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Worth bothering with?

Old 02-01-15, 09:59 AM
  #1  
FarHorizon
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Worth bothering with?

So I picked up this "Mongoose" hybrid at a yard sale yesterday for $10. The only reason I consider it is because it FITS me and the frame seems better than the usual "welded water pipe" stuff. My plan for this is to put a 7-speed Nexus internal hub wheel (from another 26" bike) on the rear and replace the steel triple crank with a single-speed crankset from the parts bin.

So is this bike worth fooling with, or should I donate it to the local bike co-op & wait for something better?







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Old 02-01-15, 10:15 AM
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What's not to like?

Looks mid-90's to me. ChroMoly frame. Interesting color. Attachments for mud guards and a rear rack. Make a great commuter bike, at minimum.
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Old 02-01-15, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
What's not to like?

Looks mid-90's to me. ChroMoly frame. Interesting color. Attachments for mud guards and a rear rack. Make a great commuter bike, at minimum.
Same
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Old 02-01-15, 10:21 AM
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Factor in how much fun you have messing with stuff. This bike seems a pretty clear canvas to me, you can do whatever you want with it. I've had far more fun tweaking builds like this than I have more conservative, run of the mill builds.
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Old 02-01-15, 10:38 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. Since it fits so well, I'll fool with it. Now the question of tire sizing... The Nexus 7 wheel currently is shod with 26 x 1.50 tires, the Mongoose with 26 x 1.95. According to Mr. Sheldon Brown's site, they might have a chance of being interchangeable. I'd like to use the Nexus wheel, but retain the Mongoose knobby tire (at least, in the rear). I don't ride off road, but the streets here are bad enough that it's essentially a similar thing.

I'll post "before & after" photos of the rebuild.
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Old 02-01-15, 11:40 AM
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Looks good, but look closely at both sides of the canti brakes, if the side with the adjuster screw has the screw threading directly into the plastic spring cover. They usually crack, which leaves the brake pulling to one side as all return spring tension is lost on one side.

I'm a big fan of early 1990's, 7-speed Shimano price-point mtbs, for their robustness. I usually trend a couple of years older than this one, but if any critical plastic parts on brakes/derailer are simply replaced with metal, all is good.

Bikes like this one are not so attractive to thieves, so if you ride and park in the city it would seem especially appropriate for such duty.
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Old 02-01-15, 12:10 PM
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Thanks, @dddd - I'll check all plastic parts carefully. Here's the "before" photo...

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Old 02-01-15, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Since it fits so well, I'll fool with it. Now the question of tire sizing... The Nexus 7 wheel currently is shod with 26 x 1.50 tires, the Mongoose with 26 x 1.95. According to Mr. Sheldon Brown's site, they might have a chance of being interchangeable. I'd like to use the Nexus wheel, but retain the Mongoose knobby tire (at least, in the rear). I don't ride off road, but the streets here are bad enough that it's essentially a similar thing.

I'll post "before & after" photos of the rebuild.
Why wouldn't a 26x1.5 tire be inter changeable with a 26x1.95 tire? I think the trouble is trying to use 26x1. whatever on 26x 1 3/8" sheels or vice versa.

BTW with 26" wheels that seems more like a lower end MTB rather than a Hybrid.
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Old 02-01-15, 12:34 PM
  #9  
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What saddle is that?
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Old 02-01-15, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Looks good, but look closely at both sides of the canti brakes, if the side with the adjuster screw has the screw threading directly into the plastic spring cover. They usually crack, which leaves the brake pulling to one side as all return spring tension is lost on one side.

Bikes like this one are not so attractive to thieves, so if you ride and park in the city it would seem especially appropriate for such duty.
+1 Decent frame and fork, cheap components, upgrades are inexpensive.

The plastic caliper spring retainers are unobtanium. Just get a new set of Altus or Tektro cantis, $10 per wheel. They include brake pads too, so cheaper than getting Kool Stops.

BTW, that's an MTB as it has 26" rims. Your proposed wheel swap should be fine.
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Old 02-01-15, 12:37 PM
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I'd agree that it was intended as a cheap (cheap!) MTB, originally. Per Mr. Brown's writeup, I'm aware that a 26 x 1 is probably not interchangeable with a 26 x 1.50 tire. But even within the decimal-sized tires, Mr. B indicates that there may (or may not be) compatibility. Since both rims have decimal-sized tires on them currently, it's at least worth trying. The other question, of course is rim width. The narrower rim may (or may not) handle the wider rubber without issue. Going to the wider tire (on a rim that previously had a narrower one) immediately cautions me that the sidewall pressure rating on the tire itself is probably no longer valid. I've split a rim before by using the sidewall pressure of the tire as a guide...

I want the bike as a city bike / commuter with a fairly upright riding stance. I may take it out on weekends for an occasional 50-miler, but it will mostly be the daily-ride alternate bike. The 26" wheels do appeal to me since I have a bike for my wife (which she's decided that she won't ride) that has a Nexus 7 speed hub. I'd like to put that hub to use, so I'll swap wheels with her & put the derailleur on her (unused) bike.

We'll see...
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Old 02-01-15, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
What saddle is that?

It's a cheap imitation via eBay of a Brooks. It has the front hoop of the B135, but the rear springs of a B67. It didn't come with this bike. It had a Schwinn seat with the stuffing coming out when I bought it.
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Old 02-01-15, 12:39 PM
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Does the frame have horizontal dropouts, or vertical? If horizontal, go for it. If vertical, pass.

26 x 1.5, 1.75, 2.05, whatever as long as it's with a decimal point, you should be fine. If there's a fraction involved, then it's not going to work.
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Old 02-01-15, 12:40 PM
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As the Nexus hub is not all that old, it would highly unlikely come with an old 3 speed 26 rim, but a MTB rim. Just use a cloth tape or string and wrap about both rims.
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Old 02-01-15, 12:42 PM
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I would put a new chain on it and ride it. It looks good to me!
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Old 02-01-15, 12:47 PM
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Thanks all - The Nexus wheel is from a contemporary bike (unknown date, but probably within the past decade).

The frame has horizontal dropouts with some good travel room, so fitting the Nexus should be easy. The frame, being steel, should be easy to cold-set if needed, but I'm expecting the Nexus hub to be a perfect fit for the dropouts. So, hopefully, no bending is required.

The paint on the Mongoose is actually in pretty good shape, and considering the reputation of Mongoose, I think that no self-respecting thief will be interested. It should be perfect for the intended use.
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Old 02-01-15, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon View Post
The paint on the Mongoose is actually in pretty good shape, and considering the reputation of Mongoose, I think that no self-respecting thief will be interested. It should be perfect for the intended use.
Based on the parts and graphics I'm guessing this bike is from around 1991 to 1995. This is before Mongoose ran in to financial difficulty, got bought out, and started having most of their bikes made in China/sold at Wal-Mart. An educated thief will know what it is and realize the frame is definitely worth your investment of time.
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Old 02-01-15, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon View Post
...and considering the reputation of Mongoose, I think that no self-respecting thief will be interested. It should be perfect for the intended use.
Also, he spies the Nexus hub and says, "Hmmm, I bet I could get a $80 for that wheel on CL."
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Old 02-01-15, 06:35 PM
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I've had one of those. Decently light frame and worth the reputation that Mongoose had before they went to the dark side. Rode the heck out of mine in many different configurations,I remember it was a 93 model.
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Old 02-01-15, 08:04 PM
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I have a 92 Giant Butte...ahem...pronounced "Beaut" as in beautiful lol. Got it in 1997 at the recycling center of all places. Has the Shimano GS 200 system on it and not a thing about it has ever failed me, with the exception of the ribbing because of it's name. Not sure what the folks at Giant were thinking with that.
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Old 02-01-15, 08:33 PM
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Should make a very useful bike
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Old 02-01-15, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
I've had one of those. Decently light frame and worth the reputation that Mongoose had before they went to the dark side. Rode the heck out of mine in many different configurations,I remember it was a 93 model.
I am still riding the Crossway 450 we did the frame swap a few years ago. I agree that in this era Mongoose made a a pretty decent bike. I think every winter since I have had it I have changed it a bit.

First it was drops.


Then mustache bar.


Last year it was back to drops and large 700c tires.This winter I went to a straight bar.
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Old 02-01-15, 09:12 PM
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Thanks for sharing - @KOBE - Cool bike!
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Old 02-02-15, 07:34 AM
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Not bad, Kobe ! I remember when you showed up in the thread with that 450 built up. Looks like it continues to be a stunner and useful bike !

Hope the new owner of the switchback gets as much fun out of his bike. Both the Trek and 'goose I sent on to our bike give-away program in Greensboro eventually. Good bikes and great cause.

Still remember bombing around on the goose as a 1x7 as a pit bike at the Carolina Cup.
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