Sign In:


Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

Check Out Our Shop

Shredding a $140 Walmart Mountain Bike

It inevitably comes off a bit dickish when we experienced mountain bikers suggest to non-rider friends who want to get into the sport that they spend a minimum of $2,000 on a respectable mountain bike to get going. 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?"

RELATED: Shimano drops more affordable 1X11 groupset with new SLX kit

Of course, us biker dicks would scoff at the idea of actually taking these "bikes" down any stretch of singletrack, but it's hard to deny that they pack everything a mountain bike is supposed to have. Ya know, rims, brakes, suspension, etc. So Seth from Seth's Bike Hacks took a $140 Mongoose Ledge be bought at Walmart and put it through the paces at the local bike park, finding that it can actually roll, corner, and jump without exploding. 

Of course, these rides are not packing many of the fine features of today's mountain bikes, through axles being one of them, so they do have their limits. But they can, in fact, be ridden on the same trail a real mountain bike is supposed to go down–something of a revelation for those of us buying bikes as or more expensive as our cars.

Love this test. About time!
If this bike gets people off their sofas and outside it is well worth the $140. Plus if they get hooked on biking they will likely trade up to a better bike. My past experience with the cheap bikes is their very poor bearings and weak axles. Maybe the Mongoose is the one to get!

About The Author

stash member Ryan Dunfee

Former Managing Editor at Teton Gravity Research, current Senior Contributor, current professional hippy at the Sierra Club, and avid weekend recreationalist.