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  1. #1
    Trail Rider
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    New guy with new Schwinn Sidewinder

    Yep, not the oldschool Sidewinders either, the new version that can be found at your local Wallyworld.

    I used to spend a considerable amount of time on bikes when I was a kid. My grandfather always kept me and my brother on two wheels via bikes he recycled from the dead, rebuilt, and tossed back together. I never owned a new bike until middle school. It was a Roadmaster mountain bike. No suspension, just a fully rigid, cheap-walmart, geared and crappishly braked; but I road the hell out of it through town(and the neighboring towns) for several years. Then I got a driver's license.

    Fast forward better than a decade. I scuba dive alot(its my primary hobby) and much of that scuba diving is tech oriented so that I can explore the underwater caves.





    I like building and driving Volkwagens, surfing, camping, and hiking as well. Made a little camping trip with some buddies of mine a couple weekends ago and several of them brought along some bikes as well. I borrowed a friends mountain bike and put 10-15 miles on it over the weekend(nobody was there specifically to ride). Anyway, I had a blast, brought me back a bit. So I've decided to pick up a bike so I don't have to borrow one the next time around. Hell, while I've got a bike, I might as well drop a couple pounds while I'm at it by riding regularly right? First thing I did was go find my old Roadmaster in the back of my parents shed - toast. Definately time for something new, rebuilding that bike would cost as much as a new bike of the same quality.

    I found this forum and read up on what everyone has to say as far as dept store bikes vs entry level bikes from reputable companies, then completely went for what everyone warned against. Why? No idea if I'm going to stick to riding regularly. A Walmart bike will run me around state parks just fine when I camp with my buddies. There's also no investment in it. If I end up liking it, I just buy an entry level(or better) bike when I trash this one. If not, then I've lost a buck-fifty, which I can live with moreso than paying better than double for an entry level bike from the LBS(and I do have a good LBS apparently). I'm 5'10" and 210 lbs(Clydesdale? I call it fat), so if this bike is gonna go, I imagine it won't take too long. Surely I'll know by that point if I want to invest more seriously.

    Purchased the 26" Schwinn Sidewinder, ones size for all, mountain bike. The frame seemed strong, and that was my biggest concern. What I like so far? Its got some mechanical V-brakes that can throw me over the handbars(yeah, I've got no riding skill). I adjusted the front derailer(nice detailed instructions included) and all the gears shift now, and quietish. Tires seem ample. The seat beat the hell out some of the others I rode. I like the q/d front wheel and seat(missing from others in the same price-line). What I don't like? Its heavy, shifting while standing on the pedals sucks and I'm not too fond of the twist-shift crap(I like the triggers on the better models), and I can bottom out the front shocks with ease. We'll see how long it lasts before I trash it, or get interested in biking enough to want to invest in something better(even if thats quicker than the lifespan of the Schwalmart).

    Couple shots of it for the hellovit, photos were requested elsewhere, so I figured I'd just make my own thread rather than hog up on the existing thread. Its dirty, becuase I've been riding it, and I'm having alot of fun while doing so So far, I'm enjoying my $150 purchase, enough to where I can see that I'll likely end up dumping more money sometime for something better.












  2. #2
    Thread Roller
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    Good job! Awesome

    I think the bike looks great. I like the way the boots on the front shock cover the whole top part to keep it clean inside. Nice. I also like the simple construction. Seems like it would keep maintenence down to a minimum. Just don't go diving with it lol! Looks great!
    I'm all jacked up on Mountain Dew, old man!

  3. #3
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    Thanks, we'll see how well it keeps itself together. First 25 miles have been fine, but all on the road, aside from jumping the ditch in my front lawn - LOLz.

  4. #4
    CTB
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    $150, you're having fun and possibly getting hooked on the sport. Sounds like a deal.

    So...what kind of VW's? Here' s mine:


  5. #5
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    I'm down to only one at this point. '03 Jetta Wagon, wish it was the TDI, but they are hard to come by... Got a 2L, so don't really have the go-fast, but I don't have to worry about wiring issues or blowing coilpacks and still retain decent gas mileage. The wagon is great, perfect for my lifestyle - lots of driving and lots of gear intensive hobbies(it also attracts all the single mothers ).



    I've got a luggage basket for my Yakima as well, I'd like to get a bike rack that mounts ontop the luggage basket.

    My first was a '73 Superbeetle, had a '74 Superbeetle Conv', and just sold my '66 Beetle. I had restored the '66 in highschool about 85%(needed to run through the interior instead of just tossing on seat covers and shitty carpet), but used it as a daily through college(Auburn Univ) and just got burned out on constant maintenance and running it back and forth between home(near Mobile, AL) and college. Let the car get pretty beat up, but my buddy was interested in restoring an early, so he picked it up off me cheap - just glad it went into good hands. I had a '96 2L Golf in the past as well.



    Economy sucks, once I get employed again, I'll get another Volkswagen to restore... want to try something new, like a late '70s or early '80s Rabbit/GTI(Mk 1) or a first gen Scirocco. Just something different.

  6. #6
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    Hey I'm heading off to college next year and this looks like a perfect bike for such a thing. I was wondering if you knew the size of the headset? is it 1 inch or 1 1/8? or maybe know the brand/model of the fork?

    I quite the parts bin and would love to get one of these and tinker with it. As for your complaints that it is heavy. The handlebars look to be made of steel. you could easily lose a pound or two by replacing them with a cheap aluminum bar for less than 15 dollars.

  7. #7
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    Fork is a SR Suntour, can't tell you any more than that as thats all it states on the fork itself and the manual I got with the bike is generic. It probably has 50-60mm of travel? Its a $150 bike, complete, so the fork is certainly garbage for anything bigger than gravel, small roots, and shallow potholes.

    Headset is an 1" it seems.

    If I wanted to put a little money into it, I think I could definately lighten it up. Different handlebars, different seat and post, maybe a different crankset and probably ditch a few of the chainrings.

    Do all the above, toss a better fork on it, and it'd certainly ride a couple notches better than it was probably ever intended(and probably at around 30lbs). Just dunno if I want to put that money into this bike, or just use it for a better bike later.

    I've got better than 50 miles on it in the last week and its working as far as what I've used it for up to this point(which hasn't been anything worth bragging about). If I stick with riding this thing regularly... I'll likely get another bike, and as I upgrade it, swap its components over to this one and use it as a spare/loaner.

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