Should I take the plunge and buy this full suspension mountain bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Should I take the plunge and buy this full suspension mountain bike?

    So, I'm considering picking up a full suspension mountain bike. Just for kicks I was checking out eBay, and ran into a new 2009 Schwinn Rocket FS bike, listed below for $479. My guess is that the seller is drop shipping:

    Schwinn best full suspension red mountain bike sale | eBay

    I'm familiar with most of the components, which seem to be good quality. I don't know much about the front or rear suspensions, though. I did read some bad reviews here at MTBR about both, but they were from around 2004, so I'm not sure if the parts quality has improved or not.

    I do have the option of waiting and picking up something locally - there is a 2010 KHS 525 XTC for $849 that I could probably afford if I waited a few months. The guy at the bike store said he would have no problems ordering something very similar at the same price point if the one he has sells out. Here is a link to the 2010 model:

    KHS Bicycles :: XCT 525

    So, considering the parts differences, should I save money and buy the Schwinn now, or wait and get the KHS and spend more?

    If I get the KHS, I will probably have to sell my Leader hardtail. If I get the Schwinn, I won't have to do that.

  2. #2
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    I would wait for the KHS

  3. #3
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    You want to go FS on the cheap? I would stay away from that Schwinn, browse CL, eBay and classifieds for a good deal.

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    +1 on what he just said

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    Fs ftw

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    Quote Originally Posted by EZRider 19 View Post
    Fs ftw
    Can you please elaborate?

  7. #7
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    That looks like the bike you would find at Walmart or Target. I would avoid it like the plague if I were you. Cheap and FS does not belong in the same sentence IMO.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Goes Boing View Post
    That looks like the bike you would find at Walmart or Target. I would avoid it like the plague if I were you. Cheap and FS does not belong in the same sentence IMO.
    Bikepedia has the 2006 model listed with an MSRP of $849.99. I don't know of too many Walmart bikes with Deore derailleurs or Truvativ cranks. I will probably wait and get the KHS because it is just a really good deal, but I wouldn't say that the Schwinn is a "cheap" bike at all.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by EZRider 19 View Post
    Fs ftw



    ??????:

    To the OP, shop around in the classifieds, CL, the daily market on MTBR, evil bay etc. Of the two listed I would choose the KHS. Good luck.

  10. #10
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    if you get a low end FS bike, your going to get a low end experience.

    KHS makes a great bike, the components are better (especial the suspension) and i think it would provide a much better riding experience.
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  11. #11
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    The most important thing on a bike is the suspension fork, that keeps your front wheel on the ground and pointing the correct way. My fork is a Dorado, a few thousand dollars of awesome suspension.

    The manitou Axel is a very good fork, probably much better than the RST. They both have 4 bar suspension, so probably an effective design.

    If it were my money I would go Schwin.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant View Post
    The most important thing on a bike is the suspension fork, that keeps your front wheel on the ground and pointing the correct way. My fork is a Dorado, a few thousand dollars of awesome suspension.

    The manitou Axel is a very good fork, probably much better than the RST. They both have 4 bar suspension, so probably an effective design.

    If it were my money I would go Schwin.
    Wow. Interesting response considering all of the dissenters. Honestly, my main concern about buying the Schwinn has more to do with having a "bad eBay experience" rather than the actual quality of the components on the bike. The KHS is nice, but I have a hard time believing the the Schwinn Rocket is a piece of crap.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    Wow. Interesting response considering all of the dissenters. Honestly, my main concern about buying the Schwinn has more to do with having a "bad eBay experience" rather than the actual quality of the components on the bike. The KHS is nice, but I have a hard time believing the the Schwinn Rocket is a piece of crap.
    Honestly with one exception I don't see the answers bashing the Schwinn, just saying the KHS is better. And at nearly double the price, both original MSRP and current asking price, it better be a better bike. Saying the Schwinn looks like something from Walmart or Target is obviously a joke if you look any deeper than the picture. The components list is pretty even with the $1050 Giant Yukon FX. I have no idea about the suspension though, and that would be much more important than the drivetrain on a FS bike, IMHO.

    I personally wouldn't worry too much about a "bad Ebay experience" after looking at the sellers history and rating. I have done my share of Ebay buying, everything from computers and computer components to bikes and bike components and have yet to have any real bad experiences.
    Last edited by Crash Test Dumby; 11-29-2011 at 04:20 AM. Reason: added to the message
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  14. #14
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    The biggest problem with the Schwinn, well other then being owned by Pacific is, there is too much bike for the money, sure it looks like a full sespension mountain bike but is it really? "If it looks to good to be true, it probably is" !!
    If you really need to learn a lesson about e-bay, this may be just the bike for you.
    I prefer this full suspension bicycle from the early 1900's...
    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://i892.photobucket.com/albums/ac122/manabiker/1900s20Pierce20full20suspension20chaindrive201.jpg " border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
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  15. #15
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    Amazon is practically giving those scwinns away (large and small sizes). Although the pic and Product Features shows it's a lesser model, the Product Description indicates it's the same bike as the one on ebay. One would want verify the specs before purchasing. If the ship weight is correct, I imagine it weighs around 30-31. Yes, you won't be able to get parts and it's not a bling brand, but I would probably rather ride it than one of the heavy entry fs bikes like the yukon fx. If the pivot bearings go after a couple of years, one could always buy another frame and swap the parts over.

    Amazon.com: Schwinn Rocket Adult Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike: Sports & Outdoors

    On the other hand and just as important, does a buyer really want either of these bikes? A better bike will be more enjoyable to ride. You could save up more money while taking your time to figure out exactly what you want. In the mean time, you might find a good used bike within your budget if you keep an eye out.

  16. #16
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    In that price range, do yourself a favor and get a hardtail.
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  17. #17
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    If you are choosing between the two of those bikes listed, I would go with the KHS, and go with a local bike shop instead of eBay.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by manabiker View Post
    The biggest problem with the Schwinn, well other then being owned by Pacific is, there is too much bike for the money, sure it looks like a full sespension mountain bike but is it really? "If it looks to good to be true, it probably is" !!
    If you really need to learn a lesson about e-bay, this may be just the bike for you.
    I prefer this full suspension bicycle from the early 1900's...
    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://i892.photobucket.com/albums/ac122/manabiker/1900s20Pierce20full20suspension20chaindrive201.jpg " border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    Dude, I seriously respect your opinion and usually agree with you but I am missing you on this one. The KHS is a 2well year old model discounted from $1450 to $850. The Schwinn is more like 3 or 4 year old NOS discounted from $850 to $480 and you say its "too much bike for the money"? Pretty similiar discount rate for an even older bike. There are older NOS Schwinn hard tails that originally sold for around $500 on Amazon for less than $250, and I know people who bought them and they are legit. Just a few years ago Schwinn still had legit shop quality MTBs in addition to the Walmart crap and apparently they way overproduced so now the leftovers are out there cheap.

    Not saying the Schwinn is great, the KHS is clearly better and if the OP can afford it I would heavily recommend is, but the Schwinn looks like a pretty decent entry level FS to me. If I could afford it I would buy one myself.
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  19. #19
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    I've done a whole lot of shopping for Full Suspension Bikes this past few months for myself and friends. Generally, here are the deals I've found and have come to expect:

    From LBS (Local Bike Shop)
    Current Model Year: 10-15% off MSRP
    Outgoing Model Year: 20-25% off MSRP
    Two Model Years Ago: 30-35% off MSRP
    Prices depends on LBS owner, just ask (throw them a number), and shop around

    From Craiglist/Ebay (Used / Second Hand)
    Current Model Year: 20-30% off MSRP
    Outgoing Model Year: 30% off MSRP
    Two Model Years Ago: 30%-50% off MSRP
    Anything After That: (hard to say) Generally 50% off MSRP
    You gotta bargain with the seller, and do your research

    So I'm in the CL/Ebay crowd if you want to get most bang for your buck
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  20. #20
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    Well...I decided to go with the Schwinn. I'm not as concerned about the Manitou forks as I was before, as there were enough good reviews about them to make me more comfortable. I also noticed that several of the reviewers who didn't like them at first said they were decent forks after doing some maintenence.

    I think most of the components on the Schwinn are actually pretty good: 9 speed Deore derailleurs and shifters, Sram cassette, Truvative cranks, Hayes MX-2 disc brakes, WTB rims. Not the best, but not bad at all and WAY above Walmart quality. I mean, that's comparable to the parts lineup on a Trek 6000, with an MSRP of $1,179.99! Check it out:

    6000 - Trek Bicycle

    I agree that the KHS is a better bike, but as Crash Test Dumby pointed out above, it also costs almost twice as much! Also, I get to keep my Leader hardtail, which I can loan to a friend who doesn't have a bike, or use it when I want a changeup. I now have three bikes when you count my cyclocross! So, I think I made the right decision. When it gets here and I have a chance to take it for a ride, I'll let you all know if it was a good choice or not, as there are probably others here who would like to get a full suspension, but don't want to fork out the big bucks...

  21. #21
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    Good for you, very much looking forward to a ride review

    Think you might have overshot a little on your component comparison though. The Trek 6000 has Deore Shadow XT 10 Speed stuff and hydraulic discs. That's notably better than the Schwinn. However, as I said in an earlier post its better than the Yukon FX. Not horrible stuff by any means.
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    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    Good for you, very much looking forward to a ride review

    Think you might have overshot a little on your component comparison though. The Trek 6000 has Deore Shadow XT 10 Speed stuff and hydraulic discs. That's notably better than the Schwinn. However, as I said in an earlier post its better than the Yukon FX. Not horrible stuff by any means.
    Yeah, I knew about the hydros on the Trek - didn't realize it had 30 speeds, though. The Trek BETTER be better than the Schwinn at $700 more! But even at $700 more, a lot of the components are comparable!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinGB View Post
    if you get a low end FS bike, your going to get a low end experience.

    KHS makes a great bike, the components are better (especial the suspension) and i think it would provide a much better riding experience.
    I bought a FS off craigslist for $400 and my experience has been nothing short of AWESOME. (Giant NRS3 with upgrades).

    OP I have a Schwinn Hard Tail from 2000 that I ride on the same trails here locally that I race with my FS Giant. That damn Schwinn holds up pretty well and amazes me every time I ride it that its still alive and kicking. (This was an LBS bike at the time).

    I have nothing but good things to say about Schwinn. Just dont buy one at Walmart or Target.....
    People ask me all the time "who beat you up"? I tell them "a tree". They just look at me funny....

  24. #24
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    Just for the record, the yukon might be heavy as far as FS xc bikes go, but its not "heavy". I love mine, and while I want to upgrade to a trance in the near future I could honestly ride my Yukon for a long time and be perfectly content. The main weight on that bike is the wheelset and the dart 2 front fork. Both of which will be gone within the next month for lighter replacements.
    2010 Giant Yukon FX
    Pure XCR Wheelset/Geax Saguaro Tires/Tubeless
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  25. #25
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    Fwiw, regardless of the name on the downtube or the price, the better bike may come down to whether or not it fits you and you like the general handling. A test drive may save you both money and time. Recently when I made my upgrade, I had one bike in my mind. Turned out after 20 mins of riding it I didn't like the set up. I changed to courses and found one that fit perfectly...and it was cost neutral.

    If this will be a bike you think you want to keep for a few years and then sell, the downtube may mean a little more.

  26. #26
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    Earlier today I asked the seller when my bike would be shipped and he replied with "soon", and that Schwinn was closed during the holiday...and is a little backed up. So, not the best buying experience, but this is not that big of a deal and is out of the seller's control. What this tells me is that this is factory direct item, which I like, and as others have pointed out above, this is a quality Schwinn bike, not just a Walmart bike.

    I did take a look at the seller's other items, and for those who are interested, he also has several other Schwinn models available. He's got a great deal on another Schwinn Rocket, which is only $265!

    full suspension mountain bike schwinn overstock sale | eBay

    The reason I mention this one is that for anyone who wants a full suspension bike and is on a limited budget of less than $300, and wants better than Walmart quality FS bike, this is probably the one to get. The parts specs are a little vague, but it does say that it has an Alivio derailleur and Truvativ cranks, so that indicates its relatively decent quality (it does have v-brakes, though). Not so sure about the forks or any other specs, but I've NEVER seen a new bike with Shimano Alivio sell for that low. In comparison, new bike store bikes with cheap Shimano Acera components (one level below Alivio) are now selling for $600+!

    Anyway...just thought I'd throw that out there for anyone who is interested in a FS and is on a really fixed budget. No promises, though, of course - buy at your own risk!

    Please note that this is the same bike rlouder posted above from Amazon, which has favorable reviews, except that the eBay listing shows only the 18" (medium) size.

    Amazon.com: Schwinn Rocket Adult Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike: Sports & Outdoors

    EDIT:

    Ok, so I now wonder if the blue bike is the ladies version? When you compare the two frames, the lower priced one seems to look a little different, but maybe its just a different sized frame. Then there is a also the picture of this girl on it too!

    Blue Photo With Girl!

    DOUBLE EDIT:

    According to the review in the above link, its a men's bike but a 17" frame. Also, the fork is an RST Gila (well, I think, assuming I'm reading the user's review correctly - kind of hard to tell by the wording). Not great, but I don't think you will find a better fork on a bike costing less than $300.
    Last edited by getagrip; 12-07-2011 at 12:26 AM.

  27. #27
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    Congrats on the new bike, I have had my 2006 Rocket LTD for a couple of months and love the thing. I bought it used off Ebay, I also bought my 2009 Teocali Super Ebay. I wouldn't worry too much about your purchase I've been using Ebay for ten years now with only one bad dealing were the seller did not respond. PayPal got my money back though.

    As for the rocket the suspension rides very similar to my Teocali. The Schwinn ISO Drive is the kissing cousin of the Mongoose Freedrive and GT I-drive systems so the frame is definitely worthy of upgrades as I have done. Stop by the mongoose Schwinn forum and give us an update.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Should I take the plunge and buy this full suspension mountain bike?-1.jpg  

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    Last edited by Cobra8d; 12-02-2011 at 12:15 AM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    Earlier today I asked the seller when my bike would be shipped and he replied with "soon", and that Schwinn was closed during the holiday...and is a little backed up. So, not the best buying experience, but this is not that big of a deal and is out of the seller's control. What this tells me is that this is factory direct item, which I like, and as others have pointed out above, this is a quality Schwinn bike, not just a Walmart bike.

    I did take a look at the seller's other items, and for those who are interested, he also has several other Schwinn models available. I would honestly stay away from most of them, except the one selling for $479, and the one listed below, which is only $265!

    full suspension mountain bike schwinn overstock sale | eBay

    The reason I mention this one is that for anyone who wants a full suspension bike and is on a limited budget of less than $300, and wants better than Walmart quality FS bike, this is probably the one to get. The parts specs are a little vague, but it does say that it has an Alivio derailleur and Truvativ cranks, so that indicates its relatively decent quality (it does have v-brakes, though). Not so sure about the forks or any other specs, but I've NEVER seen a new bike with Shimano Alivio sell for that low. In comparison, new bike store bikes with cheap Shimano Acera components (one level below Alivio) are now selling for $600+!

    Anyway...just thought I'd throw that out there for anyone who is interested in a FS and is on a really fixed budget. No promises, though, of course - buy at your own risk!

    Please note that this is the same bike rlouder posted above from Amazon, which has favorable reviews, except that the eBay listing shows only the 18" (medium) size.

    Amazon.com: Schwinn Rocket Adult Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike: Sports & Outdoors

    EDIT:

    Ok, so I now wonder if the blue bike is the ladies version? When you compare the two frames, the lower priced one seems to look a little different, but maybe its just a different sized frame. Then there is a also the picture of this girl on it too!

    Blue Photo With Girl!

    DOUBLE EDIT:

    According to the review in the above link, its a men's bike but a 17" frame. Also, the fork is an RST Gila (well, I think, assuming I'm reading the user's review correctly - kind of hard to tell by the wording). Not great, but I don't think you will find a better fork on a bike costing less than $300.
    I personally wouldn't touch the Amazon listing, there is WAY too much contradictory info there. The picture looks like the Schwinn Protocol available at several local department stores. Then the "procuct features" describes a 3.5" travel bike with Truvativ X flow crank and very low end shifters and derailleurs. But the "product description" describes the same bike found on Ebay with 5"travel travel, Iso Flow crank and Deore/DeoreLX derailleurs.

    So which bike are you really getting? I , personally, wouldn't take the risk to find out.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  29. #29
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    Ok, the more I look at it I am pretty sure the bike on Amazon and the second one Getagrip posted from Ebay are the same bike, at pretty much the same price too. The "product Description" on Amazon is just wrong. So I guess I agree with Getagrip, its actually not too bad for a VERY entry level full suspension, I mean what can you expect for under $300.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    I personally wouldn't touch the Amazon listing, there is WAY too much contradictory info there. The picture looks like the Schwinn Protocol available at several local department stores. Then the "procuct features" describes a 3.5" travel bike with Truvativ X flow crank and very low end shifters and derailleurs. But the "product description" describes the same bike found on Ebay with 5"travel travel, Iso Flow crank and Deore/DeoreLX derailleurs.

    So which bike are you really getting? I , personally, wouldn't take the risk to find out.
    I agree on the Amazon thing - I feel much more comfortable with eBay, and I based everything I said on the eBay listing (and the product review I read from Buzzilions - well, I trust the Amazon reviews too). From what I understand, the $265 model "officially" has 3.5 inch travel, but I read some reviews which state it has 4" travel.

    The Schwinn Protocol is a completely different bike. There are two different Protocol frame designs, both of which look different and more up to date than the Schwinn Rocket frames, but the product specs are not up to par with either of the Schwinn models I listed.

    Well, I take that back - the Protocol 2.0 is equipped with Sram X-4, which is on par with Alivio, but it also cost $85 to $160 more than the $265 Schwinn Rocket I referenced, depending on which seller you buy from. Both Protocol models have disc brakes, which the lower priced Schwinn Rocket does not have, but when you are dealing with lower end disc brakes, you are almost better off with V-brakes. I suppose the Pro-Max brakes on the Protocol 2.0 might be okay though, but still, if it were my money, I'd buy the $265 Rocket over either Protocol.

    I've already purchased the more expensive ($479) Schwinn Rocket model because of the parts specs. The main reason I included the listing to the less expensive model is because I think its an awesome deal for anyone on a budget looking for a full suspension who might run into this thread.

  31. #31
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    If Cobra8d is right that he ISO drive suspension is basically the same thing as GTs I-drive then its
    a very good design which is pretty resistant to "pedal bob" even without pro pedal type fancy shocks.

    Which should mean that even the lower priced Rocket would be a reasonable bike, much better than any of the 38-45 pound bob monsters you find at Walmart and Target.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra8d View Post
    Congrats on the new bike, I have had my 2006 Rocket LTD for a couple of months and love the thing. I bought it used off Ebay, I also bought my 2009 Teocali Super Ebay. I wouldn't worry too much about your purchase I've been using Ebay for ten years now with only one bad dealing were the seller did not respond. PayPal got my money back though.

    As for the rocket the suspension rides very similar to my Teocali. The Schwinn ISO Drive is the kissing cousin of the Mongoose Freedrive and GT I-drive systems so the frame is definitely worthy of upgrades as I have done. Stop by the mongoose Schwinn forum and give us an update.
    Thanks for the photos! Looks like you have a pretty cool ride!

    Does anyone know how to quote someone's photos when you quote them? I can only seem to quote the words they have written. I'm missing something.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    If Cobra8d is right that he ISO drive suspension is basically the same thing as GTs I-drive then its a very good design which is pretty resistant to "pedal bob" even without pro pedal type fancy shocks.

    Which should mean that even the lower priced Rocket would be a reasonable bike, much better than any of the 38-45 pound bob monsters you find at Walmart and Target.
    Yeah, that's what a lot of the reviews said, even on the lower priced model. Sounds like several of the reviewers must have had "pogo stick" full suspension bikes that bounced them around before they picked up their Schwinn Rockets. On the flip side, it seems like one of the complaints that some Rocket riders do have (or owners of other types of bikes that used Manatou Axtel forks), is that they are too rigid.

  34. #34
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    The bike arrived today. I'm really impressed! Definately NOT a Walmart bike! LOL The bike is actually a Schwinn Rocket Comp, listed here on MTBR.com:

    Schwinn Rocket Comp Freeride Full Suspension Reviews

    Not sure if the year is really 2009 (Bikepedia lists the latest year as 2007), but according to the reviews, back in 2005, people payed as high as $820 for this bike new. Keep in mind that bikes are priced higher now than they were back then, with lower quality parts, so at today's prices, this is easily a $1000 bike store bike.

    For anyone on the fence about purchasing this bike, in my view, this is the best full suspension you can get for the price. The Schwinn Rocket is a really good quality bike and a steal at the price, and has better specs than what the seller has listed. Turns out the rear shock is a Fox Vanilla - not the Manitou Radium that the seller listed. On the downside, I'm not sure if it has an LX rear derailleur, but it is a Deore, so that works for me. The seller lists both Tektros and Hayes brakes, but my bike only came with Hayes, which are much better than Tektros.

    Each tire has a different kind of tread, so the tread pattern is front and rear specific, which I was really impressed with. The bike shifted well right out of the box - I didn't even do adjustments. The Hayes brakes work great, and I didn't adjust those either. In fact, I'll venture to say that they work better than my Avid BB7s on my other bike, but don't get too excited...I haven't adjusted those either.

    The bike is definately heavy, but that is what you would expect for a full suspension. I'm not sure how heavy it is compared to others. The bike did have a little dust build up. At first, I thought that perhaps I got a return because it looked like the seat post was put in the frame already (it had a small scratch), and there was a hole in the plastic as well, which was obviously ripped open. There was also plastic taped to the top of the seat post with white masking tape, so that made me wonder a little, but I think I'm ok...it looks new other than that.

    It came with Welgo WAM-M919 clipless pedals (which actually have bad reviews here at MTBR), with plastic platforms to go with them - does anyone know which screws to adjust so that platforms stay on? I don't have cleats yet, and am not quite ready to go clipless.

    The bike wasn't packaged quite as well as the Bikes Direct bikes that I've purchased, but it was sufficient to protect everything. I had to install the entire front caliper and cable, as this part was completely off the bike. Getting the cables going the right places was also a little tricky, but I didn't have too many problems figuring it out. They were already routed, but loose, and I kind of mixed them up a bit when I put the handlebars on.

    I have a bag with a couple of extra washers, so I wonder if those need to go on the caliper? There was also a round plastic piece in the same bag, about half an inch high, with a notch all of the way through it - does anyone know what is for? Maybe I'm stupid, but the zip ties didn't work for the front brake cable.

    By the time I was finished putting it together, it was around 10pm, an 10 degrees fahrenheit outside, but I did take it for a brief test ride. Didn't really test the limits of the suspension, but I was impressed with the fact that I could plow through about 3 inches of snow, packed on grass, without any problems. My only other experience with riding in the snow was on my Giant Roam (a "Dual Sport" or advanced hybrid), and I could barely even pedal, so it was cool to be able to ride right through it. I didn't take it off road, but will hopefully do that this weekend when it gets up to 40 degrees!

    Turns out it is actually a 17", and not an 18" like the seller stated. The bike fits me really well - I'm a hair over 5 foot 7 inches tall, and have around a 29" inseam. The top tube just barely touches my junk, but I can pull the front end up and have a little breathing room, so I'm not too worried about it. I'd say the Schwinn Rocket has a similar feel to an 18" Trek 3900 / 4300 in terms of geometry, and feels pretty up right.

    Anyway, for anyone considering purchasing this bike, I say go for it! Honestly, I don't think you will find a better deal. The seller is a good seller too...he took care of me, so I'm sure he will take care of you. Oh, last but not least, here is photo. The photo quality sucks, though, and doesn't do justice to the bike (better quality photos coming this weekend). It looks much better in person!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Should I take the plunge and buy this full suspension mountain bike?-schwinn-rocket.jpg  

    Last edited by getagrip; 12-07-2011 at 12:33 AM.

  35. #35
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    Dang, really making me wish I had some money! Pesky kids want Christmas presents though.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
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  36. #36
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    Nice look'n bike.

    You can get a approx weight with bathroom scales. Stand on the scales while holding the bike and then normally - subtract.

    Don't know if the Fox is better. The radium should have some platform, which would reduce pedal bob.

    The specs show a rapid rise (low normal) rear der. I'm not in the market, just curious if it comes with one. The rear shifter paddles work opposite with a rr der.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Test Dumby View Post
    Dang, really making me wish I had some money! Pesky kids want Christmas presents though.
    Well, at least you have your priorities right!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlouder View Post
    Nice look'n bike.

    You can get a approx weight with bathroom scales. Stand on the scales while holding the bike and then normally - subtract.

    Don't know if the Fox is better. The radium should have some platform, which would reduce pedal bob.

    The specs show a rapid rise (low normal) rear der. I'm not in the market, just curious if it comes with one. The rear shifter paddles work opposite with a rr der.
    Thanks. I don't have a bathroom scale so I can't weigh it. One of the reviewers weighed his though, and he said the 19" weighed 34 pounds. Not sure about the rear derailleur - I can take a picture of it if that would help. As far as the Fox Vanila vs Manitou Radium is concerned, the main reason I thought the Fox is better is because it gets really good reviews here at mtbr.com:

    Fox Racing Shox Van R Rear Shock Reviews

    Of course, I don't know if I have the Van R, so that could be a moot point. Looks like there are at least two other types of Fox Vanila rear shox, and I'm not sure which one I have. When I read the Radium reviews, a lot of people said it locket out or mentioned other problems, so that is why I was glad my bike came with the Fox instead.
    Last edited by getagrip; 12-07-2011 at 01:40 PM.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    Thanks. I don't have a bathroom scale so I can't weigh it. One of the reviewers weighed his though, and he said the 19" weighed 34 pounds. Not sure about the rear derailleur - I can take a picture of it if that would help. As far as the Fox Vanila vs Manitou Radium is concerned, the main reason I thought the Fox is better is because it gets really good reviews here at mtbr.com:

    Fox Racing Shox Van R Rear Shock Reviews

    Of course, I don't know if I have the Van R, so that could be a moot point. Looks like there are at least two other types of Fox Vanila rear shox, and I'm not sure which one I have. When I read the Radium reviews, a lot of people said it locket out or mentioned other problems, so that is why I was glad my bike came with the Fox instead.
    not the same shock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricky916 View Post
    not the same shock.
    I think you may be right. Not sure which Fox Vanilla rear shock I have, but I don't anticipate having any problems with it at my level of riding. Its a good quality part.
    Last edited by getagrip; 12-07-2011 at 08:29 PM.

  41. #41
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    Congrats on the new bike! Let us know how it performs on the trail.

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    Just went for a 20 minute bike ride in the snow around my neighborhood. It was a lot of fun. It gave me a much better idea of the capabilities of the bike and what it could handle, and so far so good. The bike goes right up and down curbes, and going down hill, I could go through about 6 inches of snow.

    I did notice a little bobbing in the rear when riding up hill while standing up, but part of that might have been due to the rear tire slipping due to the slick snow. To tighten up the rear suspension, do you turn to the right or left?

    Toward the last minute or two of the ride, I noticed the front fork topping out a bit - not sure if that was from me riding, or if it was just me playing around with the fork and doing a little bobbing up and down myself. After getting the bike inside, its something I could hear on the way up, after pressing down on the handlebars to lower the suspension when I'm not riding the bike. I can also hear the air pressure when pressing down on the forks. Also noticed a very very small amount of grease that appears to be coming out at the top of the fork, right around the seals, but this might be because of melting snow mixing with grease on the forks. Are there any adjustments that can be done to fix this?

    Some people gave the fork bad reviews (Manitou Axel Comp), so maybe this is why...obviously something I'm going to need to keep an eye on and possibly replace. The fork did seem to perform well, though - a lot better than the Rock Shox Dart 2 on my other bike.

    For those who are interested, here are the reviews to the 2004 model of fork:

    Manitou Axel Comp 2004 Front Shocks Reviews

    Anyway, here is a better photo than the one I previosly took. This one was taken tonight right after the ride:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Should I take the plunge and buy this full suspension mountain bike?-schwinn-rocket-snow.jpg  

    Last edited by getagrip; 12-08-2011 at 10:30 PM.

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    Just thought I'd give an update since I said I would take in on the trails this weekend. Well, I tried...but the trails had too much snow on them. What I've found is that I can ride this bike on snow covered paved roads, snow covered gravel roads, and snow covered grass, but not snow covered trails. I did have some difficulty with snow covered gravel roads, though, but was able to make it through ok. Anyway, won't be able to give a full off road ride report until later.

    I tightened up the rear suspension, and although I noticed a little bob, it was better than before. I still can tighten the rear spring much tighter if I need to, so I think the rear suspension is ok. In fact, after riding the bike today, I think most of the bobbing that I had previously reported from the rear was actually coming from the front suspension of the bike. Turns out that I had loosened the front fork to its loosest setting, when I thought I was tightening it. However, in spite of turning the nob 100 times or so, I can still keep turning, and can't get the nob to lock down.

    On that note, the front fork is VERY spungy - it bobs up and down quite a bit, mainly when going up hill when standing up. I got a second opinion about it from a friend who knows a lot more about bikes than me, and he even noticed the bobbing coming up his driveway! He said he liked the dampering going downhill and said its an ok fork for that, but as many of the reviewers said, the fork is WAY too spongy and bounces around way too much. So, I'll most likely replace the forks. Not sure if I will do that now or wait until January or February when clearance sales are on. I don't want to spend a boat load of money, but it will probably be around $200.

    One thing that I noticed that is a really good thing is that after taking it for two cold rides in the snow today, my lower back feels a lot better than when I ride my other bikes. Granted, I did not go off road with it, but I still get lower back pain on road rides. Part of the pain free ride has to do with the fact that it is a full suspension, but I think the other part has to do with the fact that it is a fairly upright bike, which is probably one of the reasons many people have reviewed the Schwinn Rocket said they wouldn't race with it.

    Another thing I want to mention is that this bike has a fairly high chasis, something I read before and have also noticed when riding it. If you are considering getting this bike, but are less than 5'7.5" tall (my height on a good day ;-) I'd say that's probably a bad idea. The less expensive model I mentioned above might work better for people less than 5'7" tall, because it only has around 80 mm of travel, which would give you more top tube clearance. So, this is a rather "big" 17" bike, although effective top tube length is going to be shorter than what you will find with Specialized and Gary Fisher's, but more consistent with what you'd find with Trek 3 and 4 series bikes.

    Overall, I'm happy with the bike, but if you plan on making the investment for this bike, plan on investing around $200 or more for a better fork. When conditions are good enough to ride off road in, I will give it a more thorough ride report. I may take it to the bike store by next weekend to get weighed, for those who are curious about that.

  44. #44
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    dont compensate the pedal bob with more spring preload. set the spring with the proper amount of sag (20%-25% of travel when sitting on the bike) and adjust any other settings (rebound, etc) to the way you like. it will feel much smoother on the trail. there will always be pedal bob. especially while standing. there are few frames that dont have pedal bob. it all comes down to the suspension design.

    but congrats on the new bike!

  45. #45
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    UPDATE

    Took the Schwinn Rocket to the bike store to get it weighed. At THIRTY FIVE POINT SIX POUNDS (35.6 lbs) it is a BEAST!

    Not sure how the previous report of the 19" weighing 34 pounds is true...

    Got another opinion on the rear suspension, and the consensus is that it bobs too much, so, anyone planning to buy this bike needs to take that into consideration, but as Cobra8d suggested above, the frame is worthy of upgrades.

    I really wanted to take this bike on the trails to get a ride report, but it was way too muddy - after the snow, it rained for a couple of days. Within minutes, my tires accumulated enough mud to make it look like a Full Suspension Surly Pugsly! It might not be until March or April until I'm able to take it on the trails, unless we get an unseasonably warm dry spell and warm enough weather to dry out the trails.

    After seeing how bad the trails were, my friend and I decided to do a road ride around the lake. Surprisingly, the bike is very nice to ride on the road, if the 35.6 pounds doesn't bug you going up hills. LOL
    Last edited by getagrip; 12-17-2011 at 04:56 PM.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    It came with Welgo WAM-M919 clipless pedals (which actually have bad reviews here at MTBR), with plastic platforms to go with them - does anyone know which screws to adjust so that platforms stay on? I don't have cleats yet, and am not quite ready to go clipless.
    Those platforms are for test riding the bike. They will break in short order if you try to use them to actually ride on. Either get some cycling shoes or a set of platform pedals.

    I have a bag with a couple of extra washers, so I wonder if those need to go on the caliper? There was also a round plastic piece in the same bag, about half an inch high, with a notch all of the way through it - does anyone know what is for? Maybe I'm stupid, but the zip ties didn't work for the front brake cable.
    Without seeing them, I'm thinking that the extra washers are for the brake caliper, but you often don't need them. The other plastic piece goes in to the cable stop on the frame to keep the shift or brake housing in place. Don't always need those, either, but they often come with bikes.

    Was this bike new? If so, if you're not familiar with adjusting hubs or headsets or have a bb tool, etc., I would recommend taking it to a shop for a tune-up. Most new bikes come with hubs that are too tight (because they assemble them with air tools or gorillas), wheels are usually not quite perfectly true, and headsets that are slightly loose or tight. Getting those adjusted well before riding will help them to last longer.

    At any rate, enjoy the bike! It's a decent bike. My friend has had one now for several years, and it is still servicing him well for the riding he does.
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  47. #47
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    RIDE REPORT!

    So I was finally able to take the Rocket for a ride on some light singletrack. Due to the recently melted snow, the trail was soft and not ideal for testing, but at least it gave me a better idea of what the bike could do.

    The main thing I was thinking during a lot of the ride was how heavy the bike was. It was very sluggish going up hill, but handled well going down hill. I expected to be able to go faster on it than I did, but even going downhill, it was slower than I thought it would be. I think the riding conditions really slowed me down, so I don't want to blame everything on the bike, but definately not as fast as I thought it could be. I did notice the fork topping out a bit, which, other than the slowness up hills, was the only other thing I noticed that I wasn't happy with.

    One thing my friend was impressed with, who went on the ride with me on a hardtail, was that I didn't have to stand up going over some of the larger roots and obstacles like he did. At one point, I got a little over confident and tried to plow through one of the roots. I wasn't going very fast, and after hitting the root, the front fork compressed, and I went flying over the handlebars! It felt like a UFC fighter flipped me on my back! Thankfully the bike didn't put me in an arm bar too...

    The weather forecast is looking really good here over the next week, and I may be able to take it on a more challenging course next weekend. The main challenge of the course I was on today was that I was huffing and puffing on every hill. Definately got a good workout!

    So, the verdict is that its a great bike for the budget, but it has its limitations...like riding up hill. You won't like the bike if you don't like climbing, as the Schwinn Rocket makes it worse. You will like the bike on descents and dry flat trails. Not the best bike to ride in muddy conditions...the bike just sinks into the mud and anchors in - kind of like riding a paper weight! I'd say the bike is great for building endurance and learning how to push yourself, because the bike will make you work hard.

    Oh, one more thing: its a 24 speed and not a 27 speed as advertised. Just noticed that last night when looking at the shifter readout for the rear derailleur, which only went up to 8, then counting the rear cogs on the cassette to confirm.
    Last edited by getagrip; 12-26-2011 at 01:48 AM.

  48. #48
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    For those who are still interested, I finally took the Schwinn Rocket for a test ride on a "real" mountain bike trail. I've decided to start a new thread here, which describes the overall capabilities of the bike in much better detail:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-cor...st9080939.html

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