I haven’t tried a 1x setup yet and worry that I wouldn’t have the lungs or legs for it with our short, punchy New England climbs, but I recently bought a new bike (Fezzari Alta Peak) that has the 2×10 gearing. going from my old 3×9, I have to say that I love the 2×10 – it just feels like it is geared right for our New England single track trails. The low gearing gets my fat butt up the climbs without having to spin my guts out like the old 3×9. Love my 2×10.
I’m with Rachelmauden on this one. The Walmart bikes are designed for neighborhood riding for people who don’t really mountain bike on rocky rooty trails. It’s a shame that Mongoose is now just a name on a cheap bike. I used to XC race (when XC racing was still cool!) a Mongoose IBOC Comp back in the 90’s. Still have the frame in my basement – it’s stout as hell! My kids (son 8, daughters 6 1/2 and 4) are learning the value of good bikes. Son has a 20″ wheel Trek MT20 that I’ve tricked out with some lighter parts and middle daughter has a GT Laguna. Both bikes are solid performers and completely serviceable with readily available parts. Like Rachel posted, if you’re even considering mountain biking, there are so many better options than picking up a heavy boat anchor from Walmart. Heck, most mountain bikers have more than one bike and are more than happy to loan one out to a friend who is new to the sport.