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Schwinn - they're still in service for me..

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Schwinn - they're still in service for me..

Old 01-18-16, 02:27 AM
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rlmj
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Schwinn - they're still in service for me..

Lately, I have been getting more into biking than I ever have before. I was really into it then, but I'm even more into it now.

My first bike was a department store MAGNA.. abused the hell out of that thing but it was great as my first bike larger than 20''. It rusted away and saw its days, until it finally met slashed tires by my father during my teenage years.

My next bike was a Schwinn Traverse. Still have the frame, but fully disassembled. Sat out in the rain a few times, some moving parts got some rust. Not worth repairing right now, as I have two other options. This bike DEFINITELY met its match.. department store wear and quality is obvious now 4+ years later, being only 8 months old at the time of this picture (2012).



Since it sat out in the rain, I was then given a gift by my Uncle (unknowingly, through my Aunt). It is a Schwinn Mirada, originally a performance bike of some sort, with thinner MTB tires that I have never seen before. I had taken it out for a few rides, but the hub seemed to have died off, I'd be pedaling for no reason at all sometimes; going no where. So I thought I'd try something new, and avoid all the constantly moving components out of such a thing as a MTB, and went with a single speed.

Picked up a bright orange single speed Schwinn at sears 2 years ago - $349+. It came assembled wrong completely, and it was the last bike in the store. The drops were installed BACKWARDS upside down, and of course, all the nuts were loose (ha). But after a slow, dark, blind (forgot my glasses that day, I am -450/-450) ride home on weird handlebars and crappy brakes, the bike still lives on. It needs new rims, as the spokes are starting to go at the rear and I'm tired of cleaning the white, but all in all, it is a great bike. It has caught so many eyes, and I have put over 2k miles on it. It is the first bike I've ever had to only get one flat tire, the rear over the longest duration. I ended up bringing the bike after that flat to an LBS, and received a nice, thicker performance road tire (that is now worn with minimal traction). All parts were adjusted as need be and a tune up was done. 2k miles being 100% maintenance free aside from wipe-downs, full summer abuse, and 5 broken spokes, this bike still has potential.. I love it.

Here it is at about a year old in March of 2015. with some minor attachments, but no major changes other than the rear tire, and handlebar tape. If I had glasses on at the time of purchase, and saw the "single" part written on it, I would not have purchased it. But I love this frame so much, I don't let it bother me too much. A bike I can lift with my pinky even with these minor attachments on it is acceptable by me.



Now, onto the current bike.. Here is that Schwinn Mirada. It is quite an interesting bike. I cannot find this bike anywhere online other than one picture, that I only find if I look really hard. The model number on the pacific cycle sticker brings you to the CURRENT, almost 70% different Schwinn Mirada that is being sold @ K-Mart. This bike is definitely at least 5 years old, as it was given to me 4 years ago, but was definitely owned for that much longer. I never asked where it was bought, never cared. But I do now, and I might ask. This picture is recent (a few minutes old), after a 30 min ride through some ice, snow, slush and salt. I like where my accessories are going, I love the lights. Don't know if you can see my phone mount, and sorry about the saddle bag. It has reflector tape built in all around it. I'm looking to replace some more parts, specifically the cassette, pedals, chain, tires and crankset (everything? LOL). I'm also looking into fenders but am trying to stick with amazon as I know I will need them FAST and my LBS is 2mi away with hours that do not fit my work schedule all the time. It's something I've always wanted on my bikes, but when the time came I would just forget it, because I never liked the idea of riding in the rain. I figured it would add to more maintenance of the bike. But I'm trying to get myself out of that tradition, and definitely want to get some fenders on there for those bad days. These are the X-Rims from my Traverse that you see with the cassette from that bike as well (both 21-speed).



What do you think? Am I going over my head? It's only until recently that a coworker with a full suspension Specialized that he rarely rides tells me I need to get away from Schwinn and get myself something nice finally. I wouldn't mind.. but at the same time, I'm not down for spending all that money on something somewhat perfect, that I can perfect myself. I love the frame so much the way it is, but I have no issue with replacing parts. A recent visit to my LBS after my own tune up with this Mirada for new brakes, brake lines, and tubes made me feel like I was wasting their time with a Schwinn.. there is not a single Schwinn item in the store. I don't think there's even a sticker on their sticker wall. I've put 82mi on it in the past 2 days, and I'm about to give it a few more. These tires have seen about 1000mi of pavement, 500mi of trail/gravel. The frame itself has seen no more than 800mi, but at least 600mi.

I would replace the parts on any bike I had anyway, much like you would build a computer with custom components (which I also do in my spare time, networking as occupation). Biking is my getaway. But unless there's a reason beyond stock parts that I am willing to replace anyway, am I going the wrong way with biking? I just don't want to spend $600+ on a brand new bike (which is what I would want) that MAY get beat up, when I could work on something that will still serve the same purpose and receive the same treatment.. I am very considerate when it comes to the upkeep of my bikes. The only exception is the Traverse -- I had no choice. I was in the middle of moving, and the only place I could store it was my old jobs lot until finally moving it into the back of the store.

Thanks for reading this story.. See you around!
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Last edited by rlmj; 01-18-16 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 01-18-16, 06:26 AM
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If they work for you who is to say you need a better bike.

The only thing I will say is the quality of Schwinn today is not the same quality when I was a kid, but yours seem to be doing well for you.
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Old 01-18-16, 07:25 AM
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Take a ride on that Specialized and see how it compares to your department store Schwinn. The difference should be night and day. I remember moving from a Diamondback from Dick's Sportings Goods to my first "real" Specialized mountain bike. It was a huge improvement and increased my overall riding quantity and quality three fold.
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Old 01-18-16, 07:44 AM
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Look how much seat post you have sticking out of your bikes. I'm thinking that you are a relatively tall fellow and that you bicycle enough that you deserve to at least try a bike a bike that's the right size.
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Old 01-18-16, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Look how much seat post you have sticking out of your bikes. I'm thinking that you are a relatively tall fellow and that you bicycle enough that you deserve to at least try a bike a bike that's the right size.
No one has ever said a word to me about that before.
Yes, I am 6'2''. My legs are longest, and I like to be high up instead of down low, where it gives you the ol "knees to chest" feeling.

In the summer, I ride every day. The traverse seen daily rides over the bayonne bridge, before its closure. I shed away 30lbs in a month. At one point I was riding to work every day (6 days a week, 19mi each way [on the orange single speed]). On Saturday nights, I would end it off with a bang by coming home, and then going out to central park for the night (16mi each way). Now that winter is here, I'm trying not to hibernate anymore and I'm building on that mirada. I try to stay local as I mostly ride at night now, so I'm out for about a good 30-40 mins on a 12mi ride total. If it's a good day, around 30, that's including a bikeway as well as trail.

Took 3 falls in 2 days (forgot if I had mentioned that), having not fell off a bike on my own in 5 years. I did crash into a woman crossing the Chambers Street intersection in the middle of rush hour almost a year ago.. but that wasn't my fault. Light was green, traffic cop allowed her to cross anyway stating he "didn't see me, had no idea". As of now I'm a bit wary about my current riding situation. But what goes up must come down, and I won't get anywhere unless I stand back up.

The point is, yeah; I like to ride. But I just am not seeing what the whole idea behind spending more than $600 on one [bike] is.. just me I guess. God forbid, I did buy a GoPro Hero 3 White (I think?) a year ago as well and have recorded two times with it.. I don't know. Maybe I'll do something good with my tax return this year and go for a nice bike.. but I don't want to get fed up once it comes time to put that specific bike away for a while, or have a reason not to ride it.. if it's an MTB fine I'll ride the hell out of it.. it's all I know. With a road bike, I'm fine on pavement for hours at a time.. once road 51mi out to Long Island, which took a ferry and a bridge to get there. I'd have rode back, but there was an extreme wind chill out of no where that even the smartest cyclist would not have been prepared for on a mid summer day, and I have issues with the cold. I started to get smart with that, though. I don't want it to stop me anymore, and it's not. But when this winter weather comes.. I don't want to just put it away and give it a 4 month vacation due to some elements, and it not being able to handle trails.

I've eyeballed a few giant bikes.. but, actually, until late I thought Giant was an "iffy" brand when it came to complete satisfaction. I believe I am learning that I was wrong about this?
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Old 01-18-16, 08:24 AM
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I think that you should get in touch with FBinNY. He's in New York and understands the concept of keeping functional gear functional rather than replacing it. You only have a couple of posts so you can't private message yet. If you'd like, I'll PM him for you.
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Old 01-18-16, 08:33 AM
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You could always hunt around for a used bike on CL. You'll save a fair amount of money and you'll be forced to learn a bit about fixing a bike up; both are good things. Plus you can find a bike that fits you better.
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