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Schwinn Hybrid Bicycle Review... The Olds Ones Are Still The Best?

Amy L
June 30, 2021

I like bikes. I mean, I really like bikes. I own a variety of bikes and ride most days. Getting an opportunity to compile a Schwinn hybrid bicycle review was right up my alley.

It didn't come as a surprise that picking a winner from the Schwinn hybrid bikes would be a challenge, as there is some serious competition here.

After some decent testing, the Schwinn Discover bike came out on top. It ticks so many boxes for a lot of people.

However, that might not be the type of bike you're looking for. I've tested plenty of others, so keep reading to find your ideal bike.

6 Best Schwinn Hybrid Bikes

Preview
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women, 21 Speed, 28-Inch Wheels, Step-Through or Step-Over Frame, Multiple Colors
Schwinn Network 3.0 Mens Hybrid Bike, 700c Wheels, 21-Speed, 18-Inch Frame, Alloy Linear Pull Brakes, White
Schwinn GTX Elite Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike, Dual Sport Bicycle, 18-Inch Aluminum Frame, Black/Yellow
Schwinn Wayfarer Adult Bike Hybrid Retro-Styled Cruiser, 16-Inch/Small Steel Step-Through Frame, 7-Speed Drivetrain, Rear Rack, 700C Wheels, White
Schwinn Phocus 1500 Flat Bar Sport Fitness Hybrid Bicycle, Featuring 19-Inch/Large Aluminum Step-Over Frame and Mechanical Disc Brakes with 24-Speed Drivetrain and 700c Wheels, Matte Grey
Schwinn Suburban Womens Classic Comfort Bike, 26-Inch Wheels, 7-Speed Drivetrain, 16-Inch Steel Frame, Alloy Linear Hand Brakes, Orange
Brakes
Rim
Rim
Disc
Rim
Disc
Rim
Weight (lbs)
35.5
31.7
37.5
42
37
37
Frame Material
Aluminum
Aluminum
Aluminum
Steel
Aluminum
Aluminum
Frame Size (inches)
16
15
18
16/18
19
16
No. of Gears
21
21
24
7
24
8
Preview
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women, 21 Speed, 28-Inch Wheels, Step-Through or Step-Over Frame, Multiple Colors
Bike Model
Brakes
Rim
Weight (lbs)
35.5
Frame Material
Aluminum
Frame Size (inches)
16
No. of Gears
21
More Information
Preview
Schwinn Network 3.0 Mens Hybrid Bike, 700c Wheels, 21-Speed, 18-Inch Frame, Alloy Linear Pull Brakes, White
Bike Model
Brakes
Rim
Weight (lbs)
31.7
Frame Material
Aluminum
Frame Size (inches)
15
No. of Gears
21
More Information
Preview
Schwinn GTX Elite Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike, Dual Sport Bicycle, 18-Inch Aluminum Frame, Black/Yellow
Brakes
Disc
Weight (lbs)
37.5
Frame Material
Aluminum
Frame Size (inches)
18
No. of Gears
24
More Information
Preview
Schwinn Wayfarer Adult Bike Hybrid Retro-Styled Cruiser, 16-Inch/Small Steel Step-Through Frame, 7-Speed Drivetrain, Rear Rack, 700C Wheels, White
Bike Model
Brakes
Rim
Weight (lbs)
42
Frame Material
Steel
Frame Size (inches)
16/18
No. of Gears
7
More Information
Preview
Schwinn Phocus 1500 Flat Bar Sport Fitness Hybrid Bicycle, Featuring 19-Inch/Large Aluminum Step-Over Frame and Mechanical Disc Brakes with 24-Speed Drivetrain and 700c Wheels, Matte Grey
Bike Model
Brakes
Disc
Weight (lbs)
37
Frame Material
Aluminum
Frame Size (inches)
19
No. of Gears
24
More Information
Preview
Schwinn Suburban Womens Classic Comfort Bike, 26-Inch Wheels, 7-Speed Drivetrain, 16-Inch Steel Frame, Alloy Linear Hand Brakes, Orange
Brakes
Rim
Weight (lbs)
37
Frame Material
Aluminum
Frame Size (inches)
16
No. of Gears
8
More Information

Our Best Schwinn Hybrid Bicycles Review

1. Schwinn Discover - Men & Women

The Schwinn Discover features in best reviews time and time again. Why?

Simply put, it's a great bike to ride, is of decent quality and one of the most affordable on the market.

Let's kick things off with the appearance of this Schwinn hybrid bike because it's striking and is one of the first things a lot of people will notice about it. It features an almost all-white finish and it looks purposeful, yet attractive.

There is the option of all-black frame color, though this is only available in the larger frame size of 18-inches. Again, it looks elegant and is nicely styled - something many people will enjoy taking for a ride.

The Schwinn Discover hybrid is designed for both men and women and does have a step-thru frame so mounting/dismounting can be easily done if you want that version.

You can opt for the step-over frame if you prefer, which is available in a bigger size of 18-inches compared to 16-inches for the step-thru. So overall the step-over frames may prove to be better suited to men, purely based on the size of the frame.

The fact that this bike is unisex is one reason it appeals to customers so much - it has such a wide market and it is great value for money, whichever model you go for.

Those who have ridden the Schwinn Discover hybrid bike will tell you that it's one of the most comfortable bikes they've ridden and this is quality that you shouldn't underestimate.

This is largely due to the fact that it features a suspension seat post and a front suspension fork. These absorb the bumps and general vibrations you experience throughout your ride.

You get an aluminum alloy frame so you can be sure of a durable build. It's so durable, that it has a maximum user weight of 250lbs.

I'm a fan of aluminum frame construction, they offer a good balance between strength, weight, and comfort.

Steel is more durable but it isn't the most comfortable option. Whilst carbon fiber brings the cost up, it isn't as durable.

The brakes on the Discover are rim brakes are ideal for this type of bike. It's perfect for riding through the streets or on cycle paths. Disc brakes would simply be too much and not needed.

Time to talk gear shifters, with the Schwinn Discover you get a 21-speed system, using twist shifters so gear changes are nice and easy.

The best bit?

This bike features an SRAM derailleur so can you can sure of quality and reliability. The good thing about having an SRAM derailleur is that it's one of the best. In other words, you can achieve a good speed, especially by having 24 gears.

Alongside all this, fenders are included with the bicycle. Attach them if you wish - they'll be great for keeping the dirt off you in wet road conditions.

Pros

  • Front suspension fork
  • Alloy wheel rims
  • Upright riding position
  • Pull brakes
  • Aluminum frame
  • 24-speed

Cons

  • Some degree of assembly needed
  • Not great for serious off-road terrain

2. Schwinn Network Hybrid Bike

Moving onto the Network, which has plenty of features!

Firstly the aluminum alloy frame is a step-over design so it should be comfortable for the majority of riders. It isn't strictly speaking, built for women. However, I don't see this as a reason why ladies shouldn't ride the bike.

None of my bikes are female-specific and I've never found this to be a problem. I would highly recommend that you ensure to get the correct-sized bike frame.

[Not sure about the value of female-specific frame? Take a look at Bike Radar's thoughts.]

This frame features an off-white color. This may not sound attractive but if you take a look at it, you can see it's very stylish.

You get a 15-inch frame so it is a hybrid bike that is a good fit for riders between 5'4" and 6'2" in height to ride.

That's a decent amount of scope so with a bit of adjustment, you can get the perfect fit. When you have this, it will feel great to ride the bike. You often hear people say that you and the bike become one and that's how it feels.

One thing that Schwinn does well is looking after the comfort of their riders. This bike is no different. It features a spring-loaded suspension seat post. So as you ride, this should nicely absorb the vibrations you would otherwise feel.

This won't completely remove the vibrations as you ride but it certainly helps to improve the quality of the ride. That's more than what a lot of bike manufacturers do.

The upside to these features is that they will help to reduce the amount of fatigue you feel on the bike. So in theory, you'll be able to go further on your ride, should you want to!

Not to be outdone by the Discover, the Network features a 21-speed Shimano gear system with this Schwinn hybrid. It's a Shimano Tourney TX rear derailleur using a 3x7 system.

This isn't my favorite set-up. A 2 x setup makes things a bit smoother, however, for a hybrid bike, this isn't always the case as you are unlikely to need to change gears quickly. It will be problematic, so whilst it may not be my preferred choice, it's the right choice!

You shouldn't have to worry about stopping with the pull braking system, which is good quality.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble. To get you on the road, all you need to do is attach the handlebars, front wheel and pop some air in the tires and you're good to go.
  • It's affordable. Whilst this Schwinn hybrid isn't the entry model, it certainly offers value for money.
  • It's a comfortable bike to ride. Small bumps are absorbed and you are in a nice upright seating position so you are unlikely to suffer from backache when you're riding.
  • 21-speed
  • Pull brakes

Cons

  • Some of the components aren't of the highest of quality. However, providing that you maintain these, it shouldn't be an issue.
  • The tires seem to lose pressure faster than those which are of better quality. This can become an annoyance. I have had instances where my tires have gone down quickly. Until I resolved the issue, I just had to pump in air regularly.
  • If you're after a mountain bike, this Schwinn hybrid bike probably isn't for you. It has more road bike characteristics.

3. Schwinn GTX Elite Comfort

Sure, Schwinn design all their hybrid bikes to be comfortable but the GTX Comfort has plenty of features to ensure the comfort of the rider.

The frame of the Schwinn GTX is made from aluminum alloy and you also get alloy rims so it's lightweight to ride and made from good-quality metal.

If you opt for the Elite model, you are slightly restricted by the frame size as it's only available in an 18-inch frame.

However, the good news is that it is a step-through frame, so mounting and dismounting are easier than a step-over frame. Men shouldn't be put off by this design.

One of the features which I particularly liked about the Schwinn bikes is that there is a 24-speed drivetrain, which for hybrid bikes is impressive. You can ride up most slopes without a problem.

Possibly the best feature of this Schwinn hybrid is the fact that it comes with disc brakes, so the stopping power is on another level compared to other models we've looked at.

Though these disc brakes are mechanical, rather than hydraulic brakes, this is not an issue. It's a great bit of kit for any ride.

The fact that these bikes are called 'hybrid bikes' tells you that they aren't mountain bikes. However, I have to say, they do a pretty good job at keeping up with one when out on a ride.

How so?

This hybrid bike features a front suspension fork which allows the rider to tackle rough terrain, soaking up any bumps along the way.

Do keep in mind that Schwinn hybrid bikes aren't mountain bikes, so they won't thrive in these conditions. But it's all doable.

If you're looking for a downside to the Schwinn GTX, it would that the saddle isn't one of the best features. Saddles are pretty personal, however, so what's good for you may not work for the next person. I wouldn't rush out straightaway to replace the saddle.

Pros

  • Discs brakes work well in all weather conditions
  • Aluminum frame
  • Alloy wheels & 700c tires
  • Good gear range for hill climbing
  • Flat handlebars
  • Unisex
  • 24-speed

Cons

  • The saddle could be uncomfortable

4. Schwinn Wayfarer

The Schwinn Wayfarer hybrid bike offers you a comfortable riding experience. Designed specifically for women, it features a step-through frame for easy mounting and dismounting - it also means you can wear a skirt or a dress without any problem!

There is an option to get a Wayfarer frame that is designed for men. The frame is a step-over design so mounting/dismounting is what you'd expect on a male bike.

These hybrid bikes come equipped with a Suntour suspension fork, so even when the terrain is rough, you should feel relaxed.

To add to the enjoyment, the saddle is very soft. This isn't for everyone so don't assume that it's going to be a super comfortable seat to ride with. It may not be the case.

Having said that, they go beyond what other bike manufacturers do and include a suspension seat post onto their hybrid bikes. Now, this does help to combat the bumps on the roads. This is especially helpful when it comes to riding longer distances.

To further add to the durability of this bicycle, it features alloy rims.

The geometry of this hybrid bike is such that you can sit in a nice upright position. This helps to keep you comfortable throughout the miles.

I do like the 700c tires that Schwinn has fitted to these Wayfarer hybrid bikes as it does provide a lot of traction. It's comforting to know that the tires should do their job nicely.

The braking system on these hybrid bikes is alloy linear-pull brakes. For urban commutes or city riding, these brakes are perfect. They provide the stopping power you'll need without the weight of a disc braking system.

The Schwinn Wayfarer features a 7-speed shifters system that works well for what this hybrid bike was designed for, so it gets top marks.

To complement its retro look, the Schwinn Wayfarer comes with a cargo rack. This is perfect for the commute or a spot of city spotting, plus front and rear fenders.

Overall, this hybrid bike will meet the needs of many cyclists looking for a stylish retro bike with a decent performance.

Check out this review:

Pros

  • Great on bike paths, in the city and other places
  • Handles potholes well
  • Upright riding posture
  • 7-speed gear mechanism
  • 700c wheels
  • Good brakes

Cons

  • Women's steel frame isn't as strong as men's

Want some assembly tips? Check out this video:

5. Schwinn Phocus 1500

The Schwinn Phocus 1500 is a hybrid bicycle that consistently does well when reviewed, including in this review.

The Schwinn hybrid bikes fit into the entry-level market, offering fantastic reliability, capability, and durability.

It comes with an aluminum alloy frame and alloy rims, which is a joy to ride as it also comes with the Schwinn sport suspension system. This combination makes it efficient so you can achieve impressive speeds, should you want to.

The frame itself is aimed more towards men but that shouldn't stop women from trying it for size.

The Schwinn Phocus 1500 proudly sports a Shimano 24-speed gear system. This includes front and rear derailleurs from Shimano and Shimano EZ fire shifters.

What does all that mean for you?

Smooth as silk gear changes!

As the whole gear system is Shimano, the components work seamlessly together. You can tell the difference especially when you need to make a gear change quickly.

To complement the smooth as silk gear changes, there are mechanical disk brakes. This brake system is capable of taking on almost all riding conditions, whatever the terrain.

Stability shouldn't be a concern as each alloy wheel features double walls.

Hybrid bikes each have their strong and weak points. In the case of the Schwinn Phocus 1500, the geometry is more geared towards hill climbing and achieving high speeds.

Pros

  • Aluminum frame
  • Fantastic gearing
  • Easy to assemble
  • Strong performer
  • 24-speed
  • Good brakes

Cons

  • Limited frame sizes available
  • Quality of the pedals could be better

6. Schwinn Suburban Womens Classic Comfort

Schwinn hybrid bikes are known for their comfort. When you get Schwinn claiming that it will give you the most comfortable riding experience and that it won't hinder the performance of the bike, you know you're onto something good.

Firstly, it's lightweight, thanks to its aluminum frame construction and alloy rims. The handlebars ensure that cycling isn't going to be painful as they're a swept-back design so you ride upright.

Getting the right fit on any bike is important and the Suburban offers plenty in the way of adjustability. The stem can be adjusted easily so you can ensure that it's at the right height for you.

Road conditions aren't always easy to predict and bumps can tire you out. To help to combat this, the manufacturers have fitted a nice padded seat to this hybrid bike, finishing it off with a suspension seat post. I have to be honest, it does make a difference to the riding experience.

I also have to be honest about the color of the frame. It is very appealing. It may not be something everyone enjoys but for overall, it's a unique color.

As with many Schwinn products, you can expect this frame and bike to last for years. It's built to last and there's a reason Schwinn has been around for so long. Their reputation is fantastic, as are their bikes!

These Schwinn hybrid bikes also come with pull brakes. I think it's the right call for these bikes. It keeps the price down and the performance isn't affected.

The great thing about this bike is that it comes with a Shimano rear derailleur.

The best bit?

It's 21-speed. That's a huge range of gears! It operates on a twist shifter basis so you can keep firm control of the bike as you change gear, without the need to take your hands off the bars.

Pros

  • 21-speeds
  • Aluminum frame
  • Upright position cycling experience
  • Shimano rear derailleur - quality components
  • Alloy linear-pull brakes
  • Pedals are of decent quality

Cons

  • Assembly

Buyers' Guide - What To Look For When Buying A Schwinn Hybrid Bike

Women's Specific Versions

Sorry men!

As you may have seen, there is the option to get women-specific hybrid bikes.

Whether you do or not depends entirely on you. The most important thing about any bike is getting the right fit to use.

What may swing it is that women-specific hybrid bikes often come in smaller frame sizes and the handlebars tend to be narrower. This can give you a better fit.

Before I purchased my first 'proper' road bike, I test rode women and unisex bikes. Both were comfortable for me but I ended up getting a unisex bike. This goes to show that just because a bicycle is targeted at men, doesn't mean it won't be perfect for women, or vice versa.

Types Of Hybrid Bikes

There are many different types of hybrid bikes and it's important to find one that fits your needs. To do this, you need to think about the type of cycling you'll be doing.

If your riding is going to be mostly made up of road riding and cycle paths, your best bet is to go for something more road-based.

Depending on where you need to go on the bicycle, you can get it designed for speed, or endurance, or off-road. So do give some thought to that too.

These bikes feature parts that are often found on sportive bikes but the handlebars are flat, rather than drop.

Riding Position

With hybrids, the geometry tends to be relaxed and the rider sits quite upright. What this does is help to prevent neck pain and back pain - it also means you get better visibility too.

The handlebar on a bike tends to be flat too. This gives you a more upright feel compared to road bikes. However, one thing I find is that if you're doing a long ride, it can get uncomfortable as you don't have many places to move your hands.

Frame Material

Schwinn bicycles are often made of steel or aluminum. Other bike manufacturers do use carbon fiber but these bikes do come at a price.

A steel frame is quite common on bikes because it provides a lot of durability and is the cheaper material to use (and buy).

The issue with a steel frame is that it can be quite heavy. For most riders, this isn't such a big issue. However, if you are planning on going up hills or might be in a position when you have to carry your bike, I urge you to consider aluminum!

Aluminum is a lighter option, though expensive. Not by much, it has to be said. There are lots of Schwinn hybrid bikes that use aluminum for their frames, so it's a popular choice.

Why?

It's durable but it offers flexibility so it tends to be a more comfortable ride than steel.

Carbon fiber doesn't feature often on hybrid bikes and they are more for high-end road bikes. However, it is starting to appear on the higher-end bikes.

The great thing about carbon fiber is that it's versatile and lightweight but is also incredibly easy to handle and control.

A popular mix is to use aluminum for the frame and carbon for the fork. This gives you the best of both worlds. The frame is sturdy and doesn't cost as much as a carbon frame. However, you get the absorbing capabilities of carbon built into the fork.

Extra Features

If you plan to use your bike to commute, then you may want to think about how you're going to carry your work items (and a spare set of clothes if needed).

A backpack can work but some cyclists find that it isn't ideal as it can become sweaty and not the most stable option.

If you have lots of things to carry, then investing in a set of panniers can be a great solution. They will take the weight off you and put it onto the bike.

What you should remember when it comes to bikes is that they are designed for this type of use. So they often come with eyelets built into the frame for fitting pannier racks.

If your bike doesn't, don't panic!

You can buy adapter clips, which allow you to attach panniers to your bike without eyelets. Of course, they won't quite work as well but they get the job done.

Fenders. I'll say it time and time again.

If you're commuting, you're going to need fenders. Roads can be dirty, there's mud, and it rains. All of this can leave you in a mess when you turn up for work so yes, fenders are a must.

The good news is that Schwinn hybrid bikes usually come with plenty of clearance for fenders. Some have them attached as well. So you don't have the added expense.

If your bike doesn't come with them, look out for those that have eyelets designed to fit fenders. These work better than fenders that are clipped on.

It is also worth considering what types of brakes are being used. Different brakes can offer different degrees of versatility.

Schwinn Bike in White

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Schwinn Hybrid Bikes Good?

Schwinn is well-known for its quality of bicycles, especially hybrid bikes.

Obviously, your budget will determine just how good your bike will be but when you go for a Schwinn, you can be sure that you're getting a decent bike, whatever the value.

Comfort and performance are what Schwinn does. Schwinn hybrid bikes are going to perform well and have extra features for comfort that you wouldn't see in products from other manufactures.

What Is The Best Hybrid Bike For The Money?

This depends on what you want and what type of riding you do.

Different features are important to different people.

Consider whether you want more of a road bike or a mountain bike. You might need a different style of bike that what you have in mind.

Women-specific bikes have their own benefits but sometimes their features aren't as good. (This isn't always the case).

Do you need a suspension fork? Also, don't forget to consider the type of gearing you may need. If you want to take your hybrid onto challenging terrain, you will want more gears and a durable frame.

Let's not forget the price !

There is a lot to consider when you're looking at buying a bike. What I can say is that Schwinn offers a fantastic range of hybrid bikes so it's a good place to start.

What Is A Schwinn Hybrid Bike?

A Schwinn hybrid bike is a bike that takes features of road bikes and mountain bikes and combines them.

Depending on the model of Schwinn bikes you look at, there are different features. So it's worth reading about Schwinn hybrid bike reviews to get a abetter understanding of the features and benefits of each model.

Is Schwinn a Good Bike Brand?

Schwinn is a trustworthy bike brand. They have been making bikes since 1898, so you're in good hands.

Comfort and performance are important to them so you can expect a reliable, enjoyable ride from Schwinn hybrid bikes.

Final Thoughts

That covers our Schwinn hybrid bikes review. Have we tempted you with their range?

For me, I particularly like the Schwinn Discoverhybrid bike.

It's available in both frames. The pull brakes are reliable, the suspension seat is comfortable and it comes with fenders and a rear rack so you don't need to buy additional components to get you up and running.

Most of all, I like the build quality and style. It's a bike that offers a lot, especially with the 21-speed system.

Amy L
About the Author
I'm Amy, A writer and when I'm not writing, I'm usually found on two wheels! I own several bikes; my favourite has to be my faithful Bianchi Infinito CV. We've been through a lot together - we've even been to Paris together...twice!. My first carbon bike. My first love. Cycling is my passion and climbing is my thing, so if there's a climb out there you think I should know about - let me know!
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