a Weekend Warrior
from Memphis, TN, USA
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2012
Strengths: Level of components, fit, finish. The welds look great. The geometry and balance of the bike is great and it handles great on turns, even in wet/muddy situations.
Weaknesses: If any, and remembering this is an entry level bike, the lack of color options.
This is a great bike for an entry level All mountain bike. The components are of good quality and the frame was flawless. I'm coming back into bike from a 20 year hiatus from competitive BMX biking/racing. I did have a DB that I picked up and rode around with the kids, but nothing serious. Bike was sent securely in a bike box, with no loose parts, very well packed. Assembly, even with the generic instructions was easy and most good do it with a basic knowledge of tools. I have put together/build numerous bikes from the BMX time and putting together kids bikes. Adjustment of the brakes and derailleur, are the hardest part, but if you follow the directions that are included, and make small precise adjustments, you should be ok, READ the instructions! If not, you LBS can help you out for a minimal cost.
It has been fairly wet since I got the bike earlier in January and this bike has done great on wet trails. I've put about 25 trail miles on it so far. The bike corners well, stays balanced throughout the turn, the tires grip nicely. My local is mostly flat land, but I did go on a trip with the bike where there are hills. The bike climbs better than I do, once I figured out how the gears worked, and where my balance on the bike was it climbed fine. Downhill, same area, the bike was well balanced and stable at higher speeds, felt confident going around turns and felt very balanced in the air jumping. The person that maintains the trails has built erosion swales to help with erosion, they make for nice jumps! Even on this ride, which was about 6.25 miles on huge (to me) hills that I am not use to, the bike was comfortable the whole time. I was worried about the saddle, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the WTB Speed V with comfort groove saddle. I was not fatigued or hurting, other than what should have been, my legs, by the end of the ride, my rear end was fine. The brakes have worked great, did get loud squealing for a few minutes after going through water in a creek, but that went away after they warmed back up and cleaned up. Initially, I did get some brake pad rub and a noise from the front wheel hub. The brakes, after going out on two rides, are fine and the hub noise is gone. The hub noise was a squeaking/rubbing sound that was coming from the dust cover that is around the axle protecting the hub. It has gone away as well. I have been very impressed with how solid this bike feels, no rattles, other than typical items, gears, once adjusted correctly, change fine. Initially, I would get multiple gear changes while pedaling on the trails, like it would go back into the previous gear. After some adjustments on the trail and help from a friend, we got that taken care of.
Excellent entry level bike for someone that is coming into the sport or coming back to the sport. I was going to try to update my old DB bike, but wouldn't have been able to build one for the price I have in this one and get the parts list that are on the bike. I would buy another one and would recommend this bike to others. This bike has exceeded my expectations, I wasn't expecting to get as good of a product as I got. I researched for almost a year before buying and new all the warnings of buying online, but for the level of components that are on the bike, and reviews, I took a chance. Your biggest worry should be the size that you get, not the quality of the bike.
Similar Products Used: Diamond Back that was old as dirt
Bike Setup: Stock
a Weekend Warrior
from Memphis, TN
Date Reviewed: August 24, 2011
Strengths: good component level for the dollars spent
Weaknesses: none, especially for the money.
Hard to beat for a good all around bike, I have had this one over 3 years and have had to do nothing to it except the basic tune ups, and replacing shifter cables and housings. No idea how many miles I have on it, but we ride pretty regularly and I have been riding it to work this year.
You really can't beat it for the money. (not really sure on the purchase price, that is pretty close, but it was 3+ years ago)
Initial setup was no problem for somebody that can handle a wrench.
Would buy again right now if I needed another one (unless I decided to pony up the extra dough and go with the lighter version Fly Pro).
Excellent bike for someone wanting a quality bike, but not wanting to mortgage the house to get it; comparable bikes at the LBS were at least twice as much.
a Weekend Warrior
from Hobart, IN, USA
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2011
Strengths: Good lightweight frame
Good derailleurs for the price
Weaknesses: Crankset and Bottom Bracket
I've had this bike since December (now it's August), only been really riding since May. Great upgrade from my decade old Giant Iguana. I quickly put clipless pedals on and I've been enjoying it ever since. Definitely a good beginner bike if you're just getting into riding as I have only since last summer. Good buy for the component set up.
A couple downsides, I've already replaced a rim (which may be because of the shop that didn't tighten the spokes) and now I'm going to have replace a crankset and bottom bracket. I was riding the other day and my left crank arm completely fell off. Lastly, I had to replace my seatpost too. The bolt consistently came loose and my seat would slide up and down while riding. Minor fixes and component upgrades and you'll have a great bike that will last a while.
Strengths: -Good price for the parts. Mine included the new 2011 Dart2 fork and Avid BB5 disk brakes.
-Looks nice. Polished silver
-Feels durable. Double walled aluminum rims and steel spokes gives a smooth ride. I don't feel any weaknesses in the construction.
Weaknesses: -the new dart2 fork it comes with is now black and red, so it doesn't mesh well with the rest of the frame
I feel good riding this bike around campus. First time building a bike and I was able to do it in around 3 hours. Turning it after the first ride complicated things though.
The tires are overkill for pavement riding (don't cruise as well), but I feel secure making sharp turns at moderate speeds.
BikesDirect shipped it to me fast and answered my emails promptly.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: February 15, 2011
Strengths: Bike is nice looking. Won't know about the ride until I get bike to shop and spend more money to fix cable problems.
Weaknesses: Is it really that hard not to cross the brake and gear cables when you assemble the bike for shipping? What should have been a simple finish assembly on my part now requires my taking the bike to a shop to undo the mess.
Not very happy with this fiasco. That's what I get for taking a chance online. If your thing about buying online, I would think twice.
Bike Setup: Other than the cable tangles the finish assembly would have gone fine.
a Weekend Warrior
from east dubuque Illinois
Date Reviewed: September 10, 2010
Strengths: Brakes stop a big guy like me well, 27 gears are awesome, a bike that is actually comfortable to ride
Weaknesses: None that I can tell.
I ride on gravel rodes, dirt rodes, cement, off road sometimes. I weigh 240 lbs. It took about 3 hrs to assemble and I had no idea what I was doing. The bike went together perfect and I've done nothing to it but have fun on it. Everything that people complain about work just fine for me. Never had brakes that stopped me this well before. When I asked the LBS guy about disc brakes, rockshox forks, and double wall wheels he led me to the bikes for over $1000.00 range.
Similar Products Used: schwinn, fuji, free spirit, huffy
a Weekend Warrior
from cville, va
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2010
Strengths: price, component quality, wheels (Weinman) seem solid, true as can be, mechanical disc brakes stop great
Weaknesses: are those square tubed stays (chain and seat) a good thing in anyway? reminds me of stuff I saw at Walmart years ago. seat a cheapie, weight about 31 lbs.
Worked as a bike mechanic in the early 70s, but never did much with indexed shifting, disk brakes, modern forks, all the stuff that is routine now. But I'm a good all around bike/car/house mechanic. Assembly and "precision tuning" took me about 3-4 hours, much of that learning the new gear and tricks for adjusting. But seriously, is there anything really good about the square / box stays or is that just gimmick? Bike's growing on me after 24 hours, fun to put together and learn how to adjust. Hint: Set derailer limits with cable off (hand shift the derailer), cable tension tweaks the indexing.
Strengths: Bunch of Bang for the Buck. If you tried to build this it would be oodles more money.
Weaknesses: Frame looks like a factory 2nd - crooked weld and off center but still functional! I get lotsa chainsuck and shifts are anything but fast. Considering the price tho, is still worth it.
Hard to beat for the money! If you're handy and dont mind frequent adjustments - pretty good deal. Front chainrings go pretty quick but i did put alot of xc miles on it. If you're scared a Walmart bike wont cut it, this would be the next stepup.
Bike Setup: Mine came with Avid BB5 brakes rather than the Tektro Aquillas. Replaced pedals with Wellgo platforms, added a Bontrager bike comp and Ergon GC2 grips.
In regards to other comments. I found the WTB seat fine, but I wear padded bike shorts. The Skye components have not had any problem staying tight and secure. My first disc brakes and love the power.
a Weekend Warrior
from Berkley, MI
Date Reviewed: April 19, 2010
Strengths: nearly all of the components; derailleurs, crankset, shifters, etc... so far, very solid frame, responsive, good grip, and a great value. and front fork is ok, not great, not bad.
Weaknesses: the stem kind of sucks in my opinion; way too upright and not the tightest grip, and the seats weak; soft plastic structure.
an amazing combination of components, from wheels to brakes, to derailleurs, everything, just an excellent deal i couldnt find for the life of me from a local bike shop. the bike is super solid, only needing one or two upgrades down the road, still resulting in ~$400+ in savings even after some customization.
also, it comes mostly assembled. was very easy to put together, brakes were easy to tune, derailleurs were trickier, but those are cheap to have tuned at a shop. (1st time assembler)
i would recommend this to all my friends... but i dont want them riding the same bike as me :)
Bike Setup: + came with Avid BB5 brakes instead of Tektro Aquillas (free)
+ Mosh platform pedals w/ replaceable pins
a Cross Country Rider
from San Marcos, ca
Date Reviewed: February 28, 2010
Strengths: Great value for what you get. No way I could have gone into a local LBS and walked out with a bike spec'ed like this for $499.00. XT/Deore drive train, decent brakes. Study and relativly light frame. Very strong wheel/tire setup.
Weaknesses: The "SKYE" components were horrible. The stem and seatpost would loosen after every ride. Probably the first things you would want to replace. After that the Dart 2 fork. And although the tires and wheels hold up well, there's nothing light about them.
Put alot of miles on this bike and it has held up great. The frame is worth some upgrades and for the money this bike is hard to beat. Would recommend it for someone getting their first bike or getting back into the sport.
a Weekend Warrior
from Milford, MI
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2009
Strengths: Rigid frame. Unbeatable price!
Weaknesses: Needs good tuning before riding. If you are handy, NO PROBLEM.
Got the box in the evening. Went to ride the next day. Looked great from the start. Had to stop to adjust a few minor things (brakes + loose spokes).
But that is to be expected if you pay less than $500 for it.
Went to the trail and put it through the crazy cut backs and jumps over trees and rocks. Passed the handle bars twice. Ouch!!
Have 170lbs and ride it hard. Could not see any flaws on the frame of gear. Shifting is fast and responsive to under tension (uphill) shifts.
Coat it with some WD40 at first and you will have no issue cleaning it. Get some handlebar elbows and a decent computer from eBay.
You will have the bike for a long time. Set the dart 2 on fast rebound (with turnkey included) and tighten the spring good.
Got 150 miles on the bike. NO ISSUES except a sore @#$.
If you are buying on a budget, bikesdirect.com is the source!! Feel sorry for LBS.