I'm just getting back into Mt. biking after a couple years off (after I graduated college), and looks like significant progress has been made in the mt. biking world while I was away. I live closer to work now, and would like to start riding to work, as well as get more into local off-road trails and mild dirt track/jumping action. Nothing too crazy, but a good all-around workout. I am 5'8", 175lbs these days if that matters for bike selection.
I currently have a Mongoose Wing Elite, '04 version (I think, which ever year it was voted best bike for $500).
Could I (or should I) upgrade this bike, or just donate it to charity (or my brother ) and purchase a new one? My target price to spend would be around $1500.
Thanks for your suggestions,
Hi, thanks for the reply to my question. Here's the original article from Bicycling Magazine that I read. Afterward, I went out and bought the Mongoose Wing Elite back in '04. Hope this helps?
You're not looking to tackle the Continental Divide Trail. Heck, you're not even sure this mountain biking thing is for you. Check out these steeds. They'll prove loyal on back roads and moderate trails and they're equipped with enough of the good stuff (including suspension forks and in some cases disc brakes) to get you hooked. Welcome.
Mongoose Wing Elite
The $500, value-oriented Wing Elite is a prime example of this old-school BMX company's attempt at targeting the recreational market. This bike's 3.5-inch-travel rear suspension is a basic four-bar linkage with steel compression struts and chainstays mated to an aluminum mainframe. A 3-inch-travel RST Gila T4 fork with a coil spring and external preload adjustments handles front suspension duties. The parts pick is well-thought-out: Shimano drivetrain, TruVativ crankset, Hutchinson tires. Though the ergonomics were a bit funky, the Shimano Acera shifters moved the chain precisely and the Tektro mechanical disc brakes were a welcome addition at this price.
Most riders were pleasantly surprised with the Wing Elite's consistent and stable trail manners. The upright seating position is comfortable and safe enough that riders won't hesitate to hit the occasional rock drop or log jump. The Wing Elite's weight is a bit chunky (36 lb.), but for moderate trail riding the bike is solid and downright fun.
The one thing about this bike that could use some work is the balance from front to back. While the RST shock is stiff and progressive (which is a backward-style way of helping the bike pedal better simply because the shock is too stiff to move), the Gila T4 fork is marshmallow soft, bottoming out off just about any root, rut or paperclip. It wouldn't be a bad idea to upgrade the RST fork with a Manitou Black or RockShox Judy (even one that's a few seasons old).
>> Four-bar linkage steel/aluminum suspension frame
>> RST 22 3.5-in.-travel shock
>> RST Gila T4 3-in.-travel fork
>> Shimano Acera shifters and derailleurs
>> Shimano Acera 24-speed drivetrain
>> TruVativ X-Flow crankset
>> Tektro IO mechanical disc brakes
>> Alex DM-18 rims with Formula disc hubs
>> Hutchinson Mosquito 2.0-in. tires
>> True Technologies bar, stem and post
This Bike Rules: For weekenders who need a sturdy suspension bike that's efficient enough to pedal for a few hours at a time.
Forget It If: You're more advanced than an occasional rider and you need a bike.
Weight: 36.26 lb.
Sizes: S, M (tested), L
Contact: 877-268-2430; www.mongoose.com