Schwinn Madison – On Test
The Schwinn Madison has arrived for test and with its emergence from the box come some first impressions. With a $569 price tag, this bike is placed squarely in a crowded and competitive marketplace of complete fixed gears.
- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I’d say Schwinn has the look of the bike dialed – the color, logos, chrome stays and fork crown all share a cohesive look with a nod to yesteryear.
- Fender mounts and a pair of bottle bosses are appreciated, as is the lack of brake braze-ons and the double-butted steel tubeset.
- Industry standard Formula hubs look as good as ever, as do their real track nuts so lacking on certain complete bicycle competitors.
- 170mm crank arms make sense given the L size, and the chainring and cog prove round giving consistent chain tension out of the box.
- While the crown is a really nice touch at this price level, the steerer is cut far too short leaving not even a single spacer under the stem and no room for height adjustment. Schwinn assures me this is a pre-production oversight, and that bikes on dealer floors have a longer steerer and a few spacers.
- I thought the stem looked especially cheap, and I was right. I stripped out one of the stem clamp bolts upon installation.
- 23.7 lbs with two brakes, fixed cog/freewheel and included pedals.