1999 Schwinn Homegrown Nov05

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1999 Schwinn Homegrown

Jesus, it’s November 5th and I’m finally getting over my election day hangover. It’s all a blur of whisky and anger, but I assume things went horribly, horribly wrong because Nancy Pilosi just handed over her gavel to to guy with a fake tan that could best be described as “Moltini”, and now she’s selling her no-longer-in-Powertap on the OBRA list. Californians can’t grow pot. Oregonians can’t spend their social security checks at the casino. Our prudish overlords have even decided that Washingtonians can’t buy booze at Costco. Goddammit, people! Kirkland brand Scotch is my birthright, and I’m tired of going to Nevada to get it!

At least the people of Delaware can go back to masturbating, I suppose

All of this backwards progress has made me nostalgic for mountain biking, which some of you may not realize was once quite popular among the youth of the 90′s, with their rock and roll music and their cargo shorts and their Beverly Hills 9021 ohs.

Nothing says quality like a Schwinn headbadge, which actually says “Schwinn Quality”. It’s spelled right out for you. Nothing says “cutting edge space age technology” like Schwinn, either. Except maybe Betamax. Or Craftmatic Adjustable Bed. Or the Jitterbug mobile phone. Schwinn had been making awesome shit since the late 1600′s, and then changed their focus to pretending to manufacture substandard shit in the 70′s. After selling their name name and cornering the can-collecting market,  Schwinn decided to slap their logo on a couple of domestically produced bikes in the late 90′s before their final death rattle in ought-two.

This is one of those bikes. I know for a fact that my 1999 Schwinn Homegrown is just as good today as it was the day I bought it. Because I haven’t changed anything, not even the chain, since before Justin Beiber was born.

Visual appeal: The bike is painted in primary colors, It’s possible that this was one of the rare TLC-branded “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” editions, utilizing all of the colors of the rainbow. Just looking at it makes me want to pour some of my New York Seltzer out in memory of Left Eye.

Suspension: The fork is a RockShox Judy, and it’s definitely the best fork available in the stock color of candy apple red. I haven’t looked at it or read the manual, but the suspension seems to be a combination of elastomers and crumpled up newspaper. While it only has a quarter inch of travel, it rocks a solid FOUR INCHES of preload. Let’s see one of those fancy Fox air things match that.

Shifters: The shifters on the bike use Shimano’s long abandoned “shiftease” technology, which will flirt with a gear, have a bunch of drinks with the gear, go home with the gear, and then pass out face first on the couch before ever actually shifting.

Pedals: Blown out Shimano 747 pedals complete the package, offering zero engagement and a full 360 degrees of float.

Branding: A tomato. Like a “homegrown” tomato, I think, because they couldn’t be bothered to create a pot reference. Not even a subtle one. This is why Prop 19 failed.