Mongoose Rockadile review£200.00

Cruiser styling meets mountain bike performance at a budget price

BikeRadar score4/5Find prices on Bicycle Blue Book

If it wasn't for the cheap bits around it, it would be hard to guess the price of the Mongoose Rockadile. A well-shaped reinforcing gusset supports the throat of the frame and all the welds are very neat.

Chassis

To find out how much you can get from a bike at this price we raced the Rockadile at last summer's Bristol Bikefest a 12 hour event on one of the most technically demanding courses in the UK. With it's short, upright position, the Rockadile is set up for taking in the view, not hunting down the rider in front. However good tyres and low overall weight make it easy to lunge round at any overtaking opportunity. If you accept there's no room for a racing crouch, and sit up to get your breathing space, it actually climbs pretty well too.

Equipment

This smirking cockiness did nearly kill us on the descents though, where the initially smooth fork response rapidly revealed its explosive rebound character. We were thrown completely off line several times, and with a lot of steering slur in the fork, we were damn lucky not to eat trail big time.

Obviously we were pushing the bike way beyond its intended limit though, and overall we really enjoyed each lap on the 'Goose. It's certainly more comfy and refined-feeling than we expected at this price, with the generously padded saddle offsetting the relatively narrow tyres.

The V brakes are a bit soft but stop sharply enough in the dry. Expect anchoring results to be a bit more random once the rims get wet or dirty, though. The Kenda tyres are loosely based on a classic IRC design and grip much better off-road than the centre ridge tyres common at this price.

Verdict

Kickstanding proudly in the start field with its short, upright position, a lot of folk passed the Mongoose off as a joke. The number we passed not long after proved there's a proper bike at the heart of this friendly cruiser though. Lack of disc features is a pain upgrade wise and the fork isn't great, but it's comfy and surprisingly fast and responsive on the singletrack

©BikeRadar 2007.

 

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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