A mountain biker named Seth decided to test ride a $140 bike from Walmart. He also compares a novice off-roader riding it compared to himself to see if it’s suitable for both. It’s the third video in a series whereby he previously had to tune up the bike after purchase. Seth describes his test below:

In the last video, we bought a $140 bike from Walmart and corrected a bunch of issues with its assembly. Today, we’re off to Amelia Earhart mountain bike trails to test out the Mongoose for real.

This is my sister, Emily. She’s an avid road cyclist, but has only been mountain biking once. Emily will be taking the Mongoose on the novice trails so we can see if it’s any good for a beginner. At 35 pounds, this bike weighs about 1/3 as much as Emily does.

The novice trails here offer a mix of loose terrain, mud, roots, and various other small obstacles. Emily didn’t have any problems at all on the mongoose, it must be in her blood. We rode through every novice trail here and then went back to the car to check the bike out. No issues, and no adjustments needed. The bike was in perfect working order.

We went back out again but we swapped bikes this time. I rode the mongoose like a complete dick, first on the novice trails to see what it could do.

The first thing I noticed was how smooth the ride was. At $140 I expected the suspension to be little more than a gimmick, but it was surprisingly plush and effective. The shifting wasn’t as impressive though. The rear worked fine, more or less, but the setup in the front was a noisy mess. The brakes weren’t great either, but they did work.

Surprisingly, the saddle was comfortable and I didn’t hate riding this bike at all. Actually, I was having a blast on it, just seeing what was possible. It was time to subject the mongoose to some intermediate trails.

Again, the bike performed admirably. I even dropped some locals a few times. I got comfortable enough on the bike to try this little jump, and somewhat surprisingly, it was smooth as butter. It seemed that the Walmart bike was performing as advertised. But then I started dicking around.

On my mountain bike I can bunny hop on to the benches of picnic tables quite easily, but what about on the Mongoose?

Success. Yes, it felt heavy, but I did this bunny hop first shot.

On the way back to the car, I messed around on these skinnies, and ended up slipping off. That brought the bike to its knees. The rear wheel got knocked off to the side, which is weird because I remember tightening it real good. We went back to the car and got it back into place with my pedal wrench. I haven’t carried a proper 15 mil with me since my BMX days.

After a closer check, I noticed the headset was loose, along with the hubs in the wheels. I tightened them all up and they seem to be holding now. I asked Emily what she thought of the bike, and not surprisingly she wanted to go out mountain biking on it again. Seeing how it held up just fine for her on the novice trails, I can’t blame her.

So, we can say for sure that a properly assembled Mongoose Ledge is sufficient for a beginner to take on novice trails. Anything more than that, and it may need some extra maintenance. It’s also worth mentioning that we didn’t crash today. A good mountain bike will hold up in most crashes, but we have yet to see how the Mongoose holds up with repeated abuse. There’s always tomorrow.


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