Mongoose Bikes - Interbike 2009

Oct 22, 2009
by Mike Levy  
Last year we had a chance to ride Mongoose's flagship DH bike, the Boot'r, and came away praising it as one of the best off the shelf big bikes that we've ever spent time on. While it always seems to be the DH bikes that get all the attention, Mongoose has an entire lineup of bikes that use the same great FreeDrive suspension. While in 'Vegas we took some time to check out two of their shorter travel bikes, the Pinn'r and the Nugget. The HammerSchmidt equipped Pinn'r is Mongoose's answer to the free ride question, while the fun looking Nugget is a 4" travel mischief machine that is ready for any trouble you want to get in.

Read on...

2010 Mongoose Pinnr

Mongoose had a bit of a sleeper hit last year with its longer travel DH and freeride machines. Flying under the radar but getting rave reviews from not only us here at Pinkbike, but also in print and on the racetrack, the bikes worked great despite the lack of flash that comes standard on some other company's machines. This year they have spiced up the entire range, especially the freeride oriented Pinn'r that we are looking at here. With some great graphics, a killer parts spec that Mongoose is becoming known for, and the same proven Freedrive suspension, the Pinn'r should never hold any rider back.

2010 Mongoose Pinnr
2010 Mongoose Pinnr

The Pinn'r is Mongoose's premiere freeride bike for 2010 and it looks very bit the part. With 190 mm of rear wheel travel and Rockshox's big legged Totem up front, there isn't a jump or drop that you should ever shy away from when on this bike. Utilizing the same much lauded Freedrive suspension as its bigger brother, the Boot'r, ensures that the green bike should excel at more than just the massive moves and skinny bridges that the bike is intended for.

The 1.5

The 1.5" headtube on the Mongoose Pinnr is complemented with a burly FSA Gravity headset

There are a lot of smart component choices on the Pinn'r that really show attention to detail. The I-Beam system has proven to not only be lighter than most, but also far simpler. Bonus points for the custom Mongoose seat cover as well. The rims are shod with my personal favorite tire, the Kenda Excavator, and are dual plys right off the showroom floor (why can't more companies do this?!). Mongoose has bolted on a HammerSchmidt crankset and it does seem a good choice for this type of bike. Cable routing is all set to go as well, no zip ties to hold on the HammerSchmidt housing on this bike. Green color accented components are sprinkled throughout to finish off a unique looking bike.

A stout front end

A stout front end

Mongoose has someone clever working on the graphics this year!

Mongoose has someone clever working on the graphics this year!

2010 Mongoose Pinn'r complete spec

FrameMongoose FreeDrive Free Ride 190 mm travel w/ 150mm Maxle dropouts
Rear ShockRock Shox Vivid 5.1 beginning and ending stroke rebound and preload adjust, 229x70 mm w/ 19x8 mm hardware
ForkRock Shox Totem IS 180mm travel, Motion Control IS damper with low speed compression and rebound adjust
HeadsetGravity 1/DX Pro
CrankarmsTruvativ Hammerschmidt FR
Bottom BracketTruvativ Hammerschmidt 83 mm
PedalsFUNN SolJam Viper
ChainKMC X9
CassetteSRAM PG-990 Cassette11-34T
Rear DerailleurSram X.0 custom green anodizing
Shifter PodSram
HandlebarFunn Fatboy triple butted AL7075 riser, 31.8x30x710 mm
StemFunn Rippa
GripsMongoose Lock on
BrakesAvid Elixir levers and Code 5 calipers, 203 mm front rotor, 185 mm rear rotor
Front WheelFormula 20 mm
Sun MTX-29
Rear WheelFormula 12/150 mm
Sun MTX-29
TiresKenda Excavator DH w/ Stick-E rubber 26X2.5
SaddleCustom Mongoose SDG Bel Air I-Beam
SeatpostSDG I-Beam 2014 alloy, 31.6x300

Cable routing for the HammerSchmidt crankset

Cable routing for the HammerSchmidt crankset

What is the "FreeDrive" suspension all about? Before you break out the abacus and protractor, I'll ruin your fun: it's really just a variation of the proven single pivot suspension design, with a link and rocker arm to have greater control over its action. FreeDrive is built around an extraordinarily high main pivot, with the rear end being a single sturdy swingarm. There is some suspension trickery happening closer to the bottom bracket though. The BB is actually floating on the same link that activates the shock, and is connected to the swingarm via a short link. This greatly reduces any chain growth caused by the mega high main pivot location.

Darren Salsbury of Mongoose had this to say about FreeDrive - "One thing that is important for the FreeDrive is that one of the hallmarks of the patent is that it doesn't matter what chain ring size you use, the suspension behaves the same. That is a big bonus over some other designs spec'd with HammerSchmidt. Some bikes are built around a middle chain ring position and the HammerSchmidts small 24T will lock theirs out. Ours is free to move!"

The Freedrive system uses an extraordinarily high pivot for a great wheel path but doesn't suffer from excessive chain growth

HammerSchmidt stock on the '10 Pinn'r

2010 Mongoose Nugget

2010 Mongoose Nugget

2010 Mongoose Nugget

The Mongoose Nugget almost defies you to put it in a single category. A lot of riders will look at the compact design and burly component spec and pick it up to be their dirt jump bike, while others will instantly see a bright future in gated racing aboard the Nugget. How about the riders who are simply looking for a fun and nimble bike that can survive it all? The Nugget could do that to! It's easy to see where I'm going with this. By taking a short travel (4") frame and hanging tough parts off of it, as well as some fast rolling rubber, Mongoose has put together what could be one of the great play bikes of '10. If you are looking for a bike for general mischief then keep reading!

Suspension is all RockShox with a Monarch and Pike combination

Suspension is all RockShox with a Monarch and Pike combination

Mongoose wisely chose a Pike 409 fork to handle suspension duties up front. The 409 features both U-Turn travel adjust and Motion Control damping making it a great versatile fork for an equally versatile bike. The Pike has 140 mm at full travel, enough for some great fun up in the hills, but if a day at the skate park or DJs is in order then all it takes is a turn of the dial to bring it down to a more manageable 110 mm of travel. Likewise with the Motion Control damping, it couldn't be easier to quickly stiffen the fork up if need be.

Flush mounting shock hardware and tucked away cable routing

Mongoose Nugget spec

Frame and SizeNew Mongoose FreeDrive Slopestyle frame w/ 100 mm rear travel and 135mm Maxle dropouts
Rear ShockRockShox Monarch 3.1 , air spring, rebound and Floodgate, 165x38 mm w/ 19x8 mm hardware
ForkRockShox Pike 409 140 mm travel U-turn Adjustable, 20 mm Maxle
HeadsetFSA Orbit XLII angular contact bearing
CrankarmsTruvativ Hussefelt, 36t ring w/ e.13 LG1 steel back plate
Bottom BracketTruvativ Howitzer XR
ChainKMC Z9200 w/ Missing Link connector
CassetteSRAM PG-950 Cassette 11-26
Rear DerailleurSRAM X.7 medium cage
ShiftersSRAM X.7 9 speed
HandlebarFunn Full Bore PG 6061AL riser 25.4x50x710 mm
StemFunn Rippa 25.4x45 mm CNC alloy
GripsMongoose Lock on
BrakesAvid Juicy 3 w/160mm rotors
Front WheelSUN Rhyno Lite 32 hole, Formula 20 mm hub
Rear WheelSUN Rhyno Lite 32 hole, Formula 12 x 135 hub
TiresKenda Small Block Eight 26X2.35
SaddleCustom Mongoose SDG Bel Air I-Beam
SeatpostSDG I-Beam 2014 alloy, 31.6x250

The Nugget's FreeDrive 4" suspension is far simpler than it looks

The Nugget uses the same suspension design as the longer travel Pinn'r, just on a smaller scale. Total travel is a firm 4" courtesy of RockShox's Monarch 3.2 air shock, and is driven via the FreeDrive system. The capable short travel bike relies on a high single pivot that deals well with square lumps and bumps, and combines that with a floating BB link which drives the shock. What sounds complicated is quite simple in practice, from experience on Mongoose's Boot'r DH bike last season I came away very please with the designs performance. New steel pivot axles and self locking nuts for 2010 will keep everything tight and ready to roll.

Fresh graphics for '10

A 12 x 135 mm Maxle equipped rear end keeps everything stiff

Out back Mongoose wisely chose to keep everything straight and tight by using a 12 x 135 mm Maxle system. Combined with the Pike's 20 mm Maxle, it should make for a straight tracking bike no matter where you end up. It is worth noting that the Mongoose has taken a big step ahead by using a titanium rear Derailleur hanger which will be far more resilient to the type of abuse that the Nugget is going to see. It's all in the details!

A sturdy Funn bar and stem combo

Head over to to see the entire 2010 lineup of bikes!

Mike Levy


  • + 3
 Looks like a solid bike! I know people will dis the Hammerschmidt because "It's a freeride bike" but it's always good to have th option of pedalling uphill. Especially where I live and there are no lifts.
  • + 11
 Hammerschmidts give you more clearance so their not just good for pedaling uphill
  • + 8
 Many real freeride trails demand that you climb a bit. The Hammerschmidt is the perfect solution IMO.
  • + 12
 Yeah, only that it costs a 700$
  • + 2
 2010 prices???
  • + 5
 it's on their website msrp for the Pinn'r Foreman is $3899 and $2499 for the Nugget. awesome price for how well they're spec'd!
  • + 3
 theres a freeride version of the hammerschmidt and mine works fine. i dont know what there is to dis when you can shift it at any time and like someone already mentioned tons of clearance.
  • + 6
 I like both those bikes. Real smart spec.
  • + 3
 Mongoose makes some sweet bikes , I really wanted a Pinnr last year and this one looks even better. The nugget looks real fun too. They are a bit hard to find though Frown
  • + 3
 Nugget and Pinnr are real bikes. Far exceeding that of large box store bikes. Props to the engineers who helped birth these nice new models.
  • + 1
 i have a nugget for sale if anyone is interested...also if anyone is looking for a killer deal on any of the 2010 line i have a pretty sick hookup! no prob shipping to Canada or US. just shoot me a message
  • + 1
 If anyone in Canada wants a Mongoose you can check out . They are the ONLY authorized Mongoose Pro dealer in Canada and have basically all the bikes in stock! They are located in Westbank BC.
  • + 3
 Anyone know where you can get those diff colour Vivid sticker for the IFP Reservoir ? ? ?
  • + 1
 thats a good question. mabye SRAM?
  • + 1
 Probably custom for bike companies. Just nock one up in PS and get your local sign writers or whatnot to print it, not that hard to design
  • + 2
 I'd love to just "knock one up in photoshop"

But I don't have it and would be useless at doing it.

Feel free to do it and post the template so people can start getting them made for their own Vivids
  • + 2
 well give slikgraphics a email, if not ill nock one up when i get free time
  • + 1
 Yeah, they are doing one up for me. Only 14p with postage. Now they will at least have the sticker on file so they can do custom Vivid colours
  • + 1
  • + 1
 14 GBP

$25 Aussie clams
  • + 1
 ive riden a bike with the internal shifting in the front like they have on the first bike. its actually really smooth shifting. i think its a good idea.
  • + 1
 the pinn'r is like my dream spec and its such a sick frame and its not even that expensive i wish shops in canada sold mongoose Frown
  • + 1
 i love mongoose. amazing bikes. alot better then there wal-mart line up that i am sure is made by a totally different company. mongoose is awesome
  • + 1
 It is a different company, Wal-mart Mongeese are made by Pacific Cycles. True, they are building somewhat competitive bikes these days, but I would by no means call them awesome.
  • + 3 will make u one..
  • + 1
 i really want the nugget, it looks so sick. im not really diggin the orange though
  • + 1
 Finally their bikes start to look good...the old matte paints were awful imo. Gloss + nice graphics is the way to go...
  • + 1
 a bunch of my freinds have these bikes. they are so sick to ride
  • + 1
 my next bikeee...i hope haha Big Grin
  • + 1
 Anyone know where I can find a list of Canadian Mongoose dealers?
  • + 1
 check the mongoose web page for a dealer list maybe?
  • + 0
 Mongoose has come along way.... but i find you can still see weak points in the frame design....
  • + 1
 Uh, 25.4 clamp on the Nugget? What year is it, 1999?
  • + 1
 Hell, I thought those we're reserved for retro bikes...
  • - 3
 gross, i have seen quite a few destroyed gooses being walded down whistler.
i would never waste my money on that mongoose/GT crap.
  • + 7
 I was trying to figure out what "walded" is...I can't keep up with all the latest Canadian lingo of Whistler. Gotta love Google to help out though.
"Walded" is a wicked hard techno track on that ep

Maybe you really do like Mongoose and you just don't like techno.
  • + 1
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