Back in January I decided to buy a Mongoose Dolomite fat bike on sale for $191.99, or about the price of an average fat bike rear hub. I received my Mongoose Dolomite from Walmart approximately a week after purchase. The Dolomite came partially assembled in a 61 x 30 x 10 inch box. The shipping was free despite the fact that the box weighed 59.8 pounds.
The first thing I noticed was that the bike wasn’t packaged very carefully. The frame wasn’t wrapped in anything, which resulted in some scuffs on the frame and fork. Also, the rear brake cable was pinched which caused the braided cable to fray. Because the frayed cable will not slide through the brake housing, the brakes are stuck partially engaged. Since the brake is rubbing, I haven’t been able to ride more than a few times around the parking lot at work. To make it more ride-able, I will be replacing all of the cables and housing on the Dolomite.
Despite the minor damage during shipping, the Dolomite actually looks pretty awesome. For a steel bike, the frame tubes seem extremely large, not sleek and thin like a steel Surly fatbike. It’s almost as if the Dolomite was originally designed for aluminum tubing, but in the end design they swapped the aluminum tubing for much cheaper steel. Because steel is approximately 2.5 denser than aluminum, the Dolomite weighs a whopping 48 pounds.
The majority of the components on the Mongoose Dolomite are not brand-name components. The only real exception being the 7-speed Shimano rear derailleur. There are a few other components that I will have to replace before I can ride the Dolomite off road. The brake levers are plastic and feel so cheap that I would be worried that they would snap off while braking down a hill.
Since I am replacing the brake cable, I am going to replace the levers with some spare metal Avid mechanical levers that I have laying around. I also tried adjusting the rear derailleur with not much luck. I noticed that the grip shifter doesn’t have consistent cable pull through the different gear changes. I will probably buy a inexpensive Shimano 7-speed shifter and replace the cable and see if that helps.
After I make these changes, I will test the Dolomite on the trail and post my findings.
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