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  1. #1
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    Help for Newbie! Schwinn Prelude..

    Hey There, First let me say that I am new to the world of Biking, so my knowledge is very limited. I am interested in purchasing a bike for exercise, and occasional commuting to work. I have read enough to know that most on the forum are totally against a bike from a department store, but I have not been able to find why that is exactly.

    From what I have heard the reasons are that you don't get the customer service you would get from a bike shop.

    Your bike will probably not be assembled near to the quality a bike shop would do it.

    And the Bike will be total junk.

    I have looked at local Bike stores and their entry level hybrid starts out at $500 and their entry road bikes start at $600. I am not wanting to spend that much because I am not sure if this is a hobby I will enjoy or not.

    I am very interested in the Schwinn Prelude, or the Schwinn Tourist. It has the same derailer as the Trek bike from the local Bike store. The components look up to par from the Trek. What am I missing?

    I can get the Prelude marked down to $200 which seems like a steal for the bike. Right now I don't see justifying spending the extra $400 for a bike with the same derailers, etc. (Shimano Tourney on Prelude, Shimano Altus on Tourist)

    Please help me out, I know if I really got into it I would want a better bike, I'm not arguing that. I just need to know why the $600 bike is so much better. Without just hearing the Schwinn is junk... tell me why the Schwinn is junk.

    Thanks for your help...

    By the way I am 6 foot, 190 lbs. the Prelude seems to be the perfect size so I know Walmart bikese are one size fits all, but in this case it does fit. Travel will be on pavement.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    good luck im just a typewriter I can't print you a bike ..

    .. you look in the sales sections ?, they pay an extra fee to be able to sell things .

    step 1 you have no location ..

  3. #3
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    If you want people to explain the differences and/or similarities between the Schwinn models and some Trek model, you really need to post up links to the models. An entry level hybrid from Trek could mean the 8.1 DS, the 7.1 FX, or something else.

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    I believe the bike they had in store was a Trek Shift, but he can order the FX for around $500. My main question is why is the schwinn seen as Such junk.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Schwinn sold out the name, now the Big box stores have them for sale, cheap specs.

    though there is a second line , as I understand, that goes thru Independant Bike dealers ..



    and the Proceeds of the Schwinn Brand-name sale [family member (i think)]
    went into investing in Waterford..

    want a New Schwinn "Paramount "? it will be a Waterford .

  6. #6
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kdrake View Post
    I believe the bike they had in store was a Trek Shift, but he can order the FX for around $500. My main question is why is the schwinn seen as Such junk.
    Schwinn sells through big box stores (Schwinn) and through dedicated bike shops (Schwinn Signature). And that tends to confuse people. And that confusion fuels the frustration.

    Trek Shift? That line isn't comparable to the Schwinn Prelude (didn't see the Tourist on the Schwinn site).

    Trek Shift 1 (if this is the model you were looking at): It is a comfort bike. It will be okay for shorter/slower rides and for commuting if the distance isn't all that great.

    Schwinn Prelude: One size option, no provisions for rear rack or fender that I could see, spec list is a bit vague even for entry level.

  7. #7
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    Yes that was one of the models. You are right they don't compare. I believe the store salesman knew I was looking for something on a budget and his road bikes were more then the comfort bikes. Thanks for your help

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ness/fx/7_0_fx

    a hybrid without so wide a tire.. as the shift ..

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kdrake View Post
    Yes that was one of the models. You are right they don't compare. I believe the store salesman knew I was looking for something on a budget and his road bikes were more then the comfort bikes. Thanks for your help
    It may not make any difference but the Schwinns sold at Big Box Stores are made specifically for those stores with the most basic components that any of the companies make. It is like buying a drill at the dollar store. The drill might work but if the chuck is made of plastic how long can you expect it to last. The derailleur may say Shimano but it is not the same grade of Shimano as they sell at the bike store. It is a Shimano derailleur that has been ordered to fit on a bike that costs just what the Store want to sell it for. It would be like asking Toyota to make you a car for $1000.00 so you can sell it for $1200.00 and you don't care how they do it. I understand being on a budget but if you ever have bought a set of steak knives or screw drivers from the discount bin at Walmart, I should add discount flashlight batteries, then you know there is a big quality difference between something you plan on using a lot and something you are only going to use now and then. Big Box Store bikes are closer to toys when it comes to using them for extended transportation, group rides, off road or utility.
    Last edited by Mobile 155; 01-24-14 at 11:37 PM.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  10. #10
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    - low end parts/poor assembly
    they may work good enough for your intended light usage, i mean theres bikes in south america if crappy parts and in far worse shape that work for those guys who use it harder and carry heavier loads then anyone of us ever will. the bike will probably need a good tune up (even new) and need adjustments more often (you may never even notice any slow shifting until you get more into it and try higher quality bikes). best to watch a few basic tune up vids on youtube or get used to the degrading you will get from your local shop (i never set foot in mine and do all my own work). aside from the shifters and derailleurs your biggest issue is the wheels themselves. they normally have really cheap wheels and light gauge spokes which will go out of true quickly if your area has rough roads or if you weigh on the heavier side (190lbs would be considered clydesdale, which is not a insult) broken spokes can make for huge headaches. lets not forget the tires are probably the cheapest thing they could get. flats everyday will make you not want to ride ever again before you know it.

    - low life expectancy
    a by product of the high use of plastic in the shifters, crappy rust prone chain, cheap tires that will get punctures, and the flexy spokes/weak rims, etc. again some store bikes last forever, sometimes due to good maintenance, sometimes just luck, sometimes its just sheer will to just keep riding it into the ground. it will come down to you.

    everyone says go get a good quality bike first. i understand that and yes if you can afford it, buy a better bike. be aware that even a used "better" bike may need alot of maintenance before it performs as it should. ive bought $1000 carbon bikes that had everything poorly maintained or adjusted way wrong. that being said the prelude may work for your needs, you may not get into riding heavily and thus its a good idea. once you get into it then save/budget for a upgrade. just fyi dont expect the bike to have any resale value what so ever unless another out there is in this same predicament.

    a good bike will get you to where you want to go AND get you home, regardless of what it costs.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    What year is the Prelude. My son has a Prelude built in the 80s and it is a great bike.

  12. #12
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    Thank you so much for taking the time to help me out. What you are saying makes sense, and I know that you get what you pay for. The models I am interested in are the Schwinn Prelude ($200) and the Trek FX 7.0 ($400). If I recall they both have the shimano tourney derailers, is the one on the Schwinn not the same even if they both say tourney?

    They are both made of Aluminum frames. The schwinn does have drop handlebars which I would have to get used to. The Scwinn just doesn't appear to be much cheaper quality when I look at it and compare features is my dilemma. The gears shift smoothly, primacy brakes seem good enough. Etc. comparing it to the very bottom trek just seems comparable and I am not sure I can see doubling the price for the trek. Thanks again!

  13. #13
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    This is a new prelude. I have heard the older ones were great but this is a new one http://www.schwinnbikes.com/usa/bike...-prelude-14712

  14. #14
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    in reality the differences will be hard to determine on a bottom rung big name bike vs a average box retailer. honestly they are all made in taiwan/china and the parts although have the shimano name will also be sourced from a third party company. i would say go for the bike that fits better and is the more comfortable ride. if it sucks to ride you will never ride it and therefore you may never get into biking and this will be all moot. good thing about walmart is that although you cannot test ride it before you buy, you can return it for full refund (make sure you keep all tags and dont remove stickers) within a few days. i doubt a local bike shop will be so understanding. just take it home, ride it around the neighborhood, then when you get the feel go find the most difficult part of your commute and see how it fares.

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Stem shifters, on the sides of the stem?

    go take a close up picture of the mounting of those,and show it ..

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    Help for Newbie! Schwinn Prelude..

    The Schwinn is a good basic bike. It will work fine. If you get into cycling, then purchase a better bike.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the info. Guys. The shifters are Shimano A050 I believe if you google it you will see what they look like.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kdrake View Post
    Thanks for the info. Guys. The shifters are Shimano A050 I believe if you google it you will see what they look like.
    Just remember, Yugo once made cars and they were less expensive than Toyotas.

    However if you are on a budget you can still get a bike the bike shop will carry parts for and are better made than the Schwinn. Plus you have sizing choices.

    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...47_-1___202398
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400316__400316
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  19. #19
    Dirty Schwinn-Lover deeth82's Avatar
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    http://www.americasbikecompany.com/S...rban_s/154.htm

    There's your Schwinn Signature Series (Bike Shop tier) bikes. I own two of them (third one is still just a frame) that were each under $300, but have been very happy with the Signature Series thus far. The Prelude sounds "serviceable", but if I were you I'd drop a little extra coin on a Schwinn (or Trek, if you prefer) at a bike shop. Look for a shop in your area that might sell Schwinn SS models. The fit is the most important component (besides finding the right saddle) of your enjoyment in the saddle.
    Last edited by deeth82; 01-27-14 at 05:55 AM.
    Ride what you like, how you like.

  20. #20
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    Try visiting a Performance Bike in your neighbourhood. You might find something cheaper (though in the $300-350 range), and it will be better than the *mart bike. Alternately, look on craigslist - especially if you have a knowledgeable friend who is willing to help you evaluate used bikes.
    http://treadrightly.blogspot.com/

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    Thanks Guys, for all the help and thoughts. I have been to the local bike shop, and back at Walmart; i have come to the conclusion that a 'road bike' with drop handlebars does not meet my needs. It is very uncomfortable for me; probably just not used to being hunched over in a 'road bike' position. Plus i would like the possibility of trails every once in a while.

    I am now looking at more of mountain bikes/ hybrid bikes/ comfort bikes etc. My favorite thus far is probably a 29er Schwinn ascension from Target. It has Shimano Tourney derailer, sr santour front fork, disk brakes, etc. I have also looked at a Trek Shift from my local bike store. The ascension is $300 the Shift would be $500...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kdrake View Post
    Thanks Guys, for all the help and thoughts. I have been to the local bike shop, and back at Walmart; i have come to the conclusion that a 'road bike' with drop handlebars does not meet my needs. It is very uncomfortable for me; probably just not used to being hunched over in a 'road bike' position. Plus i would like the possibility of trails every once in a while.

    I am now looking at more of mountain bikes/ hybrid bikes/ comfort bikes etc. My favorite thus far is probably a 29er Schwinn ascension from Target. It has Shimano Tourney derailer, sr santour front fork, disk brakes, etc. I have also looked at a Trek Shift from my local bike store. The ascension is $300 the Shift would be $500...
    Before you make your decision you might want to figure in any extra costs that might come along to make the ride comfortable for you. I have a friend that used to assemble the bikes at Target, and on top of his hourly wages he was also paid compensation for every bike that he managed to put together. The more he could assemble meant more money, so the basic idea was put them together as fast as possible and move on to the next. Because of this haste in assembling the bikes there are often flaws such as loose brake/shifter cables, poor spoke tension, truing/dishing issues, etc. Any reputable bike shop on the other hand is going to be more deliberate when putting their bikes together, which translates to a less worrisome experience on the bike when you are just starting out.

    If you decide to go with the Target bike, for your own safety/comfort, you will probably want to take it to a bike shop for a proper tune up which, depending on the shop, will cost you anywhere from $40-$60. Another thing you are going to eventually want to do is have the bike fitted to you, this optimizes your comfort on the bike, thus making the experience more enjoyable. I'm not sure what the cost for fitting is, as I've only ever bought bikes from Action Sports, where they tune up your bike and fit you for free when you purchase from them. Another plus of buying from a bike shop as opposed to a big box store is most bike shops offer free service for at least a year or two, or in the case of Action Sports, for the life of the bike (that service only includes basic tune ups. if the wheels need to be trued or spokes replace there's usually a small fee.) While, on the other hand, you get zero service from the box store. So if you were to go with the Target bike, anytime something wasn't working properly on it and you took it in to get fixed, you'll put out another $40+.

    I was in the same boat a few years ago when I bought my first bike. Not knowing anything about bikes then, I was eying a "Schwinn" at Target. But after doing some research and weighing my options, I opted to go with a Trek 7100, which cost around $450. It was the perfect bike for me then, and I truly believe that if I had gone with the Target bike I very quickly would have either forked out the extra money to get a better bike, or would have given up on riding all together.

    Anyway, those are just some things to consider. What ever you choose though, do get out there and ride. The world needs more cyclists.

  23. #23
    Dirty Schwinn-Lover deeth82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kdrake View Post
    Thanks Guys, for all the help and thoughts. I have been to the local bike shop, and back at Walmart; i have come to the conclusion that a 'road bike' with drop handlebars does not meet my needs. It is very uncomfortable for me; probably just not used to being hunched over in a 'road bike' position. Plus i would like the possibility of trails every once in a while.

    I am now looking at more of mountain bikes/ hybrid bikes/ comfort bikes etc. My favorite thus far is probably a 29er Schwinn ascension from Target. It has Shimano Tourney derailer, sr santour front fork, disk brakes, etc. I have also looked at a Trek Shift from my local bike store. The ascension is $300 the Shift would be $500...
    I'd say fork over the extra money for the Trek Shift...the shop should be able to help you adjust saddle position/angle + handlebar height and other factors that will greatly add enjoyment to your hours in the saddle. Remember that if you do happen to begin to truly love riding, you'll eventually want to try new components, from saddles to pedals to handlebars, shifters, etc. Think ahead about the added costs on down the road. Out of all of the parts on my Trek Marlin SS, the only thing that ever needed changing out was the Bontrager saddle (a.k.a. "arse-hatchet"...I have a rather wide rear end by their standards), and the only other changes I've made since 2010 have been new slick tires and puncture-resistant tubes, adding a seatpost rack, and different pedals for commuting (all wants; not needs). If you go with the Schwinn Ascension you may save more up-front, but end up paying far more in parts upgrades in the future. I've looked at both of these online since reading your post, and I say to fork over the extra money up-front for a proper fitting + tune-up included. Happy Riding!


    Quote Originally Posted by therunt View Post
    Before you make your decision you might want to figure in any extra costs that might come along to make the ride comfortable for you. I have a friend that used to assemble the bikes at Target, and on top of his hourly wages he was also paid compensation for every bike that he managed to put together. The more he could assemble meant more money, so the basic idea was put them together as fast as possible and move on to the next. Because of this haste in assembling the bikes there are often flaws such as loose brake/shifter cables, poor spoke tension, truing/dishing issues, etc. Any reputable bike shop on the other hand is going to be more deliberate when putting their bikes together, which translates to a less worrisome experience on the bike when you are just starting out.

    If you decide to go with the Target bike, for your own safety/comfort, you will probably want to take it to a bike shop for a proper tune up which, depending on the shop, will cost you anywhere from $40-$60. Another thing you are going to eventually want to do is have the bike fitted to you, this optimizes your comfort on the bike, thus making the experience more enjoyable. I'm not sure what the cost for fitting is, as I've only ever bought bikes from Action Sports, where they tune up your bike and fit you for free when you purchase from them. Another plus of buying from a bike shop as opposed to a big box store is most bike shops offer free service for at least a year or two, or in the case of Action Sports, for the life of the bike (that service only includes basic tune ups. if the wheels need to be trued or spokes replace there's usually a small fee.) While, on the other hand, you get zero service from the box store. So if you were to go with the Target bike, anytime something wasn't working properly on it and you took it in to get fixed, you'll put out another $40+.

    I was in the same boat a few years ago when I bought my first bike. Not knowing anything about bikes then, I was eying a "Schwinn" at Target. But after doing some research and weighing my options, I opted to go with a Trek 7100, which cost around $450. It was the perfect bike for me then, and I truly believe that if I had gone with the Target bike I very quickly would have either forked out the extra money to get a better bike, or would have given up on riding all together.

    Anyway, those are just some things to consider. What ever you choose though, do get out there and ride. The world needs more cyclists.
    It's hard to say anything besides "Amen" after reading that, so...Amen.
    Ride what you like, how you like.

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    Thank you guys so much for taking the time to offer your inputs. Definitely good thoughts you bring up and i appreciate your wisdom in the matter. It's hard for a newbie to see the advantage because the cheaper bike seems to have more features (disk brakes, the fork seems like the next step up from that i saw on the Trek), and about a tie on components (both low-end shifters, I think the Schwinn has a shimano tourney, and the Trek shift 1 has the tourney, and the shift 2 has SRAMM?)

    Good point on the service and assembly from a bike dealer vs. Target, plus upkeep and servicing. Thanks again!

  25. #25
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    A little off base but...

    Are you mechanically handy? Willing to learn and have some free time? Hit craigslist for used road bikes, theres' tons of primers on this site for a complete overhaul if warranted.. and other threads discussing what to look for. If this interests you feel free to reply and I'll be glad to try and point you towards some resources.
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

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