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Old 05-13-09, 03:28 PM   #1
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Schwinn is back IN?

I don't know how true this is, but I heard it from two LBS owners, two different LBS's, and their owners.

Apparently Schwinn has decided they want to regain their former status in the cycling world. They will be putting out better quality products etc....
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Old 05-13-09, 03:33 PM   #2
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Wouldn't that be awesome...
I hope they do some of the old ones again, one of my all time favorites was the Apple Crate.
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Old 05-13-09, 03:46 PM   #3
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I fear at this point that their reputation is tainted...

Then again, because of the huge amounts of varsinentals that they put out in the 70's, by the time I got into riding in the late 80's/early 90's, in my circles, having a schwinn was pretty silly in the first place.
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Old 05-13-09, 04:07 PM   #4
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I don't think the problem is with the lack of quality products coming from Schwinn. I think the problem is with the low quality products they let their name be put on. I can go to Performance Bike (already a suspect move, I admit) and buy a $1000 Schwinn that's the equal of any Trek/Giant/Jamis/Cannondale. in its price range. But I can also take $150 and go to Walmart and buy a "Schwinn" that has Magna/Next/Kent/Pacific for its peers.

If they want to regain their prestige, they need to stop doing that.
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Old 05-13-09, 04:18 PM   #5
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Well, same thing for SRAM and Shimano - nearly every box store bike I've ever had has had one of those two brands on it. Both were crappy as hell and now, even though I know that they build nice stuff, I'm very very leery as to putting any of it on bikes of mine.
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Old 05-13-09, 04:24 PM   #6
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Well, same thing for SRAM and Shimano
That's true, but somehow they seem to get away with it mostly. I think it's because of the way they've driven the brands with Ultegra, Dura-Ace, Force, Red, etc. Maybe Schwinn could pull that off with something like Paramount, but I don't know. Shimano and SRAM's success may also have something to do with only have one other real competitor in terms of full group sets.
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Old 05-13-09, 06:08 PM   #7
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I don't know that Schwinn ever had THAT much prestige to begin with. Maybe they were the Fords of the US bike market, but they weren't the Rolls Royce's, either, or even the Mercedes. I don't think Italian bike racers laid in bed at nights dreaming about new Schwinn bikes. I think the prestige of the OLD Schwinn bikes has increased considerably over the years. I know when I was a kid, we had a clunkly old Schwinn cruiser with springer fork, and that thing sure wasn't highly esteemed by anyone. It is now, though.
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Old 05-13-09, 07:08 PM   #8
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I have one of those springer 5 speed cruisers that I'm re-doing. When the name schwinn comes up in conversation I don't think racing bikes, I think cool old school clunky cruisers. The schwinns we had as kids were stingrays and paperboy bikes. I thought that was what they were going to start doing right again..... The new schwinns are junk.
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Old 05-13-09, 08:50 PM   #9
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Don't know, just relaying what I heard from the LBS's. Even if they weren't that prestigious at least they used to be of decent quality. So a return to that, even in the big box stores would be a vast improvement.
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Old 05-13-09, 09:44 PM   #10
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Don't know, just relaying what I heard from the LBS's. Even if they weren't that prestigious at least they used to be of decent quality. So a return to that, even in the big box stores would be a vast improvement.
IMO at the prices the big box stores (BBS) are willing to pay wholesale for a bike it is impossible to build a decent one. Schwinn should get out of that market entirely if they want to restore their reputation and have more than a few LBSs carry them again.

BBS grade bikes have pi-- poor components due to the components being made as cheaply as possible to meet demanded price points from the bike manufacturers in order to meet the BBS demanded prices. Much the same thing was true of British car components which is why Lucas electrics and Smiths instruments got such a poor reputation.

When Raleigh tried this pressure technique on Dunlop for bicycle tires, Dunlop told them to go pound sand and got out of the bicycle tire business entirely. Our loss but I admire Dunlop for taking the stand that they did.

Why do the British drink warm beer? Because they all have Lucas refrigerators!
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Old 05-13-09, 10:15 PM   #11
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Why do the British drink warm beer? Because they all have Lucas refrigerators!
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Old 05-13-09, 10:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 05-13-09, 10:31 PM   #13
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Schwinn is now just another nameplate in the Dorel/Pacific conglomerate.

Dorel recently bought Cannondale too and is closing their U.S. plant. What I could see happening is this: Dorel decides to stop selling x-mart Schwinns and only sells the nameplate in LBSs, maybe as a value brand alongside Cannondale. That would enhance the Schwinn brand even as sales of the nameplate went down.

If you go into any big box store, the bikes are mostly generic knock-offs of each other, and almost all made by either Pacific (which sells under many brands) or Huffy. They could drop the Schwinn name from that list and no one would really even notice.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 05-13-09, 11:38 PM   #14
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I don't think the problem is with the lack of quality products coming from Schwinn. I think the problem is with the low quality products they let their name be put on. I can go to Performance Bike (already a suspect move, I admit) and buy a $1000 Schwinn that's the equal of any Trek/Giant/Jamis/Cannondale. in its price range. But I can also take $150 and go to Walmart and buy a "Schwinn" that has Magna/Next/Kent/Pacific for its peers.

If they want to regain their prestige, they need to stop doing that.
Right, I use a Schwinn made in 1984 to commute on. However, at this point ai would be very hesitant to recommend Schwinn and, unless it is an old generation bike, I would not even consider buying one used.

The trouble is that there are good Schwinn's and total POS Schwinn's being sold and I would worry that if I recommend the brand, someone would go any buy the POS, and then say it is what I recommended. As far as used ones, The possibility of purchasing a POS on accident is jut too high.

It is a branding image issue. They can not play in both fields without diluting the brand image. At the present Schwinn cannot demand the same price as Trek and Specialized because the brand image is diluted.
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Old 05-14-09, 03:22 AM   #15
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I don't know that Schwinn ever had THAT much prestige to begin with. Maybe they were the Fords of the US bike market, but they weren't the Rolls Royce's, either, or even the Mercedes. I don't think Italian bike racers laid in bed at nights dreaming about new Schwinn bikes. I think the prestige of the OLD Schwinn bikes has increased considerably over the years. I know when I was a kid, we had a clunkly old Schwinn cruiser with springer fork, and that thing sure wasn't highly esteemed by anyone. It is now, though.
Yes, Schwinn did have some cachet. Schwinn had clean well-stocked knowledgeable dealers while the other popular-price brands had floorspace in department stores. Most importantly, there was no comparison in the feel of riding a Schwinn vs. riding a Huffy or Columbia or any number of other popular-priced models. The Schwinn generally felt more solid, was noticeably easier to pedal and handled better. (Edit): As later posters say, they were incredibly durable too. Early MTBs were made from old Schwinn balloon tire bikes; today's MTB tire is the same bead diameter as the original Schwinn balloon tire.

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Old 05-14-09, 03:30 AM   #16
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Schwinn was doing ovalised tubes, sliver brazing, to get better results from the steel they had back then. Their frames were more sophisticated than their more
expensive Italian competitors. The Italian bikes were using horribly unreliable aluminum wheels, while the Schwinns had steel wheels. Schwinn steel was also treated so it wouldn't rust. So you had this really good frame hobbled by reliable wheels.
So the Italians got all the cachet..


There is still a Schwinn making bikes. I have one of them. It's a Gunnar, his other brand is Waterford. They are among the best you can get.
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Old 05-14-09, 10:20 AM   #17
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I don't know how true this is, but I heard it from two LBS owners, two different LBS's, and their owners.

Apparently Schwinn has decided they want to regain their former status in the cycling world. They will be putting out better quality products etc....
Oh, so Schwinn is moving manufacturing back to the US?
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Old 05-14-09, 10:25 AM   #18
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One year too late. We dropped them as a sponsor for one that treats us much better. Never thought I'd say this, but Trek FTW.

Good luck to Schwinn, though.
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Old 05-14-09, 12:26 PM   #19
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I have seen Schwin in bike shops lately, but not out on the roads yet. It could be difficult for them to get back into the mainstream. We'll see.
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Old 05-14-09, 08:59 PM   #20
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I don't think the problem is with the lack of quality products coming from Schwinn. I think the problem is with the low quality products they let their name be put on. I can go to Performance Bike (already a suspect move, I admit) and buy a $1000 Schwinn that's the equal of any Trek/Giant/Jamis/Cannondale. in its price range. But I can also take $150 and go to Walmart and buy a "Schwinn" that has Magna/Next/Kent/Pacific for its peers.

If they want to regain their prestige, they need to stop doing that.
100% with ya on this. I have a 08 peloton and love it. Frankly I don't let the Schwinn marketing disaster get to me. I just ride.
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Old 05-14-09, 10:06 PM   #21
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Back in the old days, they made their bicycles, so whether good or bad, that determined the prestige of the company. But now, the company name doesn't have much prestige, especially for higher-end bikes, and they don't make 'em anyway. Seems to me they could just spin the spinner and pick a name at random, start using that name, and that'd work as good as "Schwinn". Anyone for an Acme bike?
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Old 05-15-09, 05:49 AM   #22
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I think that one other thing has damaged their reputation. The " assembly " of their bikes by WallyWorld makes many buyers blame the problems on Schwinn. I have seen some Schwinns that were sold at Target, & these are assembled well & are a good ,durable bike for those on a budget.
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Old 05-15-09, 06:00 AM   #23
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My first two bicycles were made by Schwinn back when the company made ALL of its bicycles in Chicago, Illinois, when it was America's favorite bicycle, and before it's brand name was marketed to other companies for the sake of money. I hope Schwinn can bring back the quality of its bicycles as well as it's popularity. Then Schwinn would be known as it was. Just by putting the brand name on a crappily made bike won't do it all.
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Old 05-15-09, 05:11 PM   #24
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I don't see how Schwinn can come back and also have a distinct product.

I believe Trek is the biggest bike company in the US now. It's amazing to see how far they've come. I remember when it was kinda like a startup company.

I just got a Schwinn Varsity from the municipal dump. It's in nearly perfect condition. I don't know what I'll do with it yet, but I just had to have it. They didn't ride well, but boy, were they well made!
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Old 05-15-09, 05:41 PM   #25
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The company known as "Schwinn" ceased to exist in 1992, (or 2001 depending on your point-of-view).
Talking about Schwinn "getting back to where is was" in meaningless, because the "Schwinn" name was purchased by Pacific Cycle in 2001. The nearest thing left to the company once known as "Schwinn" is Waterford.

An interesting read in sometimes unethical, and sometimes boneheaded business practices is the history here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwinn_Bicycle_Company
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