This bike may be cheap, but you will end up putting more money into it then it's worth. After the first week of riding, i had to replace the disc brakes, bar, stem, cassette, back rim, seat and rear shock. The fork on this bike is terrible. I had 0 sag and couldn't adjust it to allow more. This may look like a smoking deal, but just dish out a few hundred more and buy a real bike.
I have a 2008 700DS which I got used a little over a year ago on stock conditions. IMO its a great starter bike. I don't think there is any other full suspension bike out there with the same lever of components as this for under $800. The stock bike is decent, it came with a mixture of mid-low level components and I rode it like that for a while. It was a good bike for a beginner. As my skills improved I felt the suspension was not responding the way I wanted and since I could not afford a better bike I decided to replace the stock Rockshox Dart 2 fork with a Marzocchi Marathon LR and the rear coil shock with a Rockshox Ario RL, both of which I found at a very good price online... Boy what a difference! It handles much better after I upgraded the suspension and as a side effect it lost about 3.2 lbs (it went from 35.6 lbs to 32.4 lbs). A little after in order to achieve a better fit I also replaced the very heavy stem that came with the bike with a surprisingly well made Exotic stem that I also got online for a very reasonable price, and again, money well spent. Now its time to replace the tired drive train and since I only ride in the middle front ring I have decided to convert to 1x10 (It came as a 3x8). I just order all the parts I need for this conversion and it only cost me $191. Overall, including the price of the bike I have $866 invested on it and for that price I can't be happier with it... Well, maybe I would be happier if it lost another 4 or 5 lbs.
Bought this bike used for $350. Like others have said, the bike is a tank. I only swapped out the stock pedals and it weighs 34 lbs 12 oz. The rear shock doesn't really seem to work very well. The rear tire bounces around like a hard tail on bumpy terrain. With that said, for the price you get quite a bit in terms of components and the bike probably has more bells and whistles than it really needs. At this price point a hard tail is probably more appropriate for somebody buying new. The bike could take component upgrades but it's probably better as a starter bike eventually to be replaced by something a little easier to pedal up a hill.
a Weekend Warrior
from Fort Worth, TX, USA
Similar Products Used: Colombia Twinpeak, GT Avalanche
a Cross Country Rider
from Laurel, MD, USA
Date Reviewed: July 7, 2011
Strengths: Cheap cheap cheap. Single pivot rear triangle is solid. Frame seems solid so far. Wheelsets still in great shape. Tektro Aquila mechanical breaks do a great job.
Weaknesses: I got what I paid for. Dart2 shock replaced with my old Marzocchi. 800lb rear spring replaced with 400lb. Rear shock bearing 'crack' sound when it unloads (no-weight part of a bounce). Entire drivetrain had to be replaced after 1.5seasons (chain+cassette+baby ring+bottom bracket). Rear shifter doesn't move well anymore (not a biggie, I pretty much ride like a single-speed)
I wanted a cheap bike and boy, I got what I paid for. My consolation is that it seems to be a fairly solid platform for upgrades as time / funds allow. Still, I can't help some rides wishing I bought more bike.
Similar Products Used: 700DS is my First full suspension
Bike Setup: 2010 stock except: 06 marzocchi bomber eta fork, 400lb coilover spring, new shimano drivetrain. Not so bad now.
a Weekend Warrior
from Corvallis, OR
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2011
Strengths: Value, well made
Weaknesses: Tad heavy, tires, water bottle mount
I bought this bike on eBay based largely on these reviews, so I thought I'd toss in my 2c worth. I love it! A tad heavy but so am I... when I lose 30 lbs then I'll worry about the weight of my bike. When I received the bike the front chain rings were warped; SportyMama immediately sent an entire replacement crank set. I do a lot of street & trail so I put Continentals on it, what a difference! Also didn't care for the stiff rear shock (but lived with it for a while), air shock with lockout solved it. Had to get a little creative mounting a water bottle on the handlebars but I found I prefer it there. Disc brakes are awesome, they stop on a dime and have twice put me over the handlebars. Durability has been excellent. Over 3 years later, two bad wrecks, and the bike is still perfect.
Strengths: Solid bike, good suspension, comfortable in rough conditions. Great seat and easy adjustable brakes. Lockout is great.
Weaknesses: None - So the seat post is to long - Big deal. Cut it. Better to be to long than to short.
I was riding a friends $2000.00 Trek and have found this bike to be better all around than the Trek with the exception of the brakes. Trek had hydrolic brakes. I have ridden 4 different trails many times from beginner to expert and this bike is a s good as any of the $4000.00 bikes that ride with me. Why pay for an over advertised brand when you can get a solid built bike with all the bells and whistles you need for a fraction of the cost. I see where one person weighed the bike at 35 lbs. I dont know if the scale was off but mine weighed in at under 30 lbs. I am 6'2" 200 lbs and the difference in the Trec and this bike is so minimal. I have put this bike through hell the last 2 weeks training for a race and it has been solid. At my height the 20.5 inch frame was great.
Bike Setup: Easy - about 30 mins total from box to road.
a Weekend Warrior
from Burlington, VT, USA
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2010
Strengths: Durable bike for cheap price. Light weight, shifts perfect, brakes work very well. Locking shocks amazing up hill. Wheels and tires are great.
Weaknesses: Seat post had to be cut, way too long and I am 6'2". Back shock too stiff at first (broke in over time). Seat keeps coming lose on the stem and sliding back and moving around. I weigh 190 lb so the stiff rear shock does not bother me, but for someone lighter it might. Pedals are soft and I already bent one on a rock.
I was worried at first because every kept saying how heavy this bike is and I live in a city that is on a hill, but this bike is not bad at all, great gearing. I beat on this bike a lot and so far no real issues. Had about 50 hard rides, not counting city riding, since I bought it and it held up. On my last bike the wheels kept bending, gears kept losing alignment, and I snapped the seat, so as you can imagine I ride pretty hard. This bike gets compliments all the time, and I can keep up with my friends that own bikes that cost 3X what I paid for mine. If you are hesitating about buying it, don't, it is a great bike after tuned by bike shop.
a Weekend Warrior
from Las Vegas, NV
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2010
Strengths: Solid frame, pleasure to ride, smooth shifting, for the price you cant beat the features.
Weaknesses: weighed the bike on a scale at work: 35Lbs... No big deal for the weekend warrior, still a breeze to pick up and walk up stairs if needed.
As a starting bike its great, you can abuse it till something breaks and then just upgrade. Bike does not come with good assembly instructions, once you kinda figure out how to put it together, I would take it to a bike shop and have everything adjusted for $15.00 before a ride if you are new at this like me.
Strengths: Solid, heavy-duty frame. Possibility of adding a electric motor wheel; as an option. Radical design. Lots of positive comments while riding.
Weaknesses: They tires were way too sticky for the type of riding I'm doing. I almost had to keep pedaling while riding down a hill. I yanked all of the bling (stickers) off the bike. Use a hair dryer. Paint does chip easily but black is easy to touch up. Lead sled! Ugh!
Similar Products Used: This is my first suspension bike.
Bike Setup: I'm an old skipper who was looking for a full suspension bike because the city bumps were taking a toll on my body. I also was tired of riding all bent over. I ride for pleasure, not for exercise. I changed the tires to Michelin City Tire; handlebars to Pyramid Mountain Bike Riser Handlebar, 5" Rise, Alloy, Black; Dimension Adjustable Stem 25.4 125mm 70-130; Dimension Steerer extender (stem raiser)5"; Jagwire break and deraileur kit to handle the new height of the handlebars; Easy Rider seat; toe clips, kickstand, etc.
from ohio, ohio, USA
Date Reviewed: November 23, 2009
Strengths: Strength and Durability
Weaknesses: WTB seat
Bulletproof bike that is an excellent value. 6 months of hard freeriding weekly. Lots of rock drops, steep drops, boulder and tree hops etc... Besides breaking the WTB seat and having to remove the rivet in the seat stay, this bike has been flawless! It is well balanced in the air and handles fast trial riding with great front end grip. It handles 4-5 foot drops no problem with me at 195 lbs. The entry level suspension and brakes will start to bother after you discover how capable this slightly heavy bike really is. I plan upgrade to Shimano Saint 6 brakes, Rockshox Domian 318 U-Turn forks and Vivid 5.1 shock soon. My suggestion... buy one.
Bike Setup: Stock other than a 550lb./inch spring for rear shock
a Weekend Warrior
from Clarksville, TN
Date Reviewed: August 6, 2009
Strengths: Looks like a black beast!The tires can go through mud like a hot knife through butter. The shift indicators are cool. The shipping was fast, had the bike in 3-4 days!
Weaknesses: Had to trim the seat post to make it fit. Had issues with shifting gears after assembling it. Took it to the local bike shop to get it working, I just didn't feel like dealing with it myself. Since then its great.
Heavy, are you crazy man. This bike will take any hill and slap it around and mock it the whole way up, off-road or street. The Rear shock is stiff but for now it will do. Great bike to start with and a great value.
Weaknesses: heavy, short seat post, stiff rear shock
I ordered the bike on a Saturday and received it on the following Thursday via UPS. No damage found. Assembled the bike Thursday night and Friday afternoon. Added a bunch of accessories Saturday and went for my first ride Sat. evening to see if it worked. Made a few fine adjustments to the front derailleur and the brakes. Sunday I took it to the LBS and paid $10.00 for them to fine adjust the rear derailleur and the brakes. The front calliper needed some U-shims under the mounting bolts to align the pads to the rotor. Now everything seems fine. The bike came upgraded to WTB Speeddisc wheels which I was very happy to see. I do not like the WTB SpeedV saddle. It cuts off the circulation in my left inside thigh. I will put my Terry saddle from my Schwinn on it to solve this issue. The cheapest entry level full suspension bike with disc brakes at the LBS was $850 so I think I got a great deal! My bike has almost all the accessories I want for less than the price of the LBS bike and I learned a lot about my bike by assembling it at home. If you are looking for a great entry level full suspension mountain bike with disc brakes I would buy this one if I were you.
Strengths: sturdy frame,great shifting,sharp looking bike
Weaknesses: heavy,rear shock coil has gotta go
can't beat the price.paid $50 to the LBS to have the bike completed and tweaked out. they were impressed with the deore xt grouping for the price paid on the bike. a little heavy but not much more than my Trance 4 which i paid twice the amount for.great entry level bike.
Hi there guys,
I have decided on purchasing one of these two bikes.
I need the ... Read More »
The rear shock on the 700DS is so stiff it is all but a hardtail for a 170lb rider. I have read about a Cloud9 shock that is a common replacement but have not seen much else besides threads about changing the spring. Are common Fox shocks (RP2) compatible? Is there just a set of specs I need (len ... Read More »
Getting back into riding, and i'm not sure which I should buy. Both will cost me $600, the mongoose has better brakes, and a better rear shock, the Motobecane has better components. I ride all types of terrain, like to do some off road/jumping when i can.Read More »
It only offers three options: Small/16inches (claimed to up to 5'8''), Medium/18inches(claimed to up to 6'), Large20inches.
I am 5'7.5'', but my upper body is a bit longer than usual. The ideal length should be 17 inches. So I am kinda messing in between.
My main focus is doing trail riding, ... Read More »