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  1. #1
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    Schwinn Fastback Comp or Trek 1500

    So, having ruled out a Sora or Tiagra equipped rig, two bikes have really gotten my attention; a 2006 Trek 1500 at my LBS for $1,049 (out the door) or a 2005 Schwinn Fastback Comp online for $799 (delivered). They are both very similarly equipped, except the FB has carbon seatstays, but the 1500 has an Ultegra rear and a carbon seat seatpost. Also, the FB is full 105, which means the brakes are all 105 too, whereas on the Trek they are Tektro (or similar). There are other minor differences too, but I'm not too sure if they matter that much. The wheels look pretty comparable.

    So, buying online vs. LBS aside (let's avoid that whole debate), from a pure equipment\machine and cost\benefit point of view, which bike would you get?

  2. #2
    wim
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    Also, the FB is full 105
    Does "full" include the crankset?

  3. #3
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    Sorry. "Full" does not mean the crankset too. The crankset on the FB is a TruVativ Elita Team forged alloy w/ 52-42-30 7075 CNC chainrings. The 1500 has a Bontrager Race. So, then, the FB is not a full 105 after all. Thanks for the inquiry.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeminbobby
    So, having ruled out a Sora or Tiagra equipped rig, two bikes have really gotten my attention; a 2006 Trek 1500 at my LBS for $1,049 (out the door) or a 2005 Schwinn Fastback Comp online for $799 (delivered). They are both very similarly equipped, except the FB has carbon seatstays, but the 1500 has an Ultegra rear and a carbon seat seatpost. Also, the FB is full 105, which means the brakes are all 105 too, whereas on the Trek they are Tektro (or similar). There are other minor differences too, but I'm not too sure if they matter that much. The wheels look pretty comparable.

    So, buying online vs. LBS aside (let's avoid that whole debate), from a pure equipment\machine and cost\benefit point of view, which bike would you get?
    If you are positive you will never resell the bike go with the FB otherwise stick with the Trek.

    The FB want be worth $400 resale the day after you get it but it is a fine bike.

    I currently own 2 older fastbacks. A "full" 105 and a "full" ultergra. Both with velomax circuits and both bought used for under $500.00. I can't comment on ride because the smaller ones is my sons and the larger one we have not ridden yet.
    Last edited by Lifelover; 05-04-2006 at 07:08 PM.
    Joined the other team in the name of the economy

  5. #5
    wim
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    Well, back in the days, "full this" or "full that" meant the whole schmear - with the crankset the shiny centerpiece of it all.

    Truth be told, the stock components on the FB and the 1500 will work just fine. But as a nod to the old days (and to your dear departed Peloton), I'd buy the FB and replace the TruVativ crank with a 105 crank. Bottom bracket needs to be changed too, I believe. Right now, it shouldn't be too difficult to find a relatively cheap 105 9-speed crankset. With that, you'd have the full group - which IMHO is always a nice thing to have on a bike. If nothing else, it just looks good - and looking at your bike and liking what you see is important. Some believe it actually makes you faster.
    Last edited by wim; 05-05-2006 at 03:16 AM.

  6. #6
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    Schwinn Fastback

    I have one '01 Fastback Pro (a project bike) and a '01 Fastback Comp (my other '01 Fastback Pro was stolen out of my garage along with my white '90's Paramount), so I'm a little bit prejudiced when I say I'd get the Fastback. IMHO, a very underrated machine both then and now and for $799 that's really a steal. The nice thing about the '05 Fastback the components are decent to good and it wouldn't be overkill to upgrade to better components (i.e. cranks, drerailleurs, etc). Right now it's a race worthy bike! Enjoy.
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  7. #7
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    So, I've ridden a 54cm Peloton, a 54cm GT Force and a 55cm Bianchi Veloce. All of them were traditional geometry. The Peloton was the most comfortable, the Veloce the least (it made me feel too stretched so I had to install a shorter stem). I'm about 5'10" with an inseam of 30.5. I spend 95% of my time on the hoods, so I like to be more upright and comfortable. Which of these two bikes would be more comfy for me? If it's the Schwinn, what size should I get, S or M? The small has a top tube length of 540mm, the M is 560mm. The standover on the S is 28.3, the M is 29.5. I'm leaning towards the M, but because it's a compact frame I'm just not sure.

    And advise would be helpful. Remember, the Fastback is available for $799 online only, so sizing at a LBS isn't possible,

  8. #8
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    I'd go with the Schwinn

    I too am a bit biased towards the schwinn fastbacks. In my stable I have a 01 Fastback Limited setup as a weight weenie bike, 01 Fastback Factory setup as a time trial bike, 01 Fastback Pro setup as a commuter bike, and a 01 Fastback comp frame that I'm keeping as a spare.

    At first I was worried when Pacific Cycles bought Schwinn. I thought they would ruin the Schwinn name. I am pleasantly surprised with what they have done. With their buying power, they are able to make the Fastback a very good value bike.

    Regarding the component differences between the Trek and the Schwinn, here's what I think. You probably won't notice a big difference between a 105 and an Ultegra rear. You will notice a big difference between the tektro brake and the 105 brake. When you are descending a long steep hill at 35+ MPH or during a panic stop, you want brakes that will give you good feedback and confidence.

    The Schwinn will give you a lot of bike for the money. The Schwinn may not get as much respect as a Trek out on the road, but it will serve your well. My Fastbacks have never failed me on an pull or an attack. Sometimes when I just finish a long pull and I start drift to the back of the pack, some riders make a doubletake when they see that I'm riding a Schwinn. That makes me smile.

  9. #9
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    From my experience with compact frames ,I would say the M frame is the safer bet by far. I'm a shade over 6 foot and have a K2 MOD 3 in large and a Specialized Roubaix Comp at 56.5 ( which I see Specialized has now labeled large) Both bikes feel excellent in fit to me . I might add that I stay more upright and on the hoods 90% of the time myself. I think you might also enjoy the compact frameset as well.

  10. #10
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    I ended up with a Schwinn Fastback late 90's (long story) and on a whim I built it up with a mish-mash of equipment I had lying around. Ec 90 full carbon fork, downtube shifters and DA 8speed, FSA compact carbon cranks, etc. Not only was it feathery, it fit me really well, as the meduim fastback has a 55cm top tube and a tallish head tube. I no longer have the upper back and neck pain, and I suspect the arm and wrist injuries I developed with hard riding last year will not be returning.
    I have since put on STI 9 speed DA kit, and made it my day to day training bike. I will be racing it this year when I finally get my butt back in shape.
    My only quibble is the placement of the brake bridge. When climbing if the seat is set back where I like it, my leg rubs on the cable. I have since moved my seat forward and my shoe cleats backwards (to keep my knee over the pedal spindle.)
    I have built up a number of bikes over the past couple of years, and this one has been a complete surprise. Another surprise is the reaction I've gotten from LBS guys. One mechanic was gushing over it, telling me that this was one of the very last of the bikes built in Waterford before Schwinn was sold. On another occation an LBS manager told me it was "DOPE." He was loving the downtube shifters coupled with the carbon cranks and Easton fork. I've never had any such reaction to my Look.

    Side note, Bicycling Magazine has been raving about the quality of Schwinn bikes over the past year or two. The called the fastback "finessed," and placed several models in their buyers guide. Sure they are made in China, but the design is solid and the price is right. I would scale up in models however and get the most expensive one you can afford.

  11. #11
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    It's a shame . . .

    It's a shame that the Schwinn name no longer gets much respect in the peloton. My '01 Fastback Comp is red and most people assume it's a '05 Specialized bike and when they find out it's a Schwinn they are pleasantly surprised in a slightly dissappointed way. "Ah, that's too bad" kinda vibe, if you know what I mean. I also have a '99 Schwinn Peloton; another underrated steel bike (Reynolds 853, baby!). At the time the steel Peloton was slightly overpriced while the rest of the market was tinkering with other materials (aluminum & carbon fiber).

    the upshot of all this is that if you know what to look for you can score on a really good used Schwinn!

    Here's a link for my Fastback Comp: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...13932#poststop
    Last edited by JaeP; 05-08-2006 at 10:19 PM.
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

  12. #12
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    Saturday I put 45 miles on a 01 Fastback Pro that I got used. I was very impressed with the look and the ride. The seat post is the only part that looks a little cheesy.

    I'm 6'1" and 250 and found it to be very stiff in the BB but overall pretty comfy. I accepted it to be more harsh. If fits better than my Zeppelin and I have decided to change the drop on it because of the Schwinn.

    I rode a Large frame. I'm sure my fat Arse looks a little ridiculous on it with about 20 inches of seat tube extension and seat post sticking out. Overall a kick a$$ ride. I'm going to loan it to a friend to try for a while. He rides a Aegis so it will be interesting to get his take.


    If you look for a while you can get some great deals on them used. I paid $500 for the pro and $450 for the same year comp in a medium.
    Joined the other team in the name of the economy

  13. #13
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    I pulled the trigger on the Fastback

    Well, I bought the Schwinn Fastback Comp....finally. Performance Bike matched an online price of $799 out the door (which really equates to $749 after joining Team Performance). Plus, I got them to install the pedals and computer for free, and I also get the lifetime adjustments! I wouldn't get that kind of service from an online vendor.....ever! The Trek 1500, though a more resaleable bike, would have cost me another $300, which ain't chump change! I feel the Schwinn was a slam dunk decision. And I gotta tell ya', this bike is reeeeally nice, and very light.

    Anyway, thank you to everyone for the guidance and input. I feel that I made the right decision for me, and that not going with a Sora bike is a decision that I will be happy I made.

    Ride on!!

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