I dealt with a bit of skepticism before buying my Schwinn Perla, but eventually I decided in its favor. To me, the seating and framing were important. With this model, the position seemed a bit odd at first, simply because I wasn’t used to this, but eventually I found it very appropriate and excellent for the cruising pace.
I never had any prior experience with cruiser bikes. I had an idea from what I had heard else where that they were bikes designed for luxury riding, but I had to experience that for my self. Being a bike enthusiast, I could not settle for anything other than buying one. At the same time, I did not want invest a fortune either on something that I had never experienced before. In other words, I wanted to test the waters first. This was the prime decision that convinced me to get this bikes.
Not only is this bike from a respected brand, Schwinn, it is also the successor the Schwinn Sanctuary model that has received awesome reviews from I had read. Therefore, for this affordable bike was a no-brainer.
Design and Performance
I appreciate the design. I love the seat, it is soft, besides having a shape that is comfortable for the long rides. The steel frame is painted in a great color – an aqua-turquoise-blue that I really fancy; it is light and vivid at the same time, just perfect for complementing my personality, also considering the contrasting red hue of the inner rim. Very nicely done. I don’t know why they present it as blue though, I find this quite different from the standard blue and I would not call it as such.
Schwinn used here a nice design trick – the top tube is placed lower to match the bottom tube, both being curved. It is an appealing look, although at first it was weird to see all that free space, as there was not actual ‘top tube’ there. However, you’ll get used to it, it’s too pretty not to. It took me a while to adjust but this was not problem at all. I have seen similar designs from other brands too. It is basically a design style for women cruiser bikes. Men’s cruiser bike, on the hand, have the top tube. However, the curves on this bike were too appealing to overlook.
On to some technical aspects, I must mention the twist shifters are indeed quick to change shifts. Also, the seven gears make it easy to handle different types of roads. I can go uphill with no problem now and no worry about damaging my bike. It stays stable when the wind is blowing, although it looked rather light and fragile to me. I guess I should have not been fooled by that. I though cruiser bikes are supposed to be heavy and less susceptible to wind drags, but I guess I was wrong. I found the brakes to be effective even on damp streets during rainy times.
A Reality Check
The Perla Cruiser is not a suitable model if you expect high performance. Let me remind you that this is a cruising style bicycle and won’t go beyond its class. If you feel you are the truly sporty type looking for a thrill, then I suggest you better look for different model. This is great for its own specific league, nevertheless.
Shwinn Perla may be in need of adjustments from time to time, such as improving the screws and their grip. It is incredible that the bicycle comes with a lifetime warranty. Limited as it may be, it is still useful and says something about the quality of the model and brand. I can’t mention anything precise about assembling the bike once I got it, because a friend of mine helped me with this. I’d rather say that it is actually important to have some one experience to do this, because there is some fine-tuning work and adjustments to be made especially with this 7 speed configuration. I would say the instruction manual on how to assemble this bike wasn’t quite upto the mark.