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  1. #1
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    Argus: A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly

    The Argus is said to be Mongoose's "real" fatbike.

    Alloy frame, Juggernaut tires, 180mm brakes, sealed BB and 27 speeds.

    It **even** comes in 3 sizes.

    Recently, Nashbar had the Mongoose Argus on sale for $449 with free shipping.

    I grabbed one for a backup bike and it arrived today.

    ------> Jump forward to Argus Expert assembly:

    Argus: A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-argus2.jpg  

    Last edited by vid1900; 09-28-2016 at 01:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Got mine today too. Great bike for the money. I feel like a kid again.

  3. #3
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    Here is the Left side of the bike:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-argusl.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Here is the Argus fresh from the destroyed box (thank you UPS).

    No double boxing or tracking number from Nashbar, but the bike did arrive in 3 working days.

    After building 3 Dolomites and 2 Porters for my LBS (Iron Horse Porter VS. Mongoose Dolomite - (they are not the same bike after all)) it was refreshing to see the forks pretty well protected.

    33lbs said the bathroom scale.

    Frame and Forks were wrapped in pipe foam:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-1.jpg  


  5. #5
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    Here is the Saddle and alloy Post.

    Nice scale along the backside allowing you to quickly set up without having to scratch your measurements into the Post.

    Saddle has nice looking stitching and is very lightweight.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-2.jpg  


  6. #6
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    Scale along the Saddle Rails:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-3.jpg  


  7. #7
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    Funny warning sticker not to mount the Rear Reflector too low:

    Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-4.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-5.jpg  


  8. #8
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    Long neck
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-6.jpg  


  9. #9
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    Remember: never ride at night
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-7.jpg  


  10. #10
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    Looks very nice for that price. My first fatty (SE F@E) looked very similar, though yours looks nicer and you got it for half the price.

  11. #11
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    Inside the Goodie Box:

    Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-8.jpg

    The included manual did not have any information pertaining to the Argus, but fortunately, there were a bunch of Shamano pamphlets about the bike's features.

  12. #12
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    You can't peel the graphics off, because they are under the clearcoat

    De-badgers everywhere are weeping
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-9.jpg  


  13. #13
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    Front Brake from above:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-10.jpg  


  14. #14
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    Fork had some lubrication, but I like to really pack in the grease to keep water out.


    Fork off:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-11.jpg  


  15. #15
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    I'm feeling a little better about the SE now... as it came with hydros, instead of mechanical disc brakes. But your Argus came with pedals!

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the report.

    I probably have some bias because the people who do that bike are members of our community and ride posse but they really are passionate about it and try very hard for good stuff at a low price. Their being good citizens extends to their doing trail work near their office, and helping their home IMBA chapter.

    The 2017 Argus with Bluto looks really nice.

  17. #17
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    Here you can see, that just in shipping, the black paint has worn off the cup.

    Wipe out all the factory grease (and paint flakes).

    Soak the bearings in Turpentine to remove all the grease and flakes.

    Repack the bearings with fresh grease. Really pack it in there.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-12.jpg  


  18. #18
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    Head properly greased and put together
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-13.jpg  


  19. #19
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    Handlebar installed
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-14.jpg  


  20. #20
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    Great looking TIG welds, and lots of attachment points.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-15.jpg  


  21. #21
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    Front Hub with rubber dust cap removed
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-16.jpg  


  22. #22
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    Not much grease from the factory.

    Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-17.jpg

    Bed the bearings in a nice layer of grease.

    It will keep water out, and hold the bearings in place during assembly.

    Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-18.jpg

    In typical China bike fashion, both the front and rear hubs had the Cones cranked down way too tight from the factory.

    The rear hub was so tight, I could not turn it with my fingers.

    DO NOT ride this bike (not even down the driveway) until you adjust the front and rear Cones - or damage will result.

    How to adjust Cones:

    Iron Horse Porter VS. Mongoose Dolomite - (they are not the same bike after all)

  23. #23
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    Drop and Derailleur
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-19.jpg  

    Last edited by vid1900; 08-12-2016 at 12:40 PM.

  24. #24
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    Cassette
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-20.jpg  


  25. #25
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    The rear hub uses a spacer washer between the Cone and Lock Nut.

    Don't forget to put it back in it's proper place after repacking the grease!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-21.jpg  


  26. #26
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    Vid1900: Outstanding tutorial on prepping a bike out of the box; here and on your Iron Horse vs Mongoose thread!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTowpathTraveler View Post
    Vid1900: Outstanding tutorial on prepping a bike out of the box; here and on your Iron Horse vs Mongoose thread!
    Thank you, sir!

  28. #28
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    Rear brake
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-22.jpg  


  29. #29
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    You want to put some No-Ox on the threads of the BB, so that the aluminum does not corrode permanently to the bearing assembly.

    First, remove the crank bolt:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-23.jpg  


  30. #30
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    Nice write up and nice bike!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by vid1900 View Post
    Remember: never ride at night
    Good thing my bike didn't come with that sticker... I'd hate to break the law.
    I like turtles

  32. #32
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    Bravo Vid!
    Mongoose product development

  33. #33
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    Continuing to remove the BB:

    Next we remove the crank arms with a Puller Tool
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-1.jpg  


  34. #34
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    Now using a Bottom Bracket tool, we remove the Left side.

    The Left side is standard threading, so turn the tool CCW.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-2.jpg  


  35. #35
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    On the Right side (the chain side), the threads of the BB are REVERSE THREADED.

    So turn the BB tool CW to remove.

    Here you can see the BB Bearing:

    Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-3.jpg

    You can also see in the picture that the Front Derailleur mounting bracket is mounted using the BB Bearing.

  36. #36
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    After removing the BB Bearing, we need to COMPLETELY clean out the threads of any metal shavings or crud.

    This Argus was completely clean (Yea Mongoose!), but that does not mean yours will be.

    Use an old toothbrush or Brass Brush to scrub the threads, and then blast it out with your Air Compressor (apartment dwellers, use Canned Air).

    The No-Ox keeps the Aluminum frame from permanently corroding to the steel BB parts.

    Dissimilar metals do crazy things when they get wet.

    Put the No-Ox on both the Aluminum and the Steel threads.

    When you reassemble, the parts will go together like butter.

    Here you can see the Aluminum threads completely slathered with No-Ox:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-4.jpg  

    Last edited by vid1900; 08-12-2016 at 11:32 AM.

  37. #37
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    Finally, before you reinstall the Arms, make sure you lightly grease the square part of the axle.

    This will allow you to easily remove the Arms for future service.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-6.jpg  

    Last edited by vid1900; 08-12-2016 at 11:28 AM.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rentalrider View Post
    Nice write up and nice bike!
    Quote Originally Posted by skota23 View Post
    Bravo Vid!

    Thank you both

  39. #39
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    Basically looks like my vinson did but with better components. Cool bike.

  40. #40
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    Here is the Front Derailleur
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-7.jpg  


  41. #41
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    Front Derailleur Lever
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-8.jpg  


  42. #42
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    Great thread! Subscribed!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  43. #43
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    The Argus looks to be pretty much exactly like the Vinson with the exception of a few minor parts. The front derailleur is crap from the get go. using an e-type with that anti-rotation notch doesn't work well long term. I switched to a problem solvers mount and a direct mount FD. I liked my Vinson a lot more after I switched it to 10 speed with X5 shifters, X7 FD and X9 RD. The best upgrade was Avid brake levers and good cables and housings. The stock mech brakes weren't all that bad actually. For me the aluminum forks, QRs and Weinmann rims were its biggest drawbacks. By the time I costed out a carbon fork, and new wheels, I just decided it would be best to give it a good new home and start over.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    The Argus looks to be pretty much exactly like the Vinson with the exception of a few minor parts.
    Exactly.

    The Argus is just a fancy version of the Vinson.

    Better brakes, more gears, better tires, better post, better paint.


    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    By the time I costed out a carbon fork, and new wheels, I just decided it would be best to give it a good new home and start over.
    Yeah, trying to upgrade an inexpensive bike can quickly become a money pit, lol.

  45. #45
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    Good job!

    I like this bike, but I'd rather have it as a 1x9, not 3x9.
    Also, does anyone know if there are suitable fenders for fatbikes like this?

    BTW, amazing thread. Just a good, old-fashioned awesome job.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops View Post
    Also, does anyone know if there are suitable fenders for fatbikes like this?
    My LBS sells fat bike fenders that are thermally formed from ABS Haircell plastic.

    But then you don't get all that mud up your back.


    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops View Post
    BTW, amazing thread. Just a good, old-fashioned awesome job.
    Thank you.

  47. #47
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    Specs:

    ================================================

    BRAKES: 180mm rotors both Front and Rear

    LEVERS: Radius (alloy)

    CASSETTE: Sunrace 9-speed, 11-36T

    CHAIN: KMC Z99 9-speed with EPT anti-rust coating

    CRANKSET: Prowheel 951 Triple, 40/30/22T chainrings

    BOTTOM BRACKET: Feimin FP-B921/9SS 160mm

    FORK: alloy, 28.5 mm stem clamp

    HEADSET: VP-Z104 semi-integrated

    STEM: 3D forged 6061 aluminum, 31.8mm clamp diameter

    FRAME: Mongoose MTB aluminum fat tire hardtail

    FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano FD-410 E-type BB mount

    GRIPS: Mongoose rubber

    HANDLEBAR: Double-butted aluminum, 31.8mm clamp diameter

    PEDALS: Nylon platform reflectors

    REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano RD-M3000

    SADDLE: Mongoose MTB trail

    SEATPOST: Aluminum 31.6mm x 350mm Micro Adjust

    SHIFTERS: Shimano M-370 3x9-speed ALTUS

    TIRES: Kenda Juggernaut 26 x 4.0" Sport

    WHEELSET: Rims: 26" aluminum, 32 hole, 100mm wide with cutouts

    HUBS: Alloy disc, 32 hole, Front=135mm quick release axle. Rear=190mm quick release axle

    SPOKES: Stainless steel

    SIZES: S M L

    Large Size measurements:

    Where Seat Tube meets Top Tube: 30"

    Where balls hit Top Tube if you slip from seat: 32"

    Where Top Tube meets Head Tube: 35.5"

    -

    Medium size:

    Where Seat Tube meets Top Tube: 29.5"

    Midway between Seat Tube and Head Tube: 30.5"

    -

    Small Size:

    Need data from someone !
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-argus.png  

    Last edited by vid1900; 08-25-2016 at 02:50 PM.

  48. #48
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    > REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano RD-M390
    Rear Derailleur received is RD-M3000; low-end Shadow. Mine shifts very poorly.

  49. #49
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    Here are some requested pictures.

    Fork
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-1.jpg  


  50. #50
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    Seat Stay clearance
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Argus:  A fat bike for the masses? Review & Assembly-2.jpg  


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