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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id=2513014

Hey gang,

I recently purchased the bike listed above (shown below) to ride as I get started in riding. I am also deploying later this year, so an expensive bike isn't a practical purchase.

This is a serious inquiry, so please don't laugh. I'm 34 (35 next month) and didn't want to spend a fortune to see if riding was something that I liked. So, I got the Mongoose XR200, and tried it out. I went on a ride shortly after I purchased it and it was comfortable. However, I didn't take it off of the road. Well, this weekend I went out to find some trails here on post (Fort Campbell) and found a few. It still rides rather well. I plan on changing the grip shift out for a trigger shift.

Why am I posting all this? Can you guys give me some feedback on my bike?

Thanks,
rb70
 

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Plan on new wheels right away. Saw a guy on that same bike taco one pretty easily. There are lots of problems there as far as durability and reliabilty go, but that one is a biggie most people don't expect.
 

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Domestic Fowl
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Hey RaiderBill,

Consider that a good entry level mountain bike with decent components is probably in the range of about $550 to $700 for a hardtail(no rear suspension). The numbers go up if you want a good entry level full suspension bike.

Given that, the bike you listed is worth about what you paid for it. This bike will probably fill its intended purpose for you (figuring out if you like mountain biking inexpesively before you deploy), but won't be something that you will want to move forward with if you decide you like the sport. The frame and components are just not of a quality that will continue to give decent performance for very long or be very durable. If you decide that you enjoy mountain biking and upon return from deployment want to get more serious you could invest in a better bike and use this one as a commuter.

FRC
 

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Some thoughts

Welcome to mtbr, Bill. The first thing you should read is the first post in this forum about beginners and department store bikes. I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm, but you may want to reconsider the purchase you made. Granted, I understand that you don't want to spend a lot of money on a bike if you're just trying to find out if you're going to enjoy the sport, but there are also safety factors to consider.

If after you read the article you're still set on keeping the bike, my advice would be to keep your off road riding to dirt paths that don't have obstacles that you'll have to jump over ( e.g. logs, etc.) and just be sure to keep an eye on the components, especially the welds on the frame. As for upgrades, save your money. Once you've decided you really like the sport, take the plunge and spend the money you would have spent upgrading the Mongoose and put it into a bike that is engineered and built for serious off road riding.

I've been in your shoes before, trust me. My first bike was a Schwinn from Wal-Mart. I rode it for a day, and took it back to purchase a used Giant Yukon. I rode that bike for two years and plunked down $460 on a Giant Warp, which is their low end full suspension bike. I recently built up my latest ride from scratch. My point is that as you get more into the sport, you'll find that your needs change, and you can end up spending a ton of money on upgrades. The upgrades are inevitable, just be sure they make sense, and that you're buying something that won't be replaced in a matter of months.

Best wishes,

Clyde
 

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As an idea, if you just bought it, take it back. Wal-mart should take it, tell them it squeaks or that it doesn't shift right or something if they hassle you. Then go to a bike shop and get a Trek 820. Steel (repairable anywhere), better components, and ridable for a while.

Eventually you get to the point where you understand why you need a better bike and what you want, then it is easy (OK, easier) to decide what you will really want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, thanks to everyone that has responded so far. I appreciate all of the comments and advice.

I can't take the bike back....it's filthy and I've taken most of the gaudy stickers off. I've read through the article as Clyde suggested and I'm going to stick with this bike.....I deploy (again to Iraq) in the fall, and just don't feel that it's financially sound to purchase another bike.

Again, thanks for the advice.

Bill
 

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raiderbill70 said:
Well, thanks to everyone that has responded so far. I appreciate all of the comments and advice.

I can't take the bike back....it's filthy and I've taken most of the gaudy stickers off. I've read through the article as Clyde suggested and I'm going to stick with this bike.....I deploy (again to Iraq) in the fall, and just don't feel that it's financially sound to purchase another bike.

Again, thanks for the advice.

Bill
PLEASE DON'T TAKE THIS IN THE WRONG WAY!!!!!!! Good luck & Please be safe when you deply, (former Marine myself). I don't know your situation, but when you get sent oversease like that, & definately in hostile environment, your base pay jumps up significantly, like i said maybe you have a family or other things that are more important then buying bikes, if not i think you can afford getting the entry level bike mention in other posts i.e. Trek 820 (which was my 1st ride) Giants, etc. etc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ruben C said:
PLEASE DON'T TAKE THIS IN THE WRONG WAY!!!!!!! Good luck & Please be safe when you deply, (former Marine myself). I don't know your situation, but when you get sent oversease like that, & definately in hostile environment, your base pay jumps up significantly, like i said maybe you have a family or other things that are more important then buying bikes, if not i think you can afford getting the entry level bike mention in other posts i.e. Trek 820 (which was my 1st ride) Giants, etc. etc...
I know about the pay increase many $$ incentives to get shot at.....didn't take it the wrong way Ruben C., but I could very well get out of the Army after I deploy and, like you said.....I will most likely have "other things that are more important then buying bikes".

Thanks,
Bill
 

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here today
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its also the rider passion not just the $$$

raiderbill70 said:
I will most likely have "other things that are more important then buying bikes".
Enjoy your bike - I started off on a very basic bike, years ago - came back and did not think to get a bike at my riding level - bought an entry level lapierre and then switched out after 6 months - the important thing is push yourself without trying to do drops, jumps what not, wear a helmet (this one is obvious ...) find some riding buddies, read a magazine or two, hang around here and ride, ride, ride - learn to know how to repair everything - keep it clean, it will ride better, break less and enjoy ....

A guy I ride with has a give away bike (supermarket give away) he'll change his bike when it rots out under him, but has one of the smoothest styles I know and he is there on every sunday morning ride ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Again, thanks to everyone for their honest comments and advice.

Didn't want to start a whole new thread for this....but what are some good entry level bikes? I know that I do like the suspension bikes as they're a bit more comfortable....I have some hip problems and I just like the way they ride.

Bill
 

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If you decide you like the sport, save your money to buy a nice bike. The shop I used to work at gave a discount to those in the military, we had a Air Force base and a National Guard post close by, see if you can find a shop like that. Ask if the price is lower for cash vs a credit card. Bikes are becoming like cars, never pay what the sticker says. Many shops now finance bikes, you might want to go that route, but I'd just save money and pay cash. Saves money in the long run.

All the bike companies have nice entry level hardtails, mostly $300-$500 range. You might check around on base, someone might have a used bike to sell you. A lot of people in uniform ride. Or someone might loan you a bike to ride to see if you like the sport. Be warned, after riding a quality bike, you won't want to go back to your dept store bike.

My first bike came from target, lived 3 months, sold it and got a bike shop bike. In cycling you truly get what you pay for.

Don't feel as though we are bashing you for buying a dept store bike, most of us have been there when we started and we want to save you the grief of riding those things.
 

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I could suggest

that you use the Giant Ranier as a benchmark hardtail, the two models below it (Yukon and Boulder) are also very good value.

For full suspension, where you seem to have your heart set, the lowest price, good value ride I can think of is the Kona Kikapu (sorry, their site is down but here's the link: http://www.konaworld.com/ ) I think it's $1199 USD if I recall correctly?

Again, use the Kikapu as a benchmark.

You also can check stores for last year's clearance models, but we are smack in the middle of high season and hunting will be tough.

Second hand is another route; as an old phart, I sell off my rides after a year or 3 and they haven't been abused, but I have to sell at the same (low) price as the ones beat to he// by kids 1/4 my age....look for a bike not used much?

Good luck, take it easy on the hip, Jim
 

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return the walmart bike, buy hardtail from LBS

Hi Bill:

I noticed that you bought the bike from Walmart. I just nearly fell over my chair when you said that you want to upgrade this bike. I recommend that you return the bike to Walmart. This is is junk and not worth upgrading at all. The frame is poorly design to handle stress of MTB.

Once you return the bike to walmart. You should visit at least 3 bike shops in your city. You should look for the following brand name: Giant, Trek, Specialized, or Gary fisher. I recommend you choose a hardtail bike. A hardtail is a bike that has no rear suspension but it has front shock suspension. You should get a aluminum hardtail. Then you should ride this bike for 1year to allow you to be familiar with the bike itself and your physical limits. You should ride on tame trail first like paved park trails to gauge the bike shock performance Once your MTB skills become more advanced, you can begin upgrading components.
 

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In beginners corner all questions are worthy ones.

OK you made the same mistake I made five years ago, I ended up breaking the frame and snapping the fork in two. I just did a three foot drop on a WalMart wounder.
So return it if you can and read bike reveiws read allot of this websites post and learn while you are on deployment so when you return you can get a bike you can really take single tracking.
I did my time in the Military and respect all of those who go all over the world to protect us. I served in the 80's so I saw Grenada, it was a playground to what is in IRAQ. Just do as you are told and hope to here more post from you.
 
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