After 7 months of use here is the good, the bad, and the ugly about the 20" Mongoose Entrail BMX style bike...
The Good stuff:
- I like the cool metallic black cherry color of the bike
- 3-piece crank set (175mm length)
- Heavy duty aluminum pedals (instead of cheap plastic units)
- Heavy duty wheels that will not bend easily
- Heavy duty aluminum stem (gooseneck)
- Has a 'gyro' so you can spin the handle bars around in a circle and the brake cables will never get tangled up
- Aluminum hubs
- Aluminum hand brake levers (instead of cheap plastic units)
The not so good:
- Stiff brake levers
- Cheap plastic chain guard (broke shortly after purchase, but it is not really a necessity anyways)
- Left end of handlebars bent down a bit
- Not thrilled with the purple colored stem (gooseneck), pedals, hand brake levers, gears (sprockets), and hubs, but it's tolerable.
- It is a heavy bike, weighing almost 40 lbs.
- Cheap gears (It wont effect most operators, however small gears + short chain = somewhat costly to upgrade)
- Cheesy looking seat
Would I buy this same bike again?
For $124.00 out the door? Yes.
For $180.19 out the door for a child who just wants a bike to ride? Yes.
For $180.19 out the door for a child who is really into bikes or possibly wants to BMX race? I'd look for a pre-owned true BMX bike in the $130-180.00 range. I think you will get a lot more for your money.
The full details:
I bought this bike in the spring of 2011 for my 9 year old 70-lbs. son.
I purchased it for $124.00 shipped 'Site To Store' via Wal-Mart.com.
After assembly I noticed that the brake levers are very stiff. The gears/sprockets are very small diameter. An average rider likely will not care, but if you want to be able to have any adjust-ability in your gearing you will have to replace the front & rear gears to a more standard set. This will also means buying a new chain as the stock piece is VERY short due to such small diameter gears/sprockets.
Overall it is an extremely smooth riding bike and coasts great. He has put the bike through its paces and a few crashes over the past 7 months and it is still an fantastic shape. It has been used every day, some days more than others. The only flaw so far is the left side of the handlebar has bent down a bit. I have no idea how it happened and he didn't realize it was bent until I showed him. I think the bike is heavy at almost 40-lbs. With that said I really can't say enough good about this bike for the price I paid for it. It is set up as a freestyle/trick bike than a true BMX bike which accounts for the beefy wheels, footpegs, gyro, ...
I see the price is now $180.19 INCLUDING 6% MI sales tax online which makes this bike no longer a super deal in my opinion.
I think it's still a great bike for the money if you are intent on purchasing a brand new bike or someone who just wants to ride a bike. However if you have someone who is really into bikes and/or likes to work on them or might want to start racing and you don't mind buying pre-owned there are a lot of really nice gently used quality bikes in the $130-180.00 range that will have all the same major features and will likely have a nicer seat, seat post, handlebars, smoother operating brakes, and will certainly be a bit lighter. Depending on the intended or projected use one of those may be a better buy/smarter investment in the long term.
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