Strengths: Fast as a road bike (if using road wheels, we're talking the 30's mph range--fast as a good road bike, if you use road wheels)
Fastest hybrid bike ready for fun right out of the store.
Comfy as a cruiser
Can do cyclocross tires for winter training
Very light weight
Character of: :There is no road too long."
Full touring attachment points as seen on $1200 tourbikes.
An example of technology "trickle down" from Schwinn's higher end road bikes.
Highly effective lightweight rear drive--the SRAM 1:1 system, currently gaining popularity with XC racing, and the 8-speed 11-32 cassette is also light weight, narrow-enough spacing for road bike use, facilitating extremely strong chain, low maintenance.
Fat people can get up hills on the same bike that gets skinny people to the head of the pack.
Ergonomics that are very beneficial to women or to anyone with back/neck/hip issue.
For the price of a big cart of groceries, hot performance and sweet comfort are combined at last.
Unusual "derring do" character is confidence inspiring, still corners precisely when the road gets rough.
Weaknesses: Same weaknesses as a $600 to $700 road bike--crankset has steel rings and wheels are Alex road wheels. This means slower sprinting than a $1800 road bike.
Too efficient and too fast to use for an exercise fitness product unless you've got a longer road and a lot more time.
Confusing price range does not put it into the class where it belongs.
Only one "real" weakness: Economy brake pads should be switched for Kool Stop to prevent excessive wheel wear.
This review is for the 2005 Schwinn Super Sport. It is more attractive than the photo above, and is now made with N-Lightened road aluminum frame, in the same family as their high-end road bikes.
This new 2005/06/07 model is very surprising!
Want a fast road bike that does not cause pain? On a budget? Got short arms?
You're probably thinking: "Is this for real?" Go try one, and find out.
When searching for ergo power as a means to fun plus speed, Schwinn design begins to make sense.
A bike that is lighter and faster than Trek Pilot.
A bike that makes you smile.
Why? Comfy like a cruiser and as FAST and light as you could expect from a road bike in the $700 range.
A bike that will keep to the front of a club ride with ease and comfort.
*Because of higher effectiveness of ergo power, the negative areo effects of the flat handlebars are mostly countered, still leaving more effective power delivery as the core feature.
*Rol or similar 20 spoke high performance wheels recommended for road club rides, along with 700cX23mm Serfas SECA RS or similar Michelin--because the general purpose wheels and tires that are free with the bike are road wheels, but not race specific.
A bike that comes with fittings for front and rear panniers, covering century rides and full touring with very high average speeds.
Comes with beautiful design that is only compromised down from the highest performance mark in two areas.
*Because of price, wheelset and crankset are non-optimal for true blue racing speed.
Inexpensive speed ups:
Toss the crankset in favor of Sugino (XD600 /Touring) or Shimano (105, Ultegra 9 sp /Racing) with high-strength all alloy chainrings in either case.
Save the wheelset for Kenda Kross, commuting, and bad weather training, but get a 20 spoke road wheelset for your club rides.
Areo options exist that don't involve buying road shifters--just spend $12-$25 on Nitto Albatross 19" racing size or an economy aluminum North Road; and, put these "upside down" (dropped) wrapped up road bike style for an almost time-trials areo effect that preserves the comfort of the bike (and the shifters). To adjust, put bike against wall, loosen stem, mount bike, fiercely grip part of handlebars that are closest (thus moving handlebars) and then tighten stem. Easy. Yes, they do angle down a bit if you want leverage for hills. Narrower Nitto models are most areo, as of this time available at speedgoat.com, and rather specific to this style of bike.
To completely bridge the technology gap for drop bar use with STI, cross brakes fits frame, fits ratio; and featherweight V-brakes with a short bridge cable also works fine. Although, this switchover would have only an appearance boosting benefit, compared to the less expensive handlebar option above.
One should note that the bike is quick and a joy to use right out of the store.
Possible racing applications may work best when combined with longer distances, female needs, spine/neck needs, short arms and wherever sublime ergonomics are paramount.
Similar Products Used: While Trek Pilot is advertised for "ergo power" and Diamondback's road/mountain fusion offers similar comfort, the Schwinn is noticably faster, lighter weight, and more efficient.
Trek's 7000 series flat bar and the similar Specialized do appear to be similar products, yet the less-expensive, ligher-weight Schwinn was still faster and had more features.
Head to head comparisons involving two riders, race, switch bikes, race again, yielded results that... there may not be similar flat bar road products on the market yet, but the Specialized was the only one to keep the Schwinn in sight.
Bike Setup: Basic and effective with an Sram 1:1 system, trigger shifters, lighter weight Tektro "mini" brakes, and a surprisingly high end saddle. N-Lightened road frame with short top tube, like women specific designs and cyclocross bikes. Full touring attachment points. Ordinary Alex road bike wheels. Extremely low price for this equipment.