Walmart just announced its own private label mountain bike line under the Ozark Trail name, featuring both youth and adult bikes priced between $198 and $398. The bikes are said to already be available in 3,000 stores worldwide and also at Walmart.com.
The aluminum-frame hardtails are offered with 24″, 27.5″, or 29″ wheels, though the 29er bikes do not appear to be available online just yet. Detailed build specs are not listed, though Walmart does point out that some of the components come from name brands including Shimano, SR Suntour, and Microshift. Both the youth and 27.5″ adult bikes appear to utilize a 1×8 drivetrain with a 30t chainring and 11-42t cassette. The bikes are also said to include mechanical disc brakes, 100mm suspension forks, and internal cable routing. The 29er comes with 29×2.35″ tires.
In another departure for the department store chain, the new line of mountain bikes will be offered in three sizes: small, medium, and large. The $298, 27.5″ bike is said to weigh 36.5 lbs, though it’s not clear which size this refers to.
A post on the Walmart website says, “In line with the core of Walmart’s brand promise, these bikes will help customers save money and live better at the same time. They’re not just affordable, they’re also equipped to handle some of the real rigors of mountain biking.”
Ozark Trail is a Walmart-owned brand, and takes its name from the Ozark mountains which surround the company’s headquarters in Northwest Arkansas. The brand says the launch was “inspired by the hundreds of miles of world-class trails surrounding its home in the Ozark Mountains,” and some of the marketing photos appear to have been shot on the trails in or around Bentonville.
This isn’t Walmart’s first foray into the mountain bike world. In 2019 the brand launched the Viathon brand of premium mountain, road, and gravel bikes.
In addition to bikes, Ozark Trail also has helmets and a bike tool kit available for purchase online. We’ve reached out to a Walmart rep to find out more about the bikes’ frame geometry and build specs, and will update this once we know more.
Update: Walmart has provided geometry for the 29er version of the Ozark Trail mountain bike. Information about the tire width and gearing was also added.
“they’re also equipped to handle some of the real rigors of mountain biking.”
Before I display any judgment, I will want to see these bikes “in person.” That medium 29er got my attention.
Fortunately I am in a position that I do not need a bike at that price point. However there have been times in my life where that was a LOT of money to me. I applaud the idea of trying to get bikes at these low price points. The 1×8 is a smart design decision to achieve low cost. If I would offer an idea to improve it, a smaller front chainring is probably more suitable for the beginners that would buy this bike.
What was wrong with 26″ wheels? Good grief.
On the upside, these are at least realistic prices.
Unfortunately, 26” wheels appear to be obsolete. Why? I don’t know.
Because of the way they roll over obstacles. I have a ti Airborne hardtail with 26″ wheels and rarely ride it even though it has top of the line components. My Spur rides so much better due to 29″ wheels, updated geometry and full squish.
So which is it: the frame geometry, the squish, or the wheel diameter? Seems like you’re writing off 26″ wheels because changing a couple of other factors makes it easier to ride over obstacles. To what degree does that extra 1-1/2″ increase in axle height contribute?
You won’t find a 26″ wheels on a bike with updated geometry so why try to isolate them? But if you want to, 29″ wheels on older geo bikes rolled over obstacles noticeably better. Do you think it’s a conspiracy that 26″ wheels are no longer available, strictly a bike company moneymaker scam?
I have to admit that I do tend to view such changes in that light until I’ve got compelling reasons to believe that they aren’t just the old “new and improved” marketing ploys. I’ve never really had any significant issues with 26″ wheels, so that’s a second, perhaps primary, reason that I’m just not feeling the switch to even larger rims. Of course, I’m an admitted Luddite; I was perfectly happy with 14″ and 15″ rims on full-sized trucks. If bicycle tire prices and sizes track automotive prices and sizes, there’s my third reason for sticking with 26’s. Granted, I rode on 20’s for so many years that I got pretty good at bunny-hopping and other maneuvers to climb or clear obstacles. Sometimes just going around them works pretty well.
Those bikes look well-suited for rides around a parking lot, at best. April Fools post from WalMart, right?