now Price" is $229! Since I live in NJ, I drove to her store today to pick up the bike and save shipping.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=98083

GT triple triangle 6061 butted aluminum hardtail frame w/ dirt worthy geometry, zero stack headset, disc mounts and replaceable hanger. RockShox Judy TT fork w/ preload adjustment, 80mm travel. Shimano 24 speed drive train w/ Alivio rear derailleur; EF-29 shifters; TruVativ Iso-Flow crankset Tektro alloy linear pull brakes. Alloy ATB rims, 8 spd cassette rear hub; alloy micro adjust post; 20mm rise bars. Tiogra Factory Extreme / Factory XC 1.95" tires. Quick release seat and wheels. Blue and black color.
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Old 07-16-05, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawtooth
I would not necessarily count Schwinn out. My wife owns a 2001 Mesa GSX mountain bike. We absolutely love it (and I own/have owned some very high end bikes) . My buddy in phoenix has a '99-00 schwinn high plains mountain bike with alivio on it. We swapped out the rigid fork for a cheap manitou and rode the CRAP/SNOT/HECK out of it on really rough trails for 2 years. It never had a single problem (we did ruin a BB but that is to be expected) and shifted as smoothly as my older XT stuff. It also had no problem keeping up with the higher end bikes in the group (Specialized FSR, Cannondales, Ellseworth, Kona, etc). It is still going strong and is one of my favorite rides simply because it is so reliable.
<cut>
I think the quality has gone down considerably in the past 3-4 years. Schwinn seems to be focusing on the Walmart type market now. I must admit that their single speed cruisers are still good bargains. I bought one at WM and one at the Sports Authority and they are both fine.
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Old 04-24-15, 09:00 PM   #8
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Not knowing squat about bikes and just getting back in to it I blindly bought two Schwinns from Amazon.com for my wife and I.. They are the network 3.0 bikes, 700c wheels, hybrid frames, suspension seat post and forks. V-brakes, shimano derailleurs etc. I thought they seemed a little "cheap" when assembling them but we had a 20% off deal on the $200.00 price per bike. No tax, no shipping so the bikes cost $160.00 each. I think we got a pretty good deal on entry level bikes. I was so uninformed I thought I was really a high roller getting ALUMINUM frames.. LOL.. Oh well, for right now I'm riding the wheels off of mine and loving every minute of it. They shift great, are smooth and quiet. They look pretty cool too !... I keep wondering why the dedicated riders keep giving me dirty looks though.
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Old 04-25-15, 09:54 AM   #9
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Component heirarchy for Shimano

Here's a list of Shimano MTB components in order of quality (and price of course) Sram and Shimano Component Rankings for Mountain Bikers. Alivo is at the very bottom of the list. Schwinn certainly is not on the way out as Pacific Cycle (Dorel Industries) is the largest US importer of bicycles from China. Also ask about the weight of the bike. Lots of the entry level bikes are OBESE! I'd never buy anything weighing over 30 pounds in a road bike or MTB. Avoid those with cheap suspensions over ones with solid front forks. They don't make the bike much more comfortable to ride, add extra weight, and require the manufacturer to cut costs elsewhere on the bike where better components really count.

If you have never ridden a very light bike with fine components you will not understand why so many avid cyclists turn their nose up at entry level bikes. It is not just snobbery. If you check the listing of bikes I own you will see two 20+ year old mountain bikes listed. One has Shimano Deore and the other Shimano STX components. These bikes are still working perfectly and I have never replaced drive train components on either one. They also don't require a lot of adjusting to make them work. That's what you get with quality components. Both were purchased used at a significant discount over new - the Cannondale SM800 was a steal at $20. It is not easy to find decent used bikes that fit and are priced reasonably but it is worth the effort to try finding one before you buy a new entry level bike.

You can read about Schwinn, its bankruptcy in 2001, and subsequent purchase of the brand name by Pacific Cycles Schwinn Bicycle Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia It wasn't much of a surprise as Schwinn had been on the decline since about 1970.
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Old 04-25-15, 10:07 AM   #10
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I think Shwinn is suffering from the 'WalMArt Syndrome' Just like Diamondback got the image of being 'Chepo bikes' because they didn't sell in boutique shops, rather in Box Stores like REI and Dicks.

Both of my bikes are Diamondback. I bought a 2006 DB Response Sport back in 2007 after looking at Specialized hardatails that were 250.00 more. The DB had Alivio and the Specialized had a suntour fork and Acera. I liked the mean loook pf the Diamond back, plus it had Alivio plus it was 250 less ...so that is what I bought. They had it in a Medium frame which felt perfect to me...I brought my tools and adjusted everything myself that day before I bought it. Still ride it.

My other bike is a DB Insight.... Well built and stout, looks nice, but not what I expected in a more road bike, bike....I feel faster on my MT bike, but I guess it's the gearing...way taller on the Insight plus it's just 7 speed out back. It's a good bike to get around town and light commutes which I am doing now. I am however, looking to get into a dedicated road bike...Currently looking in the 600 to 1,200 range in price..... Like An Entry Level Allez or something.... whatever I sit on and feels right, plus I'm getting a custom fit job so I know I have the right frame. I good at guessing myself, but it would be nice to have a pro recommendation to confirm my guess.
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Old 04-25-15, 10:08 AM   #11
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So if it were me, and I liked the Shwinn, felt right and rode nice....with the Alivio and that sweet price....I'd go for it.
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Old 04-25-15, 11:13 AM   #12
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What are you trying to accomplish? That's the question that you need to answer for yourself.

The bike that you are asking about is a $250.00 bike. It's not going to impress the bike snobs. The question is: Will it get you around and do what you want it to do?

I don't pay too much attention to bicycle brand names anymore. At the low end, most of the bike frames are made in the same generic factories and painted to the marketers' specifications. In other words, within a style, there isn't much difference that I can see.
Now lets talk about components. Alivio is in the MIDDLE of the Shimano component group hierarchy. There are lots and lots of bicycles running around town that have ultra cheap Shimano Tourney derailleurs. Know what ? They work. Maybe not as crisply as the high end stuff, but they really will get you by. Alivio derailleurs will get you by a little bit better.

Initial set up, sizing, and service. If you don't feel prepared to do these things for yourself, here's where a bike shop bike might be an advantage.

If you are looking for a bike to putts around town or exercise on the bike trails, and you are comfortable with the $250.00 price range, that bike should service you well.
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Old 05-01-15, 09:54 PM   #13
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Schwinns are probably the best quality of any of the dept. store brands. They are the only brand (that I'm aware of) that have had their hubs, bottom brackets, headsets, and shifting pre-adjusted prior to shipping, which is good since the people who generally do the bike building at dept. stores are not too concerned with precision bike builds. Anyway, Schwinn may be "on the way out" so to say, especially in the mountain bike category, but they still offer pretty decent stuff for the casual cyclist. Proper fit and frame size is a critical factor to consider when purchasing a bike, so find out if the Schwinn you're looking at is available in your size. I think the current Schwinn MTB's are only made in one or two sizes.
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Old 05-03-15, 04:34 PM   #14
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Zombie thread alert- that first post is 10 years old, so he's probably already made his bicycle decision by now.
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Old 05-03-15, 09:07 PM   #15
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Only thing the same about todays Schwinn compared to the real American company is the name. Todays Schwinns are made by and Asian company ,some are very poor quality, others are somewhat better,

You want real American made Schwinn quality you can still get it at Shinola in Detroit. The frames are made in Waterford Wisconsin by Richard Schwinn and are sold under the Shinola name. The entry level model is 1900 dollars the top of the line model which is so so cool is 3200 bucks.
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Old 05-03-15, 09:23 PM   #16
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Just to clarify... Waterford Precision Cycles does frames for brands like Shinola and Milwaukee Cycle Co, but you can also get a Waterford or Gunnar bike directly from Waterford Precision Cycles.
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Old 05-03-15, 10:29 PM   #17
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New thread begins here.
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Old 05-04-15, 01:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
Here's a list of Shimano MTB components in order of quality (and price of course) Sram and Shimano Component Rankings for Mountain Bikers. Alivo is at the very bottom of the list.
Shimano, of course, has components that didn't make the list. For example I purchased a bike with a RD-TZ31 derailleur, which is about a half a dozen steps below Alivo. Tourney???

Anyway, what remains of Schwinn is little more than a brand name, which is being capitalized on by importers.

The classic Schwinns from the 70's and 80's... well, they were robust, but not necessarily "quality". And not realizing this distinction in part contributed to the company's downfall.

Anyway, I'd encourage judging the bike for what it is, and not for the brand name. As mentioned, there is a lot more to a bike than just the frame.
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