I received the bike in good shape. I put it together without much hassle at all. This bike in professional circles is known as a beater which is something you can throw around, beat up and not worry because it doesn’t cost much. Now I am not by any means a professional mountain biker, so a beater is just fine with me; I spend my money elsewhere. This bike is a daily commuter for me and a weekend toy.
My first problem was with the front derailleur. It will not shift solidly both up and down the gears choosing either up or down to work best. I finally made a compromise that gave me solid and quick shifts into lower gearing and gave me workable shifts into higher gearing (larger sprockets). Also while adjusting the derailleur, the bolt stripped out for the frame clamp and I had to go get a bolt and nut at a hardware store to make it work while I waited for Pacific Cycle to send me a replacement. They sent me an entire front derailleur minus the screw that was damaged (go figure). But, kudos to Pacific Cycle on their warrantee: they quickly and without any argument, sent me replacement parts. The front derailleur is a Falcon and that might be the problem with the up and down shifts. The rear derailleur is a Shimano Tourney (a cheap version) and works sufficiently.
The bike has a quick release front wheel but a standard solid axle rear wheel. The front disk brake has locked up on me several times after large front wheel impacts refusing to let go until I work it loose. The rear caliper brake has worked without trouble after some minor adjustment. Follow the directions and make sure that the foot pegs are quite tight before riding. I had one come loose (my fault I'm sure) while I was on a trip and it stripped out the crank and left me hoping that I could get home. Luckily I had a multi-plier and was finally able to thread it in enough after several attempts to get it tight so it would not continue to fall off. You may want to replace the standard foot pegs with something a bit less dangerous to your shins and save some pain.
The biggest problem with this bike being a daily commuter is the lack of available space to mount anything. Being that I ride it on trails, fields, streets and sidewalks, I have equipped it with what I feel to be the minimum necessary stuff at this point and I have plans to add just a few more things. I have a headlight, taillight, bell, under-seat bag, cable lock, and air pump. I am looking for a way to mount the cage and bottle but, that is going to take some thought since there is no provision for it and no space that is adequate for it either. I may have to mount a plastic cage and bottle just like I did the air pump which is off to one side using a zip tie.
My overall take on this bike is that it is a good product for the price, a bit on the heavy side, but it works after some fiddling. The biggest downsides are a lack of mounting space and bad front shifting. Don’t expect this bike to work right out of the box. Expect to either tune it yourself or take it to a bike shop (where you probably didn’t buy it) and pay to have it tuned. If you are not mechanically inclined, you might want to pay the extra money for a better bike that comes from a bike shop where they will set it up for free before you head out the door.
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