Most BMX collectors and restorers overlook the Mongoose M1 BMX. I It's hi-ten steel frame was the entry level Mongoose bike in the 80's. For me, this made it the perfect subject for an old school bike restoration and rebuild with custom Mongoose Decals - without ruffling any purist BMX collector feathers.
My Mongoose M1 frame was purchased and imported to Australia from The USA. It was in pretty poor condition with 30 years of stickers and rattle can black paint to remove. This meant the frame was destined for a new finish.
The first step in the 1985 Mongoose M1 BMX restoration was to strip the frame down and prep for paint. Unfortunately the original Mongoose decals which were under all of that were unsalvageable (but I kinda knew that). After stripping and getting rid of the sticker goo, the frame was given a citric bath to remove the rust.
The Mongoose M1 frame was then sanded back to the original paint and primer. 1985 was the first year Mongoose made the M1 BMX frame. It's the classic Mongoose looptail design as used on most Mongoose BMX bikes through the eighties.
The original colour was white frame, white bars and white forks. I wasn't going to build a catalogue perfect Mongoose M1, why would I, I wanted something different, a custom rider/survivor, so it's going to be a bit of everything.
I decided on the white, gold, chrome and black colours. So the Mongoose M1 frame was resprayed white - then the search began for chrome forks and handlebars.
For a little bling I decided on gold brakes, clamps and other parts. I found a set of chrome steel Pro-Class rims (these are the Kinlin made rims not CMC) in pretty good condition, when I finally got them they were pretty buckled, so truing them up was a challenge.
They even had the old, I assume original Mongoose Pro-Class sticker still attached to the rim around the valve hole. Re-laced to 1987/88 (not quite year correct) Joytech hubs with gold spoke nipples. I'll be making a set of gold rim strips from scratch for these chrome Pro-Class rims. I could have bought new repro gold, but I'm pretty confident I can recreate a good set since doing the restoration on the blue set on my 1986 Mongoose Expert.
Other parts I have collected for the Mongoose M1 restoration were a very used Polygon head stem that had a badly faded top clamp was re-anodised in gold. A set of 1988 (again not quite date correct) Mongoose Expert Chrome BMX handlebars. And a repro set of Dia Compe brakes that I had purchased on a whim were perfect to add to the gold repro Dia Compe seat post clamp and re-anodised Sugino 44T chain ring and repro gold pedals.
I eventually found a set of chrome 1993 Mongoose Californian forks, they were pricey but look awesome. The only parts that are still to be installed on the 1995 Mongoose M1 BMX are new black AME grips, a set of black Cheng Shin 20x1.75 Comp 3 tyres and a custom gold and black M1 decals stickers to finish off.
Completed this bike looks amazing. The colour combo works really well.
The Mongoose M1 was finished off with a custom one-off, black over gold, hand-cut Mongoose M1 decal set.
This is definitely up there as one of my favourite builds. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
If you want to know more about your Mongoose BMX visit BMX Catalogue - you'll find all the original catalogue info you need including original parts lists, specs, colours and high resolution photos perfect for rebuild reference.
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