The bike was easy to mount. The only issue was the picture doesn't match the actual bike when looking at the handle in the manual. Most of the bike is already mounted. The front wheel needs to be mounted and the handle needs to be set and adjusted.
good all round bike , strong rear shock,front shocks softish,but ok. brakes front are good, rear advertised as disk, but v brakes sent, locks the wheel though,so good.excellent quilty frame, good for the price.seat not so good,gears change well,easy to put together in a few hours.
Barracuda have acquired a sound reputation for stylish bikes that are well-designed and well put together using fairly decent componentry. The overall quality is equal to or above the price bracket
The Barracuda Phoenix dual-suspension bike offers decent off road ability for novice to intermediate riders. On road its better to go for a front suspension model so if that's your main usage try that style instead.
The box contains: Bicycle, kit box including cycle owners manual, pedals, areflectors, bell, Allen key, multi-spanner
Before you buy compare the componentry to other bikes at similar prices. The usual problem of dual suspension for less than 500 quid applies in that other components have been downgraded...eg only 18 speed
Most likely this will give a couple of years good service as long as its not ridden hard and is well maintained. The brakes, gears, suspension front, crank set, wheels and tyres will all be lower quality than on a similar priced front suspension bike
The weight is also an issue and the suspension mountings in the rear are of the cheap and cheerful design.
That said the full aheadset stem system and decent build and finish set this bike above the cheap and nasty low end dual suspension crowd.
I like Barracuda having ridden several over the years trying out. My friend who works in a bike shop rates them along with Carrera and Decathlon brands and above the cheap and nasty brands.
I read the many reviews about this bicycle, all being favourable. Whilst keenly priced, I thought I'd pick a bargain and purchase a used one. This came direct from Amazon, so I knew there was a solid returns policy, should the merchandise be unfit for purposes or badly damaged beyond an expected 'used' condition.
When it arrived (within 2 days of purchase), the original packaging was not just undamaged, but completely intact. The same, was all the protection in inner packaging. Hard to believe it had ever been opened, let alone used.
Once put together, it needed no adjustment and checking bolts etc, found them all to be tight and correctly aligned. Seat, Handlebars, Pedals and Front wheel all bolted in place (seat and front wheel have quick adjustment/release fittings) and out for a test run.
One of the things which makes this bicycle such a bargain even at full price, is the flawless and smooth gearing, without a doubt, the best in the world. I can't stand twist grips, but this bicycle comes with up and down indexed shift levers, making this a dream to operate. The spacing's of the gears is well designed, I found myself travelling quite fast in a short space of time, without stress or 'notched effort'.
Both sets of brakes are smooth to apply, requiring little effort but still giving precision in use. The front disc is very powerful and combined with the tyres supplied, give a very smooth experience.
The tyres have a dual pattern, smooth tread for road use and an outer more aggressive pattern for riding through wet mud and off road. The road pattern makes using the bicycle very smooth and easy to ride without the need for heavy pedalling.
The suspension is best described as unnoticeable. Meaning it works so well, you don't notice it. Smooth, progressive and quiet.
Personally, the only thing which is of minor concern is the handgrips. For me they could do with some additional padding. With the riding position leaning forward (makes it easy at speeds), a lot of pressure is placed upon the hands and wrists, especially in slow moving traffic. I did wear my gel gloves which reduced this, but I still feel manufacturers make these too hard. I'll probably swap those later. A minor niggle in an overall excellent product.
UPDATED: 30th July 2013 I've been using this bicycle a lot since I bought it. I have changed the handgrips to the modern 'winged' version which have a wider landing place for your lower palms with gel pads for comfort [...] This small improvement has given me the bicycle I desired. The bicycle is a pleasure to ride, it is almost effortless mainly due to the riding position, superb gears and lightweight action.
UPDATED: 12th November 2016 I have been using this bike for a few years now. It is as superb today as it was when I first opened the box. It has never failed, missed a gear or a single bolt come loose. I go those winged handlebars, what a difference. As an older ride, I have changed the saddle for my comfort mainly because I am not as young as I used to be (obviously) and like my comforts. This bike has been worth every penny and I expect it to go on for many years yet, unlike many on the market. This bike is actually lighter than my 12 year old sons bike, which makes it so easy to lift onto the car bike rack, I can do it with one hand easily. The tyres have still got plenty of tread after these years with little sign or wear or perishing, shows the mark of a quality item. I cannot sing its praises enough. Excellent value for money.
This is a realy good bike for it's price. Stylish, comfortable and realable. Weighs less than the Raliegh Appolo alloy equivalent. Only crititism is the saddle, oh so painfull and very quickly replaced with a more comfortable one from Amazon. I got this bike for exercise reasons but simply I just enjoy riding it generally.
One rather important note, before I begin my review proper. This is advertised as an 18 speed bike with front and rear disc brakes.. Well I got a 21 speed bike with front disc brake and rear V brake
Having not owned or ridden a bike in many years. I decided it was time to get back in the saddle. Yes soon to be replaced saddle that is PAINFUL is hardly the word. Anyway, it was pretty easy to put together, though since I haven't had a bike for a long time, I had no pump, so had to wait for second delivery, one and a half hours, for my pump and other accessories.. Once pumped to correct pressures, I decided to give it a quick try out. Out the drive, up the road across the green and round the houses. about a mile in all. The only thing I noticed, apart from the seat of course, was the gear change was off. and on returning home, the chain jumped off the front and jammed itself in the gap between chain gear and frame. Good thing I was going pretty slow. I read through the manual where it stated it had al been setup initially at the factory, however it might need adjusting.
The rear part seemed to go without a hitch, However the front part just wouldn't work right. So I shall be getting an expert at my local bike shop to set it up, otherwise I would have lost my temper and broken something. I'm an electronics engineer but mechanical stuff just doesn't seem to be my thing.. hence the 4 stars. Had the gear worked perfectly out of the box, it would have been 5
An amazing price for a good quality bike..Yes you can pay up to a grand or more but this being my first bike in a long long time, I was not willing to make that kind of investment, at least not for a few years yet