Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
Perfect for our needs!
on September 11, 2012
My husband and I got these bikes (He got the men's model which is also great) and we LOVE them. We are college students and live in a neighborhood about one mile from campus. We ride these bikes every day (on the road) and they have been awesome for us! I did a lot of research on bikes and found reviews to be helpful, so I wanted to write a thorough review in case you're shopping around and have lots of questions like I did! The things I was looking for in a bike: hybrid or "city" bike, rack, 7 speeds (our campus is very hilly!), and a more flat handle bar rather than the sweeping handlebars you find on a cruiser. We dreamed of having PUBLIC bikes [...] but simply could not afford them, but these have really been amazing alternatives! Here are a few things to consider:
Hybrid--first, we decided on a hybrid or "city" bike for a few reasons. 1. Comfort. Road bikes are made for long distance riding and aren't necessarily the most comfortable. We only ride a couple of miles each day, so we wanted a comfortable commuter bike. 2. Price. There are more hybrids to choose from in the $200-$300 price range than there are road bikes. You can get a decent quality bike for a low price. Road bikes generally are more expensive. 3. Utility. Again, price was a big factor for us, so it is great that this bike comes with a bike rack already.
Assembly--Assembly took about 1 hour, and the bikes ship quickly. (Gotta love amazon!) Instructions are simple. Our bikes didn't come with any major problems to troubleshoot, but the user's manual has a lot of helpful tips about how to center the brakes and stuff if your bike needs some initial maintenance.
Handlebars--Most bikes that have this european style frame have the curved handlebars which are really on good for cruising on flat roads or bike paths. Our town and campus has some big hills, so we needed a more flat handlebar that you can push against when you pump up a hill. This was the biggest selling point for me with this bike simply because I couldn't find this combination anywhere else for the price! Another bonus-you can adjust the angle of the handlebars to whatever suits you best.
Brakes--Some sites that sell the Schwinn Network list in the specs that it has coaster brakes. This isn't true! It has standard caliper brakes (the kind that are on the handles that you squeeze with your hand).
Gears--This bike has been surprisingly easy to manage on the hills in our town, so if that is one of your requirements, I would highly suggest this bike!
Fenders--I was worried that the fenders would be lame since they are plastic, but they are really great. I'm sure they won't last as long as the bike, but that's ok. They seem to be more cosmetic, but I do appreciate them when the road is wet! Still, this would be a great bike if you decided to ditch the fenders.
Wheels--The wheels have to be trued pretty regularly. My husband didn't know ANYTHING about bikes before we got these, and he taught himself how to true the wheels. We just bought a spoke wrench at our local bike shop and watched a few you-tube videos.
Overall, If you're nervous about bike maintenance, you should know that you'll either have to learn how to do it yourself, or pay the professionals. Bike's chains have to be oiled, wheels trued, brakes centered, etc. My husband and I were definitely going to need bikes, so we took the time to learn how to work on them. I recommend that you do the same, and don't be discouraged by the post from people who didn't know having a bike takes a little work :) It's fun to have a new hobby, so go for it!