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I bought 2 Mongoose xr250s a few days ago for me and another for my wife. We want to get into mountain biking for health and sport. I now relize after reading some posts on here that our choice of bikes may not be the best due to quality issues and or safety. So the plan is to wear out the bikes on not so tough trails and then get a bike from a LBS in the $1000.00 range when these bikes finally crap out. My question is, as long as we arent to rough on them is it safe to keep riding them without fear of forks breaking or rivets busting in the gear set causing a bad accident...things like that? After riding for less than a week now and over 600 miles total, I am already obsessed with the sport so spending a grand on a bike is OK with me now, where as a few days ago when shopping for bikes the LBS prices seemed crazy. I now relize our mistake in choice vs type of trail.

So how safe are we and for how long will these bikes last if we dont get to rough with them? (exposed roots 4" high as being the roughest)

Also some more questions I have after reading some of the threads...

Why is it bad to have a seat thats to soft (jell) or to wide?

Also my top speed on the Mongoose on flat pavement is 24mph. :madman: What can I expect from a LBS mountain bike?

BTW the lowest gear on the Mongoose has so far got me up some very steep climbs with little effort. Will LBS bikes be yet better?

Why is a dept store "full suspension" a bad thing? Or a LBS as compared to a hardtail?
 

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Here's my opinion on those bikes, I had a bike like that similar model the XR 150 a long time ago, and yes in comparison to the bike I have now, it sucks, really bad. The bike was heavy, not to mention the suspension is not very efficient at all, because when your pedaling your going to notice a lot of pedal bob where as the more expensive bikes that you can get will have more advanced suspension designs or better rear shocks that they will not have that much of a problem.

To answer your questions:

1. In my opinion I would not ride them on trails, they wouldn't be suited for it, reliability and durability of parts are questionable. When I had my XR 150 I was using it for commuting to and from school and the worst terrain I went over was rough flat surfaces.

2. Having a seat that's to soft or wide isn't good for trail use because it restricts movement, it's good for commuter bikes but not for trails.

3. You can expect to attain higher speeds from a bike obtained from an LBS since there will be a lot less power loss do to better suspension, bike fit, and lighter weight.

4. Again the bike you get at your LBS will be better, do to reasons stated in previous answer.

5. Dept store full suspension bikes were never meant to be taken out on trails. Not sure what you mean by that last part though.
 

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flair1111 said:
Mongoose xr250...
So how safe are we and for how long will these bikes last if we dont get to rough with them? (exposed roots 4" high as being the roughest)
...
Why is it bad to have a seat thats to soft (jell) or to wide?

Also my top speed on the Mongoose on flat pavement is 24mph. :madman: What can I expect from a LBS mountain bike?

BTW the lowest gear on the Mongoose has so far got me up some very steep climbs with little effort. Will LBS bikes be yet better?

Why is a dept store "full suspension" a bad thing?
"The 26" Mongoose XR250 is built to take whatever you - and Mother Nature - can dish out."
This sounds a bit optimistic:D :madman: :nono:

Those bikes are not built to last on rough trails. Cheap materials, cheap parts, lots of cheap moving parts... Take it easy on those bikes. Do not slam into those roots, at the very least.

A soft/wide seat might be comfy to sit on but when you start pedaling they may chafe.

Speed on flat pavement is mainly a function of fitness and tyres: my ooold commuter/errand bike on these is faster on pavement than my nice hardtail trailbike on these. A bobbing suspension may steal some speed. The same thing goes for a lot of climbing situations.
 

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It doesnt sound like you are going to be riding on very technical terrain. I am going to disagree with the other posters and say roots, fire roads, dirth paths--this type of off road should be fine with the bike. The biggest problem in terms of safety with department store bikes is that you have department store employees putting together the bikes. As long as you get someone who has some experience wrenching to check everything over, I wouldn't worry for that type of riding. And to be brutually honest, in terms of components breaking, other than the wheelset being more prone to failing and perhaps the bottom bracket not being sealed nicely, I wouldnt worry about those parts failing any more than higher end stuff. If you smack that tourney rear derailleur on some rocks, it'll break--just like that XT.

Are you going to look like a noob riding those bikes? Yeah, very likely to snobbish experiened riders. Is it going to be a pig? Yes. Is it less reliable than a LBS built bike? Yes. Are you going to be slower on it? Yes, it's a boat anchor. But you know what? You can make those upward comparisons with any bike. If you are getting much more serious with the sport, go ahead and purchase those new bikes, but in the mean time, you can still have a lot of fun with what you've got. Besides, you'll be all the more fit having dragged the extra weight around...
 
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