The Point R is a brand new road bike from British brand Mango Bikes, and it offers a smooth looking aluminium frame with internal cable routing and a carbon fork. It's available at four prices, starting from £449.99 and rising to £749.98 for the bike tested here.
The Point R has a splendid looking frame. It's made from 6061 aluminium with a shapely down tube and top tube which both combine to give the bike a sporty appearance, with the down tube flaring into a tapered head tube. The majority of the welds are smooth, giving the appearance of a more expensive carbon frame when viewed from a distance. It's a shame the smooth welds don't extend to around the bottom bracket shell though.
Contributing to its smooth appearance is the use of internal cable routing. Instead of the cables running along the outside of the frame, they disappear inside the down tube and re-emerge underneath the bottom bracket. It's very neatly finished. This is something that only used to appear on road bikes costing many thousands of pounds, but Mango makes use of it on a bike costing just £450, which is impressive.
Because Mango Bikes has built a reputation for targeting bikes at new cyclists with its line of single-speed and 18-speed steel road bikes, it has looked to make the Point R accessible to beginners and those just getting into cycling. Choosing the right bike can be be a daunting task, but Mango aims to make its Point R a good introduction to road cycling, and that includes the fit and handling.
There are only three frame sizes but each has a relaxed geometry, making the Point R an easy bike to ride, regardless of your experience level. The long wheelbase provides a great deal of stability when riding at speed, helping it to smooth out rougher roads. The head tube height places the handlebar at a comfortable height, and a generous stack of steerer tube spacers provides plenty of adjustment if you want to go higher or lower.
Unlike most road bikes, the stem is very short. This keeps the reach accessible, but to ensure the bike isn't too cramped, the front centre (the distance to the front hub from the centre of the bottom bracket) has been stretched out a little. That provides a comfortable fit and my concerns that the steering would be too lively proved unfounded: the Point R is surprisingly at ease when dicing through congested streets and being carved along country lanes.
Build options start off with a Shimano Claris groupset for £449.99, and rise all the way to Shimano 105 for £649.99. That's the price with Mango's own in-house wheels; if you have another £99.99 you can upgrade to the Vision Team 30 wheels as on our test bike. The wheels retail for £220 so that's a bit of a bargain really.
I didn't get the chance to try the own-brand wheels but the Vision wheels certainly give the Point R a speedy feel on the roads, with good acceleration, plenty of stiffness and a dose of aerodynamics when clocking along at a high pace. They're a worthwhile upgrade, but the £749.98 price does push the Point R close to some very stiff competition, including the excellent Raleigh Criterium Sport I tested recently which comes in at £750 with a similarly sleek frame and fully equipped with the latest Tiagra groupset.
Examples of Shimano 105-specced bikes at this price are hard to find, even though it's the older 10-speed version and not the newer 11-speed groupset. Sora is common at this price, and 105 doesn't usually make an appearance until you spend over a grand, so that's good going and impressive that Mango has worked the figures well to even offer the older 105 at this price.
The Shimano 105 parts have clearly eaten into the budget, because the chainset and brakes are replaced with an FSA Vero compact chainset and Tektro R315 brakes. The chainset is attached to the frame using a square taper bottom bracket. Nothing wrong with square taper bottom brackets, but it's not unreasonable to expect better at this price. That said, performance was decent with plenty of stiffness when stamping on the pedals, and bearing durability proved good throughout the test.
Finishing kit is the same across the range: an assortment of Tektro R315 brake callipers and Mango's own Chasewood label for the handlebar, stem, seatpost and saddle. The Tektro R315 brakes had a very firm feel through the brake levers with not a lot of feel, and despite a hard pull on the lever there wasn't a huge deal of retardation on offer. They stop you, eventually, but I'd like a bit more feel and more modulation in the brake levers.
The Chasewood kit is all good quality stuff, and the saddle in particular (which has a familiar shape) was very comfortable with generous padding. It was a comfortable bike to ride for many miles, with the handlebar offering a nice short reach and the narrow 27.2mm seatpost providing a bit of rear end compliance.
Any fans of wide tyres will be delighted with the fact that the Point R has been designed to accommodate up to 32mm tyres. That max tyre size decreases to 28mm if you make use of the mudguard eyelets on the frame and fork. Being able to fit mudguards is a smart move and will satisfy anyone eyeing up the Point R as a daily commuter or winter training bike.
The stock 25mm Kenda tyres are a suitable option for commuting and ward off punctures well, but lack finesse and traction in a wide range of conditions if tackling a long distance ride or sportive over a variety of roads. Mango offers a Continental tyre upgrade which might be a prudent choice, but further ramps up the price.
At 9.85kg (21.71lb) the Point R isn't unreasonably heavy. There's little urgency when accelerating up to speed from a standing start, but once at a decent pace it zips along very nicely. There's fun in the way it corners, with a nice weight to the steering and the stability that comes from the long wheelbase, which encourages you to throw it into the turns.
The Point R doesn't follow conventional road race bike geometry, because it's not designed to be a race bike.The combination of the longer wheelbase, taller head tube and slacker head angle, along with the short stem, provides stable handling without any of the twitchiness or nervousness of some bikes at this price that trace their DNA back to a race bike. That means, quite simply, that it's an easy bike to ride.
It's also a fun bike to ride. The colourful paint job certainly helps (other colours are available) but there's just something inherently playful about the Point R. It's not a racing bike, it's not pretending to be, but it doesn't lack in performance if you're really starting to get into cycling in a big way and want a bike that can match your ambition.
It's an easy bike to nip between cars and buses, too, making it an ideal commuting bike. Throw on some mudguards and you have year-round versatility. Head out into the hills at the weekend and the Point R will hold its head high above more expensive rivals, and it serves as a great introduction to the world of cycling. It certainly won't put you off.
Its long distance capabilities were recently tested too, when Mango marketing manager Pete Gordon and a friend rode a pair of Point R road bikes, unsupported, from Poole to Prague, and encountered some punishing roads and weather along the way. You can read about it here.
Part of Mango's appeal is a high level of customisation unmatched by many brands, and the direct-sales approach that means you buy the bikes through its colourful website. All bikes are built to order in its UK facility — which allows it to offer the level of customisation it does — and backed up by a three-year warranty on the frame and fork and a 30-day return policy.
The Mango Point R is a likeable road bike with really accessible handling and performance regardless of your level of road cycling experience. The great handling, smart looking frame, and most of a Shimano 105 groupset are highlights, but it's a shame to see a square taper bottom bracket. Otherwise it's a really fun bike to ride and will suit anyone new to cycling or looking to upgrade from a cheaper first road bike.
A fun and very likeable bike with a mostly impressive specification for the money
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Mango Point R
Size tested: medium, yellow
About the bike
State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.
Mango says: "The Point R is the flat-out fastest bike we've ever made at Mango Bikes. Developed over the last year, from the ground up, by our experienced design team, we've used some of the best component manufacturers from around the world, tested and refined and like all our bikes, hand assembled at our UK HQ.
"We've refined the geometry of our firmly established models, with feedback from riders and racers, commuters and couriers, men and women, to get a bike that works for everyone. We even equipped the frame with fittings for a rack or mudguards meaning it's useable year round! Using lightweight aluminium and super smooth welding gives a superb lightweight chassis, with incredible strength to weight and durability. Comfortable dropbars allow you to put the power down through the Shimano transmission, our handbuilt wheels on Chasewood sealed bearing hubs and quality dual ring FSA crankset. Brake and transmission cables are kept neatly hidden away, with internal cable routing throughout.
"From commuting to road racing, café runs, triathlon, sportives or just big days out on the road, the Point R has everything covered in the proven Mango Bikes style. Four colour options and unique customisable features, including wheel and tyre upgrades, allow you the freedom to spec this bike your own.
"Our game-changing, direct to consumer business model means this level of performance and style is available at previously unheard of prices, resulting in double the bike for the money. In any competition – either on the road, or in the shops – you'll win hands down with Mango Bikes!"
Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
list item Unique 6061 Alu tubing with SuperSmooth welding process.
list item Internal brake and transmission cable routing.
list item Carbon fibre fork with mudguard fitting brackets.
list item Quick release sealed bearing Chasewood RD2.0 Wheelset or Vision Team 30 upgrade option.
list item Shimano brakeset, shifters and gear components.
list item Sealed bottom bracket and wheel bearings.
list item FSA crankset.
list item Durable finishing components with puncture resistant tyre option.
list item Stylish and hard-wearing matte paint finish with new minimal graphics.
list item Mudguard, pannier mounts and bottle cage mounts.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
The 6061 aluminium frame with hydroformed tubes, smooth welds and internal cable routing provide a classy appearance.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
Aluminium frame and carbon fibre fork with an aluminium steerer tube.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
Longer wheelbase and front centre with a taller head tube.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
Even with the short stem the bike provided a good fit, but the stem length can be adjusted to provide your required reach. Front end height was good.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
The Point R dealt with my local rough roads really well, but the tyres lacked the compliance of higher quality rubber.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
The frame has a sprightly feel only slightly offset by the weight. Front-end stiffness was good and overshadowed the square taper crankset.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Fairly efficient power transfer when you need to get a move on.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Quite relaxed.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
Handling was relaxed and very stable at speed.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
I'd take up Mango's Continental tyre upgrade option.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
The Vision wheels are a worthwhile upgrade and provide good stiffness and aero performance.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
It's a shame to see a square taper crankset at this price, but unless you're really going for the utmost performance, it's works just fine.
Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?
It's rare to get Shimano 105 at this price even though there are a few shortcuts to make it all work. The new Tiagra groupset is going to look very appealing at this price point as demonstrated by the £750 Raleigh Criterium Sport.
Wheels and tyres
Tell us some more about the wheels and tyres.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels or tyres? If so, what for?
The Vision wheel upgrade is worthwhile, they're £220 for the pair but Mango lets you have them for £99, which is a bargain. I'd upgrade to the Continental tyres while I was at it.
Saddle was very comfortable.
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
I was impressed with the Mango branded saddle. It was very comfortable.
Anything else you want to say about the componentry? Comment on any other components (good or bad)
It's all good quality kit and performs well.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? Maybe
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The Mango Point R is a likeable road bike with really accessible handling and performance regardless of your level of road cycling experience. The great handling, smart looking frame are highlights, along with most of a Shimano 105 groupset, but it's a shame to see a square taper bottom bracket. Otherwise it's a really fun bike to ride and will suit anyone new to cycling or looking to upgrade from a cheaper first road bike.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.