- The Schwinn High Timber is a classic design with multiple trim lines for any rider.
- It’s a budget bike with budget components - reliable and safe, but not the flashiest.
- The drivetrain and handling get the job done, and the tires can handle any track.
- Heavier models will be slower, but you can still have a blast with the High Timber.
- You may want to think about how you’ll upgrade this bike if you do choose it.
This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
If you’re searching for a classic bike with a proven design, that offers a reliable ride on a budget, look no further than this option.
The Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike is a throwback to Schwinn’s heyday, with plenty of nostalgia brought to an affordable bike for the present day. You may be disappointed by some aspects of quality, but safety hasn’t been compromised on this solid offering.
We’ve reviewed this bike thoroughly to bring the best information for your consideration as you look into the right entry-level mountain bike for you.
Where to Buy the Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike
The Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike has a wide price range, depending on the retailer and the various trim options. On Amazon, the range is from $279 to $699, which includes a variety of colors, wheel sizes, and frame options.
A Brief History of Schwinn Bicycles
Schwinn has long since established itself as a hallmark of American bicycling. It’s been around since the turn of the 20th century, quickly competing with European makers in both quality and price. The name Schwinn became synonymous with affordability and ubiquitousness - Schwinn flooded the market in the 1950s and 1960s thanks to strong agreements with big-box retailers.
Some financial troubles led to bankruptcy, but Schwinn never stopped pedaling, maintaining a presence in the performance and children’s market. It currently offers a wide range of bikes for riders of all ages and experience levels.
Schwinn High Timber Review
Schwinn High Timber Specs and Geometry
The frame design for the Schwinn High Timber comes from a classic design from the 1980s and 1990s. Veteran riders will recognize the lines instantly, offering a nostalgic appeal for those who still love a classic, no-frills approach to bike design.
Like many other affordable bikes, this one comes with some assembly required. However, the assembly process is quite easy with the High Timber. Even novices should have no trouble putting this bike together, as well as the ongoing maintenance needed to keep it in good running condition.
The High Timber boasts a wide range of frame and tire sizes, as well as a plethora of paint colors. This line of bikes is great for kids, teenagers, and adults, and includes variants tailored to male and female riders across the board. This may turn away some riders who want a simple, turnkey selection process, but a little research and planning can get you the perfect bike for your needs.
The main versions of this bike have a steel frame, which is usually a bit heavier. However, the High Timber also comes in versions with an aluminum alloy. They will understandably cost a bit more, but it all depends on your comfort level and what you’re looking for.
As a consequence, the steel models are a good bit heavier, clocking in at around 40 pounds. This is quite a bit heavier than the aluminum models, even weighing heavier than some of the more expensive, specialized bikes. This may seem counterintuitive for a cheaper bike, but the build quality certainly doesn’t suffer from utilizing a tough steel frame.
The frame is also purpose-built for mountain riding, delivering a ride that can absorb tough trails with ease and keep on rolling. It’s easy to take something like this for granted, but the basic geometry of a mountain bike can be drastically different than a road-going bike or one built expressly for speed; think about these foundational considerations when you’re choosing the right bike for your needs.
The suspension fork also has plenty of travel to let you tackle bumps and obstacles comfortably.
Schwinn High Timber Build Quality
As with any budget bike, the Schwinn High Timber suffers from some declines in quality. This doesn’t mean that the bike is unsafe by any means, but if you’re looking for a premium option that has all the bells and whistles, you may want to look elsewhere.
It does boast an impressive 21-speed shifter, which gives plenty of control and power in the drivetrain. Avid climbers and hardier riders will appreciate this level of complexity, while newer riders will learn a whole new dimension of adventure with this kind of precision.
That being said, shifting may be complicated for those who don’t quite know their way around something this advanced. As long as you have the ability to learn (and maybe a more seasoned rider to show you the ropes), don’t let this scare you off completely.
The High Timber has linear pull brakes, which do provide reliable stopping power. But again, this is where a decline in quality really starts to show itself. More expensive bikes will feature hydraulic or disc brakes, which are the current gold standard for stopping power. Just keep in mind if this will be a deal-breaker for you before you make a purchase decision.
The mountain tires are where the bike returns to a standout position amongst the competition. The tires are built for all-terrain use, and are knobby enough to be able to handle most types of terrain.
The seat adjustment mechanism is easy to operate on the go. As growing riders need to make those minor tweaks over time, this is one way the High Timber is able to grow with you over time.
That being said, the seat is not always the most comfortable. Some users complained of poor ride quality related to the seat.
One fun extra the High Timber offers is the ability to choose your desired paint scheme. For those who want to make a visual statement in addition to relying on performance and speed, this can be an appealing mark in the “win” column.
Schwinn High Timber Handling, Ride Quality, and Performance
The ride quality on the Schwinn High Timber is smooth enough over most surfaces. You can cover a lot of ground with ease, transitioning from the road to the trail without noticing too much of a decline in stability or ride quality.
The suspension does a good job of absorbing any rattle that comes from the road or the trail. For a budget bike, this is a surprising win to have the kind of suspension offered by the High Timber.
The handling does its job, although more experienced riders may find it somewhat lacking compared to what they may be used to.
The steering also puts the rider in a somewhat awkward position. While it may not be the most comfortable for longer treks, it shouldn’t deter too many riders who want a simple budget cruiser to hit the trail every now and again.
Because it’s such a heavy bike (as a reminder, it clocks in close to 40 pounds), the High Timber is a bit slower as a result. Steel models will naturally be slower than aluminum models, but the precision shifting components allow you to make the most of the speed you do have. And this bike does provide a fun challenge to get as much speed as possible out of what is unquestionably a sturdy bike overall.
One final note of advice we’ll offer: it’s very easy to swap out the factory-standard elements for those that are more to your liking. If you’d like to swap pieces out for upgraded versions - from a core component like the frame to something as simple as the seat - you can do so with a little elbow grease and know-how, and make this bike even more tailored to your individual needs and tastes.
Schwinn High Timber Pros and Cons
Schwinn High Timber Pros
The Schwinn High Timber leans into nostalgia with its classic design, hearkening back to a frame that was dominant for several decades. It is also one of the most versatile bike lines out there, with variants for children, teens, and adults - this allows you to choose the frame height, tire size, and other options based on your unique needs.
The High Timber also comes in at a highly affordable price point. Anything under $500 is accessible for the vast majority of riders, and as long as you don’t mind an entry-level model, this is an ideal choice.
You can choose between steel and aluminum alloys for the frame construction. There are pros and cons to each, and while steel is the default, this is a great option to offer right out of the gate.
The 21-speed shifter and linear pull brakes are reliable mainstays of bike design, and the handling is competent enough.
Finally, you can easily swap out the standard components that aren’t quite to your liking.
- Nostalgic design
- Variations for every age and experience level
- Affordable price point
- Options for steel and aluminum
- Reliable shifter and brakes
- Competent handling
- Able to customize and upgrade as desired
Schwinn High Timber Cons
The High Timber is a bit bulkier and heavier than most other bikes, especially the steel versions. As a result, it can also be tough to get this bike up to optimum cruising speeds.
The seat may be easy to adjust, but some riders did complain about it being uncomfortable.
- Heavier bike than most
- Seat is easy to adjust, but uncomfortable
- Slower bike than the competition