Both Schwinn and Huffy bikes are found in big-box stores. When talking about bikes sold by Walmart or Target, you know they’re not premium like those offered by brands like Trek or Specialized or Cannondale.
These low-and mid-level bikes may not have the best components or technology to boast of, but they serve the budget-conscious customers well – the reason they’re always in demand by people like college students or casual riders.
Both Huffy and Schwinn have a rich history but failed to dominate the industry after the arrival of the cheap Chinese-made bikes in the late 90s in the US market. At some point, they had to declare bankruptcy and their ownerships were changed many times since then.
Now they too provide budget-friendly bikes mainly sourced from Asia and Latin America that can be compared to those offered by Mongoose or Kent.
Schwinn vs Huffy: Brand Overview
Founded by Ignaz Schwinn and Adolf Arnold in Chicago, Illinois in 1895, Schwinn manufactures, develops and markets different types of bikes all over the world. The initial name of Schwinn was “World Bicycles”.
In 1896, a professional cyclist won the world championship riding a Schwinn while in 1941 French racer Alfred Letourner set a world record speed of 108.92 mph with a Schwinn Paramount. During World War II, Schwinn also manufactured military devices like plane parts, confidential electrical devices, and more.
With all these achievements Schwinn gained huge popularity worldwide and remained as one of the most dominant manufacturers of bicycles for most part of the 20th century.
But after the arrival of foreign bicycle brands and their use of advanced technologies and innovative designs, the sales volume of Schwinn bicycles dropped significantly, resulting in bankruptcy in 1992.
Schwinn was later bought by Zinn-Chilmark but was declared bankrupt again in 2001 when Pacific Cycles (currently owned by Pon Holdings) bought them at a bankruptcy auction.
As said before, Scwinn may not be a top brand like before but they still have a global reputation. The good news is they’re now trying to make a comeback with quality and durable products.
Huffy was founded by George P. Huffman in Ohio in 1892. Initially, Huffy manufactured entry-level bicycles that were branded as “Dayton.” It was then rebranded to “Huffman Bicycles” in 1924 and finally as “Huffy” in 1953.
Huffy aerodynamics eased the path for the U.S Olympic squad to win 5 (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze) medals in 1984 and 1988 Olympics. Riding a Huffy bike, Mark Allen won the 3rd straight Ironman Triathlon in 1991. But they faced a financial crisis with the emergence of cheap Asian bikes and in 2004 they had to sell the “Huffy Sports” section.
Just like Schwinn, Huffy products are now found in department stores that suit the needs of those on a budget.
Schwinn vs Huffy: Key Differentiating Factors
Schwinn manufactures every kind of bike and bike accessories out there. They have a wide variety of road, mountain, cruiser, electric, and hybrid bikes. For kids, they have scooters, tricycles, balance bikes, sidewalk bikes, and mountain bikes available in different sizes.
They also offer exercise bikes (e.g. upright, recumbent,airdynes, ellipticals, rowers), treadmills and accessories like helmets, trailers, lights, locks, storage, water bottle holders, tubes, and seats.
For adults, they have mountain, cruiser, road, BMX, electric bikes, and trikes to offer. For kids, there are character bikes, EZ Build/Quick Connect bikes, scooters (3 Wheel Scooters, Electric Scooters, Kick Scooters) and ride-on toys.
They also manufacture bike gears, components, and accessories.
Schwinn bikes are quite affordable but they are priced a bit higher than the Huffy bikes since they use relatively better materials in their products.
Huffy is mainly known for their easy affordability. Their products are priced lower than most of their competitors. This means for the budget-conscious buyers, Huffy is one of the names that come into their mind first.
Schwinn products are warranted for manufacturing faults. The warranty does not cover damage resulting from accidents, neglect, misuse, abuse, repair, maintenance, theft, rust or riding with two or more people.
Here’s a quick look at their limited time warranty:
|Bike Parts||Type||Warranty length|
|E-bike’s battery, motor and head module||2 years|
|Normal wear parts||30 days|
|Exercise bike||Mechanical||2 year|
Huffy offers a limited time warranty that does not cover normal wear and tear, or any failure, loss or damage caused by improper assembly or maintenance.
|ELECTRIC RIDE-ON Battery||90 days|
|Inline scooters||All components excluding electronics and wheels||6 months|
|Trike Wheels||90 days|
|All other components||6 month|
From the early days Schwinn manufactured their bikes in Chicago, America till 1982. Now their products are manufactured in China and Taiwan but they’re headquartered in Vancouver, Washington.
Huffy now has production lines in Taiwan, China, and Mexico. Although they used to manufacture their bikes in Dayton, Ohio, their distributor Walmart wanted their products at a lower price point in order to compete with the high demand of low-cost bicycles in the US market.
That’s why they had to move their manufacturing plants to Asian and South American countries. But their headquarters is still situated in Dayton.
Schwinn mainly uses aluminum alloy for their frames but steel, carbon and titanium are also found in many frames.
Schwinn bikes have quality parts that help them stand out from the crowd. The frame, wheels, forks, suspension and tires all work well.
Huffy also uses aluminum alloy for frames but you better don’t expect the best components. While the quality of finishes are up to a certain standard, that standard is determined by the price.
Different types of braking systems are used in a wide variety of Schwinn bikes. Rim brakes are usually seen in most of their traditional bikes, but they are not much efficient for off-road rides.
There are also disc brakes that offer enough stopping power in every weather or road condition. Coaster brakes are mainly featured in cruisers and children’s bikes.
Good braking systems are always needed to reduce the chances of accidents. Huffy focuses on safety and uses a highly responsive linear pull brake or disc brake system to help the riders have better control over their bikes and prevent injury risks.
Huffy vs Schwinn: What to Rely On?
When considering factors like quality, reliability, durability, and price range, there’s not much difference in their products. So, we believe you’ll be fine with either one of them.
By the word “fine,” we mean you’ll get exactly what you might expect (or more sometimes) from a mid-or low-level bike. If you want a better option, you can look for a used bike from more reputed brands like Trek and then tune it up at a local bike shop.
An $100 old MTB and a $50 tuneup will give you more peace of mind than a brand-new department store bike for sure. Still, for occasional use or just to get from point A to point B, you’ll be happy with both of their range of bikes.