I’m quite a novice when it comes to the category of Fixie/Single-speed bikes, and so when I heard about Mango bikes I wasn’t quite sure what to make of them. After some research and experience, I can say that these bikes are refreshingly different from your regular bike. Mango Bikes was established in 2012 with the aim of providing University students with quality cycles at lower prices, and since then has gone to produce 18-speed models.
A fixie bike – if you’re unaware – is a bike that needs to be continuously pedalled in order to stay moving as it has no free-wheel in it, and as such are very reliable and stripped back bikes. Mango bikes take a clean-cut and modern angle on fixies, with many different colour combinations and specifications available. Overall, their bikes start very cheaply, with base models costing around £280, rising to around £480 for the premium builds.
Because of the low prices, this could be a sign of poor build quality, although generally these bikes stand up pretty well when inspected. All of their bikes are manufactured first-hand, and as a result there are plenty of own-brand parts included, and while obviously these will not be as good as the more expensive brands such as Shimano, they do the job well.
The road bikes that Mango makes are also more than proficient enough to get around and would be a worthwhile investment for beginners looking for a first purchase. For a more matured cyclist you would probably be better off looking at the higher end of the spectrum, despite the aesthetic flair that these bikes definitely possess.
From my experiences with these bikes as a first-time fixie rider, you should be warned that I nearly fell off multiple times as I instinctively stopped pedalling downhill, and you should be aware of this when starting out. However, once I got the basics down, there was a sense of control and speed that is hard to come by on different bike types for this price. I can see why these bikes became such an essential addition into the student market: they’re fast, but fashionable and minimalist too. Not only does this make them attractive for students, but there are also some pretty decent student discounts to be redeemed.
Away from bikes, Mango also has a full range of accessories and individual bike parts at quite good prices if you just need a replacement, and all bikes also come with a 3 year warranty.
Unfortunately for Mango, when they entered the industry they were pretty much the only manufacturer in this area of the market, but they are starting to have competition from companies such as Pure Fix Cycles and Quella. I still prefer Mango’s design to these other 2 brands though, although I will have to try and test what those ones can offer to see if the ride is substantially different.
According to the Mango Bikes website, they have a few basic principles that they follow such as ‘Simplicity’, ‘Style’ and ‘Quality’, and while these seem like run-of-the-mill things, Mango does well to deliver on all 3 of these fronts.
I do have a couple of gripes with Mango Bikes however. Mostly to do with their delivery service, which may be struggling to cope with the demand, as my bike arrived a week later than advocated. Furthermore, the road bikes seemed a bit ordinary and lacked the finesse and raw speed found on other ones of this type.
If you’re looking for a slightly different ride than normal, or if you’re an urban commuter or student, Mango is an affordable and stylish choice for Fixie bikes. It doesn’t surprise me that they have been awarded the best value urban bikes. The amount of customisation you are allowed in terms of appearance is refreshing and the build quality from mostly own-brand parts is solid, if unspectacular.
If you’re looking for a road bike or a more refined ride however, Mango will do the job but falls behind the specialists in that area who can offer much more bang for not many more bucks.
Overall, in just a short few years Mango bikes has expanded considerably and has wisely chosen a market where they excel, giving the urban fixie market a welcome breathe of fresh air.
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