The Mongoose Crossway 300 is perfect for the person looking for a hybrid bicycle on a budget. The look and feel of this bike however is far from budget. A sturdy well balanced and comfortable great for commuting and casual riding. Coming in well below the £300 mark and available online delivered to your door it’s an absolute bargain.
Here is what the latest model looks like. For detailed info on the performance of this bike and where to pick one up at the cheapest price check the following:
For anyone with a keen interest in bikes it’s impossible not to have come across the Mongoose Crossway at some point in time, after all this particular model has been around in some form or another since the early 90s! Now established as a top contender in the hybrid sector with a selection of basic to higher end bikes, the latest Crossway 300 sits comfortably within the mid-range price bracket and has certainly managed to improve on the high standards set out by its predecessor. So what’s all the fuss about? Allow us to enlighten you as we take you through the pros and cons of this spectacular hybrid bike.
History of the company
To understand the design and development that has gone into the Mongoose Crossway its first necessary to understand the history of the company itself. Established in 1974, California based firm Mongoose first entered the market as a manufacturer of BMXs and quickly became a market leader in their respective field, fuelled by this growth the company diversified into other areas within the industry. Currently the lines of bikes offered by Mongoose stretch from the likes of mountain bikes and racers up to hybrids, which as a progressive market feature a good variety of models with differing levels of specification and components.
The Crossway series consists of a similar platform with each model designated a different number which from low to high represents the respective quality level. Sitting in the middle of the pack behind the 200 and before the 350 is the 300, which bridges the gap between the high end of the basic market and the top end model. The result is a bike which offers considerable value for money having inherited the price tag closer to the 200 and a specification more akin to the 350.
A Stylish Hybrid
It’s all well and good describing the Crossway as a hybrid because of course it is, but as with all hybrid models this generic title only scratches the surface of the bike itself and in this bikes case certainly doesn’t do it justice! Although the Crossway 300 can perform almost anything asked of it, just by looking at its laid back stance, 700c wheels and rear rack, it’s clear that its primary function is that of a commuter or touring style bike. It’s only fair then to judge the Crossway on what it was designed to do, which is to get riders from A to B with the minimum amount of fuss and maximum ease. The focus on comfort is apparent within the design of the bike itself, whilst the parts used to achieve this comfort are of great quality adding to the ever important reliability of your daily ride.
It’s these two main factors which allow the Crossway to uphold its status as a much revered commuter, however it has a second indisputable purpose too and thats of a touring bike. The comfort enhancing features of the frame also plays a vital part in this too; on a regular commuter longer rides could leave you feeling saddle sore! With the 300 you can go the distance and take leisurely rides through the countryside or longer journeys that would normally require a tourer.
Features & Components
Reading a specification of any bike only really tells you half the story, sure there may be recognisable brand names or impressive sounding figures but what does it all really mean? Although a full spec will bombard you with information like the make of handlebars or the colour of the seat, of course there is important info in there too, namely the gears, brakes, suspension, chainset and wheels. All of these incorporate a number of components which can affect the overall performance of the bike, check out our in depth analysis of each key area below:
The gears can be broken up into two main areas the front and rear derailleur and the shifters located on the handlebars. Starting with the latter the 24 gear Shimano EZ fire shifters are integrated into the same package that contains the brake levers, consisting of two separate levers (one on top, one below) that control shifting gears up and down, simple! At the business end the Crossway packs a Shimano M191 Front Derailleur and a rear Altus M310. Although this may not mean much to some, what you’re looking at here is smooth, almost effortless gear changes, combine this with the Shimano EZ Fire shifters and you’ve got a force to be reckoned with.
As with the gears the Promax V-brakes use the Shimano EZ Fire plus lever setup, being a simple but effective form of brakes the general setup is no different than any other bike which sports the same V-brake system. The difference is in the quality of the components used in the brakes, Promax and Shimano, two brands synonymous with brakes and renowned for their superior quality.
Calling suspension may be overdoing it slightly as like a lot of commuter style hybrids; the Crossway 300 features a rigid front fork and a hard tail. The lack of suspension is made up for slightly by the comfort focused frame and large saddle, although with the type of riding this bike is designed for this isn’t a major problem.•
The chainset forms an integral part of a bikes reliability, essentially powering the bike. The 300 has opted for a SR Suntour XCC which from the Prowheel chainset used on the 200 is a big step up in quality. The chainset is finished off with 170mm forged alloy cranks and Wellgo alloy pedals.
The choice of wheel can have a knock on effect to the rest of the bike, the 700c wheels features on the Crossway are the only real choice, at 29” they offer a larger size than the standard 26” wheels found on mountain bikes. The result is a bike that can accelerate quickly and provide an increased level of control. For the slim line tyres that they are the Continental Contact 700 x 37c tyres provide excellent grip and mirror the high standards set elsewhere on the bike.
As a company with a heritage in BMX and an active member of the extreme biking community featuring in the like of the Dew tour and the X-games, it comes as no surprise that the Crossway 300 is of the same ilk. Although it’s regarded as a more of a comfort bike suitable for touring or commuting, when the going gets tough the 6061 alloy frame can take a lot of punishment – although it’s probably ill-advised due to the lack of any real suspension! The frame is an important part of a bike if not THE most important, although Mongooses pedigree in high performance dirt jumpers and mountain bikes sets it in good stead, there’s a lot more than that to the Crossway 300.
Great Value Price
The reasonable price tag is another factor that draws people to the Crossway 300, for those on a tight budget but still looking for a certain level of quality the standards found on this bike give a great return on your investment. Compared to its mid-range contemporaries like the Raleigh Voyager or the Ridgeback Metro, the Crossway offers a better overall ride quality and better features to boot. If you’re looking for something more in line with a Specialized Sirrus, but within the commuter market sector then a Mongoose Crossway 300 is by far your best bet.
How does it look?
We can talk about all the different specifications, how it performs, the riding experience but one thing that can make or break a bike is looks. If could be fitted out with best kit and still if it rides like a dream but looks like garbage chances are you won’t be riding away on it! Fortunately the Mongoose 300 looks the part too, it’s by no means as attention grabbing as a fixie or a cruiser, however it’s sure to turn a few heads as you ride by.
The key to the success of the Crossways appealing aesthetics is its simplicity, take the subtle curvature of the frame as it meets the stem for example an then there’s the paintwork. Mongoose have perfected the art of the two colour paint job of to a T, with practical features like the brake cable housing and the handlebar grips all working in tandem to achieve a modern but refined look. Combine this with the trademark Mongoose branding, influenced by their BMX roots and you’ve got a serious looking bike with a playful edge.
As we’ve already established, the individual components that make up the Crossway 300 are all from recognised names and of good quality, but how does that translate in terms of the bike as a whole? The frame plays a pivotal role in the overall ride experience; with its slight incline from saddle to the handlebars the resulting ergonomically enhanced ride allows users to cycle in relative comfort.
The V-brakes are by far the best option on a bike like this, not only do they deliver enough stopping power to the larger 700c wheels, the exclusion of a disc brake adds to the lightweight nature and subsequently making it easier to pedal as a result. Coupled with the Shimano Fire EZ gear shifter and associated derailleurs, operating the bike couldn’t be easier, with efficient gear changes and a reliable braking setup, riders can accelerate and stop with remarkable ease.
As a commuter style hybrid the lack of suspension really isn’t as big a deal as you’d think, the large 700c wheels make up for it in some respects, reducing the impact of any kerbs or potholes you may encounter on your travels. The larger soft gel saddle and natural riding position also add to its ability to soak up any bumps in the road you may encounter!As can be gleaned from the above, the edge it has over some of the budget commuter bikes is comfort. This means that rides of longer length can be undertaken, which is where the rear rack comes in too. The inclusion of the rack is no coincidence, it’s been added by Mongoose to promote its quality as a touring style bike, strap on some panniers and ride off into the sunset!
We’ve already discussed the aesthetic appeal of the curved geometry on the frame and the way in which the top bar is angled to help support a comfortable riding experience but what about the practicalities of the Mongoose Crossway 300?One aspect of the sizing you’ll need to get to grips with is the way Mongoose categorises the size of their frames. Instead of the conventional method of stating the size in terms of inches they have opted for a variety of different size bands instead: X Small, Small, Medium, Large, and X Large, these translate into inches as follows:
X Small – Inside Leg Length of 24” – 26”, Height of 5,0” – 5,3”•
Small – Inside Leg Length of 27” – 30”, Height of 5,5” – 5,7”•
Medium – Inside Leg Length of 30” – 32”, Height of 5,8” – 5,10”•
Large – Inside Leg Length of 32” – 34”, Height of 5,10” – 6,1”•
X Large – Inside Leg Length of 34” – 36”, Height of 6,1” – 6,3”
For some this won’t come as a surprise as it’s slowly coming into practice with numerous other brands too, however it’s certainly something to bear in mind! It’s also worth mentioning that Mongoose also supply a range of Women’s Crossway bikes too, packed with all the same features but with a different frame.
Is it Any Good?
That’s the big question isn’t it; does this much anticipated hybrid live up to the hype that surrounds it? The specification is certainly impressive, as is the ride experience and it dual purpose as a commuter or a touring style bike. Of course it does have slight downsides like any bike, but the majority of these are only present due to the major advancements in other areas, rather than a design flaw. Mongoose have been around for a long time check out their wiki entry to find out more about the company.
Taking all this into account the answer to the question has to be a resounding yes, as a reasonably priced mid-range hybrid it punches well above its weight, wiping the floor with a lot of its competitors and providing commuters with a viable alternative to having two bikes for work and leisure.