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Ok, since my old Giant is no longer working out for me, I'm retiring it to the shed. I've been looking for it's replacement and a friend pointed this Amazon bike out to me. He has one and swears by it. Has all the upgrades I was looking for, just seems, well, too good of a deal? Any input is appreciated.

Amazon.com: GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike: Sports & Outdoors
 

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The problem with that bike is the poor suspension. Well, there are other things too, but that's the biggest issue. Low quality suspension components will just bounce around like a pogo stick and suck up your energy more than they'll do you good. They also won't have the proper rebound. Again, pogo stick action rather than a nice supple ride. It's like how the shocks on your car let the springs absorb the shock of a bump, but then the shocks stop the springs from bouncing around. With a low end bike suspension, basically you won't have any shocks, just springs. I also would never trust a low end fork like that not to snap really easily if you plan on riding it on any real MTB trails. You'd be Much better off buying a cheap hard-tail MTB at a bike shop than a cheap "full suspension" online. A lower end bike in a shop is also going to fit you better(because you can try it and someone can help make sure it's a proper fit, which isn't always as obvious as you think as a newbie) and they'll make sure it's tuned up and works really well. It'll also generally come with at least decent components.
 

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I've heard decent things about the Topkick, but have you checked out BikesDirect? They have some nice stuff there at the same price point. I'm not hawking for them, but they look like a good deal if you don't mind doing some minor assembly yourself. Also at the risk of being obvious take a look at the reviews section of the site, they have an exhaustive list of bike reviews (most of them are helpful), that might help your choice.
 

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Fork has only 65mm travel, what is even worse is that it is an elastomer fork.
Simply put that means the fork does not use a steel coil spring or air spring for bounce, it uses a lump of solid rubber.
No damping, maxi flex, travel next to useless and doubtful you would get 65mm [2 1/2 inches].
This is as cheap as you can possibly get and still claim to have suspension.
Truly horrible.

I was also looking at the gearing
While it states 21 speed it does not give the sprocket sizes for the cassette, but it looks like a road cassette due to the small size of the biggest sprocket.
That combined with front chain ring sizes specified as 28/38/48 as opposed to std MTB sizes of 22, 32, 44 means that it does not have effective off road gearing.
Forget about climbing any thing.
Cranks are also on the short side of standard at 170mm compared to accepted/common length of 175mm

Bottom line is that it is crap of the highest order
As I have said often, just cause it looks like an MTB at first glance, particularly to the uneducated, does not mean it is.

What it is, is a heavy, poorly made commuter bike dressed up to look like an MTB

Run away
FAST
 

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What kind of riding do you do that has you looking at full suspension? You will always get a MUCH better bike for your dollar with a hardtail. Honestly that bike is no better than most Walgooses, worse than the XR Comp or Pro I think.
 

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Ok, since my old Giant is no longer working out for me, I'm retiring it to the shed. I've been looking for it's replacement and a friend pointed this Amazon bike out to me. He has one and swears by it. Has all the upgrades I was looking for, just seems, well, too good of a deal? Any input is appreciated.

Amazon.com: GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike: Sports & Outdoors
I work at a shop and we've had a couple of these BSO's (Bike Shaped Objects) come in over the last year or two. What is wrong with the bike is a small warning sticker affixed to the top tube of the frame just behind the headset. It states "WARNING" "This bike is not intended for off road use...etc." The bike is very poorly made, has extremely low end components, and IMHO really isn't safe for anything but tooling around the neighborhood. It looks cool from a distance an that's about it. The bottom line is, if it looks like a turd, and smells like a turd, it's probably a turd. You don't have to taste it to make sure! :D

Good Dirt
 

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I work at a shop and we've had a couple of these BSO's (Bike Shaped Objects) come in over the last year or two. What is wrong with the bike is a small warning sticker affixed to the top tube of the frame just behind the headset. It states "WARNING" "This bike is not intended for off road use...etc." The bike is very poorly made, has extremely low end components, and IMHO really isn't safe for anything but tooling around the neighborhood. It looks cool from a distance an that's about it. The bottom line is, if it looks like a turd, and smells like a turd, it's probably a turd. You don't have to taste it to make sure! :D

Good Dirt
^^^^^^^ What he said.

Plus, isnt a GMC topkick a truck?
 

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Huckin' trails
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I've picked up a Topkick frame only in red this summer for free... I've build a nice little trail bike around it. The frame was used when I got it and I've put over 360 km on it and its holding up good... But with real components... FSA crankset, DMR pedals, SRAM drive train, RockShox fork, DNM rear shock, Avid BB7 MTB, KMC chain, Race Face seat post, WTB Pure V Sport saddle, new sealed BB, etc.

So for less then $400, I got myself a nice trainer trail bike. Only downside is the weight, around 36lbs, the frame only plus the BB weight 7.5 lbs... Because of the 2 rocker link made out of steel, at 1 pound each.

Frame's good, parts suck. Your call.

And btw, that bike is manufactured by Kent Bicycles Ind.

David
 

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Huckin' trails
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You could put any component you want on that frame and I wouldnt touch it.
And you could also stay on the couch, eating chips and sinking soda...

The point is to get out there.

If you are so demanding about a bike suspension design, then get your credit card and go to the lbs right away. I don't own a credit card.

David
 

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Huckin' trails
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agreed. you'd be better off taking all those nice parts and putting it on a better frame
Yep, as soon as I GET a better frame, because this one didn't cost a a penny and do the job quite well... Trail without any problem and bike is fast.

But one day I'll get enough money to build up a Santa Cruz... Meanwhile I do with what I have.

And this frame is doing pretty good for what it worth.

David
 

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And you could also stay on the couch, eating chips and sinking soda...

The point is to get out there.

If you are so demanding about a bike suspension design, then get your credit card and go to the lbs right away. I don't own a credit card.

David
If you want to truly enjoy mountain biking and have a bike that helps you rather then hurts you, you dont buy a cheap full suspension bike. You buy a hardtail. That frame is going to be very flexy in the rear triangle. Its going to have bushings at the pivots, the rear shock does not have a damper and is a going to bounce all over the place uncontrolled. Not to mention that the "not for off road use" sticker is going to be on that bike.

Im all for people getting off the couch and riding, but if you want a full suspension bike, you have to pony up some money. Its hard enough to get a decent beginner hardtail for 300 bucks, a full suspension ride at that price is a really bad idea and give a real possibility of getting hurt.
 

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Wrench
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David,

Don't let the heckling bother you. My first ride was a Schwinn from Academy. Then I took some old parts and put together a bike from a frame much like this Toppeak. It was what I had at the time, and I rode the hell out of the 37 pound bike.

Now I actually have a Santa Cruz. And a few other bikes.

The frames that come on these bikes are stronger than people give them credit for. Are they the best? Hell no. But they work for what you need at the time.

As far as the bike goes, it's a money pit. I'm a mechanic and I can tel you that this bike will have at least 300 dollars worth of repairs in the next few months if you ride it regularly.
 
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