My son isn't ready to take care of an expensive bicycle as it should be and I decided to go with a department store bike until he is. I know my heart would sink if he trashed a $2500 bike I got him, so I'm doing the reasonable thing, buying him what he really needs at this age. I know this sounds a little odd to hear this, so I'll let you know that I worked in a bicycle shop for a couple of years: putting them together, repairing them, and selling the new ones. Why would a bike tech guy buy a department store bike for his own son?...Why wouldn't he pick the name-brand item? This is for all you parents out there: This bike is put together very well, has disc brakes both front and rear, and is really all my son needs at this point. And I'll get the same hug and smile and put the rest of the money to better use.
There is a definite need for a bike at this price point. Right now, my son doesn't know whether he prefers a road bike or a mountain bike, or maybe a hybrid or city bike. With this bike, he'll get a chance to see what a mountain bike is like w/o my investing an arm and a leg. Maybe he'll end up preferring a road bike, instead...who knows?
The bike came in with the brakes adjusted perfectly...(I would know.)
This bike came in with a flawless finish...(Anyone can see.)
Nothing on the bike was scratched, bent during shipping, or was out of adjustment.
The headset bearings and wheel bearings had been properly greased before assembly.
I trued the rear wheel, but the front one was perfect as it came in. (Truing just made the rear wheel track perfectly straight, but few people would complain about the wheel I adjusted. I can easily do that, so I did.)
Disc brakes front and rear are preferable over a front disc and a rear "V" or Cantilever brake. (Pulling on both discs is safer, IMHO, than one of each. Disc brakes on both give you more measured control on both wheels, helping you to not "lock-up" your wheels.)
Consider this bike over those with mixed brake styles and those with the old-style rubber brake shoes. This style of dual discs are the future of bicycle brakes: Water and mud don't affect them like the old style and the disc pads will last much longer. Also, going down a mountain-side trail where you will use your brakes A LOT, you want disc brakes. Rubber brake pads will get hot and start to melt...not safe for that application. I've had my own disc brake pads on my bike for 6 years now, riding only about 70 miles per week. The pads are easy to change, by the way.
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