Seth of Seth’s Bike Hacks plunks down his own cash and tries to determine, “are Walmart mountain bikes safe?” Be sure to watch all of the videos above for the full story!

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# Comments

  • Schmo

    This is a must see video. I myself in 1999 bought my Royce Union Full Suspention. I had to tweek quite a few things right out of the store before riding the bike. 99.9% of department store bikes are assembled by someone who can barly tie thier own shoes. Then you get into the components on the bike. Not the best quality. I did take it to my local bike mechanic for an overall inspection before taking it on the trails. My bike has a sticker right on the back bone stating ” No tricks and No jumping”. Sorry I do it anyway. The bike has held up good and is still using all original parts. Rear suspension has some issues. Not to bad seeing how the bikeis now 16 years old. I have taken the bike to a professional mechanic and had it serviced three times in its life. Now I own a Trek Fuel EX 7 29er. What a differance a quality made bike makes. My life is in good hands.

    • TuacaTom

      It took you 16 years to get a better bike? You have great patience or …
      LoL, just kidding

    • Schmo

      It’s ok, I like a good joke. Maintenance is the key. I abused the crap out of that bike. I took it to Switchgrass / Wilson Lake. Lucky to still have teeth in my head. That did a number on the rear suspension. That is when I convinced my wife that it was time for something better. It has been retired and I just ride it back and forth to work ( 3 block one way ). Wish I could find another or just parts.

  • orl65stang

    I own a Mongoose Deception bought from Walmart approx. 4 years ago. I’ve been riding road bikes for 30+ years and had an old Trek 26″ mountain bike bought from the original owner and its probably a mid-90’s model. I was wanting to get into mountain biking but didn’t have the disposable funds to buy a “proper” mountain bike plus there are no LBS’s conveniently located near me. This Deception seemed to be a well-made bike with basically pretty good components. Its a 29″ hard tail with a decent though heavy sprung front fork, disc brakes, all aluminum frame, and even alloy components. Even a proper replaceable derailleur hanger. The derailleurs were Shimano with SRAM grip shifters, and everything worked properly. All components were tight, wheelset was true, and it shifted perfectly. Maybe my local Walmart is an anomaly when it comes to assembling bikes but whoever assembled it did a good job. And, yes, my long experience as a cyclist did give me an edge over the typical Walmart shopper as to what to look for in poor workmanship. The ONLY issue I had in the first 3 years of riding was a bad rear freewheel that had to be replaced after the first 2 weeks. Yes, I said freewheel. Apparently that’s the Achilles heel of Walmart or any department store bike. And I rode the hell out of this bike. In the last year I’ve really upgraded this bike adding a better WTB wheelset, a SRAM 1X10 drivetrain, Race Face seat post and N/W chain ring, Rock Shox 30 Silver TK forks, Avid BB7 brakes, and a short stem/wide bars combo. Buying mostly at steep discounts on-line plus a few components from my closest bike shops I’ve still got less than $600 in it including the original purchase price of around $229. Would I recommend a Walmart bike to a beginner? Based on my experience, hell yes. But only if they know how to do basic maintenance or have a LBS that’s willing to work on it. But I would probably stick to the Mongoose brand only. They still make high-end bikes that are only sold directly on-line. See Chris Akrigg’s videos if you question their toughness. Would I go this route again? It would be easier to purchase a true mountain bike from my LBS but under the same circumstances as before unequivocally I would do it again. My bike is well-made, individualized, maybe a little heavy, but I’ll never be ashamed of it when I meet riders on the trail with more expensive bikes. I’ll never apologize for the bike. Only when they realize that a “Walmart” bike did everything their bike did for a lot less money. As far as it being a little heavy? So am I, so it would be more prudent for me to drop a few pounds.

  • Rangerman87

    I found the videos to be informative and interesting. However I did not watch anymore of the others after the first two because of the profanity that was used. Totally out of place for this type of site and very disappointing to me. Not everyone chooses to use vulgarity and I choose not to subscribe to those who believe it appropriate to do so.

    • Greg Heil

      If it makes it any better, we didn’t produce these videos: we just re-shared them. If it DOESN’T make it any better well, then, I guess you have to do what you have to do.

  • John Nickerson

    I never have to explain to my friends again,why to buy from your local lbs again.Just have them watch this.
    Thank you

  • Bill Pitts

    Seven months ago, I bought a $140 Ozone 500 Charger (great name, ain’t it?) hard tail from Academy Sports and have ridden it as hard as my 61 year-old body will allow on a variety of trails in my area. (And remember, kids, 60 is the new 40!)

    The only repair so far has been a new tube and rim tape. The inexpensive rim tape broke and knifed through the front inner tube, happily at the very end of a 16-mile ride. I also replace the too-short seat tube with a 17-incher so I feel more secure when I raise the seat.

    Sure, I could have saved for years and not ridden at all, or gone into extreme debt with a high-interest credit card purchase, but I’m very happy with my cheap bike. Plus, I know bike maintenance, having rebuilt a number of bikes over the years.

    So, if you know what to look for and can take care of your mechanicals, yes, and yes again, do buy an inexpensive bike if you don’t feel you can afford a more expensive bike, but be sure to research it as best as you can.

    The main thing is to enjoy. And dat’s what I’m doing!

  • C-Lo

    You are brave. The only thing those bikes are good for is the recycle bin, unless you are riding them on the sidewalk very slow.

  • Bill Pitts

    Not brave, C-Lo, I just know what to look for in a bike, regardless of the price. Years of experience pay off in more ways than one! I wouldn’t be riding today, 15 months later on the same bike, if I hadn’t gone this route.

    And yeah, no break downs, no major repairs, and no regrets.

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