Most helpful critical review
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Better than it is being reviewed - but average in general
on April 15, 2012
Ok, I'm an old guy. I remember when you could buy a real, solid-metal bicycle for $40, and it was a solid, durable bicycle that would last for decades. Back then, you didn't have 'bicycle repair stores', you had general hardware and department stores, for the most-part.
In retirement, my wife and I decided we would RV the country and as most know, that means a lot of time and opportunity for bicycling too. I had not ridden a bicycle in quite a few years, but knew that I wanted a 10-18 speed bicycle that was metal, solid, not tricked-out, and that had the larger 1.75-2.00 inch wide tires, preferably in a 24-26" rim. Needless to say, sticker shock almost killed me when I went looking! I've bought several used cars for the price being charged for a bicycle now! This is insanity.
Well, instead of a no-name bicycle that cost $500 or more, I started searching for known established companies that might still make a decent bicycle. Well, Pacific Cycle is the parent company of Schwinn and Mongoose, and this is their 'generic brand' basically...so I bought one locally. I thought I'd test it out before I bought the second one. The pro's and con's are quite simple.
First, this bike is fairly solid. I am 6'2, 250-lbs, and I feel comfortable on this bike. The tires and tubes are very low-end, and if you plan on riding a lot, you can just wear these out first (won't take long), or replace them as you assemble it. I find that this bike would have an excellent review rating if everyone hadn't give it 1-star because they had to 'assemble it out of the box'...to that I reply, 'you have to assemble them even if you buy them in the store...what did you expect them to do, ship an assembled bicycle to you in the mail?' I can't believe assembly is a rating review...but whatever.
Anyhow, the shifter works just as good as they did 25-years ago. No, you don't have super-snap-precision-shifting, like it's some ferrari, or something...and if you are like me, you aren't going to pay $700 for a bicycle just so it's shifting like your car, either. It has two wheels, two tires, it has brakes, and it shifts gears. Enough said. Now, if you are looking for competitive sports and hard charging abuse...this is NOT the bike for you. It is a tough street bike that can go down a gravel trail, not jump head first off of the Himalayas and survive. If you want a good bicycle for less than $125, look closely at this...and there is a female version of this same model, too. Overall, it is just a bicycle...obviously, there are many that would expect much more from a bicycle and will bash low-end products because they didn't get what they wanted. To them, I say that if you know 'decent bikes' start at $400...why are you looking in the $100 price range?
For average users - be aware, this IS a decent bike for general use. Kids in the yard, riding down an established park trail, pavement, whatever. It will get you there. Extreme enthusiasts or 'gear perfectionists' need not apply. One note - if you buy this here, either have a modicum of mechanical skill to put it together, or find a local shop that will assemble it for you before you order. It is NOT that complex, but if you don't know the working end of a wrench, stay away and either have someone assemble it for you, or buy one pre-assembled at the big-box store.