Schwinn Twinn

76/100
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Facts

Gender
Release Year
Brand
Wheel Size
Numbers of Gears
Weight
48.0 lbs
Suspension
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Schwinn Twinn. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

5 reasons to buy

  • An owner and bike mechanic depicted the Twinn’s frame as sturdy, straight and stiff.
  • Some captains found that the gear system shifted well.
  • A few cyclists saw the Twinn’s ride quality as ‘smooth’.
  • The low price was described as great, phenomenal and fair.
  • A couple of stokers were pleased with the rear handlebar’s range of adjustability.

14 reasons not to buy

  • Other stokers felt that the rear gooseneck was too long and offered limited adjustment.
  • An owner told of their brakes ‘melting’ and disintegrating on a descent. They saw the disc rotors as ‘delicate’ and underpowered.
  • Pedal-strike was a safety concern. Cranks hit the ground on gentle turns and over small bumps.
  • The suspension fork was squishy and bottomed out easily, reducing ground clearance.
  • Riders found the gear range limited, making it difficult to climb hills.
  • Shipping was sometimes remiss, with one owner receiving two rear seatpoles. Other buyers had both loose and missing parts.
  • Pre-assembly was regularly below par. Front chainrings were sometimes so maladjusted that the chain couldn’t move. Also, loose cranks &c.
  • A bevy of riders found that saddles were uncomfortable and induced soreness.
  • Some chains broke on first use, others were stiff and bent upon riding.
  • Damage included much bending; a bent disc on arrival, bent cranks and bent chainrings rubbing on the chainstay.
  • Instructions were intended for a different bike, with caliper brakes and a rigid fork. Lame.
  • Customer-support was accused of being difficult or impossible to track down.
  • Oversized sizing was misleading and surprising. And too big.
  • Components were generally very cheap. A derailleur came loose while riding. Stuff just fell off.

Bottom line

Why this bike received so many 5-star reviews is an unfathomable mystery. The geometry of the Twinn is flawed, causing riders to scrape the ground with the pedals on gentle turns, or even when rolling over modest bumps. If that wasn’t risk enough, the trampolining ‘suspension’ fork bottomed out as soon as the bike was mounted by two people (which is, amazingly, the intended number of riders). I’ll leave you with the words of one buyer and experienced bicycle mechanic, “This bike’s dangerous component-build aspects are beyond the scope of reason to an extent I have never seen.”

Expert Reviews

65/100 based on 1 expert reviews
65
Jerry Whittle
Level 1 expert

Schwinn Twinn

Level 1 expert

29 February 2020

The New Schwinn Twinn

For the first time, my wife plans on going with me on my annual 5-day Katy Trail tour across Missouri in June. The problem is that she hadn’t ridden a bike solo in a few decades due to balance issues so a tandem seemed to be the answer.

The Katy Trail is crushed limestone so we would need fatter tires for our 360 pound combined

29 February 2020

The New Schwinn Twinn

For the first time, my wife plans on going with me on my annual 5-day Katy Trail tour across Missouri in June. The problem is that she hadn’t ridden a bike solo in a few decades due to balance issues so a tandem seemed to be the answer.

The Katy Trail is crushed limestone so we would need fatter tires for our 360 pound combined weight. I checked out a few LBS’s, Craig’s List, and EBay but saw nothing that I liked. Finally I looked on Amazon and saw the Schwinn Twinn for only $500 including shipping. Heck I’ve spent more for a wheelset than that so I took the plunge.

I didn’t expect much but I was pleasantly surprised when I took the bike out of the box. It wasn’t all that difficult to assemble, but then I do most of my own bicycle maintenance and worked as an aircraft mechanic for many years.

The strange looking, size large frame seems to be sturdy plus works well with my 6’1” height and my wife’s 5’4” lack of height. (See attached photo). The saddles and pedals are in a word “junk”. Fortunately I had a Brooks B17 gathering dust and I was able to find a nice woman’s saddle for about $50. I also had a pair of Crank Bros Candy pedals that I use on my gravel bike and a pair of pedals with toe clips and straps for my wife. I guess that would mean another $200 to $250 if you had to buy new saddles and pedals.

The first few rides went OK but there were things that I didn’t like. As others have mentioned in “14 reasons not to buy”, the suspension fork was squishy and there’s no lockout or adjustments. I’ve always considered suspension forks on cheap bikes more of a marketing gimmick. So I replaced the fork with a CarbonCycles Rigid MTB Fork and the ride is now much steadier plus avoids some of the pedal strike issues. That set me back $110. I also added a fork extender as I was bent over too much reach the handlebars. The new fork reduced the bike’s weight by about 3 pounds, but it still weighs over 45 lbs.

Original Freewheel

I also didn’t like the cheap freewheel. The stock 14-28T gears weren’t quite good enough for steep hills plus the middle gears made noise no matter how I adjusted the rear derailleur. I replaced it with a Shimano MF-TZ31 Tourney Freewheel (14-34T Mega 7 Speed) for $20. The noises went away and that 34T granny gear allows us to climb up steeper hills than the Katy Trail will throw at us. All told the bike shifts gears very well – much better than I had expected.

The mechanical disk brakes do a good job. I’ve rented tandems with rim brakes and stopping was a worry. I’m hoping that the brakes are even better when I install higher quality pads.
There are places for 4 water bottle holders; however, rear 3 take rather small water bottles and, due to the strange frame design, require a lot of bending over to reach. I installed a handlebar water bottle bracket for my wife and use a very tall water bottle up front for me. We can refill those bottles from the others when we stop.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I really like the kickstand. It holds the bike very steady with the rear wheel off the ground. That’s nice for adjusting derailleurs or fixing a flat on the rear tire.

New Freewheel

One big issue was how to transport the bike. I settled on a $300 CycleSimplex hitch rack. The rack took longer than the bike to build and is a little complicated. As you can see in the photo, the bike sticks up 9-feet high so I have to be careful at places like bank ATMs. I get all kinds of strange looks when driving it around. Fun!

Counting the cost of the bike, part swaps, and trailer hitch, I have around $1,000 invested in it. Still a great bargain in my book. We are nearing 750 miles on the bike and haven’t suffered a mechanical breakdown, crash, or argument yet!

The modified, upgraded Schwinn Twinn

User Ratings

79/100 based on 98 ratings
  • 5 star
    59%
  • 4 star
    19%
  • 3 star
    6%
  • 2 star
    6%
  • 1 star
    9%

Your Rating

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Rankings

Compared to other bikes
#26 Best Hybrid
Bottom 40%
#39 Best Mountain
Bottom 30%
#11 Best Retro - Vintage
Bottom 40%
#3 Best Tandem
Bottom 30%
#9 Best Schwinn Bike
Bottom 50%
#162 Best of All Bikes
Bottom 30%

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Comparison

In comparison to averages of categories