In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Schwinn Free Runner Review

The Schwinn Free Runner is a good running stroller at a very affordable price. Just don’t expect too much from the quality of the materials.
Schwinn Free Runner
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Price:   $170 List
Pros:  Affordable, lightweight, fixed front wheel, adjustable handlebar, generous canopy
Cons:  Quality of material, bulky when folded, not maneuverable, no cushion in baby's seat
Manufacturer:   Schwinn
By Mariana Seif ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 14, 2015
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The Skinny

For the price, the Schwinn Free Runner is a very good running stroller. While not fancy, it is light and fast. Basically, the budget version of the BOB Ironman.

The Schwinn Free Runner was discontinued in August of 2013.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Schwinn Free Runner is a good option for the runner on a budget. It only has the bare essentials that you'd want in a jogging stroller — fixed front wheel, lightweight frame, pneumatic tires, adjustable handlebar, hand break and a generous canopy to protect baby from the sun. By leaving all "luxuries" out, the price tag is pretty attractive.

The Schwinn Free Runner is a good, basic running stroller. It is light, designed for speed and well suited for short to medium distance runs. We'd keep it under 5 mile runs, mainly because the child's seat and harness lack any padding, and the back support in the seat is kept to a bare minimum — it's really more like a board covered with material.

This stroller is better suited for use on hard surfaces and in hot/mild climates, as the cabin is very well ventilated, i.e., the material is thin and the overhead is mesh.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • At 23.5 lbs, it is almost as light as the BOB Ironman (which weights 23.25 lbs).
  • It's an efficient running stroller and "propels" forward as you push.
  • Permanently fixed front wheel helps keep the stroller going straight. And although it takes a bit of practice, once you get the hang of it, it is easy to make turns with the fixed wheel. To turn while walking, just push the handlebar down to raise the front wheel a little bit off the ground and make the turn. While running, apply some pressure on the handlebar and the stroller will turn.
  • It has storage in the back of the seat and an easy to access basket underneath, but both are made out of flimsy material and not very sturdy.
  • The handlebar is adjustable.
  • It has a Floating Canopy — it is not attached to the back of the seat — so you can move it all the way down to cover your child from the sun even during sunset and sunrise.
  • It includes the parent console.

Cons

  • The quality of the material is the worst of the 10 strollers we reviewed. The canopy crinkles like paper when folding or unfolding and the basket underneath the seat is not sturdy.
  • The weight capacity limit is 50 lbs. (vs 70 lbs for the BOBs and 75 lbs for Joovy Zoom 360).
  • It does not have a clip to secure the stroller when folded, so it sometimes unfolds while lifting it. This is more annoying that you'd think.
  • Bulky –- even for a jogging stroller — when folded.
  • Fixed front wheel hinders the stroller's maneuverability
  • The parent console that comes with the stroller holds only small bottles and, because it has no lid, small contents can fall out while running.

Conclusion


If you are a frequent runner, and you just need a basic, bare bones, fixed front wheel jogging stroller at an affordable price, the Schwinn Free Runner is the stroller for you.

At the same price, you should also consider trying to find a used BOB Ironman.


Mariana Seif