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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Weighs 6 lbs more than the SS it's replacing, but geez...I finally get the "oversized BMX" analogy I keep hearing 'round these parts.
Here's the build:
Frame - Vicious Cycles Motivator 29er SS, 853 steel
Fork - On One Superlight
Wheels - Surly hubs laced to WTB Trail rims
Tires - Speciali ... Read More »
Vicious Cycles ... Handmade in New Paltz, NY
See ad here [url=http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showproduct.php?product=78043&cat=]Vicious Cycles Motivator 29er Frame and Fork - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories[/url]
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I picked up this frame on ebay and have been slowly building it up over the winter. Used frame and wheelset, everything else is new. I finally got it built up this past week just in time for it to get cold and snowy/rainy. 46deg and partly sunny today is good enough for a first ride. Here's the ... Read More »