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Does anyone know the history of the Schwinn Aluminum Series road bikes?

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Does anyone know the history of the Schwinn Aluminum Series road bikes?

Old 12-04-18, 03:11 AM
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pepor
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Does anyone know the history of the Schwinn Aluminum Series road bikes?

In 1991, I got a Schwinn Aluminum 354 road bike (in gorgeous candy blue with red spider), which I recently rebuilt (nearly-complete Shimano 600 Ultegra 6400 group). Of all the bikes I've owned, this one was always my favourite, which makes me extra-proud that it's back in working order while nearing its 30th birthday. It still looks and feels modern in a way; when people ask me about my bicycle, many can't believe it's that old.

While looking around online, I realized there's almost no information about the history of the series, apart from old catalog scans and the occasional picture of someone's still-great-looking bike. So I've started collecting what little information I could find, with the hope of one day publishing the series' history online. Unfortunately, it's not a lot so far.

So, if anyone has any sort of information about the series, please get in touch. I'm interested in anything and everything - stories, pictures, whatever.

Thanks for your time. :-)
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Old 12-04-18, 04:29 AM
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There is a facebook group on Schwinn Aluminum series that has a lot of info https://www.facebook.com/groups/169247033130212/
Google the numbers of the bikes. Models include: Schwinn Aluminum Ontare, Schwinn Aluminum 974, Schwinn Aluminum 754, Schwinn Aluminum 684, Schwinn Aluminum 584, Schwinn Aluminum 564, Schwinn Aluminum 434, Schwinn Aluminum 354 and the Schwinn Aluminum Mountain Pro
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Old 12-04-18, 08:25 AM
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I have 2 of the aluminum Schwinns a 684 and a 564. Nice riding bikes. The most unusual thing is most have a seat post that tightens like a stem and the frames must have that type of post. The 354 has a normal seat post. These ate my 2 bikes. Roger
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Old 12-04-18, 09:16 AM
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I have always been curious what the number designation refers to...
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Old 12-04-18, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
I have always been curious what the number designation refers to...
Pretty much just to identify the relative component levels, I think, Law.

These are often GREAT buys on CL and local yard sales, Goodwill, etc. (You have to either make sure to get the OEM seat post, or do some filing and add a clamp.)

The last one I bought was $80. I parted out all but the frame for $60, and built it with Chinese carbon stuff, clamped the seat post, and went with 2x8 DTshifters. A very good bike came of it, for about $380, including a used 1" threadless CF fork.

They are easily hot-rodded to take modern stuff, carbon bits, and look every bit the part of a modern carbon bike. I've seen one re-done, with a white paint job, and it was light, very stiff, and served it's rider well.
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Old 12-04-18, 09:50 AM
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Thanks. Still not seeing the connection between their numbers and component levels. I know Schwinn had number designations in their model line up which coessponded to weight.

Something to research this winter! Becoming a Schwinn guy for awhile now...
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Old 12-04-18, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
Thanks. Still not seeing the connection between their numbers and component levels. I know Schwinn had number designations in their model line up which coessponded to weight.

Something to research this winter! Becoming a Schwinn guy for awhile now...
The higher the number, the higher the component level.
Same premise as the PDG Series Paramounts, which are cousins, I think.

The actual number, heck, who knows? The world is arbitrary, indeed.
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Old 01-17-19, 02:13 PM
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I've read somewhere that the numbers are actually the birthdays of random staff members.

The numbers all end in "4" and the higher the number, the better the compinentry, that's all.
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Old 01-18-19, 12:31 PM
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Model number scheme:

3xx = Shimano 300EX
4XX = Shimano 400EX
5xx = Shimano Sport LX (1989) or Shimano 500EX
6xx = Shimano 105SC
7xx = Sun Tour GPX
9xx = Shimano 600 Ultegra
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Old 01-18-19, 03:08 PM
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Had a Schwinn 564 about eight years ago, remember it to be a very nice rider. Once again, the big caveat is to get the original seat post with the frameset. It'll save you a lot of work.

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Old 01-18-19, 03:34 PM
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The Gorilla Park seat clamp addresses the Achilles heel of these bikes: the damned bound-to-crack Suntour internal expanding quill seatpost. The GP clamps are hit/miss availability on Ebay from the normal Chinese/Taiwanese vendors but readily available on Aliexpress.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gorilla-P...-/121661289942

I ended up with 56cm 564 from @RobbieTunes and my son got several years of use out of it after I fitted it with STI Tricolor Ultegra. It's currently looking for a new home.....
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Old 01-18-19, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by brandon98 View Post
The Gorilla Park seat clamp addresses the Achilles heel of these bikes: the damned bound-to-crack Suntour internal expanding quill seatpost. The GP clamps are hit/miss availability on Ebay from the normal Chinese/Taiwanese vendors but readily available on Aliexpress.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gorilla-P...-/121661289942

I ended up with 56cm 564 from @RobbieTunes and my son got several years of use out of it after I fitted it with STI Tricolor Ultegra. It's currently looking for a new home.....
So do you file down the scallop and then just clamp with one of these or do you also have to cut a slot in the seattube?


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Old 01-18-19, 04:52 PM
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The 684 I got for my son. Cracked the first seatpost on the first test ride. Then my son said he stripped the bolt on the replacement one. I need to work out a solution....



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Old 01-18-19, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
So do you file down the scallop and then just clamp with one of these or do you also have to cut a slot in the seattube?


There's enough meat at the top of the seattube and around the lip of the Gorilla Park to secure the post without filing. Test fit and ride first. The other, more gruesome variation is to cut a slot at the back, and use a conventional aluminum clamp (31.8 IIRC). Make sure you drill out a slightly larger "crack stopper" hole at the bottom of your slot.
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Old 01-18-19, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
The 684 I got for my son. Cracked the first seatpost on the first test ride. Then my son said he stripped the bolt on the replacement one. I need to work out a solution....



It's so beautiful...
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Old 01-19-19, 02:05 AM
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I've always been drawn to these for some reason.
Internet pic

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Old 01-19-19, 08:25 PM
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This is not helping me, @sdn40 !

At least we know it can fit more generously sized tires (they look like 28s)...as opposed to '80s Specialized that saide 23mm and no more!
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Old 01-19-19, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
This is not helping me, @sdn40 !

At least we know it can fit more generously sized tires (they look like 28s)...as opposed to '80s Specialized that saide 23mm and no more!
I just bought the 434 that I had once walked away from because of paint issues. The price finally dropped far enough. Now I have one and you don't.
All the cool kids have one. I am thinking about color, decals, wheels, and it feels like heaven on earth. I spose not everyone can handle such a bike.
Dreaming about oversize tubing and wishbone seat stays shouldn't tempt you. It's ok that you don't have one. You don't need that kind of awesomeness
in your life.
Sleep tight !!
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Old 01-20-19, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by sdn40 View Post
I just bought the 434 that I had once walked away from because of paint issues. The price finally dropped far enough. Now I have one and you don't.
All the cool kids have one. I am thinking about color, decals, wheels, and it feels like heaven on earth. I spose not everyone can handle such a bike.
Dreaming about oversize tubing and wishbone seat stays shouldn't tempt you. It's ok that you don't have one. You don't need that kind of awesomeness
in your life.
Sleep tight !!


Hilarious! Looks like I will just have to console myself with Connecticut's finest then!

Woe is me:

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Old 01-20-19, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by brandon98 View Post
There's enough meat at the top of the seattube and around the lip of the Gorilla Park to secure the post without filing. Test fit and ride first. The other, more gruesome variation is to cut a slot at the back, and use a conventional aluminum clamp (31.8 IIRC). Make sure you drill out a slightly larger "crack stopper" hole at the bottom of your slot.
thanks for the suggestion on the crack stopper hole. cutting a slot for seat posts solves what problem? is it possible to use this technique on steel bikes to use various seat posts or what is the purpose? thanks
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Old 01-20-19, 09:01 AM
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I thought that after the Ontare/Avion naming debacle Schwinn went to the number system and that those numbers were based of the engineer's birthdays or similar.
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Old 01-20-19, 09:14 AM
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The early ones have a decal proclaiming they are built under a patent held by Gary Klein. Klein sued Cannondale, who produced in court evidence that extra stiff large diameter aluminum bike frames were known to the public before Klein filed for patent, and the patent was invalid. I've always wondered if Schwinn got the royalty money back they'd paid Klein!

These days the concept of immensely stiff frames has fallen from favor.

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Old 01-20-19, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Duo View Post
thanks for the suggestion on the crack stopper hole. cutting a slot for seat posts solves what problem? is it possible to use this technique on steel bikes to use various seat posts or what is the purpose? thanks
The purpose is to give some void room for the external collar clamp to be able to compress around the post. The Schwinn aluminum frames have fixed upper frame lug with no integrated clamp.

I would not recommend the technique for steel frames. Just get the right sized post.
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Old 01-20-19, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by brandon98 View Post
The purpose is to give some void room for the external collar clamp to be able to compress around the post. The Schwinn aluminum frames have fixed upper frame lug with no integrated clamp.

I would not recommend the technique for steel frames. Just get the right sized post.
thanks normally i use the post coming with the bike. sometimes they even have that kinda messed up.........gotta make you wonder how little people actually care about their bicycles, um even good ones. i don't bother with Big Box store bikes, but if you took the trouble to buy a Trek, wouldn't it be worth it to care for the thing. or should we just say disposable.
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Old 01-22-19, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by brandon98 View Post
I ended up with 56cm 564 from @RobbieTunes and my son got several years of use out of it after I fitted it with STI Tricolor Ultegra. It's currently looking for a new home.....
I sold you a bike that good?
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