All DS FSX Full Suspension mountain bikes feature Advanced Aluminum frames with a Hydroformed tubes, advanced single-pivot rear suspension and trail-ready geometry. Features powerful disc brakes and wide range Shimano 24 speed drivetrain for smooth shifting on rough terrain. The plush Suntour suspension fork further smooths the terrain.
I needed an affordable bike to practice my downhill skills and jumps..that way if I break the bike I wouldn't be so upset. Three months now and this bike is still standing strong after all my abuses. Highly recommend you change the fork and pedals to start..if you plan on riding hard. I would also change the tires around 1000-1500 miles if you plan on riding in muddy/rainy terrains.
Date Reviewed: October 13, 2012
Weaknesses: Front shocks.
I got this bike for a friend's bday..so far the bike withstood and had better components than our $600. These vets on the forum..never rode this bike and therefore their opinion is not reliable. We had this bike for 6 months now..and the newbies did the worst crash and abuse ...but the bike keeps riding. Note this bike was to train beginners..now I might ride it myself. For Less $350..this bike is amazing...It's working out for my roommates and their buddies. Funny thing is that I was afraid to ride this..now this loaner outlasted our "top of the line" brand name.
Strengths: Upgradable. Most components are industry standard sizes.
Size: the 21" fits me decently (6'4", 34" inseam), never felt top heavy taking switchbacks or putting on the front brakes. My previous bike was a Target Schwinn, and everytime I turned the wheel (even on road) I felt like I was going to fall off. I'd say anybody over 6'1" would probably be OK. Standover height puts it about 2-3" below the bits.
Weaknesses: Fork: The Suntour fork is the lowest quality suntour offered. Only one spring (the 21" bike came with a firm spring) without any dampeners. The only thing holding the top and bottom sections of the fork together is a single bolt through only one stanchion, which is threaded to the bottom leg. No nut on the bottom of the fork, it's threaded straight into the lower tubes. If you strip it, there's not enough enough room to put on a nut. And it comes with the liability sticker, "not for trail use" for obvious reasons.
Rear Shock: 6" shock, no dampening, same as wally world shocks. No mater what, at least get the FSX 2.0 unless you are getting a different rear shock. Without dampening, you bounce/bob like crazy, and everything you hit throws you back up with the same amount of force. Get the dampened rear shock or get a hardtail.
Weight: the 21" bike weighed about 38 pounds with the stock fork swapped for a suntour XCM, a small saddle bag with spare tire and multipurpose tool, and a small air pump.
Don't even think of putting a water bottle on here. The bolt points are so low, anything you put on there interferes with the shock.
Paint: it scratches easily. Don't expect this bike to look pretty for long if you actually use it on the trails. On that note, check out bikeisland for their scratch n dent stuff (well not dented, but scratached stuff does show up) for deals. If it's going to get scratched up anyway, why not start that way and same some money for upgrades.
Get the FSX 2.0 at a minimum. The shock upgrade is worth it..
First, I'm 6'5 and 220lb. All previous bikes have been wally world/target/kmart bikes. I did the assembly myself, tuned it, and swapped out the front fork for a Suntour XCM with lockout. I'm an engineer, mechanically inclined, served in the army, and have restored a classic truck for fun. I'm decent with wrenching and with some common sense, this bike does go together easy with minimal insanity. Watch youtube videos and read up on bike assembly, and you too can assemble a bike. I've had it for a week or so, and only used it 2-3 hours on a level 2 XC trail and some road use to stretch the cables, prep the brake rotors, and fine tune the shifting. So far, I can't review it on longevity of components, but I can say the general parts that are on it are just a bit above wally world quality. I already have some creaking from the bottom bracket and brake squeal.
If you're buying this for the full suspension aspect, spend the extra money to get the FSX 2.0 or 3.0. The shock and fork on this bike are undampened and basically the same as you'd get for half the price at wallyworld. If you are buying it for commuting, either get the 3.0 and use the lockout or get a hardtail. This bike rides much slower than a hardtail, bobs a lot under anything but the lightest pedaling, and you are just wasting energy.
Other parts: Brakes work fine once they are broken in (30-50 slow stops should do it, followed by rubbing alcohol wipedown of rotors) and the handle pull adjusted. Plastic brake handles, but they work for now. Bottom bracket is pretty low quality, but it is Schimano's 22 teeth style and a new one of decent quality is only about $10 to $20. Find someone with the crank remover and the bottom bracket tool, and it's easy to change. The cranks and front chain ring are riveted, so if one of the rings gets torn up, you need to replace it all. If you use it this much, worth the upgrade. My previous bike on the same trails had difficulty shifting to larger rings when under load, but the ones on the FSX 1 shifted no problem. I hope they stay that way once broken in.
Upgrades: I put on a Suntour XCM fork, and it handles 2-4" stumps and rocky trail sections without much problem. Only bottomed out a couple times. I blame my fat a$$. Definately better than the stock spring only fork. I've already ordered a Rockshox XC32 29" to replace it though. No matter what, get a better fork. I also plan on getting a new rear shock. The one that's on there is absolute junk. It wastes so much energy, and because of the bike's weight, when going uphill, you are going so slow over obstacles that everything throws you off. Just not fun. Down hill is good though, lots weight to help you go fast. Not sure if that's a good thing, but it is fun.
Rear shock upgrades: OK, so I measured the bike like crazy. The bike requires an 8mm bolt to attach the shock to the frame. The width of the shock mount hardware is about 24mm (when measured, one was 24mm, the other one 25mm, take it to a bike shock to get it measured if you upgrade). The stock shock is a 6" kindshock iconsisting of a spring put over a holow pipe. No dampening available or possible (for those backyard mechanics) with this shock. I tried, it's junk. The bushings that come stock on the bike will not work with any other shock, the diameters are different, so if you upgrade to a better shock, expect to spend the extra $30 for bushings/mounting kit. The maximum length between the centerline of the shock mounts is 7 1/8", so the max shock would be 7" or less. Rockshox Monarch airshocks come in a 6.5" and it sounds like a lot of people have upgrade with these. Minimum distance between center holes is 4", any less and you start getting into severe shock binding and the rear wheel hitting the derailure cable. I personally wouldn't go anything less than 5", and coincidentally that's what the stock shock is set at.
Placing the bike on the ground and measuring rear travel:
Original shock - 6" with 1" travel moved the shock eyes to 5" moved the rear wheel 2 1/2".
Upgraded 6.5" shock with 1.5" travel moved the shock eye 5" moved the rear wheel 4".
Basically, upgrading the rear shock from a 6" to 6.5" will give you an extra 1 1/2" in the back, almost perfect for an upgraded 29" front shock.
These measurements don't include any account for ride height or sag, and of course any changes made to the suspension will affect the head tube angle and seat angle. Since every rider is different, and the head tube and seat angles are greatly affected by how you set up sag, you're on your own to figure that out.
Best of luck, and ride it till you break it. Then fix it and ride it some more. Don't be afraid to turn your own wrenches, just make sure you tighten everything.
Similar Products Used: Schwinn S-40 (full suspension from Target)
Mongoose (full suspension from Wal-mart, wheel hub bearings shot after about 200 miles)
Next hardtail (left half disassembled in my front hard, fixed it and rode it till it was stolen)
Mongoose (full suspension, when the stole the next hard tail, they left the Mongoose. Don't know why)
Schwin hardtail (they stole the Mongoose, left the Schwinn. Bastages stole the Schwinn and didn't leave anything after that)
Bike Setup: Gravity FSX 1.0, upgrades in progress. Planned Rockshox XC32 29" fork with Monarch RL rear.
Date Reviewed: September 28, 2012
Strengths: This is a solid bike. Parts/Components are similar to Specialized, Giant and Trek.
Weaknesses: Fork..may need upgrade if you planning on jumping, spinning and flying into rocks.
Overall, great bike. I have this bike as a loaner for guests to ride on the trails. So far it held up well through small jumps and steep DH. The guests crashed hard with this bike and nothing was broken or bent. However both the Diamondback 29er and Specialized Hardrock bike derailleurs (pulley & pivot) weren't bent and our riders had to discontinue and made a U-turn home. I got it from BikesDirect for $329 flat. I'm riding a Trek 29er, but DS FSX 1.0 is my reliable backup when my Trek is in the shop.
Date Reviewed: June 27, 2012
Strengths: Price,quality,looks,fully adjustable suspension,good all terrain tires,disc brakes front and back,shifts quick and solid.
Weaknesses: Pedals could be of better quality.Bike is a little bit heavy but the gearing makes up for that.
Assembly was easy and straight forward.I have owned the so called Walmart brands before and some of those were fair to good bikes.But this Gravity FSX Mountain Bike is several steps above any bike I have purchased to this date.I have been to bike shops that sell top end mountain bike for several hundreds of dollars more that have big name brands on them that do not compare to the Gravity bike.I purchased this from Bikeisland.com for $ 274.95 including shipping.This is a great bike for a great price and highly recommend it for the beginner to intermediate riders.I do not work for gravity bikes or Bikeisland.com just a very satisfied customer for both.
Date Reviewed: June 21, 2012
Strengths: $$$ Price $$$, disc brakes, full suspension, aluminum frame, comfortable seat, trigger shifters, 8th sprocket makes climbing super easy, quiet.
Weaknesses: None yet.
I bought this bike from bikes direct. I mostly ride on pavement, but sometimes on trails. I needed something with full suspension to soften the bumps. The closest thing I could find that had the same or comparable components was a K2 Base Sport sold by Sports Authority. Sports Authority charges $550.00 plus 6% sales tax. I paid $329.00 for my bike including shipping and no sales tax. I was looking for an entry level MTB with better components then you can get at Wal-Mart, Target, etc. I purchased my bike from bikesdirect.com. At first I was skeptical about ordering from them because they seem to have a lot of mixed reviews, but they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. My bike arrived quickly and in great shape. I had to do some minor assembly, adjust the brakes, and the derailleurs. My bike rides smoothly and quietly. I am thrilled with my purchase especially since I saved money. Even if you had to take your bike to Dick's Sporting Goods or a local bike shop for assembly or tune up you still get a great bike at an awesome price. I am writing this review for those who are apprehensive about buying from bikesdirect.com. My experience was fine. The transaction was smooth and everything was as advertised. I do not work for bikesdirect.com and unfortunately I did not get paid to write this review.