Merax Finiss Mountain Bike Tire Upgrade and Followup Review

The Merax Finiss mountain bike comes equipped with Kenda hybrid bicycle tires. These tires don’t provide the traction a mountain bike needs – which is why they are normally equipped with knobby tires. After 2 trail rides with the hybrid tires I grew tired of slipping on downhill sections of the trail. Uphill it is a dream to ride, but downhill the traction issues start to take away from the fun.

Since this is a bike sold by Walmart I decided I would try to mimic the selection a Finiss buyer would likely make when shopping for a replacement tire. That means I headed to my local Walmart to check out their selection of MTB tires. There are two – a mountain bike tire made by Bell that is 26×1.95 and a Goodyear tire that has nice looking mountain bike treads and is also wider at 26 x 2.10.

I picked up the Goodyear and quickly noticed that these aren’t real Goodyear tires. They are tires made by Kent Ind, makers of many lower priced bicycles you find at big box stores and licensed for use of the Goodyear name. That being the case, and with the questionably soft sidewalls, they seem like they will be sufficiently grippy to be a significant upgrade.

And they are grippy. On the trail I made short work of muddy areas, and rode right over loose gravel that gave the Kenda hybrid tires fits. So in one respect they are a great upgrade. Though they aren’t without issues. They add a significant amount of rolling resistance to the bike. Enough to make it go from an excellent climbing bike to one that rides like a far cheaper bike. The 3×7 drivetrain limitations on the trail are also highlighted by the added rolling resistance. In short, it makes anything but downhill runs almost intolerable unless you enjoy the cardio workout a tough climb on badly spaced gearing can provide.

There is also the issue that it appears as though the components on the Merax Finiss – or at least the 3x crankset – was specifically built to only handle the stress of the low resistance factory Kenda tires, because I not only broke a chain link, but I also noticed wear on the crankset gearing that will require parts replacement.

This makes me question the value of the bike. It is supposed to be a mountain bike, and for that task it has a few decent components for the money, but the tires keep it from being able to fulfill those duties. Replacing them puts added stress on the bike’s components causing early failure. I will likely upgrade the components since I’m already into the bike, but I’m also considering making it a parts bike and using the best of the components for other bikes.

What do you think? Thanks for watching this bicycle review on KevCentral


nicholas danca says:

Make into a 8 speed the change from 3 to 2 in front or look a the shamano acrea line or tourney groupset its a bit stronger

ZN Gamer says:

do you even own any nice bikes?

Tomer Tal says:

Upgrade the forks, get some srsantuor air forks (i think you can buy them for 200$)

shredfreak83 says:

vittoria saguaro would be my choice for a 26er, not sure how hard it is to get your hands on them in the usa though

Junk RC says:

Converting the drivetrain to a one by, and installing a chain guide might help fix the chain drop issue.

Stevie Giraffe says:

That Ride fork still makes me laugh

MasterBata says:

I noticed Big Bens on the other bike. How do you like them? I use mine (28×2.15) for city and longer trips and those are the best tires I ever used…

MT.Mountain Biking says:


David Carvalho says:

the only thing that grinds my gears it’s the bolted axle in the rear

voceteo10 1 says:

Stop complaining about Walmart bikes buy an expensive bike

Tommy Kiniry says:

When you said hybrid tires I thought you meant that it was kenda that looked like maxxis

Van Rathbun Jr. says:

Have you done any upgrades to your Mongoose XR Pro? Could you do a follow up review or a progress report on it? I am thinking about buying one to customize.

A Jolly Hiker says:

Probably better as a commuter with light duty trail use.

World Fackts says:

Can u just buy yourself a good bike?

Jonathan Garza says:

I bet with all the components swapped out for better ones it would abe a great bike. As long as that frame is up for it

AJ La says:

Make it a 1×7

Marc Walker says:

I have a Merax Finiss and have had almost no problems with it. It seems to me that the bike is OK for riding out the box, but the bike itself makes a fantastic platform for building a better bike for less than it would cost to buy a $300+ bike which could be compared to buying vs building a PC.

NovusHampshire says:

I’m debating on buying a ton of those “Goodyear” tires a 50% off at the Kmart that’s closing down. In your opinion, would they be good for budget bikes?

Trainman 2782 says:

If you get a chance, please review the Genesis RCT mountain bike!

TheLASTcookie says:

Kev did you forget about the XR PRO?

Товарищи Ангелы says:

KEV! I purchased a 2017 Tokul 2 Medium today. In a perfect world we could trade frames so your Tokul and Kodiak Match haha.

Dirtrider 1 says:

Get sr suntour 100mm xct

Roninbikerider says:

The frame looks solid
You should upgrade.

Steven Shutter says:

I’m enjoying my Merax Finiss, I threw up a few pictures of it on Instagram @shutterbeach – the one thing that sucks about this bike is the way the shop will treat you when you drop it off to get built.. extremely rude and negative. However, I LOVE the bike! Also it is a little amusing how many times they advertise the “Finiss” brand on this bike, it’s legit ALL over.

NovusHampshire says:

Ever think about reviewing cheap parts off Wish and Amazon? Or even whole bikes off Wish? They make Walmart bikes look like great feats of engineering

Captin Philip .j fry says:

Do a huffy carnage or mayhem

maz ditzo says:

even for the real MTB, tire and wheel upgrade somewhat a second best choice afterall those are the contact point between bike and ground

jesse garlick says:

You should get a wearable gimble

donmlaaden says:

Upgrade it further, I’d love to see it how that turns out. I’ve upgraded several cheap bikes and I was always pleased what I got at the end.

Matthew Abt says:

shifting under power while shifting is the most common cause for a broken chain, dont blame it entirely on th differnt tires


How many bikes do you have kev

Speedster5280 says:

If I can make a suggestion for the front suspension of the bike, that would be to buy some Park Tool all use Grease. And then apply it to the stanchions and spread it around evenly and compress the suspension until you feel it to loosen up. I have noticed this works on cheap bikes maybe you should try it too…

Xantteboy says:

You should do these videos without music but still awesome vid

Jeff Strickland says:

good video , appreciate your reviews and real world test of these bikes

Felipe R. says:

Really enjoying those Walmart-style bikes in-depth reviews. The major concern, however, is the lifespan of the bike and mainly its components, specially if you ride a lot and/ or push the bike hard. My bike is pretty cheap (3×7 rigid 26er) and really suffers from the kind of riding I do, which means constant maintenance.
By the way, you should dump that bike and buy one that won’t cause you headaches. Best regards! 😉

Kalsonic says:

Feels really good to see this followup review man.

Charles Holland says:

For budget tires you can also look into Swalbe Rapid Robs. I have them on my Stumpjumper. Pretty good. And also $25 at a lbs.
Great video!

Dat_boii _at7 says:

@KevCentral I think that you should buy a more high end bike like a trek roscoe 7 or an 8 if you really want to feel the difference between Walmart bike and a high end one. This would also enable you to go all the way up and break down features of cheaper bikes and also compare the difference of bikes that are say 1/2 the price and say if they are half as good. Hope this helps !

Acer chromebook says:

i want this guy to review the sundeal mountain bikes sold on ebay

Amaan Mahammad says:

Try the sundeal m4 on amazon

Tim Rood says:

Enjoy your reviews. Shudda knobby the front and kept the oem back tire.

Aaron Esquibel says:

I’m stoked that you uploaded this today, I was between this and a tokul 1. I think I made my decision.

josh prause says:

I’ve found running a wider more aggressive tire is best for the front and having a faster rolling slightly narrower tire on the back is a better setup over most trail conditions.

Aiden rothe says:


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