|Professional Tweaks, Tips & Reviews By "AJ" Picarello
|I hope you find my Tweaks and Tips section helpful. If there is something you want to know about, send me an email and I will try to add that to one of my upcoming articles.
The first year 2006 Mongoose EC-D was impressive, well everything but the tribal graphics. The EC-D seemed to come out of nowhere, spanking the competition with performance and affordability. For 2007, mongoose nailed the graphics and really didn’t change much else as far as frame design. The 2008 Goose has a bunch of functional upgrades that make it that much more desirable!
Up until now, the EC-D was available in two sizes: S/M and M/L. I was never really sure what these sizes meant. A bike is either size Small, Medium or Large. What the heck are a S/M and a M/L?Thankfully for 2008 you have the choice of three individual (legitimate) sizes. The Small is the same size as the old S/M. The new Medium is the old M/L and thankfully Mongoose has added a new size, the Large!
The size large is very good news since the old M/L really only fit riders up to about 5’10” or so. The new size large still measures 17” from bottom bracket to seat post clamp, exactly like the size Medium. The only difference between the Medium and Large is the length of the top tube. The new Large EC-D measures out around the size of a Medium Iron Horse Sunday, 2’ effective top tube length (the medium Sunday happens to be a very long bike for a size medium and fits riders 5'8-6’ tall and over). The large EC-D wheel base is a few millimeters longer than a medium Sunday thanks to a slightly slacker head angle.
I was ecstatic to say the least after taking these measurements. Obviously the Sunday has outstanding geometry as I know first hand since I raced a medium Sunday this past season, but I find that the bottom bracket is too low for my ride style and I was never into the linier/falling rate suspension.
Measuring 5'9" tall, it was an easy decision for me to choose the new size Large EC-D. I always felt during previous tests that the M/L was a bit short and the front wheel felt like it was tucked under my head tube rather than out in front where it belongs.
Many other changes have been made as well. Much as I loved the needle bearings in the old frames lower link, they would develop up and down play over time. The old needle bearings have been replaced with standard cartridge style bearings. I should also note that the bolts that the main bearings ride on are dramatically improved and strengthened as well.A gusset was designed into the frame to add strength located underneath the forward shock eyelet.
The head tube is now 1.5”!!! I absolutely love 1.5” head tubes! They are stronger, the added surface area gives the welder more to work with, larger diameter top and down tubes can be utilized in frame design and 1.5” head tubes look stout hence inspiring confidence. I should also mention that stack height is lower with 1.5” since you can run internal/reducer style headsets. Some manufacturers disagree with specing 1.5”. If you’re an engineer reading this, get with the times and dump 1 1/8”! 1.5” head tubes are so much better.
Lastly, the Mongoose EC-D used to have bolt on rear drop outs. No Longer, they now have standard welded on drops. The drops are 150mm x 12mm Maxle axle with a replaceable hanger straight off the GT DH i. I’m not sure how I feel about the new drops although I understand why Mongoose decided to switch. The replaceable drops from the past two years were a work of art. I’m sure they cost a pretty penny to produce and were virtually bomb proof, but they did have two issues.
For one, the chainring style bolts that held the replaceable drops in place (two bolts on each side) were Loctited from the factory. Problems occurred when these bolts were Loctited at the factory and not properly tightened. As you can imagine, this situation is difficult to rectify, especially at the track. If not removed and tightened properly, the Loctited, loose drops would rock back and forth, eventually destroying the bikes swing arm. If you purchased your EC-D from DOWN Cycles, don’t fret. Before you purchased your 06 or 07 EC-D, DOWN Cycles removed these problem bolts, (sometimes with an impact wrench) greased the threads and tightened them properly!
The other issue with the old drops is that they weighed a bit more compared to the new style. All you weight weenies will be happy to know, the new EC-D is slightly lighter for 2008. I would still take the replaceable drops over the new style GT DH i design. I guess I’ll find out first hand if the DH i hanger will stand the test of time.
Other than that, the new EC-D is a DH track wrecking machine. The Freedrive suspension accelerates better than any DH bike I’ve yet to ride, the BB is 14 ¼” high off the ground (perfect) and the geometry has always been spot on.
All these improvements and Mongoose has kept the price low as always! The EC-D is a deal of a lifetime! This bike is at home on the World Cup circuit as it is pinning runs at the local mountains. Mongoose has done a good deed for the sport of DH, offering a complete DH bike that rips, has improved every year and stands the test of time. Let us not forget that the EC-D is a blast to ride! First place finishes, here I come!
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