Shopping for a new bike for our almost-7-year old son. We went and test rode a Spec Hotrock 24" 7-speed and he loved it. It is definitely a sweet ride, but at $359+ tax (the 2012 would be $30 more), I'm a little reticent to pull the trigger, although the service & potential later trade-in we'd get from the LBS is worth a fair amount, I'm sure. But still, budget is tight.
So I'm back to looking at the Performance Bike house brand 24" mtn bike for him, too. At under $200, that would leave a lot of room in the budget for tune-ups and upgrades later on, if needed. He likes the looks of it, so that's a bonus, but we don't live near a store, so I can't go in and check it out or have him test-ride one. Have any of you any thoughts on whether these "generic" bikes are rideable? We're not off-road bikers, mainly going on family rides around town & bike path (5-7 miles) and of course riding with friends around the neighborhood.