Schwinn Tailwind Review (in 2015)

The Schwinn Tailwind.  The name sounds powerful, fast, and sleek!  It sounds like the type of thing Snoopy might fly into combat against the Red Baron.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Comments from Blogger)

2016-01-10 by Unknown

Appriciate the detailed review. I have a tailwind and live in a flat area and really enjoy this bike. I have all kinds of bikes but this seems to be the bike I use most. I like the increased range that allows me to go downtown to events where parking can be a real problem. I,m not 80 but old enough that I can appreciate the upright position. You can actually purchase a separate cable that plugs into the lock which I learned from the link in your review (I’ve got to buy one now). The light is still good enough to get me back home on a bike trail. I would not be comfortable using lighting system on city streets. I have no issue with generator as my battery has ran out several times before I made it home. I get lots of greif from folks thinking this is like a moped. I ride longer on this bike and get plenty of exercise as I often turn the power off to maximize my distance. This is a $600 dollar bike that comes with a $2000 battery. To me the best bike is the one you use and I use this bike all the time. With regular non stop use I’m hoping I’ll keep the battery alive. I doubt I buy a $3000 electric bike but at close out prices I’m very satisfied. Just purchased a second eBay second Tailwind for wife with working battery. Just keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep batteries working.

2016-01-10 by Russell Graves

Good to hear! It sounds like your terrain and use case is what the bike is well suited to, far more so than my hills.

The battery should last nearly forever, as long as you keep it charged - don’t let it go flat if you’re not riding for 6 months. That’s the key on this pack. The chemistry is good for thousands of cycles and is basically indestructible, but the BMS will kill the pack if the voltage drops too low. Just charge it after every ride.

2016-05-14 by Anonymous

“For starters, they’re super swept back. They sweep back at a ~30 degree angle, which is very unusual for most bikes.”

The swept back bars are only unusual since the advent of mountain bikes and their associated nearly straight bars … but then I am a 65 year old man and can remember when most bikes had either swept back or drop bars. It is difficult to find that style in the after market these days. The closest option is the moustache shaped bars like the XLC HB-C02. I invariably wind up reversing the stem so I can get handles bars back far enough for an upright riding position (now where did I put my suspenders :slight_smile:

Good review. Thank you for posting it.

2016-05-22 by ollo

1st, thanks for the helpful review & clear detail on bypassing the BMS. I am a 75 y.o. cyclist, year around bike commuter living in a rural area near Salem, OR. Area is mostly flat but I live at the top of the only hill in town. I don’t ride as much since moving from Olympia, WA, but still hunt & fish so I’m reasonably fit. But could use pedal assist, so I bought 1 for $300. Just a few things to add: “If you have a key on an electric bike with an expensive, exotic battery pack, it might make sense to lock the pack into the bike somehow. Nope! The pack is always free to slide right out. It’s the easiest pack to remove I’ve ever seen.” Mine has a lock, just under the red handle. A pin comes up to lock the handle/pack in place, maybe it’s a newer model? I find the bike can handle my short, steep (6% grade) hill handily with assist. Much easier than riding up on a road bike with 42 front, 26 rear. Without assist, the bike is easier to pedal than a loaded touring bike and 1st gear is capable of slowly grinding bike + my 150# up the hill even with 75 y.o. legs. Also, the adjustable stem can be set a couple inches lower than you have yours. This gives a less upright riding position and prevents the uphill loose feeling you had. Our downtown is only 1 1/2 miles from home & shopping center same distance another direction, so the bike works well for errands as you say. It appeals to my “cheap” genes and after adding an old Brooks saddle, for $300, it is 1 hell of a bike, even without suspenders! Don

2016-05-22 by ollo

I meant to say “former year around bike commuter”. Haven’t done a bike commute since I retired 9 years ago. Don

2016-05-23 by Russell Graves

Fair enough! It sounds like your area is quite well suited to it.

I’ll look for the lock under the rear rack. I don’t recall seeing it, but I may have missed it.

2016-05-23 by ollo

My 1st chargetook 43 min. That was after getting individual cells up to 1.3v = 13v for the pack. I tried to run the battery out today with an 5.5 mi each way for 11 mile total ride set at level 2 (flat). I rode in gears 5-6 with continuous pedaling. Temp was 57F, SW wind. 45 angle at 9mph. Finished with 2 bars still lit and was able to use level 3 with no problems topping my hill. There was a small hill early in the ride that I zipped up in 4th gear. The 11 miles took just under 49 minutes, so avg speed of 13.5 mph. My other complaint is the bike has no bosses to attach a bottle cage. I solved this the Schwinn way. 2 more zip ties.

How is your battery performing after the hack? Any problems? Don

2016-05-24 by Russell Graves

My pack performs decently, as near as I can tell, but I simply don’t ride the bike much at all. I’ve got better bikes for my needs, and a low powered, FWD, 200W bike with 700C wheels just doesn’t work well for my riding.

2016-07-18 by Warren

Took the Tailwind for its’ maiden voyage (or should I say ride) this morning. Everything performed exactly as it should. Thank you so much for the help with the battery hacks. Our hilly area is not the best place for it, but it did better than I expected. Remember, what goes up must come down, and it rolls very easily on those big wheels. I used the rear brake sparingly and relied on the front brake for a lot of the retarding power on the down hill runs. I don’t want to burn up that roller brake. I like your comment about the 80 year old man, and since I am 82, as i told you the other day, I guess this is the bike for me. I have already recharged the battery and am looking forward to the nest ride.

2016-07-18 by Russell Graves

Excellent! I’m glad you were able to get it working and that you’re rolling around on it!

2016-08-02 by Végh Péter és családja

Thanks for review. I did commuting with my Schwinn Tailwind each workday from 2011-2013. And this bike made my day every time :slight_smile:
I enjoyed the assisted ride of 20miles each day, and the 4.2Ah battery pack was enough to keep the ride assisted even on hills.
I really liked 30min charging time.

2016-10-02 by Unknown

so I just bought one of these for my girl after building my ebike she seemed a bit jealous…keep in mind that we DON’T drive at all anymore and have 8 bikes running and another 6 in my shop being built…I got this bike from a little old lady that bought it new in 2011 ish and only used it like 24 times I think she said…price $125 bucks!!! Awesome deal. she said she sold it because A. it was too heavy for her. and B. the battery kept falling out and she didn’t understand why? I didn’t at first either till I got it home and released there is a locking mech under the battery…lol! you have a great review btw I will enjoy more from you. I read another review that also said that it was weird that the battery wasn’t locked! more actuall lol well sometimes the light is shining on me and sometimes I can barely see… $125 nice!

2017-04-26 by Unknown

HI I have been seeing the Schwinn Tailwind w/ modified battery in a working state for $425.00 on eBay The vendor lives in TX & offers free shipping…Knowing the 24 volt battery is kinda low what would you estimate is a good weight limit for the Schwinn Tailwind in a small incline type not rolling hills area??Thanks!!

2018-03-03 by Thom

I’ve got my ‘eye’ on one that is selling on eBay. I appreciate the great review. If I acquire the bike, it will be with the intention to change out the handlebars with a straight-bar design of some sort. I would be interested in your thoughts regarding the practicality of doing so, and whether you think it would be worth the effort.

I’m 71, but it would seem strange to be sitting so up-right while riding.

2018-03-03 by Russell Graves

I really don’t think the Tailwind is worth the money in 2018. There are so many better options on the market with radically longer range and better hill climbing capability.

2018-03-04 by Thom

I’m sure you are right, but I could acquire one with a good battery for ‘dirt cheap.’