By Josh Patterson
For 2012 Schwinn is investing more time and energy in the bikes they sell through local bike shops. These bicycles are substantially different from the Schwinn-branded bicycle-shaped-objects you find at department stores.
The 411 is a city bike with light duty cargo capabilities. It sports mechanical disc brakes, 700c wheels with 40c tires, a Sturney Archer 5-speed hub, and a triple top tube reminiscent of Schwinn’s classic fat tire cruisers.
The trick handlebar has an integrated basket large enough for a bag of groceries or a six-pack of your favorite beverage. Corona not included.
The “IG3” in the name refers to the internally geared 3-speed Nexus drivetrain. The rear rack is integrated into the frame—double top tubes continue aft of the seat tube into the rack.
In response to the growing popularity of bicycles fabricated from alternative materials, such as bamboo, Schwinn in introducing a bicycle with a frame constructed from flax fibers. The construction process is similar to that used in manufacturing carbon fiber frames.
The Vestige makes use of bamboo for the grips and fenders and relies on carbon fiber for the fork. In building this bike Schwinn discovered flax is naturally translucent. Designers look this opportunity to include a dynamo-powered LED internal lighting system that lights up the frame.