Schwinn Electric Bicycle Information.

Supp

New Member
#1
Mission: Generally there is a lot of information on Schwinn Electric bicycles but they tend to be scatterred across multiple websites and forums. I'm organizing the data into a single thread for future readers. This is a WIP and may not be "fully accurate" but I'll try my best.

Models:

Campus
Production Years: 2008-?
Battery: lithium polymer 24V 10AH ... (claimed 29.4v/ possibly peak)
MSRP $1900

World GSE
Production Years: 2008-?
Gears: 24 Speed
Fork: Nex 4110
Shifter: Sram 3.0
Rear Derailer: Sram X-4
Battery: lithium polymer 24V 10AH ... (claimed 29.4v/ possibly peak)
Notes: 2008 TAS/PAS, 2009 PAS only
MSRP $2200

Continental
Production Years: 2008-?
Type: Standard Frame
Shifter: Shimano Nexus 7
Gears: Shimano Nexus 7 hub
Fork: Schwinn suspension with one piece alloy lowers.
Battery: lithium polymer 24V 10AH ... (claimed 29.4v/ possibly peak)
Notes: Shaft Drive, 2008 TAS/PAS,2009 PAS only
MSRP $2500

Transit (European)
Production Years: 2008-?
Type: Stepthrough or Standard Frame
Shifter: Nexus 8
Gears: Nexus 8 hub
Fork: SrSuntour Nex 4610
Battery: lithium Polymer 24V 10AH ... (claimed 29.4v/ possibly peak)
Notes: Eurpean (TAS/PAS)
MSRP £1150

Transit (American)
Production Years: 2009-?
Type: Stepthrough or Standard Frame
Shifter: Shimano Nexus 3 speed
Gears: Shimano Nexus 3 hub
Fork: Alloy fork.
Battery: lithium Polymer 24V 10AH ... (claimed 29.4v/ possibly peak)
Notes: PAS Only
MSRP ?

Searcher
Production Years: ?
Type: available Stepthrough Frame
Shifter: Shimano Alfine 8 trigger
Gears: Alfine 8 hub
Battery: Toshiba SCiB 24V 4.2AH
Notes: PAS only
MSRP ?

Tailwind
Production Years: 2009-?
Type: available Stepthrough or Standard Frame
Shifter: Shimano Nexus twist shifter
Gears: Shimano Nexus 8-Speed gear hub
Fork: SrSuntour Nex 4610
Battery: Toshiba SCiB 24V 4.2AH
Notes: PAS only
MSRP $3200
 
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Supp

New Member
#2
Technologies:

Schwinn "Protantium". Protanium turns out to be a company specializing in ebicycle technology according to their website. I think during this period they rebranded Tongxin motors and maybe their controllers as well.

Schwinn "Protanium" Motor: All the bikes mentioned here (manufactured from 2008 to about 2010ish) are powered by the protanium motor. This is actually manufactured by Tongxin, and is a geared brushless freewheel motor that runs at about 180w (250w peak).

Protanium Battery: Most of the models feature a Lithium Polymer 24v 10AH battery (they claim it is 29.4V, but I believe that's the batteries peak power rating). The 2 exceptions are the Searcher and the Tailwind.

Toshiba SCiB Battery: The Searcher and the Tailwind both use the Toshiba SCiB battery, which charges to 80% capacity in 30 minutes (very fast), unfortunately it's only 4.2AH, which means it won't last very long. The battery is a Lithium–titanate battery, which is used in the electric car industry and can go through more than 10,000 cycles.

Schwinn Controller: There have been 2 versions of the controllers released with these bikes. 1 features PAS and TAS. The other features only PAS. The easiest way to determine which version you have is to look at the ebike LED display. If it has a throttle switch and a separate battery indicator (maybe labelled SPE-03) then it's the earlier PAS/TAS version (2008). If it has a "schwinn" labelled control panel with PAS levels and a battery indicator then it's the PAS only version (2009+).
 
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Supp

New Member
#3
Additional Notes:

AtoB review: In AtoB (a UK bicycle magazine), they did a review of the Schwinn Transit (European version) in November of 2007. This of course was the TAS / PAS version of the Transit (stepthrough model) with a Nexus 8 hub. It was regarded as the first bike to fail their Hilly course circuit test. AtoB theorized that the problem was with the Controller being housed in a plastic box, and simply overheated. They were told than an "uprated" power controller was on the way (which is likely why the later models got a new controller (uprated?) with only PAS).

The tongxin motor is generally regarded as being very solid, but it has been known to fail due to a broken "ring". details on the fixing of the ring (which aren't for the faint of heart) are available on youtube (search Tongxin motor repair). The ones that developed the video are hightekbikes in San Francisco, and they seem to have knowledge dealing with Tongxin motor and controller failures.

An excerpt from hightekbikes, regarding tongxin motors repairs and controller reliability in general. "We are a factory authorized and trained repair center for Tongxin and have the spare rings in stock along with the required tool to replace them. We also have spare controllers in stock. FYI, the new version of this motor is even thinner, and is sensorless for more efficiency. One note on the controllers, they are vulunerable to high levels of back EMF. If you go down a steep hill, the voltage generated by the motor will burn up the mosfets, I suspect because the internal diodes are conducting. The work around is to add some protection diodes on the three motor leads, to GND and Batt+. Since this will pump the voltage into the battery, it will need to have over voltage and current protection (if Lithium)."

Stamina: Schwinn initially claimed a 40-60 mile range on their bikes. This was subject to a good deal of criticism. Afterwards they amended the range to 30 miles on the 24v 10ah battery models.

Weight: Schwinn initially said their bikes weigh between 40-45 pounds making them some of the lightest electric bikes around. When AtoB UK did their tests against the European Transit, their measured weight was 26kg (including the 2.8kg battery). The claimed weight of the bike was 20.5kg (45 pounds), as you can guess this disappointed the reviewers. The lightest of the Schwinn Electric line would be the Transit (american) as it uses a standard non-suspension fork and a relatively light Nexus 3 hub. The Schwinn transit weights in at 46lbs according to my bathroom scale.
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
#6
The Reddit ebikes forum has a lot of information about the first generation Schwinn ebikes, including links to service manuals, battery pack teardowns, etc.

The Schwinn Tailwind is a good option for converting to a city/commuter ebike with a replacement 36v or 48v front hub kit motor/battery in a 700c wheel. Someone in Texas is selling them on eBay for $325 with free shipping. The Nexus IGH, full chain case, front suspension fork, swept back handlebars, and upright riding position are desirable features on a city bike, the front rim brake ought to be replaced with a disk brake or hydraulic rim brake as the rear only uses a roller brake, and you would need to remove the original 24v tongxin front hub motor and toshiba rack battery, but as these were lashed to the bike with zip ties the wiring should be easy to cut off. This would be a good donor frame for a front hub kit motor/battery like a Dillenger 36v kit in a 700c wheel although there are no bottle cage bosses on the frame so you would need to tie the battery pack to the rack.
 
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