are mongoose f.s. bikes any good for the price?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum are mongoose f.s. bikes any good for the price?

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    • #69751

      ok, I’m looking to upgrade from my f.s. honda bike (v-brakes all around, got a quote for a disk install from conte’s, around $300, depending on the bike!) and I see that Mongoose has a nice looking bike (the Blackcomb) with manual disk brakes all around. also, the rear suspension is a candilever-style setup. (I’ve seen it on some bikes here, the shock is mounted verticaly and connected to the rear swing-arm by a triangle shaped peice of metal, pardoning my crude description) one can be had from wally world for $280. here’s a link to it: Mongoose Blackcomb mountain bike
      does it look to be any good? one thing I am worried about is how unprotected the shock appears to be. I mean, my riding style comes really close to scraping the bottom of my current bike (foot or so tall, 70 degree incline that goes to pretty much flat ground. yeah. enough to dig in the pedals if I’m not careful/luckey). keep in mind that this thing will see signifigant road use as well as offroad use. I saw some f.s. bikes at a local bike shop (again, Conte’s) but all of them are out of my price range. $1000+ is a bit more than I can justify spending on a bike, so the features the blackcomb has for the price is really starting to impress me. as long as I can find compatable rotors and shocks I can prolly get it up to a pretty good spec. what do you guys think of it?

    • #69752

      The Mongoose bikes that Walmart sells are worthless as far as full suspension goes. Spend your $300 on a nice low-end hardtail from your local bike shop (Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc.). You’ll ride much better even though you don’t have f.s. If you want a decent full suspesion, Jamis makes a f.s. that was voted best value (http://jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/06_dakar.html) for around $800. Mongoose makes some better non-Walmart full suspension bikes also, starting around $500 (http://www.mongoose.com/bikes/detail_us … brandID=76). I bought an ’05 Mongoose Teocali Super for $1250 that has components as nice as big-named $2-2500K (eBay). You’re probably better off buying a new 05 or older, or possibly used full suspension and getting a much better bike than you could possibly buy at Walmart, and better than the ones noted above…

      Go to a reputable bike shop, ride their bikes, and talk to them about your options….

    • #69753

      I know that if you are just starting out, it’s hard to justify spending a little more cash for what seems to be the same “type, style, named, or looking bike”, but believe me, there is a big difference. On a side note, the reality is that Bike Shops (especially the small, independant ones in little towns) depend on walmart, k-mart, costco, sams… to sell these bikes because these stores do not have qualified (or even competent) employees to assemble the bikes, therefore, within the first few miles of riding most of these bikes need major adjustments, repairs, and reassemblies. Repair, adjustment and assembly is all cash for Bike Shops because it’s money in exchange for time/labor (not cheap). In the long run, many Walmart bike owners end up paying more for tune-ups, trueing, upgrades… than they originally paid for their bikes. On the flip side, some people buy a walmart bike just to try biking with the idea that if they enjoy it (especially offroad cycling), then they would upgrade or buy a better bike…if they enjoy it or stay with it. The problem with this is: because of the low quality, heavy bike that was poorly assembled, with the “one size fits all” mentality; this person, who is new to the sport, takes it out on the trail, struggles, bad shifting, bouncy suspension, sore back (from bad geometry/fit). And concludes that mountain biking is no fun. Then their walmart bike is left rusting in the back yard, and they have a negative view of a beautiful sport which I (and many, many others) love. So what I’m trying to say is: forget the disc brakes and full suspension, Schwinn, Mongoose, Next, or whatever stamp that they put on it from Taiwann or China. Spend your $300, $400, $500 or however much on a bike (even a used one) that fits you (length, height, style), and one that is put together properly, and backed by bike shop who wants you to enjoy the sport as well as they want loyal customers. Do not spend it on the one-size fits all bike from just another giant Whore who just wants a few pennies from you and that could care less if you die riding the bike they sold you because the front wheel comes half off while you’re cruising down some sweet singletrack. I hope I’m not offending you or anyone, but I do not apologize (nor for my bad spelling). I am obviously passionate about this matter, and no, I do not own or have any interest in owning a bike shop. (Actually I’m an RN, and we are busy enough in the E.R. with other misfortunate souls, we don’t need new ones who made bad choices on what to spend their money on). So, for what it’s worth, I care! Scott

      p.s.: check out this site: http://www.bikesrnottoys.com

    • #69754

      well, on the issue of cost, given that I am only 13 (infact just turned it this august) I don’t get enough allowance to really afford the more expensive bikes, unless I get them off of ebay (at that point I don’t know what condition they are in, so I could end up getting a lemon) or from somewhere like bikesdirect.com. I like the feel of my current bike, so I’d want to stick with something about that general frame size, except I would prefer a water bottle mount on the inside of the frame rather than the outside. don’t want to damage my water bottle if I ride on gravel and end up kicking up some from the front tire (don’t want to kick up cat poo into my face either. what really sucks is when it lands on your nose. once you pick up speed, you get the full smell of cat poo right in your nose. yuck. tho I suppose a rock to the face is a bit more painful than getting cat poo to the face) anywho, off to finish my homework and then look around on bikesdirect.com

    • #69755

      Well Slyp_Dawg, I’m glad that you are getting exposed to, and are interested in mtbking at age 13. Cat poo asside, I stand by my advice; save your money, if the bike you have is working, continue to ride it, cut some grass, shovel some snow, get a paper route, bake some cookies, sell some lemon aid, sell your Game Boy, whatever it takes, then when you have enough, go to your local bike shop and buy that sweet ride (hell, even bikedirect.com would be better than walmart, just take that boxed up bike when UPS drops it off over to the shop and let them teach you how to work on bikes). What ever you do, just keep riding. Here’s a thought, If you only have $200 or $300 and you are just itching for a new bike, get a bmx bike (from a bike shop). You could probably score a pretty good bmx bike for $300, then take it to your local skate/bmx park and have fun. Good luck on your quest, and stay out of the bike section at wal mart.

    • #69756

      I second what sandm96 has to say. Save your money and get a decent bike. I have an older cannondale f2000 i would consider getting rid of. Let me know if your interested.

    • #69757

      eh, I’ll pass on the cannondale f2000, as I don’t need a second higher grade mountain bike. I just picked up a GT I-Drive 5.0 from Performance Bikes. it shifts amazingly smoothly. press the upshift lever and the chain just neatly snakes to the next sproket on the freewheel cassette. no harm, no foul, no clunk like my old 10 speed bike had, with the exception of the occasional double-shift (when shifting between some gears, it skips over a sproket, ie it goes from 3rd to 5th or 4th to 6th I dunno why it does that, it may just be that I’m pressing the lever in a bit too much when shifting through certain gears). I think part of the smooth shifting is because the sprokets on the freewheel cassette are physicaly closer together (ie less of a gap between the 1st gear sproket and the 2nd gear sproket) which means that the chain doesn’t have to move side-to-side as much during shifting. the Fox Float rear air shock is real nice, too. so far it looks like the bike price being 15 times that of my old bike (honda badged bike, sold through toysrus, I got it on sale half off for $50, got my money’s worth out of it before it started screwing up too bad (shifter slowly going out, shifting farther towards the wheel than there was a sproket, then the shifter breaking at the handle bar end when I was trying to get back to 1st (don’t ask)). based on how much I paid for it, I’m sure there was a specific reason that it was on sale half off, and I am extremely suprised it has lasted me this long. now I’ve got something that can actualy handle the Bell Isle trail in the James River in downtown Richmond. I’m not usually this long-winded about one subject, but I’m a bit excited about getting the bike

    • #69758

      Congrads on the new bike. Sounds like a good choice.

    • #69759

      yup, it is amazing! I did have a hell of a time getting my Schwinn luggage rack onto the seat post (I had to physicaly bend the attachment point on the luggage rack in order to get it onto the seat post, and even then it was snug) but I did get it on. only problem is that now it makes getting on to the bike harder. ah well, at least I’ve got some place to put whatever stuff I want

    • #69760

      You’ve got a cargo rack on a GT 5.0?

      I suggest you ditch it.

      Running a cargo rack with a load on a FS bike adds more weight to the bike itself, which will make it less responsive on the trails. Adding weight by way of a back-pack is less of an issue, as you are bearing the extra mass, and not the bike. It’s a simple matter of inertia.

    • #69761

      true. but I’m not a weight concious person, and it makes it very easy to carry stuff that I wouldn’t be able to carry if I didn’t have a backpack with me. remember, I use this bike for everything, not just mountain biking. like today my friend gave me a old Rallye S3000 (?) road bike and the chain broke, so I put it on the luggage rack instead of in my pocket (greasey chain is not something I want to put in my pocket). plus the tool kit that I’ve got (mounts to the rear of the seat) takes up some space on the luggage rack, so i can’t really use the whole rack. it’ll only old up to 20 pounds but for me that’s enough.

    • #69762
      "Slyp_Dawg" wrote

      eh, I’ll pass on the cannondale f2000, as I don’t need a second higher grade mountain bike. I just picked up a GT I-Drive 5.0 from Performance Bikes. it shifts amazingly smoothly. press the upshift lever and the chain just neatly snakes to the next sproket on the freewheel cassette. no harm, no foul, no clunk like my old 10 speed bike had, with the exception of the occasional double-shift (when shifting between some gears, it skips over a sproket, ie it goes from 3rd to 5th or 4th to 6th I dunno why it does that, it may just be that I’m pressing the lever in a bit too much when shifting through certain gears). I think part of the smooth shifting is because the sprokets on the freewheel cassette are physicaly closer together (ie less of a gap between the 1st gear sproket and the 2nd gear sproket) which means that the chain doesn’t have to move side-to-side as much during shifting. the Fox Float rear air shock is real nice, too. so far it looks like the bike price being 15 times that of my old bike (honda badged bike, sold through toysrus, I got it on sale half off for $50, got my money’s worth out of it before it started screwing up too bad (shifter slowly going out, shifting farther towards the wheel than there was a sproket, then the shifter breaking at the handle bar end when I was trying to get back to 1st (don’t ask)). based on how much I paid for it, I’m sure there was a specific reason that it was on sale half off, and I am extremely suprised it has lasted me this long. now I’ve got something that can actualy handle the Bell Isle trail in the James River in downtown Richmond. I’m not usually this long-winded about one subject, but I’m a bit excited about getting the bike

      I also got an idrive 5 from Performance and love the Sram X-7 drive train. Occasionally it does double shift on me, but a quick trip to the mechanic and an easy tune up cures that. More you ride and crash, more likely you’ll bang up the rear deralleur, so that is common and it isn’t a product flaw in my opinion. My buddies all ride expensive Trek Fuel or Gary Fisher Hi-Fi Deluxe and they experience the problem as much of not more.

      My son has an affordable, but dependable and fun, Mongoose Otero Super. I paid about $700 for it. The suspension is a Suntour which isn’t great, but for his weight, serves the purpose and beats a mid priced hard tail. We switched out the front Suntour fork for a Manitou Minute. It has nice Tektro hydrolick disc brakes that work perfectly. I also use the Mongoose as a back up bike when mine is in the shop and I enjoy riding it. It is very fast, stiff and has kept me on the trail and happy when the idrive has had to go to the shop.

      I always balance price/value. I could spend more than I did on the idrive or the Mongoose, but if the bike performs, price isn’t the factor and raises the value. So just because a bike has a certain name, that does not mean it’s a great deal or a bad deal. Wal-Mart does sell Mongoose bikes that I would avoid. Performance sells higher end Mongoose products that are real MTB bikes and can compete on the trail. Both GT & Mongoose (same company by the way) sell top end bikes that can be as expensive as other top end brands. The top end idrive 5 1.0 2007 goes for around $2700.

      I rode about 1200 trail miles in 2007, almost all on the GT idrive 5. It is heavier than my riding buddies bikes and I have to work a little harder than them, but it never has held me back and handles rough trails and bombs downhills better than than some of my buddies lighter, more expensive rigs. I spend $1000, they spend $2000. In the end, the probably have "better rigs" but I claim it is hard to say anyone has a better value.

    • #69763

      Take some advise from these guys save a little money and get a descent hard tail from a Bike shop that is made for offroad riding. If you look good at the Mongoose Bikes from Wal-mart there is sticker on the frame that states NOT FOR OFFROAD RIDING. Now how crazy is that? This is there way of covering them selves if you get hurt. I purchased a Mongoose XR-250 about a year ago. Road it about twice on the road and had to pull the Crank and Bottom Bracket all apart. These bikes are put together very poorly. There was no grease at all. After like four or five more rides on the road I had to replace the rear shock and I am sure that the front shock could use some rebuilding also. I got tired of all of this and went and got my self a Trek Hard Tail. I have logged in over 100 miles of serious trailing in the past 6 months and have found the only thing I do not like on the Trek is the Tire selecetion. The Mongoose is sitting in the shed and has not been used in the last six months. figured I would keep it just incase a friend that did not have a bike would want to come for a ride then he would see why i spent the extra $300 and got a Trek. You can pick up a good Trek for just a few dollars more the 3700 which my friend who weights almost 300lbs is riding cost just like $379 which is just $80 -$90 more than what the Wally-World Broke-goose would run you. I purcahsed a 4500 which was under $600

    • #69764
      "af_juicy" wrote

      If you look good at the Mongoose Bikes from Wal-mart there is sticker on the frame that states NOT FOR OFFROAD RIDING. Now how crazy is that? This is there way of covering them selves if you get hurt. I purchased a Mongoose XR-250 about a year ago. Road it about twice on the road and had to pull the Crank and Bottom Bracket all apart. These bikes are put together very poorly. There was no grease at all.

      There are MANY reported cases of those Wally-world/Kmart/Target/etc. "mountainbikes" simply snapping at a head-tube, seat-tube, or bottom-bracket weld…. simply from riding off of a 4-5" curb! But you don’t hear about those instances because the corporate monsters who sell the bikes have reams of legal outs for themselves, as do the manufacturers. The most you’ll be able to get from a bike that failed catastophically is a simple refund towards the price of a new bike (if that!!!).

      Walmart/etc. bikes are put together by the stock-people in the back of those stores; most likely without even glancing at the assembly instructions, or any knowledge of torque specs and values. Hell, 99% of them probably don’t even know how to use a torque wrench; nevermind knowing how to properly tighten spokes or a headset/bottom-bracket.

      In addition, a Huffy or Murray "mountainbike" frame alone will weigh more than the weight of a complete SantaCruz Blur or Trek hardtail! Tack on the cheapest "alloy" wheels, derailleurs, one-piece "alloy crankset, etc., and you’ll have a bike that weighs more than a full-on Downhill race-sled! 😏

      Ugh…. now I gotta stop…. rant off. 😉

    • #69765

      You said it Bomber,there’s this dude I work with and he rides this bike he bought from target,I think or whatever,and the rear axel sheared off and I had him bring the bike over tofix it,I know a professional bike mechanic and he fixed the bike and a week or two later the damn thing broke again.So the dude not wanting to spend the money for somthing that would work at least half way reliably went back to kmart this time I think,and spent another $90 on one of those next bike’s,I’m just waiting for the thing to start throwing up green puke and the handle bar’s to start spinning like that girls head in the exorcist.hahahahahahaha.

    • #69766

      A good rule of thumb for how crappy a bike is: "if it comes with a kickstand, you don’t want it!"

    • #69767
      "steve32300" wrote

      ….he rides this bike he bought from target,I think or whatever,and the rear axel sheared off…

      Just the other day one of my neighbors knocked on my door to ask me about replacing the tires on her "free" bike, so that she could go riding to get in shape. Said bike is a Murray, and it’s got to be the worst bargain-bike I’ve ever encountered. It’s got 26-2/3" wheels, dropouts that are stamped unevenly and held in place by crimped seat/chain stays (and four tiny booger-welds each), and places where I can see daylight through the junctions on the frame tubing.

      And my neighbor was insisting that I fix the bike so she could hitch a kiddy trailer to it, and put a kiddy seat behind her as well. When I told her it would be incredibly dangerous to do so, she decided to just buy a new one from Walmart. I informed her that that wouldn’t be a good idea either, and she didn’t seem to understand why it wouldn’t be any safer to buy a new bike from Walmart.

      The word has gotten out in my small section of neighborhood that I’m a skilled bike mechanic, and that I’ll fix bikes for barter (soft-drinks, food, cigarettes, candy). In the past week, I’ve worked on eleven Walmart/Target/AAFES bikes to get them ridable. Of those eleven, eight were less than three months old!
      One of them; a new Roadmaster "All-Terrain" bike, was the worst. In less than a week of riding on surface streets to/from the cornerstore; the headtube bearing surfaces/races were ovalized, a rear dropout was about to fall off, all the spokes on both wheels (they looked like toasted-tortillas) were barely threaded into the spoke-nipples, the bottom-bracket lockrings weren’t even finger-tight (cranks had over 1" of side-to-side play), and the derailleur wasn’t installed correctly resulting in it dropping the chain behind the low-gear…. and the derailleur cage got sucked into the wheel because the stop-screw was missing.
      I told the owner that his bike was garbage, there was no hope for it, and to buy a better bike next time. Crestfallen, he thanked me and took his POS Roadmaster away.
      No more than three hours later, I heard another knock on my door. It was the same neighbor, and he asked me if I could tune his bike up again.
      Huh?
      He wheeled his new bike (complete with wheel placards) over, and it was a Mongoose from Walmart! He proudly informed me that instead of a $70 Roadmaster, he paid over $150 for the Mongoose because I told him to buy a better bike! He figured that since it was over $100, it had to be better! Image
      The guy had just bought the bike, and it was already insisting on dropping the chain. The shifters/derailleurs would only shift up or down one gear before automatically reverting back, the brakes didn’t work, and the seat & stem/handlebars were loosely flopping around.
      My naive neighbor assumed that all bikes operated like this when they were brand-new; that they just needed a tune-up, and needed to be "broken-in". I told him the "break-in" period was already taken care of, as it was definitely broken by someone! 😏

    • #69768

      I was going up the lift at Northstar and saw a guy riding back down. You don’t usually see that, so I asked if his bike broke. He shot me a dirty look, and a couple chairs later I saw his Huffy with the head tube broke off! I understood why he was riding down at that point!

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