Amazon.com : Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike, Aluminum and Steel Frame Options, 7-21 Speeds Options, 24-29-Inch Wheels, Multiple Colors : Sports & Outdoors

09 Nov.,2022

 

24 speed mountain bicycle

Update - Avoid like the plague if you want a decent bike that will last 10+ years, as this is a cheap road bike for beginners, not the Schwinn you remember.

Disclaimer: I received the product used (Amazon Warehouse) and it had clearly been used heavily and rewrapped. It appears to have been in a large crash (large scrapes on frame body, derailleurs, pedals, etc.). However, I took the opportunity to fully disassemble and reassemble the bike so that I could ensure it was safe to use, and this is what I found.

*********************************************
The BAD:

Crank Arms: These no-name crank arms are the cheapest quality aluminum you can get, yet also somehow godlike at holding onto the bottom bracket's square taper. After stripping the threads despite being meticulous with a crank arm puller, I tried three different methods of removal (pickle fork, hammer w/screwdriver, and a 3" gear puller) and was unable to make it budge. I've come to the conclusion that the only way to remove the crank arm is with a hacksaw. Well, the good news is the bottom bracket could still be removed despite the crank arm being stuck onto it. Replaced with a new Crankset.

Chainrings: The no-name chainring is actually three chainrings riveted together, and the "bolts" are the fake tops to the rivets. It wasn't bad per-se, it just wasn't good; as any damage to a single (middle) ring will cause the whole thing to become scrap. Shifting with the front-derailleur was slow and unreliable due to the chainrings' shapes. Replaced with a new Crankset.

Bottom Bracket: It's a no-name 73mm square taper cup and cone bottom bracket with almost no grease; after the 20 miles I put on the bike (+whatever it started with), there was no pitting, but that's to be expected. I'm just surprised Schwinn is using the same bottom bracket type that was used in the 80's. Replaced with a new Bottom Bracket.

Rear Freewheel: It's a no-name freewheel, again, popular in the 80's. It stopped being used for mountain bikes in the 90's (shifting to cassettes) because it would result in more easily broken rear axles due to the position of the bearings. Whomever attached the crank arm also did a number on the freewheel - it was so over-torqued I had to stand on the wrench to get it off the wheel threads. The outer "lock ring" is fake, by the way, and is only used if you want to fully disassemble (and trash) the freewheel - although I guess it's a possibility if you don't weigh 220+ lbs and need to put a new freewheel on. Replaced with a new Freewheel.

Shifters: The Shimano shifters are the only "name brand" piece of equipment on this bike, other than the Schwinn frame and cheap rubber Schwinn grips. That said, they're entirely plastic twist shifters that are the cheapest quality Shimano product I've ever owned. Aside from the white lettering already rubbing off (from the previous owner), the left shifter (front derailleur) takes a minimum of two clicks to change gears when the front derailleur is properly calibrated. The right shifter (rear derailleur) took three adjustments to get it to fully shift between all gears (1-7), and still sometimes hangs on the last gear (taking 3x effort to twist the shifter to get it to shift). The cheap plastic housing is easy to take off, and gives you a great view of the cheap plastic internals. Once adjusted with the front/rear derailleurs, they work, but I have no faith in their durability. Replaced with new Shifters.

Derailleurs: The derailleurs are functional, but of VERY cheap quality (Brand: Power). The H/L derailleur screws are held in with a cheap plastic housing, and the settings required for the bike have the L screw almost falling out of the rear derailleur. The rear derailleur is direct mount, and uses a cheap e-clip that comes off if you tighten the b-screw. The front derailleur wouldn't stay calibrated after 20mi, and eventually would stop shifting to the largest chainring until recalibrated. Replaced both with new front and rear derailleur.

Tires: The Schrader-valve tires have decent tread for road use and light dirt roads. The (32H) spokes are okay, but one caused a pinhole leak to the tube. I repaired and used electrical tape over the existing rim strip and patched the tube with a patch kit, and haven't had any further issues with either tire/tube. The rim is slightly warped, but I believe that was from the previous owner's crash, and will be taking the wheel to be trued at a local shop. Will eventually replace rear wheel that uses a freehub (for use with cassettes).

*******************************
The DECENT (but cheap):

Frame: The Schwinn frame (steel version) is decent, but heavy. One front fork brake post was bent, but I don't know if this was due to the previous owner's crash or due to shoddy manufacturing; the steel frame allowed me to bend it back into place. The front and rear axle is connected to the frame by u-shape dropouts (for quick release) which may cause issues for serious trails. The stem and handlebars are decent, but heavy.

Front Suspension: The Schwinn front suspension (supposedly SR Suntour M2000) works decently, but I haven't tested it on a trail nor disassembled it.

Seat/Pedals: The Schwinn saddle is moderately comfortable, but the post is short and thin (25mm x 300mm) for my needs (6'2"), as it isn't seated far enough into the frame to be safe. The Schwinn Pedals seem okay, but I haven't really tested them nor taken them apart. Replaced with a new seat post and more aggressive MTB pedals. I may be replace the saddle in the future.

Brakes: The v-brakes are functional, but of cheap quality (Brand: Power); the rubber guard over the brake line doesn't stay in place (more of a gripe as it does not affect functionality). The brake levers are functional, but of cheap quality (Brand: Power). Replaced with new v-brakes and brake levers.

Chain: The chain (Brand: KMC) is both decent and functional; it does not have a master link and requires a chain removal tool.

Misc: I got rid of the cheap plastic reflectors and grips. I kept the cheap kickstand.

********************************************
The VERDICT:

If you want a cheap bike to get some exercise or get you from A to B, this one fits your needs. I wouldn't take it on anything other than a road or well-traveled dirt path, and certainly not a MTB trail. I ended up replacing everything other than the frame (stem/handlebars), the front fork, and the wheels (which I'll replace eventually), and I think it would be a better to skip this bike and buy something in the $600-1000 range, as that's how much you'll end up spending to make this bike moderately trail-worthy.