Schwinn is one of the oldest names in bicycles and yet their current offerings struggle to appeal to the hard core mountain biker. Nowadays it seems the only cool Schwinns are the retro cruisers, Crates and Stingrays. Why does it seem like the brand has almost zero “street cred”? Because the once revered brand has gone “mass market” and provides many low cost, entry level bikes that are sold at “big box” stores such as Target, Walmart and Toys ‘R Us.
Schwinn is trying to change that. They have a line of bikes called the “Schwinn Signature Series” which hopes to set itself apart from it’s lower end offerings by building higher quality bikes that will be sold in Independent Bicycle Dealers (IBDs for short) aka your local, for real bike shop. The bikes are still what an enthusiast would consider entry level with a budget spec and a low price, but the quality is a step above the big box Schwinn models. Two of the new 2014 Signature Series bikes are shown here. The Rocket 3 hardtail now comes with 27.5″ wheels and the Super Sport CX is a gravel grinder with disc brakes.
Schwinn Rocket 3
“All-new for 2014, the Schwinn® Rocket features 27.5″ wheels to offer the agility and spin-up of a 26″ wheel but with less roll resistance making obstacles much easier to navigate. Available in 24-speed and 27-speed configurations.”
- Schwinn® MTB trail aluminum 27.5 frame and SR Suntour® XCT suspension fork with mechanical lock-out for rugged durability and comfort
- Shimano Alivo®/Altus® components with 27-speed drivetrain for reliable, efficient shifting
- Tektro® Novela mechanical disc brakes for increased stopping power in any conditions
- MSRP: $649
- available July 2013
Super Sport CX
“Part adventure bike, part touring bike, all-new for 2014. The Super Sport CX is more versatile than a Swiss Army knife with plenty of space to mount racks and fenders and the ability to accept up to a 45c tire. The aluminum frame and fork keep the bike light and responsive while the Shimano Sora® components offer excellent performance without emptying the ol’ bank account.”
- Schwinn® sport hybrid N LITENED® 3 triple-butted aluminum frame and aluminum fork for a fast and responsive ride
- Shimano Sora® components with 18-speed compact drivetrain for great value and performance
- Schwinn® S1 sport ergonomic saddle and double gel bar tape add comfort to the ride
- MSRP: $899
- available July 2013
Are these bikes legit or are they just trying to cash in on two of the current hot bike trends (27.5 wheels and disc brakes on road bikes)? I did not get the chance to ride either of these bikes myself, so I guess we will have to wait and see how it all plays out. I personally have fond memories of the blue Schwinn Stingray that I found under the Christmas tree one year. Also, I remember how the old Schwinn Toyota pro mountain bike team was a serious force back in the old NORBA days. And one of the bikes I always lusted after was a buddy’s old Schwinn Home Grown hardtail (in sweet bass boat blue with metal flake). Schwinn’s lack of appeal to the hard core biker is nothing new, but I hope these two new models will be a step in the right direction. Now, if they could bring back those steel hardtails…
More information about the 2014 lineup from Schwinn is coming to their website soon. Be sure to check for the news at www.schwinnbikes.com.