my buddy bought a new O.C.C.(Wow even more advertising) Stingray and it rode ok but it just wasn't as true as the apple krate. it felt weird... I cant remeber the last time i bought a new bike... I think it was a s#11* Looney Tunes Huffy when i was 8.
My first bike was a h&!! of a rod ... A Sun faded orange Roadmaster -single gear- that was twice the size of me that was at age 6 that was fun for a long time. my buddy marcus had a mgx(aluminum) that yes Rotted away(alunminum none the less) we rode up and down my street for years on those bikes, Then I got the Ross(sweet anne marie)!!! my favorite by BY FAR! I'm 16 and too big for it but i'm getting the 26" Banana seat and 40" so me and my girlfried can ride duo. It's the only bike I trust without hands. it's in mint condition but i still run it on the street and minor off roading like on the grass in the front yard. My dad built me a Chopper himself and i love riding that too. I DON'T BUY NEW and I DON'T SUPPORT BIG-BOX-STORES
that is an interesting question that is hard to answer. personally i would say no being that in my eyes they died when they got bought out. then again it was through that deal that they repoped the phantom which was stunning. then at least they kept the frame mostly the same as the orignal and they ride very well as far as new cruisers go. they are also the only company in my opinion that makes a "vintage" looking cruiser. the new white and black deluxe 7 is stunning.
This topic came up last week in my bike riding group.... so I thought I'd toss it back into the arena for the benefit of those who didn't see it the first go around. Most of the folks I ride with really don't like Pacific Cycles and/or Walmart..... and I myself am not so fond of them.
I've pondered this issue quite a bit, since I resto-mod quite a few old Schwinns for folks. Here's my current take on the situation:
I have no problem with Pacific Cycles making cheap, crappo bikes. Junk bikes have been around since bicycling began. However, I DO have a problem with them using the Schwinn name to sell junk bikes. It's dishonest. People who don't know the bike market see the Schwinn name and think "wow... Schwinn... a hundred year old company that was known for it's quality." and they buy the bike not knowing that it's really not a Schwinn.... but is actually a Chinese made junk bike. Thus they are being SCAMMED, or at the very least mislead by the Chinese and Walmart.
However.... since there are a lot of old (pre-1983) Schwinn frames of high quality out there, I really don't worry about it. I could build bikes until I'm ninety years old, and never have a need to ride a Pacific Cycles / Walmart junko.
I think a bigger threat to the brand name isn't people getting scammed, per se (I think people are generally going to understand that $100 bike is cheap), but rather that they are going to come to associate the name "Schwinn" with "cheap" instead of with "a hundred year old company that was known for it's quality". I already see that with younger riders. The old guys in the local bike club probably remember that Schwinn once stood for something. Folks younger than myself (especially the fixie-riding college student crowd) seem to consider Schwinn to be - and always have been - just another department store crap brand. Much the same as how Huffy became considered such.
It is interesting that they sell both dime-store bikes and LBS-grade bikes. I've worked with both, and there really isn't a big difference. There are some minor detail improvements in the uplevel bikes, but they also share a lot of the same cost-cutting tricks as the cheapies. There is greater distinction between new and old than there is between high and low price point on the new ones. I still ride my '61 American regularly. My '09 Classic Deluxe 7 is a cool bike - especially in the two-tone green with orange accents, but frankly, it isn't built better. The frame is definately cheaper made and more cheaply finished. But the finished product does look good if you don't study the details. At the end of the day, I've put more miles on the American since this past spring than I have on the Classic 7 since it was new.
I take this issue to heart because I have or have had a number of Schwinn bikes, and if there was one brand that was consistant and reliable, it was Schwinn. No longer. I've been shopping for a general purpose bike for the bulk of my riding - on the roads, paths, trails, for general recreation & exercise. I've looked at Kona, Trek, Specialized, Jamis, Raleigh even, but Schwinn isn't on my list, much less my short list. It's sad.
Schwinn hasn't been around for years. I broke the frame of a dept store bike wearing that label the first day I had it.
My bikes were made in the 1930s and 1950s. Current home was built in the 1960s. Home we will inherit was built in 1841. My "good" trucks were built in 1949 and 1969. My "good" car is the same model year I am (1972) and is a Super Beetle. Our "good" road bikes are Schwinn Suburbans. Our good motorcycles were built in 1963 and 1971 (and are both Honda Scramblers).
American manufacturing tanked decades ago. Harley Davidson hasn't had a good motorcycle in the showrooms since 1964. Ford made its last good truck in 1978, Chevy/GMC in 1972, Dodge in 1971. I've never had a good American car newer than about 1967 (ish), and I prefer pre-1960 models.
Don't like Wallyworld junk? Don't buy it. I bought a seat there for my Firestone cruiser, test fit it today (looks great) and one of the tool bag mounting tabs broke off. Cheap plastic junk pan. You get what you pay for (my Henderson has a Troxel that will be rebuilt).
I think everybody has a little part of the truth. But I'll tell you how it all begun. It was the time when people started to arrive to this side of the earth looking for a better opportunity and to get away from taxes. A few years passed and there was the 13 colonies and guess what, yes they found them self paying taxes again. A war was fought and won, and just when they started to believe that they were free to do as they liked guess what happened again. Yes, the new government started to tax moonshine to be able to pay for the war. A long the years it kept on happening but everybody bought stuff made locally so there was a slow but stable economy. That is until people got in there mind that they needed to make more money and they where going to do that by firing people and cutting cost. This way of thinking made the cost of living very expensive which made the remaining company raise their employees hourly wages making them loose money add to that all the money that they had to pay to the government and then add the new cheap competition from the bikes made in china that where being allowed since a president decided that they where not a thread to the economy and all of that equals less quality which then turns in the company going bankrupt. So if you think about it, right now if you are working making minimum wage and have a family wallmart bikes are way out of your budget especially if you have 2 or 3 kids that you have buy bikes for but thank God for that credit card even if you can pay it and also have to declare bankruptcy. I say there is a lot of talent in this forum why don't we all get together and make a good quality bicycle company? Of course do to all the expenses involved the only earnings will be on customer satisfaction, unless we make the company in China that way we'll pay less taxes
Schwinn died when the Chicago factory burned. Everything made since then is Schwinn in name only. Call them SINO bikes. The exception would be the Paramount Schwinns made in Wisconsin...but I'm not even sure they are still in business. Who would want a skinny tire Paramount anyway? Gary
I don't think schwinn tanked for one reason. It is due to all of the aforementioned reasons. They held up in the 50's by making a quality product, but it wasn't easy to do so. They had one on one connections and relationships established with their dealers. That's something most companies can't afford to do now. You can sign up online and sell their bikes for them. Also the dealers had to have bicycle mechanics qualified to service Schwinn products. Big chain stores were still selling plenty of product (including bikes). It's not like Schwinn put any of them out of business.Schwinn managed to remain current when lightweights became the next big thing. They were alittle out of their element when bmx was the next big thing (even though I love a good scrambler), but they caught up. And in actuality, bmx was won over by mechanics and builders starting out in their basements or tiny shops. Originally anyway. How's that for small business? The truth is that big chain retailers, economic hits, safety requirements that robbed style, as well as the famous events of the 80's that transformed Schwinn into nothing more than a bike all played a part. And if Schwinn were still a family-owned company or at least some semblance of the quality manufacturer they used to be, they would still have to cater to the next big thing: Affordability, and with the current economy, if that became the case only the wealthy could afford one. And even those days when a kid could save up for a year on his paper route to pay off that Schwinn he would be so proud of would be a far reach.
Actually.... .a lot of you guys are right... but only partially so. Schwinn tanked because they misjudged the market of the late 1970's, and invested too heavily in the ElectroForged process. This process could snap out a LOT of high quality frames.... thousands of them per week.... but they were 4 to 6 lbs heavier than competing European and Japanese frames, and they lost too much market share. Then to compensate, they farmed out production to other companies and lost control of their quality. THEN sales fell off, and they went belly up.
BUT.... I disagree with those folks who say that you can't manufacture a bike here in the US and make money at it. This is simply not true. There are several manufacturers of bikes here nowadays, and a LOT of custom frame builders. They just don't sell 'em at Walmart. OK... you probably can't make a bike that is so cheap that Walmart will carry it, but that's not the only marketplace, you know.
Axsepul..... you are right. There are a LOT of talented folks here. We could start a profitable company. Maybe I will......
It's a simple fix, Tax the snot out of any America company producing goods in China or other foreign nations. If there were jobs in the country people could actually go to work. Not a concept Washington understands.