Episode 178. Mongoose Crossway 100. (part 1).

 Over the years I have had several Mongoose bikes, all with the intent of riding one myself, however until now there has always been something that has stopped me from riding one. The problem is usually that it's been a BMX type bike,and therefore too small. However I have had a few Mongoose mountain bikes which for some reason or another always seem to get sold before I get to ride them.

Back in January of this year I bought a small joblot of bicycle projects and amoungst that lot was this frame.

I'll be honest, it did also have forks, but they were so bent I put them straight in the bin. I figured that I would just hang on to the frame until either I got tired of looking at it, or I managed to find a pair of forks that would work on it. The problem was that although I had a few forks in my collection none of them would work because of the length of the head tube on the Mongoose, and the shape that the fork crown would need to be to match up with the frame. However, the other day when I collected the X-Rated Mesh from the fella with the biggest selection of bikes I'd ever seen I noticed that there was a frame poking out of his skip, this one...

Seeing the forks hanging out I went over to investigate. It turned out to be a Trek FX 7.3, I pulled it from the skip figuring that as I was buying enough bikes to fill the bed of my Navara pick up, and this thing was in the skip already I would get it for free. Well, that was not the case, and it cost me another £5, however this did atleast mean that I probably had the forks I needed to repair my Mongoose. Now before I go on you may well be asking yourself why I didn't just keep looking for forks for the Mongoose, and turn the Trek back into a bike? Well...

To put it lightly the Trek frame was müllered! Somehow the frame had cracked all the way around the down tube where it joins to the bottom bracket. Yet I still had to give the fella a fiver for it! I will be glad when the tip near me re-opens to sell stuff again! 

Anyway, back home I decided to try the forks on the Mongoose. Despite the original Mongoose forks being threaded, and the Trek forks being threadless they did go into the head tube OK, I'll admit that it would've been better is the steerer tube was longer, but it isn't, and the stem went on OK so that'll work for me. With the forks on the Mongoose I set about transferring everything from the broken Trek frame onto the Mongoose frame. I also swapped the crank from the Trek onto the Mongoose as the Mongoose had a single cog on the crank, and the Treck had three. This also meant that I needed to put a front mechanism on the seat tube, however the seat tube on the Trek was a larger diameter than the seat tube on the Mongoose. I thought about having rummage through my stash for a front meachansim with the right diameter clamp on it to suit the Mongoose. But because I was feeling lazy, and I could see my tube cutter on the top of my tool box I had another idea. Why not cut a chunk out of the broken Trek frame and use it as a spacer between the Trek front Mechanism, and the Mongoose frame? It made sense to me, and before long I'd chopped a chunk out of the Trek frame, and was using it to bolt on the front mechanism, it worked well I thought, and so that's how it's gonna stay! Before long I was rummaging through my stash for a pair of 700C wheels to suit. Unfortunately for me I only had a pair with a seven speed block on the back wheel which meant I couldn't use the brake and gear shifter mechanism from the Trek as it was for an eight speed block. So back to rummaging through my stash until a seven speed shifter mechanism was located. With the new mechanism switched in, wheels fitted, tyres pumped up, and brakes adjusted it was ready for a test ride.

I've got to say that despite the fact that I threw this thing together in my lounge this afternoon while Mrs Clint was out, it rides pretty good. It feels quite fast and it glides along the road. I think the top tube is quite a bit longer than most bikes, and despite me feeling a little more stretched out over it that usual it was quite a comfortable ride. One thing that I really did like was the grips that I had transferred from the Trek...

I've seen bikes with grips like this before, but I think this is the first one I've ever ridden. I'll be honest, I never really give the grips much more thought than does that colour grip suit my bike? But I guess that grips play a major role in your bike’s comfort and handling. After all, they are one of only three places that your body makes contact with the bike. These ergonomically designed grips feature a ‘wing’ or flat rounded section that sticks out to provide additional support for your hand and wrist. The goal of the design is to encourage you to hold your wrist in a natural and healthy position. The idea being that they prevent numbness of hand on long rides and reduce instances of hand fatigue or exerting additional pressure on the wrists. Well I don't know about that yet, but I think they were noticeably more comfortable using these mountain bike grips for a sustained period than my regular round grips. I'm thinking that I may well have to invest in a few more pairs of these for my other junkers!

So where do I go from here? Is it a keeper? Well I don't know, but I don't think so, or atleast not yet. I am going to keep it for a little while though, more because it's the first Mongoose I've ever had that I could ride more than anything. But at this point in time it's good, but not as good as I think it should, or could be. There are improvements to be made. I've not yet got the gears dialled in perfectly, and it slips out of gear form time to time. Also, the back wheel, its got quite a buckle to it, and not only drags the brakes, but I think it's also slightly oval too, so I think that's going to need looking at, or more likely replacing. But once thats done I think it'll be pretty good, and my feeling is that I may well ride it for the Summer, then come September think about setting it free so that someone else can have a go with it. But that being said I'm only one ride in so far, so I guess I'll have to wait and see how much I enjoy riding it once I've got it as good as I think I can make it ride.

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