The Merax Finiss mountain bike comes equipped with Kenda hybrid bicycle tires. These tires don’t provide the traction a mountain bike needs – which is why they are normally equipped with knobby tires. After 2 trail rides with the hybrid tires I grew tired of slipping on downhill sections of the trail. Uphill it is a dream to ride, but downhill the traction issues start to take away from the fun.
Since this is a bike sold by Walmart I decided I would try to mimic the selection a Finiss buyer would likely make when shopping for a replacement tire. That means I headed to my local Walmart to check out their selection of MTB tires. There are two – a mountain bike tire made by Bell that is 26×1.95 and a Goodyear tire that has nice looking mountain bike treads and is also wider at 26 x 2.10.
I picked up the Goodyear and quickly noticed that these aren’t real Goodyear tires. They are tires made by Kent Ind, makers of many lower priced bicycles you find at big box stores and licensed for use of the Goodyear name. That being the case, and with the questionably soft sidewalls, they seem like they will be sufficiently grippy to be a significant upgrade.
And they are grippy. On the trail I made short work of muddy areas, and rode right over loose gravel that gave the Kenda hybrid tires fits. So in one respect they are a great upgrade. Though they aren’t without issues. They add a significant amount of rolling resistance to the bike. Enough to make it go from an excellent climbing bike to one that rides like a far cheaper bike. The 3×7 drivetrain limitations on the trail are also highlighted by the added rolling resistance. In short, it makes anything but downhill runs almost intolerable unless you enjoy the cardio workout a tough climb on badly spaced gearing can provide.
There is also the issue that it appears as though the components on the Merax Finiss – or at least the 3x crankset – was specifically built to only handle the stress of the low resistance factory Kenda tires, because I not only broke a chain link, but I also noticed wear on the crankset gearing that will require parts replacement.
This makes me question the value of the bike. It is supposed to be a mountain bike, and for that task it has a few decent components for the money, but the tires keep it from being able to fulfill those duties. Replacing them puts added stress on the bike’s components causing early failure. I will likely upgrade the components since I’m already into the bike, but I’m also considering making it a parts bike and using the best of the components for other bikes.
What do you think? Thanks for watching this bicycle review on KevCentral