Mongoose Canaan Elite XC Full Suspension

3.92/5 (26 Reviews)

Product Description

  • Frame: FreeDrive XC/Enduro 3.9" (100 mm) travel, butted alloy frame
  • Fork: Fox F100RL, 100 mm travel
  • Rear Shock: Fox RP3, three position ProPedal
  • Bottom Bracket: FSA MegaExo external bearing
  • Pedals: Crank Brothers Smarty clipless
  • Shifters: Shimano Deore XT Rapidfire
  • Chain: Shimano HG-73
  • Rims: WTB LaserDisc XC 28H
  • Spokes: WTB stainless steel
  • Handlebar: Easton EA50 Lo Rise, 25.4 mm
  • Stem: Easton EA50 6 deg angle

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Reviews 1 - 15 (26 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by CrozCountry a Cross Country Rider from Cali

Date Reviewed: July 6, 2011

Strengths:    This bike is comparable to $3K bikes in terms of frame and kit. This makes it the best deal you can find, especially if you find it on sale. Freedrive system is the best rear suspension I ever tried, comparing to Blurs, Giant maestro, rocky mountain element, Marin Quad SC, and a few others not worth mentioning.

Weaknesses:    Older models had a frame issue around the connection of the seat tube and top tube. The newer frames added an aluminum triangle there, so problem gone. Would be nice to get nicer wheels, but at this price no other bike comes with nicer wheels. Not a big fan of centerlock discs.

Bottom Line:   
I was very impressed by the frame design. After owning and testing a few other rear swing arm designs, this is the best one I have ridden. The freedrive system works really well when you paddle, and it works the same in all gears. The rear axle path is basically a high single pivot, like downhill bikes.

The combination of high single pivot and very effective anti bob is the best of both world, and is just magic. This suspension is the best combo of downhill performance and paddling that I ever tested, though this is not a dedicated downhill bike. I don't feel the bottom bracket movement, probably because the rear travel is not as long as downhill bikes, where this should be more noticeable.
The freedrive system plain rocks.

The frame has so many good things going on for it.
First of all, its beautiful. Two long triangles and high tech looking rear suspension.

The shock lockout is easily accessible and visible from top, unlike other frame designs that put it upside down or burry it in an aluminum cage.

Good standoff clearance. Pretty important if you want to have kids.

The geometry is super. Slightly longer means you can ride fast for hours comfortably. It also means that riders that should normally go for a large can live happily with a more nimble medium, which is what I did.

HUGE ground clearance, more than any frame in that league. That was my main reason picking this bike over the Giant Trance X, there are too many giant frames with dented down tubes out there. You can ride over obstacles and logs with a clear mind.

The combination of high single pivot that has awesome bump absorption, great anti bob system, and high ground clearance means you can ride through obstacles like no other bike. If the pedals are not hitting it, you can ride through it. You can also climb over big rocks in a steep uphill. Just paddle hard and go straight through. The bike is a champ climber for rocky terrain. I climb what my friends walk, I just pedal and let the bike do the work.

Pretty difficult without shelling huge amount of dollars, since the build kit is already top. I would start in that order:
Replace large chain ring with bash guard, to make the best technical climber even better.

Upgrades should be rather expensive because the stock components are already good. Fork for example weighted 1.6 KG on my scale. Hard to beat that weight. I put the wheels last since the bike comes with decent wheels and you need at least $500 to get something lighter, and for $500 it's not going to be much lighter and probably not worth spending.

Weight of the frame is inline with top of the line dual suspension frames. Carbon is lighter than aluminum.

I got the bike for the build kit, but fell in love with the frame. One of the best designed and executed aluminum frames out there at any price range. The only thing preventing it from being the absolute best I know of is the weight. If you can live with an extra pound, this is the bike to have. Shave that pound from the wheels and reach nirvana.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Blur, Giant Trance X, Rocky Mountain Element, Marin Quad XC

Bike Setup:   Stock with different tires and padals

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Trailhead a Weekend Warrior from dayton, oh

Date Reviewed: September 23, 2010

Strengths:    My review is for a 2008 Canaan Elite. Great XT components (which have been lowered in the following two years), light weight for a full-suspension, rides well.

Weaknesses:    Frame cracked after 5 trail rides. Like a previous reviewer it cracked on the back where the RP2 shock connects, so obviously there is an issue there.

Bottom Line:   
This seems like an awesome bike especially for the $$$; however, there seems to be an issue with frames cracking after reading many of these reviews. I had only ridden mine off road 5 times with NO WRECKS and it failed. Also, since mine is 2 years old (bought last years model in 2009) there were no white frames to replace it with so I got a red 2009 instead which I do NOT like as well.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Momba

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   GT Hardtail

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by smoothsteel a Cross Country Rider from scottsdale, az

Date Reviewed: July 25, 2010

Strengths:    Light, great suspension, handles and climbs well

Weaknesses:    paint scratches easily
a lot of gunk can accumulate in "busy" swingarm area
Looks kinda funny

Bottom Line:   
Killer value for this lightweight crosscountry machine. Swore I would never go full suspension, but I actually climb faster on this than my old ti hardtail.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   blue ridge in white mts

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   mongoose ti hardtail

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sir Robin a Cross Country Rider from Redondo Beach, Ca.

Date Reviewed: October 24, 2009

Strengths:    Nice ride, very nimble. The geometry gives you a great downhill feel. Great components, great value

Weaknesses:    Broke my 2007 frame along the top bar by the seat post from fatigue. (Me being 210 lbs and riding several times a week may have contributed to this.) Mongoose/Performance was apprehensive about replacing the frame claiming the seat was too high but eventually gave in and replaced the frame and rebuilt the bike for free. (Lesson - If you break your frame lower the seat before you turn it in, although I ride within the seatpost limits.) The 2008 frame they replaced it with has a reinforcement "triangle" between the top bar and seat post bar which acknowledges the weakness in the frame. Another thing I don't like is the "busyness" of the suspension above the crank. It makes cleaning and lubing of the crank area difficult. One more - the top bar is a bit high as the frame is made from standard tubing and therefore does not curve. Tough downhills where your "ride the bar" may threaten your future family.

Bottom Line:   
Great ride, great components, and great value. It looks Mongoose acknowledged and fixed (one of???) their frame issue. Not in love with the rear suspension configuration, for my next bike I will probably pay more for something more standard simple, and easy to clean/lube.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Whiting Ranch

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by speddmn a Cross Country Rider from Grass Valley, CA

Date Reviewed: August 18, 2009

Strengths:    This review is for an '07. Great components. Hundreds of $$$ cheaper than the competition. 28 lbs mediun size. A fast, fun, 4in travel cross country trail bike. Don't buy if you like to do major drops, get a DH bike.

Weaknesses:    None for me.

Bottom Line:   
I've ridden about 1500 miles of singletrack in 2 years on my Mongoose and still love it! However the '09s are priced a lot higher, no longer the great bargain mine was.
I've had no frame problems but I know that Mongoose and Performance dealers stand behind what they sell.
I'm still riding on the original Kenda Karma tires and they are great. Good traction, and only one pound each! Flats have been rare, still using tubes with only air in them (28 psi). Never had a pinch flat. Other than the crank problem that was warrantied, the rest of the drive train is still working perfectly.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Foresthill Divide Loop

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Performance Cycle -

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Jekyl

Bike Setup:   The stock FSA bottom brkt failed within 100 miles. Dealer replaced it and the crank with an XT setup. End of problem. Changed out the I-Beam seat and post with Thomson Elite setback post and my old Coda seat. They went to a standard seat and post in '08. Replaced the Candys with SPD 540 pedals, love em!

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Miso a Weekend Warrior from London, UK

Date Reviewed: July 20, 2009

Strengths:    Nice XC bike, if not broken. Actually the components are very nice, but the frame.

Weaknesses:    Mine cracked as well around the top tube above the seat/top tube junction, I was lucky enough to notice before it came off.

Bottom Line:   
Despite being a nice bike, I rate it as poor, because a frame must not crack withing 6 months of low key usage (travelling from and to work in flat parts of London). I don't want to imagine what would happen during a race!

Pos: Mongoose offer a replacement after I had to send the bike in. Evans cycles offered me to change to another brand as I was not confident in this frame (and did not like the 2009 colour).

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Evans cycles

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jmz2309 a Cross Country Rider from columbus ohio

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2009

Strengths:    Here are the good things about the bike. It weights 26lbs for a medium which is great. Having all the XT components (2008 version which is what I have). Being able to ride it all day with out wearing you out to fast. It’s not like most XC bikes where you feel like your riding on a knife blade.

Weaknesses:    this is the bad about this bike. I have owned it for about 2 months now about 100 miles on it and the frame is cracked. (I am currently waiting on the new frame now.) Here is what is odd about the crack: Fist the crack is on the frame above the back end of the PR2 fox shock. There should not be to much pressure at that point. (Is the metal weak that Mongoose uses?) 2ed I am only 135lbs at 5’7’’ so I am fairly small. What happens if someone bigger than I ride it?

Bottom Line:   
The bottom line is a want to love this bike. I love riding it, like the components for the price. You wont find anything near this price point with the same components. But the Frame broke. I am hoping they don’t take to long getting me a new frame. Maybe this is a once in a blue moon kind of thing (lets hope). If I was to do it over again I would buy this bike as long as it does not brake again for me. This is my second Mongoose I had the 2008 Teocali and loved it that’s why I upgraded to the Canaan Elite.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   MSP

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1280.00

Purchased At:   A store

Bike Setup:   Everything is stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mannnu81 a Weekend Warrior from riverside ca USA

Date Reviewed: December 15, 2008

Strengths:    I was attracted to the XT package and weight of this bike. under 30LBS for LG. i havent weighted it, but compared to my old K2 Lithium 3.0 its a feather.
For the price, im not sure you can get a better package. I also like Performance's lifetime service for free on the bike . Handling is good, best bike i had so far, but i havent owned very many.

Weaknesses:    white gets dirty fast, also scratches make it look ugly. Medium seemed too small for me, felt clustered, Large feels bigger than it should. Some reported cracked frames but Mongoose offers lifetime frame warranty, so im looking forward to a Canaan Team frame

Bottom Line:   
2009 Caanan Elite model has only few XT parts, LXs mostly, its nasty pinkish red and MSRP $2500. 2008 model has XT all around and i snagged it at 1640 tax included and 10% back on my card for shoes etc. I say go for it if you're shopping in this price range. Bottom line, there might be better bike out there, but competitive pricing and an awesome package makes it a great value. BTW its got good reviews by cycling mags

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Skyline

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1640.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike

Similar Products Used:   bikes in order of ownership: Giant Rincon, K2 Lithium 3.0 and now Canaan Elite

Bike Setup:   Stock except the adjustable seat bracket. stock came with a allen wrench screw, dont know why, no one wants to mess with wrenches on the trail.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Jono a Cross Country Rider from Wellington, New Zealand

Date Reviewed: December 14, 2008

Strengths:    Umm...rides great when it's not broken

Weaknesses:    Frame

Bottom Line:   
Where do I start with this one? This is my third review, my second broken Canaan frame, four months of no bike, and great support from Jenson and Pacific bikes. Given this is a bike review I’ll focus on the bike. This review is for the warranty replacement frame that replaced the first one that cracked around the top tube at the seat/top tube junction. When it’s working I love the way it rides, relaxed, smooth, quick steering but not too quick, predictable - but none of that matters if I can’t ride the bike. So my second frame (’08) has also cracked at the seat/top tube junction, but this time on the seat tube. I’m a 174lb (78kg) XC rider, commute five days a week, ride offroad 4 hours a week, and not that hard on frames (never broken a frame in my life except for these two) so I can only presume there’s a flaw in the design somewhere and the extra top tube gusset on the ’08 model appears to have transferred stress to the seat tube….

So while I love the bike when it’s working I can’t rate it highly while it continues to break.

On the bright side I suggested to Jenson that if the ’09 Canaan design hadn’t changed then we’d all be happier if the they replaced it with a GT Marathon – GT being a sister company to Mongoose in the Pacific Cycles stable – and they did good, sending me an ’08 Marathon 1.0. No shipping charges and no sending the broken frame back which is pretty important when you live in New Zealand and shipping costs are high. There was a problem getting the shock sorted out but all good in the end. 1 chilli for the Canaan, 5 for Jenson & Pacific bikes.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Karapoti

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1625.00

Purchased At:   Jenson

Similar Products Used:   98 Marin Rift Zone, test ridden 07 Rift Zone

Bike Setup:   Stock except pedals and wheels

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Da Newb a Cross Country Rider from cary,NC

Date Reviewed: September 15, 2008

Strengths:    I felt right at home first time out on this bike, and as far as component wise, it's comparable to other brands at sticker price well over $3K. At 26Lbs (medium) it's not bad at all, rake's kinda more of a relax position which really helps if you planning on riding more than 3hrs. I'm lovin this bike, if i ever considering of an upgrade on the same level, i probably will go for BlurXC, other than that, i wouldn't think it's necessary to switch brand..

Weaknesses:    Weak frame, 2007 models the triangle (welds) are bad, and mine which is 2008, the pivot points are bad.
The pivot point where the RP23 shock sits cracked (hairline) the second time i took it out on 3hrs ride (technical singletrack). Took it back to performance and still awaiting for words from Mongoose.
Might wanna switch to different tire set-up (small block eight came stock) for real life sittuation, stock tires only good for racing on hard surfaces..

Bottom Line:   
Best bang for the buck as far as all around XC. As far as looks, it's definetely looks better than a rocky mountain..

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   286 & rocky road

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   Ironhorse Azure MKIII, Bianchi Hardtail single speed.

Bike Setup:   Rockshock RECON Race 100mm (front) FOX Float RP23 (rear) Shimano XT Thru out including pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jono968 a Cross Country Rider from New Zealand

Date Reviewed: July 31, 2008

Strengths:    Warranty replacement. Mongoose and Jenson customer service!

Weaknesses:    The frame cracked (2007 model)

Bottom Line:   
This is a follow up to my previous review. I bought my 07 Canaan Elite new from Jenson but after about 7 months it developed a big crack around the top tube at the seat tube junction. I sent an email with photos to Mongoose who replied within one day saying no problem, it looked like a warranty replacement and to contact the NZ/Aus distributor or Jenson to get it sorted. Both were equally helpful however I went with Jenson to avoid a long wait for the new frame (and since they sold it to me originally). I had to pay freight for the replacement frame however I didn't have to send the broken frame back. Nice. The new frame was an 08 'Team' version rather than another Elite however the only downside was that it came with no bottle braze-ons - just four holes in the frame where they should have been, no problems for me as I don't use them but might pose a problem for others.

Interestingly the Team frame is identical to the Elite except for a nicer finish and decals and sports a new gusset at the point where mine broke. Both weigh 2.9kg on my trusty bathroom scales. Full credit to Mongoose for the quick response and sorting it out with no question even though I bought the bike direct from the States and outside the regular NZ dealerships.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Jenson

Bike Setup:   Stock except wheels and pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by brianlewis a Cross Country Rider from Allen, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: July 28, 2008

Strengths:    Lightweight
Shimano XT Components
Shimano XT Brakes

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Fantastic bike, extremely light weight, for the price you can't get a lighter bike with high end components. No other bike compares, comparable units are 5-6lbs heavier, which is alot when you are trying to pop a tire up over a log... Hands down the best bike for the money..

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rowlett Creek Preserve - Garland

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1599.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike Pla

Similar Products Used:   GT I Drive 4, GT I Drive 5, Ironhorse bikes, Gary Fisher bikes.

Bike Setup:   Stock except for CS300 Polar computer system

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by lewdvig a Cross Country Rider from Calgary, AB, Canada

Date Reviewed: June 7, 2008

Strengths:    Incedible value. Excellent Fox shocks on both ends. Good wheels. Terrific drivetrain and brakes. Light weight. I-Drive based rear suspension. Looks sharp.

Weaknesses:    Rear linkage is a mud magnet. Kore I-Beam post and saddle.

Bottom Line:   
Really great bike. I normally ride a medium but I got this in a small - the 22.5" TT and 29" stand-over is more important to me than the sizing sticker.

Very nimble trail bike. Great on single track and stable on fast descents. With the right rubber I think it would be very forgiving. I have IRC Mythos on it right now - they are poor in wet conditions and are not good off camber IMO. I'll be putting some Nevegals on soon.

The I-Drive hype is true, pedaling seems to have no effect on rear suspension - great for pedaling over washboards and small rollers.

It has a low centre of gravity. Feels good railing berms and in low speed technical stuff.

I am pretty old school, to me this is a proper mountain bike. One bike to do everything the average rider needs. Not a great bike for the North Shore crowd, but how many normal folks can really ride like that anyway?

For classic West Kananaskis trails like Powderface, Tom Snow, Moose Mountain a bike like this is perfect.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mt. Assiniboine

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Rush

Bike Setup:   Fox 32 F100RL, Fox RP2, Race Face Crank, stem and bar, SRAM X7 triggers, X9 rear der, Shimano XT front der, DT hubs, WTB rims, Avid Juicy 5 brakes, Kore I-Beam post and saddle.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by tomma a Cross Country Rider from Melbourne

Date Reviewed: April 29, 2008

Strengths:    Great Spec, XT and Fox gear makes this bike really good value for your $$$. I upgraded the wheels to mavic crossmax and put thompson post and stem on it for a little more bling.

Weaknesses:    The stock wheels (speed disc lite) are not tough enough.
The frame is rubbish. i have had constant problems with the frame. Firstly i had the rear triangle replaced, then found cracks in the frame around the welds for the shock. Got a replacement frame(the blue team frame) and after 3 months of riding it has cracks around the same welds. not sure if the 08 frame has fixed this weakness but i will not be riding the replacement. Getting a Yeti

Bottom Line:   
I loved this bike and thought it was the greatest bike ever(first dually), it rides really well, climbs as well as any bike I've ridden etc etc, the frames that I've had just haven't been up to the job. It is a great value bike but has let itself down for me in the reliability stakes.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Similar Products Used:   This was my first Dually.

Bike Setup:   totally sweet

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Mark Kalix a Weekend Warrior from Parker, CO, USA

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2008

Strengths:    Light weight and great component spec, scram XO shifters a dream.

Weaknesses:    Suspension bobs heavily under pedaling and is not at all active when seated. Front Fox fork with automatic lockout is a great feature but mismatched to the rear suspention. Rear suspension simply does not work. The steep head tube angle, long top tube and high bottom bracket make the ride feel like a road bike. Plastic rail saddle broke on first ride, Kenda tires have no side wall support and the entire package feels flimsy, not a confidence inspiring package.

Bottom Line:   
Look elseware. Having switched back and forth between hard tails and full suspention I feel the rear suspension on this frame only serves as a fance paperweight. The Rube Goldburg inspired swing arm design never feels attached to the trail.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hidden Messa

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   Rays

Bike Setup:   Changes to a heavier tire and a shorter stem with riser bars haved helped hold me over untill I can replace the frame.

Reviews 1 - 15 (26 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Used 2009 Mongoose Canaan Elite HELP

Hey Guys! Im going to check out a bike on CL. its a used stocked 2009 Mongoose Canaan Elite(red) said to be in excellent has good specs,however, it has some bad reviews for the frame...i wanted to get others opinion to see what you have to say esp if u have the bike. Im getting the ... Read More »

Sette Razzo 2.0 or Mongoose Canaan Elite?

Different bike platforms, I know. One is a hardtail 29'er and the other is full-suspension 26'er. I'm getting back into mountain biking after several years of dedicated road riding/racing. Previous mountain bike was a Santa Cruz Superlight. Both of the above mentioned options are at the same pri ... Read More »

Monoose Canaan Elite frame supports 120mm fork?

Hello my friends, I have one Mongoose Canaan Elite frame, and I use a Spinner Aeris Sport fork, but... I want to start something heavy on my frame and I was thinking about putting a fork to 120mm of travel, in case a Marzocchi 44 Tst2. But I am not sure whether my frame work supports a fork with thi ... Read More »

'08 Trek Fuel EX7 or '08 Mongoos Canaan Elite

Experienced (Cat. 2) roadie, looking to add a trail bike to my stable. I've done a ton of test rides and down to 2 options, both are exactly the same price. 1) 2008 Trek Fuel EX7 2) 2008 Mongoose Canaan Elite I know this is kind of a shot in the dark since it's extremely unlikely that anyone ... Read More »

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