In the spring of 2013 Walmart introduced the 26″ Mongoose Beast Men’s All-Terrain Fat Tire Mountain Bike to serve the “fat tire” bike wave that was sweeping the nation.
As with most of the bikes Walmart sells the Mongoose Beast was/is an inexpensive alternative to the top-of-the-line fat tire bikes sold by other manufacturers. In fact, at $199, the Beast was a fraction of the cost one would expect to pay for a name brand, full-featured fat tire bike.
The Mongoose Beast was single-speed on “supersized beach cruiser 4-1/4″ knobby tires” and featured a “rigid steel, cruiser design frame”. [Personally, I think the frame is more of a BMX design rather and cruiser design.]
Of course the quality of the Beast was debatable. The Mongoose Beast was much maligned and ridiculed by passionate fat tire enthusiasts. See Gear Junkie’s Fat Bike trend Dead? Walmart sells ‘Beast’ bike for $199 or MTBR’s forum Walmart Mongoose Beast sucks!, or many others.
However the Beast also had it’s legions of fans — particularly amongst bicycle builders. With it’s 4.25″-wide wheel set and tires, and steel frame (good for welding) the Beast offered bike hackers and builders an inexpensive palette from which to design. Heck, one couldn’t even pick up a fat-tire wheel for the $199 price tag of the Beast.
As an example of what could be done with the Beast see Rat Rod Bikes’ forum Mongoose Beast Fat Bike build and ideas. [Last I checked there were 29 pages of comments on that thread.] Or, check out one of my own builds, the Playa Marauder, that used a Mongoose Beast as a central component.
I purchased my first Mongoose Beast (pictured above) in 2013 for use on the playa during Burning Man. It immediately became my go-to bike for traversing the playa — and remains so today. With its 4-1/4″ wide tires, the Beast floats effortlessly across the unpredictable dunes and ruts of the ever changing playa surface. Additionally it’s simple single-speed design lends itself well to the harsh dusty conditions of the playa.
My Beast [pictured below] features ape hanger handlebars and lay back seat post to give me more room in the cockpit. I also swapped out the pedals.
As I mentioned above, for my needs, the Mongoose Beast can not be beat. Out of the box, stock, the Beast is hands down one of the best bikes for Burning Man, IMO. For chopping and hacking the Beast offers an inexpensive means to add some “fat tire” to one’s builds.
Though seldom seen on the floor of Walmart stores today, the Mongoose Beast can be ordered through Walmart’s website. And sometimes on sale for much less than the $199 list price. [I have seen it as low as $169 on sale.] Occasionally one can find a Beast on Craigslist. For example, I picked up this one for less than $100 on Craigslist in 2014.
Which I later used for the Playa Marauder build.