My daughter is a giant. I think I've said that before. She'll be 3 in November, and is already wearing size 5/6x clothes. She's just that tall. Last year for her birthday my mother bought her a nice little tricycle, but by the end of this Summer she had already outgrown it. She adores her bike, so it looked like it was time for an upgrade. No more tricycle, it's time for training wheels!
Mongoose offered to send my daughter their 16" Mutant bike for her to try out. It's technically a boy's bike, but we try not to differentiate between "boy" and "girl" products in our home, so this worked out perfectly. I figure my son will be able to use it in a few more years when he's tall enough. My husband and I also weren't sure if the 16" would fit her. I thought it would, he thought perhaps a 12" would have been better. However, my daughter grows like a weed, and I really didn't want her to be out of it before she really had the chance to ride it. I had informed a good friend that my daughter was getting a Mongoose, and his response was hilarious. "Holy sh*t! She's getting a MONGOOSE?! I'm jealous. I always wanted a Mongoose as a kid!" Then I told my husband, and he said he also had always wanted a Mongoose as a kid, because they were THE bike to have. Apparently all the cool kids owned a Mongoose brand bike.
The bike arrived disassembled in a giant box, however I didn't notice any instructions in the box. Maybe I just overlooked them in my excitement. (I wanted to get the bike put together before she woke up from her nap.) The bike was very easy to assemble, and really didn't need instructions. There weren't a ton of parts either. The handle bars, pedals, 1 wheel, training wheels, and the pegs were the only parts that needed to be bolted onto the bike. It was all pretty self explanatory, and really if you're purchasing a bike in a store you won't have to worry about assembly. The one thing that I did notice was that bike is extremely HEAVY. She's at that weird age where she's tall enough for the bike, but she may not be strong enough. However, I figured getting her used to being on a real bike instead of her tricycle was a good start, and by the time next Summer rolls around she'll probably be a training wheel champion.
- Special Features: training wheels, front pegs and handlebar pad
- Riding Style: children's sidewalk bicycle
- Frame: scaled-down freestyle
- Frame Material: steel
- Handlebars: steel
- Gearing: single speed
- Seat: Mongoose screen-printed
- Brakes: rear coaster brake with front and rear caliper brakes
- Brake Levers: resin bracket, steel lever
- Wheels/Tires: 16" x 2" tires with 36-spoke steel wheels
- Rims: orange steel
- Pedals: black resin with steel axle
- Assembly required
- Weight: 28 lbs.
- Dimensions: 44" L x 22" W x 29" D
My daughter's first reaction when she saw her bike was, "Oh WOW!" She was enthralled, and couldn't wait to get herself on it. We kept it in the house for several days so she could get acclimated to it. She'd hop on and just sit there for 10/15 minutes at a time. One morning the FIRST thing she did was beg for help to sit on it. That's all she wanted to do. I showed her how to safely get herself on it, and how the brakes worked, and we'd peddle it through the hallways of our house.
After several weekend of rain making it more difficult to get out of the house with the bike, it was finally time to have my daughter test out the Mongoose Mutant. The Mutant is meant for children starting around age 4, which might be why this bike is a little heavy for her. But after making sure all of the bolts were tight, and readjusting the handle bars so she could reach them better, we took it outside and let her see what she could do.
I started her off in the grass, just because I realized we don't have a helmet for her, so we had to borrow her older sister's. (Oops!) She had the chance to re-explore, and then have a refresher course on how to get onto her Mongoose. We also went over again how the brakes work. She loves this bike just as much as she loved it the day it arrived. And, other than the weight of the bike (28 lbs), I think it's pretty darn great too. There was no aesthetic detail spared when it came to the graphics and design. The handle bars move easily, the brakes work well, and the pedals (once she gets that part down), rotate smoothly. The wheels feel like quality, and should last the entire time she's able to ride this bike. The seat, handle bars, and the training wheels are all adjustable. I think the pegs are more for looks than for function especially if this bike is meant to be ridden by 4-year-olds, but whatever. It looks super cool! And what kid doesn't want a cool looking bike?!
After her refresher course it was time to move her into our driveway. I had her face downhill to help with some of the weight, and we really worked on pedaling. She's still learning, but she's getting it. I think it finally sunk in that she has to put extra pressure on the pedals, and rotate her legs as the pedals turn. She'll get there!
It has been so much fun teaching my daughter how to ride her first bike with training wheels, and it has been awesome to work with Mongoose. We can't thank them enough for sending us the Mongoose Mutant 16" Freestyle Bike!
*I was provided a product free of charge from Mongoose in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.