Rescued and restored – 1986 Mongoose Expert BMX

1986 Mongoose Expert 20″ BMX – Brilliant Blue. A restored beauty with a nod to it’s history.


1986 Mongoose Expert BMX 4
Refound on a rubbish pile 5th April 2014 in Sydney Australia, the bike was 100% original as per 1986 Mongoose Catalogue. Although the bike had some scratches, fading and rust on some parts it was in overall pretty good restorable condition. I wasn’t intending on recreating a catalogue perfect bike, I wanted to rebuild the Mongoose BMX to the look I would have liked when I was riding BMX bikes back in the 80’s. I also wanted to keep all of the character this bike has collected through it’s lifetime.
As always the first task was to completely strip the bike. There were a few broken and completely rusted out parts that were unable to be saved, but overall most of the bike was able to be restored and re-used. The bare bones of this bike is the frame, forks, handlebars and unique pro class rims, they cleaned up brilliantly.
1986 Mongoose Expert frame, forks and bars
I really like the brilliant blue frame colour, however this Mongoose Expert was originally available with black head clamp, chain spider, pad set, black gum wall tyres. For me, the addition of black just didn’t seem to be necessary, recolouring these parts to white would simplify the colours used and set off the red white and blue sticker set and the blue and white Mongoose grips.
Using steel wool and a lot of effort, the original one piece cranks had the rust removed. Unfortunately the head set was too far gone and was replaced with new. I sanded back, and repainted the chainring spider and the base of the stem to white. I removed the original silver and black bolts and added blue anodised stem and chainring bolts. The original blue straight seat post was swapped for a white NOS lay back post. I have kept the original post just encase I ever sell the bike and want to swap it out. The original Dia Compe style silver MX seat post clamp was badly corroded and was replaced with a new white Dia Compe MX seat post clamp. New white Mongoose grips were purchased along with white gum wall tyres.
The brake set was rusted and corroded and needed a clean, so the lot went into a tub of degreaser. The clamps and pads were too old and unusable. Unfortunately the original Lee Chi logos were washed off along with years of grease and dirt. Live and learn. The spokes on the Pro Class rims were completely rusted out so they needed to be re-laced. I took the opportunity to add blue nipples and refurbish the rim strips at the same time.
Now completely rebuilt and fully restored, the BMX is a real stunner (and a keeper). The 1986 Mongoose Expert now up taking pride of place on a rack in my living room, hung on the wall, it’s a beautiful piece of modern art that can also be taken down and ridden.
Restored 1986 Mongoose Expert BMX


Take a look through the other posts on the blog, I’ve written up many of the tasks I undertook during this BMX restoration as well as a few other BMX bikes i’ve restored.

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7 thoughts on “Rescued and restored – 1986 Mongoose Expert BMX

  1. Hi Brenton.

    Love the work and final product on this one. I have a 88 Expert with Pro Class rims I am rebuilding.

    Have you got any of the Cyan rim tape left over that you used in this? Fancy selling any?


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