Mongoose Revolution: seat & handlebar setup?

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B Yen

I have 3 mountain bikes:

- Trek 850 ($500 bike I got in '84, hard nose + hard tail)
- Honda $99 fully-suspended bike (from K-mart recently)
- Mongoose Revolution for $109 (from SportChalet recently, regularly $179)

I went with the Honda since I got stuck a long way from home last December & needed a ride back. It
doesn't look cheapish like the other ~$100 suspended bikes you see at Target, etc.

I finally put in some miles (11) on the Mongoose. The seat is propped way higher (vs the Honda),
because of that built-in suspension system (extra height) -- my toes barely touch the ground. The
handlebars are set real low (the Honda has an upward curve in the handlebars, it's "raised"). I
found riding it really UNCOMFORTABLE. In my college days (I rode practically every day from age 12
to 26, never drove a car regularly until age
29), I had a 3-speed where I often sat straight up, & had one arm on the handlebar for steering. I
admit, this is casual riding (comfort)..good daily exercise. I still don't see how people can
ride 10-speeds (with racing handlebars, set real low)..comfortably!!! You're always hunched
over..then you're head has to be cocked up, doesn't that put a lot of strain on your neck? With
the Mongoose, I had prop myself up on my fingertips on the handlebar..ugh.

Right after the 11 mile ride in the Mongoose (I haven't ridden in years, only sporadic rides in the
Trek 850 to get auto parts, when my car is down), I felt a bit winded. Then, I took out the Honda
for a "fit"..I could immediately tell the "feel & fit" was better: the seat was *lower* & handlebars
*higher*. I took it for a spin around the area for 15 minutes. Overall, it was a better ride than
the Mongoose..comfort-wise However, I felt some strain near my knees. Is this because of the
mushiness in the rear-suspension?

Here is a response from my original inquiry a few months back:

Unfortunately, it will break with you on it. eating stem, or extricating seat tube from your bowels,
will teach you more about your own biomechanics than the bicycle.

the doubleboingers are no fun on pavement. They squirm and bounce and wiggle. You're better off with
the hardtail, or better, hard- ass, hard-nose solid frame. efficiency. Strength. cheapness. Ask the
millions of Flying Pigeon owners the world over!


I.e., am I experiencing the Laws of Physics "to every action there is an equal opposite reaction".
When I'm pedaling, the rear suspension is "kicking back", & that's why my knees are aching?

Setup of HandleBars & Seat:

from rec.bicycles.misc:
> > I've read over and over here, "Make sure the frame fits you." Most shops I go to say I should
> > get a 19" frame. Other that that, what should I look for in "fit"? Realize that I'm a newbie,
> > and don't have much "frame of reference" to judge. I think I'll be consigned to just trust that
> > my bike shop owner will give me the "best fit" from "what he has in stock" and "my little ride
> > around the parking lot." But that doesn't sound too reliable. <Sigh>
> Actually, this is just what you should do. As long as you're getting the basic frame size that's
> correct, you can do some adjusting to fine-tune it. The saddle can be moved fore-aft a couple of
> inches, and raised/lowered to fit you perfectly. You can swap the stem for a different one
> (shorter, longer, taller, etc). Different handlebars will make a big difference in fit. It's all
> adjustable. Generally, stock stems are chosen to provide the best possible steering "feel", so
> varying the stem length will affect handling. It's better to find a bike that feels "right" when
> you ride it. During your test rides, try doing some difficult balancing maneuvers. Try hanging off
> the back of the saddle, pretending to go downhill, and see how it feels to you. Pop a wheelie. See
> if you can take the bike off-road a bit and test the fore/aft balance and general handling. You
> will notice a difference between bikes.

My butt ached after the ride, even with the suspended seat. (the fact that I haven't ridden in a
long time is probably also a factor). Do those gel seat covers really work?

The LBS told me about some raised handlebars, but reminded me the existing cables may not have
enough extension. I get the feeling the Mongoose was setup for *REAL* mtn biking, where the rider
is really bent over. I even saw a mtn bike at the parking lot, where the guy turned up the
side-bars so they were almost other people are having issues with the comfort problem
for street riding like me. (the LBS told me the side-bars turned up like that could be dangerous if
one fell on it)

I think my 1st step is to get a lower seat (right now it's way too high!), I could live with the low
handlebars. It could be raised a little with a new set of raised handlebars, without the cable
length being a problem.

I will say the Honda fully-suspended bike is great going over speed-bumps (for the Trek 850 or
Mongoose, I have to lift off the seat). I'm beginning to see what people are saying: the Honda is
just a toy for basic street riding, & at that.. not very efficient. It's amazing how the mfrs can
"clone" such a nice looking bike for so cheap!!

"People don't buy good products, they buy good marketing" -- business saying

"If you can't make it good, make it look good" -- Bill Gates, Microsoft

As a newbie to mountain bikes circa 2003, I certainly fell for the "looks" & "marketing".

I only went with it, since I needed a quick ride home AND I always felt paranoid of having my Trek
850 stolen. (I just need a cheapo bike to get me around town). Like another guy was saying, the
Honda will kill me for rides over 20 miles..the extra energy lost due to inefficiency will add up.

I couldn't pass up the Mongoose, it looks decent & it was only ~$100

I have to echo what Jeff Wills said:

In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Jeff
Wills) wrote:

> "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:<[email protected]>...
> > What's with the hype about aluminum?
> <snip>
> >
> > I was talking with a store manager at a big-name bike shop fairly recently about this very
> > topic, and she agreed with me that it's all marketing hype. We both agreed that we preferred the
> > classic, sleek look and ride qualities of steel tubed road bikes. Thankfully, they're still
> > being produced. We compared one of the heavy aero-tubed aluminum road bikes to a simple,
> > lightweight Fuji CrMo steel road bike. The steel bike was cheaper and had better components,
> > too. Yet the aluminum bikes were selling like hotcakes..
> All I gotta say is that bikes are 500 times better than they were 20 years ago when I was working
> in the local Schwinn shop.
> Recently, one of my friends was shopping for a donor bike for a recumbent project. He found a
> road bike at Toys 'R' Us- and it turned out to be such a sweet deal that he and another friend
> ended up buying
> 4.
> It had: aluminum frame (an apparent Trek clone) Shimano Sora cranks and derailleurs 700C Weinmann
> rims and a variety of no-name Taiwan parts.
> All this at a close-out price of $99! That's less than what the bottom of the line Schwinns were
> going for when I was selling them!
> Granted, the bike only came in one size, and the bottom bracket self-destructed in a matter of
> weeks, but it's a remarkably servicable bike for a minimal cost. He's been riding one (the one
> that wasn't stripped for parts) for a couple months and threatening to enter some local criteriums
> just to annoy the guys who pay $100 or more for their tires.
> Dang, I gotta get out and ride.
> Jeff

Here's my original inquiry:
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