Best Schwinn Mountain Bikes of 2022: Bikes for Nearly Every Surface and Style

People riding Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bikes


What makes a mountain bike “the best?”" There's no single answer, but we think quality, value, rideability, and excitement are some of the top criteria. The Schwinn brand is nearly 130 years old, and the Chicago-based company is still a leader in producing reliable, durable, affordable, and inspiring bikes.

In 2022, Schwinn offers mountain bikes with a variety of options: frame material, number of speeds, suspension, brake type, wheel size, and even motorized. If that sounds like a lot, well, it is. ACTIVE.com can help you untangle all of these options so you can find the best Schwinn mountain bike to match your riding style and budget.

When shopping for a Schwinn mountain bike, keep in mind that some bikes may be designed for a specific purpose. However, you can usually still ride them on a variety of surfaces. It is a good idea to consider your primary mode of riding, though. Will you be ripping up a track or bombing down a mountain? Is your style more of a leisurely spin on a hybrid bike? Or do you want to explore flat, wide-open spaces?

Like many other goods, you can order Schwinn mountain bikes directly to your door from Amazon, but unless you know your way around bicycle tools, you'll want to hire a professional bike mechanic to assemble your bike. This will ensure a proper fit for smooth riding, functional brakes, and that other parts meet the manufacturer's specific torque recommendations.

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Best Schwinn Mountain Bikes of 2022 - Our Top Picks

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Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike

Schwinn High Timber

SPECS

  • Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Frame: Steel frame and suspension fork
  • Wheel size: 29"
  • Speeds: Shimano 21-speed with Tourney derailleurs
  • Brakes: Linear pull rim

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The Schwinn High Timber is a traditional steel hardtail mountain bike inspired by bikes of the 1990s. With a simple design and understated style paired with modern components, this bike may be the closest to a go-anywhere, do-almost-anything mountain bike. The tires are suitable for light to medium duty off-road riding, but should also perform well on hard-pack trails and pavement.

This versatile bike includes Shimano components and a Schwinn-branded fork, making it a better value than any generic brand bike you might find at a big box store. The Schwinn High Timber is a hardtail bike, so it doesn’t have rear suspension. Hardtail mountain bikes often ride smoother on flat surfaces or when the terrain is consistent, while full-suspension bikes may bounce around on those same surfaces when pedaling hard.

This 2022 Schwinn mountain bike can accommodate a wide range of rider sizes and is available in five different wheel sizes.

What We Like

  • Available in five different wheel sizes
  • Classic mountain bike with elegant style
  • Comfortable, upright riding position
  • Rim brake option may be available

What We Don't Like

  • Frame only available in 18"
  • Riders with smaller hands may struggle with brake lever reach
  • Linear pull rim brakes may feel soft and lack the stopping power of disc brakes

BUY: Schwinn High Timber

Schwinn Ridgewood Electric Mountain Bike

Ridgewood Electric

SPECS

  • Weight: 39.6 lbs.
  • Frame: Aluminum frame and steel suspension fork
  • Wheel size: 27.5"
  • Speeds: 7-speed with electric pedal assist
  • Brakes: Mechanical disc with 180mm front, 160mm rear rotors

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The 2022 Schwinn Ridgewood electric mountain bike makes uphill climbs easier and riding on level surfaces faster and more fun. The 250-watt pedal assist motor can boost your speed up to 20mph for an extra push when you need it most. A multifunction control unit on the handlebar allows you to select the amount of boost while also indicating battery reserve. An LED indicator on the downtube shows the amount of remaining power.

Even with the electronics and motor, the Schwinn Ridgewood weighs about the same as a traditional mountain bike. Schwinn states that the Ridgewood electric mountain bike has a range of 45 miles, but this can vary with terrain, rider weight, and weather conditions, just like an electric car.

Some notable features include an aluminum frame with a dropped top tube for easy mount and dismount and a suspension fork with 100mm of travel to help absorb shock on rough trails. The Ridgewood has front and rear mechanical disc brakes with large rotors for enhanced stopping power. The 7-speed Microshift drivetrain with trigger shifters allows for efficient gear selection in any riding mode. Pedal assist bikes offered by other manufacturers can cost more than four times as much as this Schwinn, so we think the Ridgewood is a good value.

What We Like

  • 4 hours to full battery charge
  • Bar-mounted battery and pedal-assist display
  • Weight similar to traditional mountain bike
  • Internal cable routing for clean appearance
  • Versatile tires for riding on a variety of surfaces

What We Don't Like

  • Pedal-assist boost tops out at 20mph and 250 watts
  • 45-mile range for full charge may be optimistic
  • One size for riders 5'5" to 5'10"

BUY: Ridgewood Electric

Schwinn Mesa 3 Mountain Bike

Mesa 3

SPECS

  • Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Frame: Aluminum frame and aluminum suspension fork
  • Wheel size: 27.5"
  • Speeds: Shimano 21-speed
  • Brakes: Linear pull

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The 2022 Schwinn Mesa 3 is a versatile mountain bike for light off-road riding and is comfortable and fun on paved surfaces, too. This mountain bike is equipped with linear pull brakes and 21 speeds, more than enough for all but the steepest climbs. The aluminum frame and suspension fork deliver a firm but responsive ride, and the 21-speed Shimano drivetrain with EZ-Fire shifters and Tourney derailleurs are excellent for the sub-$600 price point.

The seat stays and frame design offer enough compliance and comfort for all-day riding on a firm, aluminum frame. This Schwinn mountain bike is available in small, medium, and large, all with 27.5-inch wheels. It fits riders between five and six feet tall.

What We Like

  • Frame design offers compliance and comfort
  • Quality Shimano drivetrain
  • Bosses for 2 water bottles
  • Multi-surface off-road tires

What We Don't Like

  • Linear pull brakes may feel underpowered
  • Bike geometry does not scale with frame size
  • 3 sizes may exclude riders shorter than 5' or taller than 6'2"

BUY: Mesa 3

Schwinn Mesa 2 Mountain Bike

Mesa 2

SPECS

  • Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Frame: Aluminum frame with aluminum suspension fork
  • Wheel size: 27.5"
  • Speeds: Shimano 21-speed
  • Brakes: Mechanical disc, 160mm rotors

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The 2022 Schwinn Mesa 2 is nearly identical to the Schwinn Mesa 3, but features a few upgrades for improved performance, which bring it a step closer to an entry-level mountain bike racer. Notably, the mechanical disc brakes offer superior stopping power and control compared to linear pull brakes. The stock tires are fine for light trails, hard pack dirt, or gravel, but consider upgrading them if you want more grip.

While Schwinn offers this bike in four sizes (including extra large for riders up to six-and-a-half feet tall), the geometry—seat tube and head tube angles—does not scale with size. This may affect comfort and handling for very short or very tall riders. However, the Schwinn Mesa 2 is still a fine choice as an entry-level mountain bike for most riders.

What We Like

  • Mechanical disc brakes offer stopping power and control
  • Reliable Shimano components
  • 4 sizes for riders 5’ to 6’6”
  • Bosses for two water bottles
  • 300mm seatpost offers wide range of saddle height adjustment

What We Don't Like

  • Bike geometry does not scale with frame size
  • Shorter crank length needed for smaller frames
  • Tires are just adequate

BUY: Mesa 2

Schwinn Traxion Mountain Bike

Traxion

SPECS

  • Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Frame: Aluminum frame with aluminum suspension fork
  • Wheel size: 29"
  • Speeds: 24-speed
  • Brakes: Mechanical disc

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The 2022 Schwinn Traxion mountain bike stands out as the only full-suspension bike in this roundup. The out-of-the-box configuration is suitable for cross country adventures and maybe even bombing downhill courses. The aggressive geometry and full suspension promise a responsive ride and enough control to inspire confidence. The rear suspension does not add a significant amount of weight, and the Traxion weighs about the same as the motorized Schwinn Ridgewood.

While this bike’s suspension is great, we’d like to see a little more flexibility. A lockout feature for riding on level surfaces would be a welcome addition, as well as the option to tune the suspension for riders of different weights.

What We Like

  • Full suspension for wide range of riding surfaces
  • Quality Shimano drivetrain
  • 2.5" off-road tires can handle most surfaces
  • Powerful mechanical disc brakes

What We Don't Like

  • One size for riders 5'7" to 6'2"
  • No easy lockout feature for rear suspension
  • Gearing range may not offer versatility for steep climbing

BUY: Traxion

What to look for in a Schwinn mountain bike

Weight

Mountain bikes below $1,000 with a suspension fork and between 21 and 24 gears generally weigh between 38 and 41 pounds. The materials used for the frame, fork, and components usually account for most of the weight variation in this price range. As a rule of thumb, more expensive bikes weigh less than budget bikes, thanks to higher-quality components and materials.

Frame

Schwinn mountain bikes in 2022 are made of aluminum or steel. Aluminum bike frames often weigh less than steel frames, are less prone to oxidation (rust), and can create a firm and responsive ride. Steel, a tried and true material used in bicycle construction, is inexpensive, easy to work with, and may offer a more forgiving and compliant riding experience.

Schwinn mountain bikes are available with front suspension or full suspension. Front suspension is provided by a fork with a “shock." The amount of vertical movement a shock provides is called travel and is measured in millimeters. The rear suspension is provided by a coil, and some models may offer adjustment options. If a bike does not have rear suspension, it may be referred to as a “hardtail."

Wheel Size

A common wheel size for Schwinn mountain bikes is 29 inches, and the bikes in this size category are often called “twenty-niners." Other common mountain bike wheel sizes are 27.5-inch, 26-inch, 24-inch, and even 20-inch for youth bikes. Another common wheel size is 650b, which is nearly the same as a 27.5-inch wheel. Wheel size and frame size are not necessarily related, so a small bike frame might still have 27.5 or even 29-inch wheels. Tire widths are generally between two inches and two-and-a-half inches. Wider tires can have lower inflation pressure to offer better traction off-road. Larger wheel diameters may be faster in some cross-country mountain biking conditions, while smaller wheel sizes offer quicker acceleration and a nimble ride.

Speeds

Most Schwinn mountain bikes have 21 or 24 speeds. More gearing may increase weight and price, but also offers more options for efficient and comfortable pedaling in a variety of conditions. Collectively, the chain, front chainrings, and rear gears may be referred to as the bike's drivetrain.

Brakes

A few Schwinn mountain bikes have hydraulic disc brakes, which offer superior modulation and stopping power at an increased price. Bikes equipped with mechanical disc brakes perform well in nearly all riding conditions and offer better modulation than rim brakes, though rim brakes are one of the most popular stopping technologies.

FAQs About Schwinn Mountain Bikes


Are Schwinn bikes good for trails?

Yes! Schwinn mountain bikes are great for trail riding. They have tires that can handle pavement, dirt, mud, gravel, and just about any trail surface.

How long do Schwinn bikes last?

Schwinn bikes will last years with regular maintenance by a professional mechanic and proper care at home. Frequently inspecting the suspension, inflating the tires properly, and lubricating the chain are low-cost ways to extend the life of a Schwinn mountain bike.

Is Schwinn a good brand?

Yes. Schwinn is a Chicago-based bike brand founded in 1895. While company ownership has changed over the years, the brand is still synonymous with quality and value.

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