Strengths: The frame is solid and built like a tank. I've done almost everything on this bike and it won't quite. I use this bike only for off-road. I bought it as a starter bike back in 2004 and I have yet to have anything break. I have swapped out components over the years, but not because of breakage. The bike is tough looking too. The EX handles great in downhill and technical sections.
Weaknesses: After really learning to ride, you notice that the stock components are not that good. A little heavy but ok. Rough climbing
over all this bike is awsome. It has done everything I've wanted and worth the original purchase price. Now I have completely upgraded every component on this bike and it rides even better
Strengths: Overall I found the bike to be very strong and durable. I purchased the bike back in 2008 and drove it around quite often until 2012 when it got stolen. I used this bike as my get around town bike, but also took it out onto trails occasionally and it handled like a champ. Others have mentioned the bike having low quality parts. I would agree that they are probably low quality compared to what you would find on a $1000+ bike, but they are far better than what you will find on a bike from a big box store.
Weaknesses: This bike weighs quite a bit. If the frame didn't say it was an aluminum frame on it, I wouldn't have guessed it wasn't steel in a million years. It's not too heavy that it ruins the bike, but it is definitely noticeable.
Aside from the weight, the front fork was the only other problem area for me. Soon after buying the bike the preload knob on the fork popped out and wasn't covered by warranty. The forks still worked fine - but bottomed out very easily. But that tends to happen with 80mm of travel.
Oh, and the breaks are a bit weak, but I never spent much time trying to tweak then a bit better. I liked to think of them as anti-lock breaks on a bike :)
Overall a good bike. A hardtail of similar price from a brand like spexialized, trek, etc would provide more quality for your buck. However if you are adamant about dual suspension like I was, you probably won't find many better bikes in the $500 price range. You must ask yourself before you buy this bike if dual suspension is more important to you than weight and part quality. If not, buy a quality hardtale for the same price. Or save up and go big with a quality dual suspension bike.
a Weekend Warrior
from Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Date Reviewed: October 25, 2011
Strengths: Overall good design, good geometry, great brakes. Takes a beating.
Weaknesses: Weak weld joint at the swingarm pivot. Poor weld job at the factory. I cracked it within the first 5 min after purchase. Did a 2 foot bunny hop in a flat parking lot. Snapped the welds clean. Budget suspension, Stock derailer skips sometimes after hard landings. Pedals aren't great. Cranks could be better.
Overall great bike. Parts are cheap, but will do the job for mild riding. Brakes are great. I use this primarily for urban trials/street riding, and commuting. I've launched off some big stair cases, wall rides, hopping big curbs, low gates and the usual obsticales you can find around a major city. Taken every bit of it. I like the cheap suspension cause it gives the bike a little bit more pop of the flat. The weight is distributed really well. It may not be the lightest bike but it's not bad at all. I've owned full ChroMo BMX bikes that weigh as much as this thing. Be aware of the plate running across the swingarm pivot. Looks like some units got a Monday weld job and crack easily. If you're out of warranty, suck up the repair bill and have the welder add a 1/8" piece of plate to that area and weld it in on all sides. I had a 1/2" piece of tube added vertically between the left side of the triangle just to aid in rigidity. Hopefully it won't fatigue that area as much in the future. Cost about $50 if you can disassemble the bike yourself.
Bike Setup: truvativ stem and bar avid bb7 185mm rotor g2 160 in back sette lockon grips black label GAS pedals x.7 rear derailer, shimano deore in front bww wheelset dissent 2.3 tires sram chain and cassette
a Weekend Warrior
from pikeville, KY
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2011
Strengths: great beginner bike, havent had any real problems from the bike, IOX disc brakes if tuned work very well, wheels are vry strong, tires PRICE, color lol
Weaknesses: rear derailer, rear shock, front derailer, cheap shifters, a little heavy pedals suck bad derailers are cheap but pretty good for the price i paid
i love it, the bike is a good starting point, but more serious you need the more upgrades you need, after my upgrades i feel that this bike is great and i loved getting to pick out the parts that i wanted and setting everything up the way i wanted and still not spending a fortune, the bike has now taken everything i can throw at it
Similar Products Used: none really, i rode BMX forever on a terrible 1
Bike Setup: Rock Shox 318 u-turn fork, manitaou swinger spv 4 way shock, WTB laserdisc XC wheels, sram 9.0 twist shifters, avid speed dial Ti brake levers, Avid bB7 front brake 185mm
sram x-7 rear derailer, wellgo mg pedals wtb prowler tires
from Crystal Lake, IL, USA
Date Reviewed: March 29, 2011
Strengths: Strong rigid frame, good pivots for the rear triangle, sturdy rims...haven't tweaked them yet and I ride pretty hard
Weaknesses: Handlebars had to be replaces, tires wore out too quickly, bad location for the serial number, could run cable housings on top of the frame to prevent water and gunk buildup, rear shock
This bike has ballz! I do a lot of drops and jumps with it, and I have only had one issue with the rear shock blowing out. Frame is strong, and with the new gear set-up, churning through the mud is not a hard task!!
Bike Setup: Dropped the Shimano 8sp off and refitted all Sram x-9 9sp from shifters to derailleurs, replaced the tires with some Kenda wraps, replaced the stock seat, went with Magura Hydro brakes with oversized rotors, went with Alcoa handlebars, and a few other small details. Purchasing Fox RP23 front and rear shocks.
a Weekend Warrior
from Denver, CO
Date Reviewed: March 9, 2011
Strengths: This is a very rugged and sturdy frame. beefy tubes make it strong enough to handle just about anything. The biggest strength for mine was i bought the frame only to build it up custom. i am a relative newb to DH, but i have been riding XC and FR since i was 14.
Weaknesses: I haven't run into any weaknesses from the frame other than weight.
This bike is sturdy enough to take almost anything you can throw at it, but you will need to spend a lot of money to get the upgrades needed to make this bike fly. I put a total of $600 into my bike and i love it. If you are a newb or don't plan on making any huge jumps, this bike is for you.
Similar Products Used: low-end WM bikes (mongoose xr250, next powerclimber)
Bike Setup: 2007 Coil EX frame, marzocchi 100mm fork, 2009 Manitou Swinger 8.5*2.5" 500lb coil shock, Hayes brakes w shimano rotors, Deore LX rear der, SR suntour crankset/bb (soon to be replaced w/ truvativ howitzer), continental diesel 26*2.5 tires on XM260 rims.
a Weekend Warrior
from Boston MA
Date Reviewed: June 8, 2010
Strengths: Great performance/value. High quality in general but for a major flaw in rear frame member.
Weaknesses: Rear triangle frame member has cracked at base/weld.
Had been hitting some hard trails, but nothing too crazy.
DICKS/Diamondback not coming through on warranty.
Been over 3 months. Anyone know of an optional frame member to use or parts supplier/repair shop? If so, plz contact
Bike Setup: Upgrades. Brakes to Avid BB7s front and rear, Fork to Dart2 80mm, Rear Derailluer to X5 then X7, replaced derailler hanger, Pedals to Wellgos, Brake cables to Shimano, replaced Chain to Shimano. Total upgrades and replacement parts = $325
from Baltimore, MD
Date Reviewed: October 12, 2009
Strengths: Price, Durability, Appearance, Decent Components (at the price)
Weaknesses: Rear Shock feels like a pogo stick, the front fork is OK but a better one wouldn't hurt. I know when I was a noob I kept landing with the front wheel first and was b*tching about it bottoming out, now I rarely do so since I land correctly. Handle bars have to be changed if you do any jumping, the steel bends easily after a season or 2 of hard landings. I had the alivio derailleur and hanger bent somehow when I went over a log, I ended up upgrading the hanger and derailleur to a deore which has been great. I notice a lot of chain slap when going down hill, and the derailleur really takes a beating against the frame (could be a derailleur design/spring problem though). Pedals need to be changed also, the plastic ones on there ended up cracking on me and had terrible grip when they got muddy/wet. And lastly, this thing is pretty heavy, but I really don't have a problem with that as it will prepare me better for my next bike.
Its a bottom end full suspension bike that gets the job done. Haven't really had a major failure after all the abuse I put it through (riding through 2-3 ft of water, mud, 4ft drop offs, rocky downhills with some jumps, falling off bike and having the bike go down the hill as some examples). You can find great deals on used parts and make this a decent budget all mountain/downhill bike.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 29, 2009
Strengths: Takes a licking and Keeps on ticking.
Weaknesses: Yuo will have to chang out all stock parts.
If you are seeing if you want to get into riding trails, get this bike. Once you start riding it every weekend, be prepared to have it in the shop by the start of every week. The bike has a strong frame, but for a 6 foot 280lb guy thats solid muscle... this bike cant take a pounding. Ive switched out the pedals 4 times (rubber to steal, to toe straps to toe clips) Tacoed both wheels twice, changed out the derailleur 4 times (Just couldnt take the beating... Broke on me 3 miles into a trail, and I Was taking it easy) had to get the gears tightened every weekend. Im scared to take it off a big jump, cause it creaks alot when I jump a stump. I just broke the derailleur clean off and the repair shop couldnt find a replacement for it. I had to order one online, and I took off the derailleur completly and went to a single gear...
The Only thing i havent changed out are the Brakes.. they work Great!!!! My next bike will be 1500k... trust me... this is rediculous.
Similar Products Used: Trek Hard Tail 15year Anniversary
Bike Setup: Dick Brakes, Shimaro Dick Brakes, derailluer, gears
a Weekend Warrior
from Chula Vista, Ca
Date Reviewed: September 6, 2009
Strengths: Good Bike for the Price.
Weaknesses: a a bit heavy, needs gear modification, Pedals need to be replaced.
I just started in the sport and I have been shopping around for a starter bike. this beats any other starter bike in the same price range. comes with Sram shifters and x-5 derailers and disc brakes. more than likely will be upgrading parts on it.
Favorite Trail: Phase 2 (havent been to Vultures Knob!)
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: From a friend
Similar Products Used: wall mart bike
Bike Setup: everything is stock except the pedals and a bontrager seat
a Weekend Warrior
from Glendale, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: May 19, 2009
Strengths: Strong frame. If you put a little effort into building up this bike, it will not steer you wrong.
Weaknesses: Its heavy and stock drive train isn't to climber friendly...or maybe I'm just a wuss.
This is a great bike if you plan on building it up. Some things, in my opinion, NEED to be replaced.
1)The suspension on the bike is horrible
Even if you can only get some Darts on there, it will make a world of difference
2)I didnt like the configuration of the 24-34-44 chainrings and the rear cassette wasnt up to my liking either.
If you plan on spending a small investment on this bike, it will give you much more in return.
Strengths: the frame i think is sturdy it has shimano components it definitely beats bikes that you get at walmart i ride this thing every where the first few days i had i put 30-40 miles on its real sturdy for a 300 dollar bike
Weaknesses: the pedals are terrible i eventually had to get new ones also the rear shock is not the best im thinking of getting a rear fox air shock. its a bit on the heavy side
for the price of this bike is great its a good beginner bike it beats all the cheap mongooses that you could get at walmart.