Ive done just under 100 miles on this as well as the Deception 29er, and then I returned the latter, keeping the XR-PRO 29er knowing the extra $160 was well spent. I liked the Deception, and think its a great value, and frankly, other than the horrible (but good looking) seat as well as the twist shifters, I would have used it until things needed replacing. The XR-PRO raised the bar substantially however, in almost everyway.
First, its a great looking bike, with no tubular sections (other than the seat post) and the frame mirrors current upper end bike design. The aluminum frame is heat treated, and the bike weighs an acceptable 38.4 pounds.
The shifters are SRAM X-4 which are excellent. The fork has 113mm of travel and is a Suntour XCT V3, the crankcase is also Suntour XCT V2, as well as the headset. The stem is a beefy ZOOM 90mm affair slightly angled at 10 degrees. The bars are a very nice and wide 680mm, the brakes typical PROMAX both being 160mm with what I think are the same calipers as Big D but different handles (they are labeled Carbon XL with a fake carbon inset...grrr). The sadle is WTB SpeedV and may not need replacing, which is unusual, as its acceptable if not really comfortable. The rear suspension is just a spring, but you can get a shock in the aftermarket for $40 and up. The tires are Innova 29 x 1.95 and while the front will take larger, there is not a whole lot of room outback. Maybe a quarter inch to each side; maybe more. The wheels are 32H flat profile affairs (in contrast to the 29er Genesis's V profile rims) on Quandry hubs with QRs by the same company. The pedals are on many WalMart bikes (common set).
It would be nice to have a Rockshox Recon and Juicy brakes, but those equal the price of the total bike! The componennt are just good enough to get by with, and the shifters better than most. I may put s Dart 3 and a SID rear shock I have and see how she does, but out of the box she is very liveable for XC, trails and asphalt. Ive put her over some roots and large holes that used a over 100mm of the front fork and it did better than i expected. My hardtails cant do what this one does without getting out of shape. Actually, at the price, this is a blast to ride and while I have many other bikes to ride, I generally take this one now. It has handled everything Ive thrown at it so far, but I expect the tires and wheels are the weakest points and so I will look to upgrade those soon.
I want to point out that the frame is a 17 inch, and so you will likely use much of the seatpost if tall. I am 6 ft 3 and 240 pounds and Im near the end of the 420 length, with enough in the tube for safety. Shorter riders should do fine on this bike as well. If serious about MB, consider a better fork when this one wears out and a rear shock, and do the same with the wheels and tires if not sooner on the latter. Ill update when I put some larger rubber on the back.
The design looks fantastic. The graphics are understated and ironically the mongoose moniker is "scribbled" out as part of the design. Please note that the final production bike reaching US shores if slightly different in the rear suspension than that pictured on this website. The fulcrums are now different with cutouts and the fake reservoir is now, thankfully, gone. Dont worry, as its all improvements in my opinion.
I love this bike. Its a great ride. I can turn off the asphalt and not worry about whats in my path as with a hardtail. Makes for faster and longer rides. I try to do 6-12 miles everyday. Its a 29er and its FS, and thats special, especially given the low price. If you are a big person, the wide bars will also feel terrific.
Ill be replacing the wheels, tires, then the rear spring (with a rock shox shock), and eventually the front fork (DART, TORA or RECON). True, I already have these parts in my garage, but ebay has good offerings from time to time also. Better grips might be in order also. Ill see how the frame holds up, but it actually looks outstanding, and thoughts of a racier paint job already fill my head..lol. Truthfully, its very fun now (stock), and Id recommend it very highly! Its just that the price allows you some room to play with. Very happy with Big D (Deception); just love the XR-PRO even more. I ride it all the time now!