I purchased this bike in 2009. I rode this bike in the southern nevada desert and now in the midwest. I have been harder than i should have been on this bike. Neglected it as in never doing any maintenance work to it. I just re-greased the original hubs and headset a month ago. The bottom bracket has not been serviced since i purchased it. This bike is tough and can take some abuse. The only drawback i can think of about this bike is having no option for disc brakes. That was never an issue for me when i lived in the desert. In the midwest I deal with snow and creek crossings and mud. Now the v brakes are kind of an issue. The bike is for sure worth every single penny though. It is now going to be sitting more due to me getting my first geared 29er hardtail.
Strengths: PRICE... frame... some of the components...
Weaknesses: Some of the components... the brakes, seatpost/saddle, stem...
For the money, great bike, ready to ride, and pure fun (takes you back to your first bike, single speed, get up and goooo....) ok as is, but even better after a few upgrades (and they don't have to be expensive or hi-end upgrades), swapped fork, brakes, seatpost/saddle, stem and handlebar... now ready to go... very happy with bike's performance and frame is pretty good.
Bike Setup: bike came set up well had to set up brakes true front wheel thats all
a Weekend Warrior
from Dayton, Ohio
Date Reviewed: January 16, 2011
Strengths: The bike is fun to ride changed the 42T to the 33T chainring that came with the bike. It was easy to assemble and took less than an hour to put together
Weaknesses: The handle bars are narrow compared to the redline
I would purchase another one it came with disk brakes a TruVativ sealed bottom bracket the front fork is a Rockshox Dart 3 Hydraulic rebound damping adjust, 100mm travel + a crown-mounted turnkey lockout lever. The tires are Kenda Nevegal 29X2.2 the seat is a WTB speedV sport SE and the bike allows you to make it a 9 speed if you wish.
a Weekend Warrior
from San Jose, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: December 4, 2010
Strengths: Affordability. Burly. For 95%+ of population, it's more bike than anyone really needs.
Weaknesses: The moment you upgrade ANY parts you just wasted your money. This is NOT an upgrade platform!
If you have poor line choice, are easily hurt by brand loyal a55hats, don't know how to suck up the bumps or jump over them, are not able to determine corner entry speed, are out of shape, are not mechanically inclined, then this bike is not for you.
Otherwise for $350 shipped this is one heck of a cheap thrill.
Similar Products Used: Sliding drop-out Outcast29, SE Stout, and Redline Monocog.
Bike Setup: Switched to the 33T... and I am ashamed to say I upgraded waaaaay too many parts to list.
a Weekend Warrior
from San Diego, California
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2010
Strengths: Great Frame Design, Feels Powerful, Great price
Weaknesses: Poor Componentry
This review is for the Motobecane Outcast Disk version with front suspension and sliding dropout.
So this bike is cool, handles well, feels durable, not too heavy, not too light though either. However the components on it are pretty terrible. The bars and stem are terrible quality, the tektro disk brakes work well but are hard to adjust correctly, the tires are definitely not the best, I haven't had any problems with the hubs but they are on the lower end of the product scale, and the Dart fork is not very good either.
However the frame design is excellent (with the sliding dropouts) is a great design and the rims are plenty strong.
Still worth the money though, not necessarily a great deal, but not a bad one either
Favorite Trail: All of the trails in the Balboa park area
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: BikesDirect.com
Similar Products Used: GT Peace SS
Bike Setup: Stock
a Cross Country Rider
from Luanda, Luanda, Angola
Date Reviewed: May 23, 2010
Strengths: Low price and stout light frame
Weaknesses: Standard components on bike are inexpensive and will not stand up beyond 1000 miles of cross country riding
This bike has rapid acceleration and excellent handling in hardpack and sandy conditions. For the relatively flat riding on African savannah this is a great ride that outperforms far more expensive Santa Cruz Blur and Specialized Brains which I also ride. If want a simple, low maintenance bike, with excellent performance this is a great ride with upgrades of the basic components.
Grades more than 15% are not climbable on this bike.
Bike Setup: Converted to tubeless with Stans 355 rims and Crow tires. Upgraded to XTR V brakes, Truvativ Stylo Crankset, Chris King Hubs and Headset, and EA 90 seat post and handlebars. Cost of upgrades ~$1200.
a Weekend Warrior
from fort madison ia usa
Date Reviewed: May 18, 2010
Strengths: Price. Fun bike to ride once its fitted to you. Once you get used to the heave required this is a smooth wheelie machine, which is what riding a bike is all about anyway right?
Weaknesses: This bike takes more effort to lift the front wheel than any bike I have ever riden. My friends Windsor 29 with a front suspension takes about half the grunt to get the front wheel up and over obstacles. It think the geometry on this thing may need to be rethought. I ride everything like a bmx bike so I put TNT cruiser bars on it to get rid of the nosedive feeling. I felt like I was going over the bars the whole time I was riding it, this plus the enourmous effort to lift the front wheel was added to the spooky feeling of the bike.
Its a fun "ride wheelies around town" bike but I never got comfortable enough to tackle things with reckless abandon. I really wanted to give this bike a better review, I love the looks and the idea of the single 29 but this particular bike falls short in the feel department for me.
Similar Products Used: Redline 24" cruiser, any bmx bike
Bike Setup: BMX stem with TNT cruiser bars
33T chainring, set up flip-flop in rear with 18 and 16/17 combo on the other side (hard to find)
a Cross Country Rider
from Madison, WI
Date Reviewed: August 13, 2009
Strengths: Low Cost, Comes with 33t chainring
Weaknesses: Brakes, levers, handlebars, stem, saddle, no disc tabs
This bike is great if you've got some parts laying around to swap out right away.
The tektro brakes and levers blow. The seat post is too short and the stock saddle is uncomfortably soft.
I rode this bike at Ore to Shore 2009 and it held up perfectly!
I'd recommend changing the tires, since the Nevegals are heavy and not fast rolling at all.
This is my first SS and 29er, overall I'm sold on big wheels and single speeding. This bike will be my primary mountain bike until I get more cash, then it will be resigned to commuting. I really wish this thing ha disc tabs because then your wheel choices wouldn't be as limited.
Bike Setup: Stock wheels/drivetrain, Kalloy 27.2 post, Selle San Marco saddle, Oury grips, Avid SD-7 brakes, Avid brake levers, Easton stem,stock handlebars, Bontrager Jones XD TLR tiers, Shimano SPD pedals
a Cross Country Rider
from Julian, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: August 5, 2009
Strengths: This bike has exceeded every expectation I had about it. It is very light, and with the proper gearing, climbs like a mountain goat. It is a lot of fun to ride, and it will make you a stronger and better rider.
Weaknesses: Some components are not the best out there, but acceptable on an entry level 29er for $349.99
It will make your other bikes collect dust.
I ride with a bunch of experienced 29er riders on the mountains east of San Diego. I was the last 26 holdout, so I decided to try the 29er experience. I am very happy with my purchase, and now my 26 is collecting dust in my garage.
Riding a rigid single speed 29er is the closest you can get to that first bike you had as a kid. Pure fun!!!
I highly recommend this bike if you want to try the 29er experience without having to drop $3,000 on a new high end bike.
Similar Products Used: Voodoo Dambala, Surly Karate Monkey
Bike Setup: At 230lbs. and having to deal with lots of big mountains I changed the chainring to 33t (included) and added a 22t freewheel (ACS Claws). This works very well for me.
a Weekend Warrior
from Waco, Texas, United States of America
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2009
Strengths: Simple, handles smoothly, almost svelte, really hard to beat the price. I like the simplicity of a totally ridged bike. No bells and whistles. Bicycling at its' most rawest form. Especially if you go fixy on it.
Weaknesses: Quality control in the paint, apparently not prepped well and there are some discoloration (brown spots)coming through the white paint. (Note: I did not bring it up with Bikes Direct because I didn't notice it until a month later and by then I had already put a couple hundred miles on the thing and dropped it a half dozen times, beauty scratches) Welds not ground smooth, but notice there are alot of expensive bikes out there that have welds with the same appearance. Welds though are very uniform and impressive. No weld spatter, looks very stout. Some components were apparently less expensive as those used on other similar products, but the overall price to get into this 29er was the selling point. Besides even on the most expensive bikes I ever have purchased, I was exchanging parts for ones I wanted and still had to pay over the price of the bike. Seats are the first thing for sure that get swapped out and pedals are rarely part of your purchase anyway. Handlebars, grips or grip tape, stems, and etc... Not a product weakness per-say, but the wheels will need to be trued like any other bike after a few hundred miles, and the wheel bearings will need to be repacked too. I had about 600 miles in it when I started to realize some slack in the rear axle and crunchyness. Repacked with Paul waterproof grease. Noticed my rear axle was a little bent too. Yeah I know, I'm heavy and I run the bike hard. Still running with the bent axle since it doesn't affect the wheel rotation or impede the bearings. Will have to replace it later? Maybe, if it doesn't get totally trashed by next year with all the abuse or stolen.
The bike is great for what I do. Single track technical, night and day, the bike handles very well. It's got this cushy, yet precise feel about it. I know, these two things usually don't go hand in hand with each other, but that is how it feels. No need for a suspension with those big fat tyres. I always get a thumbs up from friends because they don't expect the bike or me to achieve the feats I do on some of the technical stuff that they can't do on their multi-speed MTB's. The stem could be replaced with something more stout, but in comparison to some of the older MTB's I have that have taken years of abuse from me and friends, this stem looks and feels stout enough. There is no flex there. No reason to over kill. I'm 217lb 5'-9" and use a 15" frame on this Motobecane. Some say get rid of the seat post and seat too, but I am kinda partial to the WTB seat that is provided, but the seat post on the other hand is on the inexpensive side and might get replaced in the future, depends on if the steel part on the head rusts or gets tweaked out from hard pounding. I have been bicycling for over 25 years, have seen lots of bikes come and go in my life and this one has been a blast next to my Specialized Stump Jumper. Inexpensive and so I'm not worried about it getting stolen, and because it is a bargain buy I have been abusing it. I am pleasently surprised that it has been taking the abuse I have been giving it. I say if you want to try the 29er thing with little money up front, then pull the trigger, but if you are out there to impress your friends that you can afford more affluent products, then more power to you. Just know that some of us with these motobecanes are not newbies and will still smoke you in the trails. ;) Happy Trails, from Texas
Similar Products Used: Specialized, Cannondale 29er, Redline Monocog, Surly
Bike Setup: Only replaced the pedals to Crank Bros. eggbeaters, put a Performance brand carbon fiber handlebars (love them), reduced the front sprocket with the 33 tooth included with the purchase from BikesDirect and installed a ACG 21 tooth rear cog from my local LBS. Everything else stock.
a Cross Country Rider
from Fidalgo Island
Date Reviewed: June 28, 2009
Strengths: Handling, Simplicity, Price
Weaknesses: Heavy, especially the stem, bars, and saddle.
Bolt on front hub...why?!
This bike could be a lot lighter, but it is a great price and handles really well. It is a fun ride. I use it for commuting and riding with my kids. I have had it on some non-technical single track.
I really wish it had a quickrease front wheel merely for convenience.
For the price, I got what I expected and am quite pleased.
Bike Setup: Easton bars, seatpost, and stem, Bontrager seat. Everything else stock.
a Cross Country Rider
from ny, ny , us
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2009
Strengths: Affordable, good looks, solid ride.
Weaknesses: some stock parts meant for commuting. must be swapped out.
First foray into a 29er, so wanted to keep the investment modest, and thought i'd go for the full monty into single speed and rigid fork. Overall, am stoked on the whole SS 29er experience- it really is a whole new ride- and must give credit to the Outcast. Looked at pricier options like a Kona Unit and Surly Karate Monkey (maybe later) since i was skeptical about riding a fully rigid aluminum (i've always only ridden steel xc). In it's class, i can only compare it to the Kona Unit i test drove, which felt GREAT and which i would probably prefer, but just a bit out of my price range. The Unit also wheelied better.
In addition to much city riding I'VE ONLY BEEN ABLE TO TAKE IT ON ONE LONG TRAIL RIDE, so i'm unable to speak to overall durability and will update this review if anything craps out, but i really don't expect any problems. I've ridden bmx to road to mtb my whole life and feel pretty good about sizing up relative quality after a good ride. I'm average height and size, not a bomber, and so i don't put the same strain on a bike that other riders might. This bike to me feels great.
Lighter than I expected, didn't weigh it but weighs noticeably less than my old and much smaller 26" steel frame gary fisher hoo koo e koo that i still ride.
I put in about $150 on upgrades, a big chunk of that went for some nano raptors for a smoother ride and a nice saddle. Tires- not a necessary upgrade since the kenda nevegals that come stock seem to be highly regarded, will use them in the future. The stem and handlebars HAVE GOT to go though, so budget for some upgrades. You don't have to spend as much as i did to enjoy this bike, and of course putting too much money into upgrades on this bike starts to beg the question... but i was happy with actually being ABLE to customize parts i really wanted and still be within my budget.
Some negatives- one of the draws was the flip flop hub that the outcast comes stocked with, which is a great option. but i imagined being able to easily swap back and forth from fixed to single speed, as in commuting to a trail through the city, but dealing with the horizontal drop outs and chain tensioner is a bit more of a pain than i expected, so i'm thinking it's going to stay a single speed even if i could benefit from a fixed gear. Some of the more clever dropout designs could be useful here. Still gets points for making it an option. Also the frame welds are a bit unsightly but you get used to it.
About the bikes direct issue, i'm sympathetic but neutral on that. had no problems with them. bike assembled easily, wheels were true. extra chain ring is useful.
A good entry into a 29er. With minimal upgrades, rides like a much higher priced bike.
Strengths: Value! Harder to get a SS 29er rolling cheaper than this
Weaknesses: Rear hub crapped out in less than a month
Track ends have significant dents stamped in them from the axle bolts being overtightened before shipping - makes tensioning the chain a hassle
Aluminum frame is pretty unforgiving
Frame won't accept disc brakes
This bike got me hooked on SSing and 29ers. I was blown away by how well the two go together.
That being said, I only rode it for a couple months as a mountain bike before I re-purposed it as a SS commuter. I went back to riding trails on my old mountain bike, saved up my money, and bought a Kona Unit 2-9 last summer. As a mountain bike, the Unit outshines the Moto in nearly every respect. If I were to do it again, I would have skipped the Moto, saved a little longer, and gone straight for the Unit.