I’ve been into cycling for some years now, but on a casual basis. I worked in a bike shop for a year or so when I was younger, so have seen and used bikes from a couple of hundred up to a few thousand. I knew the Raleigh name, who doesn’t, but mostly associated it with kids bikes, and not really with serious mountain bikes.
Now to be clear, this M-Trax Lahar isn’t what I would call a ‘serious’ mountain bike, but might be absolutely ideal for someone thinking of getting into mountain biking, who wants a first ride that performs, but doesn’t break the bank, or as a nice commuting bike for short’ish distances. If you were commuting any serious distance by bike, something more designed for that task may be better, like a hybrid, with larger wheels and semi-slick tyres.
I wasn’t expecting a great deal from the M-Trax Lahar in terms of spec. but I was very pleasantly surprised. The suspension forks are smooth and feel nice. The Shimano quick fire drive chain, although from the lower end of the range, worked really nicely. The disc brakes, although cable operated rather than hydraulic also worked very well (cable just means you have to squeeze a bit harder to stop and wouldn’t cause an issue for most guys, if you have small hands, or not an especially strong grip, consider a bike with hydraulic disc brakes as they take almost no effort to operate).
I liked the accessories as well, the handle bars and stem were good, as was the saddle. The wheels are quick release, frame had a replaceable rear mech. hanger and the tyres were a good all purpose place to start. Only thing I would change is the pedals, cheap and plastic, if you’re mildly heavy, I’d get something much more substantial.
I personally don’t like the loud blue colour, but many will. It’s not the last word in lightness, but all in all, a really nice ride for the money. Recommended.
It took me about an hour to set up, tune the gears and brakes, and I’ve done a few before. If you haven’t assembled a bike before, might be worth the investment and get a bike shop to do it for you.