Schwinn Collegiate

$1,000 Schwinn: ‘Collegiate’ Returns for 125th Anniversary

The mainstay of your parents’ garage and so many freshman dorms is back in a big way. Schwinn will relaunch the Collegiate commuter bike for a very limited run.

When the $998 Schwinn Collegiate hits Walmart shelves this month, you might not recognize it. Not because the brand gave it a fresh update or fancy new components — we’re just not used to seeing them without rust, cobwebs, or propped up next to a lawnmower in the shed.

After all, Schwinn first launched the Collegiate Deluxe, which inspired the latest design, in 1965. And damned if a lot of them don’t dot the country as hand-me-downs (and hand-me-downs of hand-me-downs). But the real impetus for resurrecting the Collegiate is to celebrate the Schwinn brand’s 125th birthday.

Schwinn Collegiate

This new iteration pays homage to the original with full 4130 Chromoly steel construction, the curious but iconic seatstay-to-top-tube junction, steel fenders, and the sparkly Campus Green paint job usually reserved for sour apple hard candy.

And while you’d be forgiven for scoffing at the near-$1,000 price tag — after all, it’s a modern replica of a $75 Schwinn from the ’60s — it’s worth noting each one of the Collegiate frames was designed in Wisconsin and hand-welded in the U.S. by Detroit Bikes.

“As an American bicycle company, we know how much hard work is required to build and maintain a brand. Developing a bike to honor the 125 years of those that have touched the Schwinn brand was an absolute honor,” Detroit Bikes owner Zak Pashak said.

Schwinn Collegiate

Schwinn Collegiate 2020

The only place to get one of these new-old bikes is Walmart. And if you’re in the market, act fast — Schwinn only produced 500 of these throwbacks.

Schwinn Collegiate

The Collegiate comes in two frame styles: a step-through for those who like to bike in a skirt or look really European; and a standard diamond frame. Step-through bikes come in 17- and 19-inch sizes, while diamond frames offer 18- and 20-inch options.

For colors, you can choose from green or nothing else. And unlike its grandfather, the 2020 Collegiate comes with an eight-speed drivetrain and Shimano Altus groupset.

And if the Collegiate is a little too fancy for your taste, consider hopping on the ol’ Grape Krate Sting-Ray.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the Editor In Chief of GearJunkie.

Adam has been covering daily news and writing about cycling, camping, hiking, and gear of all kinds for 15+ years. Prior to that, Adam lived in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, at which time he realized he’d never have a “normal job.” His pastimes — farming, bike racing, and fitness — provided a gateway to all manner of physical challenges and recreation outdoors.

Based in Kansas City, MO, Adam tests as much gear as he can get his hands, feet (and dog) into each and every day. As editor in chief, he works to maintain GearJunkie’s voice, style, and commitment to accurate and expert reporting across every category.