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A $149 Walmart Bike v. a 5,000 foot Descent

Few human-powered sports host the initial sticker shock that mountain biking does, so many beginners will go their own way on a minuscule budget, perhaps arriving in a big box retailer along a line of bikes selling for less than $500 and asking "What if?"

So Seth from Seth's Bike Hacks took a $149 Walmart bike and took it down a harrowing 5,000-foot descent in the Pisgah Forest. The results are what you would expect as Seth barely survives the ride down. 

I know I would not take a Walmart bike down a steep incline, But! I bought a secondhand Walmart bike called the Iron Horse by the Iron Horse Bike Company in May 2016 for $125. Initially I only planned to ride it around Flagstaff AZ where I was for the summer. But then in September I decided to bike up to the Grand Canyon 80 miles away, spent a week dayhiking there, then cycled to Cameron,Page,then the Four Corners, then the Goosenecks of the San Juan, then to Monument Valley. Then I went south to Winslow,Show Low/Pinetop,Globe,Oracle and Tucson. Then this spring March I rode it from Tucson to Flagstaff AZ, where a friend gave me aride to my summer home now of Durango CO. In 3-4 weeks I am riding back to Flagstaff then Tucson. BTW I have been bicycle touring for 35 years since 1982. I work 3 months a year in summers, then take Labor Day to Memorial Day off to cycle tour and backpack around the mostly western USA. So while a Walmart bike was not made for extreme down hill, my Iron Horse has carried me a long way in the last 16 months.  I am 62 years old.

Match the gear (and the rider) to the challenge. Only a complete idiot would take a $149 bike on a trail like this. That idiot is wearing a man-bun.

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I have a Mongoose bought from Sam’s club back in 2004 for around $150 just to bike around Brighton in the summer. Because I am stubborn and cheap, I’ve taken it down Wasatch Crest 4 times so it paid off its value versus a rental bike.  The Crest ride looks to be a smoother ride than the video however.

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About The Author

stash member Jonathan Desabris

Digital Content Producer at TGR. Jackson Hole transplant from the Green Mountain State. Contrary to popular belief I have never lived in New Jersey.