- The Schwinn Traxion mountain bike isn’t a bad choice if you really want full suspension for $700.
- At this price point, you’ll likely be better off buying an entry-level hardtail for real trail riding.
- At 49 lbs, the Schwinn Traxion is too heavy to be practical for most uses.
- I would be worried about safety during aggressive trail riding on a bike this cheaply made.
- In this bike, full dual suspension doesn’t necessarily mean hard-core trail capability.
This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
Finding a full suspension mountain bike on a budget can be difficult. This review dives into the performance of the Schwinn Traxion to see it it’s worth buying.
The $700 Schwinn Traxion is a passable full suspension mountain bike, but you’d get much better performance from a budget hardtail. This bike is too heavy to be practical, and the benefits of full suspension are defeated by the weight and a design that isn’t really meant for rough trails.
I ride thousands of miles on my mountain bike every year on a variety of trails and bikes, from lightweight hardtail race machines to full suspension trail tamers. I have a lot of experience with what goes into a good mountain bike, from geometry to components to that indefinable fun factor. For this review I dug into the details on the Schwinn Traxion mountain bike so you can decide if it’s the bike for you.
Schwinn Traxion Performance
Full suspension bikes enable you to ride rugged mountain trails that would be difficult and uncomfortable on a hardtail. However, lot of people overemphasize the importance of full suspension. On a budget you’ll be better served by a high quality hardtail rather than a cheap full suspension.
With dual suspension, 29 inch wheels, and reliable mechanical disc brakes, the Schwinn Traxion has a lot of features you would normally only see in a mountain bike two to three times the price. In my opinion, though, this bike doesn’t deliver on it’s promise of a trail-worthy budget bike.
It’s worth noting that, to make such a low-cost full suspension mountain bike, Schwinn had to make a lot of compromises on the quality and components. If you buy this bike, you shouldn’t expect a high-performance ride capable of attacking aggressive trails.
Schwinn is known for making inexpensive bikes that pack in a lot of functionality. While their approach works well for less demanding riding styles like commuting and fitness riding on bike paths, it doesn’t make as much sense for something like aggressive trail riding.
The Schwinn Traxion is capable enough for rough dirt roads, but I would avoid taking it on serious singletrack. Because of the cheap construction, I am seriously worried about reliability and safety on tough trails.
As a full suspension mountain bike, you’d expect the Schwinn Traxion to perform pretty well descending gnarly trails. The truth is that the bike is too heavy to be maneuverable on downhills, and the old-school geometry will leave you in an unstable riding position.
The best word to describe the ride quality of the Schwinn Traxion mountain bike is cumbersome. On most terrain it feels like the bike is getting in it’s own way rather than letting you rip through gnarly trails.
The Schwinn Traxion is heavy, 49 pounds in fact. There’s no way around that fact. This bike definitely makes climbing a slog, and requires a lot of effort to drag it’s weight uphill.
As a full suspension mountain bike, the Schwinn Traxion is inherently less efficient than a hardtail. Other manufacturers put a lot of engineering effort into making their suspension system as efficient as possible, but Schwinn’s approach is to get build cheaply as possible, so they didn’t have the same level of design here.
While it has some decent low-end gears, on steep hills you will notice the weight and suspension sucking up energy rather than propelling you upward.
Anyone looking at a budget bike like this is likely wanting to only buy one bike for multiple purposes. While the Schwinn Traxion mountain bike is perfectly functional for road riding and getting around town, it’s weight is definitely going to drag you down.
A full suspension system is really unnecessary on smooth roads, so if you’re going to primarily be commuting on your bike, I’d definitely look for a different option.
Schwinn Traxion Frame and Geometry
The Schwinn aluminum dual suspension frame on this bike is sturdy and durable, but not the most lightweight.
Specs and Components
At $700, the Schwinn Traxion is well priced for budget-oriented riders, but in my opinion it doesn’t offer much value for what you pay in terms of build kit. It uses a lot of Schwinn-manufactured components rather than more reliable well-known brands and cuts corners in some places.
Here is a quick breakdown of the components you’ll find on the Schwinn Traxion and outlines of the highlights and shortcomings.
The drivetrain on this bike is about what you’d expect at this pricepoint. You get Shimano EZ Fire Trigger Shifters running to front and rear derailleurs for a 3x7 gearing setup to offer you steady gearing shifts.
The Shimano rear derailleur is well built and sturdy so it will stand up to the abuse of riding rocky trails.
This drivetrain is pretty old-school, as most modern mountain bikes don’t have a front derailleur. Modern drivetrains are much simpler to use and have less pesky maintenance issues.
On he Schwinn Traxion mountain bike, full dual suspension starts with the powerful Schwinn Suspension fork. This fork is coil-sprung and does a descent job smoothing out the trail, but it’s much heavier and less responsive than more well-known forks.
The rear shock absorbers and coil spring check the boxes on paper, but the rear suspension system is bulky, overly heavy, and not designed for efficiency.
The Schwinn Traxion mountain bike comes with front and rear mechanical disc brakes. While reliable mechanical disc brakes are a big step up from rim brakes, at this price you can get a hardtail equipped with much more powerful and responsive hydraulic brakes.
One benefit of the Schwinn Traxion mountain bike is that is has 29 inch wheels. With full suspension, 29 inch wheels do a much better job of rolling over bumps in the path than smaller wheels.
The double-wall aluminum rims are durable and well built, but they’re also heavy.
The Schwinn Traxion mountain bike comes with knobby mountain tires designed for maximum grip in all conditions. The tires are heavy, but durable and will last a long time in normal riding.
Competition for the Schwinn Traxion
There is a huge range of mountain bikes in the same price range as the Schwinn Traxion, so how does it measure up to the competition?
While this bike gets you full dual suspension at an amazing price, I don’t think it really fulfills all the requirements of a bike for trail riding. It has some good features like reliable mechanical disc brakes, dual suspension, 29 inch wheels, a Shimano rear derailleur,
Schwinn Traxion vs Marin Bobcat 4
If you are looking for a capable entry-level mountain bike on a budget, the Marin Bobcat 4 is fantastic option, and I think it beats out the Schwinn Traxion in every way. At 30 lbs, it’s almost half the weight of the Traxion. Combined with hardtail efficiency, that difference is very noticeable when pedaling.
The Marin Bobcat 4 also comes with a simpler and more trail worthy 1x9 microshift drivetrain, better suspension fork, and much more trail-worthy geometry. This bike handles smoothly and gives you a lot of confidence on rough trails.
For only $100 more than the Schwinn Traxion, the Marin Bobcat 4 is a really capable hardtail that’s ready for shredding gnarly trails.
Schwinn Traxion vs Trek Marlin 4
The Trek Marlin 4 is another budget hardtail that comes in $50 less than the Schwinn Traxion. This mountain bike is less aggressive than the Marin Bobcat 4, but it will still feel much better on trails than the Traxion.
Rather than a heavy aluminum dual suspension frame, this lightweight aluminum hardtail is fast, maneuverable, and easy to throw around on the trail. It’s much more fun to ride a mountain bike that you can actually control.
Schwinn Traxion vs Rockhopper Sport 29
Here’s one more lightweight aluminum frame hardtail to consider: the Rockhopper Sport 29. There’s a reason why I am listing only hardtails as competitors. The Schwinn Traxion mountain bike full suspension system shows that unless a suspension system is designed well, it can do more harm than good.
The Microshift 2x9 drivetrain is a good upgrade over the Schwinn Traxion and offers much better gear range. Other advantages of the Rockhopper include a responsive Suntour suspension fork, hydraulic disc brakes, and more progressive geometry, so this bike handles smoothly on singletrack.
Who Should Buy the Schwinn Traxion?
In my opinion, there are so many other great options out there that there’s not much reason to buy the Schwinn Traxion. It is just too heavy, cumbersome, and inefficient to really be good for any application.
At this price point, I’d recommend trying to find a high-quality entry-level hardtail.