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Is Schwinn Taken Seriously Anymore

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Is Schwinn Taken Seriously Anymore

Old 07-30-07, 04:57 AM
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Is Schwinn Taken Seriously Anymore

I know Schwinn use to be a leading brand back in the day with the Peloton series. But now a days I don't see much of them other than at the local Walmart/Kmart branch.
Out of curiousity I went to their website to check out what they were offering for high end products. I had no idea they dealt in such "high end" product. They are running full carbon , dura ace 10sp, Ksyrium wheels .......etc.

So my question is...why aren't more people riding Schwinn?
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Old 07-30-07, 05:38 AM
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Old 07-30-07, 06:08 AM
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Schwinn does make 3 bikes in the high end peloton series, all carbon with nice features and components.
Nothing less than 105 in their low end peloton bike.
I think Schwinn fell into that dept. store mentality, despite being decent quality. Schwinn has also changed hands so many times over the years, who really is schwinn any more?
Think they are now own'd by pacific corp. who makes a bizillion bikes of all flavors.

At your local ride, schwinn is lost in the group among the treks, specialize's, scotts, etc.
Still not a bad bike.
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Old 07-30-07, 06:18 AM
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I just bought the bike in the photo. It's a great bike!! What I like about it is that not everyone has it. What I don't like about it is that in spite of the awesome components and frame, when others see it, there is an automatic OCP points deduction for owning a "Walmart Bike".
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Old 07-30-07, 06:25 AM
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Schwinn has a split personality and it is hurting them.

They sell some GREAT bikes -- Peloton and Fastback series.

And they sell JUNK -- whatever that stuff is at WalMart.

I own an '05 Fastback Pro -- full Ultegra except for the crank, which is Truvativ carbon; lightweight aluminum frame with carbon fork and rear triangle; Fizik Arione saddle; Ritchey aluminum bar and stem; all-around great bike for a great price. The stock wheels were a little on the heavy side. When I replaced them with Mavic Ksyrium SL's, the weight of the bike, including pedals and water bottle cages, came to 16.5 lbs. Again, great bike -- and because of Schwinn's split personality, you can usually pick them up for bargain prices.
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Old 07-30-07, 08:02 AM
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Where exactly do you pick up these "high end" models? I remember Diamondback also coming out with a few nicer models a year or so ago but never saw any of them? I even called a Diamondback dealer inquiring about these and they said they could get them but don't recommend them over the other brand road bikes they carry. Found that a little odd but oh well. I wouldn't mind seeing some of the Schwinn's in person though, not that I "need" another bike...
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Old 07-30-07, 08:13 AM
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A better question would be: Was Schwinn EVER taken seriously? Yes, the Paramounts were great bikes back in the day. But there where many other great bikes on the market back then too. And just like today the brand name was diluted by the crap they sold at the low end. Schwinn sunk huge money in the late sixties into a production facility in Illinois where they could take rolls of sheet metal and form entire bike tubes through a unique process that rolled and welded tubes into bike frames. It was a really interesting engineering feat. Sheldon Brown has a nice article on that facility on his website Inside the Varsity.

But the product that came out was heavy and crude. It didn't compare well with the more conventionally made European brands like Raleigh, Mercier, Motobecane and Peugot. To top this off Schwinn sold through dealerships where they had an exclusive arrangement. You couldn't compare Schwinns side by side with Raleighs in a single shop. You could look at a Schwinn in the local Schwinn dealer then drive across town to the other bike store that sold everything else. Usually the other shop's bikes came out looking better because they had quality European parts like Brooks saddles and Campagnolo components. Almost everything on a Schwinn bike was made by Schwinn.
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Old 07-30-07, 08:29 AM
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Schwinn is owned by Pacific Cycles, who are based here in Madison. I've seen some of the high-end road bikes out in this area and they look as good as any other high-end bike. (ie- the riders drop me as if they were riding an Orbea!) I've heard rumors that Pacific Cycles is planning to drop the high-end Schwinn's entirely- can anyone confirm this?

I have a 2000 Schwinn Homegrown mountain bike. It is a great frame and came stocked with some great components (XT/XTR). It's still going strong but I do get some strange looks when people see the great big Schwinn written on the downtube.

Split personality indeed- trying to manufacture a few high-end bikes while stocking every big box store in the US with garbage on wheels.
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Old 07-30-07, 09:20 AM
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I see a few in almost every race I'm in.
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Old 07-30-07, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by steve_wmn View Post
A better question would be: Was Schwinn EVER taken seriously? .
Oh yes, Schwinn was taken seriously. Schwinn was once a great, innovative American company. An American icon. The Schwinn name was synonomous with bicycle. I recommend the book "No Hands: The Rise and Fall of the Schwinn Bicycle Company, An American Institution". (If you can find a copy.) It's a fascinating book. Lots of American and bicycle history.

A quote from the dust jacket of the book:

"Since it's establishment in 1895, Schwinn knew the pulse of its market, bringing to life so many of the designs that shaped each generations's idea of what made a real bike... Schwinn redefined the way the industry operated, building the smartest network of local dealerships in the business."

Schwinn was founded by Ignaz Schwinn in 1895 and later run by his son F.W., both of them shrewd and visionary business men. The company was taken over by Ignaz's great-grandson Edward in 1979. But Edward Schwinn drove the company into the ground in less than 15 years with his arrogance and lack of vision. Such a shame.

I have a huge love for Schwinn bikes. My first Schwinn was a candy-apple red Stingray. A kid down the street was selling it and I begged my dad to buy it for me. I loved that bike! I can still remember the joy when I rode it for the first time. Later on I owned a Varsity and a Le Tour. Those Schwinn bikes are so much a part of my childhood memories. I recently fullfilled a dream of mine to own a Schwinn Paramount. So, yes to me Schwinn mattered. Schwinn inspired my life-long love of cycling.
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Old 07-30-07, 10:10 AM
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I don't think so. I use to equate Schwinn with quality. I always wanted one. Then when I could afford one, they ended up in Walmart and Target. I know what kind of quality the big box stores have so now I no longer think they are quality bikes. Same thing happened to Mongoose. Loved the BMX bike I had, but then they sold out also.
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Old 07-30-07, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by knobster View Post
Same thing happened to Mongoose. Loved the BMX bike I had, but then they sold out also.
Ugh; yeah, I've got an old Mongoose MTB that I use as a town bike when I'm in the US - I really feel like I need to put some stickers over the branding - - or get one that says, 'no really, I bought this at a real bicycle shop back in the day!' so people don't think I picked it up at WalMart.
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Old 07-30-07, 10:50 AM
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Simple: not enough "bling" factor. Largely, they're overlooked by the same folks who ignore the frame components/materials/similar construction of a Motobecane/et al and instead focus on the sticker affixed to the head tube and down tube.

If the decals (and in the case of Schwinn, the atrocious paint) were removed, I'm convinced that the "un-bling" bikes would receive a lot higher praises by those who now weren't swayed by the glitz associated with owning a bike of a certain manufacturer just BECAUSE it's from that manufacturer.
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Old 07-30-07, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Treefox View Post
Ugh; yeah, I've got an old Mongoose MTB that I use as a town bike when I'm in the US - I really feel like I need to put some stickers over the branding - - or get one that says, 'no really, I bought this at a real bicycle shop back in the day!' so people don't think I picked it up at WalMart.
Yeah, I've got a Schwinn Mesa GSD MTB that I have the same problems with. Bought at a local bike shop.
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Old 07-30-07, 11:51 AM
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I worked at a Schwinn dealer, Tampa Schwinn, during the summer of 1980. EVERYONE who came in the store came there because of Schwinn's rep, which was still very good at that time. Then the bottom fell out, they went overseas (although they were already going to Taiwin in 1980), they discontinued the Stingray, the Paramount (has been reserged but not the same).

Going to Wal-Mart was a fatal or at least near-fatal blow. I was at a bike store in Urbana Illinois and was surprised to see they sold Schwinns in the LBS.

Maybe there is still hope for my beloved Schwinn.
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Old 07-30-07, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by af2nr View Post
Where exactly do you pick up these "high end" models? I remember Diamondback also coming out with a few nicer models a year or so ago but never saw any of them? I even called a Diamondback dealer inquiring about these and they said they could get them but don't recommend them over the other brand road bikes they carry. Found that a little odd but oh well. I wouldn't mind seeing some of the Schwinn's in person though, not that I "need" another bike...
I've never seen a new Schwinn Peloton on the road, but I have seen them for sale with my own eyes...at LL Bean's in Freeport, ME. My impression, after a quick once-over, was that they are decent bikes, but I wouldn't pay full retail (which is what Bean's was charging).
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Old 07-30-07, 12:16 PM
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I bought one of the Peleton models from the late nineties-2000 new, it is TIG welded Reynolds 853. The frame is the same geometry as the lugged version in 853 & Serotta TIG titanium built Paramounts from the same years. The bike cost 1300 and has all good components, I still love to ride it. Perhaps this was a high point before they were sold to Pacific.

The weight of the bike is 17 to 18 pounds.

58cm Schwinn Peleton Reynolds 853 frame
9 Speed Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 STI Shifters - Front and Rear
Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 Brakeset - Front and Rear
Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 Derailleurs - Front and Rear
Shimano Dura-Ace Crankset 7700
Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 Cassette 11-23
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Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 Headset
Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 Bottom Bracket
Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 Chainrings 53-42
Mavic Sup Wheelset w/ Shimano Ultegra Rear hub and Shimano 600 front
Panaracer Stradius tires 700 X 23C
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Old 07-30-07, 12:20 PM
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I have seen some of the higher-end Schwinns at a local Performance shop.
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Old 07-30-07, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by knobster View Post
I don't think so. I use to equate Schwinn with quality. I always wanted one. Then when I could afford one, they ended up in Walmart and Target. I know what kind of quality the big box stores have so now I no longer think they are quality bikes. Same thing happened to Mongoose. Loved the BMX bike I had, but then they sold out also.
GT also! Hincappie said the nicest bike he ever rode was his GT Edge Aero.

That would be a fun article. Ask a dozen pro's, "If you could ride any one bike for fun, which would it be?"

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Old 07-30-07, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
Schwinn has a split personality and it is hurting them.

They sell some GREAT bikes -- Peloton and Fastback series.

And they sell JUNK -- whatever that stuff is at WalMart.

I own an '05 Fastback Pro -- full Ultegra except for the crank, which is Truvativ carbon; lightweight aluminum frame with carbon fork and rear triangle; Fizik Arione saddle; Ritchey aluminum bar and stem; all-around great bike for a great price. The stock wheels were a little on the heavy side. When I replaced them with Mavic Ksyrium SL's, the weight of the bike, including pedals and water bottle cages, came to 16.5 lbs. Again, great bike -- and because of Schwinn's split personality, you can usually pick them up for bargain prices.
I just went to the Schwinn website and the prices for their high end bikes are no cheaper than the Giants, Treks and Specializes of the world. Maybe the lbs will discount them more, but the MSRP is about the same.
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Old 07-30-07, 01:01 PM
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I honest can't say that I see any difference between my Schwinn Peloton LTD and the Giant TCR or Orbea. It is ultra stiff, wicked fast and very responsive. The only thing I've noticed is it can be a little "twitchy" on a fast (45 MPH+) and curvy decent. I think that's more geometry related than anything with the bike. It's easy to learn to control though but I wouldn't try it on the first few rides.
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Old 07-30-07, 02:41 PM
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This is how you recreate Schwinn if you want respect from the hardcore enthusiast:
1. Revive the Paramount as a separate top-of-the-line brand, without any reference to Schwinn.
2. Make sure it's made in the U.S.A. with the same demanding expectations as a Trek Madone or Cannondale SuperSix series, all handmade steel or Ti with an emphasis on "exclusive", "custom" and "heritage"
3. Have a separate Paramount Racing division sponsor local crits, road races and cyclocross races, and the bikes produced by this division use the latest zoot bling material. Keep it small batch, barely meeting demand. Package your small batch high end complete bikes with component makers like Zipp and Zero Gravity.
4. Advertise Paramount like the dickens as "high end custom", "racing" and "serious touring", with emphasis on quality and exclusivity
6. Once Paramount has regained market identity as a current brand offering competitive with other high end brands, Schwinn can market itself separately as the producer of Paramount and introduce bikes that compete with the Electra audience as "Schwinn Classics": commuters who enjoy quality cruisers and hybrids. Schwinn Classics can also produce "latest rage" hipster styles du jour bikes, like fixies/SS bikes competing against the Langster/Soma/Surley offerings. The Madison was brilliant, but the scope of what Madison represented was too limited (and the bike itself a bit heavy?).
7. Schwinn can keep their Box-Mart cheapo bikes but the name must change to "Superbike presented by Schwinn".

So Schwinn would have 3 branding approaches: 1. Paramount for most road racing and touring enthusiasts 2. Schwinn Classics as a true urban hipster alternative to Electra lifestyle/commuter bikes and 3. Superbike presented by Schwinn as the "introductory" bike for people who can't afford #1 or #2 but when shopping at KMart, still wants the "name" behind the bike.

Reinvention is not easy, but if Drew Barrymore, Robert Downey, Jr. and William Shatner can do it, so can Schwinn. It just takes money and passion. Remember just 10 years ago, Moots, BMC and Cervelo were barely a twinkle in anybody's eye, but look at them now.
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Old 07-30-07, 02:44 PM
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The Schwinn Peloton LTD and the Mongoose Bosberg, both from the same company now, are both way, way better than my Jamis Quest. I'd trade for either one of them without a second thought.

I would agree that at MSRP, I'd look elsewhere. Luckily though, they're usually 20-30-40% below MSRP, so make a great deal.

All we're talking about is frames here, everything else is industry standard for the most part. Most if not all are made in the same factories in Taiwan. Only difference is paint and stickers in many cases. Most of us just ride our bikes, and as long as they fit, we generally like them. Very little difference between them unless you're racing or a clyde.

Reminds me of Mercedes, Range Rover & BMW. They generally get low marks for reliability from Consumer Reports, yet people continue to overpay for them because of the name.

I guess it is all in a name.
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Old 07-30-07, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Adagio Corse View Post
This is how you recreate Schwinn if you want respect from the hardcore enthusiast:
It's already been done. It's called Waterford.
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Old 07-30-07, 02:56 PM
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Back in the day Mongoose, Diamondback and GT were high end too. But when they move to the quantity over quality side of the street they lost respect.
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