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  1. #1
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    First Bike - What Upgrades

    Hey everyone! My dad is a big BMX guy and has been since he was a kid. However, he does not know much about building and upgrading and I want to get a few other opinions. I purchased this bike here yesterday: 27.5+" Mongoose Terrex Men's Bike - Walmart.com

    My dad came and looked at it with me and told me it was a good choice for the price because it included disc brakes and some other features not included on the less expensive bikes there. He also always loves and reccomends mongooses... He has like 3 or 4 REALLY old ones.

    Probably not very nice compared to what you guys have but I like it! I have had bikes before (all BMXs) but never seriously gotten into it. I would like to. After riding for 2 hrs, i want to upgrade seat, pedals(to metal) and grips immedietly. Im on a budget so I am going with a cloud 9 seat with suspension, and bigfoot pedals, but am not sure what grips. Any help with that would be great!

    What else would you reccomend upgrading sooner then later? After a lot of research, I believe that the rear shifter and rear derailleur would be a good choice, but I am not sure what to get and how it fits, let alone install it. Can anybody point me in the right direction? Maybe like an installation guide? What are some good but budget friendly options?

    I am looking to do lots of offroading bumps and hills but also a bit of flat street riding. I need it to be able to do both.

    Any help at all would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance for any advice and taking your time!

    -Sebastian

  2. #2
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    The immediate upgrade may be the tires and pedals, try them and see how good or bad they perform but honestly on a $200 bike I would not upgrade anything else because the parts will cost more than the bike. If you want to spend a lot you could replace the drivetrain, brakes, wheels, fork, saddle, pedals; actually everything but the frame. Is it cost effective? No, you are better off buying a better bike at that time.

    Use it, replace/upgrade as stuff breaks and save for a better bike in the future.

    The old Mongoose BMX bikes were great, the Walmart Mongoose bikes are not the same quality.

  3. #3
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    The best upgrade would be to return it, that bike most likely has a disclaimer sticker on it stating not intended for off road use.Most of those type of bikes are make to ride around the block once in awhile. I know being on a budget limits you ,but you would ahead by saving up some more money for a better bike. You could look at used ,check Craig's list ,ask around someone might have something sitting around.

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  5. #5
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    Sorry to be a "bike snob" but any bike you can get from Walmart is going to be a joke. Upgrading it is a waste of time. I know this from lots of personal experience working in bike shops. If you ride that bike with any degree of conviction, repairing it and replacing worn-out parts is going to cost 4x what the bike cost initially within a few months. If you ride it on the sidewalk exclusively, it will last longer.

    "You get what you pay for" is absolutely relevant in bikes. If you have a limited budget, start looking at the used market. You can get a killer bike for under $300 used if you know what to look for.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 2 Days Ago at 06:26 PM.

  6. #6
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    Sorry bud but is not just components but your safety as well. Take a look at this site, just make sure you have the right size maybe have your dad help, but one of these would be way safer than the wally bike. (Hard Tail is the way to go w/bikesdirect on your budget) If not used will be the way to go. Return the Mongoose though.

    Save up to 60% off Mountain Bikes, All Mountain Bikes, Full Suspension SRAM MTN and Shimano Mountain Bikes and Hardtail Front Suspension and 29er Mountain Bikes from Bikesdirect.com
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  7. #7
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    Being from walmart on its own does not make it "unsafe"... So what parts or aspects is it that make you guys say that? Like what parts are not good that makes you say to return it? I am trying to learn.

    Have fun with the hobby!
    -Sebastian

  8. #8
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    Will a Huffy survive a downhill?


    There are some threads around about this. Probably not assembled correctly, cheap parts that will easily break or won't last very long. We are trying to save you some headaches, especially if you really get into ridding.
    2016 SC Heckler R build.

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  9. #9
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    Did you watch the video I posted. They are not safe bikes at all. They use cheap parts and the people putting them together don't always know what they are doing. All these people telling you to return it are't telling you that just for shits and giggles.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnoopFrogg View Post
    Being from walmart on its own does not make it "unsafe"... So what parts or aspects is it that make you guys say that? Like what parts are not good that makes you say to return it? I am trying to learn.

    Have fun with the hobby!
    -Sebastian
    What dirt devil said, besides tires and pedals. I would leave everything as it is if you really do not want to return it which is what I would do.

    If you decide to keep it, I would replace stuff only when it breaks
    and since you were big into bmx I would expect a lot of stuff to break real soon.

    Learning is not to buy or in this case to return a mtb from walmart if you are doing anything besides putting around on greenways.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Avid is spelled wrong, there should be an 'O' in there.

  11. #11
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    o man not a Walgoose!!!

    that video of the DH run was awesome I wouldnt have done that haha!!!

    Really that Mongoose is only good for one thing riding flat dirt roads and easy simple trails. Dont waste any money on trying to upgrade anything on it.

  12. #12
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    If you want a list of part that are cheap ,here goes, if has a mild steal frame ,they bend and break,mild steal bars,,junk headset plastic levels,single wall rims with crappy hubs ,poor bottom bracket ,plastic pedals ,maybe a one piece crank with riveted on chain rings,,a free wheel instead of a cassette,bottom of the barrel derailleurs There is more.

  13. #13
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    If riding is something you want to do for the foreseeable future, you may be well advised to return that bike and spend a little more on a better bike. If your budget won't accommodate that, you can probably get some use out of that bike. My best advice if you plan to keep it is to tear it down and grease your bearings now, especially your bottom bracket.

    About a year and a half ago I decided to try out riding again after nearly 15 years (since I started driving) of not riding. Not wanting to be deeply invested in a hobby I wasn't sure I would be into, I bought a $170 bike from Wally world. I learned on that bike that riding was both a lot harder and a lot more fun than I remembered. I had a lot of fun on that bike and everything went smoothly with it... for about 3 weeks. After that, my left side crank started walking itself loose, requiring it be retightened nearly every ride. Shortly after that, the bearings in the pedals failed. Then the bottom bracket bearings, which didn't appear to have any grease in them at all. Also, the rear axle bent and started clicking with every revolution no matter how I adjusted the bearings. Also, the tires went flat very often. Bottom line, I learned that I really liked riding a bike, but I hated my bike with a passion.

    I ended up giving that first bike away after 2 to three months and got an entry level GT mountain bike. It hasn't been perfectly reliable, but it has easily been 10 times as reliable as my last one.

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  14. #14
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    You have a 90 days return option with the receipt. Ride it like everyone says and if it starts to break return it.
    Otherwise everything will need to be replaced, Wheels so you can use a replaceable cassette, fork so you don't have a pogo stick, derailleurs and shifters so they work, same with the crankset, and the frame and bars.
    So if you keep it what that does is make your firsy real usable bike $200+ more expensive.
    There's a real quality ride out therefor about $750 right now.
    Old Mongoose bikes are totally differenr from what you have.

  15. #15
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    another vote for returning it. your money is better spent on a quality used bike. around here $300-500 can buy a good quality used bike with decent components that will last you years.

    if your on a tight budget buying new is usually not the best idea IMO. however if you want a new bike there are some decent single speed options. like this Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29 SS Single Speed 29er Mountain Bikes or this Nashbar Single-Speed 29er Mountain Bike .

    if it were me, i would save a little money and start searching on craigslist, MTBR, ebay, and Pinkbike.
    Rigid SS 29er
    Rigid 29+
    Hardtail 29er
    SS cyclocross

  16. #16
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    Unfortunately, I agree with everyone else. We're not bike snobs who are just trying to look big. Lots of us work to a budget too but there are limits. Bikes are not cheap any more and the only way to get a decent bike for $200 is to buy a used one.

    That's not terrible news. Lots of people buy bikes intending to get into riding, use them once or twice then park them in the garage for years. You can buy a good used bike for $200. You will have to be patient but you'll get one.

    If you throw the goose off a river bridge it will probably sink. There ends the list of your bike's good points! ;0) Sorry, couldn't resist it, only kidding. The bike will work. You can ride it and it might even be fun. The main problem will be that if you ride it hard bits will start to fail and break quite quickly. Fixing and replacing those bits will soon add up to a sum that would've bought a better bike in the first place. Really cheap bikes are a false economy if you actually want to do proper riding.

    I'm afraid your dad will have to forget everything he thinks he knows about bike brands. What happens is that brands that once represented quality, like Mongoose, often end up going bust or getting into difficulty and they are bought by box-shifters like Walmart. They then own the name, that's all they want, and they can stick that name on any old cheap crap they get thrown together in China. Unsuspecting older buyers like your dad think that the name still has some connection to the original company. It doesn't. It's a shame to see once great names rubbished in this way but it's very common. The list is very long.

    Honestly, the best thing you could do is return the bike if that is an option then take your time looking for a replacement. We'll help you as much as we can. I'm not saying you'll get a fantastic bike for £200 but just about anything will be better than the anchor.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnoopFrogg View Post
    Hey everyone! My dad is a big BMX guy and has been since he was a kid. However, he does not know much about building and upgrading and I want to get a few other opinions. I purchased this bike here yesterday: 27.5+" Mongoose Terrex Men's Bike - Walmart.com
    I know exactly where your dad is coming from. I rode BMX for years, mostly in the late 90s and early 2000s. I had an S&M Sabbath at one point, ask your dad if he remembers those.

    Mongoose built up a reputation for quality in the '80s and '90s. go watch the movie "Rad" to see what I mean. then things changed. many people such as your dad are not aware of how radically the company changed and what it means today.

    When I was in high school, around 1998-'99, I worked in a bike shop that was a stocking Mongoose dealer. around that time, Mongoose started selling their bikes in Wal-mart as we'll. It was very difficult to explain that to customers, but we had a policy of refusing service to department store bikes (many shops do this, depending on your customer base, this is a good idea or a bad one) and I think the shop eventually dropped Mongoose.

    the company had split into a two-headed beast. one side of the brands made (and still does) very nice, quality bikes. they cost more for good reason. the other half of the company makes junky bikes that are much cheaper, but inferior in quality. the good bikes are probably fine for trail riding but the cheap bikes are not. they use inferior components and materials and are what people call BSO- bicycle shaped object. they are fine if you're on a tight budget and you want something to get you around town but will fail quickly on trails.

    people on this forum and any mountain biker you meet are not trying to steer you away from this bike because we are snobs. a bike snob would tell you to have a customer titanium frame built up with carbon fiber rims and it would cost you $8,000-10,000. a reasonable new bike for riding trails will cost you $750+ and a used bike that should be just as capable can be found for under $300 if you're willing to look. that Wal-goose is just going to be a waste of your time and money.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 2 Days Ago at 09:21 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seaan View Post
    More appropriate - a vid about a Walgoose fat bike. Not that terrible for easy going stuff IF AND ONLY IF gone over completely just like anything assembled by minimum wage untrained "mechanics". I wouldn't expect it to last long at all if used over anything resembling rough terrain regardless. It's just not built for it even if it looks like it is.

    I also agree with the sentiment above that it's not really worth it to upgrade other than saddle, pedals or grips that might make it more comfortable. Maybe tires...maybe.

  19. #19
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    OP, I also would not go with that cloud 9 seat with suspension; that's not an upgrade. That seat is made for old folks who have a cruiser bike they dragged out to ride around the block a couple of times. Not sure what the seat that came on your bike is but it is not unusual for a seat to be uncomfortable initially to someone starting out. It's actually a "saddle"; you don't just sit on it like you would a seat, you balance between it, the pedals and your hands, often rising off of it to absorb bumps with your legs and arms.

    Sorry, I'm with the others, return it if you can and look for a used bike (we can help you with that). If you are sticking with it, I wouldn't spend any money on upgrades. You do have a helmet, right?

    EDIT: Meant to say "we CAN help you with that", corrected.
    Last edited by chazpat; 2 Days Ago at 01:04 PM.
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  20. #20
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    SnoopFrogg, we are all here to help you in the hobby, and are not out to get you. If you post up your location, I would be willing to find some good starter bikes around your budget and post the links to them here. You could easily get what was once a $600-$700 bike that is now in your price range ($300 and below), that has a high quality frame and components. It will also make a HUGE difference in your enjoyment of riding, by being on a better quality bike. I started out as well in BMX and freestyle.

    For example a couple near me in NC.

    2009 Gary Fisher RIG SS 17.5 frame
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper A1 (26")
    Sale***BRAND NEW* Fuji 29in Hard tail Disc Brake

    Check out this topic too. It's people posting their sub $400 bikes.
    Post your less than $400 mountain bike

  21. #21
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    RETURN IT!!!!!! It's just going to fail and fall apart on you if you use it for more then riding down the block, even then I wouldn't chance it. You can find a nice used bike for that price on Craigslist, ebay, or the various MTB forums. You will get a whole lot better bike and it will last much longer. If need be, post up links for bikes you find and we will all be glad to help you narrow things down. I think most guys in here had a Mongoose BMX bike growing up and they were bad ass, but the goose has had a steep decline in quality over the years.. thus why you will find them in Walmart ;-)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seaan View Post
    Great video, the Fred Flinston stops were epic. Thanks for sharing.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnoopFrogg View Post
    Being from walmart on its own does not make it "unsafe"... So what parts or aspects is it that make you guys say that? Like what parts are not good that makes you say to return it? I am trying to learn.

    Have fun with the hobby!
    -Sebastian
    Sebastian, it's true that Walmart sells many things that are the same name brands we get from other stores, and they generally sell them for less. Unfortunately, when it comes to bikes, you are getting about what you pay for, and $200 does not buy much of a MTB. The bikes Walmart sells as mountain bikes are actually what we call mountain bike shaped objects.

    Of the many here that are advising you to return the bike, I would wager that rather than it coming from a position of bike snobbery, that it is the voice of experience hoping to spare you from a fate that many here have experienced themselves (myself included). Much more like a "friends-don't-let-friends" sort of thing that (since we only know each other through the internet) we can only tell it to you, but it's up to you to understand it.

    The first bike I bought was a $119 bike from Sears. They don't (or didn't at that time) have different size bikes, and I bought what they had not knowing that an 18" frame would not be a great idea for a 6'5" rider. I used it for a little while to ride around work, and soon after bought a 21" GT that was much more suitable as far as size goes, but I still had the upgraditis lesson to put myself through.

    The GT had a rigid fork, and it beat me to death on the rides I liked to do. It also had cantilever brakes, and v-brakes had just hit the market. I bought a fork, and in order to use v-brakes, I had to replace much of the drivetrain. When all was said and done, I had spent about $750 to upgrade a $325 bike. The only original parts were the frame, front derailleur, and the rear reflector.

    Had I spent that money up front front, I could have bought bike with similarly nice parts (or possibly better parts), and a better frame. It was an exercise in attempting to make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

    The Mongoose Terrex frame is not nearly as worthy of upgrading as the GT that I mistakenly (IMHO) upgraded. I work part time as a bike mechanic, and see a number of similar bikes come through for repairs along with all other types of bikes. From a mechanic's POV, we generally hate to see this type of bike on our workstand. It's usually a chore just to get them to shift and brake well. Many times you have to bend and twist things just to get them to barely work.

    If someone is going to ride a bike like that down a path a handful of times each year, then maybe it's not a terrible purchase if they have someone qualified make sure they are put together well enough not to be dangerous. I see many nightmare-ish dept store builds come in for tuneups, and some of the things we would be comical if they were not outright dangerous.

    I am reminded of taking my kids to the beach when they were very young. As young kids are likely to do, they would try to investigate sand by trying to put it into their mouth. Young knock the sand out of their hand and tell them not to eat it. This happens until you are worn out from telling not to eat the sand until you finally decide to let them eat the sand. They eat the sand with predictable results, and eventually learn the lesson in their own way.

    For someone (meaning you) that wants to get into biking more than just casually or every once in a while, I would stake my reputation by saying that you will assimilate eventually, and it will be your choice to do so. Buying an entry level bike is fine. It gets people into the sport and lets them figure out if they want to do it long term, and lets them figure out which type of bike they should get when they have gone through the learning phase (where they would rarely make a great choice for their perfect bike the first time around) and are ready for a nicer bike. Unfortunately, the Monegoose Terrex is not likely to get through the entry level phase as well as a $200 used bike would IMHO, although it's not easy to tell by looking for those with an untrained eye.

    One way or another, you'll get though this, and you're likely develop a long term love of mountain biking. You have come here to ask opinions of more experienced riders, and they have given you sound advice. You'll survive eating the sand my friend, just as many of us have as well, but I'm here to tell you that it may not taste so great.

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