A Schwinn Schtory - My freebie Schwinn Prelude

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A Schwinn Schtory - My freebie Schwinn Prelude

Postby The Fixer » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:39 am

I started this story in 'Beginner road bike $199, but thought it would probably get 'lost' so have decided to dedicate a thread to my story of this much-maligned little bike.

The following four posts are copied from that thread.

The bikes seem to have a bit of a bad name, and apart from skimping on some accessories (like the derailleurs, for a good example) I really do fail to see why.

Apparently the model is quite well-regarded in the USA, but not here.

Anyway, here's the story of mine, anyone else own one, owned one, have any other info or advice (throwing it into a skip doesn't qualify, I reckon it's better than that)?


Cheers!

Mick.
Last edited by The Fixer on Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
I don't care if it's a $20 Huffy or a $20k Colnago, if you're riding it, and you're happy, it's a good bike.
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by BNA » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:44 am

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Re: A Schwinn Schtory - My freebie Schwinn Prelude

Postby The Fixer » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:44 am

Firstly, my apologies for dredging-up such an old thread, but I couldn't find much and didn't want to start a new one...

Those of you who read 'Retro biking' will know that I'm into the older stuff, specifically early Apollo bikes. So much so
that I've been considering buying one of the new 2014 Apollo road-bikes.

BUT.....

I've never ridden a 'modern' roadie before, so when this came up last week at a good price ($0.00), I grabbed it, just to try a later-model roadie.

Read a few reviews, most here seem to think it's junk, but other sites praise it quite highly (for what it is).

My findings: Great frame, so-so forks, the ProMax dual-pivot brakes work faultlessly, can do a 'frontie' with ease under brakes. The drive-train
sucks (VERY cheap low-quality derailleurs), but is being replaced. It's lighter than my Apollo III (just), but not as light as the Apollo 'Delta' (or
as nice to ride!).

It still has its bar-mounted shifters, which I HATED at first, but now quite like. It will be gaining STI shifters. The bar-mounted shifters make it
'hard' to fit lights or a speedo/computer? Why not mount them on the stem, as I have done. It still has its original wheels and tyres fitted, I've
had no issues with blowouts or out-of-true wheels (apparently they suffer badly from both) but has been fitted with new rimtapes and decent
tubes.

I've been riding it for a week now, and, IMO, they are a very-much maligned little bike, and not justifiably. It's no $20,000 Colnago, nor even a
$2000 Apollo. But, it doesn't pretend to be. It's several levels above the Huffy/Southern Star rubbish you get at target/K-mart/Aldi, though. A
great little better-than-cheapie-range roadie which, if you either accept or fix its (few) faults, you'll be stoked with.

Even when (yes, when, on the strength of liking the Schwinn) I pick the lovely new Apollo up, I'm keeping this little Schwinn as a ride-to-work
bike. A good, honest, value plus, but much-maligned little bike.


**EDIT: And I've just picked up a matching Schwinn MTB, same year, same color-scheme...$20. As new, but never assembled correctly, so never
ridden.**

The Sch-Twinns.... see below.


Image
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Re: A Schwinn Schtory - My freebie Schwinn Prelude

Postby The Fixer » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:45 am

ldrcycles wrote:
I bought one of those Schwinns around the time this thread was new, as I was getting back into road cycling after a very bad crash ad didn't want to spend much. It was junk, no doubt about it. With the benefit of hindsight, I can say that with a full teardown and rebuild straight out of the box it would have been a bit better, but it is certainly not worth any more than $199. Mine got ONCE team replica carbon forks and a crazy light carbon tubular front wheel before I realised I was throwing good money after bad trying to turn it into something it was never meant to be.

For bashing around on and commuting, ok. For riding fast, nope.

The Schwinn Mesa MTB on the other hand, they are corkers, I've had 2 and I really wish I had kept one.

Well, had I bought it new, and/or paid full price for it, I'd probably agree.

But as I got it for basically nothing, and had parts in hand to repair the drive-train at no cost (it had been 'dropped' and had
wiped the RD out. It's PLASTIC so it wouldn't have been hard), I'm quite happy with it. But the drivetrain definitely needs
upgrading.

I work on K-Mart/Target/Aldi bikes on a daily basis, and this little Schwinn is definitely streets ahead of most of them. The
welding on the frame is flawless and very neat (unlike some Huffys I've seen!) and the bike handles well. The dual-pivot
brakes work very well indeed (new pads fitted).

The bike wasn't a barely-ridden but unrideable heap when it came to my attention, as so many true cheapies are. It has
obviously been well-ridden, was assembled and adjusted correctly and showed signs of having been 'looked-after'. It was
purely the crash-damage to the RD that put it off the road.

As I said, it's not my 'be-all-and-end-all' of bicycles (but considering the prices I paid for it and the MTB, I'm not complaining).

But it will certainly do me until I get the new modern roadie. Yes, I'm on a limited income, so the sort of top-shelf stuff we'd
all like is out of the question. My new bicycle of choice is a brand-new Apollo roadie, which I like a lot, and actually have a
chance of affording. Saving for it currently. And it will look nice next to my 'old' Apollos. :-)
I don't care if it's a $20 Huffy or a $20k Colnago, if you're riding it, and you're happy, it's a good bike.
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Re: A Schwinn Schtory - My freebie Schwinn Prelude

Postby The Fixer » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:46 am

UPDATE: As mentioned, my only issue with the bike is its exceedingly poor-quality drivetrain. The quality of everything else
is definitely above the level of the average BSO.

Anyway, just this morning, I've been offered a Shimano Altus drivetrain, and a Shimano 600 one. And a Bio-pace crank-
set (3-chainwheel instead of the current two). All are gratis. I've also unearthed a Shimano 'Olivio' RD which will fit.

So there's the only real valid issue with the bike solved! Although a set of integrated brake/shifters would be nice. :D

For the price of a pump, a bike computer and a set of LED lights, I reckon I can honestly say I've made a good score.



EDIT: Ended up going with Shimano Altus derailleurs front and rear, and new cables.

A HUGE improvement over the tin and plastic originals.

Shifts like a dream, and drivetrain is now smooth and quiet.

For my daily commute (around 6km return) and recreational/leisure riding, it's perfect.

I'm no speedster or competitive rider, so its failings in that area don't bother me.
I don't care if it's a $20 Huffy or a $20k Colnago, if you're riding it, and you're happy, it's a good bike.
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Re: A Schwinn Schtory - My freebie Schwinn Prelude

Postby The Fixer » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:48 am

Just get a bike shop bike, spend a little more on the bike in the first place and you will save on servicing.



This is the long-term plan, yes.

As I said, I'm looking at a new 2014 Apollo road bike (yes, from a bike shop) as I have several 'vintage' Apollos, and love
them. It will be my first brand-new bike since the Malvern Star 'Roadstar' (?) I bought NOS from my Dad's LBS when I left
school and started work in 1974 (after my Speedwell 'Flash' snapped a front down-tube).

But saving the readies will take a while. In the meantime, the Schwinn will suffice. I have no idea whether it was originally
sold through a chain-store or an LBS.

I do have the skills to enable me to do my own repairs, servicing and mods, so no cost accrues there.

I also have access to parts, spares and tools that the average 'Joe' does not.

For a purchase price of ZERO dollars, and about $20-$30 spent, I'm not complaining.

And I always have my 'old' Apollos (1980 Apollo III, 1981, 1983 and 1984 Apollo IIs, 1988 Delta *a lovely bike*, and a 1990
Clipper (low-end, but a good rider and dead reliable) to ride if it does let me down... :-)
I don't care if it's a $20 Huffy or a $20k Colnago, if you're riding it, and you're happy, it's a good bike.
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Re: A Schwinn Schtory - My freebie Schwinn Prelude

Postby The Fixer » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:50 am

And now the narrative continues...

150km on the Schwinn since replacing the pathetic standard derailleurs with something decent.

Not a single issue since. Not one. Rides, stops and handles as good as most, and far better than
some. I even swallowed a lot of 'nerves' and took her up to the local velodrome for a bit of
a spin. Looked stupid, no doubt, and fully expected to be laughed-at/put down/ignored/all of
the above.. The lycra brigade were well in evidence, so my black & silver Schwinn, matching
helmet, black shorts and a silver top (NOT lycra) would have looked a bit.. ..er, amateur? Silly?
No matter. Fashion isn't the name of the game. And no, I wasn't laughed off the track.

Still, 12 or so laps, I had a ball, the bike worked well and felt great, and it was all good fun
and exercise.

The only problem I've experienced was a punctured front tyre 5 km from home in the rain on
Saturday. And it was caused by a large chunk of broken bottle, not by any fault in the bike. I
had a puncture kit and a couple of tyre-levers in my backpack, so was easily and quickly fixed
and I was on my (wet) way once more.

Maybe I was just lucky and got a 'good' one, but this little bike seems to be largely unjustly
maligned, IMO. No, it's not as 'good' as a $2000 bike, and doesn't pretend to be. But nor is it
a 'dog' either. It's definitely a cut above the average 'K-mart' offering. I work on 'chain store'
BSOs every day some of them are simply junk. But a BSO this bike most definitely is not.

I think I mentioned that the bike had done a fair bit of work before I acquired it, had been
assembled correctly, and showed signs of a caring owner who did actually maintain it. It
wasn't one which had been poorly assembled, ridden twice, then basically abandoned, the
reason I acquired it was crash-damage to the rear derailleur and hanger, not because it
was stuffed.

And, as I posted earlier, for an initial cost of $0.00, and $20 for some lights and a cycle
computer, I can't really lose. The parts I needed were already in hand, so no cost there.

I should add, I suppose, that I am 56 years of age, and am not interested in breaking speed
or point-to-point records, or winning the Tour Down-under. I ride for transport, for fun and
for a bit of enjoyable exercise, nothing more.

Yes, I do still plan to purchase a new 2013/2014 Apollo roadie. And yes, it's because I already
own several 'vintage' Apollos, all of which get ridden regularly, and are very good, capable
machines.


Cheers.

Mick.
I don't care if it's a $20 Huffy or a $20k Colnago, if you're riding it, and you're happy, it's a good bike.
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Re: A Schwinn Schtory - My freebie Schwinn Prelude

Postby The Fixer » Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:21 pm

Another 200km since the last post, and no real issues, not even a missed gearchange... :)

The BB is a bit suspect (noise) so will be getting replaced, but was always iffy and hasn't gotten worse.

Can't speak highly enough of the brakes, they've saved me from homicidal drivers more than once (new
pads were fitted as a matter of course), and the bike is very stable under hard braking. It also handles
well at moderate (20-40km/h) speeds.

Spokes have needed the odd tweak to keep the rims true, but then so do those on the 20+ year-old
Arayas fitted to the '88 Apollo Delta, which seems to get off on turning its 27x1" rims into pretzels if
you let it.

At its original RRP of $299.00, this bike may not have been so appealing, but I still think it represents
very good value for money. But I acquired this one for nothing due to crash-damage (no, I didn't steal
it) and THAT sort of value for money no-one can knock.

I'm Schwinning... :)
I don't care if it's a $20 Huffy or a $20k Colnago, if you're riding it, and you're happy, it's a good bike.
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Re: A Schwinn Schtory - My freebie Schwinn Prelude

Postby The Fixer » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:33 pm

Another 150km.

Tweaked spokes (again!), and adjusted front brake (as a motorcyclist of many years
standing I use the front brake almost exclusively).

Nothing else needed attention, apart from normal routine maintenance/servicing.

It seems determined to prove that it's not the shitbox that some seem to think it is.

And it's working...
I don't care if it's a $20 Huffy or a $20k Colnago, if you're riding it, and you're happy, it's a good bike.
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Re: A Schwinn Schtory - My freebie Schwinn Prelude

Postby Summernight » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:24 am

The Fixer wrote:It seems determined to prove that it's not the s...box that some seem to think it is.

And it's working...


I've been riding my Schwinn road bike for more than two years now, rain, hail and shine as my daily commuter. Apart from replacing the crankset (because of the dodgy FSA BB), the lesser quality wheelset, the white handlebar tape (because that would just get dirty), and the usual wear and tear replacements, it has served me very well.

It has survived being laid over and slid along bitumen when I slipped on tram related stuff, being smacked in the bike racks numerous times and the most recent dooring incident where the door hit the handlebars. Contrary to what some people might believe, I'm not riding a bling bling multi-thousand dollar bike. Just my trusty Schwinn. :D
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Re: A Schwinn Schtory - My freebie Schwinn Prelude

Postby The Fixer » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:37 am

Still going strong.

Just won't die, and has still given no trouble whatsoever.

The longer I own it, and the more I ride it, the less I understand those who 'knock' it.
I don't care if it's a $20 Huffy or a $20k Colnago, if you're riding it, and you're happy, it's a good bike.
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Re: A Schwinn Schtory - My freebie Schwinn Prelude

Postby SheikYerbouti » Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:15 am

I've got an old Schwinn Fastback Comp - like this http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/Bike ... ck+Comp+27
I love it. It goes well, it's light, and handles nicely. Carbon fork, 105 group and hubs, Selle Italia saddle, all stock, certainly not cheap and nasty. I've ridden a friend's Specialized Tarmac and yeah, it's nice, but it's not like I get back on my bike and go "oh this old thing feels so heavy and slow in comparison."
I believe Schwinn had their chain store range and their "proper" range sold through LBSs, this is one of the latter (RRP was US$1000 nearly 10 years ago).
I do get smirks when I take it to the LBS for servicing, but I'm into riding for myself, not to impress others. I guess they get a good view of the brand decals as I pass them ;) Schwinn for the win ;)
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