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  1. #1
    Senior Member WilliamK1974's Avatar
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    Looked at a Schwinn Trail Way today.

    Let me preface this by saying that I'm usually an LBS kind of person. I have one MTB that came from JCPenney about 12 years ago, and part of why I bought it was because I worked there and got a discount. To its credit, it's still chugging along. My Schwinn came from an LBS about 18 years ago, and it too still has many miles left on it. So, I've had good experiences both ways. The Penney's bike needed adjustments that had already been done on the Schwinn, but I knew how to do them and wasn't bothered.

    Well, while shopping at Target today, I looked at their bikes out of curiosity. As I expected, there were alot of MTBs and a couple of hybrids and road bikes. One of the hybrids caught my eye. It was the Schwinn Trail Way, in 700c with 21 speeds. The frame was aluminum and the brakes were like the ones on my wife's GT Outpost Trail. I can't remember the name of them. The front suspension looked identical to the one I saw on a Giant at the LBS. Anyhow, the bike was priced at $199 and looked like it had been in the rack for awhile, not that it matters.

    I can't spend $600+ for any kind of bike. I shouldn't even put something like that on a credit card. Even if I had that kind of money I'm a cheapskate and would hesitate to spend it. This Trail Way is all but the peak of anything I could spend for a bike in the near future, and it would be a short time in the future before I could get it anyway.

    Now, the big question is, would this bike be suitable for the kind of trail riding I like to do? We have a park nearby with a 2-mile gravelled MUP that connects to another, longer path, which in the next two years will be connected to our local Riverwalk, which is paved. The bike information package said it was suitable for light trail riding, which to me sounds like that type of trail. Small and large gravel mixed with dirt. Having 21 speeds might make for a better commute-type ride on the roads than the 12 on the old Schwinn, and would save some wear and tear on it as well.

    I know this thread will probably draw out everyone who claims to dislike discount bikes but has never had one. They don't seem to realize that not all of us can go the pricey route. An earlier thread on the GMC Denali showed that a well-used Denali could go the distance with proper maintenance and adjustment, so I could see this bike possibly able to do the same thing. I almost wish I could run back to Target and grab it before they close.

    Thank you,
    -Bill

  2. #2
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    That looks fairly much like a rehash of the Schwinn Sierra 700 that I'm currently pushing around town, only the Trail Way is carrying a suspension fork where the Sierra has a rigid. I really like the Sierra for what I'm doing with it. Tho' I ditched that big old sprung gel saddle for a Bontrager MTB saddle. Much more comfortable.

    I'd say that will do just fine for what you want.

    Now haul yer bunz back to the store an' buy dat thang!

  3. #3
    Golden Member JR97's Avatar
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    I bought my schwinn from target. I've had no problems with it and I've ridden it daily for about 4 months now. Mine is the s60 with the full suspension. I've had it off road and it's been great. I've more than gotten my money out of it and now I'm just riding on house money. The money I've saved commuting on it easily paid it off. Plus I'm in better shape than ever.

    I've read it every where that a wally world bike is trash, but the reality is $200 gets you a lot of bike if you shop right. Around here the only used bikes I could find in the sub $250 range were trashed or were older than the dirt they were caked with. So I took a gamble on the target bike and I couldn't be happier with what I spent.

    For the riding you described I think you'lll be in good shape. I did that kind of riding for a whole year on a Next POS and never had any issues. My wife also on her $49 Mt POS wally world jobber and no probs. I do that type of riding on my 30 mile rt commute on my schwinn and it's great. My commute buddy does it on a rigid fork hard tail with no probs and he's pushing 275 lbs. So unless you start grinding rails and dropping cliffs, I think you'll be ok.

  4. #4
    Senior Member WilliamK1974's Avatar
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    This forum seems more tolerant of cheaper bikes, but CigTech got alot of "That bike's a POS" just because it was from WalMart when he reviewed that Denali. There's another bicycling forum out there that gets pretty nasty about almost everything.

    I forgot to mention in my OP that the MTB from Penney's is a Huffy Jackal. It was the first bike I bought with my own money, and I was about 19 or 20 at the time. I've just given it a cleaning and regreasing. The wheels aren't quite true, but with the riding I do, they don't need to be. It's been all kinds of places and has some scratches to prove it. The first day I had it, I got it all together and adjusted, and took it out on a muddy, gravel-strewn trail. It got plenty of paint scratches that day. I just noticed that one of the front sprokets is bent, but not enough to render it useless. I could drop some dough and give it some upgrades, but it would be fixing something that's not broken. We took it out on a 7.7 mile ride yesterday with everything from smooth gravel to rough terrain, and it did just fine.

    Finding used bikes around here is hard, no matter the price range. I've seen a few that were very high-end and cost more used than some of the bikes at the LBS do new. Some might have had US-built frames, but I'd wager that most came from the same factories that build Giants and the bikes seen at the discount stores.

    I'm glad to hear that y'all have had good experiences with your Target and Wally World bikes. On that subject, have you seen the Schwinn at WM with a carbon fiber frame? It's not too cheap at $450, but seems interesting. I'd like it to have 21-spds, but that's just personal. I've gotta get some money before I can hustle back to Target and get the Schwinn. If it disappears, the store manager is a family friend and could probably get me another one.

    Thanks for your advice so far. I really appreciate it.

    -Bill

  5. #5
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WilliamK1974
    This forum seems more tolerant of cheaper bikes, but CigTech got alot of "That bike's a POS" just because it was from WalMart when he reviewed that Denali. There's another bicycling forum out there that gets pretty nasty about almost everything.

    I forgot to mention in my OP that the MTB from Penney's is a Huffy Jackal. It was the first bike I bought with my own money, and I was about 19 or 20 at the time. I've just given it a cleaning and regreasing. The wheels aren't quite true, but with the riding I do, they don't need to be. It's been all kinds of places and has some scratches to prove it. The first day I had it, I got it all together and adjusted, and took it out on a muddy, gravel-strewn trail. It got plenty of paint scratches that day. I just noticed that one of the front sprokets is bent, but not enough to render it useless. I could drop some dough and give it some upgrades, but it would be fixing something that's not broken. We took it out on a 7.7 mile ride yesterday with everything from smooth gravel to rough terrain, and it did just fine.

    Finding used bikes around here is hard, no matter the price range. I've seen a few that were very high-end and cost more used than some of the bikes at the LBS do new. Some might have had US-built frames, but I'd wager that most came from the same factories that build Giants and the bikes seen at the discount stores.

    I'm glad to hear that y'all have had good experiences with your Target and Wally World bikes. On that subject, have you seen the Schwinn at WM with a carbon fiber frame? It's not too cheap at $450, but seems interesting. I'd like it to have 21-spds, but that's just personal. I've gotta get some money before I can hustle back to Target and get the Schwinn. If it disappears, the store manager is a family friend and could probably get me another one.

    Thanks for your advice so far. I really appreciate it.

    -Bill
    If it's a choice between riding and not riding, go for the bike! Two things to consider:

    1. One of the big problem with discount store bikes is that they assembled incorrectly. Sometimes the assembly just looks funny, but sometimes they're set up so that they're dangerous to ride. You may want to reassemble it yourself before you ride it.

    2. Your $200 might be better spent on something used. Check your local classifieds before you pull the trigger. You'd be surprised at what you can find. In fact there's a store where I live that specializes in recycled bikes. You can get a fantastic rig for about $220.

  6. #6
    Senior Member WilliamK1974's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1k1ng1001
    If it's a choice between riding and not riding, go for the bike! Two things to consider:
    It's not the choice between riding and not. I'm just trying to think ahead to the time when my MTB might bite the dust, and am trying to preserve my Schwinn a bit even though it's not really a collectors item. I'm just attached to it for sentimental reasons. It was the last big present my grandfather gave me before he started getting sick.

    1. One of the big problem with discount store bikes is that they assembled incorrectly. Sometimes the assembly just looks funny, but sometimes they're set up so that they're dangerous to ride. You may want to reassemble it yourself before you ride it.
    Yeah, I could feel that the brakes and saddle QR would need adjustment before a ride, and assumed that the derailleurs would need some work as well.

    2. Your $200 might be better spent on something used. Check your local classifieds before you pull the trigger. You'd be surprised at what you can find. In fact there's a store where I live that specializes in recycled bikes. You can get a fantastic rig for about $220.
    Believe me, I've looked in the classifieds and craigslist, and there's not much there. There is a nearby LBS that specializes in used gear. He's got a couple of older classics I'd like, but for different reasons. The drawback to buying anything used is that there's rarely any warranty protection. Even if it's not a top-shelf bike, warranties and return policies can be helpful in the event of trouble.

    Thank you,
    -Bill

  7. #7
    Golden Member JR97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1k1ng1001
    If it's a choice between riding and not riding, go for the bike! Two things to consider:

    1. One of the big problem with discount store bikes is that they assembled incorrectly. Sometimes the assembly just looks funny, but sometimes they're set up so that they're dangerous to ride. You may want to reassemble it yourself before you ride it.

    2. Your $200 might be better spent on something used. Check your local classifieds before you pull the trigger. You'd be surprised at what you can find. In fact there's a store where I live that specializes in recycled bikes. You can get a fantastic rig for about $220.
    One of the first questions I asked when I was looking at my Schwinn at Target was who did the assembly. Apparently, at least around here, Target contracted with a professional assembler to assemble all of their bikes in the area. Whether that means some kid with a box of wrenches or a real "pro", I don't know. But the assembly on mine was top notch. Compared to my wife's and my wally world bikes that needed a lot of work just to get them out of the driveway.

    Can you give me the name of that recycler? I wonder if they'd ship.
    The local classified and craigslist scene is pretty hit and miss in my area. The good stuff is gone fast. The rest is either way out of my range or just more of the same stuff I already have. The primary reason I went with the target bike was the "need it now" factor. But now that I've got a ride, I've got a little more time to get the next one. So the name of that recycler would be great.

  8. #8
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR97
    Can you give me the name of that recycler? I wonder if they'd ship.
    The local classified and craigslist scene is pretty hit and miss in my area. The good stuff is gone fast. The rest is either way out of my range or just more of the same stuff I already have. The primary reason I went with the target bike was the "need it now" factor. But now that I've got a ride, I've got a little more time to get the next one. So the name of that recycler would be great.
    I'd be happy to:

    http://www.freezethaw.com/

  9. #9
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    I know that Schwinn has changed ownership a few times since the original USA owners. Now, of course, they are made in China.

    Also, the Schwinn of yesteryear that was sold only to excusive Schwinn approved LBS has now moved on to selling them at Target.

    HOWEVER, I have to say that the Schwinn bikes I have seen are considerably better designed and better made than the typical Chinese wobblers that you see at Walmart or some of the other discount stores.

    The neighbor kid has one. He is a real bicycle enthusiast and takes great care of his bikes. I help him do maintanance on his bikes including his Schwinn. The bike is a nice bike and a very good bike for the money.

    In my opinion, Schwinn still offers a good value package tucked in-between the typical cheap discount store wobblers and the expensive high end LBS rigs.
    Mike

  10. #10
    Senior Member WilliamK1974's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike
    I know that Schwinn has changed ownership a few times since the original USA owners. Now, of course, they are made in China.

    Also, the Schwinn of yesteryear that was sold only to excusive Schwinn approved LBS has now moved on to selling them at Target.

    HOWEVER, I have to say that the Schwinn bikes I have seen are considerably better designed and better made than the typical Chinese wobblers that you see at Walmart or some of the other discount stores.

    The neighbor kid has one. He is a real bicycle enthusiast and takes great care of his bikes. I help him do maintanance on his bikes including his Schwinn. The bike is a nice bike and a very good bike for the money.

    In my opinion, Schwinn still offers a good value package tucked in-between the typical cheap discount store wobblers and the expensive high end LBS rigs.
    Yeah, the Schwinns at the discount stores are less likely to be covered with useless flashy gimcracks than most of the other bikes there. If they're not put together correctly, they look like it would be easy to fix them. They still pay attention to design. What caught my eye besides the brand name was that the bike looked well-built and no-nonsense. The sprung seat might be questionable, but it didn't look cheap. The front suspension looked nothing like the other bikes, but more like the Giants at the bike shop. The front springs on some of those cheap bikes look worse than useless.

    My Schwinn came from an LBS not too long before the bankruptcy. Seems like there's still a high-end Schwinn line that can only be found at a good LBS. Nothing against LBSs at all. I just can't go high-end right now. But they do a good job when I need help with service, for reasonable prices. I've had too many good bikes from Sears or other department stores.

  11. #11
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    I bought my wife a Hybrid Schwinn at Target and she loves it. The Target by me has a professional that assembles the bikes. It just needs a minor adjustment on the spokes, but thats it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Fibber's Avatar
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    The Schwinn brand as we knew it is long dead and gone. The name is now one of the 'brands' marketed by Pacific Cycles, along with Mongoose, GT, and a bunch of private label store brands. And where it is made is not really an issue. Face it, most of the under $1000 bicycles are made in China. Trek and Giant are no exception.

    Schwinn is still sold in some bike shops as an entry level product. The componentry is again entry level but respectable (Tekro or ProMax brakes, Suntour gears, Shimano Tourney derailures, SRAM grip shifters). Some Schwinn bikes are also sold in WMart, Target, and other mass market retailers. The model names are changed, but if you look carefully, you will sometimes find reasonably crafted high-ten steel or aluminum frames, and much the same componentry, along with a more reasonable price. Steer clear of the units that have gears, shifters, etc, from brands you have never heard of. Same with needlessly complex suspensions with those big coil springs and tube shocks! They will wear faster, and good luck finding replacement parts.

    Remember, though, when you buy from a dept store, you are kind of on your own to get it properly assembled and running right. You might be lucky and find an employee that was properly trained, or you might not.... The extra $100 or so paid to the bike store is part of your insurance policy that it will be put together right, and that the frame size was chosen to properly fit your body. If you are handy, go for the dept store version. Be prepared to spend some time 'rebuilding' it to make it right, but if you would rather invest labor than cash, go for it. I have done both, depending on what was in my pocket at the time.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fibber View Post
    The Schwinn brand as we knew it is long dead and gone.
    First, I am sorry to bring this thread back to live. Second, hello everyone

    I wonder if the quoted statement is still true. If you go to Schwinn website, they have many very expensive bikes. So, if the price always reflects the quality - Schwinn is for sure right on the top with their bikes.

    For sure they also have cheaper models, that are sold to supermarkets.

    I actually went to Target last night to check on Schwinn Trail Way.
    I liked the design and the bike is almost exactly what I am looking for. What I did not like is that is quite heavy (whats up with that? Why it is so hard to find weight of bikes, no matter if expensive or cheap?), the frame looks like it was taken from a MB.

    Also, I noticed that the wheels are not quite true. Is is possible to fix that?

    Any recommendations for a hybrid bike for up to $300? I saw MANY recommendations on this forum of this type:

    "If you are on the budged, but used: go Craigslist or sunday paper" It is hard to agree on this. Used bike may be in a bad condition and for a newbie this is very hard to spot at times. The selection is very limited too. Plus, many used bikes are stolen.

    Anyhow, I need a bike for bike paths and city riding, less than $300, any recommendations?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by leckig View Post
    I wonder if the quoted statement is still true. If you go to Schwinn website, they have many very expensive bikes. So, if the price always reflects the quality - Schwinn is for sure right on the top with their bikes.
    Schwinn brand name is owned by Pacific Cycles.

    Bikes from Pacific are offered n several flavors, and qualities and even found in LBS along side Trek, Specialized, gian and other top brands.

    The LBS offerings should be labeled Schwinn Select, providing identifier to determine the quality factor.

    IMHO that Pacific Cycle provides bikes to the bike box chains at the criteria the chain store requests and desire price break for stock turn over. Quality is likely a difference between a Wally bike, and a Target, or even ToyrUs offerings.

    The Schwinn offerings at LBS were good, warranty offered following the manufacture and LBS standards.

    This is an example that knowledge is important and rumor can create false impressions.

  15. #15
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    If you already have a MTB, why get this new bike. The MTB can handle the light trails just fine.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by leckig View Post
    Any recommendations for a hybrid bike for up to $300?

    Anyhow, I need a bike for bike paths and city riding, less than $300, any recommendations?
    Pricing may vary by LBS and city/location you reside. Supply and demand as well as competition among retailers can provide price ranges for new as well as use.

    I went shopping for new bike for Mrs, last year, and was surprised by the technology changes, and ended up leaving with one for myself as well. For just the need you describe I bought new the Crossroads Sport 2007 model from LBS for just little more than your price cap. They are nice riding bikes, and see action almost each evening as my lady loves her bike and we have a good routine when I am not traveling. In my book these are an excellent value new bike offering for the hybrid/comfort line. Actually I was expecting to pay much more, instead I bought two for the expected amount of one. Boy was I out of touch.

    For less than $300, and used knowledge is your best asset, and let your LBS know you are in the market, they may take in a trade and call you straight away with good deal for you. This is the time those deals can be found as trade in are common place in my area, for recent models to newer or more advance models.

  17. #17
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Target Schwinn Trail Way = Walmart Schwinn Voyager... Only the stickers are different, otherwise identical bicycle.

    The real difference I saw between them and the Schwinn Sidewinder mountain bike was 700x35 tires and a different handlebar that you can adjust the angle on.... It's about 50 bucks more than the Schwinn Sidewinder. Both have front suspension and a suspension seat.

    Make a fine commuter bike or just a bike you want to have fun on.

    Oh, and watch those plastic pedals..... After about 1,000 miles of riding, you might have to fork out 7 bucks on a new set of them

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    I looked at this bike. It looked a cut above the other bikes made by pacific. It even had a sturdy Shimano derailluer. My guess is a lot of these will be used by newly broke commuters. It looked like a rideable bike. Service, assembly, and adjustments you're on your own.

  19. #19
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    This is funny. Take it to a bike shop and have one tuned up. Once the brakes grab properly, and the gears shift crisp and perfect, you'll swear at the mechanic and claim he switched bikes on you.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Brian T.'s Avatar
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    I have schwinn Pathway that I got off the Wally World website and am very satisfied with it so far. It will be my commuter this summer when my kid is out of school ( mom drops off, I pick up), as well a weekend small tripper. It was $250 on the site and took a few days to get, but like other , I don't have a thousand to plunk down on a bike.

  21. #21
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    ALL bikes are built to a price point, I don't care where you get them from. Buying from an LBS should get you proper assembly and a free tune up after 30-60-90 days depending on the store, some offer lifetime adjustments to the original owner. My LBS sells used bikes and provides a basic warranty and free tuneup and check over at the 30-60 day mark.

    Walmart/Target/Kmart all sell bikes. Some of the bikes are better than others. gpsblake's being an example of one of the better ones. I have a Huffy Cranbrook that I purchased at WM as a disposable bike for use in a corrosive industrial environment. It is a serious POS, crappy welds, the rear hub self destructed in less than 2 weeks and the local WM gave me grief on replacing the wheel. I looked at the local Kmart prior to purchasing the WM Huffy. They had a similar bike, same name, same crappy welds, but it came with chrome fenders and steel rims. The WM Huffy came with painted fenders and aluminum rims...go figure. IF you know enough about bikes to be able to take a close look at the componentry, the assembly and the quality of the frame build you can get a good deal at the big box retailers. BUT you are on your own when it comes to set up and adjustments. The low end/cheap price stuff that WM sells is garbage. If you happen to get one that is put together properly and lasts more than 100 miles...you beat the odds. I am convinced that the consumer is the final quality control check on most cheap stuff. The stores figure there is going to be a certain failure rate and one of two things will happen. Either the consumer will just toss it and go get another, or if they take the trouble to bring it back, just give them another one. It is written into the overall costs.

    I have not seen the bike in question, but if it is built properly it is probably a good value for the money. I also know what you mean about the lack of good used bikes. The thrift stores around here are selling beat up Next full suspension MTB's for 90% of what a new one costs.

    FWIW I needed/wanted a new city bike. I made the decision to spend the money and order a 2008 Redline R530. It was around $600 but the build quality was excellent and it is fully backed by the LBS I purchased it from. Xmart carries nothing even remotely similar to that bike at any price range.

    Aaron
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    If someone buys a $239 bike from XMart or a $350 bike from a local bike shop. I would say that those bikes are approx the same price point. XMart makes $30 bucks off the bike and supplements with jeans, eggs and milk. LBS has higher rent (Xmart pays cash for property), assembly time, higher shipping, and limited floor space, LBS don't buy by the trainload so they pay more. Both bikes are from China but at Xmart it's up to the customer for proper assembly and adjustments. The reality is when (not if) gas doubles from here most people will be flat broke and that XMart bike will look really good.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post

    Oh, and watch those plastic pedals..... After about 1,000 miles of riding, you might have to fork out 7 bucks on a new set of them
    A few points

    A: I have a Schwinn Pathway and I think its the same bike / different name. Love it because of the awesome value and I plan to get a 2nd bike that I will shell out serious money on (my sports car if you will). That hybrid probably weighs 40 lbs but rides well.

    B: Yes the pedals are going to break. Mine broke. No other problems but the pedals you may as well have your LBS replace immediately.

    C: I would have rather gotten a Schwinn Varsity Road Bike like this:

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=4698938

    That feeling will probably leave once I get my mid to high end road bike. For 200 bucks though that Varsity looks flippin sweet.

  24. #24
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    The only thing I really don't like about the Schwinn Varsity is the position of the gear shifters... it's on the handlebars in the center taking up valuable real estate. Just for me, the way I set up my bicycle along with a GPS unit and headlight, it would leave me with very little room for my hands.

    However, I do like that bicycle a lot except most roads around here are too rough for a road bike... That's why I rarely ride my $99 road bike I got in 2006 unless I'm on a major smooth road.

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    Thank you very much for all the replies.

    I dont think Schwinn Varsity is for me as this is a road bike. But The Schwinn Pathway from walmart looks like a better choice than schwinn Trail Way from Target. No, they are not the same. The target Trail Way seem to be what Walmart Schwinn Avenue Hybrid is. How complicated!

    I think all of them are on Schwinn website with more tech info. But... under yet different names. I emailed Schwinn to send me links to these products.

    Now why is it so difficult to find how much a bike weight? Even in case of expensive, carbon bikes. At best the manufacturer says that the bike is lightweight.

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