Mountain bikes are getting too expensive these days. Right? If your answer is an emphatic ‘yes’, then you might want to take a look at what’s happening at the other end of the spectrum. While high end bikes are often exceeding $10k with top of the line builds, bikes like the new Schwinn Axum look to be surprisingly capable – all for less than the price of a SRAM XX1 cassette!
Sure, this is a budget build so you won’t find many (any?) name brand components, but it should be more than capable to get you started on the trails. Then, if you end up enjoying mountain biking (you probably will), you can upgrade the components as they wear out in the future since the bike uses fairly standard components throughout. The frame also includes a tapered head tube so upgrading to a higher end fork is within the realm of possibilities.
Schwinn smartly equipped the Axum with a 1x drivetrain, complete with a narrow-wide chainring. To keep the costs down the system is a 1×8 with a fairly wide range 11-40t cassette. AXE components are a new one for us, but they look like they’re up to the task.
Geometry wise, you’ll find only one size for the Axum with a 483mm seat tube, and 645mm top tube measurement (horizontally). That should put the bike in between the typical medium/large, while Schwinn claims the bike will fit riders from 5’4″ to 6’2″. Certainly if you’re on either extreme, the bike won’t be the best fit, but it should be workable for a lot of riders. Built with a 67.8° head tube angle and 73.5° seat tube angle, the Axum seems to run fairly modern geometry with 435mm chainstays and a short 60mm stem with 720mm wide bars up front.
Obviously a hardtail, the Schwinn Axum is built around 29 x 2.6″ tires on properly wide 35mm double wall aluminum rims. Neither are tubeless compatible so you’ll have to stick with tubes, but at this price point that’s not surprising.
Up front, you’ll find a Schwinn branded suspension fork with 100mm of travel and a mechanical lockout. Quick release axles are found at both ends of the bike along with mechanical disc brakes.
Proof that Schwinn built this bike with an eye for upgrading? There’s even internal routing for a dropper post should you decide to add one in the future.
Sold with pedals and a rear mount kickstand (that will probably quickly be removed for actual trail riding), the Axum is priced at just $398. For a bike with a 1x drivetrain and 2.6″ tires, there simply isn’t much else that comes close.