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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.

Long story short, I want to buy my gf a Schwinn Cruiser (cause her MTB isn't great on the road) and I noticed something strange to me.. The Schwinn website doesn't include the models that Walmart or Target carry. Why is that? I wanted to reference the components and stuff before ordering online because the stores do not stock the models I am interested in buying to have a hands-on look.

More info please!
 

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May The Force Be With You
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products on line may have been discontinued and what's in the stores is surplus, or they just don't have them advertised on line. if you happen to pick one up from walmart or target, please take the bike to a bike shop and have them go through it. personally i would prefer buy from a bike shop because it's more personal, better costumer service and a better warranty
 

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Discussion Starter #3
shwinn8 said:
products on line may have been discontinued and what's in the stores is surplus, or they just don't have them advertised on line.
So, the bikes sold at these dept. stores are indeed genuine not a re-badged? The price differential between Schwinn's advertised lowest-end bike and what is sold at Walmart is substantial, like a $200 difference.

You would think Schwinn would have an archive of their past models for me to reference.

Here is the bike I am looking at: http://www.walmart.com/Schwinn-Beach-Cruiser/ip/11065253#ShortReviewTitleBar

They don't have this bike in-store for me to look at, so I am trying to gather as much info about it as possible. I am a bike builder. I don't care that this bike costs less than her MTB cranks. I just want info.

Thanks.
 

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there is nothing genuine about schwinn anymore. and because of that and now that you mention it, i wouldn't' put it past being a re-badge. schwinn is owned by the Pacific Bike Co. it could be any one of the name brands they own
 

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Schwinn is just a name anymore, they're nothing like the Schwinn's of the past.
They actually have two different lines of bicycles. The ones you see in the stores are indeed pretty cheap and low quality mass produced bikes. The ones on the website and bikes shops are better quality, more expensive, and probably just about worth the price.
Schwinn hasn't been owned by the Schwinn family since around 93. The company has exchanged owners a few times since then, so really the only thing that's persevered is the name.
In my opinion, Schwinn kept on building outstanding bike until around 2001. After then came the mass produced stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The reason I was looking into Schwinn was the name. I grew up with Schwinn and they made good stuff. That was a long while ago for me. A guy I know rides his vintage Schwinn's to work everyday and they are beautiful, well-maintained classics. I wasn't expecting to buy a gem like those bikes at Walmart (or anywhere for that matter), but I had to speak to the buying power of such a jugernaut and to the price disparity between them and the Schwinn website.

Again, thanks for the clarification. I will look to the LBS for a "genuine" Schwinn. ;)
 

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ebay isn't a bad place either for frames
 

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Schwinn has two lines - the Wal-Mart bikes, and their "bike shop" bikes, which is what you see on the website (like the 405). How much overlap there is, I don't know, but they are not the company they once were. In 2001ish, they were purchased by Pacific, and then in about 2004, that was purchased by Dorel. They own many brands of varying qualities; none of the bikes are US-made anymore, as far as I know. Possibly assembled here, but definitely not fabricated here. Most of the folks here consider the range of about 1995 to 2001 as the high-point for Schwinn mountain bikes. Any Schwinn prior to 2001 is definitely a quality bike, like those vintage ones you mentioned.
 

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Sept.11, 2001 was a grim day.... :( it's also the day Pacific first owned them
 

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First Schwinn does have two lines of bikes. The bike shop Schwinns (along with GT, Mongoose and Cannondale) are designed at Cannondale in CT. Bike shop Schwinns are great bikes at their price points and come in many sizes (plus some models come in more than one color). The Schwinns in the marts are not rebadged or leftovers. They are cheaped designed bikes made for the marts. They are designed in Madison, WI at Pacific (along with the mass Mongoose, Iron Horse, Roadmaster, and Pacific bikes). They come in one size and color.

Most all bikes today are just a decal. Only a few custom bikes are designed, made, and sold all by the same business.
EX.
Specialized-All models made in factories in China and Taiwan that are not owned by Specialized
Schwinn, Mongoose, GT, Cannondale-All models made in factroies in China and Taiwan not owned by Schwinn (some cannondales are still US made but they are closing it down)
Trek-Fishers-All models made in China and Taiwan noted owned by Trek (except for a few carbon bikes are made in the USA)
Giant-All models made in China and Taiwan. Giant builds most of the bikes for the above brands.

The lists goes on and on. What matters today is the designing behind the bikes. Schwinn (and sister brands) are still designed by some of the best bike guys around.

Schwinn just does not go after the high end brands anymore. They let Cannondale and GT do that now. It is hard to bet them. Also I rode some of the nice Mongooses this summer and they are very nice. People need to stop knocking Schwinn for making some of the walmart bikes. So they are not owned by the Schwinn family anymore. Out of the 10 largest bike shop brands in the world only one is still owned by the family that started them, Trek. All other brands have been sold or are owned by many people and sold on some type of stock market. A family that owns most all of the stock owns Schwinn, GT, Mongoose and Cannondale. They also own some other brands. So what they own other businesses. They also never sell anything. I believe the Schwartz family will own Schwinn for a long time. Owning more that one company helps lower shipping cost and other things. Also selling bikes in Wal mart, they are just doing what Sony, Mircosoft, Dell and many of the other large brands do. They make cheap junk for the marts and good stuff for the dealers that would like to sell them. I bought a super high end Sony TV the other day from a TV speciality store. Sure I could have bought a Sony from Wal-mart but it is not the same. I needed quailty and service.
Also until the USA remembers that you need Service and quailty. We will not rebound. Cheap is not always good. My father always said, " If you pay a cheap price. You are getting something that is cheaply made."
 

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RudeSechsVibe said:
Long story short, I want to buy my gf a Schwinn Cruiser (cause her MTB isn't great on the road) and I noticed something strange to me.. The Schwinn website doesn't include the models that Walmart or Target carry. Why is that?
What model are you looking for?

It's probably down to reasons of marketing and brand-image. For whatever reason, Schwinn doesn't list their low-end models on their website.

Shimano does the same thing. Go to Shimano's site, and the lowest groupset they list for mountain bikes is Alivio. There are several lower groups though, that you'll see on low-end bikes, especially those at Target and Walmart. Shimano's website pretends those groups do not exist.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
JonathanGennick said:
What model are you looking for?

It's probably down to reasons of marketing and brand-image. For whatever reason, Schwinn doesn't list their low-end models on their website.

Shimano does the same thing. Go to Shimano's site, and the lowest groupset they list for mountain bikes is Alivio. There are several lower groups though, that you'll see on low-end bikes, especially those at Target and Walmart. Shimano's website pretends those groups do not exist.
Schwinn Point Beach Cruiser
 

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I agree with bikerme.
If we could bring at least aspects of frame fabrication back to the USA that would be excellent... Wal mart bikes are good for the intended application, which is riding them gently and rarely, as most people enthusiastic about the sport want something better, but the casual rider who goes for short bike path rides with the wife and kids might not want to spend 350~400 bucks for a bike. Or maybe you don't want to buy your kid a bike they will outgrow in a year or two anyway, so who cares if by then it's falling apart?
The American consumer is not the same as in years past, people replace things instead of fixing them, so quality has declined.
As for farming out the fab work on frames, buying and selling of companies and so on... Joe breeze and Gary fisher both, years ago farmed out their fabrication first locally then overseas. But they were still well made bikes that were the design of Joe breeze and/or fisher (I know that is a whole other can of worms)
I do understand that when schwinn no longer was producing the super nice homegrown bikes, it marked the end of an era for schwinn, and I get how that could turn folks away. But just as bikeme said, the higher end stuff is really no different than any other Chinese made frame... The designs are good, the fab is good, the bike is good... Who owns the parent company and what name they slap on makes a lot less difference than good design.
 

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I am sure the Wal Mart bikes are not high quality, but my Schwinn Sidewinder, a "mountain" bike works pretty well. It is pretty rough on rough roads and will need new tires pretty soon, but it seems to have a nice frame. I had it set up by a lbs and I sort of wonder when the wheels will go out of true again. I may now have a spoke wrench, on a multi tool, I can use to true the wheels when they need it.

The gears, to me, have always shifted very well.

I've had it a little over a month and have probably put around 140 mis or more on it.
 

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I am sure the Wal Mart bikes are not high quality, but my Schwinn Sidewinder, a "mountain" bike works pretty well. It is pretty rough on rough roads and will need new tires pretty soon, but it seems to have a nice frame. I had it set up by a lbs and I sort of wonder when the wheels will go out of true again. I may now have a spoke wrench, on a multi tool, I can use to true the wheels when they need it.

The gears, to me, have always shifted very well.

I've had it a little over a month and have probably put around 140 mis or more on it.
Yeah I think that's key; have the LBS set it up.
 

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Having joined this forum, of course I would buy a new mountain bike, a Trek Marlin, but I'm thinking about taking the Schwinn to the ranch where the convenient rough riding for me is.
 

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I have taken that bike to the ranch I lease from my family and have ridden it there a couple of times, stock. The roads are pretty rough which makes it a very good place to get some practice. The bike has done very well, but this report is from someone who has ridden the Schwinn Sidewinder and Trek Marlin and some Mountain bike, I guess, back in the 90s a couple of times. I am about to put a couple of heavy but cheap tires and Slime puncture proof tubes on it after I get my cattle work done, hopefully soon.
 
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