Strengths: Like the rims, very solid. Very low pricegot on sale at sport authority and added the ubiquitous 20% that comes out everytime I buy gorceries at Vons. Walked out just over $350. Took on two trips riding canyons outside palm desert and it handled the rocks extremely well. Amost everything can be tighted with a single allen wrench (why a nut on the rear derailer cable?). do tighten after the firsst few rides cause assembly quality may not be the best at this price range.
Weaknesses: you get what you pay for and this bike is heavy and you work hard on long uphills. Sometimes the backend feels like it is tracking in a different direction through turns, wierd feeling. not the tightest bike for single track.
Overall this is a great value and a good intro bike. Getting disc breaks and DS in this price rnage was a nice surprise.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 31, 2012
Strengths: The bike feels very sturdy/durable/reliable.
I really like the rear suspension which allows me to hit bumps and obstacles with ease and still being able to maintain control.
Love the disc brakes, I feel very confident in the disc brakes and their ability to stop quickly & safely.
Weaknesses: The Tires (just my opinion since I do more street riding than rough terrain riding)
The handle bar stem, the 10 degree angle causes fatigue in my hands, wrists and shoulders after long rides (8+ mile rides). Switched out the stem for one with a higher degree angle for comfort.
My first couple of rides were rough on the streets due to the Kenda Klaw tires so I switched out the rear tire with a Biria 26x2 Comfortable ride/Puncture resistant tire ($25) which is semi bald down the center although has some traction on the sides of the tires and the front tire I switched out with a Specialized Armadillo puncture resistant tire ($50) which has low profile tread all around. These tires definitely increased my speeds. The knobby tires just slow me down too much and now I can pick up speed with less effort.
In regards to the weight of the bike, my friends think my bike is heavy but I expected that due to the rear suspension on it. My previous hardtail bike was extremely light in comparison to this bike but I do not mind the weight of the bike, I have no problems carrying the bike (with the bike seat on my shoulder) up & down the two flights of stairs in my apartment building.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 9, 2012
Strengths: Looks great, Great Ride, Comes in different sizes, Great price for a bike with disk brakes and DS. Handles great on dirt trails and roads.Better built and fit than the Mart store bikes.
Weaknesses: Get what you pay for.. Bike is not fast.
This has been a nice bike to ride. I was looking for a bike that would take the shock and bumps out of the trails as my 53 year old back has been hammered over the years. With the off road tires it takes a little more work to keep up with the family on paved trails but the smooth ride is worth the trade off. After looking and riding the other and less expensive bike this one fit my needs. To me this was not a cheep bike but then it it all relative as what you are looking for and how much money you are looking to spend.
Weaknesses: heavy (mine weighed in at 35lbs after upgraded rear shock and drive train), did not like the stock shifting components, crappy stock suspension, really not happy with the suntour xct v3
Stock the bike is decent for the price. I have abused the hell out of it and taken it where more high end bikes even have problems. It has never given me any problems and has taken everything I can dish out. With a few upgrades this can be a very nice bike! Look at the base 3.0. By upgrading the suspension and shifting components you can lighten this bike up alot.
Similar Products Used: Pacific YX8500 , Diamondback Recoil
Bike Setup: All stock except I upgraded the drive train and shifters to shimano alivio 27speed components. Also the best upgrade you can make to this bike is a better rear shock. Got a cheap suntour recon air shock on ebay for 40 bucks. Took alot of weight off the bike and made it ride 100times better! Next upgrade will be the front fork for sure.
Weaknesses: * Wt: 40 Lbs ... TOO HEAVY!
* BB [Bottom Bracket]: 68mm [86-92mm best]
Broke after 2 weeks of daily use, 2nd one... Same!
* Rim Valve hole... Continuously cuts into Schraeder Stem of every new tire, every 3-7 days!
* Kenda Klaw 2.1"... No Puncture protection!
* SR Suntour XCT-V3, 100mm Travel... Not as smooth as Fox Float.
* Head Tube Angle: too vertical
* 8 X 3 [24 speed]: 10 X 3 is Best. The Shimano CS-HG30, 12-32T, 8 Speed cassette does NOT allow full use of all gears... too much angular tension on chain. That said, the KMC Z-72 Chain K2 uses on this bike is above adequate.
Still, the rider can feel the stress placed on any chain this bike will use when in gears 3rd : 1,2 ; 1st : 7,8 ; 2nd : 1,8.
Note: Actually owned this MTB bike for 4 months but field above did not give option for it.
For those who are new to cycling on/off road, here are my views:
As a [relatively] inexpensive bike, it is ok.
There are a few things every bike should have to start with, yet many manufacturers don't even integrate into their own models, including many expensive ones.
I have researched every major bike made in the world, and none makes their bike frames as well as Pivot [mach 4, mach 5, mach 5.7 models only].
They have the lightest Aluminum and Carbon fiber Frames in the world, and their geometry is exceptional.
* Weight: Any Bike weighing over 33 Lbs [total] is going to be a strenuous workout on any grade uphill... good workout, but tiring and slow if you're in a hurry.
* BB [Bottom Bracket]: Many top of the line bikes have a 68mm BB... this is completely unacceptable!
86-92mm are best, even 73mm is better than 68mm, as they improve performance and life of BB bearings.
* Rim hole on this bike keeps damaging valve stems. Perhaps a lemon for the one I got.
Will be switching to Presta Valves to see if that corrects problem.
* Tires: Kenda Claw has no protection from any kind of thorn, etc.
Changed to Schwalbe Marathon Extreme HS 402 26x2.25.
They are one of the best tires for performance on/off road [if not THE best].
* Shocks: They are ok for their price but if you've ever felt the performance of a Fox Float 140mm or 150mm you will notice a softer absorption and greater range of motion compared to the Suntour XCT-V3 with only 100mm travel.
* Head Tube Angle: Best: horizontal] offers better management against obstacles [curbs, rocks, logs] in the way. It also allows the rider to support their weight behind the wheel while standing on climbs and better control on descent of hills [less likely to fall over bike]. This in conjunction with...
* Front Shock Length: Recommended: 140-160mm [150 Best].
For a workout bike, overall durability, and considering that it is 1/10 the price of a better bike [Pivot mach[s] 4, 5, 5.7], it is sufficient.
For weekend use it's acceptable.
For everyday use it's not acceptable.
For serious competition, it is far from acceptable.