Warning to Schwinn Point Beach riders!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Pongo, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. Pongo

    Pongo New Member

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    Greetings - I'm new to the forum. I built a bike using the Happy Time 2-stroke engine on a Schwinn Point Beach bike back in September. Other than minor hardware issues with the Chinese made bike, things have been going great - including a 150 mile ride from PA to the Chesepeake Bay & back.

    Last Sunday, at exactly 455 miles on the odometer, while riding locally with a friend on a similar bike, I turned onto another road, and felt the back end getting squirrelly - like the wheel was coming loose. I was able to pull over & discovered that the frame tube in front of the rear hub had cracked completely through. Upon futher examination, I discovered that other cracks had occurred, or were forming, all adjacent to welds. One completely through at one of the smaller upper tubes near the seat, one forming on the other side, and one on the down tube near the rear brake.

    I've not been abusing the bike off road, only riding on paved roads, and even avoiding pot holes & rough areas. I know that there are a lot of Point Beach conversions out there, so let this be a warning. Maybe the guy who built my bike was having a bad day, or maybe the Chinese aluminum frame Schwinns can't handle the added weight & vibration. If this would have happened a mile earlier when I was going down hill at 30mph - I would have had a bad day! In the mean time, I'm looking for a steel-frame bike to swap the components over to, and anxiously awaiting when I can get back in the saddle.
    -Pongo
     
  2. TexasDav

    TexasDav New Member

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    Thanks for the warning, I will keep a watch on those welds.
     
  3. Pongo

    Pongo New Member

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    T-Dav: the cracks aren't on the welds, but near weld points. I'm wondering if the frame wasn't heat-treated after welding - leaving the aluminum brittle. Be careful out there.

    -Pongo
     
  4. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Active Member

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    Thanks for letting us know. It could have been disasterous in traffic.
     
  5. tyrslider

    tyrslider New Member

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    Aluminum frames are a bad idea on these bikes! Aluminum is sensative to vibration causing fatigue!
     
  6. Motoschwinn

    Motoschwinn Member

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    Can you send some pics?
     
  7. Pongo

    Pongo New Member

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    Had to take some newer pics at lower resolution to send...
     

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  8. Motoschwinn

    Motoschwinn Member

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    THANKS FOR THE PICTURES! I'll add checking for this on my pre-ride and post ride check list. I've got 1000 miles on my Point Beach and I can't find even a scratch let alone anything that looks like a crack. BUT I will check before every ride. Thanks for the heads up!
     
  9. thatsdax

    thatsdax Member

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    Oh my gosh !!! That is really bad. Thanks for the update on that bike. I will not recommend it to anyone. Thanks...
     
  10. deacon

    deacon minor bike philosopher

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    I agree thanks for the info... I was considering a more lightweight bike for my next build. I guess I won't now. My bikes get less workout but still that is scary
     
  11. Dave31

    Dave31 Moderator
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    Welcome to the forum and Thanks for the heads up. :)
     
  12. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    That was not many miles before cracks started....I had about 750 mi on an old Western Flyer and the weld where the cantelever bars and the seat post meet let go.

    No other problems with anything else.
     
  13. drhofferber

    drhofferber New Member

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    thanks for the info...i have a steel southport...800 miles on it...i keep looking for cracks...the only thing that has cracked on mine is the rear V brake holder...tacked it and it seems ok...i'm building a gary fisher aluminum...mountain bike...i'll bee watching for it...thanks for your info....did those cracks happen all at once...?...dennis hofferber
     
  14. Pongo

    Pongo New Member

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    Yep - the cracks seemed to show up at about the same time. I know others are riding aluminum frames with way more miles on them, so I don't know if I just got a bad one or what. All I know is mine had a catastrophic failure in multiple places. I've already gotten a steel-frame mtn bike to build up & will be trying out the shift kit as well - can't wait!
     
  15. SgtNorthcutt

    SgtNorthcutt New Member

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    Holy crap. I ride, build and sell these bikes. I've never seen anything like this before. I am going to keep a close watvh on these bikes. I have been very happy with mine and I DO abuse my own personal bike, sometimesjust to see if something will break, but I've never had any issues with the bikes themselves.
     
  16. SgtNorthcutt

    SgtNorthcutt New Member

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    Also what other facts can you give us to investigate this? How is your engine mounted, avg cruising, speeds amount of time riding WOT, weight of rider, do you carry cargo, chain tension, etc?
     
  17. Pongo

    Pongo New Member

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    Well Sarge - the engine was mounted normally. A friend of mine machined a front mount, which was a nice solid fit. Once it was broken in it would cruise nicely between 25 & 30mph. I would rarely ride WOT. I'm around 200lbs, and only carried cargo on a 150 mi trip to the Chesapeake Bay and back. Chain tension was on the loose side in anything.
    I now have a steel-frame mtn bike that I'll be changing everything over to, with the addition of a shift kit - can't wait! Good luck with yours - don't forget to do a good pre-flight!
    -Pongo
    Military Police, 1st Inf Div (fmr)
    GO ARMY!
     
  18. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    I have about 3,000 miles on my point beach with a second motor and the frame is still rock solid. I bought the cheapest bike and kit I could as an experiment. I beat on this poor thing and it has done well except for paint and rack. I really don't worry about selling them but am sure to remove the front fender. (a lil grease there would solve that but I never trust a customer to keep up on maintenance)
    I way 165 LBS and live in a flat area.
     
    #18 Dan, Nov 15, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  19. Motoschwinn

    Motoschwinn Member

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    Personally I think this is a isolated incident. I have nearly 1000mi on my Point Beach, NO problems.

    But still, with that one warning, I'll always check mine out before and after a trip. I feel it's a good bike for the motors as long as you make SURE that front fender is addressed.
     

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    #19 Motoschwinn, Nov 15, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  20. NEAT TIMES

    NEAT TIMES New Member

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    Recently Purchased 2, 7 Spd Point Beach Cruisers. One For My Shifter Kit. That Was Scary, But We All Will Pay Attension Now!!! I WEIGH 16 OZ TO THE POUND. THATS MY STORY AND STICKING TO IT.
     
    #20 NEAT TIMES, Nov 15, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008

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