Schwinn Transit Searcher Hybrid Bike - Green

schwinn transit searcher hybrid bike - green - front angle view
Don't shoot photos at dusk

I don't remember where or when I got this green Schwinn Transit Searcher hybrid bike. But I do know where and when I photographed it: in front of my crappy brown fence, late in the afternoon when the light was fading. That's just about the worst place and time for me to shoot pictures of anything, so I ended up with four dull, grainy shots.

I really gotta learn how to take better photos.


(Be sure to check compatibility before ordering parts for your bike.)

But I'll work with what I have.The Schwinn Transit Searcher is a basic hybrid bike in a nice forest green color, with bold 1990s Schwinn graphics and a classic Schwinn Quality head tube badge.

The Transit features a rigid chromoly frame, alloy 700C wheels, and a Shimano SIS 18-speed drivetrain. It has thumb shifters and cantilever brakes, which are simple and reliable. The hybrid tires offer a compromise between speed, comfort and puncture resistance. Hybrid bikes like the Transit Searcher are lightweight, nimble and easy to ride.

Of course, it could be argued by the overweight weekend cyclists of Anytown, U.S.A. that a hybrid bike needs an aluminum frame, suspension fork and seatpost, gigantic padded seat, 24 gears, trigger shifters and a late-model SUV with cupholders so you can stop at McDonald's on the way to the rail trail parking lot. This Schwinn obviously isn't for that demographic.

schwinn transit searcher hybrid bike - green - side view
Un-choppered fork

Aluminum or steel, suspension or rigid, it's important that your bike's fork is straight. Which the Transit's fork isn't. It's pretty easy to see in the photos that this hybrid needs a new fork.

You should always check carefully for a bent fork when you're buying a used bicycle, because sellers may not know their fork is bent, and if they do know, they'll lie about it. In this case it's obvious that the fork is bent backwards. But if the bend is more subtle, look for clues. Notice that the front and rear tire are mismatched? I'd like to think someone rode this Schwinn into a wall, because that would be hilarious, but more likely they rode it straight into a curb, popping the front tire and bending the fork. And I'd bet a nickel that the front rim has a dent in it somewhere.

Both tires are flat anyway, so this bike will need new tires. The former owner was smart enough to install a rear cargo rack for carrying six-packs home from the package store. (Or books, from college.) S/he wasn't smart enough to buy a decent bike lock; that flimsy little combination lock might have made a good weapon if you got into a rumble with a gang of greasers in the 1950s, but it's not going to keep your bike from getting stolen.

I'm not sure what happened to the seat, but all that's left is a plastic shell with no padding. That's okay; hybrid bike saddles are cheap and easy to install.

So you can buy a brand-new aluminum hybrid with all the modern features you'd ever want, and nobody would blame you. Or you can pick up a Schwinn Transit Searcher hybrid on Craigslist for thirty or forty bucks, toss a few parts at it, and have a quick, simple reliable runabout on the cheap.

The choice is easy. Scroll down for more blurry photos.


(Be sure to check compatibility before ordering parts for your bike.)
schwinn transit searcher hybrid bike - green - frame detail
1990s Schwinn graphics
schwinn transit searcher hybrid bike - green - seat tube and lock
I had the same lock when I was seven
schwinn transit searcher hybrid bike - green - top tube and head tube graphics
I get it - it's a compass
schwinn transit searcher hybrid bike - green - front end
Everything you need
schwinn transit searcher hybrid bike - green - head tube badge
Schwinn quality, made in China
schwinn transit searcher hybrid bike - green - cranks
Sakae Ringyo (SR) crank
schwinn transit searcher hybrid bike - green - rear derailleur
Shimano SIS rear derailleur