The Forge Sawback 5xx Hard-Tail Mountain Bike has brand name components awesome on dirt trails and singletracks, this bike has been recognized by mountain bikers country wide as a bike offering exceptional value. Shimano Deore drivetrain with a Truvativ ISO flow crankset, Rockshox Dart 1, dual Avid BB-5 mechanical disc brakes, and a lightweight aluminum double-butted frame provide superb stability, control, power and responsiveness. Sawback 5xx uses well-recognized WTB products such as: WTB Alloy Rims, Pure V Saddle, and Grips. Responsive, tough, dependable: Forge Sawback 5xx. Ride hard, ride fast.
Strengths: The bike has all of the name brand components such as shimano gear shifters and its ninja tires. I love this bike! Well worth the $
Weaknesses: A little bit hard to increase gears
Well worth $600
a Weekend Warrior
from alvin, tx. 77511
Date Reviewed: June 14, 2011
Strengths: name brand componets
Weaknesses: heavy, worthless pedals
Overall a great beginners bike. Does well on most types of trails, but on rough trails it tends to change gears quite often making it a pain to make it up steep climbs. After riding my brothers ss 29er i decided to convert mine to a single speed (best decision ever) which costed me about $200 but the end result is a custom bike that fits my needs perfectly and still is quite cheaper than a comparable bike.
a Weekend Warrior
from Redding, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 19, 2011
Strengths: Affordable, great entry-level bike, disk breaks, decent mid level components
Weaknesses: heavy for a hard tail, tax and shipping suck
a great bike if you're just getting into the sport. great on the trails and a fun commuter. I don't think paying tax and shipping is worth it. If you can, buy this with free shipping or use the target card that gives you a discount with it's first purchase.
Strengths: Best bike under $600. Good components considering the cost.
Weaknesses: Front Shock
I have ridden over 30 miles on various surfaces and I have only had to adjust the brakes. I did a ridiculous amount of research before buying this bike. For the money it can't be touched. Basically worked out of the box. Size wise I purchased the 19" and I am just under 5'9". It is a good fit. I will probably switch to a different seat soon. Only complaint so far is that I have had to repeatedly tighten the headset.
a Weekend Warrior
from Turlock, CA
Date Reviewed: March 2, 2011
Strengths: This bike is worth every penny. I cannot find a bike with a comparable setup under $800 to 900. Very light weight. Bike was setup almost perfect out of the box.
Weaknesses: The handle bars are a set height. Other than that I cant find anything Im dissapointed with.
I looked at the LBS stores around my area and I might have plunked down the cash on their fancy paintjobs if I didn't know about this sleeper but I couldnt justify it. Never been a fan of buying the name only.
Strengths: Im new to this sport, but seems to be a very solid bike. Frame looks like it could take a beating, shifts great, brakes when you need it.
Weaknesses: Nothing major, a little heavy but at this price point that is a trade off. Front suspension seems a little bouncy but hard for me to say since ive never used a front suspension bike before, and haven't adjusted it.
Biggest advantage is the price point, I did quite a bit of research since im new to the MTB seen and didnt know a whole lot. Overall with the name brand componets and disc brakes, its a great buy.
Bike Setup: Ritchey Stem, EA30 Bars, Manitou Drake Super Air Forks, Shimano 520 Pedals
a Weekend Warrior
from Rockwall, TX, US
Date Reviewed: November 3, 2010
Strengths: Very Competitive price, Disk brakes, Brand Name Components, Lighter than Others, Good Geometry, Rock Shox, Looks Cool, Easy Assembly, Good "Out of the Box Performance" for the price, Seems Strong
Weaknesses: Derailer may need adjustment, Seat is a little 'chinsy', Brakes may need adjustment, Not a well known brand, Purchased only thru target.com, Fork is a little 'pogo-ish', Bars are a little narrow
Go for it! I must admit that I did an embarassing amount of research before buying this dang $400.00 bike. I considered various GT's, Diamondback's, Specialized's and few other bikes recommended by the LBS's within a $600.00 budget and finally decided on the Forge Sawback 5xx. You will be very hard pressed to find a bad review for this "on the down low" bike offered only thru target.com. Bizzare, I know, but simply put...a great value!!! The bike shipped on what seemed to be the same day I ordered it and arrived quickly. Assembly was trouble-free and took about 20-30 minutes. I googled "Target Promo Codes" and found a 10% off code that went through, so I Paid $401.00 out the door. Another thumbs-up in my eyes. (I would say 5 stars, but the derailer has been a little finicky and the shock is kinda soft.) Good luck to all!
Similar Products Used: Specialized Hard Rock, Diamondback Topanga, Diamondback Response
Bike Setup: Stock, Light, Computer
a Weekend Warrior
from New Jersey
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2010
Strengths: great entry level components, reliable build, really great way to begin riding with the big boys and hard trails.
Weaknesses: its an entry level bike, you'll want to upgrade parts and eventually the bike once you're addicted to mountain biking. also, stinks that you can't get this at a lbs.
i couldn't have asked for a better experience from a $350 bike. anyone looking for something to start off with this is your bike. awesome around town, over grass, through clay pits, back woods, and tough terrain. this bike is the reason i love mountain biking. i keep up with my friends on their $600-$900 mountain bikes with no problem (we're all beginners).
Similar Products Used: giant talon 29 1, mongoose 250
Bike Setup: stock.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 13, 2010
Strengths: Amazing frame + components + value. Fantastic quality all aluminum 6061 frame, with major name components - Avid bb5 brakes, DEORE drivetrain and shifters, WTB tires and rims. I'm a major rider and the intention was to have a 4th bike to introduce friends and family to mountain biking. I wanted something with nice components and I must say I was pleasantly blown away by the Forge Sawback 5xx. I'm fit and this bike can keep up with with me... At times I find myself using the Forge and having friends use my bike.
Weaknesses: Would like to purchase at Target stores. I will upgrade the fork at some point - but given the price RockShox DART is nice.
Best bike in the market for the price. You should buy this bicycle if you are looking for an excellent value, just getting into mountain biking, getting back into mountain biking or wanting an extra bike to offset your high-end.
Weaknesses: -Decent, but still pretty bottom end components
-Forge website says it comes with Presta valves. Mine didn't, however other reviews on Target.com for the other colors/sizes say that theirs did. So maybe it was just me that got cheated.
I was shopping around and was about to buy the Specialized Hardrock Disc when my friend told me about the Forge Sawback 5xx. Most of the parts were better: better brakes, fork has more travel, better cassette, better rear derailleur, and probably a few other things too and for $90 less (the Sawback 5xx is $380 + shipping and tax, I got it on sale - 10% off, the Hardrock Disc's MSRP is $470).
The assembly was fairly simple and there was a link from Forge's website to instruction on how to adjust the disc brakes. The derailleurs needed a bit of adjustment but my friend took care of that for me. The front wheel is a bit off center. The entire wheel is about 1cm to the left of center. There's no wobble, it's just not sitting dead center of the fork like it should be. That will be easily taken care of the next I bring it to my LBS to get the wheels trued or for a tune up.
On it's maiden mountain ride at Saratoga Gap it took quite a nice thrashing as it was my first time mountain biking ever and I'd only had clipless pedals for about 3 days at that point so I wasn't quite used to clipping in and out. I fell several times and even ran smack into a fallen tree at one point. The frame got a few scratches but there was no dents or cracking in the frame or rims. It held up a lot better than I was expecting for a $400 bike.
I rode it down the stairs of the 2 story building at my old high school and got yelled at by the janitors. Still working great.
I also ride it to work, weather permitting, and it makes a great all purpose bike.
So far the Sawback 5xx has proven to be quite a reliable bike despite the low cost. I would recommend this bike to anyone who's looking for a decent entry level hardtail. Most the parts are "name brand"(Shimano, Truvative, RockShox, Avid, WTB, SRAM) not some random nameless brandless parts. If you have the money to get a better, more expensive bike why not? But for a sub $500 bike, I don't think you'll find much better than this.
Weaknesses: Budget components from name brand manufacturers. Needs tune up and special care as compnents are not durable or resilient.
I feel like there is a lot of fluff on the above reviews as if everyone who reviews works for Target or Forge! I was given this bike for Christmas and have no problem complaining on a forum about my distrust of its durability and ruggedness. I live in the great Pacific NW and we ride hard and muddy. I took a couple easy XC jaunts with my wife and on the 3rd ride the rear axle broke. It took $17 bucks to replace and some time to fix. I don't know if it was the setup by the previous owner that caused the failure or whether it was a weak part to begin with. All said and done, this bike is a good bike to figure out what you really want out of your next one.
a Weekend Warrior
from Wellington, Nv, USA
Date Reviewed: September 28, 2009
Strengths: Decent Shimano components
Weaknesses: No weight limit specified! 250lbs caused a failed hub.
My 250lb. husband had the hub seize up and it kept throwing the chain (after only 100 miles of pavement riding and short dirt roads) it ended up costing him a $100 more to upgrade to heavier rims and hub. Forge paid the other hundred to have this upgrade as we had bought 2 bikes and were thinking of returning them. Customer service is awesome! Tire blew out after about 200 miles (it never seemed to roll right from the start but those things happen.
The 19" bike had the newer tires, and grips (which we changed out anyway)that come on the '09 model "Teal" colored bike. We got the older version blue bike.
The 17" red bike does NOT have 2 cage holders as stated. Nothing on the post under the seat. I assume this is because it is a short distance and access to the bottle would be somewhat difficult. Avid brakes work well.
Both bikes came with Schrader valves NOT Prestas as advertised.
For a bike having dual disc brakes and the decent components I'm not unhappy. There is a HUGE differnce in riding ease. I went back to pedaling my old Diamondback when my husbands bike was being repaired and I was sucking air and working MUCH harder to do the same trails we always ride just to try to keep up with him. (Usually, I can ride away from him on hills!) So the bike does make a differnce. I like the 27 speed.
I got ours with 10% off by applying for a target card and waited for the coupon to come in the mail from target.com (about 1 week). One bike was free shipping so that helped too. Paid the bill off within 30 days so no extra money out of pocket.
I'm just looking for a cheap starter bike. I'm going to do a lot of road riding with it, but take it on some light trails also. I've narrowed it down to an Airborne Sabre for $249 or a used Forge Sawback 5xx for $200 (talked him down from $350) $250 is my budget for a starter bike, ... Read More »
I know it is a basic question but how do I know for sure before I order a fork that it will fit my bike? I want to get a Suntour Epicon (I like the pricepoint, reviews and the low weight) but I really need to know I am getting the right one before I pull the tigger.
Can someone tell me if there ... Read More »
Im torn! originally was going to pickup the Forge when they were like $420-450 shipped. Now they have gone to $430 plus shipping looking at like $480-$500
The 2011 Motobecane 700 HT of course being $550 shipped....
Its been over a decade since I last reviewed mountain bike components so im a l ... Read More »
What are the details I need to know when looking at fork compatibility? I have a new 19" Sawback 5xx and came across a deal on a Fox 32 F120 RL fork from an 09 Stumpjumper FSR Comp. Before I pull the trigger on it, what do I need to verify?Read More »
So Ive been interested in picking one of these up for about 2 years now and just never got around to it. Now that Ive decided its time for an inexpensive new ride I realized that these are not the $320, $360, or even $400 bike deals they once were well known for... After you figure in Shipping +Tax ... Read More »