Forge Bikes Sawback 5xx XC Hardtail

4.29/5 (21 Reviews)
MSRP : $559.99


Product Description

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.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Joey w a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: February 3, 2013

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

Bottom Line:   
Well worth $600

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by brian321 a Weekend Warrior from alvin, tx. 77511

Date Reviewed: June 14, 2011

Strengths:    name brand componets

Weaknesses:    heavy, worthless pedals

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Favorite Trail:   jack brooks park

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $380.00

Purchased At:   target.com

Bike Setup:   converted to single speed, wider easton handle bars, race face xc stem, wellgo flat pedals, lizzard skins clamp on grips.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rlouder a Cross Country Rider from GA

Date Reviewed: April 2, 2011

Strengths:    Good all around components on a good frame. Nothing else comes close for the price.

Weaknesses:    The tires on the original model were really heavy. Some people might not prefer to learn how to adjust everything on their own.

Bottom Line:   
Great first bike. Although I have a fs bike now, I still prefer the forge for riding smoother trails and fire roads. It's a keeper.

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Favorite Trail:   All

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $330.00

Purchased At:   target.com

Similar Products Used:   Moved on to a fs bike.

Bike Setup:   Mavic wheels, Manitou R7, xt/lx

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by jb00gie 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

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $380.00

Purchased At:   target.com

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Seaford6 a Weekend Warrior from VA

Date Reviewed: March 5, 2011

Strengths:    Best bike under $600. Good components considering the cost.

Weaknesses:    Front Shock
Headset


Bottom Line:   
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.

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Favorite Trail:   Any dirt trail

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $390.00

Purchased At:   Target Online

Similar Products Used:   Trek 850 (20 years old)

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lando76 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Favorite Trail:   Sierras

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $7379.00

Purchased At:   Target.com

Bike Setup:   Oudi grips, BB7 brakes. Maxxis shortblock 8 tires.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jrockmetalhead a Weekend Warrior from Tuscaloosa, AL

Date Reviewed: February 10, 2011

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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $379.00

Purchased At:   target.com

Similar Products Used:   haven't rode in a while but used to ride bmx style bikes

Bike Setup:   factory, probably will get some longer handle bars

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Forgerider a Cross Country Rider from Austin, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: November 21, 2010

Strengths:    Good Components, Strong Frame, Great Value!

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
I have been riding this 25+ miles a week, cross country, started out at 260+ pounds. The bike has held up great!

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $360.00

Purchased At:   Target

Bike Setup:   Ritchey Stem, EA30 Bars, Manitou Drake Super Air Forks, Shimano 520 Pedals

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by RichStandish 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

Bottom Line:   
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!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Various - DORBA

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $401.00

Purchased At:   target.com

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Hard Rock, Diamondback Topanga, Diamondback Response

Bike Setup:   Stock, Light, Computer

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by maniac9230 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.

Bottom Line:   
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).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   cheesequake park

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   target.com

Similar Products Used:   giant talon 29 1, mongoose 250

Bike Setup:   stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jmanride a Cross Country Rider from CA

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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

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Favorite Trail:   Joaquin

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $379.00

Purchased At:   Target.com

Similar Products Used:   Specialized

Bike Setup:   As is....

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bentai a Weekend Warrior from Milpitas, CA, 95035

Date Reviewed: April 22, 2010

Strengths:    -Low price
-Decent components
-Durable frame


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.


Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Saratoga Gap

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Target.com

Similar Products Used:   First mountain bike in a few years so nothing to compare it to.

Bike Setup:   I have the red 17" frame

-Shimano PD-M647 pedals
-Specialized Crossroads Sport tires when biking around town
-Everything else is stock

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by benschmitty a Cross Country Rider from Arlington, WA USA

Date Reviewed: January 18, 2010

Strengths:    Looks good, desirable component types (disc brakes, Rox Shox fork, Shimano, etc.)

Weaknesses:    Budget components from name brand manufacturers. Needs tune up and special care as compnents are not durable or resilient.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pilchuk Tree Farm

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Christmas Gift

Similar Products Used:   Schwinn Homegrown 01'

Bike Setup:   same as above reviewers

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by checkersrogo 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.





Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Slickrock

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Target.com

Similar Products Used:   Diamond Back Ascent 1.0 (HEAVY!)

Bike Setup:   19" has a bar riser and Bontrager Big Earl rims/hubs, bar ends etc. 17" is stock except for bar ends and H20 cages.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bikefun a Cross Country Rider from co

Date Reviewed: June 22, 2009

Strengths:    Look at the price and specs. Any questions! This is the best price value bike on the market.

Weaknesses:    Very little for the price. Enhance the fork. But for the price this is understandable. Out of the gate this will easily meet your needs.

Bottom Line:   
Best value bike on the market. The quality components speaks volumes: DEORE Shifters and drivetrain, RockShox fork, WTB Rims, all aluminum hydro frame, etc.

The buying experience was easy on target.com, a company I felt comfortable buying from. This is not the typical Target bike. By far this is a "real bike" sold at an excellent value.

I was so impressed with the Forge Sawback I bought the M Street, very Forge, great value!

You can't go wrong with Forge. (period)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   all

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $369.00

Purchased At:   target.com

Similar Products Used:   Not similar. I have higher-end mountain and road bike.

Bike Setup:   After 5k miles on the 5xx I upgraded the fork to tora, 100mm. All other parts are the original. Still going...

Reviews 1 - 15 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Forge Sawback 5xx or Airborne Sabre? Noobie needs help deciding.

Hey everyone, 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 »

09 Sawback 5xx - Will This Suntour Epicon Fit?

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 »

2011 Motobecane 700 HT or Sawback 5xx??

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 »

Forge Sawback 5xx with Dart1, can I swap on a Fox F120 RL?

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 »

Forge Sawback 5xx Still a Good Deal?

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 »

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