Mountain biking is a popular outdoor activity that many people of all ages are passionate about. What’s not to love about riding a bike out in the countryside, away from motorized vehicles? If you have been considering taking up the sport, you might want to start off with an affordable bike and see whether you like it, before shelling out thousands for a high-end mountain bike. This is where the Schwinn S29 29″ Wheel Full Suspension Mountain Bike comes in, with its less-than-$350 price point.
But bear in mind that this is a very low price for a full suspension mountain bike. The Schwinn name and experience means that it is better than expected at this price point, but it is still a cheap bike – do not expect high end components or sophisticated features.
Before making a decision, you will of course need more information on the Schwinn S29. What are its pros and cons? What is this mountain bike made of, and how high-quality are its parts? All of these are essential factors that you as a potential buyer need to be aware of. We have listed some of the pros and cons, so you can decide for yourself if this bike might suit your needs.
The Pros of the Schwinn S29
The Schwinn S29 29″ Wheel Full Suspension Mountain Bike has a full suspension aluminum frame and SR Suntour suspension forks. These combine to absorb shocks from the trail, which means that you will have some protection from the bumps, and you should be able to ride comfortably under most conditions. The suspension forks also protect your wrists and elbows from excessive jarring and stress. Of course, these are not premium shocks, so they offer a basic level of shock absorption. If you have joint problems, you might consider upgrading the forks. Bear in mind that most parts of a bike can be upgraded and replaced.
Shifting gears is made easy by the SRAM 3.0 21 speed trigger and the SRAM 3.0 rear derailleur. The bike sports front and rear disc brakes, as well as robust 29-inch wheels that provide you with a balanced and smooth riding experience. Disc brakes, even low-end ones, offer better stopping power than caliper brakes.
The bike requires some assembly out the box, and it is up to you whether you do this yourself, or get a bike shop to do it. Unless you have a lot of knowledge and skills, it will be safer to have a bike shop do it.
With a stand-over height of 31 inches, this bike is suitable for riders over 5’8″. For more on bike frame sizes, see our popular post, “A Guide to Bike Frame Sizes.”
Finally, the Schwinn S29 mountain bike is beefy, and should accommodate heavier riders. Therefore, if you are a heavy person, it should work for you. If you are a very heavy person, our very popular post called “A Guide for Fat Cyclists” may interest you.
The Cons of the Schwinn S29
You cannot lock out the rear suspension, so you will have rear suspension all the time. This can be annoying if you happen to be riding on smooth pavement, as it will slow you down a bit. However, suspension lockout is a sophisticated option that can hardly be expected at this price point.
The number one drawback with the Schwinn S29 29″ Wheel Full Suspension Mountain Bike is the stock saddle it comes with. Although it looks good, this saddle can be rather uncomfortable, especially on long rides and challenging trails. Still, this can be easily solved by replacing it with a more cushiony saddle. Amazon offers multiple options for comfy saddles. Replacing a saddle is an easy task that even totally inexperienced cyclists can usually do. If you have any concerns about doing it yourself, then simply take the bike into a bike shop, pick up a saddle, and have them put it on the bike for you. Most bike shops do not charge for installing components you buy from them.
While you are about it, you might want to replace the pedals as well. I usually replace the pedals on new bikes I buy, as I find that even bikes that cost over a thousand dollars often come with inferior quality pedals. This bike is no exception to that general rule.
Brake adjustment has also proven to be quite problematic for some. If you don’t have the skills to do this yourself – and most people don’t – a bike shop will do it for you at a reasonable cost.
Of course, as with all bikes, you will need to keep your bike clean and oiled. Most importantly, you will need to keep the chain and derailleurs clean and lubed. Check out our post, “7 Simple Steps to Keep Your Bike Chain Clean and Lubed.”
Without this kind of care and attention, this bike and/or its components could rust in as little as a year.
Bottom Line on the Schwinn S29
The Schwinn S29 29″ Wheel Full Suspension Mountain Bike is a very affordable mountain bike with robust wheels and a good gear shifting and braking system. However, at the end of the day, it is a low-price bike, and you get what you pay for. You will spend more than the sticker price to replace the saddle, the pedals, and possibly upgrade the suspension forks.
All in all, for the price, it may be suitable for those who want to try out mountain biking without spending a lot of money. But bear in mind that a bike at this price point is not intended to be used for descending mountains! It will be suitable for use on trails and bike paths, but please don’t try to use it to plummet down a mountain. A bike at this price point cannot be expected to withstand the stress of huge jumps. Consider it as strictly an entry-level mountain bike for people over 5’8″.
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