Whenever you hear or read the word “mongoose,” you only think of two things: those funny, cute little creatures or you think of bikes, or to be specific, BMX. The brand Mongoose has been associated with BMX for so long that it has nearly become synonymous with it.
But Mongoose Bicycles have come a long way since its humble beginnings in Southern California. They have diversified, making scooters and even footwear.
Such is the ingenuity of Mongoose; it has become a household name worldwide.
But are Mongoose good bikes? Are they one of the better bike brands in the market?
Or have their products been cashing only on a good name, relying on reputation to sell more bikes and other products?
Let us look at the Mongoose bike brand and see whether they are good bikes. Let us also discuss the best Mongoose bikes available in the market.
The Mongoose Bike Brand: An Overview
The journey of Mongoose from Southern California towards international stardom dates back to 1974 when founder Skip Hess developed magnesium cast MotoMAg wheels to make BMX bikes more durable. He later established BMX Products, Inc. and made the first Mongoose bicycle.
Mongoose bicycles became a bestseller throughout the years. People loved its innovative design, and soon, the brand achieved world fame by sponsoring BMX teams and promoting freestyling.
In 1986, for instance, Mongoose released FS-1 and later partnered with known freestyle riders such as Fuzzy Hall, Simon Tabron, Dennis Mccoy, and Kevin Peraza. Freestyle BMX has become the hallmark of the Mongoose BMX bike ever since.
Earlier, in 1985, the company released the first Mongoose mountain bikes. Since then, it is not uncommon to see a mongoose mountain bike in any bike store, and mountain bikes have become the everyday staple in the Mongoose family.
In 1992, they released the Mongoose Amplifier, a full-suspension mountain bike, which became one of the most successful mountain bikes in the past three decades.
Since then, they have diversified their production, including in their catalog scooter, of which the Miniscoot is probably the most famous. They are also into the manufacturing of gear and apparel.
The Mongoose Vans are probably the most famous footwear outside major athletic brands. They also manufacture helmets, caps, and other apparel like shirts and socks.
What Makes the Mongoose Bike Brand Stands Out?
Other brands are like meteors: they rise quickly and fall into oblivion. Mongoose maintained their market presence and fame for more than four decades.
Several things make Mongoose stands out, making them the bike of choice of many. Among these are:
Their bikes appeal to both the general public and expert riders alike. Kids, teenagers, and young adults love the simplicity of their BMX bikes.
On the other hand, expert freestyle riders love its design and durability.
And even others, like the Mongoose mountain bike, sport a mixture of simplicity in look and efficiency on the road, which appeals to most riders, especially those beginners and entry-level riders.
Their mass appeal is such that Mongoose was able to capitalize on it by producing gears and apparel. Availability of those products, in turn, adds to the name recall and marketability of Mongoose bicycles.
This fact is not surprising, considering that BMX Products, Inc is born out of innovative technology. But throughout the years, Mongoose employed innovative technology and design to their bikes, employing materials and design which are considered game changers, if not altogether revolutionary.
Examples are the full suspension Mongoose Amplifier and freestyle BMX bikes like decade and Legion. Mongoose is never afraid to be cutting edge, employing design to make their bikes more suitable for riders’ needs.
And they do this without sacrificing its mass appeal or simple yet appealing look.
Legend has it that Mongoose started producing Miniscoot to compensate and use surplus head tubes intended for Moose Goose. True or not, the story is nothing but a testament to the ingenuity of the company.
Such is the ability of the company to turn obstacles into stepping stones, crisis to opportunity. For instance, the need for durable BMX led to the development of MotoMag wheels, which changed the cycling landscape forever.
We can say that Mongoose stands out because of its ability to improvise, use, and improve on available design and technology. Mongoose Bicycles adapted to changing circumstances, continuing to make their bikes relevant and taking advantage of marketing to maintain their market share and hold on to the public’s consciousness.
Availability and Affordability
Well, what’s the use of mass appeal if you cannot sell to the general public, right? They do not have a wide range of bikes, but with everything they produce, they make sure anyone can have them.
They have bikes for adults, teenagers, and kids.; they have bikes customized for women. They produce mountain and urban bikes for commuters when the market demands them.
They have marketed their bikes worldwide, tying up with international distributors. Most of all, their bikes are mostly affordable.
There are expensive ones, just like any brand, but they make sure that, for the most part, they can serve those who want to have affordable and yet of good quality.
But are Mongoose Good Bikes?
Everything we discussed highlights why Mongoose stands out, but are their bikes perfect, of excellent quality and performance?
Let’s face it; there is a particular bias towards bikes produced for the mass market and sold at department stores or every bike shop. Mongoose is no exception.
The need for durable BMX bikes compelled Skip Hess to establish the brand. Considering that, the idea that Mongoose is not of good quality or substandard at worst is not without a tinge of irony.
Let us explain the idea of a “good bike.” It is of good quality, decent if not excellent performance on the road, durable, and comfortable to ride.
We can add an excellent bike-price ratio. Falling short of that, that is not a good bike.
There is no question regarding performance and comfort. Mongoose bikes, after all, are loved by those participating in freestyling.
They must feel comfortable with it and satisfied by its performance.
We can say that those bikes cannot be adequate for competition if they are not durable. It is safe to say that some Mongoose bikes are long-lasting, without a doubt.
But one has also to consider why one buys a bike. In most instances, Mongoose’s selling point is comfort, performance, and brand.
Those bikes are produced for that purpose, to amuse people now and then. There are limitations, of course.
One limitation is what it offers: if a bike is inexpensive, chances are, it is of low-quality parts. The higher the price, the better the quality.
You cannot use a very low-end bike, manufactured for recreational riding now and then, and then use it daily for commuting. You cannot use a BMX bike for the trail, for every bicycle has its purpose.
The rider must operate within those limitations.
To the ultimate question of “are Mongoose bikes good?” the answer is that used for their purpose, there is no doubt that they can serve the need of the rider, but within limitations.
And this is true of all bikes, not just of Mongoose bicycles. Going back to the question, on balance and considering everything, Mongoose bikes are good.
See More: Want to know the best BMX bikes for everyone? See this: https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/a22574692/bmx-bikes-bikes/
The Best Mongoose Bikes on the Market
1. Mongoose Legion L500
This one is considered the “flagship BMX bike” of Mongoose. This one has a Chromoly frame and handlebar, a threadless sealed integrated headset, and a 50mm stem.
The drivetrain is a 175mm two-piece tubular Chromium alloy steel hollow spindle cranks with 25T aluminum chainring.
What separates this from others is thick tires: each tire is 20″ x2.4″. With those tires, this bike can take on some kinds of terrain, a broader range than most BMX bikes has.
2. Mongoose Salvo 29 Trail
This one is a full suspension mountain bike, sporting an aluminum frame with a Shimano rear derailleur, front derailleur, and shifters. The aluminum frame has internal cable routing,
Rims, tires, handlebars, grips, and the hubs are all by Xposure. The suspension fork is by HL Corp, with 110mm suspension travel, while mechanical disc brakes are from Tektro.
Salvo 29 Trail employs free-flowing suspension technology, guaranteeing smooth riding performance in cross-country or trail riding. The suspension travel of 110mm allows for greater flexibility on terrain, while the 2×9 speed allows one to shift as he engages from one surface to another.
3. Mongoose Juneau
Fat Tire bikes are an everyday staple of Mongoose; this one is your best companion for riding onto extreme terrains, whether snow, mud, or sand. The aluminum frame makes it very light, perfect for biking on those challenging terrains.
The handlebars are wide, perfect for providing enough stability for the riders. The Shimano drivetrain gives the bike enough power to go on despite the terrain, with a smooth shift for a change of pace when encountering different road surfaces.
The mechanical disc brakes are sufficient for this bike, and with 4″ tires, it can go on any extreme road or weather conditions.
4. Mongoose Argus ST 24
This Mongoose MTB is for kids, an all-terrain one guaranteed to give them fun and excitement. It is imposing, with its lovely design and geometry and fat tires.
Its simplicity and features would appeal to kids just beginning cycling and yet who want to experience everything an all-terrain riding offers.
The frame and fork are steel, and the drivetrain is that of Shimano, a 7-speed. Wheels are single wall, 36 holes, spokes are 14g, and tire size is 24″ x4.0′.
The stem is aluminum and threadless, and it has mechanical disc brakes. Most parts like the saddle, seat post, and grips are by Mongoose.
The steel frame is durable and provides the necessary stability and balance for a kid just starting to bike. It is also easy to balance with a bike that has tires as thick as those in this bike.
See more: Want to learn how to choose the BMX bike for you? Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OswLnpWWNu0
Conclusion: Is it Worth Having a Mongoose Bike?
It is easy to be swayed by opinions and biases. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say.
Are Mongoose bikes good? Yes, they are, as the line-up of bikes here clearly shows.
They epitomize each bike model, which is of good quality, excellent on the road, and provides comfort for the rider.
Except for Mongoose Salvo, which is above a thousand dollars, all of them are within the $500-$700 range. They have inexpensive ones too, but overall, bikes within this range are excellent, if not top quality or high-end.
They are not a bargain, but not a shortchanged either.
As with most products, you get what you pay for. But with Mongoose, you can get a good-quality, decent performance, and reliable, durable bike at a reasonable price.