Newbie Schwinn question?


New Member
Old man thinking about buying a cruiser and mounting a 4 stroke motor on it - LOTS of steep hills in southern Iowa - Can anyone comment on the difference of Schwinn cruisers you can buy at Target and Walmart for around $150.00 and the ones that bike shops sell for $300.00 to $500.00? I know they are different models but is there any major difference in quality? I'm considering a 7 speed model - Thanks for any comments - DB


Active Member
Mar 1, 2008
Aztlán, Arizona
Welcome Brooker to the forum :)

I've never bought from Target/Walmart/ or Bicycle shop.. But if they are both Shwinn's and the same model....I would have to say the big difference would be the quality of the assembly and service.

Most Bicycle shops will tune the bicycle before you get it and offer free tune-ups for like a year (so I've heard?).

At Walmart/Target...they just have some stock boy assemble the bike together just good enough so it don't fall apart while on display.


Active Member
Jan 27, 2008
Ptown, Texas
Welcome to the forum. I've got a Jaquar I bought from Target. I've had no problems with it. Glad you joined us.............................

Jemma Hawtrey

New Member
Dec 29, 2007
Essex, UK

generally the more you spend the better quality you get - but to be honest using a cruiser its much of a muchness - the frame is pretty much bombproof and heavily over-engineered. Most of the price is in the component sets.

Make sure the bike has decent brakes - that is the most important thing with these bikes.

have fun... and welcome

Jemma xx


New Member
Jul 21, 2008
Los Angeles
I'm fairly new to the world of motorized kits, but am fairly knowledgeable about bicycles.

Schwinn went bankrupt back in the early 90's and then after a few restructuring deals, was bought out by a large conglomerate in in the early 20 - oughts.

The quality of them varies widely, as they have some really good high end bikes, but then they have poor quality made in China crapola that will simply rust and bust on you inside of 2 years or 200 hundred miles.

My advice on new Schwinns is: DON'T!

If you really want a Schwinn, monitor Craigslist and eBay for a vintage one and be patient.

If you're going to a bike dealer to spend $300 - $400 - you can't go wrong with a Trek or a Giant. Also check out RoadBikeReview: cycling gear reviews, forums, and classifieds for other brands your local dealer may carry.
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New Member
Thanks to all of you for your comments - All make sense - I guess "Buyer Beware" applies to all things including bicycles and engine kits - A local bike shop sells Trek - I'll check and see what he has for cruisers - I'm also assumimg for a good candiate for motor mounting that a steel frame is proffered - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong - Thanks again - DB


New Member
Apr 19, 2008
Glendale, AZ
I looked and looked for a new frame that would take a Honda GXH50 and a GruBee transmission. Carried a cardboard cutout and the engine mount into a lot of places. Found frames large enough for the engine, but too large for me. (30" inseam)

Finally Sears / K-Mart had a Schwinn Searcher on sale for $139 and the cardboard would fit as the lower tube bowed out rather than straight or bowed up. Still it is a job to get the mount and engine to fit in the frame and align with the sprocket. Looks like it will work, but takes patience. Best help has been a bike hoist from Harbor Freight to get the frame up to working height.

I am not sure I wouldn't go with a rear 35cc belt drive (Subaru / Robins) if I wan't as large as I am (125 kg, hate #s) so feel I will need the extra power even on our flat bike trails in town.

Good luck, I found that the bike seemed to be fitted up well from K-Mart. The brakes were properly adjusted. Chain in line, wheels adjusted. Looked to me like whoever put it together knew what they were doing.

BTW, Originally wanted disc brakes, but found that the V brakes actually had more stopping power as long as they were dry. Also they would be in the way of the rear sprocket / belt pulley. .Also wanted suspension, but rear ones don't work with a frame / chair drive. OK for the rear belt kits. The Schwinn has a springer front fork and I bought a good quality adjustable spring seat post at a bike shop. ($30). Would suggest you take your time and read, read, read. The guys here and elsewhere saved me a lot of time and money. No sense in reinventing the wheel. Also found believable information on Dax and King sites.