Motobecane Fly Team 29 Ti 29er Hardtail
|MSRP : $4295.00|
- Frame: Titanium 3AL/2.5V Butted
- Crankset: 2FSA Afterburner MegaExo 22/32/44T
- Chain: KMC Super narrow X9SL 9 speed
- Stem: Ritchey PRO aluminum
- Saddle: Skye Turbo saddle Crn/Ti rails
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Date Reviewed: April 25, 2016
Strengths: Price, Frame Material, Parts, Utility, Climbing machine.
Weaknesses: Not great on tight corners. Corners a little awkward - but OK once you get used to it and get better tires. Cannot run wide tires in back.
Duration Product Used: 5 years
Price Paid: $1199.00
Purchased At: Bikes Direct
Bike Setup: Carbon bars, WTB i23 wheels
Date Reviewed: July 15, 2014
Strengths: Very good titanium welds. Light weight. Great stock components.
Weaknesses: Stand-over height could be a bit better. It only takes up to 2.3 rear tire. Some 2.3 will fit with enough clearance, others won't.
I have changed mine to a 1x10 with a 140mm fork, swappable all-mountain wheel set with wide rims and tires, and new bars and seat. It does fine with all the terrain my friends use their full suspension bikes on and takes a beating.
Date Reviewed: January 14, 2014
Strengths: Components, weight, ride and value. Absolutely love this bike!
Weaknesses: Grips, Wheelset and I did not like the Kenda Small Block 8's that came on it.
The ride and reaction that the Fly Team Ti offers is amazing. I test rode several bikes and much preferred the "flexy" feel that titanium offered over the stiffness and rigidity of carbon was spot on for me. The fact that I can climb like a goat and out accelerate the friends that I am riding with is a huge plus.
First saw this bike a couple of years ago at an adventure race that I was competing in and questioned the owner about how she felt about the bike due to the rumors that I'd heard about mail order bikes. She pretty much said the same thing that I am saying here! I had absolutely no problem with the build quality at all. It arrived in about 3 days after I ordered it and for what they put together, all was torqued properly and securely. I have ridden Trek, Specialized, Orbea and Giant bikes before that are twice the cost of this bike and many of them can not even compare.
As far as a downside...You might as well order grips when you order the bike. The stock grips are some hideous hex shaped foam pieces of junk. I have had trouble with the rear Vuleta rim staying true. It has taken 2 trips to my LBS to be trued and the last time the mechanic said that it will not stay true for long. I've ordered Easton XC 90's to replace them as well as some Nevegals in place of the Small Block 8's. I do encounter a lot of roots and a few rocks where I ride and tend to ride aggressively.
To summarize, this is an incredible bike. As long as BD keeps this sort of quality going for the price thats what I'll be riding.
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2013
Strengths: The frame. The wheels. The forks.
Weaknesses: Seat tube is a bit funky for seat posts. FSA cranks/BB suck. Brakes just OK. Try to make sure you can get extra derailleur hanger bolts along with your hanger.
Leadville trail 100
Tahoe Sierra 100 (harder than leadville)
Boggs 8hr (twice)
Coolest 24hr Race (won)
Coolest 8hr (5th place)
Kirkwood Classic (won)
Hammerstien 24hr race @ Laguna Seca (2nd place)
about 8 CCCX XC races (3rd, 2nd, 5th)
I know I forgot a few in there, but you get the point. I've got ~1800 miles of racing and hard training on the bike. I do a lot of my training on the road though, so the riding this bike actually gets is usually race-day stuff. When I first got it, the rear wheel was warped, but BD swapped it for me for free and ever since it's been smooth sailing for most of the bike. Bars, Stem, cranks, seatpost (4), seat, grips, pedals, etc are all swapped one or more times. I had some trouble with a Thompson seat post sliding around on me, and then two carbon posts had sliding issues, so I'm back to the stock one and a different clamp. I've been running ghetto tubeless with Geax AKA tires on it, and I have to say my most enjoyable ride was a 24hr relay I did in Auburn where with 20psi and the bike running great, I managed to get one of the fastest laps overall.
-During Tahoe Trail 100 (really 108) I was descending what seemed like 10 solid minutes of stairs at about 25mph when several baby-head sized rocks smashed brutally into my downtube so hard they shot off sideways into the woods at about 20 mph. Not a scratch on the bike.
-I'm not a super technical climber, but the bike climbs extremely well. I seem to be one of the better technical climbers compared to many of my team mates. Descending fast on the bike is also equally stable. It is not too twitchy, but you can whip around stuff fast when needed.
-It seems to be a medium stiff frame and the stock wheels are pretty tough. I finally broke a spoke after 2 years, then later went over a monster gully in some grass while trying to pass a guy for 2nd place - smashing all my weight down on the seat on the landing. I felt things flex...but nothing broke!
I've replaced the honking front elixers with XX 160mms which are much better, but not realize I should probably go to 180s for long distance races. I broke the right shifter in a race as well (unfortunately), so now I run the new XO grip shift, which is great - esp. if you change the housing. The braze-ons are not very deep for where the housing mounts, that could be improved, but it's definitely not a deal-breaker.
Without my relatively hefty seatbag, the bike is 24.1 pounds. With it, it's 26.5. The bike is kind of like a japanese sports car - the same performance as the 300k bad-boys from Germany and Italy, but so much lower cost. Not pretentious, but tough, performance oriented, and definitely leaves you with no excuses at the finish line. I can never really blame the bike - just me! :)
Last weekend I crashed and broke my derailleur hanger. The bolts holding the hanger are stripped and the problem I'm having is BD doesn't have extra bolts. They will happily sell you a new hanger, but there are no bolts. They have graciously given me a set I think they stole off of some wrecked bike, but I need to find replacement hangerbolts. I think after I do, I'll order extras and sell them to people like me! :)
The bike is great - a super deal. It is especially awesome if you went from anything heavier that was not a 29er. I cannot believe the stuff I can climb on this bike! I've heard some people peel the Moto stickers off this bike. I'm not going to do that. They built a great bike and deserve the credit.
Duration Product Used: 2 years
Price Paid: $2100.00
Purchased At: bikesdirect.com
Similar Products Used: Motobecane Phantom Trail Full Susp 26"
Bike Setup: Mostly XO
Date Reviewed: August 18, 2013
Strengths: everything, seriously. uh, price, ti frame, xtr shifters/ derailleurs, elixir 9trail brakes...
Weaknesses: none, except personal preferances.
my last true mtb was a 94 kula easton tubed xc oriented ith mostly xt level stuff and a marzocchi xc 500 fork with 50mm of travel. i sold this in 1999. so its been awhile but these are my referance bikes.
the moto is ,by far, the best deal out there and i looked. go ahead and look, you simply cannot find a better bike for anywhere near the price yet there is a large crowd of anti bikesdirect(motobecane) people who will do there best to slag these bikes down. frankly, i don't get it. its like religion or politics...thats how freakin nutty these guys get. they mislead people with tales of broken bikes and refused warranties yet, as proven before, these guys are never able to provide any names or pictures or evidence of the sort. then they slag it being chinese garbage. also incorrect, although i do get a kick outta this as most of these numb nut bike snobs have no problem with being robbed thousands for their cheap to make "high end" carbon frames and components that were made in china. i have no beef with the china carbon, i like my easton handle bar, i just hate hypocrites. the reality is moto ti frames are made with japanese titanium and made in taiwan, an area with excellent reputation for producing high quality stuff and they have been doing so nearly as long as japan. taiwan is cheaper to produce than japan but far pricier than cheap chinese labour. oh and most of the big companies have their bikes made here so unless you go custom this is likely where your far more pricey high end bike is from. rant over.
this is more a first impression as i've only had it for several days and bedding the brakes still but seeing as i'm noticing things right away compared to my previous rides i'd like to share my observations.
i'm in victoria canada and bikesdirect do not ship here so there was a bit of an ordeal to get it here but i knew it was worth it. i pre ordered the fly ti 29er with xtr 30spd which arived at bikesdirect a week early, july 29. i had to have a us address set up with myus.com so they sent my bike there and then it was forwarded to my home very quickly(4 days) this was an additional $200 or so. opening it up i was very pleased as there was not much to do outside on installing the wheels bars, post and essentially a tune up. the brakes required no adjustments at all which was a relief as i never owned hydro disk before. oh, and as a bonus these were the new trail version of the elixir 9 with 4 piston caliper! i'm hoping they stay this good as the regular elixir 9 got bad reviews.
it sure is a different ride than i'm used to. i feel more inside the bike, more upright and comfortable. its not as light as my rigid rocky but it lays the power down surpisingly well and is super easy to maintain speed. the tire are kenda sb 8 which look funny compared to tires of the 90s with its numerous tiny knobs in a dense pattern but for the quick rides on the road and in a local park with hardpack trails and rock these grip well and are fast rolling. i was shocked at how i could simply ride into a curb like its not there. the large wheels and reba fork are immediately impressive. at a local park with a bunch of large rocky out croppings where i had learned my more technical skills on my kula this thing simply crushed the kulas abilities. i could go over far rougher lines than before where i would certainly have caught the front and crashed. this is awesome! it just rolls over. i just have to keep peddling and the bike takes care of the rest. this was the reason i wanted 29er, to be able to go through terrain my kula couldn't and being in bc there are tons of trails where this comes in handy. riding down super steep rock faces also seemed easier, i was doing stuff that i did back in the 90's like i never had stopped. riding up some so so steep loose dirt/gravel trail was no issue, the 29er proved superior here with no spinning out which i was anticipating with these tires. at the top there is a short hardpack twisty single track down this grassy hill with trees. i new there were rocks poking through this trail, along with roots but didn't know where. i flew down and saw this rock and thought "oh shoot, i'm going to get thrown off the trail with this " but no, i plowed through it with just the rear kicking up a bit and hung onto my line regardless, again awesome. the titanium really is great in that i never felt the jarring i did with the kula ,which would bounce all over, yet when i stood and cranked it delivered. look forward to further updates!
Duration Product Used: week
Price Paid: $2300.00
Purchased At: Bikesdirect
Similar Products Used: See review
Bike Setup: Stock with Wickswerks chainrings(yes they are that good,) a cheap Hylix(Chinese carbon) seat post and Selle Italia sl XP saddle. Cheap Crank Bros Candy 1 pedals. Wairing for my Bonty XXX carbon riser and 3T carbon 80mm stem. Oh and Schwalbe 2.25 Rocket Ron front and 2.0 Maxxis Beaver rear when the weather goes.
Date Reviewed: August 2, 2013
Strengths: I have had this bike for two years now and it's strength are #1, price and #2, a great light weight Ti bike that is ready to race. If I had more money, I would have got the higher end version with better components but I still got a nice set-up, the XTR shifters & derailleurs for 2,200. Just the Ti fame, fork and XTR were worth the price alone. I compared this to other 29er hardtail bikes out there but this was by far the best deal that matched my purchase abilities. But I got it knowing that with time, I was going to swap, change or upgrade as I had money to spend. Let's face it, if you race consistently or ride for 10-15 hours a week, there isn't a stock bike out there that meets each person's taste, style and comfort. So to me, it was race ready at a good price and that was the best part.
Weaknesses: I am a 5'3" woman so my concerns and issues would not fit the average guy looking to get the bike. I had to swap out the handle bars, stem, seat, seatpost, grips just to get the fit to work better for my shorter stature and shorter arms, but I kind of expected that. Except for the handlebars, I moved the other parts over from my 26er. There are two parts of the bike that have given me trouble. First, the crappy Avid brakes but I have never owned a set of Avid's that weren't troublesome. Secondly, the FSA crank arm bolts would work lose, even the larger set-bolt would back out. Even after repeated attempts using lock-tite, blue and red, they still worked lose. So about a year later, I upgraded to the full Dynasys XTR drive-train by adding XTR crank, cassette and chain. Has been flawless since, about 1200 miles so far. I am looking at replacing the Avid's with Formula brakes, the best brakes I have ever used but comes at a cost.
Duration Product Used: Over 2 years
Price Paid: $2200.00
Purchased At: Bikesdirect.com
Bike Setup: Motobecane Fly Team 29, Reba fork, Full XTR drivetrain, Ritchey carbon seat post and bars, Black Flag Comp wheels, 2.1 Crossmax tires, ESI grips, Avid Elixir brakes...
Date Reviewed: June 17, 2013
Strengths: Price - excillant componiants
Weaknesses: Wheeles are a terrible ride but did stand up to several years of riding with little maintenance . I replaced them with a better set.
Duration Product Used: 3 years
Price Paid: $2000.00
Purchased At: BD
Similar Products Used: Alligash Belgium Beer -not really
Date Reviewed: December 17, 2012
Strengths: This bike has an excellent titanium frame. I have a Ti road bike (not a BD bike) that I really like and when it came time to replace my old '89 GT Avalanche rigid, I wanted a hardtail 29er with front suspension and a Ti frame. The Motobecane I got was quiped the SRAM XO components with the exception of the FSA Afterburner cranks and megaexo bottom bracket. Everything has worked very nicely, although the Avid Elixir 9 brakes have been pretty noisy on occasion. The Rockshox REBA fork is very nice as well. It came as a solo air model which I see some like less than the older dual air shock which had more adjustment potential, but it has worked well for me. The Vuelta wheelset has proven to be durable and I have only had to retrue them once. The stock Kenda small block 8 tires work well on dry hardpack but are slippery when muddy.
Weaknesses: The primary weaknesses stem from somewhat poor assembly. The bottom bracket and headset were poorly lubricated. The bottom bracket cups were a little on the loose side and the derailler hanger screws were also loose. All of these minor issues were easily corrected when I was assembling the bike. The Avid Elixir 9 brakes have been a little troublesome. They can be noisy especially after wet rides. I have bled the brakes and replaced the brake pads with alloy-backed semi-matallic pads and I hope things will be better. Of course, this is an Avid issue and not really a BD issue. The only other modifications I have made include replacing the Ritchey grips with Ergon grips (a VAST improvement) I also replaced the Kenda small block 8 tires with Kenda DTC Nevegal tires. While I was replacing the tires I took the opportunity to replace the stock tubes with 26-inch Continental light tubes, saving about 100 gm per wheel, partially compensating for the heavier Negal tires. The last major change was I swapped out the 120 mm 8 degree Ritchey Pro 4-axis stem with an 80 mm 25 degree Salsa stem which has improved handling and comfort. Many of these things often get done with any new bike so these "weaknessess" are more in the way of customization. The overall rating gets downgraded to 4 mainly for the poor preparation issues.
Date Reviewed: November 11, 2012
Strengths: Great value, well built titanium frame, light yet strong, good to excellent components. This bike is light and agile enough that with its lockout fork and 700c wheels, you can slap on 40mm road tires and ride the pavement. Or you could get a set of off-road rims and you'd have the versatility of 2 bikes.
Weaknesses: Stock seat post too short and it slips in the frame. Clamp isn't up to snuff. Grips are spongy, cheap. Assembly quality from the factory was poor - not enough grease in the b-b or the headset, and no anti-sieze on the b-b. This is not good. People have commented about the FS b-b being weak - maybe it is the lack of lubrication?
The locking front fork allows me to avoid wasted energy on long climbs, which is great because I live on the side of a mountain. And the Avid disk brakes give me sure, powerful stops when it rains, even on steep hills with wet rims. This bike is light, feels very smooth and comfortable, and it handles well and feels quite agile. It's not as toss-able as my Airborne road bike, but it's a lot more agile than my Cove Stiffee hard tail. It feels like an excellent compromise.
It also feels strong on single track. I originally bought my Cove Stiffee because my previous mountain bikes felt flimsy in the rough stuff. My Rocky Mountain Hammer flexed too much, and my Kona Cinder Cone was even more spaghetti-like. The Moto feels strong without feeling stiff or uncomfortable.
I love the Shimano XTR components, the brakes have been good so far, and the Vuelta wheels are well tensioned. But the seat post is a little loose - it slips in the frame.
The geometry barely fits me. I'm 5'8-3/4" and have a 30" inseam. The small (15.5") frame barely has enough stand-over height for me. The cockpit length is about right, but the seat post was about 2" too short. I replaced it. The bars are wide enough (several other reviewers complained about narrow bars - I think BikesDirect must have fixed this), and I've been impressed with the Skye saddle so far - even better than my Selle Italia Ti, which was my choice over 5 other saddles I've tried.
I'm giving it 5 for value (I'd give it 6 if I could - BikesDirect sold it to me for half price). I'm giving it 4 hot peppers overall because it isn't perfect with the seat tube and clamp problems, but I'd have given it a 4-1/2 if that was possible.
Price Paid: $2199.00
Purchased At: BikesDirect.com
Similar Products Used: Cove Stiffee FR, Kona Cinder Cone, Rocky Mountain Hammer
Bike Setup: XTR 30 speed.
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2012
Strengths: Value, Climbing ability, weight, warranty from motobecane.
Weaknesses: Non UST rims, Seatpost clamp, grips
Great geometry. I ordered the XO 2 X 10 - gearing is perfect. This review is from the initial ride, will update if any more negatives. Mine came with 660 mm ritcheys, but I prefer more sweep, so that is individual taste. Foam grips and skinny seatpost Clamp changed. Mine also came with elixer 9 brakes. Not broken in , but damn good. Love the actuaction adjustment dial on these brakes.No bleeding needed.
Climbs like a goat, at least for the power my skinny legs can produce, and decsends well too. Flat out hauls on the flats and wants another gear, which is possible. I have a steel frame 29er, and this bike had the same nice mannerisms as far as reducing the trail chatter. Tires ? SB 8's work great here in the hard pack desert. First ride was on the 24 hour trail n. of Tucson AZ. Tires are very subjective, so I will leave it at that. For an XC hardtail has more bang for the buck than anything out there, IMO - especially for a Ti frame which is really put together well. Per motobecane a 100 yr. warranty? Crazy.
I am 5' 10" and the 19 incher fit me perfect. If I was taller the 350 mm ritchey seatpost wouldn't do the job, I would need a 400 mm. But no worries there. I have longer arms too, so opted for the longer top tube.
Bottom line - if you want a XC hardtail that is light, responsive, and a great value you can't go wrong for the money.
Price Paid: $2200.00
Purchased At: BD
Similar Products Used: Access, Voodoo
Bike Setup: Only changed out bars, grips and seatpost clamp. The skye "velo" seat suited me just fine.
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2012
Strengths: light, beautiful (once I removed the gaudy top tube decal), great climbing geo
Weaknesses: not a Yelli Screamy
Date Reviewed: August 24, 2012
Strengths: The price, most of components and the titanium frame. Did I mention the price.
Weaknesses: The seat post is too short. The grips are too spongy. The afterburner crankset is not playing nice with the front derailleur. Bottom bracket and the seatpost squeaks, but I think that's just nature of flexy titanium meeting hard aluminum. Bottom bracket had to be re-greased and tightened.
I mostly ride cross and trail, although there a lot of rocky trails here in AZ. With tubeless setup, a bit flex in the frame, properly set front shock and some technique I manage on rocky trail mountain riding just fine.
I am so glad I chose 30 speed over 20, because with 30 this bike really gives you possibilities, from steep, technical climbs to just paved road riding. It's really a flyer !
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2012
Strengths: Bang for your buck is superior
Race ready out of the box
Light and responsive
Weaknesses: Remote lockout would have been a great touch--but for the price there are none.
Duration Product Used: 1 year
Price Paid: $2000.00
Purchased At: online
Similar Products Used: FUJI pro Carbon, Specialized 29ers, KHS Team, Specialized hardtails and Rocky Mountain Hardtails
Bike Setup: XO drive train, carbon bar/stem/seatpost, WTB Silverado Ti saddle, Stans Crest UST Wheels, Synchros Flavor UST s.s tires, FSA Afterburner 2X10 crank, Reba XX 80 mm fork with remote lockout, Crank Candy Ti pedals, X9 shifters, Avid Juicy Carbon brakes
Date Reviewed: July 20, 2012
Strengths: Price obviously, XO components, overall build quality, Service after the sale!
Weaknesses: None thus far!
By contrast, when my Ti had a problem with the XO shifter, BD got rit on it with SRAM and had a new shipped to me USPS Priority Mail within days of me calling them. Excellent saervice after the sale!!
As to the bike itself, I'm lovi'n' it. This bike replaced a pretty nice Scott alum. hardtail and the 29er difference out there is amazing not to mention that at 23 - 24 lbs., it's a pleasure to drive and lots of fun to boot. Last ride out, I traversed a gravel railroad bed in search of some out of the way trails. While a bit nerve racking doing a couple miles over gravel stone in sweltering heat, it handled it well. Never could have done that on the Scott 26, no way!
I've changed out the grips for Ergon GP-1's and will probably go for a littlle wider carbon bar. Other than that, the build on this bike for the money is amazing. I have a high end carbon road bike from Velo Vie that I love and so can appreciate a quality bike build and this is all of that. Those naysayers about mailorder bikes haven't a clue or are so, because they work at a LBS. Which btw, my mechanic who has been with my LBS for over 10 years and moonlights on the side, he re installed the XO shifter and set it up for mealong with a thorough going over of the bike was impressed and asked me where I got the bike. When I told him and the price, he was blown away! He said they only specail ordered Ti and the comparable Ti from his workplace would be thou$and$ more! Said it was a GREAT buy!
I'll come back and update me experience later thus year after I've had an opportunity to really beat on this bike some more. ;-)
In summary if you are someone here wondering, thinking about whether or not you should take a chance on this bike, wondering if you will be disappointed and have been warned by the naysayers not to buy mailorder from BD let me put those questions and hesitation to rest. Like so many others who have posted here, you will be more than pleased and satisfied with this Ti 29 and will have saved thousands of dollars off a comparable purchase in Carbon never mind a Ti bike, literally thousands!
Duration Product Used: 6 weeks
Price Paid: $2100.00
Purchased At: BikesDirect
Similar Products Used: Scott 26 Alum. hardtail, Gary Fisher alum. cross.
Bike Setup: Stock right out of the box-
Date Reviewed: May 13, 2012
Strengths: Overall value, I like the Small Block 8 for the dry hardpack and embedded rock roads in Ecuador. THe wheels have held up nicely, still going strong after 30+ rides. I got the bike with a swapped in 110mm stem which seems good. 130 is too long. The handlebars are narrow but I like 'em. Brakes are smooth and powerful. The XO shifting is excellent but not as smooth as XTR. The 21" frame is sturdy and smooth. I don't find it flexy at all.
Weaknesses: The FSA cranks are fine but the Mega Exo bottom bracket started grinding after 4 months. The plug comes loose as well. I got a mechanic to put some grease in and now it is a smoother grind. I am going to replace the bb in July when I return home to the USA. The seat that came with the bike is a joke, it is a really light piece of junk. The inner tubes are superlight too but I like to have a thicker pair inside until I go tubeless.
Price Paid: $1650.00
Purchased At: Ebay
Similar Products Used: none, first MB in 23 years
Bike Setup: Lower front bars for climbing. All stock except the seat and stem.
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