CSG has an interesting mix of brands. Cannondale remains the premium offering, GT’s been strong internationally and making a splash again in the US market with their 2014 lineup, and Mongoose is splitting their offerings between big box stores and independent bike shops.
We asked what the differences were, and the gist of it is this: The upper tier lineup shown here is spec’d far better than the bikes you’ll find in the big box stores. Branding will be consistent across all the bikes regardless of where they’re sold, but even with the IBD bikes, they’ll be pretty competitive. After looking through their 2014 lineup, the highlights shown here really do seem to offer a pretty compelling mix of features and spec for the price.
The most impressive example is the Boot’r downhill bike…
The Boot’r is a full on downhill bike with a heavily shaped frame, 8″ of travel, dual crown Rockshox Domain fork, SRAM X7/X9 mix, 8″ rotors. It’s been raced by Chris Akrigg and Amir Kabani, and it gets you on the mountain for just $2,600. Why is this good? Because park bikes get trashed, especially if you’re just getting into it, so why spend more?
It, and the 150mm Teocali (below), use their FreeDrive suspension design. It creates a rearward arcing wheel path, which they say helps maintain momentum over bumps.
Depending on spec, you can get the Teocali for $1,900 to $2,600.
Another good example: The Meteore Expert 650B hardtail has a triple butted alloy frame with XT shifters, rear derailleur and cassette, SLX front shifter, WTB Frequency tubeless ready rims, Kenda tires and Rockshox Reba fork for $2,600. All in it’s at 25lbs.
Their Tyax 29er hardtail starts at just $599, but for just $899 you get the Tyax Expert with Deore/Alivio group, Suntour XCR air fork. Kenda tires and Alex rims. We’d think for a bike shop to be able to get someone on a 29er with real parts for well under a grand is an appealing proposition. For comparison, there’s a Mongoose Stat 29er at big box for $229, but the frame isn’t going to be as well built and the component spec definitely won’t be equivalent.
The Salvo 29er gets a different suspension design that’s more XC oriented suspension and 100mm travel with a floating lower shock mount.
The Expert gets a Recon fork, XT/SLX/Alivio mix and Frequency rims for $1,800.
Not shown, the Mongoose Fireball is a 6061 alloy singlespeed dirt jump bike designed with Amir. It gets a Manitou Circus fork, Kore wheels and cockpit and Tektro mechanical disk brakes for $799.
Most of the bikes are running Hayes Prime brakes, some using Dynos, and lower level stuff gets Tektro or other brakes.