Warning to Schwinn Point Beach riders!

Pongo

New Member
Oct 28, 2008
10
0
0
Berks County, PA
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
 

Pongo

New Member
Oct 28, 2008
10
0
0
Berks County, PA
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
 

Motoschwinn

Member
Jun 27, 2008
434
1
18
Independence MO
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!
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
3
0
north carolina
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
 

Bikeguy Joe

Godfather of Motorized Bicycles
Jan 8, 2008
11,843
236
63
up north now
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.
 

drhofferber

New Member
Jun 22, 2008
307
0
0
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
 

Pongo

New Member
Oct 28, 2008
10
0
0
Berks County, PA
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!
 
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.
 

Pongo

New Member
Oct 28, 2008
10
0
0
Berks County, PA
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!
 

Dan

Staff
Staff member
May 25, 2008
12,775
106
48
55
Moosylvania
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.
 
Last edited:

Motoschwinn

Member
Jun 27, 2008
434
1
18
Independence MO
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.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

NEAT TIMES

New Member
May 28, 2008
1,964
1
0
PENSACOLA, FL
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.
 
Last edited: