Mongoose’s BMX Product Manager Brian Baldis has one cool job.How many guys do you know get to create a limited edition “replica” bike from 9 to 5? From what we hear, he’s been working on the project for almost a year now and should have bikes ready to show by Interbike. 500 are going to be made, so if shops are interested (and with as popular as retro stuff has been lately we’d be surprised if they weren’t), this is something you want to check out sooner than later. We contacted Baldis for more information about his project.
What made you decide to do a replica bike?
About a year ago, I bought a 1980 Mongoose off of EBAY from a guy in So Cal. It got me thinking about re-creating a complete bike from that era…one that would get old-schoolers excited to see a Mongoose in mint condition out of the box. Plus, we were coming off of our 30th anniversary and Redline had done a nice frame/fork replica for Interbike 2004 that got BMX people stirred up. Retro is in and it seemed like a good time to do it. I also liked the challenge of building something that hadn’t been done in decades.
How long have you been working on the project?
In total, on and off for about eight months
What have been the hardest parts?
Believe it or not, finding a source for the rat-trap style pedals.
Mongoose is doing a limited run of 500 worldwide. First, why so few, and second, when will dealers be able to order them?
We looked at the interest of our customers/distributors domestically and international. Based on the forecasts and our hope to make it a valuable and limited item, we settled on the nice round number of 500. If we made thousands, it would just be another model and not as special. Dealers can place orders in August.
Did you keep the geometry the same as the old bikes?
Yes, all the materials and geometry are the same as in the 70s. We also made the box look retro, plus, the owners manual cover is done like the original. I wanted the whole package to tell a story.
Were any of the parts on this bike re-designed specifically for this or were they all bought stock from the TBG?
The frame, fork, stem and bars had to be made from scratch using the old dimensions and shapes. Beyond that, it became a search through current and old vendor catalogs to find items that fit the original 70s style, like tires, seat, pedals, grips, brakes, and levers.
How much did the bike retail for back in its day? I’m guessing the $349 price is pretty close to what it used to be back then…
I was about four years old when the bike was first sold, so I can’t say what the retail price was; Skip Hess might have to field that one.
Any chance of resurrecting the Motomags?
Actually I looked into doing the Motomag again. It would have taken this bike to the next level of cool. Unfortunately materials, molds and massive tooling costs got in the way. I had the option to remake the Motomag shape in a nylon material (like the mags of today), but it just wouldn’t be the same as the classic metal construction. So, I opted for the spoked wheels with black anodized rims.