Jeep mountain bikes: are they any good?

First off, we will almost always advise you to stay away from car-branded mountain bikes. They are, for the most part, not worth the money and of lower quality compared to similar bikes from well-known bicycle manufacturers.

That said, a couple of stores in Cairo carry a number of car-branded bikes, including Jeep, and we recieved this question a lot: Are Jeep bikes any good?

The quick answer is: Not unless you intend to do any form of trail riding on a regular basis.

Why? A quick look at the frame and specs will tell you why. The frames of the lower end bikes (the ones available in Egypt) are heavy, low quality steel. The components are either generic with a Jeep sticker or older low-end Shimano/SRAM. Look at the rear shock on the Jeep Cherookee bike (pictured) is basically a steel coil over a metal rod! (no demping mechanism, no adjustements of any kinds, no lockouts, etc). To top it off, at their sticker prices (in Egypt), they would not be considered “cheap”…you can get a pretty decent entry-level hardtail for the price of one of those.

Jeep once did have an interesting bike on the market, the Jeep AWD bike, which liscenced AWD technology from Christini, used a system of drive shafts and extra gears on the front wheel to transfer pedal power to both wheels. The concept was interesting and there seems to have been a significant increase in traction in loose conditions. However, the technology doesn’t seem to have gained any noticable popularity. Maybe the  slight increase in traction did not warrant the $3000+ price tag. A significant increase in weight would also been a discouraging factor.

The Jeep Rubicon AWD

Above is the Jeep AWD bike. Notice the drive shaft along the front fork and the front wheel-mounted gear.

Bottom line is: If you are in the market for a mountain bike, stay away from the Jeeps, Hummers and similar Chinese-made low-end bikes with famous car brands stickered on them. For about the same amount of money, you can buy a good starter hardtail bike.