First, let me say this. If I'm going to dub something a 'Great Value', then it has to meet two basic criteria:
1.) The cost must be at or below the average cost for the product's category
2.) The quality of the product must exceed average expectations in some way.
The Roadmaster Mountain Bike most definitely hits the price point, but the quality of the bike itself is so profoundly lacking that I can't comprehend how this bike hasn't been recalled.
Where to begin. For starters, the rims on the bike were bent when I received it. So when they were put on, rather than rolling in a straight line, the wheels would visually wobble and hit the brake pads about twice per full rotation. As a result, I had to adjust the brakes themselves so that they were ridiculously loose, thereby making it nearly impossible to stop.
After adjusting the brakes, I took the bike out for a test spin. The wobbly wheels still hit the brake pads when riding, so when I was riding downhill, I would be in max gear, pedaling as hard as possible and still coast to a stop after about one to two hundred feet. Then there's the seat. The only way I can try to describe it would be a steel wedgie. It's extremely uncomfortable. I rode the bike for maybe a grand total of 20 minutes over 2 days and I felt like I'd never be able to walk correctly again.
After all this, I was discouraged, but I figured I'd work on the bike and make it worth the $80 I spent on it, right? Wrong. On my third (and final) test run, I was pedaling along casually on the sidewalk when suddenly the left pedal felt odd. I stopped, examined it, nothing appeared to be wrong, but to be safe I turned around and started pedaling home. About halfway back to my house, in lieu of nothing at all, the pedal falls off completely. Not just the pedal, but the arm the pedal's attached to as well. I can't stress enough that I was LEISURELY pedaling on a flat, paved road. And this is a mountain bike? If it can't stand the rigors of a flat surface, I can only imagine what would happen if I actually tried to take this thing on a mountain. They should re-categorize this as a bike fit for flat lands and 'areas with gradual slopes'.
All in all, I thought I was getting a steal of a deal, and instead ended up with a scraped calf from the pedal incident, a bruised tuckus, and a desire to strap bricks to this bike, throw it into a lake and let it sleep with the fishes.
If you're looking for something reliable, or even a beginner's bike for yourself or a loved one, I'd recommend perusing something else in Wal-Mart's catalog, as this bike is only good for 3 things:
A bruised tailbone.
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