Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Review



Pros

Dual-Suspension, nice design, breaks

Cons

Hard seat, we wish it had more color options

Summary

Designed for men, the Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is a quality mountain bike, a great and affordable way to enter mountain biking.

Our Rating

87/100

Manufacturer

The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is a dual-suspension mountain bike. Designed for men, it is a quality mountain bike offers riders both control and power. It is a great bike for those in search of an affordable bike that will introduce them to the sport of mountain biking.  

Tech Specs

FRAME SIZE: 68 (L) x 23 (W) x 41 (H)
BRAKE TYPE: Pro Max Front Mechanical Disc Brakes
SHIFTER: Shimano Altus 24-Speed Shifters
RIMS: Double-Walled Alloy
TIRES: 26” Wheels

When choosing a mountain bike, riders should consider three main criteria

  • Cost
  • Weight
  • Shock Absorption

The Protocol 1.0 accounts for all three criteria. Although it is intended to be used as a mountain bike, the Protocol 1.0 can also be used for street riding, free riding, trail riding, and downhill riding. For review purposes, the bike will be strictly considered as a mountain bike.

Frame Size

The Protocol 1.0 is constructed with a dual-suspension New Down Hill aluminum frame, in addition to a steel rear frame. The bike’s dimensions, in inches, measure 68 (L) x 23 (W) x 41 (H). The dual-suspension frame is a great feature for a mountain bike and contributes to a smooth ride.

The SR Suntour front suspension fork absorbs shocks during travel on mountainous terrain. There is also a suspension system located under the seat.

An aluminum frame provides for lightweight yet sturdy construction. Many mountain bikes are made of steel, anticipating heavy damage. But a lightweight aluminum frame is much more manageable for rides. Overall, the bike weighs 43 pounds, which is lighter than other mountain bikes.

Brake Type

This bike features Pro Max Front Mechanical Disc Brakes, combined with linear pull rear brakes. When paired together, the brake system grants riders efficient control and pinpoint stopping capabilities. This can be very beneficial when mountain biking, helping riders avoid potholes, rocks, trees, and other obstructions. The braking system is efficient whether stopping on rough or smooth surfaces.

Shifter

Shimano Altus 24-speed shifters are a great feature seen in the Protocol 1.0. Such speed variations make it easy for riders to shift when traveling uphill to downhill. The bike also features Shimano EF-50 trigger shifters. They allow for smooth shifting with the mere touch of a finger. This tends to be ideal when riders are required to quickly change from one gear to the other, typically because of sudden hills or obstructions.

Many users have found that the Shimano EF-50 shifters offer a very reliable performance. Users have also indicated there is a high level of fluidity between the front and rear derailleurs.

Rims

The rims of the Protocol 1.0 feature double-walled alloy, providing the best of both worlds for riders. The alloy is lightweight and does not feel cumbersome when pedaling. But, the fact that it is double-walled makes it extremely durable, able to withstand years of travel on rocky terrain.

Tires

The bike features 26” wheels, a great size for mountain biking. Having such large tires allows for optimal grip when riding. Reports from previous users indicate that these tires maintain their grip when wet. These tires are considered high profile, something that is unique to the Protocol 1.0. While some have not been able to adjust to the tires, most have found that the tire’s profile is not an issue.

Price Range

It appears that Schwinn no longer carries the Protocol 1.0 on their website, which means it is only available from third-party sellers. A few of these sellers appeared to be out of stock of the Protocol 1.0. Generally, third-party sellers seemed to offer the bike for around $300 

What We Like

Riders can trust this bike when embarking on their first mountain biking endeavor. Its durability is impressive, especially for the cost.

Pros

  • Dual-suspension aluminum allows for a smooth, controllable ride no matter the terrain
  • Available in red, the bike features a crisp design
  • The brakes work well in unison together, keeping riders safe when they need to stop instantly

What We Don’t Like

There isn’t much not to like about the Schwinn Protocol 1.0. Customers pay very little without sacrificing much in terms of functionality and performance. Unfortunately, the bike does not come fully constructed. It’s delivered about 7/8 constructed. Since third-party sellers are the only ones selling the bike, riders may not have access to customer service if they struggle with construction.

It remains unclear if Schwinn continues to offer support for the Protocol 1.0 model.

Cons

  • The seat is hard, which is less than ideal when traveling down rough, bumpy terrains
  • Shimano finger shifters are not great on technical trails
  • While we like the red, the lack of color options could be a problem for others

Buying Advice

The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is ideal for those entering the world of biking. Schwinn is a trusted brand, and this bike is very durable. After years of mountain biking, riders may find they want to upgrade to a bike with better specs. But for the time being, the Protocol is great for those who have never mountain biked before. The cost is very affordable compared to other mountain bikes, and riders won't be making sacrifices in terms of quality.  

The bike also features a manufacturer’s warranty that is a huge perk for those buying the bike as an introduction to mountain biking. The bike’s frame comes with a lifetime warranty. The proprietary components of the bike, including everything except the tire, cables, and tubes, is covered for one year.

The warranties are only for manufacturer defect and do not cover for wear and tear, but it provides first-time buyers a safety net in case of malfunction.

Conclusion

The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is unmatched in the amount of quality it offers for such a little price. A couple hundred dollars is a great price for an introductory mountain bike, especially one that will provide riders a great experience. When treated properly, the bike is durable enough to provide riders with years’ worth of thrills. If you’re a male looking to try mountain biking for the first time, the Protocol 1.0 would be a great bike model to do so with.

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