- The GTX Elite is a good-value hybrid bike for many uses.
- This bike has great components including disc brakes, Shimano shifting, and front suspension
- The lightweight aluminum frame is well-built and puts you in a comfortable upright position.
- If you need an all-around ride for bike paths, around town, and light trails, this is the perfect bike.
If you’re looking for a new hybrid bike, there are hundreds to choose from. This review will help you decide if the Schwinn GTX Elite is the bike for you.
The Schwinn GTX Elite is a comfortable hybrid bike that’s great for cruising around town or getting out on your local bike path. Costing under $400, this bike has great value with features like disc brakes, a suspension fork, 700c tires, and Shimano trigger shifting.
I bike thousands of miles every year on pavement and trails, and I love trying out new rides. For this review I dug into all the details you need to know about the Schwinn GTX Elite.
What is a Hybrid Bike?
The marketing description for the Schwinn GTX Elite includes terms like adult comfort hybrid bike, and dual sport cycle. The category of hybrid bikes, or dual sport bikes, is sometimes misunderstood, so here are the key features to understand what this bike is meant for.
- Hybrid bikes fall in between road and mountain bikes and incorporate features of both.
- A hybrid bike will have flat handlebars like a mountain bike.
- Hybrid bike tires are thicker and gripper than road tires, but smaller than mountain bike tires.
- Hybrid bike designs may or may not include a front suspension fork to smooth out vibrations.
- Hybrid bikes are designed for casual riding, commuting, and fitness rather than top performance.
- When compared to a mountain or road bike, a hybrid bike will be less expensive.
Schwinn GTX Elite Performance
Comfort is the key word when talking about the Schwinn GTX Elite. It puts you in a nice upright position with a well-seat and comfy grips, while the front suspension fork smooths out any bumps in your path for a much more comfortable ride.
Whether you are sticking to pavement or venturing out on gravel paths, this hybrid bicycle feels right at home.
Schwinn GTX Performance on Pavement
For cruising along your local bike path or commuting to work, the Schwinn GTX feels comfortable and stable. The upright position is fantastic for being able to see around you to navigate traffic or just take in the scenery.
The 24-speed gearing gives you plenty of range for pedaling up hills without straining your legs, and the mechanical disc brakes keep you in control on fast descents.
Schwinn GTX Performance on Trails
With a Schwinn suspension fork, mechanical disc brakes, and grippy tires, you are not limited to pavement with this hybrid bike. You can venture farther and explore more on this bike than any more road-specific bike model.
It’s definitely not an aggressive mountain bike, so don’t expect to be tackling aggressive trails. For gravel paths and smooth dirt trails, though, this bike has enough grip and comfort to be a fun ride.
Schwinn GTX Elite Frame
The GTX Elite is built around a sturdy and lightweight aluminum frame. This frame is durable and will last a very long time. The light weight makes the bike feel nimble and easy to control on your ride.
This frame has plenty of mounting points for water bottle cages and even a rear rack to carry your gear or bag for commuting.
Specs and Components
For such a low price Schwinn bikes has equipped the GTX Elite with surprisingly high performance gear and components. From the reliable Shimano drivetrain, to the mechanical disc brakes, to the grippy multi-use tires, here are the key features of the Shimano GTX build.
The GTX Elite comes with a Shimano 3x8 drivetrain that gives you great gear range both for riding fast and going up steep hills. Shimano is the biggest name in bicycle components, so you can be sure this drivetrain will be reliable and offer crisp performance for your ride.
The low-range gears offered by the 24-speed drivetrain will be very welcome if you live in a hilly area or have ny big climbs on your ride.
While many hybrid bike designs are fully rigid with no suspension at all. The Schwinn GTX comes with a coil-sprung suspension fork, which is an awesome upgrade.
Suspension forks go a long way toward making your ride more comfortable and fun by absorbing shock from bumps in the road. It can reduce fatigue in your wrists, back, and neck and make longer rides much more enjoyable.
The addition of a suspension fork gives you more ability to venture out on dirt trails that you couldn’t imagine doing on a road bike.
The mechanical disc brakes that come with this bike will offer much better modulation and braking power than old-school rim brakes. If you’ve never had disc brakes, the difference will be very noticeable, especially in wet weather.
These brakes aren’t anything fancy, but they do the job. It’s awesome that Schwinn was able to fit this bike with disc brakes while keeping the low price.
The GTX Elite comes with Schwinn-branded 700c aluminum wheels. 700c wheels are the same size as 29-inch mountain bike wheels, so if you want to fit more grippy tires you can.
The larger wheels help this bike roll smooth and fast, and keep a lot more momentum than 26-inch wheels that are common on hybrid bikes.
The mixed-tread tires that come on the GTX Elite roll smooth and fast on pavement while offering extra grip on dirt and gravel.
These tires are thicker than most road tires, which will make them much better at smoothing out small bumps and gripping to the path. Wider tires actually also have less rolling resistance than skinny tires, and by reducing vibration they make you more efficient on the road.
- The Schwinn sport saddle on this bike is well-padded and very comfortable, even on long rides.
- The lightweight yet durable handlebar is a great width for giving you control without being too wide.
- The adjustable seatpost and range of sizes make it easy to get the perfect fit.
Competition for the Schwinn GTX Elite
There are countless options to choose from when looking for a bicycle. The GTX Elite does a good job of offering features and value that help it stand out from other bikes in this price point.
Here are some of the alternatives to the Schwinn GTX Elite and how they compare. This bike competes with hybrid bikes as well as some budget mountain bikes, so both are included in this list.
Schwinn GTX Elite vs Schwinn Discover
One of the main competitors for the GTX Elite is another design from Schwinn Bikes. The Schwinn Discover has many similar features, but there are some key differences.
The Schwinn Discover comes with fenders, rear rack, shock-absorbing seatpost, and an adjustable handlebar stem built in. These features make the Discover better as a commuter bike than the GTX Elite.
However, the Discover does not have disc brakes, has less tire clearance, and is heavier than the GTX Elite.
Overall, if you want a commuter, the Discover is the better choice, while the GTX Elite is better for recreational and fitness riding, especially if you want to go on dirt trails.
Schwinn GTX Elite vs Vilano Diverse 3.0
The Vilano Diverse 3.0 is another hybrid bike that comes in a bit cheaper than the Schwinn GTX. It also comes with a 24-speed drivetrain, aluminum frame, and mechanical disc brakes.
What the Diverse doesn’t have is a suspension fork.
Schwinn GTX Elite vs Mongoose Colton
If you want to get out more on trails, the Mongoose Colton is a real mountain bike with beefier tires and a more aggressive design. On the Colton you’ll have the ability to tackle tougher singletrack and mountain bike trails.
The Colton does cost about $100 more than the GTX Elite, so if you don’t need mountain bike capability, the GTX hybrid bike will probably be a better choice for you.
Schwinn GTX Elite vs Hiland Aluminum Mountain Bike
The Hiland aluminum mountain bike offers some great value for a budget hardtail mountain bike. It has a lockout suspension fork, 27-speed drivetrain, and hydraulic disc brakes. Hydraulic brakes are a big upgrade over mechanical, so this bike has much better stopping power.
This will be a better option than the Schwinn GTX for riding on real mountain bike trails, but will be slower, heavier, and more sluggish on pavement. If you will be mainly on paved bike paths or in town, the GTX will be a much better ride.
Where to Buy the Schwinn GTX Elite
The best place to buy the Schwinn GTX Elite is on Amazon. Here you have a range of sizes, colors, and build specs to choose from so you can get exactly the bike you want.
About THE AUTHOR
I love mountain biking and live in Salt Lake City: a central hub for the MTB community. I started biking four years ago when a series of injuries put me out of commission for trail running. While biking started as cross-training, I fell in love with the sport. I mainly enjoy using my bike as a tool for exploration, I've done 50-mile all-day epic rides in the mountains and have been to some amazing places on my bike.Read More About Jakob Thygerson