Shopping around for your first mountain bike can be a daunting task. It takes a lot of time and effort just to look through the entire range of bikes available on the market today and it just feels there are more and more brands coming up each time you look, leaving you even more confused than ever. A mountain bike is a relatively large investment for beginner riders (most quality ones start at no less than $1000) and it is crucial that you understand and know what features you are paying for in your first mountain bike purchase.
In this review, we took the liberty of narrowing the search to the two best brands that we feel offer the highest value-for-money and have several premium features for its price points, and these are namely Nishiki and Schwinn bikes.
Nishiki mountain bikes are well-assembled, almost to perfection. From the high-tensile heat treated steel construction used in the bike frames to the Shimano quality 7-speed derailleurs and drivetrain, Nishiki has put a lot of thought into producing an entry level mountain bike which has every basic requirement a beginner rider needs - plus plenty of premium features that an experienced rider would want. Raw materials are handpicked by Nishiki craftsmen to be then made into a high-performance mountain bike that is both affordable and reliable for the long-term.
Nishiki mountain bikes come in 5 different frame sizes - from 14” to 22” so you’ll be able to choose the sizes that suit you or your family the best. In terms of safety, the brake levers on Nishiki bikes are made of aluminium and the pulls are made out of quality alloy.
The pedals used on Nishiki bikes are also made of resin, making it more durable as compared to plastic pedals. The 26” stock tires and reinforced steel seat post promises to let the rider run through the bumpiest courses with comfort and ease.
With its very competitive price range on the entry level bike market, Nishiki is a great deal for those looking to start their mountain bike journey without having to break the bank.
In the next section we’ll explore Schwinn bikes and see what they have to offer.
The Schwinn brand has a long history of making quality bikes since it started back in 1950. Their mountain bikes are designed with ingenuity and dedication to provide the rider with ample features and specifications. Because of this attention to detail, Schwinn bikes have stood the test of time, being popular entry level bikes even till today.
Schwinn’s dual suspension bike frames are made of aluminium which is lighter than a steel frame. The dual suspension feature efficiently absorbs impact shock that may otherwise cause an uncomfortable ride, especially on bumpy terrain. This feature also prevents damage to the frame and bike components, thus ensuring your Schwinn bike will last you many years of happy riding.
A whopping 21-speed Shimano drivetrain and derailleur system gives you the freedom to push this bike (and your pedaling power) to the absolute limits. Speed freaks, this one’s for you!
The rims used on Schwinn mountain bikes are made of double alloy - this makes them strong and light yet durable. The stock 25” mountain tires are ready to tackle tough terrain right out of the box, and are upgradeable to 29” as well for a greater drive ratio. For those especially muddy trails, you have the option to install fenders on the alloy forks for a less messy ride.
In all, both options have their strong points but it does seem that Schwinn bikes do have a slight edge on features as compared to Nishiki bikes. With a lighter aluminium frame and easier handling during climbs due to its 21-speed drivetrain, we’d say put your money on the Schwinn bikes - but only if you have enough cash to spare as they cost considerably more than Nishiki!