$149 Mountain Bike vs mountain – The Walmart Enduro

Welcome to Pisgah Forest, home to a huge array of remote and challenging mountain bike trails. To get anywhere here, you need to climb a few thousand feet. To get out alive your bike needs to hold up to roots, sharp rocks, and sustained braking. There’s no cell phone reception out here, and the trails are far too narrow for emergency vehicles. When your very life depends on your equipment, what value would you place on reliability?

That fact that we’re at Walmart is pretty irrelevant. It could just as easily be Target, Amazon.com, or even Canadian Tire. They all offer the same thing—bikes built and assembled to the lowest spec possible.

With names like trouble, wipeout, ambush, and carnage, these bikes deliver what they promise, but today we’re staying optimistic. Alex and I are taking our time and weighing our options. Even in a sea of super cheap bikes, we can choose the ones that suit our priorities best.

We settled on a pair of Genesis V2100’s, which had front discs, threadless headsets, and half decent saddles. As we checked out, reality started to set in. We’d be relying on these bikes for over 5000 feet of elevation change. We’d need all the help we could get. Back at the house I packed everything from sockets to gorilla tape, to zip ties, to extra food, lest we get stranded on the far reaches of mount Mitchell.

We set out with our new bikes in tow, and kept two main goals in mind; Make it down the trail in one piece, and finish it off with Mexican food.

What started as a ride quickly devolved into a grueling hike. It wasn’t the gearing, or even the weight—we just tried and couldn’t. The tires had no traction, and the bikes flexed like crazy under any kind of torque. Once the grade evened out we had a much easier time, and started to clear some serious ground. We were enjoying nature, and It wasn’t long before we reached our first downhill.

Although it was only 50 yards, it was telling. Alex and I settled in for a long ride up the old Mitchell toll road, knowing full well that the climb might be the easy part.

We were climbing at a snail’s pace, painstakingly choosing our lines. Our cranks started creaking, and our hubs began to eat themselves, but we picked our way up the toll road without encountering any major mechanical failures. In fact, we were enjoying ourselves. For $149, Alex and I were taking part in an activity enjoyed by the likes of dentists and jewelers, with their pretty $6000 bikes. What do those bikes do that these can’t anyway?

On my trail bike, this janky rock garden is a blast. On this bike, I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

As you can see, Alex had been going much slower than me. He had the sense to. His bike had not one bit of damage to it, while I was nursing a blown up fork and no drivetrain whatsoever. It was clear by this comparison that speed is the major destructive force on these bikes.

As I edit this video, my hands, arms, shoulders, and torso still hurt from this ride. On my trail bike, the brakes can be applied with one finger. On the Genesis, braking is a full body workout that leaves you in pain for days.

We had made it to the end, sort of…. we still needed to get to the car. Luckily it was mostly downhill and I could hitch a ride on Alex’s backpack. After beating ourselves up for the better part of 5 hours, there was only one thing on our minds.

Playing around on department store bikes might be fun and games, but I found that riding one on an actual mountain bike excursion is not fun, and most definitely not a game. Still I’m amazed that Alex’s bike survived. Although he was using a lot more restraint than I was, everything from the gears to the brakes were working at the bottom. To Walmart’s credit, there are warnings on these bikes that tell you not to take them on mountain bike trails. After our journey, I’d have reason to believe that on a flat dirt path, the Genesis V2100 would inconvenience you at the very most, not kill you.

But just like sushi, tattoos, and cosmetic surgery, you’ll regret cheaping out on a bike that you really intend on exploring the mountains with. If you want to fall in love with mountain biking, try renting something first, or save up $400 for an entry level hardtail. In the meantime you can hike these trails for free. With one of these you may be hiking anyway.

If you enjoyed this video, I have plenty of others on this topic. Let me know what you think below, and better yet give me some ideas of what to do with these next. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll see you next time.

Comments

TheLeadMinecart says:

I don’t ride mountain, I ride BMX. Even there though, you don’t want an 80 dollar bike, I use an 800 dollar bike that has been amazing and none of the parts on it have ever bent, noticeably at least. Even the time a car hit my left crank arm, nothing happened. People at school why I have an 800 dollar bike, I say, “I built it for 100 dollars or so using used parts, but it has the life of more than 20 Walmart bikes.” Oh, and yes, I did build it for the price of a Walmart bike.

Random Reverses says:

The worst sound ever

Adam Atlas says:

Silly Wal-Mart ad.

lord Rex says:

give these bikes away

Kelly Martin says:

Your bodies took more shock than the suspension..

Major Lee says:

WHAT IS THAT SOUND

Jeffrey Lebeau says:

Go scrap it for a few $$$$

Erick Mabanto says:

Hmmm.. So.. This is why “Jesus Christ” is not answering some prayers. Busy testing some Walmart bike and eating tacos after.

John Li says:

yassssssss canadian tire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ray Vermette says:

MOAR PLEASE.

oziel911 says:

Was that the ole guacamole Mexican restaurant

Eric Mayernick says:

For 150 bucks those bikes took a beating

ArnoldSchwarzenegger says:

I think these Walmart bikes are for people who want to enter the biking world but are too stupid to know the difference, and can’t or don’t want to risk more money than they have to.

Hockey God says:

Looks really uncomfortable to ride.

pro2type says:

i would bearly trust my norco storm on that

Daniel Biswa says:

My friend you can donate the bike us . we would love to have it and ride it here in Bhutan. If you want too. :)

Gabe Palermo says:

Wipeout is the best Walmart brand and doesn’t make noise.

bittewarten says:

God bless hydraulic brakes

Bryans BeachTV says:

I thought the guy speaking was a young kid the whole time

Simon Grinham says:

Nothing wrong with the bike its made for roads pavement’s or light gravel tracks you idiots

Sad Man says:

Lol I just got into MTB and I bought a $129 hardtail from Wally World and I love it for the sport, but after doing mild research I have come to the conclusion that I need to save some money in order to purchase something even remotely reliable. No full suspension tho m8, my legs are the shocks fam.

no one you know says:

those cheap bikes are built for kids..

Malifor2210 says:

This is exactly the type of mountain biking that I want to try and do! And I know I shouldn’t buy a cheapo bike from a target or walmart and I know to see my closest bicycle village and do my stuff there but it really opens my eyes that quality matters so much more and it is worth spending a little more to go through that tough trail.

Daisuke Ito says:

Wtf you are a bitch?stop with these “woooah” “wuuuh” wtf

Sean Chaney says:

I bought this same bike last Sunday. Rode it about 10 miles on the road and all of the rear sprockets have broken off.

BlackCat 56 says:

J-U-N-K

AndySolo - jackass says:

scrap metal

Aphexon says:

Next, throw them in a container?

Bbv bö says:

Guys, I understand your feelings, I really understand.

Smoke YaSs says:

In that priceclass let alone at store like wallmart, trader joes or toys r us, you can be glad if the bike isnt already broken before you paid for it.
They dont even have competent people to figue most of the time.
Im not really sure that i would still dare to ride something like that down a real mountain anymore.
When i was a bit younger, i wouldve done it for the lols not even thinking about my potentially broken neck or other bones.
But ive seen a friend of mine actually buy such a new discounter/supermarket bike once a year and few lasted longer than a couple weeks without starting to fall apart one way or another.

david brown says:

Bro that bikes for nice rides around the neighborhood or woods not back mountain trails

ocnalB semaJ says:

“….Braking is a full body work out that leaves you in pain for days.” Hahahahahahaha

ArnoldSchwarzenegger says:

Seth’s painful moans sounds like he’s in a porno. …I think even if you plan on never using your bike on trails, it’s really never worth buying these cheap knockoffs for anything. Don’t buy a bike until you can afford a real bike.

Timmy Kafka says:

Voice over sounds like ratatouille!

DerpSaurs says:

In Romania you could buy a better bike than the long haired guy for 300$

Mr.CreatMive 6.0 says:

these sounds are like music

Bluebalz says:

Return it, it does not work.

Humza Mubarik says:

I have the exact same bike

Ugandan Knuckles says:

I lost it at the derailer part XD

Marco Valentini says:

Brand of the backpack?

demaciu88 says:

This video started off so good, I was laughing and having fun. But… Then they took 2 bikes out without any sort of tuning which I would never do regardless of the cost. The creaking and flex are constantly mentioned and exaggerated, I finally realized I was watching a fluff piece. Not only was this a useless video, but I feel it wasn’t honest and the riders appeared to be unskilled.

Shadow Wolf says:

Seth: *in pain*

Alex: WOOOOOH

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