There have been a lot of new bikes and updates to existing models from brands new and old at the 2016 Sea Otter Classic. And perhaps no brand is as well known as Schwinn.
The Schwinn name has a storied past in American cycling, dominating US bike sales from the 1950’s through the early 1970’s. Schwinn was family-owned and started by a German immigrant at the turn of the last century, and during the its dominance produced bikes in all categories from its Chicago factory. The great grandson of the founding Schwinn patriarch is still in the industry running Waterford Precision Cycles, which we’ve seen at NAHBS before, and the great great granddaughter Anna is with All-City Cycles, but the Schwinn brand now belongs to the CSG group, Cannondale’s parent company.
Schwinn has continued to produce bicycles for the American mass market, selling two lines, one through large retail stores, and the other Schwinn Signature Line through independent bike dealers. The Vantage model has been a Signature Line mainstay as a flat-bar road bike for the budding enthusiast or someone who has re-discovered cycling and wants efficiency, comfort and speed.
For 2016 a new model has been added to the Vantage line-up, the RX-1, with a SRAM Rival 22 hydro drivetrain mated to a FSA Gossamer 50/34 compact crank. According to Schwinn Senior Product manager Sam Greenman, the aluminum Vantage has geometry between a touring and cyclocross bike, and Schwinn’s SRT or “Smooth Ride Technology.”
The SRT is an arrangement that clamps the seatstay wishbone around an elastomer at the seat tube. The elastomer is said to allow 15mm of travel and is user interchangeable to adjust for body weight. The Vantage also comes with a JD TranzX anti-shock stem that offers 0-2 degrees of vertical displacement. The matching fork has a straight 1 ⅛” alloy steerer with carbon blades and low rider rack and fender mounts. The frame has dual bottle mounts and mounts for a rack or fenders. The bike rolls on 35mm Continental Sport Contact tires with a bead-to-bead file tread and kevlar breaker belt, which look durable and aggressive for pavement and dirt.
This $1700 USD bike is aimed at the rider who wants to go beyond the pavement, but values control and comfort in addition to speed or someone who wants to take the next step past the flat-bar road bike on a longer paved or unpaved adventure.
More info: schwinnbikes.com