April 29, 2006

    When did Schwinn start selling bikes in department stores? I was at a bike store looking for a used bike and they sold me a ladies’ Schwinn Frontier that was made in 2000. The shop guy said, “This is when a Schwinn was a Schwinn.” Is that a true statement?
    Also, what size water bottle cage would fit a ladies 13" frame? The mounts are there but it looks like a bottle would not fit in that area. Thanks.

Joe S.

    Bicycle manufacturer Pacific Cycle acquired the Schwinn brand in 2001 and starting offering Schwinn bikes thru deparment (“mass market”) stores in 2002.
    Your question has to do with the quality of the manufacturing of a Schwinn bike. As with almost any bicycle product line with models priced below, say, $500, the quality varies by model. If you get a really cheap Schwinn at a big-box store, don’t expect it to last as long as a more expensive Schwinn.
    The way to avoid trouble: Buy your Schwinn from an independent bicycle dealer (IBD). Like others in the industry, Pacific Cycle has one set of Schwinn bikes it offers to big boxes; it offers another, generally superior set to IBDs. Individual IBDs might have soured on Schwinn after 2002—so, if you want a Schwinn, just stay away from those guys.
    Bicycle water bottles, and therefore bottle cages, tend not to vary in diameter. So if a small bike frame doesn’t let a bottle fit exactly in the place determined by the mounting bolts, you have two options:

  • Use mounting straps to place the bottle cage in a better place. My book, Urban Bikers’ Tricks & Tips, shows how to use different kinds of hardware for custom installations like this.
  • Get a bottle cage holder (like on the right) that lets you mount a cage on the bike’s handlebar, seat, or elsewhere.

Mr Bike

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