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Road bikes are made for paved roads. These are machines that give you maximum efficiency on plane surfaces. You get speed, pedaling efficiency, speed, and a lightness of the ride – all rolled up into one fun experience.
Many people who want to start a cycling hobby start with a road bike. For one, this is because riding on the road is much easier than going down a dirt path or a mountain path.
Racers often begin with road bikes before they become hooked on speed. Although conventional road bikes prioritize speed and lightness over the rider’s comfort, more modern versions strive to offer comfort by trading in the usual drop handlebars with adjustable ones or flat ones.
Evaluate road bikes for the experience they provide before choosing yours. This list will help you decide where on the road bike spectrum you will find your sweet spot.
5 Best Schwinn Road Bikes & Reviews
1. Schwinn Vantage F2 700C Performance Road Bike
A road bike with a difference that delivers on many key points. Yes, that’s Schwinn F2 for you with its flat handlebars and demure matte coloring. Six sizes and another variant called F3 are also part of this product line. You will see that they all have the common factor of minimalist design and rugged, strong finish.
Make no mistake, this is a road bike for those who have already spent dozens of hours on the road powering themselves on their bikes. It is designed for riders of height range 5’10” to 6’4”, making this a ride for the tall, athletic ones among cyclists.
Schwinn assumes that you’re enthusiastic about spending time riding long hours on the road. Accordingly, the Vantage F2 is a hybrid road bike is one that upholds comfort while offering high speed and low weight. The comfort factor is retained by a superior vibration-isolation feature. The suspension is further enhanced by a hydroformed aluminum body and carbon fork that’s perfect for racing. Gears switch smoothly in the Shimano-powered drivetrain and 105 STI shifters.
Hubs and 700 x 25 c tires are from Shimano. They give excellent durability and stability on the road with mechanical disc brakes to control speeding. Fender mounts are available at the front and back, allowing you to choose your own design for the fenders. Kenda West supplies the tires that are supple and puncture-resistant.
The flat handlebar has sweat-resistant grips and the strategically-placed shifters move smoothly to shift gears with ease. Schwinn uses sRT or Smooth Ride Technology. The comfort factor in the smooth ride is contributed by the elastomer soft tail that gives an ultra-light body without taking away from the suspension. All this technical perfect lends convenience that allows you to spend more time riding comfortably.
- Elastomer suspension makes the bike comfortable
- Ease of handling is high because of light weight
- Convenient handle-grips
- No place to put the kickstand
Verdict: This is the best choice among the listings offered here simply for the design and material advantages coupled with a decent price.
2. Schwinn Fastback 2 Performance Road Bike (for Beginner to Intermediate Riders)
This Schwinn ‘Fastback 2’ is called ‘Performance’ for a reason. It has stylish looks and a power-packed design backing its lithe body. It has six size variants ranging all the way from XS to XL. It stands unique as the only 18-speed variant among Schwinn’s drivetrains.
Schwinn markets it as a beginner’s bicycle catering to riders of height 4’11” all the way up to 6’4”. The shifters and derailleur are from Shimano and features a cassette of 11 to 28 teeth. These specs make it suited for riding on the road where you look for more plane riding than inclines.
It’s a nifty combination of an aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork that makes this bike a good contender for recreational racing. All the road bikes from Schwinn in this segment are road-tuned with a N LITENED Gold triple-butted aluminum road frame that makes them super light but stable. The rider stoops forward slightly and lends an aerodynamic advantage to the forward movement. This way, it is suited for challenging rides by intermediate-level bikers who spend a lot of time on the road. Standard wheels of 700c x 25 tires are slim and durable. Schwinn issues standardized hubs and rims.
The apparatus of the alloy caliper brakes is supplied by Schwinn. Shimano Sora brake levers are easy to move and the stopping is sharp in all kinds of weather and road conditions.
- Light frame
- Schwinn follows excellent design and packaging
- Great for daily use
- External wiring and gears need adjustment
Verdict: It’s a good-looking bike that delivers on many road-worthy features. Many admire the lightness and clever combination of materials in the frame and fork. The final assembly is easy to carry out. It can also be tuned professionally. Overall great bike for enjoyment and performance.
3. Schwinn Fastback AL Claris Performance Road Bike for Beginner to Intermediate Riders
Here’s one more beginner’s bike with which even seasoned biking enthusiasts who have many hours on two wheels would be hard-pressed to find fault. The review of this bike begins with the obvious but stylish drop handlebars that have to be pointed out for the level of comfort they offer the rider. Cork bar tape on the handlebars allows easy gripping and stunning looks. Yes, there’s a slight lean forward required, but it only adds to the rider’s momentum and helps you maintain control over the pace you develop.
Schwinn’s AL Claris offers the comfort of choice in size as other models from the Schwinn stable. The comfort and quality of the racer seat and saddle are likewise comparable. That said, the extra-large frame is for the riders who’re on the taller side – height ranges of 6’1” to 6’4”. Choose your frame size with care.
Shimano Claris brings the 16-speed drivetrain up to speed with others made by Schwinn with a clean as a whistle 11-34T cassette. The aluminum road hubs and triple-butted aluminum road frame spell durability and pack the punch of lightness along with durability to the entire frame. Caliper brakes are made by Promax and let you stop within the second you think of it.
Many users have averred that this machine is suited for small hills and inclines too, and that’s definitely a point in its favor. Be ready to fit this bike on your own out of the box.
- Excellent grips and brakes
- Drivetrain for gears is smooth and sharp
- Value for price range
- Needs a mechanic if you’re not handy with tools
- Tuning is slightly complicated
Verdict: The price point is not the only favorable feature on this bike loaded with good design and solid components. If the complexity of installation is the only thing to be said against it, definitely buy this value-for-money machine and get it installed professionally.
4. Schwinn Phocus 1400 and 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycles for Men and Women
If there is a bike that sets out to prove that you don’t have to spend over a thousand bucks to get a great-looking unisex bike, this bicycle from Schwinn is the one. Yes, it features an aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork which makes its light and easy to handle. Drop handlebars not only look cool but also offer aerodynamic alignment to the rider effortlessly.
This variant gives you a choice between a 16-speeder or 14-speed bike at 56 cm or 41 cm frame size respectively. You get to step over a dropped crossbar that makes mounting and dismounting easy. Shimano’s micro shifters and speed derailleur are meticulously calibrated to give smooth transition and satisfaction for different levels of pedaling. With a responsive design, light tread, micro-shift integration that responds at both the gear and brake ends, this is a bike you will use both during the week and at the weekends.
Braking action provided by the alloy calipers with dual pivots is admirable and fails almost never. Learning the tuning is as easy as filling up the tires as you have quick-release action on the front wheel and the seat mount. It is recommended that you put in the learning so that minor adjustments of brakes, gears, or cleaning and maintenance can be taken care of at your end without visiting a bike shop. You only have to tighten the kickstand, put in the pedals and the seat, and add the front wheel to the frame among other minor adjustments.
Calling this model a beginner’s bike may be something of a misnomer. You should be able to take it to informal races and enjoy unending hours of riding on it with great comfort thanks to the saddle and seat post that settles in with just a click.
- Carries you through beginner well on to expert stages of biking
- Comfortable saddle
- Light at 26 pounds
- Less convenient for riders who are too short or too tall
- Readjusting the brake cables is a hassle as they’re taped over
Verdict: Deliver full value for your investment and lasting through many stages of your learning and growth. This is the perfect bike for you if you hope to become a serious biker. But yes, it needs maintenance and tuning along the way, especially if you’re a heavy-duty biker. Watch out for signs of wear on the tires.
5. Schwinn Fastback Carbon 105 Performance Road Bike for Advanced to Expert Riders
Among the advanced bikes from Schwinn made completely from carbon fiber, this one demanded to be reviewed if only to show that a road bike with extreme specs is not always the most sought-after one on the road. The entire frame and stem are made of carbon and only the wheel rims, seat post, and parts of the handlebar are made of aluminum.
There is an incredible lightness to the bike at 18.8 pounds. It’s the absolute feather-light one among road bikes. A race saddle features a dainty seat and the compact handlebars keep you firing ahead as you speed up on this road bike. It comes in just the one color – matte black, and most bikers want black anyway so this works well. The jazzy lettering matches up well with any riding gear.
There are many other areas in which the extra thought that Schwinn has put into making a premium bike show. For instance, there are high-quality pedals with excellent cleats for gripping. The straps on the pedals, however, are not so great and might need to be replaced.
It is best to check for inseam height before consulting the size chart of this bike because the crossbar is fairly high.
Some users suggest swapping out the aluminum components for even light carbon fibers ones. This may be overkill for casual bikers. But then, this design itself is meant for advanced bike users so the idea is worth considering.
The crux of this review is that there are many bikes, even bikes made by Schwinn itself, that cost a third of this price, and offer more or less the same performance. For that reason alone, this machine ranks much lower than several others in terms of value for money spent.
- Lightness of body and stylish, work-hardy frame
- Comfortable frame and excellent bike geometry
- Dual pivot breaks snap on well
- High price
- Pedals are not included in the groupset
Verdict: Check for installation issues among the fenders and fender mounts as these are apt to get in the way of smooth revolution of the tires. If you are a devotee of the complete Shimano 105 groupset, this bike purchase will make sense for you.
A Brief History of Schwinn Bicycles
Here is a maker of bicycles that is almost as old as the concept of riding a bicycle itself. If the oldest known bicycle features in Germany in 1817, Schwinn came into being in the same century. Ignaz Schwinn, born in 1860, moved to Chicago, IL and worked for various bicycle manufacturers. Having been exposed to the ‘Safety’ bicycle in North Germany and combining his natural feel for bike mechanics, he moved to Chicago in the United States of America as he favored its location advantages.
He floated Arnold, Schwinn & Company with Adolf Arnold in 1895. His mind held the wisdom of numerous designs of bicycles as well as bicycle manufacturing tools and units which he poured into Arnold, Schwinn & Company. The entity was a great success flying high on Schwinn’s design and manufacturing acumen and Arnold’s business felicity.
Despite the mixed fortunes faced by other bike makers around the turn of the century, Schwinn did well and was pronounced a market leader after they acquired March-Davis Bicycle Company.
Later, in 1908, Ignaz Schwinn retained the business interests of his partner to become the sole owner of the Arnold, Schwinn & Company. Bicycle Engineering remains the mainstay of the entity even as it stands today. Schwinn dabbled in the motorcycle business and watched the trend die out.
He was known for prioritizing the use of modern equipment, materials, and processes, which created 40 patents in the course of the bike maker’s rein.
Today, the market share of Schwinn has dwindled to around 11% from the 25% it once enjoyed. Schwinn bikes are still considered costlier than those mass-produced ones that are found at Kmart and Sears.
The decision to not diversify into other products ensures that Schwinn is remembered as a maker of high-quality bikes. Schwinn has been known for providing good bikes at exclusive outlets and bike shops. They offer excellent customer service. But the onslaught of mass-produced bikes available everywhere eats into Schwinn’s market share.
Schwinn is listed among the top bicycle makers of America only once in a while now, especially since machines from all over the world have made it to the ranks of road bikes used in America now. The legacy and the commitment live on. You won’t go wrong if you choose a Schwinn bike.
Yes, Schwinn bikes have a century-long legacy of making good bikes and back it up with above-par customer service
Schwinn makes some low-end models which could be compared to Huffy bikes. Huffy and Schwinn have different positioning strategies. Where Schwinn prefers its bikes to do the talking, Huffy uses Disney characters. Also, Huffy’s bikes are $20-30 cheaper. For component and ride quality, they are almost neck to neck.
While Mongoose bikes are smaller and lighter, Schwinn bikes are higher and much more stable. This makes the latter better suited for carrying loads. It is really a question of what is more important to you as the buyer. Based on your own priorities, choose between Schwinn which offers excellent after-sales support or Mongoose which offers a money-back guarantee.
Schwinn enjoyed a lot of popularity and following among bikers for a whole century. Today, they are still known for their great design, strength, and durability. Since top-quality material and manufacturing processes go into these machines, they are also super light and offer great speed.