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Schwinn Confusion

Old 08-07-13, 10:49 AM
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PNK4
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Schwinn Confusion

Hi All,
So after some research on a new bike it became apparent that Schwinn has developed a secondary line of bikes for big box retailers at substantially reduced price and quality. I recently found what the seller is calling a "vintage" set of Schwinn "Suburban" style bikes online but has no idea what year they were made or which line they are from. Walmart sells a Schwinn Suburban CS that looks remarkably similar but I can't tell if it's actually the same bike and if the one online is really a piece of junk. Any way to differentiate? Does anybody know what year Schwinn made this split?

Link to sale is below if anybody can tell from pictures.
https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/3966815880.html

Thank you so much!
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Old 08-07-13, 11:06 AM
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Those look to be vintage electroforged Schwinns. Note the Chicago headbadge, serial no. stamp on headtube and smooth, curved joins at the head-tube.

The Suburban CS I see on Walmart.com looks very different from these two vintage Schwinns.
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Old 08-07-13, 11:11 AM
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The pair you are looking at are likely from the 1970's and appear to be in good shape. Schwinn was sold and restructured during the mid 1990s.
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Old 08-07-13, 11:17 AM
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Today's Schwinn is a TOTALLY different animal from the old Schwinn. The old ones, seem to have run from 1970-1993 or so. Up till about 1981, they were the curvy, elctroforged VERY heavy frames. When the Chicago plant closed down, they subcontracted with GIANT, and they actually got lighter. Their Mississippi plant just could not compete on the global market and eventually shuttered. Schwinn went belly up and it ALL went to CHINA, so the new Suburbans started a few years back and became the Walmart/Target bikes we see today.
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Old 08-07-13, 11:21 AM
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These are late 60's Schwinn's (you can tell be the crank), in very good condition, from seeing the pics. They were made to last, not toss aside after a few years. I'm sure you could even haggle the price down a bit, just make sure all is in good working order. These bikes will last a LOOONG time. The newer ones will be in a landfill in a few years...
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Old 08-07-13, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by PNK4 View Post
Does anybody know what year Schwinn made this split?
In a nutshell:

Schwinn made their own bikes until the 1970s when demand outpaced supply. They turned to Japanese suppliers like Bridgestone and Panasonic to build some of their models. These usually have "Schwinn Approved" on them and were mostly lugged frames.

In the 80s, they worked with Giant to supply some of their bikes and opened a factory in Mississippi. Bikes from either location are generally decent, but they could never work out the problems at the new U.S. plant to make it competitive worldwide.

At the end of the decade, they decided to sell low-end Chinese made bikes to department stores and start their own chain of bike shops. This angered Giant because it made their own bikes look bad, and LBS's didn't like the competition. Giant was new to selling bikes under their own brand, and in the end a lot of Schwinn dealers switched to Giant, essentially selling the same bikes under a different name.

Schwinn collapsed and was bought by Pacific Cycles, maker of garbage Chinese-made department store bikes.

Pacific Cycle collapsed a few years ago and was bought by Doral. They already had higher quality facilities turning out other brands like Fuji, and started making bike shop-level bikes in these factories. Now there are two "Schwinns:" department store and bike shop lines. They have nothing in common aside from the name, and even have separate websites.
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Old 08-07-13, 06:09 PM
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Basically for history Shcwinn was a different company from 45-84 it's glory days 84 was essentially when they went backrupt restructures and closed stoped there full service liceneced dealerships. From 84 to 93 they mainly inported bikes made by other manufacurers and some in the US. In 93 still failing fincially they sold out and the rights and man****uring of Schwinn products went to several comapnies.
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Old 08-07-13, 08:26 PM
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Those are authentic. To narrow down the build dates: https://www.angelfire.com/rant/allday...nnCodes1.html/
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Old 08-07-13, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by PNK4 View Post
Link to sale is below if anybody can tell from pictures.
https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/3966815880.html

Thank you so much!
Those are early/mid '70's "real" Schwinn bikes, made long before Schwinn's collapse. They look to be in excellent shape, but will require normal replacement items: tires, tubes, brake shoes, perhaps cables & chain. The grease in the hubs, headset, and crank is probably dried up, but these bikes are easy to work on. I worked on hundreds of Schwinn bikes back then, and they all used many parts in common.
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Old 08-08-13, 06:00 AM
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Just out of curiosity.....

What size 26" tires would fit them?
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Old 08-08-13, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by okane View Post
What size 26" tires would fit them?
Normally Suburbans of that era take 27 x 1-1/4".
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Old 08-08-13, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by stanman13 View Post
Normally Suburbans of that era take 27 x 1-1/4".
aka 32-630; 28-630 and 35-630 will fit fine also.
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Old 08-08-13, 01:22 PM
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Note you will need hard walled tires with a full bead since these are none hooked smooth rims.
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Old 08-08-13, 05:29 PM
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That is true yes, but you would be hard pressed to find Schwinn backing down from their warrany pledge, unless you know this not to be so. To say the bikes in department stores , shwinns,are garbage I think isn't fair,unless you have some proof to the contrary. NOt everyone can afforda $1000.00 bike I suspect fred Meyers would be tad unimpressed saying their bikes aren't safe ? Garbage , imho, presumes that.

Schwinn has lifetime warranty on frame, fork and all other but 'normal wear' parts.

Iwas thinking of getting a new Schwinn from fred Meyers, a nice one I thought even though I h ate twist shifters.

thx
BV

Last edited by bluevarsity; 08-09-13 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 08-08-13, 06:06 PM
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The Schwinn limited warranty is different depending on whether the bike was originally purchased from an independent bike dealer or a mass retailer. In both cases, the warranty only applies to the original purchaser of the bike; it is not transferable.

Here are the two warranties from schwinnbikes.com.

Schwinn Limited Warranty - Independent Bike Dealer

Limited Warranty
Your purchase includes the following warranty which is in lieu of all other express warranties. This warranty is extended only to the initial consumer purchaser. This warranty gives you specific legal rights. You may have other legal rights which vary from state to state.

Limited Lifetime Frame Warranty
Frames are guaranteed against manufacturing defect (defined as a defect in materials or workmanship as delivered with the product) for as long as the original purchaser owns the bicycle, subject to the terms and conditions of this limited warranty. If frame failure should occur due to faulty materials or workmanship during the guarantee period, the frame will be replaced with the same or most nearly compatible frame then available. For frame replacement under the limited warranty, please contact the authorized dealer the bicycle was purchased from. Authorized dealers will contact us to initiate a warranty claim on your behalf. Frames must be returned for inspection at the customerís expense and include a copy of the original and dated purchasing receipt. Please note: the fork is not part of the frame.

Useful Lifecycle
Every Schwinn bicycle has a useful life cycle. The length of useful lifecycle of a bicycle or components is not the same as the warranty period and will vary depending on the type of bike, riding conditions, and care the bicycle receives. Competition, jumping, downhill racing, trick riding, trial riding, riding in severe conditions or climates, riding with heavy loads, or any other non-standard use can substantially shorten the useful product lifecycle. Any one or a combination of these conditions may result in an unpredictable failure that is not covered by this limited warranty. All bicycles and frame sets should be periodically checked by an authorized dealer for indications of potential problems, inappropriate use and/or abuse. These are important safety checks and may help prevent accidents, bodily injury to the rider and a shortened product lifecycle.

Component Warranty
Most non-proprietary components have a limited warranty offered by the component manufacturer directly. Please contact your authorized dealer for additional information on making a warranty claim on such a part. All other parts except Normal Wear Parts are guaranteed against a defect in materials or workmanship for as long as the original purchaser owns the bicycle, subject to the terms and conditions of this limited warranty. If failure of a part should occur due to a defect in materials or workmanship as delivered with the product, the part will be replaced. Please contact an authorized dealer to initiate a warranty claim on your behalf. All parts must be returned for inspection at the customerís expense and be accompanied by a copy of the original and dated proof of purchase. Normal Wear parts, defined as grips, tubes, tires, cables, brake shoes, and saddle covering have a thirty (30) day limited warranty. Claims against Normal Wear parts must be made within thirty (30) days of purchase. Please contact your local authorized dealer for warranty assistance on components.

Terms and Conditions
Any other warranty claim not included in the statements above is void. This especially includes installation, assembly, and disassembly costs. The limited warranty does not cover paint damage, rust, any modification made to the bicycle, normal wear and tear, improper assembly or maintenance, and installation of parts or accessories not originally intended or compatible with the bicycle as sold. The warranty does not apply to damage or failure due to accident, abuse, misuse, neglect or theft. Claims involving these issues will not be honored.

It is the responsibility of the individual consumer purchaser to assure that all functional parts are initially adjusted properly, and subsequent normal maintenance services and adjustments necessary to keep the bicycle in good operating condition are properly made. This warranty does not apply to damage due to improper installation of parts, installation of any kind of power plant or internal combustion engine, modification or alteration of the brakes, drive train, or frame in any way, or failure to properly maintain or adjust the bicycle. NOTICE: Bicycle specifications subject to change without notice

THIS IS THE ONLY WARRANTY MADE BY SCHWINN. THERE ARE NO OTHER WARRANTIES. ANY WARRANTY THAT MIGHT OTHERWISE BE IMPLIED BY LAW INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE LIMITED STRICTLY TO THE APPLICABLE LENGTH OF THIS LIMITED WARRANTY.

Schwinn Limited Lifetime Warranty and Policy on Replacement Procedures and Responsibilities - Mass Retailer

Your purchase includes the following warranty which is in lieu of all other express warranties. This warranty is extended only to the initial consumer purchaser. No warranty registration is required. This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may have other rights which vary from state to state.

Frame
Steel, aluminum and dual suspension frames are guaranteed against faulty materials and workmanship for as long as the initial consumer purchaser has the bicycle, subject to the Terms and Conditions of this Limited Warranty. If frame failure should occur due to faulty materials or workmanship during the guarantee period, the frame will be replaced. For frame replacement under this Limited Warranty, contact us, stating the nature of the failure, model number, date received and the name of the store from which the bike was received, at the address given on this page. Frame must be returned for inspection at customer's expense. Please note: the fork is not part of the frame. A lifetime warranty on your frame does not guarantee that the product will last forever. The length of the useful life cycle will vary depending on the type of bike, riding conditions and care the bicycle receives. Competition, jumping, downhill racing, trick riding, trial riding, riding in severe conditions or climates, riding with heavy loads or any other non-standard use can substantially shorten the useful product life cycle. Any one or a combination of these conditions may result in an unpredictable failure that is not covered by this warranty. All bicycles and frame sets should be periodically checked by an authorized dealer for indications of potential problems, inappropriate use or abuse. These are important safety checks and are very important to help prevent accidents, bodily injury to the rider and shortened useful product life cycle.

Parts
All other parts of the bicycle, except Normal Wear Parts, are warranted against defective materials and workmanship for as long as the initial consumer purchaser has the bicycle, subject to the Terms and Conditions of this Limited Warranty. If failure of any part should occur due to faulty materials or workmanship during the warranty period, the part will be replaced. All warranty claims must be submitted to the address below and must be shipped prepaid and accompanied by proof of purchase. Any other warranty claims not included in this statement are void. This especially includes installation, assembly, and disassembly costs. This warranty does not cover paint damage, rust, or any modifications made to the bicycle. Normal Wear Parts are defined as grips, tires, tubes, cables, brake shoes and saddle covering. These parts are warranted to be free from defects in material and workmanship as delivered with the product. Any claim for repair or replacement of Normal Wear Parts (grips, tubes, tires, cables, brake shoes and saddle covering) and missing parts must be made within thirty (30) days of the date of purchase.

Conditions of Warranty


1.Your bicycle has been designed for general transportation and recreational use, but has not been designed to withstand abuse associated with stunting and jumping. This warranty ceases when you rent, sell, or give away the bicycle, ride with more than one person, or use the bicycle for stunting or jumping.

2.This warranty does not cover ordinary wear and tear or anything you break accidentally or deliberately.

3.This warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, improper assembly or maintenance, or installation of parts or accessories not originally intended or compatible with the bicycle as sold. The warranty does not apply to damage or failure due to accident, abuse, misuse, neglect, or theft. Claims involving these issues will not be honored.

4.It is the responsibility of the individual consumer purchaser to assure that all parts included in the factory-sealed carton are properly installed, all functional parts are initially adjusted properly, and subsequent normal maintenance services and adjustments necessary to keep the bicycle in good operating condition are properly made.

5.This warranty does not apply to damage due to improper installation of parts, installation of any kind of power plant or internal combustion engine, modification or alteration of the brakes, drive train, or frame in any way, or failure to properly maintain or adjust the bicycle.

NOTICE: Bicycle specifications subject to change without notice.

Pacific Cycle Inc.
4902 Hammersley Road
Madison, WI 53711
Call toll free 1-800-626-2811
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time
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Old 08-09-13, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bluevarsity View Post
That is true yes, but you would be hard pressed to find Schwinn backing down from their warrany pledge, unless you know this not to be so. To say the bikes in department stores , shwinns,are garbage I think isn't fair,unless you have some proof to the contrary. NOt everyone can afforda $1000.00 bike I suspect fred Meyers would be tad unimpressed saying their bikes aren't safe ? Garbage , imho, presumes that.

Schwinn has lifetime warranty on frame, fork and all other but 'normal wear' parts.

Iwas thinking of getting a new Schwinn from fred Meyers, a nice one I thought even though I h ate twist shifters.

thx
BV
I don't think it's unfair to describe them as "garbage". I think that describes them pretty well. That's my opinion and I don't have to prove anything. You'd be much better off buying a vintage Schwinn.
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