Mongoose Outer Limit Freestyle Bike

2 ratings (2 Epinions reviews)
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

Not bad for a "starter" bike

Jun 15, 2006 (Updated Aug 13, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Price; good balance; easy for a kid to operate

Cons:Horrible brakes; flimsy overall construction

The Bottom Line: It's inexpensive and looks great, but the brakes are bad and the bike just feels cheap.


A couple of months ago, my nine-year-old son decided it was high time he learned to ride a bicycle. He saw one he wanted and, upon learning it would only set me back about $80, I figured what the heck. Of course, we wound up with s new, blue Mongoose "Outer Limit" BMX bike. Honestly, this isn't a bad bicycle, but I don't figure it will last long.

Perhaps my sense of perspective is off by more than just a bit. Way on back in 1978, I decided I needed something newer than that faithful Schwinn Stingray that had served me well for a couple of years. I wound up pestering my parents until they bought me a Schwinn Mag Scrambler that cost around $200 and was all the rage back then. I beat the living hell out of that Schwinn and, in fact, it wasn't an uncommon site to see my bike sliding down the street with me behind it. My friends and I spent a lot of time making ramps and jumping over them, flying down backwoods trails and generally abusing our bicycles on a daily basis. That Schwinn never gave me a minute of trouble.

I'm afraid I can't say the same about my son's Mongoose. After having it about a month, we had to take it to a bike shop here in town to get the chain fixed (one of the connecting pins vanished) and repair the brakes. The sad truth is, that Mongoose just isn't all that durable. I figure that's to be expected as this the Mongoose is inexpensive and my standards might be too high -- the Mongoose was built in China with an emphasis on looks, whereas my Schwinn was manufactured in Chicago (remember when Americans made things?) and held up like a top of the line bicycle should. You do get what you pay for, I suppose.

And, the Mongoose sure does have a certain look that my son finds appealing. It looks, well, like a BMX bike with some grippy tires, durable pegs on the front and back for tricks and such and it's a nice, shiny shade of blue. The balance on the bicycle is quite good and my son was able to fly around the neighborhood after practicing on it for only a few days. Furthermore, he's able to get it up to a good speed without a lot of effort and the bicycle is light enough at less than 40 pounds for him to manage it quite easily. Furthermore, the frame and everything else has held up in spite of his initial "training period" during which he spent more time lying in the street than riding on his bicycle.

In other words, this bicycle is a great first bike because it's easy for a kid to pedal it and it's balanced well. In that regard, this was a good purchase.

Of course, there are some problems with the Mongoose. The most obnoxious thing is that the brakes are terrible. Instead of a good, solid coaster brake, the Mongoose is equipped with hand brakes. That wouldn't be a problem, but the brakes are pretty cheap and are prone to fail. The front set isn't that bad, but the back one is tricky. That's a huge concern as a kid ought to be able to crank on those brakes and have the bike stop. The back brakes failed on my son after he'd had the bicycle less than a month, so he wound up stopping with his front brakes and almost flew over the handlebars a couple of times. The back brakes are now repaired to their original condition, but that's not real comforting -- they didn't stop the bike all that well when they were new. Heh. Instead of "brakes" they're more properly called "breaks."

Also, the seat is covered with a thin, vinyl material that rips easily and there's a plastic chain guard that tends to break. The back and front reflectors just kind of fell off at various points.

Fortunately, the handlebars are easy to adjust as is the seat. That's great news, of course, because a boy needs to have his handlebars tilted forward a bit as he grows and the seat needs to be raised, too.

In terms of specifications, this bike is a simple as can be. Naturally, we're talking about a one-speed bicycle with no suspension to speak of and a 20" frame. Fortunately, the wheels spin freely and a child can start this bike off without much effort as it is easy to pedal.

All in all, this was a fine bicycle for my son to start out on, but I know it will have to be replaced sooner or later because it just won't hold up to rough treatment. My boy has never been gentle with his toys or anything else, so I doubt he'll exercise much care when it comes to his bicycle. That's to be expected from a bike that cost $80 so that's not a huge deal. What is a problem, however, is that the brakes are terrible and have to be maintained regularly (there's a feeling of accomplishment -- "Yeah, son. Your brakes aren't horrible anymore. I've fixed them so now they're just terrible! Have fun, kid!") That's just downright dangerous and completely inexcusable.


Recommend this product? Yes


Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Mongoose Theme Boy's 20 Freestyle Bike Multi 20 in.

Mongoose Theme Boy's 20 Freestyle Bike Multi 20 in.

Have some fun riding around or trying some tricks with the Mongoose 20 Freestyle Bike. On the road or on the trail this rugged bike is designed to han...
Sears

$152.99

+$19.95 shipping
18 Mongoose Switch Boys' Freestyle Bike, Black

18 Mongoose Switch Boys' Freestyle Bike, Black

The 18 Mongoose Switch Boys' Freestyle Bike has a scaled-down BMX frame for little rippers to get their start at riding like the pros. Training wheels...
Walmart.com

$89.97

FREE Shipping
Mongoose Spinn Freestyle Bike (20-Inch)

Mongoose Spinn Freestyle Bike (20-Inch)

The 20-Inch Mongoose Spinn is a single speed freestyle bike designed for tricks featuring a reinforced frame, micro drive gearing , 48 spoke alloy whe...
Sears Marketplace
Mongoose Girls Posh 20 Freestyle Bike- White/Blue

Mongoose Girls Posh 20 Freestyle Bike- White/Blue

Find bikes and cycles at Target.com! Who said bmx is just for the boys? Get out there girl! This bike can keep up with them no problem. The posh is a ...
Target

$109.99

FREE Shipping
Mongoose R1362 20 Scan R40 Freestyle Bike in Matte Crimson R1362

Mongoose R1362 20 Scan R40 Freestyle Bike in Matte Crimson R1362

Designed with the aspiring freestyle rider and Mongoose heritage in mind, the Scan R40 is ready for riders to practice their next big trick just like ...
HomeClick

$175.54

FREE Shipping
Mongoose 20 Unisex Scan R10 Freestyle Bike (R1356A)

Mongoose 20 Unisex Scan R10 Freestyle Bike (R1356A)

Rip up the streets on the Mongoose Scan R10 unisex freestyle bike. Built around a lightweight freestyle frame in steel, it features front and rear cal...
Sports Authority

$149.99

FREE Shipping
20 Mongoose Mode 100 Boys' Freestyle Bike

20 Mongoose Mode 100 Boys' Freestyle Bike

The 20 Mongoose Bike Mode 90 is a good choice for the young BMX rider who is just starting out. This one-speed bike has a steel freestyle frame, a bra...
Walmart.com

$97.97

FREE Shipping
Bmx Bike Mongoose Silver Freestyle Hollow Bolt Stem

Bmx Bike Mongoose Silver Freestyle Hollow Bolt Stem

NOS BMX Bike Mongoose Silver Freestyle Hollow Bolt Stem Description: You are buying a NOS Vintage Frontload Mallet Style Freestyle Stem with a Hollow ...
eBay

$14.99

+$6.95 shipping
Mongoose 20 inch Scan R70 Freestyle Bike Boys Matte Tan

Mongoose 20 inch Scan R70 Freestyle Bike Boys Matte Tan

Mongoose 20 inch Scan R70 Freestyle Bike Boys Matte Tan
Toys R Us

$269.99

+$15.99 shipping
Mongoose Boys 20 SCAN R10 Freestyle Bike R1356A

Mongoose Boys 20 SCAN R10 Freestyle Bike R1356A

The Mongoose SCAN R10 is the perfect freestyle bike to do tricks and grinds.
BabyAge

$121.49

+$6.49 shipping