Vicious Motivator 29er Hardtail

4.75/5 (4 Reviews)

Product Description

  • 3 time world mud bog champion proven geometry
  • Hand-selected premium steel tube set
  • Proprietary cable routing keeps housing from kinking

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Paul Hotaling a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: September 27, 2015

Strengths:    Incredible bike. I've wanted one of Carl's bikes for over ffifteen years and when I hard he was getting back into the business I jumped. It's a stunning work of art.

Weaknesses:    None that I can see

Bottom Line:   
Amazing ride, world-class handling, very resulent frame ride yet doesn't feel too stiff, which means perfect. The craftsmanship is absolutely world-class. Equal to if not better than the old Somerville, Mass Fat Chance frames. The metal work & welding is that good. Paint seems impeciable as well although its only been three months.

Hands down one impressive bike.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 Months so far

Similar Products Used:   Redline MTB, Cannondale MTB, Pro-Flex 856, Fat City Cycles Yo Eddy (Stolen), Independent Fabrications Deluxe, Trek / Gary Fisher Super-Caliber.

Bike Setup:   SRAM XO 2X10 group
Ritchey Stem, seat post, bars
Stan's No Tubes Wheels
WTB seat
Renthal kevlar lock-on grips

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Troy a Cross Country Rider from Maple Valley

Date Reviewed: January 30, 2009

Strengths:    Elegant simplicity. Eccentric BB allows me to run discs. The bike handles like it is on rails. Frame accommodates 2.3 tires (barely). Cool paint job. bottle opener.

Weaknesses:    29er geometry struggles in tight 3rd growth alder slalom trails, on anything wide open however, it rules.

Bottom Line:   
This bike has been set up as a mountain bike, a cross bike, a touring bike, and a city commuter. It gets me where I am going as quickly or as slowly as I like and always with a smile on my face.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   fully rigid single speed. Jones H-Bar, avid juicy 7 hydraulic brakes, FSA head set, hand made Mavic 40 spoke rims on Paul hubs.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Juston Manville a Racer from Fredericksburg, Va

Date Reviewed: April 11, 2007

Strengths:    Handling: My first nice bike was a Fat Chance ( I still own it). The Motivator the only bike that approaches the level of handling the fat had. That says a ton considering the bike is a 29er.
Name Painted into frame.
Color scheme

Weaknesses:    Paint: I know this is hard to believe since Vicious is know for it's nice paint. My paint has been chipping off under the front deraillier and near the disk brake mounts.
The space between the seat tube and the tire is tight to say the least. Not much room for front derailler. It took forever to set up my front derailler.

Bottom Line:   
Overall a great bike at a great value. I would buy this bike over an IF anyday. Why spend the extra $500 for the name. Vicious is up and coming and offerer a great handling ultra fast bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mansfield Hollow

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Direct

Similar Products Used:   I have ridden over 20 mountain bikes in my 22 years of racing bikes. My favorite bikes have been my fat chance and my ibis. I am not a huge full suspension guy.

Bike Setup:   Pimped with all the best stuff; Full Rigid of course.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Eric a Cross Country Rider from Boise, ID

Date Reviewed: October 25, 2006

Strengths:    Three of them: handling, handling, and handling.

There are lots of unique frame features, that while they may not effect the bike's performance, make this a cool frame. There's a bottle opener on the chain stay. The seat and chain stays end with bullet-style end caps that are an homage to Fat City Cycles frames. The head tube is graced with a picture of Karl's (the owner of Vicious Cycles) dog. Nice touches to set the frame apart from the ordinary.

Weaknesses:    Few frames are perfect. Here's a list of a few minor things that I'd change.

- The derailer cable stops are mounted really close to the head tube. It looks clean, but the cables take a serious bend to reach the stops. Originally I ran the rear derailer cable down the drive side of the top tube, but found that the cable housing could not handle the bend, and self destructed pretty quickly. I now run the rear shift cable on the non-drive and front shift cable down the drive side - the cable routing is a bit funky at the seat tube, but the housing likes it much better. Moving the stops back a little would remedy this problem.

- The front disk brake hose is held on with an ultra cool system (unique to Vicious Cycles?) that routes the hose perfectly. It's a cool set up. However, because of the nature of the bosses, it's not possible to quickly swap forks when using hydraulic brakes. So if you want to between a rigid fork and suspension fork depending on the ride, it's not easy with the Vicious fork. For me, it's not a big deal as I only run the rigid fork, but some might be less happy.

- The top tube is on the shortish side. Maybe this is a huge contributor to the way the bike handles. However, if you have big feet, toe overlap could be an issue. I wear a US-size 10 shoe, and ride a large Motivator. While using SPDs I occasionally hear the buzzing of the tire on my toes. For me it's not a big issue, but if you have large feet this could become a problem.

- Lastly, a problem that is likely a problem with many 29ers with short chain stays, is the difficult of finding a front derailer that fits into the smallish space between the tire and seat tube. I tried several front derailler before I settled on one that worked well enough, yet provided plenty of clearance for mud.

Bottom Line:   
I love the way this bike handles. I don't know if it's the 29er wheels, or something about the frame's geometry (the numbers don't look like anything out of the ordinary), but the bike handles beautifully at both high and low speeds. I've heard complaints that 29ers handle slow or like tanks, but I've never said that about the Motivator - I've not noticed any negative traits due to the big wheels.

I purchased the frameset because I got a good deal on the price, and thought that it would make a good "starter frame" for my first 29er. I'd planned on deciding what I liked and disliked about 29er frames, and then getting a new frame with those traits. After almost a year on this bike, I have no plans to get rid of it. It's likely the best handling bike I've ever owned (and I've owned many).

After owning the Motivator, Vicious Cycles is high on my list of frame builders to consider for future frames.

Note: The value rating is hard to determine. For me it's a great value as I managed to not pay retail. However, after owning and riding this frane, I'd have no trouble paying retail for another.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   This is my first 29er, but I've ridden many rigid, hardtail and suspended mountain bikes. I prefer steeper angled bikes with Bontragers being one of my all-time favorites. Short top tubes with longer stems are also preferable to the Genesis geometry that is so prevalent today.

Bike Setup:   Vicious Cycles rigid fork, 9-speed drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, light handbuilt wheelset

Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating