Mongoose Hilltopper Bike Bike 1998 or Older

Hilltopper Bike

Mongoose Hilltopper

User Reviews (85)

Showing 1-10 of 85  
Spencer   [Apr 19, 2012]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Dan-o   Downhiller [Jun 25, 2010]

good long lasting bike

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
salparadise   Weekend Warrior [Jun 11, 2010]

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.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
CT-CT-CT   Weekend Warrior [Sep 27, 2009]
Strength:

Bombproof steel frame

Weakness:

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

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!

Similar Products Used: Fuji Discovery 1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dennis Kelly   Weekend Warrior [Apr 07, 2006]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ben   Cross Country Rider [Aug 12, 2007]
Strength:

solid, versatile, economical

Weakness:

can be jarring over bumps and potholes, uncomfortable handlebar angle

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.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
tomas campbell   Weekend Warrior [Mar 25, 2006]
Strength:

light, hard, fast

Weakness:

original brakes, gears

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....

Similar Products Used: GT, Specialized
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Pat   Weekend Warrior [Oct 03, 2006]
Strength:

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

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

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Gary Gnu   Weekend Warrior [Sep 23, 2006]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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;)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brad   Weekend Warrior [May 18, 2006]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used: kona firemountain, trek 7000, giant atx 880, giant rainer.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 85  

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