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Schwinn Opinions

Old 05-10-24, 07:04 AM
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Schwinn Opinions

I had a previous post about what type of bicycle I was looking for but I'm wondering about Schwinn models. I believe back in the day this was a great brand but is it something I should even be considering now if I'm looking for cost savings? I see a Schwinn that fits my needs but I've also found a Trek that could do mostly what I want also. Thoughts?
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Old 05-10-24, 07:37 AM
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Which exact model Schwinn and Trek bikes are you referring to?
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Old 05-10-24, 07:46 AM
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The Trek Verve 3 versus the Schwinn Network 3.0
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Old 05-10-24, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by spuzak30
I see a Schwinn that fits my needs but I've also found a Trek that could do mostly what I want also. Thoughts?
Since the Trek only "mostly" fits your needs, what (specifically) does the Schwinn do that the Trek doesn't?
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Old 05-10-24, 08:05 AM
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Schwinn has not been Schwinn since the mid 1990's. The real Schwinn went out of business and sold the name. Their current market focus is on low cost bikes for the big box retail discount stores. I bought a lot of those type bikes for my kids when they were outgrowing their bike size rapidly and tearing up bikes while they were growing up.
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Old 05-10-24, 08:45 AM
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There are two grades Schwinn now: Walmart/Amazon Schwinn and bike shop Schwinn. The bike shop ones are good and the Walmart ones are bad.
I would bet that the Network 3.0 shown on Amazon (here) is not good. You'd be better off with just about ANY Trek.
Competing with the Network 3.0 would be the Verve line from Trek. I had one; just sold it this spring, it was a great bike, albeit slow because of its upright posture and wide handlebar.

More on Schwinn on the Wikipedia page here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwinn_Bicycle_Company

Toward the bottom, we can see that a Dutch conglomerate now owns Pacific Cycle, which owns Schwinn. The Schwinn of old is long-gone.

The old Chicago-made Schwinns were very good quality, but HEAVY. My 1972 Varsity weighs 37 lbs with no accessories, vs. my 2023 Trek Domane that weighs about 27 lbs. with accessories. (bottle cages, lights, tools in the seat bag)
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Old 05-10-24, 09:37 AM
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I like the road models from the 80s with lugged frames (I have an ‘84 World Sport). I also like the all-terrain bikes from the 80s, also with lugged frames (I have an ‘86 High Sierra). And I like the hybrids from the early 90s, also with lugged frames, made during the last gasp of the original Schwinn company (I have a ‘90 Crosscut and ‘92 Crosspoint). So what I guess I’m saying is the lugged steel frames from that era are excellent platforms for building new bikes and some models had good quality group sets in the top level packages. Some, like my High Sierra, had iconic group sets. You can update them with modern components easily and configure them as tourers, gravel bikes, hybrids, and road bikes.

That said, I also have a more recent department-store Schwinn Ranger that has what is decidedly not a good frame. I got it for $5 at a thrift store and use it as my “camping” bike, fixing it up enough to make it reliable and ridable while also not caring a lot if it gets beat up being hauled around on the back of my travel trailer (it’s a violent world back there) or stolen. In other words, it is not a Schwinn to aspire to.
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Old 05-10-24, 09:39 AM
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I took a look at both bikes. I agree, the Verve will be the better bike. The main thing that concerns me about the Schwinn is the suspension fork. Frankly, unless you're riding in truly rough terrain, a suspension fork is unnecessary. And any suspension fork on a cheap bike is also going to be cheaply made. So, for me, the Trek will be a better choice.
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Old 05-10-24, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine
I took a look at both bikes. I agree, the Verve will be the better bike. The main thing that concerns me about the Schwinn is the suspension fork. Frankly, unless you're riding in truly rough terrain, a suspension fork is unnecessary. And any suspension fork on a cheap bike is also going to be cheaply made. So, for me, the Trek will be a better choice.
I agree about avoiding inexpensive bikes with suspension forks. To make one of those enjoyable, I think you’d be looking at upgrading the fork to one with real shock absorption and adjustment (can be expensive) or replacing it with a rigid fork (can be inexpensive). I had a Giant hybrid with a cheap suspension fork that was frightening to pedal when standing up because the front end became a pogo stick. I replaced that one with a rigid fork that was a game changer. I also upgraded the suspension fork on a department-store Schwinn with a better one that I got used from a community bike shop. The replacement had adjustable preload that I crank to its highest setting, which makes the bike easier to live with. So part of your decision making process could be whether you want to replace the fork because you otherwise like the bike. This may be easier for me to consider because, as you may be able to tell, I just don’t understand people who ride a bike as it was when they bought it. 😀
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Old 05-10-24, 10:26 AM
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That Schwinn is a $350 bicycle, with a suspension fork to boot. How much cost-cutting do you think they need to do, in order bring that entire bike to market with a retail price of $350? That is truly bottom-of-the-barrel. That bicycle won't make you happy.

As others have said, the Schwinn of today is just a name - it is not the Schwinn of old.
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Old 05-10-24, 10:31 AM
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I looked at the 3-star reviews on Amazon for the Schwinn bike. The first I came upon was posted by a rider whose freewheel had disassembled itself after a few hundred miles. The rider took it to a bike shop, where they suggested contacting Schwinn and describing the problem. The bike's owner called Schwinn, and they sent a replacement freewheel, mounted on a brand-new wheel (without tire or tube).

So---good follow-through on the warranty. On the other hand, the bike's owner likely had to take the bike to the bike shop and pay to have the wheel installed and the derailleur adjustment checked. And the new freewheel may be exactly the same (dismal) quality as the one that fell apart.
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Old 05-10-24, 10:57 AM
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Would generally not recommend a Trek over much but over a modern Schwinn 100%
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Old 05-10-24, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by spuzak30
I believe back in the day this was a great brand but is it something I should even be considering now if I'm looking for cost savings?
Many of the Schwinns “back in the day” were not great bicycles. Outside of some rare examples, most of old Schwinn being “great” is just nostalgia.

Originally Posted by spuzak30
I see a Schwinn that fits my needs but I've also found a Trek that could do mostly what I want also. Thoughts?
You really need to be specific about the models. “Schwinn” now has nothing to do with old brand (which had some not great models).

“Schwinn” is a marketing thing and doesn’t really do anything for what bicycle to pick. (This doesn’t mean the Schwinn you are looking at isn’t a good choice for you.)

Last edited by njkayaker; 05-10-24 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 05-11-24, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
I looked at the 3-star reviews on Amazon for the Schwinn bike. The first I came upon was posted by a rider whose freewheel had disassembled itself after a few hundred miles. The rider took it to a bike shop, where they suggested contacting Schwinn and describing the problem. The bike's owner called Schwinn, and they sent a replacement freewheel, mounted on a brand-new wheel (without tire or tube).

So---good follow-through on the warranty. On the other hand, the bike's owner likely had to take the bike to the bike shop and pay to have the wheel installed and the derailleur adjustment checked. And the new freewheel may be exactly the same (dismal) quality as the one that fell apart.
As a $350 BSO, literally everything on that Schwinn is going to be as cheap as possible. Today the freewheel, tomorrow something else.
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Old 05-11-24, 07:13 AM
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I bought a new Scwhinn a few years ago, and was unhappy with the quality. It was made in China, the welds looked like they had been done in a junior high school metal shop. The paint looked good when the bike was delivered, but began to orange peel over the weeks. The hardware, chrome straps on the pedals, and the cranks and chain ring began rusting almost immediately, and I found the aluminum rims too soft, the brake pads gouged into them when braking, with the pads getting filled up with aluminum burrs.

I love vintage Schwinns, but wouldn’t buy another new one.
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Old 05-11-24, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
I bought a new Scwhinn a few years ago, and was unhappy with the quality. It was made in China, the welds looked like they had been done in a junior high school metal shop. The paint looked good when the bike was delivered, but began to orange peel over the weeks. The hardware, chrome straps on the pedals, and the cranks and chain ring began rusting almost immediately, and I found the aluminum rims too soft, the brake pads gouged into them when braking, with the pads getting filled up with aluminum burrs.

I love vintage Schwinns, but wouldn’t buy another new one.
This all makes sense, except for mentioning that it was made in China which is irrelevant, since that’s where many very high end bikes are manufactured as well.

OP, when it comes to department store bikes, you get what you pay for. You’re better off getting the cheapest offering from a real bike shop, which will be more expensive than a Schwinn but many times higher quality and longer lasting.
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Old 05-11-24, 08:06 AM
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Good quality used bike > poor quality new bike, cheaper too.
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Old 05-12-24, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
I bought a new Scwhinn a few years ago, and was unhappy with the quality. It was made in China, the welds looked like they had been done in a junior high school metal shop. The paint looked good when the bike was delivered, but began to orange peel over the weeks. The hardware, chrome straps on the pedals, and the cranks and chain ring began rusting almost immediately, and I found the aluminum rims too soft, the brake pads gouged into them when braking, with the pads getting filled up with aluminum burrs.

I love vintage Schwinns, but wouldn’t buy another new one.
We're friends with a couple that bought their bikes at Walmart or someplace like that, and his was a Schwinn similar to that one. As is usually the case with those kinds of bikes, they were sitting in the garage, inoperative. That usually doesn't take long, and most of them end up being scrapped. That is their destiny from the moment they come out of the factory.

But being up for a challenge, I told them I'd put them on my workstand and make them at least "road worthy". I did, but just barely. I explained that these bikes were not going to stay tuned and adjusted for long, and advised them not to get too far from home with them. The most heinous thing I saw was that the suspension fork on the Schwinn was only a simple spring. On one side - the other was an empty tube. Everything is as cheap as possible.
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Old 05-13-24, 12:22 PM
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By the way, I was present for the last gasp of Schwinn bikes. Last year, Richard Schwinn gave a tour of the Waterford Bikes factory, (in Waterford, WI) which used to make the Schwinn Paramount. Recently they made Gunnar and one or two other brands. They still had all the old tooling and fixtures. It was a fascinating tour and pretty somber too.
After that tour, there was a sponsored ride. I did the 30 mile route on my Trek Verve 3, and my daughter (11) joined on our folding eBike. She dropped me along with the rest of the peloton full of strangers (!) , then acted frustrated that it took me an extra half hour or so to finish and get lunch.

That ride, on the hybrid bike, being dropped by EVERYBODY except for one fatter older woman was what convinced me to buy a road bike and get in better shape.
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Old 05-14-24, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
There are two grades Schwinn now: Walmart/Amazon Schwinn and bike shop Schwinn. The bike shop ones are good and the Walmart ones are bad.
I would bet that the Network 3.0 shown on Amazon (here) is not good. You'd be better off with just about ANY Trek.
Competing with the Network 3.0 would be the Verve line from Trek. I had one; just sold it this spring, it was a great bike, albeit slow because of its upright posture and wide handlebar.

More on Schwinn on the Wikipedia page here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwinn_Bicycle_Company

Toward the bottom, we can see that a Dutch conglomerate now owns Pacific Cycle, which owns Schwinn. The Schwinn of old is long-gone.

The old Chicago-made Schwinns were very good quality, but HEAVY. My 1972 Varsity weighs 37 lbs with no accessories, vs. my 2023 Trek Domane that weighs about 27 lbs. with accessories. (bottle cages, lights, tools in the seat bag)
I have not seen anything but big box schwinns. and have not seen a schwinn in a bike shop (in modern times of course)....can your provide an example?
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Old 05-14-24, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
I have not seen anything but big box schwinns. and have not seen a schwinn in a bike shop (in modern times of course)....can your provide an example?
This shop used to carry "bike shop Schwinn" 10 years ago. They don't list it in their Products page any more. I guess you could call them if you're curious enough.

In the Wikipedia link in my previous post under the Models header also makes reference to two tiers of Schwinn bikes:

Schwinn sells essentially two lines of bicycles. One is a line of discount bikes offered through mass-merchandisers such as Wal-Mart, Sears and Kmart. The other line known as the Signature Series, featured on the website, are higher-end models sold through specialty shops.

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Old 05-15-24, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1

The old Chicago-made Schwinns were very good quality, but HEAVY. My 1972 Varsity weighs 37 lbs with no accessories, vs. my 2023 Trek Domane that weighs about 27 lbs. with accessories. (bottle cages, lights, tools in the seat bag)
The steel components back then I think we’re a big part of the bulk. They did get lighter as time went on, although no longer made in Chicago, but still good quality. My ‘92 Crosspoint weighs 25 lbs.
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Old 05-15-24, 02:35 PM
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Are there Any Schwinn bikes comparable to the Trek Verve 3 ?
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Old 05-15-24, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by roadsnakes
Are there Any Schwinn bikes comparable to the Trek Verve 3 ?
I mean probably there is one that weighs the same. I wouldn't buy a new modern Schwinn for any reason. I would much rather have the Trek and that is a bike that I don't think is all that good but compared to a Schwinn it is a Cadillac.
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Old 05-15-24, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by roadsnakes
Are there Any Schwinn bikes comparable to the Trek Verve 3 ?
No, not currently. Box store bikes and bike shop bikes are 2 different leagues. Generally speaking, bikes at similar MSRPs will be of similar quality, so you can use that as a basis for comparison. The Verve 3 retails for $1000 (but is currently on sale for $800). Looks like Schwinn hybrids top out around $600, and that probably reflects a similar quality to price ratio between the 2.
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