I recently bought a 29" Marlon 5 Trek from a reputable bike shop in town. The Marlon 5 is advertised as "new trail riders or anyone looking for a comfortable, stable commuter with the ruggedness of a real mountain bike. " I avoided the Kmart and Aldi brands believing that at this point the bike would be suitable for my 13yrold son who has some experience riding his brothers Trek Roscoe and others. After only a few weeks at the local bike park, the front rim buckled on landing over 1ft tabletop style jump which he had landed several times. The front handlebars dug into the centre of his chest leaving a bruise for days.
A bike mechanic from another shop told me that bike manufacturers were putting low specification parts on entry level bikes and the 29 incher had problems due to the extra diametre and presumably extra forces on the low specification hubs.
My question is how dangerous are these entry level bikes? The shop mechanic said "it's not about the bike? (ironic from Trek?) it's his lack of technique". I have not been able to contact Trek about this via their "Customer Support webpage etc
Perhaps you could an article on ENTRY LEVEL Bikes what to avoid etc?