Schwinn Hybrid Bike Reviews of 2018 & Buying Guide
Schwinn is a name synonymous with quality bikes. They combine the latest technologies with time-tested designs, and offer models with both high function and impressive, aesthetically appealing form. Best of all, it has bikes of all types and sizes, most of which could fit any price range.
Founded by Ignaz Schwinn in 1895, this Chicago-based company grew to rapid popularity and success over the next century. While the company declared bankruptcy and joined Pacific Cycle in the early 1990s, it hasn’t seen much decline in its sales or success overall.
Today, Schwinn is still one of the top brands in the bicycle game. It’s come a long way since its founder lived in his native Germany, apprenticing with a high-wheeler company before the days of chains and gears. The brand survived the Great Depression, a plethora of new bicycle designs and trends, and a constantly evolving market.
Modern shoppers will find a number of models to suit their needs, but today we’ll focus on the hybrid bicycles Schwinn offers. These bikes combine the comfort of touring bikes, the speed of road bikes, and the durability of mountain bikes, all in one. Our buyer’s guide will answer some common consumer questions about hybrids, as well as questions about Schwinn Bicycle Company. We’ll also feature some of our favorite hybrids from this brand.
What are some advantages of a hybrid bike over one designed specifically for mountain/city/touring use?
While specialized bikes are excellent for their intended use, a hybrid offers an attractive compromise between several activities. If you plan to commute on your bike during the week, but spend some weekends on level park trails or taking long trips through the countryside, a hybrid can suit all your needs in just one bicycle.
There are some disadvantages to this all-in-one style, of course. Experienced mountain riders won’t be able to take a hybrid on very rocky or muddy trails; cyclists who go on very long tours might find a hybrid just isn’t quite comfortable enough to withstand the trip.
In order to be “good enough” in all three arenas, a hybrid sacrifices elements from each bike type, as well. For example, in order to move fairly quickly (like a road bike), a hybrid can’t have the same thick frame or tires you’d find on a mountain bike.
Should I get a hybrid?
If you need an “all-purpose bike,” yes. Hybrids don’t offer the full benefits of any one type of bike, but rather, a little of each. It has decent speed abilities, like road bikes, but is comfortable to sit on for longer periods, like a touring model.
Hybrids can also have the durability and thicker tires (and sometimes, shock absorbers) of mountain bikes, so they can travel on uneven surfaces—although some are better at this than others, and some aren’t suited for off-roading at all.
Additionally, riders looking for disc brakes (ideal for riding in rain, mud, snow, or any slick conditions) might be disappointed; most hybrids don’t offer these, and instead use linear-pull rim brakes. These are still reliable, but would skid on slick terrain. You might have to upgrade, if you’re set on a hybrid but know you’ll need very powerful brakes.
Ultimately, a hybrid is a smart option if you plan to use your bike for more than one kind of activity.
Are hybrids more expensive because of their “multi-use” features?
Not generally, no. This is because hybrids aren’t true “all-in-one” bikes. They don’t combine all the features of their source bikes (therefore driving up their cost); they just combine a few features from each for a versatile bike to suit multiple needs.
In other words, for every feature that might make a hybrid expensive, it usually gives up one that isn’t compatible with another. This helps balance the price out, in the end.
That said, there are expensive hybrids—but there are inexpensive ones, as well. This category has a wide range of prices, just like any other bike type.
Remember: price does not necessarily equate to quality. You can get an underperforming $5,000 bike, but an excellent $500 one. It depends on the manufacturer’s standards of quality and materials, as well as whether or not that bike meets all your needs and is a proper fit for you.
What makes Schwinn stand out from other brands?
Schwinn has been around over 100 years, and has evolved right alongside the cycling industry. It was one of the first and largest companies to ever produce two-wheelers, and has been a frontrunner ever since.
They invented the balloon tire in 1933, which quickly became the industry standard; you’ll still find this style on many bikes, such as beach cruiser models. They were also the first to utilize built-in kickstands to hold bicycles upright when not in use.
Today, Schwinn remains popular with the parents and grandparents who rode their bikes as children; they trust this brand for their kids and grandkids, a faith that isn’t unfounded: the company has consistently positive reviews on every model it releases, and its vintage models remain quite popular.
The famous Stingray, sold in the 1960s and 1970s, is worth over $5,000 today; the Green Phantom is equally as valuable. A 1965 Super Deluxe Stingray is currently on display in the National Museum of American History, and other rare models can be found in history and cycling museums across the country.
For many, this brand doesn’t just embody quality and nostalgia, but the American dream, as well: the idea that anyone can pull himself up by the bootstraps and, with hard work and dedication, build a name for himself and a better life. Ignaz Schwinn certainly accomplished that.
Do they have good customer service?
Schwinn is on multiple social media outlets, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They have a thorough contact form that’s easily accessible on their website. We reached out and received a reply in less than four hours; the representative was friendly and helpful, and clearly understood the various models the company offers.
You can also register your bike with the company, if desired, to help track it in the event of theft. They’ll also send pertinent safety and warranty information throughout the life of your bicycle.
Their limited warranties cover the frame for life (for the original purchaser; does not cover resale), when purchased from Schwinn directly, and normal wear on its standard/stock parts.
Schwinn Hybrid Bike Reviews
1. Schwinn Men’s Wayfarer Hybrid Review
As one of Schwinn’s most popular hybrids, the Wayfarer offers a simple, retro-inspired design that includes fenders to protect the rider from dirt and water kicked up by the wheels, as well as a rear rack for carrying bags, crates, or children’s seats. Its price fits within most budgets, and the lifetime warranty on the frame will make this buy a smart one.
With an appealing blend of old and new, the design of the Wayfarer is as attractive as its specs. This bike is ideal for tall riders, mostly men (the seat is narrow and will suit men comfortably, but some women might prefer a wider, shorter seat). The only downside to this model is its rim brakes, so pass this one up if you need a bike that can stop on a dime in rainy or slick conditions.
2. Schwinn Women’s Discover Hybrid Review
For a hybrid with a little more punch when it comes to off-roading and hilly terrain, buyers should consider the Discover. With a lightweight aluminum frame, suspension fork, and 21 speeds, it boasts some of the best features of city bikes and mountain bikes combined—while still offering comfort comparable to the best touring bikes out there.
Need a bike that can do it all—glide up hills, run errands, and keep you comfy during long trips? The Discover Hybrid just might be that bike! While it’s only offered in one color, the glossy white finish has a clean appeal to match its simple, no-frills silhouette. With an aluminum frame, it’s more lightweight than similar models in steel, but still durable.
3. Schwinn Women’s Capitol Hybrid Review
This vintage-designed hybrid has no shortage of modern upgrades. Its step-through design is perfect for riders who have a hard time mounting bikes, and its easy-change gears make flying through those 21 speeds a breeze. Comfortable, fast, and visually appealing: the Capitol seems to have it all.
If you’re drawn to the old-school appeal of bikes from yesteryear, but need a bike with features from this decade: look no further. The Capitol has a lightweight frame with a heavily slanted top bar and padded seat, as well as adjustable handlebars, all designed with comfort in mind—but its thin tires, light frame, and quick shifting are built for speed. We’d recommend this to shorter riders who plan on doing tours/long trips, although it could also be an excellent commuter bike for daily use.
4. Schwinn Midmoor Men’s Hybrid Review
Our favorite thing about the Midmoor: it looks like a regular road bike, but is even more comfortable to ride, thanks to its adjustable and angled handlebars. With a light aluminum frame and 21 speeds, this might be the perfect balance between ergonomics and speed.
Another budget-friendly choice, the Midmoor grants riders speeds comparable to a road bike, with elements of comfort you’d find on cruisers and commuters. It only comes in black, but the glossy finish makes it pop. At less than 25 lbs., it’s incredibly light and easy to transport. We recommend it to riders whose idea of the perfect long weekend ride involves plenty of mini-races along the way.
Hybrids are a great choice for most riders, especially those who use theirs for more than one activity, but don’t want to purchase a separate bike for each. Schwinn, a brand renowned for its quality and innovation, has created several budget-conscious models that provide the balance of comfort, speed, and style you’d look for in a hybrid. We hope our buyer’s guide has been helpful to anyone looking for a Schwinn hybrid.