Strengths: Amazing bike for the money. Complete XX bike for the cost of most ti frames ! Frame and finish are beautiful ! Multi shaped tubes are cool.Welds are some of the best Ive ever seen at any level. Plenty stiff. VERY compliant. Really soaks up the rough stuff.Geometry is awesome. Carries its speed easily. XX 2x10 group is the shiz ! I really like it ! Sid XX is amazing. SLR seat is great.
Weaknesses: If any, it would have to be the tires it is spec'd with. The Kenda SB8's are fast and have very low rolling resistance but dont hook up at high speeds. Wheels should be tubliss.Needs longer seat post.Im at max,
For the money, THIS BIKE CANT BE MATCHED ! PERIOD. I have ridden just about everything out there and for our trails around here I belive this to be the perfect bike. First ride I hit a canal road that they drive a cat over ever spring to rework it. The surface is a cleated cat track for miles. I immediately noticed how super smooth the frame rode over it. Smiling from ear to ear knowing I had made the right decision ! I belive carbon is for road bikes and cx bikes which I have but NOT mtn. I have broke 3 carbon mtb frames and know of several others that have done the same. This bike climbs great ! Down hill it is awsome with a little slack heat tube of 70 degrees. Really helps in sandy loose corners and I dont notice it on the flats. VERY comfortable race worthy ride. I cant think of another bike I would rather have that dosent cost twice as much. Bikesdirect.com rocks ! Will check back in 6 months...
Similar Products Used: Kestral CSX ,Sigler CX ,Ionic Ti 26",Dean Colonel 26", Gary Fisher Paragon, Trek Y33, Specialized Epic
Bike Setup: Stock 19". had to change stem from 120mm to 100mm. WCS carbon low Rizer bar, Tubliss Racing Ralphs. XTR pedals.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 30, 2012
Strengths: Weight, Fork, Brakes, Crank. Climbs super confident. Very predictable. Speeds up and slows down with ease. Price Performance!
Weaknesses: Fork Lockout function, Lack of experience of the rider (Me)
Prior to owning this bike, I've had about 2 hours of mountain bike singletrack riding experience in my entire (almost 30 year) life. Other than that I've NEVER been offroad on a mountain bike. I am primarily a triathlete and my cycling miles are about 70% tri bike, 30% road bike. The bike took me just over an hour to assemble and the rear wheel arrived a tad untrue (which I have not fixed). It's a 17.5" and I am 5'11" and weigh 165 lbs. I bought the top of the line bike because it's a great deal and I don't want to be stuck with a mid-level bike that I continually upgrade. I know myself and it's better to spend the $ up front.
I've owned this bike now for 3 weeks. If my opinion changes I will update my review. I've taken it on trails 5 times. My first ride on singletrack, I was blown away. This bike makes me (a COMPLETE beginner) feel like an expert. It climbs extremely fast, rolls over 6-10" boulders and log jams effortlessly and keeps speed with very little effort. The bike is so light, that I tend to lift the front end in low gears when cranking up steep hills. When hitting pavement, I lockout my fork and am able to pickup speed and maintain 23-25 mph without difficulty.
I've accidentally left the fork locked out on singletrack a couple of times because it doesn't have great feedback indicating whether it is locked out or not. It still absorbs relatively well even when locked out.
I can't imagine a better set of brakes. I have nothing to compare them to but they are extremely sensitive and capable and as I continue to improve, they've been able to handle everything. The feel is great and I have quickly been able to dial in the amount of force necessary.
I would call the bike pretty flickable as I'm able to move it around under me with ease. However, there have been a couple of times where I thought the front end was a little more twitchy than I would like. I think I will get used to this and it could just be due to the fact that the weight is so light.
Everyone I've had pick up this bike is blown away at the weight. I passed quite a few people on the MTB trails and received many kudos. I had one guy ask me on my first ride out how long I'd been mountain biking. He couldn't believe it when I told him less than 3 hours on singletrack. I give all of the credit to the bike. Yes, I have the endurance of a triathlete but there's no way I should be able to ride this bike the way that I do with the limited experience that I have.
I highly recommend this bike for anyone looking for a 29er or interested in the parts spec. I don't know enough about mountain biking to say who SHOULDN'T be intersted in this bike.
As for value - I added up the lowest online prices of all components of this bike WITHOUT shipping costs and it came to $4307 WITHOUT taking into account the cost of the frame. If you thing Motobecane's are dumb and you don't want to pay because they're not brand name, buy this bike, strip it and buy your Trek/Specialized/Moots frame and feel better about yourself with that shiny name on the side of your bike.
Strengths: Flys uphill and down. Super light bike. Outstanding components. Great bang for your buck. Love love love love love
Weaknesses: Seat felt like I had sat on a rock. Block 8 tire not so good on anything but hardpack.
After I got toasted on my FS 31.5 lb 29er in the Wasatch back 50, I decided to look into a faster bike. I have been looking at this bike online for about a year. I bought the 2012 version used just this week. I have been on two rides and if my opinion changes I will post again. This things is really sweet. My climbing improved loads and loads. I beat my brother, who usually toasts me. It goes plenty fast downhill. I want to put some meatier tires on it for absorption and traction, because it slips out enough on some climbs (plenty of loose/rocky stuff where I ride) to make those fast tires anti-productive. I switched out the stem and handlebars for my own steering preference.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 27, 2012
Strengths: Light, responsive, good geometry for me, top quality components, good feel, cimbs like a mountain goat. stand over is a little high so be sure to measure your self first. then pick the one that fits.
Weaknesses: tires don't meet the bikes capability, handle bars too short and grips too squishy, seat didn't match my rear end but that a personal preference. fork lock out is a pain ITA to bleed.
Similar Products Used: Specialized rock hopper, GT zaskar, Diamond back Sorrento
Bike Setup: Changed out handle bar to ritchey wcs low rise carbon,with wide grips, switched to bontrager 29-0 team issue for smooth trail and specialized crossroads armadillo elite for trekking. switched to 153mm specialized avatar saddle. with felt no. 1 post
a Cross Country Rider
from Los Gatos, CA
Date Reviewed: September 28, 2011
Strengths: OMG just about everything, XX components – have ridden XTR for years (have only tried this year's XTR pedals), frame – great on all day single-track, weight – reasonable for the largest frame size in 29er trim, handling – super great wet or dry, climbing – can go all out sitting or standing, PRICE – nears private pro-deals.
Weaknesses: Get wider bars, get better grips, get wheels rebuilt or replaced, get different tires, get better chain, get better shift cables/housing, get larger front rotor, get better seat post clamp.
I’m 220lbs, 6’3” and put out killer watts all day long. Bike is beat upon 4+ days a week on trail, road, and big descents. Yes I had to make a few changes to the stock setup, but I am very demanding on my equipment and super competitive. This bike is stupid solid, no need to knock on wood.
Let’s see: I broke my Stumpy frame and got a crash replacement, Trek Fuel 98 would creak everywhere like no other, Trek 8500 was boring, went through 2 sets of pivot bearing kits on the Yeti in 3 years, and flat out broke the Truth and then went through a 6 month warranty hell.
This bike puts all my other bikes, including my Enduro SL, to shame. I like it on the road better than my SRAM Red equipped Kestrel Evoke (BikesDirect). With a few tweaks, this is the do all bike. I was seriously thinking about buying another one of these and doing the same setup, just in case this bike ended up in the shop for some crazy reason. But they are sold out.
Sure, your LBS will hate you for getting this bike, but times are tough and your money is too hard earned to pay for a pedigree. I'd rather spend my pedigree savings buying my broke friends another round of après-ride beers while listening to all the reasons why they couldn’t catch me again.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Stumpy HT, Trek Fuel 98, Trek 8500, Yeti ASR SL, Ellsworth Truth
Bike Setup: Stock plus: WCS Flat 10D bars 700mm, ODI grips, Stans Crest front Arch rear wheels, Maxxis CrossMark front and rear tires, KMC X10SL chain, Jagwire cables and housing, XX 185mm front rotor, current generation XTR pedals, WCS stem (a little shorter than stock) flipped upside down, Salsa seat post clamp.
a Weekend Warrior
from Waterloo, ON, Canada
Date Reviewed: September 16, 2011
Strengths: Ti frame, climbing, maneuverability, speed, components?
Weaknesses: I had hella problems with front derailleur, chain jumping, skipping, chain getting wedged in derailler... it likely wasnt set up properly but with a bunch of tweaks it still wasnt working, so i removed the whole damn thing
I ordered a 29" carbon stumpjumper last year that never arrived. my shop offered me a refund and by that point I had seen this bike and always wanted a ti bike. the 29" seemed to make sense and i had tested one for a short period of time. i researched a lot of bikes and felt this one was the best, and i really liked the colour scheme and frame.
this bike does what i tell it to basically... I have a heavy BMX background so whipping this thing around corners and leaning hard is great. it can explode up hills. flat windy single track is destroyed at top speed. Pumping through rolling flowing sections is hella fun. Descending is fine. the trails here is short climbs and descents and windy rolling smooth singletrack. this bike is the perfect weapon for my trails and i ride them exclusvily when riding MTB.
I liken this bike to a performance automobile. it took a lot of tuning to get right, and still isnt perfect. i had to take the friggen front derailler and granny gear off. I expected near perfection when seeing the price tag on those XX components.
The fork lockout doesnt seem to do much - its a bit stiffer but certainly isnt locked out. I can actually barely tell if its locked or unlocked. I wonder if I should havea shop look at it actually.
the wheels have been fine. they say they are hand built. OK hubs, sealed, nothing fancy. bladed spokes, rims OK - doing the job. its the only 'no name' product on the bike and ill probably get some dirty wheels in future but that is a luxury.
the bike is super light and looks very unique. the welds are clean as hell and the rear end is curved seat stays and very aesthetically pleasing.
If I crash i wont be worried about the frame as i was about crashing a carbon bike.
I would have given this bike 5 stars if i had no problems with the drivetrain (could have been my fault as it wasnt set up properly) and the fork locked out better than it does....
I had it shipped to a friend in the USA and I picked it up as they do not ship to Canada. Overall outstanding value in comparison to what 3k will buy you for anything else, and the ride is very enjoyable. Have not ridden my 26" since!
Bike Setup: 17.5" frame, I am 5'8" approx... stock except for easton carbon riser bar, Oury Grips, 1x10 drivetrain with e13 chain guide, i took all the stickers off with aerosol paint stripper except for the 1 downtube motobecane sticker on one side.... that may affect the warranty but i am not concerned about breaking this frame. knock wood! Bike seems big when you are getting onto it, standing at a stop, and can feel a bit awkward at low speeds. Thats why it is best to stay on the bike at high speeds.
Date Reviewed: July 6, 2011
Strengths: This bike is a great climber. I think it rolls over technical terrain very well.
Weaknesses: The wheels: I've tacoed both of the Vuelta wheels and bikesdirect told me I must be riding them wrong. In all the years of biking I've never had a new bike and then have problems with the wheels. They are just crap.
I've had this bike for 3 months and the wheel problems have kept me off it for 1 month of that time!I really like the performance with the new hand-built wheels. Riding a hardtail again after a full suspension 26" has taken abit of getting used to. I think on rockier descents I may give up some time but on the climbs and cross-country sections it performs and handles well. Overall I'm faster on this bike.
My complaint is with the customer service aspect: Bikesdirect left me out to dry on the wheels. They are poor quality factory-built and this bike needs a set of hand-built wheels in my opinion. If I have a problem with the frame what are they going to say??? Sorry its your problem??
In hind sight, although I like the performance after modifications, I'll think twice about being a bikesdirect customer. Maybe better to deal with a shop and have the strength of a good customer/shop relationship.
Good value for the componentry (except wheels and handlebars. Some may not like the seat either; however, I do).
Low value for the company/customer service.
Bike Setup: Stock except rebuilt wheels with DT Swiss rims and spokes.
Changed flat bar to RaceFace low-rise carbon bar with Yeti grips.
a Cross Country Rider
from Las Vegas
Date Reviewed: May 12, 2011
Strengths: Excellent components, light, fast.
Weaknesses: Narrow stock handlebars and crappy foam grips. Bike stickers could certainly be more subtle.
Great value. I looked at lots of more expensive bikes with better brand recognition. None of them could match the value for this bike build so I took a chance on it and could not be happier. I am definitely a faster rider on this bike than anything else I've ridden. Believe it or not, it climbs even better than the Niner single speed. I've only ridden it 7-8 times but no flaws thus far - I highly recommend.
Similar Products Used: Niner single speed, Santa Cruz Blur LT, Canondale Rize
Bike Setup: Stock except for Easton Monkeylite bars
a Cross Country Rider
from Washington, DC
Date Reviewed: May 10, 2011
Strengths: Light, light and light especially with Easton Haven carbon wheels.
Weaknesses: Stock handlebar is too narrow; stock seat post too short; grips should be on a Huffy
Have ridden 26 full suspension (Intense spider) since 2005. Love that bike but got to point where I didn't want to worry about rear linkage bearing maintenance. Also the bike never had the best clearance. First 29er was Raleigh XXIXer rigid single speed. Again fun bike - totally different experience from geared FS. Like low center of gravity which allows big lean into turns but laso with higher ground clearance. 29er wheels great for log crossings. But rigid SS makes for more work for any given trail. Lastly, I wanted to go as light as possible which in my experience makes even technical x-country riding more effortless. I honestly don't understand the trail bike phenomenon at least in this part of the country.
So decided I wanted geared 29er hardtail to address alll these issues. Chose Motobecane over Niner Air 9 carbon because Niner sizing less certain (not sure if I was L or XL); Ti should be more resilient than carbon; and most importantly the price, which allowed me to splurge on the Haven wheels (which I'm running tubeless with Captain Control 2.0) and still have roughly $2k less invested in the bike compared to equivalent Niner setup. I commute on a Motobecane x-cross Ti which has given me sufficient confidence in the bike brand.
Ride is basically what I expected. Low weight is noticeable on the climbs. Absence of rear suspension is not so noticeable on x-country trails. Acceleration requires less effort. 2x10 takes a little practice but again I like the simplicity which is overall theme with this bike. Still, not giving up on FS completely which does make for easier riding on more technical trails.
Strengths: Great price, excellent group of components, fast in every way. Ti frame rides as one should and welds are as nice as Moots and Lynskey. Bike fits about .75" taller in standover height, i bought a small, fits like a 16.5"
Weaknesses: Only gripe was the narrow Ritchey handlebars with no sweep. Swapped for carbon low rise Easton Monkeylite. Vulta wheels were very lite but wished they were UTS (tubeless ready).
Bike is worth every penny! Get over yourself and what others may worry about. Bottom line, it rides, climbs, and impresses everyone that was skeptical. Not bad a 21.4lbs either!
Similar Products Used: Fisher Paragon G1, Trek 8900, Fisher Rig
Bike Setup: Stock SRAM XX, Crossmax 29 tubeless wheelset, and monkeylite handlebar.
a Cross Country Rider
from Denver, CO
Date Reviewed: September 28, 2010
Strengths: Sram XX, FSA cranks, Weight, saddle..
Bike is efficient and rides great. First Ti frame I have owned and am super impressed, high quality welds.
Weaknesses: handlebars are short ~580mm?. small block 8s are not super versatile. Sells out fast.
It would be hard to beat the value rating for this bike unless you can get pro deals. Thought that I might sell the frame to get a FS but have been so impressed with the ride that I am keeping as-is. Was annoyed with 4-5K price tag for 29ers with XT builds and didn't have money to burn so decided to get off the beaten path.
You should buy this bike if you are in the market for a HT 29er in the price range of 3-6K. Maybe you should buy this bike if you are in the market for a XX build kit??