Best entry level mountain bike – Schwinn S29
Despite having been an avid mountain biker for the past 12 years, I always find it difficult to pinpoint a single product without stressing a good few hours over it. So, when I was asked to write about the ‘best entry level mountain bike’, I immediately went on a major throwback trying to revisit all the bikes that I’d ridden in the past year or so with an affordable price tag to boot (see full details here).
There were quite a few names that I considered before finally deciding on the Schwinn S29. This, according to me is the best entry level mountain bike in the market currently. It is priced under $300 and for the price, it is a lot of mountain bike.
It is heavy-duty, stable, comfortable and can take more than a few bumps in its stride. Let me explain this further.
The first look at the Schwinn S29
You cant help but be impressed with the S29’s meaty construction. Factor the price tag into it and you straight away have a winner on your hands.
It has a very stylish 29er full suspension frame in an all-black design with perfect ergonomics. The graphics ar minimal and it helps maintain a more professional appearance.
The frame is crafted from 6061 aluminum. That makes this one of the sturdiest bikes that you can get at this price point. It is not lightweight mind you. But the slight extra weight gives it an unparalleled stability during the off-road rides.
The wheels are 29 inch alloy and contrary to popular notion, it takes nothing away from the maneuverability of the bike even on an extremely narrow trail. The S29 is nimble and deft and can glide over most obstacles that you encounter on the road. Here are some of the features on this bike.
The Features that make this the best entry level mountain bike
If you were awed by the construction, then wait till you see the performance. On the road, the Schwinn 29 outperforms most of its higher priced competitors. It is smooth, fast and easy to control. If you are looking for a casual ride for your city trails, you just found it. You don’t even need to read any further.
But if you are looking to dip your toes into mountain biking, then here are a few features that will interest you.
On the off road trial, the full suspension system really begins to shine. You won’t even feel most of the tiny bumps that you come across. It gives the S29 tremendous balance and traction. The wheels rarely leave the ground even on the bounciest of trails.
The SRAM 3.0 21 speed trigger shifters with superior actuation is positioned perfectly and allows you to shift gears effortlessly on-the-fly.
The braking system is equally efficient. Irrespective of whether you are cyclin downhill or want to make a sudden stop in pouring rain, the dual disc brakes have you covered.
Last but not the least, we have SR Suntour 3 piece alloy cranks allow precise gearing on all kinds of terrain.
What I liked the most
I was thoroughly impressed by the ride quality and the superior control that the Schwinn S29 has. It is way better than some of its much higher priced competitors. But here are some of the noteworthy features.
- Durable 6061 aluminum alloy frame
- Minimal graphics, all-black design
- Perfect ergonomics
- S29er full frame construction
- SRAM Speed trigger shifters
- 29 inch alloy wheels
- Front and back disc brakes
- SR Suntour 3 piece alloy cranks for precise gearing
- Quick release system for the front wheel and the seat allowing you to pack it easily into your car or in a corner of your RV
What could have been better
The Schwinn S29 is one of the most flawlessly designed mountain bikes that I have ever seen and used. But there’s just one minor letdown that I didn’t like.
The Saddle: The Schwinn S29 comes with a stock saddle that is downright uncomfortable. At least for me, it was.
Thankfully, that’s not a huge upgrade. You can easily replace it with a $25 one that will ensure that your derriere will thank you at the end of a bumpy ride.
Verdict: It is impossible to find a mountain bike that is a complete package of good looks, design, performance and price. The Schwinn S29 covers all these bases which makes it the best entry level mountain bike in the market.
If you are a beginner mountain biker looking to upgrade your old toy or you are looking for a versatile go-to bike that can perform equally well on a paved road and an off-road trail, the S29 is just what you need.