I found a 1993 High Plains at a garage sale for $20. It was clearly someones childhood bike and had some distance on it. I've put a new chain, shifters, grips, brake pads, and a comfier seat on it since then. It's a wonderful bike and a real pleasure to ride on any surface. It's been ridden through mild snow. I frequently ride up grass hills and anywhere off trails in low gear and it takes all bumps like a champ. It has no shock absorbers though so your legs become the shocks. R.I.P. you o-ring if you try to go over bumps sitting on the standard seat. I bought a cloud 9 cruiser style seat and that helps alot.
It makes a great commuter bike but frames for really agile mountain bikes have evolved alot since. The seat on this bike is virtually even with the handlebars making it a bit more difficult to lower your center of gravity.
If you can find one of these relics definitely don't pass it up. The frame is built to last forever.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: February 6, 2015
Strengths: Tough and durable frame, much better than dept store bikes.
Weaknesses: ratchet thumb shifter broke for rear derailer after about 2 yrs, it was broke by an old friend though, the other one lasted 20 yes though.
I've had this bike since I was 15 yes old, I'm now 41 yrs old. My dad bought it for me as a present. I didn't know it was as good as it is till in 2009 I bought a diamondback Sorrento mb from Dicks sporting goods. I liked the diamond back but it didn't last, the chain began to skip after maybe one year, at 2 yrs it began to skip bad, come to find out the cassette sprockets in the rear were already stripped out, also the crank teeth were wore out too. Took the rear wheel off of the high plains and put on the diamond back just to have something to ride. Took the high plains in to the shop and am having new ratchet index shifters installed with new cables this is why I hadn't been riding it the last 5 yes. This old bike has sentimental value to me, and if I hadn't let a couple of friends use it a few times, one had it for over a year and kept it outside. I don't think I'd have had to take it in to ever be worked on. I've ridden the high plains many more miles than the Sorrento, I put a baby seat on the back of it for several years and rode it a lot with my 220lbs plus my kids, can't really say much more about it, great bike. Back in high school it was the coolest in my little town, everyone wanted a ride. Was going to just get another bike but would a new one be better, that's why I'm fixing the Schwinn, it has character.
Favorite Trail: around town, gravel roads, dirt roads, some off road.
Duration Product Used: 20 yrs
Purchased At: scwhinn shop Terre H
Similar Products Used: Diamond back sorrento
Bike Setup: Has a comfort seat now, swapped out mb tires for hybrid type tires.
Ed Mc Kenna
Date Reviewed: August 26, 2014
Strengths: A strong, reliable, brute of a bike, easy to maintain, 90s cool looking.
Weaknesses: Knobbies only o.k for off pavement, narrow bars
Bought new in 1990, I used it for on/off road training and leisure riding for 4 years. Went everywhere on it, through and to the woods. Put away wet for ten years,then handed it down to my son, who rode it all through High school and after. Got left on his friends driveway and got run over by a pick up. Amazingly little damage, I got it back, literally fixed it with a hammer and crowbar, and started riding it again. Took on vacations to NC and Cape Cod, and am now doing bike paths on it.
Changed out the saddle, put some bar ends on it, and mounted Panaracer Urban Max tires, to Home Brew Hybrid it(no more woods), and I really want to ride it for ever.
A little slow, and a little heavy, but for what I use it for, it is perfect. No frills, no suspension, no problems. Just regular maintenance.
What a pity Swhinn went on to drop the ball, this was one of those products they could of put their reputation on.
a Weekend Warrior
from Peoria, IL, USA
Date Reviewed: October 15, 2010
Strengths: Dependable and durable. I've had this bike since new in 1990. I've easily ridden it 2000 miles mostly on gravel and asphalt trails but from time to time I tackle some crazy stuff also. I've taken several pretty rough spills on the bike but nothing has ever broke or needed to be replaced (except tires and the crank bearing which failed after the first year...). I love the oval sprockets and the center pull brakes
Weaknesses: wish the rear tire had a quick release
I love this bike. From time to time I look at new bikes but I always leave thinking that other than disc brakes and suspension the new bikes have nothing on this bike. Plus I love the oval sprockets and the push button shifting. This bike has never let me down in all those miles and believe me when I say I'm not easily pleased by most products...
a Weekend Warrior
from Fairfax, VA, USA
Date Reviewed: July 26, 2010
I have just hit 20 years with this bike and have never had anything go wrong with it. I have replaced each of the tires only once (actually the rear tire gum walls began flaking apart only this year, and so was replaced). I have not had to replace the brakes and have had no problems with any of the other components. My riding has been mainly roads and gravel/dirt trails and the bike has been great for this. I am looking to buy a new bike this year, but will probably hold on to my high plains.
a Cross Country Rider
from Round Rock, TX
Date Reviewed: October 3, 2009
Weaknesses: Age of components
Last week I saw this forlorn bike sitting at the curb for Monday morning pickup - covered in barn and mouse dust - I couldn't resist, the sign on it said "very dirty fixer upper." One tire held air, a used tube fixed the other. Some serious de-scunging, de-greasing, and good lubing got it running and the more I ride it the more I am impressed with this old classic. It is about the same weight as my full-suspension Univega - but it feels lighter, and I guess, because of the steel frame, seems to absorb bumps as well as the full-suspension Uni. In its day this must have been one impressive bike - it has impressed me. If you find one, buy it/grab it/don't let it get away.
Strengths: Strong and durable. I bought this in '91 and it's still going strong. This was a daily commuter and errand bike I also used for training and exercise. It has survived all kinds of abuse. I have never cleaned this bike and it still shifts fine. I have had this bike for 18 years and it still does its job.
Weaknesses: I usually ride this on pavement and so handling isn't all that great. Most likely due to the huge knobby tires I have. Also, the thing is heavy...real heavy. I've ridden my road bike all summer but took the High Plains out for a ride the other day and thought I was gonna die. I obviously need more saddle time on it.
Great bike. I was offered a Stump Jumper at the same time for the same price but went with the High Plains. It just felt right. I rode that bike daily for years and it withstood all I could throw at it. I'll likely clean it up really good and then put some thinner hybrid tires on it...maybe new rims and try to bring the weight down some. I expect I'll be riding this bike 18 years from now.
a Weekend Warrior
from Death Valley, CA
Date Reviewed: August 13, 2009
Strengths: This is one of those WOW! bikes. Dependable and Durable, This one NEVER! fails to get me Home. First Purchased by a Relative @ Ft. Bragg in '90 (After serving as a RENTAL! for ONE YEAR!) He used it for THREE YEARS up there, Daily, Three Miles each way to/from work + Lunch Runs & Weekend park rides> (all @ 6'4"210+Lbs!!!) Wheels & Frame took it! 3-4 years after returning to SoCal, he Retired it to me (6'0"190Lbs.) Over 2000mi later I still love it! Paint is Good, Derailment Still Good, Original Seat, Brakes, Dérailleurs, Cables, Bearings,Rims, Hubs & Spokes & Reflectors! Bike still looks good & a Pleasure to Ride, Handles Very Good (for No Suspension). I have a Great Mechanic that works on these shifters and keeps this bike in tune (he says you can't get any more parts for them?) Durable Bike! Everything is still tight and works fine. This will be the bike of choice for any self respecting Cockroach in the dark years to come ~ As they will be able to hand it down to THEIR Children! The Bio Pace is a smart idea, Aluminum Frame is well designed, This is a VERY well built bike and I am more than happy with it!
Weaknesses: The stock handlebars ~ too low.
Shifters are supposed to be hard to get parts for now.
Maybe one of the best mass produced specialty bikes to have been mass produced in the USA in the late 80's???
Similar Products Used: Other two wheeled, human powered contraptions.
Bike Setup: 4" rise handlebars, Gel Grips, "Swiss Army" pattern tires, 65#psi Kevlar Tubes, Lights F/B. Aluminum "Schwinn" rack (rear), Aluminum Bottle Cage, On Board Air Pump. The rest to this bike is stock and is holding up VERY well, *20 years after it was built - and it still looks good!
a Weekend Warrior
from Milford Ma USA
Date Reviewed: July 27, 2009
Strengths: This bike is probably the best department store ever made has shocks 26 speed survived bmx stunts dont recomend it though when i first got i hated it thought it was uncomfortable and difficult to handle compared to my first bike (a pacific) fell in love though I love cycling though i prefer to keep on a budget and this invincible bike achieves that greatest cheap bike ever
Weaknesses: original seat is unconfortable
This bike got me into cycling and cycling kinda changed my life for the better I now i sound a little crazy and most who read this would not buy a cheap bike. Not to get into my life story but this bike was my 13 birthday present and got me started and has been with me every step of the way since. great valu has been to bike shops for repairs due to my on stupidity and was deemed the very minimal of a bike worth fixing my bike shop guy calls it the scwine as a joke because of being the only department store bike he feels is worth fixing sorry for being off topic
a Weekend Warrior
from Kansas City, Mo
Date Reviewed: May 25, 2009
Strengths: Reliability & Durability - like a Timex watch or an Energizer bunny
I've owned this bike since new in 1990. It has never needed repair or adjustment (unlike the I-Drive,Trek, and C-Dales I've owned). It's durability and reliability are its strenghts. No, it's no Releigh M80 (I consider this one of the best hard-tails ever). The High Plains has never missed a gear, or had any drive train problems (I'm 5-9 and 220 lbs, so you can figure the stress it had to take). It is heavy and thus a little clumsy compared to today's standards. This is the perfect recreational trail bike (like the Katy or any of those type of trails). There are better bikes for thrashing, with better qualities. I got my money out of it. I am going to invest in a QR for the back wheel, that was the only item that irritated me. If you see one at a garage sale, it will be worth the cost. Bottom line - if you need an inexpensive, urban or flat-trail steed, that is reliable, cost little to maintain, and will always get you home - this was it.
Strengths: The cromo frame, plus the Bio-pace makes me damn faster for sure.
Weaknesses: Derailers held up, but not much else
This bike was made back when schwinn still took itself seriously--early `90's--and its a shame I will have to look elsehwere when it comes time to replace my zippy rigid ride. If you happen upon one of these dinosaurs know that you are seeing a beast that will slay any living lizard, point out the rust, talk them down and lead the machine to a happy new life where it will die a proper death, out on a trail.
Bike Setup: new quil and handlesbar with shimano trigger shifters (ripped from a trash picked junker), Welgo peddles, new cables and a 9-speed sram chain, plus a whole lot of greese
a Weekend Warrior
from Charlotte, NC
Date Reviewed: October 14, 2007
Strengths: Bike is near indestructible and after all these years the paint still looks good. Solid cho-mo frame.
Weaknesses: Deraillers that were hi-end at the time are not so hot now.
If you bought one of these dinosaurs back in the 90's it owes you nothing and you and me know getting rid of it would be like giving up one of your own children. Solid MTB for the money and full rigid setup is still worthy on some semi-fast single tracks and up-right ride is good for paved riding too. Heavy bike by today's standards but will take an armageddon like event to make this one extinct.
Bike Setup: Stock components. Upgraded grips and pedals.
Date Reviewed: September 25, 2007
piece of garbage death machine.Bad derailler. Bad pedal.Bad thumb shifters.Bad freewheel.Loused-up bottombracket with crappy cheap plastic seals.Cheap chain.Weak spokes.Non-durable saddle.By themselves, these weaknesses are mere inconvienences.Put together in a six month period -disaster! One year later schwinn goes belly-up.I wonder why.