Sea Otter: Mongoose Ruddy Expert 27.5+, Argus fat bike and Argus kid’s fat bike

Mongoose continues to expand their big wheeled bikes for 2016

Fat Bike Kids Plus Sea Otter Classic

2015 Sea Otter Classic

Mongoose continues their tradition of making big wheeled mountain bikes at affordable prices.

Mongoose continues their tradition of making big wheeled mountain bikes at affordable prices (click to enlarge).

Mongoose has really made a name for themselves by providing very cheap inexpensive fat bikes for riders. Their original fat bike was called the Beast and sold in big box stores for less than $200. They followed that simple singlespeed fat bike with cruiser like geometry up with a more mountain bike-ish model called the Dolomite. The Dolomite had more aggressive geometry and more importantly, it had gears. But it was still quite heavy.

Last summer, I covered Mongoose’s release of the Argus, an alloy framed fat bike that cost a bit more money, but provided a platform that was upgrade worthy and lighter. Now, Mongoose is at it again with an updated version of the Argus and they have added a cousin to the lineup. The Ruddy Expert 27.5+ is a mid-fat bike (dare we say “baby fat bike”) that rolls on the increasingly popular 27.5+ wheel/tire size. They have even followed up their steel framed kid’s fat bike (the Massif) with an alloy framed junior version called the Argus Kids. This is an early peek at Mongoose’s 2016 model lineup and these bikes will be available in Fall of this year.

The Ruddy frame has internal cable routing and the Manitou Magnum Comp fork has a bar-mounted remote lockout.

The Ruddy frame has internal cable routing and the Manitou Magnum Comp fork has a bar-mounted remote lockout (click to enlarge).

Mongoose Ruddy Expert 27.5+ – big and bold but not porky

Without a doubt, the Plus size bikes were all the rage at Sea Otter this year. Just about all the major brand had one. The appeal of the Plus size is that they provide the increased traction that fat bikes have, but they provide a dirt-friendly contact patch so you don’t feel like you’re losing horsepower every time you have to start climbing.

The Mongoose Ruddy Expert 27.5+ is designed to handle tires in the 2.8 to 3.2″ range. It is an aluminum hardtail with a Manitou Magnum Comp fork with 120mm of travel, 15 mm QR thru-axle and 34mm stanchions. The frame has a tapered headtube, 142mm rear thru-axle and post mount disc brakes. It also had nice, internal shifter cable routing. The 2×10 drivetrain is a Shimano XT/Deore mix with SLX shifters.

The Ruddy rolls on VP hubs and WTB TrailBlazer 27.5+ tires.

The Ruddy rolls on VP hubs and WTB TrailBlazer 27.5+ tires (click to enlarge).

Other spec highlights include the VP hubs and WTB TrailBlazer 27.5+ tires. The cockpit is controlled by bars and stems using the 35mm oversize clamp standard. A WTB Vold Race saddle provides the perch and stopping duties are handled by Hayes Radar Comp disc brakes. Bonus points to Mongoose for including VP-501 flat pedals.

The Mongoose Ruddy Expert 27.5+ comes in 4 sizes (SM, MD, LG, XL) and one color and it has an MSRP of $1999.00. Claimed weight for the medium size is 24 lbs.

For 2016, Mongoose made several key upgrades including the Rock Shox Bluto fork option and fatter tires.

For 2016, Mongoose made several key upgrades including the Rock Shox Bluto fork option and fatter tires (click to enlarge).

Mongoose Argus – fat bike on a budget

The Argus is a true fat bike and is designed to handle tires from 4.2 to 5.2″. It is an aluminum hardtail frame paired with a Rock Shox Bluto Solo Air RL fork with 120mm of travel and a 15mm QR thru-axle. Upgrades over the 2015 Argus include a tapered headtube, thru-axles front and rear, bigger tires (from 4.0 to 4.5″), suspension fork option, 35mm clamp size bars and stem, 180mm rotors and 2×10 XT rear derailleur, FSA cranks and 100mm rims.

Kenda Juggernaut 26x4.5 folding bead tires roll on wide 100mm rims.

Kenda Juggernaut 26×4.5 folding bead tires roll on wide 100mm rims (click to enlarge).

The 2×10 drivetrain is actually a mix of Shimano XT/SLX with Deore shifters. The FSA Comet cranks have mega tooth 24/38T rings.

Geometry chart for the Ruddy 27.5+ and the Argus.

Geometry chart for the Ruddy 27.5+ and the Argus (click to enlarge).

The paint on the new Argus is actually a deep purple with a bit of metal flake. This pairs nicely with the gold hoops and gumwall tires. Other spec highlights include the 150mm front axle spacing, 190mm rear axle spacing, Kenda Juggernaut 26×4.5 folding bead tires and Hayes Radar Comp disc brakes. Like the Ruddy, the Argus also comes with alloy flat pedals.

The 2016 Mongoose Argus is available in 3 sizes (SM, MD, LG) and has an MSRP of $1799.00.

Now, even junior fat bike riders can enjoy an alloy frame, disc brakes and 8 speeds.

Now, even junior fat bike riders can enjoy an alloy frame, disc brakes and 8 speeds (click to enlarge).

Mongoose Argus Kids – junior size fat bike

Never one to forget the young ones, Mongoose has downsized their Argus into the Argus Kids model that is an aluminum hardtail frame and alloy fork with an 8 speed drivetrain and quality parts. This bike will shift way better and weigh much less than the steel framed Mongoose Massif sold in the big box stores.

The drivetrain is Shimano Tourney 8 speed with twist shifter. The 20″ tires are 4.00″ wide and the bright yellow rims are well matched to the yellow grips and yellow highlights of the frame. Mongoose mechanical disc brakes handle the stopping duties. Gearing is always important for bikes meant to tackle real mountains and this is even more true when referring to kid’s bikes. Gearing on the Argus Kids is a 32T ring in front with an 11-32 cassette in back. Bonus points again, as the Argus Kids comes with VP 536 flat pedals.

Bright yellow rims look good and increase kids visibility.

Bright yellow rims look good and increase kids visibility (click to enlarge).

The Argus Kids has an MSRP of $499.00 which is well below any other junior size fat bikes that we know of.

For more information about current Mongoose mountain bikes visit mongoose.com.

This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2015 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.


About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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  • coot271 says:

    That’s great, but you still cannot find some of the 2015 models on their US website…namely the Argus and the Teocali…..I hope Mongoose changes their minds and starts selling these better-built bikes to the US again. Elsewise, it just a big tease.

  • turbodog says:

    Interesting stuff. My first real BMX bike was a mongoose, so I hate them less than most people. Does anybody remember BMX? Those small wheels that were great for actually riding, jumping and doing tricks? Sort of like how 26″ mountain bikes are far better for any sort of trail or technical riding? I’m pretty sure 29er’s and fat bikes are going to severely hurt the riding skills of the latest generation of mountain bikers.

  • Grimgrin says:

    It should have been called a “Fat Kid’s Bike” not a “Kid’s Fat Bike.”

  • Izzy says:

    24lbs for the Ruddy Expert? Not likely…

  • Bobisarockstar says:

    The Argus link you guys are discussing is shown on the Czech version of their website, not the US version. I was hoping to buy an Argus this spring, but got tired of waiting for them to release in the US.

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