Are Walmart mountain bikes safe?

Are Walmart mountain bikes safe?

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I’ve been getting a lot of questions about department store bikes. These bikes are readily available at places like Walmart for as little as $100. Can a bike that cheap really be ridden on the trails? Is it fine for a beginner? What about bunnyhops, manuals, and other techniques? How much of that can one of these bikes take?

Well, there’s only one way to find out. In the name of science, I picked up this mongoose at Walmart. It’s a full suspension, 21 speed mountain bike with lots of bells and whistles––oh and it costs less than my dropper seat post. With Florida State Sales tax and a Dr. Pepper, I still paid less than $150.

The first thing I did was put the bike up on the stand for a comprehensive safety check. Whoever assembled this bike either didn’t know how, or didn’t give a shit. I think it may have been a combination of both.

The gears and brakes were ridiculously bad, but I already expected that. I didn’t expect the bars to be out of alignment with the forks, or the wheels to be completely out of true. Also the steering was indexed, which means the headset was overtightened during assembly. I tried to fix this to no avail, so I left it tight with the best case scenario being that it breaks in.

The spokes were like spaghetti, which leads to bent rims. I tightened every spoke on both wheels, and then did a standard truing to get everything dead straight. After I did my 2 hour tuneup I brought the bike down Elmo at two& for a professional opinion. He greased the mechanism in the quill stem, and dicked around with the gears and brakes. Thanks to Elmo, I might not die on this bike.

The things I found wrong on this bike were pretty serious. Most of the issues would have quickly led to mechanical failure or even injury. For instance, without greasing the stem, the bars were easy to move independent of the front wheel. Maybe this isn’t always the case, but I can only base my experience on this bike. So if you’re buying a bike from a department store, don’t ride it without a thorough safety check.

A bike you get at a shop, on the other hand, will leave in perfect working order, and usually include a free tuneup after it breaks in. So, yeah, keep that in mind too. There are hidden costs to buying a department store bike.

Overall, the bike is pretty impressive for $140. Everything works now, the suspension is….plush…and the saddle is actually pretty comfortable. The bike doesn’t even look that bad. I can’t wait to beat the shit out of it, but one thing at a time.

In the next video, we’ll take my Mongoose to Amelia Earhart Mountain Bike Trails to see what it can do. Thanks for riding with me today and I’ll see you next time.

23 Comments

  1. You talking about the comprehensive safety check. Do you have any videos or video suggestions about all this?

  2. Even amazon bikes are better

  3. Literally the first day I tried out my huffy bmx one of the pedals fell off

  4. NinjaDefuser610

    Can I feel safe buying a gt from dick's sporting goods?

  5. The bikes can be acceptable, but don't trust whoever assembles them. (Particularly given how those big stores operate.) Or if you can – get a boxed bike over pre-assembled and put it together right yourself the first time.

  6. what model is that bike?

  7. Hello my friend. I bought one bicycle at walmart about 2010 and put over 300 miles on it and rode it for 5 years had no problem. I bought a bicycle last year from walmart paid 100 for it it has over 120 miles on it no problems. Tonight I just bought a 21 speed 29 inch bike for 129. Walmart bikes if they dont work take them back get another many times until you get a perfect one so the only thing is when I bought this bike tonight the front brakes are sticking causing the wheel not to turn so ill fix that in two minutes go thru it and take it on the road I rode the crap out of walmart bikes but the bike I bought in 2010 its shot but 300 miles later i got my money's worth out of it 89 is what I paid Awesome bike you got too.

  8. lol @ kids of today, never heard of mongoose…

  9. Ethan Lundeen

    you should Pimp it out

  10. bought a bike at Walmart me and my dad are going to go to a professional shop for a tune up!

  11. My first bike was from Toys R'Us lol. It was so heavy and loose

  12. I have a Schwinn Sidewinder and I can say it is not as bad as this

  13. I cant believe walmart tried to kill me when i saw this: i was riding my bmx when i realized the headset was missing a screw and the they tightened the screws unevenly and it did fall out from doing tricks. I saw the same thing when I bought it but I thought they did it on purpose. AND THE INSTRUCTIONS SAID TO MAKE SURE HEADSET WAS TIGHTENED CORRECTLY. that one's on you Walmart

  14. Parker Churney

    How good is a dick's sporting goods bike it cost 250$

  15. Logan Allred vlogs

    I would be ashamed to have that thing on the back of my car especially if I'm well known in biking community

  16. And if you were wondering what Walmart store number it was bought from 306 in Mt Olive NC. (from my story below)

  17. I got a Gauntlet Next bike from Walmart 24 and this was about 6 months ago when it was bought. last week I was riding it and all of a sudden my front brake malfunctioned and when I went to inspect it the handle bar Isn't lined up with the front wheel and all of the rubber on the front brake was as thin as paper. I suggest not to buy a bike from a department store and if you do, get it inspected by a Professional Bike mechanic.

  18. My first mountain bike was bought at a sports shop in the mall. It costed me (more like my dad) $200. It was heavy as hell and Im like 30 kg (Im 13 now and this isnt a kids bike). The suspesion fork dosent work, feels like they just put it there to make it look cool. Both front and back derailleurs are pure crap. You gotta shift up twice to move up a gear. Im planning to get a bike around $140 which is actually better than my current bike.

  19. I bought a barely ridden Walmart or Kmart bike at a yard sale for 10bbucks , its not great but its better than nothing

  20. please do a Wal-Mart bike part 2

  21. I got that same bike about a year ago and it's still kickin but barely the cassette and Derailleur And are pretty beat up and sketchy but it's enough to get me 20 or so miles at least once a week

  22. i got one be riding it for one year now 3 flats gears not good but ridin on

  23. Every bike i have ever bought from Walmart/Canadian tire has been absolute trash. Bent frames, shit tires, no lube, shifters from hell, Welds snapping. Paint fading in the sun after less then a month. I used to do my best to care for my bikes, but after buying a real bike for 1200$ ill never look back.

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