Mountain style bikes are amongst the toughest bikes. But because they are built for endurance, these types of bikes have a premium price, which can deter a lot of riders. That being said, if you are on the lookout for a good mountain style bike without spending close to five grand, the 26″ Schwinn Sidewinder is a bike worth considering.
It comes with a number of features that make it a worthy contender. It is also worth mentioning that Schwinn is one of the few bike makers that offer the same bike for both men and women.
The 26″ Schwinn Sidewinder is available for both men and women, which makes it a fantastic choice. As you will see throughout this review, this electric bike has something that will please everyone.
26″ Schwinn Sidewinder Review
In this review of the 26″ Schwinn Sidewinder, I will be covering both the models side by side. You can expect a lowdown on the critical features of the bikes as well as the pros and cons.
To make it easier for you, I will first talk about the men’s bike, followed by the women’s bike, for every feature. I will be mentioning the differences as well as the similarities between the two bikes as well.
Let’s begin with the frame.
This is the first feature that I loved about the 26″ Schwinn Sidewinder for men and women. They both feature a steel frame. I must admit that the use of steel in bikes was a surprise.
But I could understand the decision as steel is less prone to rust and corrosion, which adds up to its longevity. Bikes with steel frames are also exceptional in terms of stability. So considering that these bikes are designed mountain style, the use of steel by the brand was a smart move.
Both the bikes come with the famous Schwinn suspension fork that is of aluminum-alloy. The shock absorption from bumps and cracks on the road is fantastic. You can take the bikes down a number of varied terrains with absolute ease and confidence.
Another feature that I want to mention about these bikes is that the frames and the fork are covered under a lifetime warranty, which is quite a deal.
Gears and Brakes
The gears of the 26″ Schwinn Sidewinder, both men, and women are equipped with 21 gear combinations. This is a great range that you can explore on flat roads as well as hillocks and even dirt roads as well.
This is coupled with the rear derailleur as well as the alloy crack, which are both from Schwinn. Riding the Sidewinder will be a breeze even for those who are not the most expert at bicycle riding.
The similarity between the two bikes is also mirrored in the brakes. They feature a linear-pull brake on both the front and the rear. The precision with braking is vital while riding down a slope or similar terrain, and the Sidewinder does not disappoint.
Alloy is the choice of metal for the brakes on both the bikes. This ensures that the bike is durable and also exceptional in strength as well.
Wheels and Tires
As the name suggests, the Sidewinder has 26-inch wheels, which are very respectable when it comes to a mountain style bike. This is a feature that is available on both bikes. Alloy rims complement the 26-inch wheels, so they add to excellent performance on the road while remaining stable.
The treading on these bikes is also very unique and works effortlessly. They feature a knobby tread, which is a characteristic of most mountain bikes that are designed explicitly for conquering trails.
Irrespective of where you take the Sidewinder for a ride, you will have stability, traction, and an overall, comfortable ride.
In comparison to all the other features of the 26″ Schwinn Sidewinder, the seats are not the most luxurious. This can be a little hard while riding for extended periods.
However, the stem of the seat is adjustable, which allows you to make it more personalized. You can perform the adjustments without using any specialized tools, which is another cool thing.
Apart from the frame, this is also one of the main reasons why people between 5’4 inches to 6’2 inches can ride the Sidewinder.
Design and Aesthetics
If there is a component that gets me the most excited about the 26″ Schwinn Sidewinder, it is the design.
The men’s Sidewinder has a standard design with largely black components. I am sure a lot of male riders will love riding this smart-looking bike. The overall black aesthetics is broken up by splashes of lime green in the form of the brand’s logo.
On the other hand, women’s Sidewinder has a low top tube design. This design might not seem like a big deal for many riders. However, this is a very thoughtful and practical design incorporated by the brand. This facilitates easy mounting and getting off the bike. Female riders can also ride this mountain style bike in shorts or even skirt if they wish to.
The Sidewinder for women incorporates pink elements throughout the otherwise black bike. This makes the bike very appealing and attractive without giving it a childish appearance.
I do have an issue with the suspension of the Schwinn Sidewinder. Let me explain.
The dual suspension requires a lot of effort to pedal. For those who are into fitness and are adult riders, this may not be a big issue. But it can take out a lot on the young and female riders. The weight of the bike being on the heavier side adds to the fact that you need to put more effort while pedaling this bike.
Of course, you can easily take the bike out for short rides, but if you plan to take it for the weekend, you might want to reconsider it.
Motor and Battery
Since the 26” Schwinn Sidewinder is an electric bike, I cannot complete the review without talking about the motor and the battery. So this section is dedicated to the motor and the battery of this mountain style bike.
The motor of the Schwinn Sidewinder is a 250 watt rear hub. It is a pedal-assist motor with up to 5 levels to choose from. Controlling the motor assistance is easy as you can access it on the thumb-pad. The integration of both the motor and the battery into the bike won’t let you worry about dragging along a bulky setup.
Maintaining the same speed, you can expect to cover 20 miles on the battery with a single charge. This is a pretty good power that comes from the battery considering the price range. The battery can be fully charged in about 6 hours, which is not bad at all.
Pros and Cons
Now that I have pretty much covered all the features and components let’s weigh in on the pros and cons.
- The steel frame adds stability to the Sidewinder. It also ensures durability as it remains mostly corrosion-free.
- Both the men’s and the women’s bikes have 21 gear combinations, so you have a good range and control.
- The precision with brakes is also ensured in both bikes due to the use of linear brakes in the rear and front.
- 26-inch wheels with knobby treading make this bike ride effortlessly over varied terrains.
- The low top tube of the women’s Sidewinder makes getting on and off the bikes a breeze.
- The battery charges fast and runs up to 20 miles, which is a reasonable distance.
- Both the frames and the fork come with a lifetime warranty.
- The Sidewinder is also the most affordable mountain style bike on the market.
- The seats of the Sidewinder are not the most comfortable.
- Unlike other electric bikes, this one demands frequent tuning, this can be a headache for those who are not fastidious about maintaining their gear.
- The Sidewinder is of considerable weight, which can be a problem for many young riders.
The 26” Schwinn Sidewinder comes with a few flaws in the form of bulky weight and frequent maintenance. However, this is not an isolated case with this mountain style bike. And fortunately, except for the weighty issue, the other issue of regular upkeep is easily fixable.
Having considered all the features that the Sidewinder has to offer, I think this is a great choice. It makes a great starter bike for those who are foraying into the mountain style bikes. The features that make the 26” Schwinn Sidewinder a great choice includes the precision with the brakes, reliable and stable frame, as well as the excellent traction and performance, form the wheels.
The Sidewinder is also effortless to ride on a number of terrains, which makes it a great choice. To top it all, it comes at an unbeatable price, and I can willingly recommend it to friends and family. Feel free to check out the 26” Schwinn Sidewinder here.