Walmart 29er Mountain Bike

Retail bohemoth Walmart made cycling news last month when it released a $149 fixed-speed bike. This month, another Walmart surprise: Shoppers can now add a 29er mountain bike to their cart and wheel to the checkout for a low price of $199.

The “Men’s Mongoose Impasse” has an aluminum frame, rigid fork, disc brakes, 21 speeds, and a Shimano drivetrain with SRAM shifters. The “huge 29-inch wheels chew up terrain with ease,” according to Walmart.

The 29” Mongoose Impasse

I haven’t seen this rig in person, so it’s difficult to make any evaluation. But there’s one review on the site already, apparently from a prankster with a pen name of “Doushy.” He hails from Georgia and writes “This bike is awesome! The 29” wheels roll over anything and everything! I was even able to roll over a 3” curb in my front yard with no problem! I think by riding this bike chicks will really start to dig me!”

Despite the joke, is the Walmart 29er — at $199! — a good buy? And the real question of the day: When will Walmart/Mongoose jump on the current cycling moment to release a cyclocross model or a single-speed mountain bike to round out its collection?

—Stephen Krcmar