Strengths: Durability, dependability. Chromed handlebar finish has not marred a bit. Never intended as a high end bike, but surprisingly able to hold her own in their presence (specially when they break down and she keeps going).
Weaknesses: By this date most owners will have changed the original seat, pedals, and maybe front fork, for better and lighter alternatives. Not to mention the grips and tires.
After all this years, nearly 15 of constant use, she's given me no grief. Maintenance has been minimal, with only the ocasional silicone based spray lubricant and very sparse tweaking of components. Bearings were replaced once, just to be sure. She's still a very able mountain bike although she's been actually ridden more as a city bike. I live in Puerto Rico where the roads are pretty harsh and a hill is never very far, so her being a mountain bike isn't much of a detriment on pavement. I kept her tires wide to take all the punishment and deal with the ever present, tire swallowing, wide spaced sewer grills. Medium-hard PSI seem to be the best compromise between efficiency and shock absorption in the urban setting. Also used knobby on front to deal with gravel and occasional mud and slick on the back for better rolling. She can take on mud guards and all sorts of attachments (lights, bell, mirror, comp) to make her a great urban bike and her handling is great in traffic. One thing i'd like is to get a bigger plate on her crankset to increase her top speed on long flats and downhills, but I dont know if I can or will. At 31 pounds she's an OK weight, even when compared to present day mtb's. All in all she's a pretty decent bike as is, but considering all her years of service and her initial price it just makes for an outstanding piece of equipment. Sadly, later versions of this bicycle did not match up.
a Cross Country Rider
from Hillsville, PA USA
Date Reviewed: April 18, 2006
Strengths: Great overall bike. It is a 98 Mesa GSX. This was my first mountain bike, and is still my current steed. The Only things Ive replaced are minor, such as tires, cables, and grips. I kept the bike in relatively good condition, so it is still kicking ass, and taking whatever I throw at it.
Weaknesses: Frame seems a little large for me at stand over height. I think it might be a 19" frame, and Im only 5'9", so that doesn't help.
Deraiulers are kind of shady, Ive replaced the front with a new XTR unit because I smashed the stocker. Stock seat seems to suck ass now more than it did in the past.
Excellent bike for the money, and for a starting out rider. Drivetrain upgrade, as well as fork, is a must for an intermediate rider. However its kind of pointless to do so when you can get a 98 homegrown for less than the price of upgrading parts. Still a kick ass bike, if it was not, Id of replaced it.
Bike Setup: Stock except for XTR front deraiuler, and Michelin wildgripper lite S tires.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 4, 2002
Strengths: The frame is good quality. It climbs well and is very menuverable.
Weaknesses: The components, the fork.
Overall this is a great bike. It is much better if you put some money into it and buy some new derailers and a different fork. The petals could also use some work. Now that I am done dissing the bike I will say that it is definatly worth the money. It is a great starters bike.
Bike Setup: all stock 1999, Rock Shocks JETT. shimano deraileurs.
Puff the Magic Dragon
a Cross Country Rider
from Saratoga, California, USA
Date Reviewed: February 11, 2002
Strengths: She ain't exactly pretty, but what a damn ride. Extremely durable, manueverable, and responsive on tight curves. An overall solid ride.
Weaknesses: Weak bar ends and pedals.
Ok, for all you Schwinn Mesa GSX lovers, I got mine for the low $150, which included shipping, from an on-line auction. I didn't know anything about this bike prior to purchasing it blindly on-line. Man, this set rocks! I, of course, had to ditch the nasty seat and pedals...and am planning to upgrade other components. But, overall, it's an awesome buy whether at $500 or $150. Betsy, as I like to call her, takes the worse licking but just drives on. Minus her unsightly complexion (paint chafs easily), she's a beaut in that simplicy in design makes her durable for downhill whipe-outs and challenging drops.....very responsive in high-speed cornering.....a beast in hill climbing. She's ready to ride--anytime, anyplace (EXCEPT where there's mud)--quick on the march, stops on a dime. Although she is a middle to light-heavyweight bike, the ride will fool you into believing she's lighter than she really is. If you are looking for something to go tear-assing through all sorts of terrain (even through the urban jungle looking for a slurpee) and not worrying about failing on you, this bike make the finest choice.
Similar Products Used: 2001 GT i-drive 4.0, old hard-tail Mongoose.
Bike Setup: XCR suspension seatpost, Ritchey clip-less pedals, Michelin Wildgripper Hot S (in none other than in flaming red), a cushy yet cheap Specialized Body Geometry seat.
a Weekend Warrior
from Everett wa
Date Reviewed: May 23, 2001
Strengths: Great climber, light,
Weaknesses: Paint, Wheels. I got mondays bike. THe paint rubbed off easy and I keep breaking spoke nipples. Also a little long for sharp corners. My biggest weekness was customer support. on steep trails.
This is my second one, My first bike was trouble free but stolen from my garage after owning it for only 2 months.
Bike is a great ride I just wish it would stay looking as good as it rides. I changed the wheels for fear of them flying apart on my way to where I like to ride. I reach speeds of 40 mph down one of the hills coasting on my way there, 8 mph back. Be safe and get new wheels or respoke them.
Weaknesses: Indy S suspension fork tends to lose stiffness over time. Seat is mildly uncomfortable after a long ride. Paint easily scars.
This is my first "real" mountain bike. I've had experience with a wide variety of bikes, but this was the first I've actually bought, and it hasn't dissapointed.
As an introductory bike, Schwinn's Mesa GSX has the market cornered. (I'm referring to the 1998 Mesa GSX; it was downgraded for 1999.) All of the componentry is top-notch for the price. The frame is light, stiff, and suits it's intended audience to a T.
One feature that stood out in my early riding days were the brakes. Even now, I have to be aware of their immense power, lest I land on my back with hard front braking. The control is excellent, and they'll rival disc brakes in most conditions. (NOT mud! Anything that involves water should be avoided.)
To cut this short, it's an excellent value for the money.
Similar Products Used: None. Used a lot of full-suspension bikes, but few hardtails of this caliber.
Bike Setup: Standard, with the exception of new brake pads.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 1, 2000
Strengths: Frame, money well spent.
Weaknesses: I haven't found any yet except for the saddle
This was the first bike I bought. I was surprised of the looks I got on the trail, and after getting off the trail, people said they didn't think a Schwinn could do that. After riding for a while I was told to enter races. The 1st one I entered I came in 4th to my surprise. The 1st place winner had a Specialized, the 2nd had a Gary Fisher, and the 3rd had a kline. There bikes were more than $900 a piece and I only paid $485 for mine. All in all I have never been let down by this bike. Unfortunately I bought a Cannondale last spring. I prefer riding my Schwinn over my Cannondale any day. It will take everything you can throw at it and keep coming back for seconds.....
Similar Products Used: Barracuda A2 Fast,Trek 7000, a Giant
Bike Setup: All original except a rollamajig and a new saddle
a Weekend Warrior
from Tulsa, Ok
Date Reviewed: March 4, 2000
Strengths: excellent bang for the buck. durability
Weaknesses: Had mimimal problems w/r derailleur and chain rub on the front derailleur after trail riding. other than that i have no complaints.
This was my 1st mountain bike and it kicks ass!! I have beaten the hell out it and the bike just keeps tickin. I own the 98 Mesa GSX and after reading all the reviews am I glad I bought it when I did. In the process of upgrading rear derailleur and the shock. Thanks for all the input from others, this has given me ideas as to what I want to do with future upgrades.
a Cross Country Rider
from Dallas,TX USA
Date Reviewed: February 12, 2000
Strengths: This was my first MTBike, For the price I thought it was an excellent deal. It can take a lot of abuse...so far. Great brakes, gear shifting.
Weaknesses: The seat is low end as are the rims, both needed to be replaced within the 1st year.
For the price this was an excellent bike for a begiiner like I was when I bought it. It has taken a lot of abuse and is still going strong. If Schwinn still makes this model, it is perfect for the new rider who doesn't want to spend a lot of money. Upgrade as the skills grow.
Date Reviewed: November 26, 1999
Strengths: The pedals are really great .. Especially in my jelly shoes. The reflecters make for a really safe riding experience at night. But I also recommend taping glow sticks to your legs for added safety, I usually do this on the weekends....
Weaknesses: The stock end caps of the bar fall off and I always have to stop and pick them up on the trails. Also the rear derailer is not that great ... One time I almost busted big time and fell into a pond :(
This bike is for anyone who likes to raise some cane.. And believe me man I doooooo... I sometimes ride thios bike on property where there are now trails and make my own. This isn't really easy when you are not familiar with the area. My GPS navigator that I have zipp tied to the handle bar really helps out ...
Similar Products Used: cigma bmx rt Hellcat free agent
Bike Setup: I have only stock parts for now and hope for some upgrades in the future... but My girl friend is against the idea...She thinks that her little debbie's are more important. But I say the hell with that/....
a Weekend Warrior
from San Antonio
Date Reviewed: October 25, 1999
Strengths: Great Frame Great Brakes, shifters, levers
Weaknesses: Rims Peddles Saddle
Great entry-level bike. I purchased a 1999 at a close-out price of $399. I added Bontrager clip peddles, suspension seat post, and a new saddle. On my third ride, I hit hard on my back rim and bent it. I spent $100 (closeout deal) and upgraded to front and back doubled-walled rims, (XT hubs). I am now very happy with the bike. I ride about 6 hours a week on novice to expert single track trails and have had no component failure. I would stongly recommend this bike to the person wanting a quality entry level bike. I will ride this one for two years and then go to my dream bike, Trek 8500LT.
Weaknesses: About all the components they are very weak and suck. The fork sucks only 45mm of travel
If you are a weekend worrior I would say it is pretty good but if you think you might race like I did at a later time dont get it get a Cannondale f 300 for 100 dolors more and you get a hell of a lot more. I put an extra 600 dolers to make a pretty decent x-country racing bike. Dont do the same thing get a moab 1 2 or 3
New here. First post and all. Just picked up a Schwinn Mesa GSX. I believe it's a 99'. I was lucky to find this like new from the original owner for $145. Only street driven. Probably doing this backwards, but wondering what everything thinks of this bike. It's 21" frame and I am ... Read More »
Hi, i was given a Schwinn Mesa GSX frame by a friend of mine after he upgraded his ride. The thing is we dont know what frame type it is (eg; HG011, HG012 etc) as I need a rear drop out/hanger and dont know which one to get. Any help greatly appreciated.
[IMG]http://i295.photobucket.com/album ... Read More »
After a 4 year hiatus from mountain biking, i started up again. I'm now looking for a replacement. There's nothing wrong, per se, with the current setup, but i was looking to upgrade some of my components (rear derailleur, cassette, etc.) and ive figured that it would be easier to just buy a new bik ... Read More »