There is something pretty special about having nothing between you and the pavement but a pair of rubber tires. Hitting the road early in the morning, on my way to work, riding the Schwinn Men’s Prelude Bicycle has been one of the greatest and most relaxing experiences that I have had in recent memory.
Not only does the bike ride well but it also connects me to the city that I live in. I don’t feel disconnected from the people around me, the other cars, and the streets that I live around. I have found the Schwinn Prelude Bicycle to be one of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time and would love to share with you as to why.
Schwinn is Priced to Sell!
The Prelude Bicycle, by Schwinn, first struck me as a bike for professionals. The sleek white frame, high rising seat, and curved handlebars made it look like a vehicle for those with years of experience biking. The only reason that I even contemplated purchasing it, at first, was due to the price. For a commuter bike of decent quality you will typically be paying at least $500 or so. When I found my Schwinn it was considerably cheaper. So right off the bat I saw how good this bike might be for a ton of different people.
A Flexible Bike!
When you first get on top of the Prelude you will feel pretty connected to the ground. The frame isn’t too heavy and the steering is pretty smooth. The bike itself has a 14 speed Shimano drivetrain to go right away you can see that the Prelude will provide you with flexibility as you navigate the environment around you. One of my favorite aspects of this bike is how well it balances on the heavier frame. You don’t have the issues that lightweight frames offer with skipping, jumping, and possible bailing out on higher speeds. The Prelude is heavy enough to withstand hard riding and it won’t make you nervous when you hit those upper speeds.
A second note to make about the bike is that it fits most heights pretty well. I’m a shade under 6′ tall and I found the Prelude to be incredibly comfortable. I have a friend who is probably pushing 6′ 4″ and he was equally comfortable on the bike. His only issue came with the handle bars, which we had to raise, so there were no big issues involved.
Using Shimano components, the Prelude Bicycle was built to impress. Out of the box, before you assemble it, you can comb over the different parts that come stock with the bike. You get 700c tires, smooth shifters, and great cage pedals. When it’s all put together the bike will ride like a $700 model. You rarely have to deal with issues relating to the components, but I have found that the tires can be replaced sooner than later. Stock tires are almost always a toss of a coin. Perhaps your experience will be better than mine but I had nicer tires on hand from a different project and the switch was simple.
The frame of the bike is 55cm and made mostly out of aluminum to optimize the Schwinn Drop Bar Road Frame. Attached to the frame is a pair of standard Schwinn rims, made of alloy, and a host of other little fixtures. The crank, drivetrain, and shifters are all Shimano or Schwinn approved and even the pedals are pleasant. The pedals are made with a toe clip and strap but they are easy enough to upgrade if the fancy strikes you.
Unless you walk this bike out the door of a local shop you will have to spend some time with a trusty Allen wrench to put it together. You can find an instruction manual in the box with your bike or you can head to any of the big video websites online. You should be able to find instructions to help you put the bike together. Even a total novice should have the Prelude ready to go within an hour or so.
Just make sure to pay attention to the instructions, have the proper tools at hand, and never be afraid to double-check your work. If the bike feels ‘off’ even a little bit then you should quit riding and make sure that everything is installed correctly.
A Smooth Ride!
One of the biggest things that kept me away from bicycles when I was younger was my fear of a bumpy ride. I get a headache when I jolt around in my car on a bumpy road so I was understandably hesitant about taking a bicycle around town. As it turns out I was a little bit naive and presumptuous in my fear.
The 700c tires absorb bumps very well and the whole riding experience has felt something like flying. I haven’t had the body aches I anticipated and I’m even starting to get my cardio up after riding on the bicycle a ton.
A Few Tips!
Budget bikes like the Prelude are often great deals because their biggest issues are easy to fix. With the Prelude you will want to address the rim tape pretty much as soon as you unbox the machine. This will save you from having to deal with a nasty flat tire while you are a couple of miles from road.
You might also want to consider investing in a more cushion filled seat. I don’t think the seat is unbearable but it is definitely a stock seat. You can get something much more comfortable at the same time as you purchase the bike if only to avoid having to do it in the future.
A Few Words in Closing
I think that there are some major misconceptions floating around when it comes to cheap commuter bikes. Many novice riders seem to think that the most important aspect of a good bike is its sale price. This is simply not the case. The Schwinn Prelude Bicycle can be had for under $350 while providing the same sort of value that a $700 bike offers. The end result, in my opinion, that is all that matters. You won’t have the most expensive bike on the road but you will definitely feel like it. Outside of a few minor issues, namely the rim tape and seat replacement, I have been more than happy with the model. Schwinn knows how to make a bike for the kind of riders that can afford their models. With hundreds of miles of hard riding behind me I can safely suggest this bike to my friends, family, and readers. I do not anticipate needing a new bike for quite a while.