Look familiar? We torture tested this Walmart Mongoose back in October, and since then I’ve made a few little improvements. Even the front wheel is straight now, thanks to the highly malleable nature of steel rims. And no, that is not a Rockshox suspension fork.
The reason I busted out the Walgoose is so we can do an experiment on weight. I get a lot of comments from people who think their bike is too heavy. For example, they’ll say, “I’m trying to wheelie, but I can’t lift the front wheel because my bike is too heavy.” I’m going to take a wild guess and say they’re not talking about a beautiful downhill bike with a double crown fork. No, more likely these individuals are riding something similar to this Walgoose. While they probably could benefit from a nicer bike, I’m not so sure it’s the weight that’s preventing them from improving.
At 34 pounds, the Walgoose is only about 2 pounds heavier than my full suspension. To do a proper test, we need to get it a little closer to 40 pounds, to match the weight of the beastliest department store bikes. My idea is to pack the handlebars, seatpost, and seat tube with paver base. To prevent the sand from getting into the bottom bracket, I’m using a carefully measured piece of terrycloth, precisely rammed into the seat tube with a calibrated broomstick. As you can see, this is not an exact science.
I’m also adding this water bottle, since it doesn’t really throw the bike off balance. After all this the total weight is just under 39 pounds. I expected more to be honest, but this is still very heavy for a small trail bike. We’re still well within downhill bike territory, but this is not that. Let’s take the Walgoose out to the streets and see how it performs.
Well, not much has changed since the last time I rode this bike. It feels like a Walgoose. Of course, it’s no problem for me to wheelie this bike, and even get up into a manual, although I can’t really balance for long. I was even able to bunny hop it on to this trailer first shot. As expected, bike handling has a lot more to do with technique than weight does.
Also, when we’re talking about bike handling it’s important to compare the weight of the bike to the weight of the rider.
Based on this, the Walgoose weighs about 25% what I do. For a 200 pound rider, a 50 pound bike would hinder them in a similar way. If you weigh 100 pounds, a 25 pound bike would be similarly difficult to manage.
So based on this test, a bike 25% of your body weight isn’t going to outright stop you from doing anything. You probably won’t be winning any races, but it will most certainly not prevent you from doing wheelies or bunnyhops.
This test was interesting but I want to have some more fun. Time to get creative.
I’m pretty sure that pumping the tires full of water would make this bike prohibitively heavy. I figured I could submerge the base of this bike pump in water to do this, but I was wrong. The entire thing needs to be underwater for it to work so I can’t just use a container in my yard.
It’s over 90 degrees today, so this is actually a nice break after throwing this heavy bike around. The show must go on though.
Let’s do another weigh in and take this piece of crap for a ride. At 48.5 pounds, or 22 kilograms, the Walgoose now weighs 1/3 what I do. That’s significantly more than the Ebike I tested last week, and well within the realm of the heaviest downhill bikes. This time, we’re gonna set out by car. Something tells me that I’m not going to be riding this bike home.
Very surprisingly, these tires don’t feel all that much different filled with water—that is until you try to accelerate or lift the front end. I can barely wheelie this bike now, and manuals are hopeless. It’s a known fact that the weight of your wheels, or spinning weight, has a much bigger impact on performance relative to frame weight. Since the weight we added is in the wheels, it’s particularly effective in making this bike feel sluggish. Still, I can get the front end up.
360’s anyone? Not on this bike, not here. I would need a much bigger jump for this, and even then I’m not sure what the outcome would be. After bending the rear wheel, and bending it back, I decided to scale back on my ambition and try a 180. Well, that’s the end of our test. This time it’s not going to bend back.
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