Living Retro: The Schwinn Riverside 7-Speed Cruiser Bike

Knock me your lobes, hip kats and swingin’ kittens…’cuz I’m droppin’ you a line on a keen new set of wheels – The Schwinn Riverside 7-Speed Beach Cruiser!


Now this rig isn’t your ordinary coaster. It’s got the kickin’ retro styling of the famous 1950s Schwinn cruisers with a mod-setup 7-speed gear box and a bunch more goodies, can you dig it?

This is bike is in the groove with old-school fenders, rear rack, deco decals and paint job…but it gets hip to new tech with linear caliper brakes, aluminum wheels, padded grips, a spring-action seat and of course that rockin’ & rollin’ 7-gear tranny! With all that going on this cruiser is stellar, Daddy-O!

I’d been spending a lot of time riding my old man’s original late 40s-early 50s Roadmaster Luxury Liner around. That bike is the boss, but it weighs about 400 pounds. You don’t just pedal it, you drive it. And that takes a lot of wind out of this kat, so I decided to go with something that had a few more gears than just one. I wanted to get a bike that looked like the old style jobs, and after a few years of waiting and watching finally found this Schwinn Riverside at the local K-Mart.

My old man's ’53 Roadmaster Luxury Liner
My old man's ’53 Roadmaster Luxury Liner

Apparently they only sell them at K & Sears, so if you want one you’ll have to trudge over to your nearest store – or order one online, for an extra delivery charge. (Ain’t that crazy? They charge you to deliver it – and it gets delivered to the nearest store, not your house. Kookie.)

The only thing missing off this bike is a real, retro-matic kool-o-rama tank with a built-in horn, like the Roadmaster. Who knows, maybe some kat will fabricate one and sell it on Ebay…they’re already selling kits to add a gas engine to this baby!

-Tiki Chris for Tiki Lounge Talk, the Tiki Culture Blog for people who are hip to this swingin’ scene.

10 Replies to “Living Retro: The Schwinn Riverside 7-Speed Cruiser Bike

  1. Sorry to say this. Since Schwinn moved production to China their quality has nosedived to the bottom of the garbage can. The first one of these I bought my wife convinced me to buy the $17 insurance and boy was she right. Within 3 months the right brake handle broke. shortly after the fender braces began breaking then I had to tighten up the cables regularly !! I,m on the 3d and last of these craprockets. The frame and a few other parts are ok. The only reason I have the 3d one is the first 2 were stolen . One off the front of a bus and the other from my yard !!! I,m doing a total american or euro made parts rebuild and THEN I,ll feel safe. Including Disc breaks !! I will stick with a Shimano derailer system as Japan makes good stuff also ( ask Detroit !! ). I,m a disabled C.G. Vet and this bike is my #1 means of transportation due to TBI Epeilepsi and narcolepsiy and one thing I DON’T need is another head injury because cheap Chinese made pot aluminum break handles breaking. I,m having a set made from billet aluminum with stainless cable tension adjuster inserts and THEN I,ll feel safe !!!!

  2. Nice looking ride right off the shelf! I love the multiple gear cruisers, although I still think my arse needs the workout a one speed offers. LOL.

    Also.. your old mans cruiser rocks! I’d LOVE to own a vintage Roadmaster.

  3. Nice BIKE. I just bought the same one 🙂 Its a real looker. Im not putting mine together till the springer, mud flaps, and bullet headlamp get here from

    (great prices, Ill send some pics when the parts get here and are installed)

    The plan is to move the front fender forward a bit using the mud flap extender to help with the gap. Then mount the bullet headlamp on that fender. I got a rear flap as well, cuz I could. Oh yea it just aint a retro without a front chrome springer right? Ebay does have a new tank for sale that fits but its like 95.00 (OUCH) we need someone to repop that baby on the cheap ya know.

    1. [IMG][/IMG]
      How I got it. Kmart let me know they would assy it for me for free. I stated, step away from the Schwinn!!
      What it looked like outa the box, looks like modern art!
      All done I love it !!! After I get the springer on I share pics. It rides great!

  4. Nothing like a classic bike, eh Mack? I’ve already told you this, but I just recently traded in my mountain bike for a classic cruiser. I had the mountain bike for about 2 years, and it just hung in my garage. I had good intentions, but about 3 days after I bought it, I had a severe sports injury (tore my ACL, LCL, & popletius). Ouch! After that, I was real hesitant on getting out on the trails for fear that I would end up crashing or planting my foot down and tearing everything again. And really, all I wanted to do was cruise.

    So I sold it & took a small hit. But it the long run not really, since it was doing me no good just hanging around, literally. I was able to buy my cruiser and still had some scratch left over.

    So now I’m cruising again. No gears, no hand brakes, just a simple, retro-looking cruiser that I affectionately dubbed “Elroy”.

    But I’ll tell ya, it ain’t as easy as it was when I was a kid. The combination of age and lack of physical exercise has gotten the best of me. I’m huffin’ & puffin’ trying to get up some of these slight inclines around here. I need to be by the beach.

    1. That’s what I’m talkin’ about! That Roadmaster is one speed, and it ain’t an easy one. Even in flat south Florida it gets difficult to move that sucker!

      I haven’t named this Schwinn yet. When I was in high school I had a 1940’s Schwinn (a beat up one, not a Phantom) that I called The Destroyer. It got its name because it weighed a ton and demolished anything in its path. I’m considering “Destroyer II” for this one but so far it hasn’t lived up to its predecessor’s reputation for punishment.

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