Some people think that spending less than $500 on a mountain bike means that you’ll get a cheaply-made product that is basically an imposter, that really only resembles “real” mountain bikes in terms of looks. And for the most part, they are probably right.
Even some of the biggest brands are guilty of slapping their widely-respected name onto a lower tier bike that doesn’t even come close to offering the same quality of their other bikes.
This can sometimes fool newer riders into thinking they are getting the same level of bike, but with just a few small changes to make it cheaper.
The Gravity FSX 1.0 shows that you can truly have a high-quality mountain bike that is actually able to handle real trail riding, and still keep the price tag well under $500.
From the frame to the tires, the FSX 1.0 aims as high as it can for each aspect and component, resulting in a level of performance that is mainly found with bikes costing at least a few hundred dollars more.
The Gravity FSX 1.0 may not have the big brand appeal, but it definitely delivers big brand performance, for far less.
Putting out a bike this good for this little requires strict attention to detail towards every part, otherwise it’s all in vain. The Gravity FSX 1.0 does all that, and so much more.
The FSX 1.0 is a full suspension bike, which is made possible by its hydroformed aluminum alloy frame. The frame has flawless welding points, and ensures extra reinforcement and strength in all the areas that receive the most stress and impact during a ride.
Even with the dual suspension and added frame reinforcement, the bike stays around the 26 lb. mark.
While this may not be considered light weight when compared to some other bikes, the 26 lbs is still very impressive for a full suspension bike, regardless of how much it is.
The FSX 1.0’s suspension is consists of Suntour shocks for both the fork and the rear.
The travel amounts are extended enough to be suitable for both trail and all-mountain riding, and both are also adjustable in case you want to make them more rigid for faster speeds on flatter trail types.
The FSX 1.0’s seatpost is also made from the same aluminum alloy as the frame, and holds a very comfortable saddle that is actually one of the surprising strengths of this bike. It makes flatter sections and casual riding all the more comfortable and enjoyable.
As for the gear system, it is entirely comprised of Shimano parts, which notably includes the ultra-light and responsive Shimano EFT shifters. Suntour components make up the crank and cassette. All of these combine to deliver a fast and efficient shift system that gives you complete control over the bike’s 24 total gears.
The tires on the FSX 1.0 aren’t bad, but it should be noted that they don’t offer the most ideal traction or tread design for heavy trail riding. However, they still have adequate ground coverage and offer a good amount of amount of durability to help withstand flats in many scenarios.
Quality disc brakes are a rarity for this price range, but the FSX 1.0 goes against that as well. Tektro Novela disc brakes give you all the stopping power needed, along with a good measure of controlled braking that requires just the slightest pull of the brake levers. No mushy brakes here.
All of this results in a highly impressive full suspension bike that performs way above its pay grade. We really aren’t sure how you get all this for under $330.
The value here is almost too much to go over given the space.
The frame is incredibly lightweight for being a full suspension bike. For cheaper bikes, the weight is usually a big issue, but not with the FSX 1.0. This gives you an idea of just how good the aluminum alloy material really is.
And then there’s the suspension aspect. The Suntour shocks are far better than what you usually see with entry-level full suspension bikes. You get a great amount of travel, and also the ability to adjust the preloads for not just the front, but the back as well. This gives you a way to stiffen up the front and back for improved pedal efficiency when needed.
The disc brakes are the other thing that really stands out here. Bikes in this price range almost always have to go with dual-pivot caliper brakes on the rims, but not with the FSX 1.0. The Tektro brakes are just as good as what you’ll see with intermediate-level mountain bikes.
A full suspension bike this cheap isn’t going to get everything right, so there are a few things that could be better.
The tires are lacking in the tread department, so if you want an instant way to upgrade the bike’s trail performance, you’ll need to swap them out rather quickly. This bike isn’t really made for cross country or fast riding, so the traction needs to be up to par for singletrack.
The rear suspension could be a little better as well. You can still adjust it, but don’t expect too much in regards to travel amount.
If you want this bike to be at its best when you first get it, you’ll need to order some new tires with it. You should also be prepared to take it to a local bike shop for complete assembly and tune up after getting it in the mail as well.
Overall, the Gravity FSX 1.0 gives you just about all it can for the price.
For under $330, you can get a truly trail-ready full suspension bike that performs far better than anyone could expect it to. It’s not a novelty at all, just a well-made full suspension bike that serves are a great entry-level option for those new to full suspension biking in general.
If you have a very limited budget, and want a reliable, quality full suspension bike you can actually take out on the trail, the FSX 1.0 is the best bike for you.
This post was last updated on February 25th, 2018 at 10:15 am
Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.
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