Schwinn Alloy SS 2003 Cruiser Bike

4/5 (2 Reviews)

Product Description

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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by gnichopd a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: April 11, 2010

Strengths:    THE FRAME! It's the original, classic cruiser frame, but in light alloy! It looks great -- the paint is very pretty -- and it has a Schwinn head badge. If you're a baby-boomer, that's cool. The wheels are fine. Stock it's an OK cruiser. It's a really great cruiser if you raplace the crank, seatpost, and bars with alloy ones. Consider it a project bike frame like I did, go nuts and have a ball and make a real keeper. At least I avoided the temptation to use a Chris King headset.

Weaknesses:    All the steel parts. The stock Ashtibula crank is a boat anchor! A heavy one for a big boat. All the components are heavy, cheap steel with bad chrome, and rust easily. Bearing are poor quality, poorly lubed, and poorly adjusted. It's all the stuff that gives cruisers a bad name but lets them sell for $100.

Bottom Line:   
I always loved the look of the 1955 Schwinn cantilever cruiser frame and thought it would make a great project bike, but they are way too heavy. But a few years ago I discovered that Schwinn was (past tense) making an aluminum version of the frame, the Alloy SS (gone from the 2010 line-up). It still had cheap, heavy, steel components, but at least the frame was light. I bought a used one and tossed almost all the components except the wheels, which are alloy rims with stainless spokes and alright for this bike. I also kept the original coaster brake because it’s stone-ax simple and a lot of fun. I was tempted to use an internally geared hub, but I have another bike set up that way and I didn’t want a cable on it, so I kept the coaster brake. The bike is now equipped with an Ultegra 6500 octalink crank set and bottom bracket that were laying around the garage mounted in an aluminum bottom bracket adapter, Kalloy seat post, Salsa Lip Lock seat post clamp, Brooks B-67 saddle because it has springs like a cruiser should, alloy swallow bars from Velo Orange with the original Schwinn grips, and a pair of inexpensive cast alloy platform pedals that I like the looks of. The tires are 26 x 1.75 Kenda All Terrain and were selected for their size and the fact that they have gum walls which echo the original cruiser white walls.

The bike is now a blast to ride and it gets a lot of attention. Not many cruisers have an Ultegra crank set or Brooks saddle. People are amazed when they pick it up and see that it weighs about half what a normal cruiser weighs. I use it for quick trips around town or just doing figure-8’s in the street after dinner. Yes, I still do that. Because I bought the bike used and already had the cranks, I probably have about the same money in it as the cost of a new Alloy SS ($300) if they still made them. All it needs now is a titanium kickstand!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   The one I'm on.

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   A bike rental joint

Similar Products Used:   There are no products similar to mine.

Bike Setup:   See review.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by danielhaden a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: May 19, 2006

Strengths:    Comfort

Weaknesses:    Wonderful tires are not available for purchase seperately from a bike.

Astabula crankset needs a bit of TLC before it is ready for service. Must re-grease and align the gear-spacer washer to center it. BMX sport racing bearings work slightly better than the factory bearings.

Handlebars need replaced with alloy 24" cruiser bars (sized down a bit to 23.5").

Seatpost needs replaced with an alloy 28.6mm micro adjust seatpost.

Saddle has a high horn, so set the stem up at maximum height for best comfort. This is not really a weakness because the saddle is otherwise heavenly comfort.

The bike is "medium" size, so for riders taller than 6'1" then you may need to consider replacing the factory stem with a dutch bike (adjustable) stem for best comfort.

Bottom Line:   
I like to build these up to an internally geared 8 speed bike for friends.

These are extremely light frames, yet the bikes are durable.

Extraordinary comfort is good for all-day rides

Expand full review >>

Favorite Ride:   Highway 166

Price Paid:    $250.00

Similar Products Used:   Electra, Trek, and they couldn't compare.

Bike Setup:   The bike is a pleasure to use in its stock form, however, I use these as a base to build really fast, very luxurious comfort bikes.

Schwinn Alloy SS

7 speed chain (7.3mm) with a bit of Singer Sewing Machine Oil for the break-in period.

Nexus Premium 8 with Nexus Premium brake installed onto the factory rear rim.

Bulletproof Alloy caliper brake on front

Dimension 24" aluminum crusier bars (reduced to 23.5")

Alloy Micro adjust seat post 28.6mm

All done! Easily sustainable speed of 18mph.
For a faster sustainable speed, use Schwinn Alloy 7 with an economical 11-34 freewheel and a TX70 or Deore derailer.

However, the Nexus Premium 8 gearhub is certainly best for city riding and extraordinary hill climbing power.

Whether stock or modified, the bike is a pleasure.

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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