Schwinn Vantage Points Towards Smoother Riding with Interesting SRT Elastomer Suspension

S16_700M_VantageF1_BLK_3Q

The perfect ride quality seems to be the white whale of the bike industry. Whether you’re talking multi-thousand dollar carbon road bikes, or hybrids for the family, building a bike that blends comfort with performance is always a tricky balance. Add in the challenge of keeping the price to that of an entry to mid level bike and you have a puzzle that keeps companies going back to the drawing board.

Schwinn is addressing that very issue with their latest hybrid, the Vantage. Available only in Schwinn Signature independent bike shops (read, not Walmart), the Vantage uses a technology we’ve seen before but implements it in a unique way…

Schwinn Vantage tech

Elastomer inserts are definitely not a new thing. Many companies have places some sort of elastomer between the seat stays and the seat tube to absorb vibrations for years to varied success. Where the Vantage SRT (Smooth Ride Technology, naturally) differs as far as we know is the way the elastomer wraps around the seat tube and then the seat stay clamps around it. Somehow they’ve managed to do this in a way to claim no loss of lateral stiffness while providing 15mm of travel. We wouldn’t be surprised if the design is also a clever way of avoiding any patent infringement with other elastomer suspension designs on the market.

S16_700M_VantageF1_BLK (1) Schwinn Vantage f2

Available in either the Vantage F1 or F2, as mentioned the Vantage line is part of the Schwinn Signature line meaning they are bike shop only. Each bike includes rack and fender mounts, 700x32c tires, and disc brakes. While the F2 sells for $660, the F1 sees an upgraded drivetrain (9 speed Shimano vs. 8 speed Shimano) as well as a carbon fork for $880.

Head over to schwinnbikes.com to find your local dealer and to learn more.

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DJ
DJ
6 years ago

They left off the elastomer ring between the bottom headset cup and the frame.

scentofreason
scentofreason
6 years ago

Yeah sure, new twist on old concept…. but is it enduro?

Hpbiker
Hpbiker
6 years ago

The Cannondale team did a great job.

Dolan Halbrook
Dolan Halbrook
6 years ago

Man, that’s gotta be all kinds of fun with any significant load on a rear rack.

xc-fr
xc-fr
6 years ago

funny. for years: stiffer, stiffer, stiffer …
now: more comfort, more comfort, more comfort …..
fmpov the BMC solution is the best currently and i hope R&D goes further in this direction 🙂

Andy
Andy
6 years ago

@Dolan. I don’t follow you. There is nowhere near enough movement there to affect a rear rack, not to mention the rear triangle is unsprung mass.

dan
dan
6 years ago

“The perfect ride quality seems to be the white whale of the bike industry.”

“psssstt.. bike industry – bigger tyres … easy”

brain maxed out unable to process anything new

Don’t understand why people think springiness is comfort. To me, I think damping out the feedback is comfort. Shoot some low density foam to fill the hollow cavity of a stiff and responsive tubeset, and see how that goes.

Rocky Gardeno
Rocky Gardeno
6 years ago

Pretty clean and simple, this is something a consumer can see and feel for a tangible difference.
Does the rider “need” it, not likely but will the target consumer want it, most likely

Rocky Gardeno
Rocky Gardeno
6 years ago

@Hpbiker- Cannondale makes bikes for the mass market?

hpbiker
hpbiker
6 years ago

@Rocky Gardeno Schwinn’s for bike shops are designed at Cannondale in CT. Schwinn’s for Wal-mart are designed in Madison, WI at Pacific Cycle. Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, Roadmaster, Pacific, Charge, and Iron Horse are all owned by Doral. Doral has the bikes made in China or Taiwan for them. Doral also makes furniture, child car seats and lots of other stuff.

Dolan Halbrook
Dolan Halbrook
6 years ago

@Andy, I’d be concerned about the torsional effects of an unbalanced load on that elastomer. It looks like it would be pretty controlled in lateral movement, but if the load were significantly lop-sided and mounted high on the rack (for example, a single grocery-basket pannier with a full and heavy grocery bag) and the rider got out of the saddle to accelerate, that rear end seems like it would see some significant (and potentially unnerving) side to side movement. That said, disc brakes should mitigate the worst possibility (running the rear rim into the brakes), so I guess I shouldn’t knock it until I’ve tried it?

Tomi
Tomi
6 years ago

All these bikes with elastomere inserts are nice and well but I don’t remember them being durable. Although I can understand them for racing focused bikes I’m not sure it is a great idea to deal with such technology on bikes that target a population (commuters, non cyclists nerds) that keep the same bikes for years. These things will probably be junk and end up in a trash in a handful of year while a traditionnal bike would be kept longer or end up being purchased second hand by students or people with low income.

edge
edge
6 years ago

This is about as elegant as a monkey with a tux. I think the only elastomer concept that works is Trek’s Iso Speed since it decouples the Seat tube but not the seat stays. P.S. not a Trek fanboy

Tom
Tom
6 years ago

@ Edge, have you seen the Iso dampening feature on the Trek aluminum road bike? It is a total scam. The iso feature was intended to utilize the carbon flex of the seat tube (ovalized cross section at bottom bracket) and does not work on aluminum frames since aluminum flex is so limited. So it is all smoke and mirrors with the Trek aluminum iso feature haha.

Rocky Gardeno
Rocky Gardeno
6 years ago

I thing a monkey with a tux could be very elegant, put that monkey in the tux and everything changes

Trail Dog
Trail Dog
6 years ago

@BrainMaxedOut
A lot of polyurethane elastomers have very slow rebound qualities, so they are “self-damping.” Not sure what they’re using here, obviously, but it’s not inherently springy.

Antonioeli Garcia Elias

I have a 1999 Schwinn Homegrown 4 Banger since 2000, oh the old good days..