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Lifetime 71281 In Ground Basketball Hoop Review

Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Lifetime 71281 In Ground Basketball Hoop:  (7.5 / 10)

Main Features

  • 52″ shatter proof backboard made of polycarbonate material that will protect it from breaking
  • Limited 5 year warranty provided by the manufacturer allows you to buy with confidence
  • Power lift height adjustment system adjusts the height of the basketball hoop from 7.5 feet to 10 feet with single arm mechanism
  • Spring loaded breakaway rim allows for give during shots and light dunking

Lifetime Brand

We’ve done more reviews of Lifetime basketball hoops than any other brand of basketball manufacturer, and for good reason.  Lifetime is one of the most popular basketball manufacturers around today.

Lifetime makes many models, from cheap portable systems to high-end in-ground basketball units that can handle rim rocking slams.  Every Lifetime hoop is built in the USA and comes with a five year warranty providing their customers with great service and support.

Lifetime 71281: Full Review

Backboard

The backboard on the Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop is 52 inches measured diagonally.  This is a medium sized backboard for a recreational in-ground basketball hoop and will meet the needs of most families.  It is steel framed, which enhances the stability and durability of the backboard.

Low cost home hoops like the Lifetime 71281 have a backboard that is made of a polycarbonate material.  This makes the backboard durable and unlikely to break or shatter.  However,  polycarbonate backboards are not very responsive and do not perform particularly well during use.

Height Adjustment

The Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop features the Power Lift Height Adjustment mechanism, which makes adjusting the height of this basketball system a breeze.  To adjust the height from the 7.5-10 feet range you simply grip the Power Lift system and lift up to adjust the height down or pull down to lift the height of the hoop higher.  The leverage created by the Power Lift System makes it easy so you don’t need to be He-man to get the job done.

Rim

Many recreational Lifetime basketball hoops such as the 71281 have an exposed spring breakaway rim setup.  This does allow for some light dunking, but we do not recommend hanging on the rim as you could cause damage to the system over time.

Exposed spring breakaway rims have springs that may rust over time due to being exposed to the elements.

Support Pole

Most low-end in-ground basketball hoops have a three-piece support pole and the Lifetime 71281 is no exception.  It has a three-piece rounded support pole with powder coating to help protect it from rusting.

Three-piece support poles are good for recreational use but will allow for more vibration than more expensive two and one piece support pole designs.

What We Like About The Lifetime 71281 In-Ground Basketball Hoop

  • Power Lift Height Adjustment System makes adjusting the hoop’s height easy for all ages
  • At under $300, this basketball hoop is a great value for the features included
  • Backboard is a relatively good size at 52 inches and has a steel frame to add stability
  • Made in the USA and comes with a five year warranty
  • In-ground basketball hoops offer greater stability and durability than portable units

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • The exposed spring on the breakaway rim is susceptible to rust and is not designed to handle serious dunking
  • Polycarbonate backboard does not perform well and is not particularly responsive
  • Three-piece support pole allows for extra vibrations during shots

The value basketball hoop market is dominated by Lifetime.  Lifetime makes a great product for a low price that simply is hard to beat.  The Lifetime 7182 In-Ground Basketball Hoop is an example of this with its Power Lift Height Adjustment feature and breakaway rim.

If you are truly serious about the game of basketball and don’t just want something to shoot a few baskets on then we suggest you spend a few more bucks on a better basketball hoop.  The Lifetime 71281 is best suited for families who are just looking for a fun activity to do together.

Competitors to the Lifetime 71281 that are worth looking into include the Lifetime 71525 and Spalding 60 Inch In-Ground Basketball Hoop.

 

Ryval C872 In-Ground Basketball Hoop Review

Best Basketball Hoops Rating

Ryval C872 In-Ground Basketball Hoop:  (9.8 / 10)

Main Features

  • 6″ x 8″ galvanized steel support pole ensures resistance to rust and offers maximum stability
  • Limited lifetime warranty includes dunking and offers peace of mind when thinking about buying a high-end hoop like the Ryval C872
  • 5 to 10 foot heigh adjustment range in infinite increments is one of the widest ranges available on any recreational hoop
  • 72″ tempered glass backboard that is 1/2″ thick, making it regulation sized
  • Gym quality rim that performs and plays just like the ones used in pro arenas

These days there are many different quality high-end basketball manufacturers to choose from.  Some brands are well known like Spalding, Goalrilla, and Lifetime, while others are up and comers such as Hoopstar, Pro Dunk, Goalsetter, and the brand behind the C872, Ryval.

Any review of the Ryval C872 starts with its 72 inch tempered glass backboard that is 1/2 inch thick.  This is truly a regulation sized board with the same quality as those found in collegiate gymnasiums.

Due to the quality of the backboard, the Ryval C872’s rebounding performance is spectacular.  The basketball comes off the backboard with force and consistency.

Safety is another strength of the Ryval C872.  Covering both the anchor base and support pole is heavy-duty padding that comes included with the basketball system. Quality padding also aligns the bottom of the backboard to protect players’ hands and heads.

Height adjustment on the C872 is controlled with the 2 FX Life Assist Cylinders that allow you to raise or lower the hoop from 5 feet to the regulation 10 feet.  This is great for families with growing children who will be able to use proper mechanics on a lowered hoop as they build strength.

The rim on the Ryval C872 is also top of the line.  It features one horizontal spring and two vertical springs to offer maximum weight support that can handle rim rattling dunks.  The springs are covered which works to minimize wear and rusting that can happen to rims exposed to the outdoor elements.  When shots hit the rim it performs beautifully, remaining stable without being too rigid like double ring hoops you may remember from the playground.

Make no mistake that this basketball hoop is a behemoth, and as such takes a lot of effort to assemble.  If you buy this hoop please plan to have at least three people for the job.  For those who are not handy consider hiring a company to do the installation for you.  It will save you a lot of headaches in the end.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • Ample amount of padding under the backboard and at the anchor base
  • Rim is gymnasium quality and has the perfect balance of stability and feel
  • One of the best backboards you can buy for a recreational basketball hoop, 72 inches of tempered glass heaven
  • Very wide height adjustment range of 5 feet to 10 feet
  • 4 feet of offset from the support pole to the hoop allows for play under the rim

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • Because of the many features and top quality materials it should come as no surprise that this a very expensive basketball hoop
  • Assembly will take multiple people, or professional installers

With the increasing number of basketball hoop brands that are focused on building high-end in-ground basketball hoops it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.  Ryval has done this with the C872 due to the galvanized parts and awesome safety features that comes standard with this hoop.

If you are serious about the game of basketball, or have a child who has a passion for the game, then it may be time to consider investing in their basketball future by picking up a high-end hoop that will last for years and years.  The Ryval C872 is a great choice and would make a fine addition to your driveway or court.

Competitors to the Ryval C872 that are worth looking into include the Goalsetter All-American, Lifetime Mammoth, Goalrilla GS, and the Spalding Arena View.

 

Lifetime Crank Adjust In Ground Basketball Hoop

Lifetime Crank Adjust In-Ground Basketball Hoop

Lifetime Crank Adjust In-Ground Basketball Hoop:  (7.8 / 10)

We are really excited to bring you our review of the Lifetime Crank Adjust In-Ground Basketball Hoop.  Lifetime is a company with a long history of creating good quality basketball hoops that most families can afford.  The Lifetime Crank Adjust is at a price point we find appealing because it is more expensive than most low-cost value hoops, but also less expensive than the premium in-ground systems from Goalrilla and Spalding.

Due to this price point, we feel that this basketball hoop is great for homes where you have a serious basketball player, but don’t want to drop $1,000+ on a hoop.  The Lifetime Crank Adjust has two backboard size options: 54 inches and 60 inches.  The price of each ranges from about $700 to $800.

crank-adjust-rimA strength of the Lifetime Crank Adjust In-Ground Basketball Hoop is that it features a tempered glass backboard on both the 54 inch and 60 inch versions.  This is the best material for a backboard that money can buy.  However, the tempered glass featured on this hoop is not the most thick that we’ve seen.  To get an in-ground basketball hoop with a thick tempered glass backboard you’d need to be looking at a hoop such as the Goalrilla GLS.  Either way, for the price we like the backboard on the Lifetime Crank Adjust Hoop.

Another component of this hoop we like is the rim.  It is a quality spring loaded breakaway rim that has a cover to protect the springs from rust, and also from injuring any players attempting to dunk.  While not as heavy-duty as a breakaway rim in the gym, this basket will meet the needs of the vast majority of recreational basketball hoop buyers.

lifetime-crank-adjust-close-upThe crank mechanism of the Lifetime Crank Adjust Basketball System allows owners to adjust the height of the hoop from 10 feet to 7.5 feet in infinite increments.  Having a height adjustment mechanism on your hoop allows for younger players to develop proper shooting skills and mechanics so that they don’t resort to throwing the ball at the hoop.  Also, lowering the hoop makes for fun activities like dunk contests. Although for this hoop we would not recommend hanging on the rim for extended periods of time due to the potential for long-term wear and damage.

The support pole is a two-piece design that does a really nice job of minimizing excessing shaking.  This support pole is 4″ squared, which is a good size to support this unit.  Padding also aligns the bottom of the backboard offering enhanced safety during play, however, there is no padding included for the support pole.

What We Like About This Hoop

  • A good in between price hoop for those who want something better than entry-level performance but don’t want to spend an excessive amount of money for a premium in-ground hoop experience
  • Tempered glass backboard that performs better than acrylic or polycarbonate
  • Backboard padding offers enhanced safety
  • 4″ square support pole with bolt down technology so that they hoop can be transported if you move

What Would Make This Hoop Better

  • We would like to see some support padding included for the support pole
  • Backboard is not the thickest we’ve seen

What a unique hoop in terms of price and performance.  We are really glad that Lifetime has decided to make a hoop like this because we feel it fills a void in the basketball hoop market. Some other basketball hoop options in a similar price range include the Spalding 60 Inch Portable Basketball System and the Silverback SB In-Ground Hoop.