While most people know the Schwinn name, not everyone knows the Schwinn story. Founded in 1895 by Ignaz Schwinn, the bicycle brand was of course the most popular in America for decades to come. Unfortunately, the same history and heritage which did so much to propel the brand forward over the years brought it to a sad day in 1993 when Schwinn filed for bankruptcy.
It was Schwinn’s re-birth the following year that really helped get the iconic brand to where it is today. The new group of managers were just that, new. Their challenge was to play off of Schwinn’s storied past while making the bikes relevant for a new-age consumer. Through it all, Schwinn has continued to make bikes. Bikes like the carbon Peloton Pro.
The Peloton Pro comes with an exciting variety of components.
The Peloton Pro is the middle bike of the three-model Peloton lineup. It shares the same frame as the $1699 Peloton and runs without the high modulus carbon used on the $4299 Peloton Limited. Like many other companies, Schwinn has come up with a variety of catchy names that sound good, but don’t really add much in-depth information about their frame technology. To that end, the Peloton Pro uses a monocoque frame and fork using Schwinn’s N’Litened Black Label Carbon.
The front triangle is made as its own part and then bonded and wrapped to the rear triangle. The ‘semi’ compact frame has an integrated headset and is available in four sizes (small, medium, large and extra large). Overall production quality would rate as very good.
As straightforward as the frame is, so too are the parts. The SRAM Double Tap Rival drivetrain was aided with a Wipperman chain. We always like the Fizik Arione saddle, and has anyone ever had a problem with the popular Mavic Askium wheels? The Schwalbe Stelvio tires were new to some test riders, and they received high praise for holding a line.
Our medium test bike weighed 17.2 pounds. The angle finder read 72.5 degrees up front and 73 degrees at the seat tube. The top tube measured in at 54.6 centimeters with a 30.2 inch stand-over height.
The straightforward frame surprised every single test rider.
We tend to downplay any made-in-China carbon fiber frame, but the flip side is that, based upon sheer numbers and the fact that they have access to the brain trust of every major bicycle maker, it is possible for Chinese frame makers to produce an outstanding product at an untouchably low price. Schwinn’s Peloton Pro is a prime example of this relationship. It cranks out race-worthy performance with a 2300-dollar sticker price-and we say this without “yes, but” switch-this-part-or-upgrade-that-part caveats. Test riders liked its positive-shifting SRAM Rival drivetrain and mentioned that the lower-priced Double-Tap shifters required less swing to execute shifts than the Force models. The frame is stiff enough to handle strong climbers and powerful jumps, without the dull, wooden-wheel ride that overly rigid carbon frames have over rough pavement. There is just enough damping in the frame and wheels to take the edge off of rough pavement. At 17.2 pounds, you’ll feel its weight, compared to a pro-level ride, but the Schwinn won’t remind you of this fact with every acceleration-in fact, it closes gaps and tops rollers quite easily. Where Schwinn earns its marks in the design department is in the handling department. The Peloton Pro’s secure feel while cornering lets you brake late and turn inside of other riders-or simply enjoy descending at speed.
Schwinn? In the pretentious world of elite cycling, the once-household name is rarely spoken, but that may change as today’s fresh talent moves to the front of the pack. Schwinn’s Peloton Pro is a great starting point for an enthusiast or neo-racer searching for a competitive mount at a working-man’s price. The magic of the Peloton Pro comes from a quality carbon frame, enhanced by an intelligent component selection.
Weight: 17.2 pounds