Mongoose’s new Khyber Super is an all-mountain bike in capital letters. It’s burlier than nearly all of the 6in bikes we tested back in August, and it has the build and geometry for some serious alpine riding. It’s basically a Teocali on steroids with a stronger and stiffer frame, beefed up link and OnePointFive head tube. A medium-sized frame with shock is about 8.5lb, the whole bike here is 35.4lb!
It might look like Mongoose has forsaken its round tube for hydraforming, but look closely and you’ll see the top tube on the Khyber is a monocoque. It’s made using two shaped 6061 T6 aluminium clam shells that are welded together. Mongoose has opted for this simply because it’s a cheaper and more cost-effective way of doing things. The top tube is still strong, it splays out slightly at the rear and is also welded to the down tube, sharing some of the frontal load. But the finish is a little rough on our sample — there’s a small amount of buckling along the weld area.
Most of the links, supports and rockers are either forged or extruded and made to look sharp with some CNC machining. The lower shock mount is the new pocket style, like on the Teocali, and the stays are a similar square-section but bigger. We’d like to see a modular dropout or a through-axle at the rear of this bike.
KEEP IT SEALED
Last month we said the Khyber had better sealed bearings than previous bikes, but all Mongoose has done is replace the needle bearings housed within the mini-link behind the bottom bracket, for cartridge bearings, which as a consequence of their size, are spaced further outboard.
The Khyber is one of the few bikes we’ve seen this year with Marzocchi shocks front and rear. The 55 ATA fork can be dropped from 165 to 125mm by twisting a dial, and it also has a new TST Micro compression adjuster instead of the old pre-set system. Weight is a claimed 4.86lb, which is on the generous side. The Roco rear shock is air sprung with tuneable bottom-out resistance, TST compression pre-sets and rebound adjustment.
When finishing the Khyber, Mongoose has either cherry-picked the best parts from a number of quality manufacturers or it’s been a like a kid in a sweet shop and gone for a bit of everything. The Khyber has Formula disc brakes, an FSA crankset with MRP chain device, Shimano XT front mech but a SRAM X.9 rear, Funn handlebars and stem but an Easton post, WTB wheels but Kenda tyres. It all works OK but feels a bit disjointed. At least Mongoose hasn’t fallen into the trap of speccing the Khyber with lightweight cross-country parts or a stem that’s too long.
We need to take this bike to Wales, Scotland or the Alps before we comment on whether it is a great all-mountain bike or just a good value one, but the geometry (specifically the 67-degree head angle), weight and build are all pointing in the same direction.
FRAME: 6061-T6 aluminium
SUSPENSION: Marzocchi 55 ATA fork, Marzocchi Roco Air TST R piggyback shock
WHEELS: WTB Laser Disc Super Duty hubs (20 mm through-axle front), WTB Laser Disc Trail rims and Kenda Nevegal DTC tyres
GROUPSET: FSA Gravity Light crankset, Shimano XT front derailleur, SRAM X.9 rear derailleur and shifters, Formula K24 disc brakes
COMPONENTS: Easton EA70 seatpost, WTB Pure V Race FR saddle, Funn FatBoy handlebar, Rippa stem, MRP Long Range Patrol chain device
SIZES: S, M, L
CONTACT: www.hot-wheels.co.uk or www.mongoose-bicycles.com