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Mississippi Schwinn Bike Quality Question

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Mississippi Schwinn Bike Quality Question

Old 03-30-16, 06:52 AM
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uncle uncle
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Mississippi Schwinn Bike Quality Question

First, the quote from the first part of the article of the Schwinn downfall story at Crain's:

And dealers shuddered at the inferior bikes shipped from Greenville each season. "You found yourself repairing the bikes as you were assembling them," says Terry Gibson, a veteran dealer in Downstate Normal.

I worked at a Schwinn Authorized Dealership bike shop in the 80's, before I knew there were Mississippi bicycles produced, so, I would like to know what "repairs" others might have had to do at the time. If memory serves, at least in the first half of 80's decade, Schwinn bicycles were more-or-less comparable to other manufacturers in ease of "prepping" from box-to-showfloor effort, regardless of the country of origin. I don't remember having to do many repairs either. Just curious if anyone else has a different history than mine. By the way, I worked at the bike shop in the 1985-1987 time range.
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Old 03-30-16, 07:02 AM
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See this thread
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Old 03-30-16, 03:25 PM
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We had no issues with the Mississippi Schwinn's and we sold a lot of them.
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Old 03-30-16, 08:01 PM
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See my avatar.
Yep, that left a mark.
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Old 03-31-16, 01:04 AM
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My Greenville '87 Tempo seems very well built. I've taken it all apart except the headset. Haven't noticed anything amiss?
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Old 03-31-16, 07:02 AM
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Yeah, I've had a lot of those bikes in my hands. Probably what was really happening was that the groups from Shimano and Suntour they were built with got flakier in the 80's, and the dealers were remembering the days of easier, nicer looking, more reliable groups. Think about some of those 80's Suntour rapid fire style shifters with all the plastic crap covers and all that. On the other hand, a true temper tubing lugged Crosscut frame and fork can be built into a great bike with nicer parts.
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Old 03-31-16, 09:57 AM
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My '88 Schwinn Project KOM-10 is very well-built, but that should be expected since it was their top MTB that year.

I had the frame bead-blasted and added a clear powdercoat. The brazing is masterful! The fillets around the brake posts are super clean, and the brass lines around the lugs are very even.
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Old 03-31-16, 04:55 PM
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These were dire times for Schwinn. According to "No Hands" Greenville never turned a profit. At one point at least 1000 bikes had to be sent back for repaint because they didn't tie the crank to the chain stay during shipping (they would shift in to the wheel and scratch the frame).

A local shop owner still rides a Greenville Schwinn. He says it took them 4 tries to get him a frame that wasn't twisted beyond repair. He claims he's still never seen bikes so badly misaligned out of the box.

Greenville was the middle of nowhere. No shipping hub nearby and nobody wanted to move there.

Also, the components weren't as much at fault as the difficulty of getting parts (or the correct parts for that matter)
In one order they received 10,000 left brake levers... They failed to get the matching rights. Too bad Amazon Prime didn't have 10,000 right brake levers! Boats from Japan don't travel fast.
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Old 04-01-16, 10:39 AM
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Excellent article at Crains.
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/19931009/ISSUE01/100018007/the-fall-of-schwinn-pt-1-of-2
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/19931009/ISSUE01/100018008/the-fall-of-schwinn-pt-2-of-2
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Old 04-01-16, 12:04 PM
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I like a 564 or 764 just fine.
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Old 04-02-16, 06:51 AM
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Schwinn article

Interesting article, we never got Schwinn's in Australia. An American girl up the road brought one over with her, very flashy as all we had were Raleigh's, Bianchi's and Peugeot's. Bmx brought a short lived wave of American bikes in the late 70s. The only iconic Australian name was malvern star but they lost their mystique along with Raleigh et al when they too rebadged heavy mass market products with Japanese components. If I was American I think I'd like Schwinn same as I like Raleigh
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Old 04-02-16, 07:22 AM
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I have a Schwinn Prelude from there. Bad QC. The person who punched the head tube badge holes made impressions. The head tube has a deformation bulge in the center from bad brazing and or alignment as well. One of the chainstays was also overheated during brazing causing a slight deformation. The other one I have.. a Tempo, is much better but still has a couple small manufacturing flaws. I think these are great riding bikes but the construction quality is middle of the road at best. No anal frame builders in Greenville... that's for sure.
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Old 04-02-16, 09:49 PM
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Biggest problem I remember having with Greenville road bikes was the lousy rimstrips. We put Velox on them during assembly after several tubes popped on the sales floor. Liked the aluminum bikes.
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Old 04-03-16, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by hatrack71 View Post
I have a Schwinn Prelude from there. Bad QC. The person who punched the head tube badge holes made impressions. The head tube has a deformation bulge in the center from bad brazing and or alignment as well. One of the chainstays was also overheated during brazing causing a slight deformation. The other one I have.. a Tempo, is much better but still has a couple small manufacturing flaws. I think these are great riding bikes but the construction quality is middle of the road at best. No anal frame builders in Greenville... that's for sure.
I have a Greenville Passage frame that is badly misaligned. Still not sure what I am going to do with it.
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