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No Hands: The Rise and Fall of the Schwinn Bicycle Company

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No Hands: The Rise and Fall of the Schwinn Bicycle Company

Old 12-08-20, 10:45 AM
  #76  
rydabent
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I thot I might order the Schwinn book. I checked amazon, and they had one hard back book left for $497. I dont think I will order it.
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Old 12-14-20, 08:16 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I thot I might order the Schwinn book. I checked amazon, and they had one hard back book left for $497. I dont think I will order it.
I'll sell you my copy for half that price.

There's four copies on eBay right now with the cheapest for about $74 including shipping.
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Old 12-20-20, 08:06 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
thot
I <3 thots
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Old 12-22-20, 11:05 AM
  #79  
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When I was growing up in Canada, Schwinn was not sold here - everybody rode Raleigh and Mercury 3-speeds. (Sturmey-Archer has to be right down there with Lucas Electrics in the annals of British industrial incompetence). I thought at the time Schwinn meant funny-looking balloon-tire bikes, because those were the only ones we ever saw advertised.

My only encounter with a Schwinn was after my heart surgery in 2007. I could barely walk to the end of my driveway let alone cycle, so I looked around for a stationary bike to rehab on. I bought a Schwinn Airdyne off Craigslist and used it for a couple of years. Fantastic workout because it also works the upper body. I didn't realize how well-respected the Airdyne was until I went to re-sell it. The demand was hot, and I sold it to a doctor for more than I had paid for it.

.
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Old 12-22-20, 11:24 AM
  #80  
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Thanks for the suggestion. I hope our library has it. But I no longer live in suburban Chicago, where even a rather conservative electorate took pride in funding libraries and schools (CA is a hell-disaster by comparison).

Schwinn was the only game in town when I was growing up in Chicago. I had always just assumed competition from Trek made a huge contribution to their downfall. Trek produced bikes that were cool-looking, well-designed and significantly lighter. They had a hard time breaking into the Chicago-area market. I remember going to Wisconsin to get our first one.
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Old 12-22-20, 11:51 AM
  #81  
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I picked up a copy from my local library. I knew cycling was big in around 1900, but geez! sounds like a fun time.
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Old 12-23-20, 07:34 AM
  #82  
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I don't know about other states, but Michigan has a state-wide inter-library loan program that can be accessed online. It not only includes almost every public library in the state, but also all of the state-supported universities (and maybe others). That's where I was able to borrow a copy, and since the book was actually written as a business case study as opposed to a history of bicycling, it came from a university business school library.
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Old 12-27-20, 03:00 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by NVanHiker View Post
When I was growing up in Canada, Schwinn was not sold here - everybody rode Raleigh and Mercury 3-speeds. (Sturmey-Archer has to be right down there with Lucas Electrics in the annals of British industrial incompetence). I thought at the time Schwinn meant funny-looking balloon-tire bikes, because those were the only ones we ever saw advertised.
.
I grew up in Edmonton. I think this is mostly backwards here. Raleigh was better than SA?? LOL. CCM SS was the king of the roads. Plus there were likely more department store brand bikes by far, Sears, Eaton's and Baycrest. I suppose adult enthusiasts bought lots Raleigh's, 2 were mine, a 1973 dR 5 and a 1990 3x6 with a pole HB. They were both low models, but still it was crap. MOST of the SA 3 hubs are STILL in use, and still as efficient as anything. I rode an antique used and too big SS Rudge, in high school. One day I rode this 52 miles, between lunch and supper.
Lately, I bought a 1973 CCM in 2017. Everything but the dropouts are FAR better on the CCM. The front axle is slotted into the 8 mm crimp, rather NICE IMO, with 1/4" balls. The other Raleigh axle had 1 lock nut, with small bearings, LOL, moronic design. EVERY fitting was their STUPID odd size dimensions. The cotter crank was a boat anchor. Fenders and chain cover was a cheap rattle can. The Raleigh with 531 actually weighed MORE. The handle bar was less than 1" clamp, STUPID. The stem bent too. But hey, I still use and LOVE the plastic grips off the Raleigh.
My CCM fenders were the best EVER MADE. FACT. Other bikes had the same ones too.

The SA 3 speed is 100% better than any defaileur of any age IMO. I did a 100.6 miles on my CCM with new wheels, but it's still a X-RD3. The GIs are actually a bit MORE than the 5 dR.
Now I also have a SA XL-RD5w. For anything less than tours and steep hills, this is FASTER than all else I've had, it's 46 to 117.6 GI. Plus there's my SA XL-FDD dyno drum with 27,000 miles. The BEST bike part EVER MADE. FACT. ZERO adjustments or worries.

BTW >>> Those funny looking balloon tire cruise bikes were AWESOME art deco in motion.
The actual funny and butt UGLY fat tire crap is now called a MTB. LOL
I would guess most Schwinn's were better than Raleigh's.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 12-28-20 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 01-01-21, 09:21 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by az_cyclist View Post
Oh I am sure they did. The hypocrisy of it is what got me; the new owners wanted the Schwinn name, but didnt want to back it up.
This happens all the time. My son loved New Castle Ale, but told me that the brewery was taken over by another company who kept the New Castle name but changed to recepy. The new brew is, in his opinion, undrinkable. I don't drink so I have no personal frame of reference.

Regarding Schwinn...M first bike in the 1950's was a Kelly Green balloon tire bike that featured a gas tank like 'thing' under the down tube. I then owned a banana seat Sting Ray (it was a Schwinn, right), a Varsity and a Continental. Now many years later, I enjoy my flip/flop hub Madison.

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Old 01-02-21, 06:05 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by az_cyclist View Post
I had 3 Schwinn bikes, a Varsity 5 in 1979, a Traveler in 1983, and a Prelude in 1986. The Prelude had Columbus chrome-moly tubing and SunTour groupo. The rear dropout broke in July of 1998. Since the frame was supposed to have been under a lifetime warranty, I searched out a Schwinn dealer ( I lived in Indianapolis at that point, not in the city where I purchased the bike). They contacted Schwinn, who at this time had been purchased by a group called Questor (probably the Colorado group mentioned earlier in this thread). THEY determined lifetime warranty meant 10 years. I didnt expect a full credit for a 12 year old bike, but I didnt expect the bum's rush either. FWIW, I switched to Trek then.
I had similar experience. Bought a Circuit in 1985. Bought it in Minnesota and was living in Northern Indiana in late 90s when frame broke at dropouts. Was told by LBS in Indiana that Schwinn had been sold and new owners were not honoring Schwinn lifetime warranty. Shop told me that they had a Schwinn frame they could sell me for $600. I didn't take it and was not happy with this situation. But I got a little revenge on the shop not going the extra mile in service. I was overseeing the construction of a new fitness center at the Y and the shop put a bid on providing the equipment at a cost of over 50 grand. They didn't get the contract.
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Old 01-02-21, 07:15 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Pridedog View Post
I had similar experience. Bought a Circuit in 1985. Bought it in Minnesota and was living in Northern Indiana in late 90s when frame broke at dropouts. Was told by LBS in Indiana that Schwinn had been sold and new owners were not honoring Schwinn lifetime warranty. Shop told me that they had a Schwinn frame they could sell me for $600. I didn't take it and was not happy with this situation. But I got a little revenge on the shop not going the extra mile in service. I was overseeing the construction of a new fitness center at the Y and the shop put a bid on providing the equipment at a cost of over 50 grand. They didn't get the contract.
As someone else suggest, when Schwinn was sold, the new owner probably had to assume all assets and liabilities, and that would include frame guarantees. It would cost a lawyer, but I think you got cheated.
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Old 01-02-21, 07:20 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by az_cyclist View Post
I had 3 Schwinn bikes, a Varsity 5 in 1979, a Traveler in 1983, and a Prelude in 1986. The Prelude had Columbus chrome-moly tubing and SunTour groupo. The rear dropout broke in July of 1998. Since the frame was supposed to have been under a lifetime warranty, I searched out a Schwinn dealer ( I lived in Indianapolis at that point, not in the city where I purchased the bike). They contacted Schwinn, who at this time had been purchased by a group called Questor (probably the Colorado group mentioned earlier in this thread). THEY determined lifetime warranty meant 10 years. I didnt expect a full credit for a 12 year old bike, but I didnt expect the bum's rush either. FWIW, I switched to Trek then.
Google the Schwinn frame warranty. It looks to me like it is still in effect for the frame, but not the fork. If you have proof you are the original owner, I think they have to honor it..
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Old 01-05-21, 09:31 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
As someone else suggest, when Schwinn was sold, the new owner probably had to assume all assets and liabilities, and that would include frame guarantees. It would cost a lawyer, but I think you got cheated.
Typically a buyer will want to buy a corporation's assets (including trademarks), not its stock, and the corporation is dissolved following the sale, sometimes in bankruptcy. Any liabilities stay with the old corporation. It's done this way to avoid assuming liabilities of a corporation.
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Old 01-08-21, 12:06 PM
  #89  
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For what it's worth, when I bought my 1988 Project KOM-10 ca. 1996, the first owner disclosed that the frame had been replaced under warranty. He's a big guy, so I hope I am easier on the new frame than he was, although I have broken both a Nishiki Competition and a Peugeot UO-8 frame in the past, simply by using (not abusing) them. Interestingly, when I broke the 1971 Nishiki frame in the early 1990s, the company did offer me a $150 credit toward purchase of a new bicycle, including a Trek I was considering. I found a great deal on a used 1980 Peugeot PKN-10, and went that route, instead.
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Old 01-10-21, 01:28 PM
  #90  
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Schwinn's biggest innovation that we still enjoy today was the Bike Shop! The Schwinn family doesn't get credit, it was one of their dealers who created a clean, well lit showroom where your mom could accompany you without getting grease on her clothes. The Schwinn dealer in my hometown was a small machine shop with zero concept of customer service.
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