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  1. #1
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    Should I sell my Homegrown?

    My first real mountain bike was a Schwinn Homegrown that I bought used in 2002. I loved the bike for the longest time and upgraded it to tubeless and hydro disc brake rather than buying new. Somewhere along the road I realized that she couldn't handle climbing up steep switchbacks very well so I decided to switch out the long a$$ Titec stem for something much shorter. I figured I was stretched out too far and it doesn't help that the frame is a Large and I don't think I should be on anything larger than a medium. I'm 5'11" or so. I think the stem helped.

    Last October I broke down and bought a new bike. I got a Rocky Mountain ETSX 70 and that's been the bike I've been using for the most part ever since I got it. But I didn't want to hock my Schwinn, partially because it's the lighter of the two bikes and also because it's a classic and the frame, to this day, is highly regarded. The other day I broke part of my crank on the RM, so today I decided I'd ride my Homegrown. I gotta say, even though my RM weighs like 3 - 5 lbs more than the Homegrown, It climbs a heck of a lot better! In comparison, the Homegrown is SO twitchy on the uphills. I'm constantly sawing the handlebar to keep a line. It feels like there's no weight on the front wheel at all. And Still, turns have to be Really wide.

    Two things. First, my fork is no longer the Rock Shox Sid Air. I forget the travel on that fork, but it wasn't much. I went with an 05 Reba Team which has adjustable travel up to 115 mm. At 115 mm, it's impossibly light up front going up hills. At 85 mm (minimum setting), It's better, but still twitchy. Second, and I realized this after my ride, the seat is all the way back on it's rails. I'm going to bring that way forward and see if that helps for in the seat climbing.

    I'm wondering if the geometry of the bike is Dated and that is why I find climbing to be such a biotch. Could it be the size of the bike (LG) is going to always fight me?

    Thanks in advance?

  2. #2
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    No, don't sell it. I have 4 bikes that I ride myself. Just rotate every week.
    I have a Homegrown 4 Banger, Hardtail and 2 single speeds that I rotate or I take which ever bike I feel like, but keep the Homegrown, you will kick yourself in the rear if you get rid of it.

    Just my .02...

    Ken

  3. #3
    Singletrack Slayer
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    Agreed. I have been kicking my self after 5 yrs since I sold my 98 4 banger. It was really worn out and needed a new rear shock, but I still wish I had it just for kicks. I will never give up my other homegrown factory ht frame!!! I can say that my newer bikes do ride better than the older 4 banger, but I am a very big old school schwinn lover!!

  4. #4
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    Singlespeed?

    How long of a stem do you have on there now? How wide are the handlebars?

    At 5'11", I'd say you're about right between the large (19") and medium (17"). What I find interesting is your seat is all the way back. Is this something you adjusted, or is it just how it came?

    To answer the question, no, I don't the Homegrown's geometry is dated at all.

  5. #5
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    Singlespeed?

    How long of a stem do you have on there now? How wide are the handlebars?

    At 5'11", I'd say you're about right between the large (19") and medium (17"). What I find interesting is your seat is all the way back. Is this something you adjusted, or is it just how it came?

    To answer the question, no, I don't the Homegrown's geometry is dated at all.
    I kinda figured by posting in the Schwinn section, I'd get a lotta Schwinn love. Not that that's a bad thing!

    The seat was adjusted by me! I think I felt like I was sitting too upright before. And I don't know why! Maybe it was the perception of a looking like a leisurely biker riding a cruiser all upright... I dunno. Maybe my desire to try new things stagnated.

    The stem's a 90 mm stem. I forget what the old one was, but it was on the Long side indeed. My handle bars are 24" from tip to tip. More narrow than my RM. All I did was add the fork hydro (hope Mini's, which need work or replacing) brakes, Mavic 819 tubeless rims, a easton stem, monkey lite riser bar, and matching seat post, terry fly seat, and egg beater pedals. W/the hydro leavers I needed separate shifters. Original BB, Derailleurs and cranks. I replaced the headset with and unknown brand headset (which needs replacing)

    Just a little update... I pulled the seat far forward (~75% all the way forward). But I found that I needed to raise the seat up (bumped it up over an inch I think) to keep my legs straight enough on the downward stroke. It helped. I think.. didn't ride really steep uphills this time. I think I'm going to push the seat back, to around 50% and knock the seat down half an inch. Obstacles that require good balance scare me now. I feel like if I loose my balance, I'm sitting too high and things could end badly for the kids if I bite it.

    As I was writing my initial post, I thought about making those changes with the seat. But I'm glad I started this. I'd rather keep my bike, make the necessary changes, and feel confident on it again.

    If the geometry isn't dated, does anyone know what the twitchyness was from?

  6. #6
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    A 90mm stem should be fine on there, and the Reba set at 85mm should be a good match as well. I would strongly recommend getting some wider bars though; narrow bars just suck.

    So far as the seat goes, center the seat on the post and then adjust your seatpost height. A good starting point is from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the saddle being .883 times your inseam. Once you have that set, adjust the seat forward or backward as it feels comfortable.

    The bike feels twitchy because it's a racing hardtail with fast geometry. It's a personal preference, though the bike can be mellowed out with a slightly longer fork.

  7. #7
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    It feels really stable when I'm moving at high speed. ... so long as I'm not hitting too many rocks. Then it seems to get "twitchy" feeling when I'm climbing steep stuff. This gets better with the fork lowered. I get the same increase in climbing ability w/my fork lowered on my RM as well. Hopefully on Thursday I get to go for a ride. I'll report back. Thanks for the suggestions!

  8. #8
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    Perhaps put a big fat tire (even with a big fat tube) on the front wheel of your Homegrown ??? Would increase the front end weight (although dunno how much it'd really help reduce uphill "lightness" .... just pondering here, after a couple of brews). No matter what, I'd definitely keep the bike - it's regarded as a really good frame, as I recall, and can always have parts added as needed...not to mention, it's good to have a backup bike, as you've found. I have an old ('90) schwinn mtb am debating as to how to rebuild - switch over from old 7 speed stuff to modern 9 speed, or (cheaper, I'd imagine) go single speed - although the prospect of single speed where I live scares me a lil - live in the foothills of the Smokies,
    can't imagine a ss geared to be able to climb would be any fune on level or dh terrain.....what do I know ??? I don't quite get the ss thing (I might get it more if Ilived in a flat area, but....)

  9. #9
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    Fuleish, I don't know if adding weight is really ever a good idea unless it's for a DH/FR bike... adding weight in the form of beefing up the bike. Or if it's for a heavier rider. I probably jumped the guy by starting this post without first moving the seat forward, because that really helped. And Bad Mechanic said, it's a race bike and the twitcheyness is a characteristic of the bike. I also like his suggestion of going with wider front handlebar. I think that'll help make it a little more stable when trying to keep my line while climbing.

    One thing I was surprised about was how heavy my bike is. I weighed it the other day and it weighed like 25lbs 12oz. I thought it was a lot lighter than that...

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