Mongoose Hilltopper Bike Bike 1998 or Older

4.21/5 (85 Reviews)
MSRP : $589.00


Product Description

Mongoose Hilltopper


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Reviews 1 - 15 (85 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Spencer

Date Reviewed: April 19, 2012

Strengths:    Solid, strong (Frame) dependable intro into Mountain Biking. The geometry is decent for combined light trail riding and street riding for those who ride to the local trails. It's stable at high speeds and does ok hitting a few moderate bumps.

Weaknesses:    It is HEAVY!!! They geometry is weak for aggressive trail riding. The head tube geometry doesnt allow me to torque the bike for air as well as other mountain bikes/ cruiser BMX'ers do. The stock fork was tweaked months after I bought the bike and have been riding a Tange Chromo Rigid fork for 20 years on this beast.

Bottom Line:   
I upgraded to wider bars, added XTR cranks, XT derailer and the super strong/super heavy Tange Chomo Fork. This bike has served me well as a dependable round town bike that is capable on local trails.

I currently ride a 2009 Redline Pro XL 24inch Cruiser for trail riding. (LOVE IT!!!)

I'm thinking bout canibalizing my components and building a single speed/9 speed 26er with a botique mountain bike company because I am looking for different geometry from my Redline. I want a lighter bike than my Hilltopper. I am enjoying the process of hunting down my next perfect ride!

In the meantime, the Hilltopper served me well as a dependable somewhat unremarkable bike that has seen its day. The new technology available with newer model moutain bikes are worth pursuing for those looking to push themselves beyond the technical capabilities of the Hilltopper.

Summer Message: RIDE ON!!!

Winter Message: Just keep Skiing!!!

Cheers!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Dan-o a Downhiller from new city, NY, US

Date Reviewed: June 25, 2010

Bottom Line:   
good long lasting bike

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   congers bike shop (c


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by salparadise a Weekend Warrior from New Britain

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2010

Bottom Line:   
This was the first bike I bought, a 16.5" Mongoose Hilltopper SX in probably 1995/6. I've done some home maintenance, had it tuned up a few times, and replaced the brakes. Other than that, it still works great (albeit a bit small). A great frame, good quality parts, no complaints.

I used it heavily for a few years for mountain biking. It had about 10 years off, and now its a commute bike, no problems.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   CT

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   Berlin Bike, CT


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by CT-CT-CT a Weekend Warrior from Stratford, CT

Date Reviewed: September 27, 2009

Strengths:    Bombproof steel frame

Weaknesses:    saddle uncomfortable on long rides, cheap pedals. Stock grips uncomfortable.

Bottom Line:   
This was my first mountain bike. I purchased a bike that was at "the low end of the high end", that is a high quality, bike shop model at an affordable price, not a department store special. I paid $400.00 back in 1994. I rode it a good deal between 1994 and 1996 then put in in storage for years while I pursued other interests. I picked it up again around 1998 or 1999.

The chrome moly frame and fork allows the rider to really "feel" the trail. I do not have details about the head angle or other physical characteristics, but I will say that the riding position is slightly forward. Wheelies are difficult due to the geometry. A taller stem, or riser bars would improve the feel for some riders. The C.D. bar ends offer a good hand placement for climbing. Compared to my other ride (a full suspension Fuji), this bike climbs well. The bike has held up remarkably well for so long. The front chainrings are showing wear but still work. I have yet to kill either deraileur. The cheap plastic pedals need replacement.

The wheels are cheap but take beatings from the local rooty, rocky trails without coming out of true. I still have the original set of tires on this bike. The brake pads have been replaced, the shifters have been replaced, that's about it. The original shifters were not available, so I got a cheapy set from another LBS. The heavy units are rather bulky, and are not comfortable to use. The stock handlebar is rather narrow, and I lost an inch and a half or more to the bar ends. When holding the grips, my knuckles frequently bash into the brake levers. The original units did not cause this problem.

I have kept this bike as a "spare" bike, or for a bike-less friend to ride. When my other bike was stolen, I started riding this again. On flat terrain, or climbing, I have a lot of confidence. On downhills, I grab the brakes too much, as I have been riding full suspension since 2005. The combination of more forward C.O.G. and narrower handlebars makes be a bit skittish when the downhill gets fast.

I actually enjoy this bike more NOW than I did when it was new. Full rigid steel gives the trails a totally different feel. I saw a 1995 - 1996 Hilltopper SX at a local pawn shop when I was looking for my stolen bike. It too had a frame that was in great shape. I wanted to buy it as a project bike, but I felt the $200.00 asking price was a little high when the bike had a beat up Rock Shox Quad on the front. I probably would have paid $200.00 if it had the rigid fork!

If you want a bike that can handle cross country, street riding, or commuting, the Hilltopper is an excellent choice. If you find one in reasonable shape used, pick it up!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Supply Ponds, Branford CT

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Tony's Bikes Milford

Similar Products Used:   Fuji Discovery 1

Bike Setup:   1994 Hilltopper rigid:
Shimano Alivio 170 mm crankset, Shimano STX front/rear deraileurs. Bike is stock 1994 except: Cycle Designs Bar Ends, water bottle cage, Serfras tube mounted pump, replacement Shimano shifters (unknown model).

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ben a Cross Country Rider from Lansing MI

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2007

Strengths:    solid, versatile, economical

Weaknesses:    can be jarring over bumps and potholes, uncomfortable handlebar angle

Bottom Line:   
I'm using the Hilltopper as a commuter, which is not its intended function. That said, it performs quite well in its current role. I added bar ends, not because I need the leverage, but to give me alternate hand positions so I don't get tired. I would prefer a different angle on the handlebars, but I can live with it for now.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   Craigslist, Honolulu HI

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   rigged for commuting: fenders, rack, panniers, Continental 26x1.5 road tires. everything else is stock except for the recalled Shimano cranks.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Pat a Weekend Warrior from Kansas City

Date Reviewed: October 3, 2006

Strengths:    I bought this bike because of what it had to offer for the price. I wanted something that would last me for a while.

Bottom Line:   
With over 1500 miles and 10 years of use this bike has been a great buy

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $299.00

Purchased At:   The Bike Shack

Bike Setup:   RST 381L shock, Panracer smoke and dart tires, UNO seat post shock, Bullet Bros chain tension and a few different seats

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gary Gnu a Weekend Warrior from Australia

Date Reviewed: September 23, 2006

Strengths:    The Hilltopper sx has a Tough Cr-mo frame, made before mongoose sold out

Weaknesses:    crap suspension, 7 speed, awkward head tube size to find new forks for

Bottom Line:   
What an awesome bike. After nearly 10 years of punishment from myself, being stolen(resprayed)found again and then used as a loaner. I cant believe theres not a sign of breakage on the old full cr-mo frame. Most of the groupset over time has had to be replaced and the rims didnt hold up to the abuse. but such good memories d;)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   lakes tracks

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Bruce Dowdell Cycles(wank)

Bike Setup:   Stx-rc groupset,jett xc forks, azonic bars and stem, magura hydros

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Brad a Weekend Warrior from St. John's Newfoundland

Date Reviewed: May 18, 2006

Strengths:    a good solid frame. came with decent parts back in 1995-96, with some holding out on it for many years, and some that still live on on other peoples bikes.

Weaknesses:    frame did not have lines for v-brakes, had it buy a 10 doller adaptor. slack angles seem very ole fashioned compared to new steel hard tails.

Bottom Line:   
this was the first bike I bought. Its 10 years old and is still going very strong. 6 years as my primary mtn bike. mostly now used for commuting (3-4 times a week, even in winter) and many bike tours, which it is very well suited for.
great bike. never let me down, still has many years left in it.
if you find one of these used buy it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   fort A.

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $575.00

Purchased At:   gear to go

Similar Products Used:   kona firemountain, trek 7000, giant atx 880, giant rainer.

Bike Setup:   8 speed xt derailers/shifters. lx cranks, hubs. mavic x221 rims. raceface prodigy stem. answer protaper bar. shimano clipless. avid digit 7 brakes/deore levers. kona project2 rigid fork. MEC racks.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dennis Kelly a Weekend Warrior from Haslett, MI, USA

Date Reviewed: April 7, 2006

Strengths:    Very strong, balanced frame and dependable components. Good bang for the buck, especially since many of these bikes can be had for next to nothing these days.

Weaknesses:    Comes without fenders, which is a weakness in a wet climate like mine. These bike frames appear to scratch easily, based upon my bike and several my friends have purchased.

Bottom Line:   
A great value. Although mine only set me back ten bucks, I would pay a couple of hundred bucks for the same model in similar condition. Buy a used one and feel free to beat it up (it can take it). I put new bearings in when I bought it and I have ridden it for 2 years now, mostly for commuting back and forth from work and for recreational weekend riding. It also gave me flawless performance on a tour from Detroit to Buffalo last summer, but I have found it most ideal as a commuter bike.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $10.00

Purchased At:   Goodwill


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tomas campbell a Weekend Warrior from columbus,ohio,usa

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2006

Strengths:    light, hard, fast

Weaknesses:    original brakes, gears

Bottom Line:   
This is my favorite bike of all time!!!!!!! I was a huge BMX kid. Then I got into freestyle and had every bike that one could think of. GT, Haro, DYNO, CW, Redline, Hutch, Diamondback, Mongoose, yes and even a Huffy. This bike is by far the best ever owned!!!! It was also the last of the American versions....

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   hoover

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $818.00

Purchased At:   bicycle one (NEW)

Similar Products Used:   GT, Specialized


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris a Cross Country Rider from Edison, NJ

Date Reviewed: January 29, 2003

Strengths:    Awesome electric blue color matches my WRX. The steel frame feels like an FS bike compared to my KHS Alite 3000. I put a Judy SL on it (19" frame) and somehow the geometry fits my 6'3" stature perfectly. Absolutely stable bombing rocky downhill XC trails. Climbs like a goat. Never any problems with 7-speed factory STX setup. Funny looks from Cannondale riders cannot be beat. I spent a fraction on this bike compared to what I put into my KHS and I actually like this one better. Go figure. For you weight weenies, if I really cared about the 31lb curb weight of this baby, I'd go on a diet. :)

Weaknesses:    The cool electric blue paint chips easily. The stock cantilevers belong in the trash.

Bottom Line:   
You don't need to spend a fortune on a bike in order to have fun and remain competitive. And when you excel, you can snicker to yourself.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Chimney Rock

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $170.00

Purchased At:   Kim's Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   KHS Alite 3000, Klein Pulse Pro, Nukeproof.

Bike Setup:   '02 Judy SL (100mm), cheap Chinese V-brakes, risers. A friend learning to ride trashed the rear wheel and it has been replaced. Aside from that, we're bone stock.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ernie a Weekend Warrior from los angeles

Date Reviewed: April 20, 2002

Strengths:    lightweight cromoly frame, crankset, 1/18" headtube,
non-shiney paint job---this one's a dull navy blue, narrow cromoly frame


Weaknesses:    cantilever brakes, only a 7 speed, threaded headset

Bottom Line:   
with less and less good cromoly frames around, you cant beat Mongoose for this unit. Search the net, search Mongoose dealers for this HILLTOPPER. Its a lightweight super cromo frame, not just the seat tube like other steel frames. This thing is all cromo. Which in turns means its sturdy and will probably last a lifetime if you take care of it. Also if you buy one from a Mongoose
dealer as I did, You will still get the Lifetime Warrantee on the frame. Who knows what they will replace it with, but its a Lifetime thing, with the receipt.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Baeudry South

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle Station

Similar Products Used:   trek 820

Bike Setup:   originally the dealer wanted $300. I negotiated $200, without the wimpy RockShox Q21 shock, the old cantilever brakes and flat handlebar and front wheel.
The Brakes : LV brakes and levers. Front Lx hub and Mavic 221 rims. Titec hellbent handlebar. Orbit FSA threadless headset. Soon to be: Manitou fork.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tyler Durden a Weekend Warrior from Detroit, MI, USA

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2001

Strengths:    Cheap, durable, green.

Weaknesses:    Heavy, cheap, green

Bottom Line:   
This is the first mountain bike I owned. I believe I bought it in '92. Steel frame, rigid fork, STX/Alivio mix, and Chen Shing tires. I have used this bike for everything... MB races, cyclocross, touring, commuting, single speed. While I have a multitude of bikes, I can always seem to use the 'Goose to fill some niche that is small enough to not warrant purchasing a dedicated bike. I introduced countless friends to mountain biking with the "loaner" 'Goose. I guess sometimes you just become attached to a bike and refuse to let it go.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Burchfield

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Riverfront Cycle Lansing, mi

Similar Products Used:   Many

Bike Setup:   Currently...converted to single speed. Future...god only knows

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by matt from MD

Date Reviewed: March 4, 2001

Strengths:    Chromo Frame - Strong like a biznatch
Drive Train Setup


Weaknesses:    BRAKES (what brakes?)

Bottom Line:   
THis bike is sturdy as sh*t. Its been to Whitetail a hardcore skiresort twice and survived intact. Although the geometry is not setup for downhill . I was going over the handle bars alot.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $400.00

Bike Setup:   Manitou Spyder Fork, Panaracer Fire XC Pro 2.1 Tires, Kore Elite Stem, Velo Saddle, Yeti Grips, Race Face Bar-Ends, Shimano 636 Pedals.... it goes on and on

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Chris a Weekend Warrior from British Columbia, Canada

Date Reviewed: July 5, 2000

Strengths:    The whole bike was pretty good for $500 CDN. It was perfect to learn the basics on but that's about it.

Weaknesses:    I thought the cromo frame was tough, but I guess not. I only weigh 170lbs and I snapped the down tube on a simple set of stairs.

Bottom Line:   
For a new rider it's pretty good but if you plan on going down stairs or anything more find another bike. You'll be happier in the end. Now all I have to do is see if the shop will replace it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years


Reviews 1 - 15 (85 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


my mongoose hilltopper mountain bike

my mongoose hilltopper mountain bike its got rust on frame as previous owner left it in rain.I had to get new bike chain.The brakes were originally cantilever and i had them converted to shimano 422 v brakes which are so much more powerful. It has 7 speed gripshift and shimano alivio rear derailu ... Read More »

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