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Thoughts after 10 days owning a Montague Paratrooper Pro 2016

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Thoughts after 10 days owning a Montague Paratrooper Pro 2016

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Old 03-27-16, 09:53 AM
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catalancyclist
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Thoughts after 10 days owning a Montague Paratrooper Pro 2016

Hi there!

It has been about 10 days since I received my Montague Paratrooper Pro 2016 (20" frame) per post, as the offically recommended dealers were just too far away from me.

I just wanted to share my experience so far and see whether anybody has had a similar one. I addressed Montague with some of the issues below 10 days ago through the contact form in their webpage, but haven't heard from them since. Hence my need to reach out and see if I am the only one or whether I just had bad luck.
  1. Ordering

    Easy peasy via telephone. Good commercial agents, answered all my questions and cleared a number of my doubts.

  2. Shipping

    My bike was shipped with "FedEx Ground Shipping Services", which was a bit unfortunate, as it was shipped from near Seattle all the way to the east coast of the USA, taking ~7 days altogether. Well, not ideal, but also not that catastrophic. Shipping was $70.

  3. Assembly and adjustment

    In their user manual, page 21, they claim that the bike "was assembled and tuned in the factory and then partially disassembled for shipping", which is why I didn't really mind ordering per post.

    However, the story was different once I opened the box:

    - The front disk-brake calipers were closed so tight together that I was not able to mount the front wheel without loosening them (leading to posterior adjustment).

    - The front fork was mounted backwards, as one can tell from the fact that the fender was at the wrong side of the fork and that the front disk brake is at the wrong side:


    Made for a few laughs at the local bike shop I brought the bike to.

    - Initially, the chain was scratching the front derrailleur at a number of gears.

    - The back disk brakes calipers were very tight: you could hear a periodic friction if you spun the back wheel.

    I managed to correct some of the issues above (except for the frame), but ended up bringing it in to a local bike shop and having it checked. Also put a handle-bar-stem extender which gave me a slightly higher position for a more comfortable ride.

  4. Component quality

    Back in Europe I rode a KTM Ultra Fun, which was half the price of the Paratrooper Pro and had what felt like superior-quality components, in particular the disk brakes and the Shimano gear shifts.

    Today, after just 9-10 days of riding the bike, the front fender has decided to start jumping off at each bump, landing on the front tire and causing friction, noise, inconvenience, etc. Made me seriously consider the "military technology" selling argument

    I am gradually convincing myself that, at least in terms of bikes, "Made in Taiwan" (Montague) vs "Made in Austria" (KTM) does make a very substantial difference.

  5. Value for money

    I get it that I am paying for a foldable bike (which is what I was looking for), but had I known that this comes at the price of lower quality of service/components/adjustments I would have not bought it. Maybe I just had too high expectations after my KTM (which I insist was only half the price), but the experience has brought me dangerously close to the point of regret, I am only gradually moving away from it as I ride the bike and start enjoying it.

Anyway, let me know if you have faced any of these issues. I may have just had bad luck, but in any event I was not expecting any of the above in a $1000 bike. I hope I will not have any further issues with it, as I intend to keep the bike. It's very sturdy, surprisingly light for what I expected, foldable, has awesome looks, and the ride is great (except the front fender issue...).

Thanks for any feedback/experience you can contribute!

Cheers!
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Old 03-29-16, 05:04 AM
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Congratulations on the new bike! I too am looking at this bike (and couple of others :-)), 2016 seems got some big improvements. Your case may be just the vendor issue. Enjoy the bike.
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Old 03-29-16, 08:16 AM
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There are really two issues here: 1. Lack of proper dealer setup. 2. Whether $1K is an acceptable price considering same.

It's a huge liability to claim "tuned in the factory" and then find major issues - fork on backwards, brakes not adjusted, etc. One of two things is happening: 1. Not tuned at all, just assembled haphazardly, or 2. "Tuned" by someone not trained how to do so properly.

If you still like the bike and want to keep it, it would not be unreasonable to ask the dealer to reimburse you for the cost of proper setup at your bike shop, as the dealer claimed to do so as part of the terms of the sale. Then you would be made whole, have a decent bike and the lack of proper setup wouldn't be an issue.
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Old 03-29-16, 08:51 AM
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Years ago, (more than a decade), those bikes were sold as Mongoose bikes with a different paint job. I don't think they sold many.
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Old 03-29-16, 09:00 AM
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Just a single comment for your future consideration.

You say the fork was mounted backward, but that's not accurate.

The fork can rotate 360° in the frame and is prevented from doing so only by the handlebar and any attached cables. I'll venture that the bike was packed with the bars turned 90° so they were flat with the wheel. You mistakenly turned them back in the wrong direction, so they were now 180° from the original correct position. In the future, turn the fork in the correct direction first, making sure all the cables are free (spin the fork 360° if any cables are trapped under the frame), then once the fork is right, turn the bars to match.
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Old 03-31-16, 06:17 PM
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@nz6666 : the rack-stand is definitely a nice thing The front fender
sucks; yesterday I bought a replacement from another vendor. It's an
overall nice bike.

@bargainguy : jupp, it was my first time buying a bike without actually
having tried it. Never again The bike turned out fine; not as much as
I was expecting for $1000, but still quite acceptable. Now that some
days have passed and I am finally resonating with the bike, I am
actually enjoying it. The "tuned in factory" claim is just bollocks, as
I experienced. It actually sounds pretty reasonable to send the
adjustment bill to Montague. If in the weekend I can put myself in the
proper state of mind I will actually do that (only a bit difficult, as I
ended up signing for a reasonably affordable yearly maintenance plan but
I'll manage). Thanks for articulating the situation in more objective
terms than I was able to put it in!

@2manybikes : wasn't aware of that one! Thanks for the historical goodie.

@FBinNY : Indeed, the handlebar came rotated such that it was aligned
parallel to the frame. I noticed the front disk brake was at the wrong
side (handle bar correctly oriented) and I dont' recall being able to
rotate the fork freely. I of course cannot exclude doing something
stupid. In any event thanks for the feedback!
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Old 03-31-16, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
Years ago, (more than a decade), those bikes were sold as Mongoose bikes with a different paint job. I don't think they sold many.
I wouldn't mind seeing some evidence of that.. I've had a Montague Paratrooper for over a decade and have never heard they were sold as Mongoose bikes.. do you have any further info?
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Old 03-31-16, 11:07 PM
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catalancyclist - I like your handle, I'm sure there is a story behind it.

I can't understand why you would order this bike and it would be sent from Seattle. On the Montague website I did a dealer search, entering WA DC as my location and Collage Park Cycles, 7.3 miles away in Collage Park, Maryland, came up as the closest dealer. I don't know where you are in DC, but why didn't you check them out?

It sounds like you are on the path to getting this sorted out - I hope the best for your efforts.

I've never had a Montague but over the years have developed a positive opinion about their bikes.
Like Bruce, I have never heard of these bikes being sold as Mongoose and would like to know more about that but I confess to being skeptical.
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Old 04-01-16, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by DoubleDiamonDog View Post
catalancyclist - I like your handle, I'm sure there is a story behind it.

I can't understand why you would order this bike and it would be sent from Seattle. On the Montague website I did a dealer search, entering WA DC as my location and Collage Park Cycles, 7.3 miles away in Collage Park, Maryland, came up as the closest dealer. I don't know where you are in DC, but why didn't you check them out?

It sounds like you are on the path to getting this sorted out - I hope the best for your efforts.

I've never had a Montague but over the years have developed a positive opinion about their bikes.
Like Bruce, I have never heard of these bikes being sold as Mongoose and would like to know more about that but I confess to being skeptical.
This page has photos of the rim brake model Mongoose from years ago, and, the newer disc brake model. The rim brake was also sold under another name too, but, at the moment, I don't remember it. One of the car makers. Montague does the same thing as many retailers, they just resell an existing product.
The Mongoose ones I saw were orange, probably in the late 1980's to early 1990's.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...bike&FORM=IGRE

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Old 04-01-16, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
This page has photos of the rim brake model Mongoose from years ago, and, the newer disc brake model. The rim brake was also sold under another name too, but, at the moment, I don't remember it. One of the car makers. Montague does the same thing as many retailers, they just resell an existing product.
The Mongoose ones I saw were orange, probably in the late 1980's to early 1990's.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...bike&FORM=IGRE

Thanks for that ... one thing, the Mongoose disk brake version in your link is not a Montague Paratrooper clone as the frame folds in half and has rear suspension, unlike the Paratrooper frame that folds around the seat post and is a hardtail .. the other bike appears to be a rebadged Montague CX Comfort, and Mongoose called the model a CX Transport ... I appreciate you providing the additional info..
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Old 04-01-16, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by catalancyclist View Post
Back in Europe I rode a KTM Ultra Fun, which was half the price of the Paratrooper Pro and had what felt like superior-quality components, in particular the disk brakes and the Shimano gear shifts.
But then, it wasn't a folding bike… which is a much smaller market, without the economy of scale.

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Old 04-01-16, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
This page has photos of the rim brake model Mongoose from years ago, and, the newer disc brake model. The rim brake was also sold under another name too, but, at the moment, I don't remember it. One of the car makers. Montague does the same thing as many retailers, they just resell an existing product.
The Mongoose ones I saw were orange, probably in the late 1980's to early 1990's.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...bike&FORM=IGRE
Thanks for providing the info!
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Old 04-01-16, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
Thanks for that ... one thing, the Mongoose disk brake version in your link is not a Montague Paratrooper clone as the frame folds in half and has rear suspension, unlike the Paratrooper frame that folds around the seat post and is a hardtail .. the other bike appears to be a rebadged Montague CX Comfort, and Mongoose called the model a CX Transport ... I appreciate you providing the additional info..
I've never seen the disc brake ones, just thought I would mention it. The other one was a mongoose bike 20 years ago. It's not a rebadged Montague.
Both bikes were made by one of the bike frame makers probably. Possibly Giant.
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Old 04-01-16, 08:15 PM
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Here is the Hummer version.

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/73...f169adcb40.jpg
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Old 04-01-16, 08:22 PM
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The Hummer electric version.

http://g01.s.alicdn.com/kf/HTB12a35H...pg_200x200.jpg
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Old 04-01-16, 08:38 PM
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Ranger version

http://images.canadianlisted.com/nla...80_8526689.jpg
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Old 04-01-16, 08:49 PM
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And Bruce's e-Hummer

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Old 04-02-16, 07:46 AM
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Jupp, that was the one (except my particular model had the orange-white frame). The folding part is indeed the nice part, but it came at a cost, of course. I don't complain too much, though. After the initial adjustments, the Montague has become a very decent ride.
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Old 04-03-16, 05:11 PM
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Awesome links, @doubled iamondDog, @2manybikes , @BruceMetras ! Thanks!
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Old 04-03-16, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
And Bruce's e-Hummer
Oh, that ebike WORKS!!!
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Old 04-03-16, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
Oh, that ebike WORKS!!!
Thanks, I'm happy with the way it came out.. drivetrain is a BBS02 750w mid-drive running a 34t Race Face ring through a Sach 3x7 hub with a 6 speed 15/36 (9speed spaced cluster) with rapid fire SRAM trigger shifters .. so it climbs like a goat and has enough legs to run along in the mid 20's on the flats .. and the fold is uncompromised .. just installed flat bars in place of the stock riser bars... like it even better now...
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Old 04-04-16, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
Thanks, I'm happy with the way it came out.. drivetrain is a BBS02 750w mid-drive running a 34t Race Face ring through a Sach 3x7 hub with a 6 speed 15/36 (9speed spaced cluster) with rapid fire SRAM trigger shifters .. so it climbs like a goat and has enough legs to run along in the mid 20's on the flats .. and the fold is uncompromised .. just installed flat bars in place of the stock riser bars... like it even better now...
Noice!!! I think, for most of us, mid 20's on an ebike is more than sufficient. Especially since that Bafang mid drive is more of a torque beast. Hills get eaten up and spit out. Great job sir,...as ALWAYS!!!
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Old 04-30-16, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by catalancyclist View Post
The front fork was mounted backwards, as one can tell from the fact that the fender was at the wrong side of the fork and that the front disk brake is at the wrong side:
Almost all the bikes I build at the warehouse have their forks 'backwards';this allows them to fit in the boxes easier. The manufacturers are trying to use only one size of bike box to make palletizing easier,so 61's have to fit in the same size box as 42's. Exceptions are usually fat bikes and cruisers.
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Old 04-30-16, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DoubleDiamonDog View Post
I can't understand why you would order this bike and it would be sent from Seattle. On the Montague website I did a dealer search, entering WA DC as my location and Collage Park Cycles, 7.3 miles away in Collage Park, Maryland, came up as the closest dealer.
They prolly didn't have the one he wanted in stock,and it had to come from their warehouse. No shop has room for every size/color/model of bike they carry.
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Old 12-05-18, 11:51 PM
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Nice Ebike build on your Montague.

[QUOTE=BruceMetras;18656737]And Bruce's e-Hummer

What type of battery did you use in your build and where did you get that pack?






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