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  1. #1
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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?

  2. #2
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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  3. #3
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
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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 03:59 PM.

  4. #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.

  5. #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.

  6. #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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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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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