|And he judged |
Northrock XC29 Bicycle from Costco
After dabbling around with 3 Northrock bicycles in Costco, we left with both the Northrock XC29 and the Northrock FC7.
The models Costco currently sells are the following:
- XC29 for $480
- XC6 for $350
- SC7 for $300
My girlfriend and I were riding down the aisles, testing for which bicycle had the fit and comfort. She was looking for a 20+ year old Schwinn bicycle replacement; back when Schwinn was quality, and HEAVY too! I was looking to replace a six year old Mongoose full suspense bike that seemed to never fit, and was a bit on the heavy side.
I was liking the XC6 for the price, but it didn't fit my 6'0" height well; seemed crunched up, or maybe the handle bars design is set low. I liked the XC29's stanse; tall. The XC29 seemed to enable better balance, less peddling effort, and qute possibly, the frame fits, but the price didn't! So I dabbled around looking for something more to justify another $130 for "the better bike".
After riding the XC29 down the street and off road, I noticed it liked to skip a gear, and sometimes jump a gear at random. I did, however, find a good tutorial on how to properly adjust limits for the front and rear derailleurs. After getting a better understanding of how derailleurs work, a little tuning made this gem a pleasure.
The disc brake rotors look undersized for the 29 inch wheels, but brake skidding the rear tire comes effortlessly. Ball berring calipers sound like a good idea. I don't know much about them, but I'm guessing they use bearings on the lever arm shaft instead of a nylon or bronze surface? Not sure.
The seat is terribly uncomfortable. One easy flat trail ride and I was done trying to be tough.
The 29 inch wheels are awesome for smoother ride; more tire on the ground, better tracking, and better balance. However, if you're planning to put this in your vehicle, first consider if it'll fit!! I had forgotten the conviences of smaller mountain bikes.
This frame seems to be built tough; welds are dimed, and the steering neck is at a comfortable level. I like being able to sit up more instead of bent over; this is what sold the bike!
After assembly from the box, you'll have to adjust things to your liking. I adjusted the handlebars, brake levers, and shifters 5 times before I was happy.
Don't bother looking for the right alan wrench size, as a couple of alan wrenches and a combo open end wrench came with the bike. I'm glad they did, as I was busy at getting everything just right.
Being that Northrock is made in China, I probably wouldn't have botten it at Walmart, but since Costco doesn't "usually" sell junk, and their return policy is fair, I have no stick yet to shake at them. The sister product, a Northrock SC7 is an amazing bike for the price; many are so happy with the bike, while some others complain that the derailleurs should have been adjusted. The bike does clearly have a sticker on it that says "Made in China". What do they expect? Look it over; have a bicycle mechanic look at it before you buy it. Most things in China are slammed out of production with slim quality assurance, but with Northrock, seems they're attempting say quality.
Northrock XC29 box dimensions: 10" wide, 59" length, 30.5" height
With time I will give a better account of this purchase and how well the bike holds up. So far I've been pleased with the comfort and am looking forward to riding it more daily.
Notes: Some folks go into detail of why you shouldn't buy bikes from Costco. Well.. There are some folks who will only drink Starbucks coffee. ...