The FLY 9357, XC Hardtail. This 20 pound marvel put a spark to one of the most dominant species in XC. The first in a long line of even lighter revolutions. Ride this and ones competition will feel like you've discovered fire and they are still rubbing sticks together. After 10 years as a leader in light weight cross country bikes; the 2010 Motobecane Flys have been upgraded with a major frame design improvement:
1) Advanced frame strengthening for use beyond XC style riding via Hydroformed gussets, forged dropouts, specifically engineered tubing
2) Dropping 90 grams of paint via new Ball Burnished, Hand-Polished Aluminum finish
Overall this is a nice lightweight cross country bike that just fly's. On other sites, reviewers have stated they broke the bike by jumping it. My advice is to buy a bike for your style of riding. The Kenda tires are good for a hard trail and that is how I use them.The snake bite flats are caused by lower tire pressure than the stated minimum on the sidewall, 45 lbs. No, 35 lbs is not ok and use a tire gauge. I have not had a problem.
I did replace the seat with one that suits me better, but that is a personal consideration.
I tried similar bikes by other manufacturers and they are about the same, except for a higher cost. If you don't have to have a big name, then this bike may be for you.
Strengths: Super light, really responsive, great drive train, excellent for single trail.
Weaknesses: Built too light for heavier riders, durability issue on lighter parts.
Basically, I replaced my old(>10years) Specialized FSR with a light hard tail. The Fly 9357 certainly fit that bill nicely, and without breaking the bank. IOver the last year I really found the ride of this bike to be exceptional. The bike is very responsive and quick in single track. The down side has been that the components are build too light for a frequent rider of any weight (I'm 5'10" 190-195lbs). So when you get it home you will find yourself replacing the no tread tires and foam grips. Neither a big deal, but overboard to get the lbs down. That said since then I have broken the chain, bottom bracket, and headset and will have to service the squeaky front shock soon. I ride 1-2x/week, though I only ride off road; clearly I'm not hard core enough to warrant that kind of damage. Plus my FSR never broke. So my conclusion is that for someone of my weight or size the bike component are too light/ not up to the task of hard trail riding. In every case I replaced these with heaver XT/XTR grade equipment.
Overall I think if I were 175 lbs or road more frequently on road than dirt, this would have been a great buy. If you pushing 200 lbs or over, like to hit the trail, buy the fantom hard tail or another dual suspension. Good luck.
great hardtail for the money. love the fact that it came with the upgraded avid elixir 9 2012 brakes instead of the CR's. That fact alone makes me love bikes direct even more! But having to spend more to upgrade the cassette was a pain since I had to purchase a few tools in order to get my bike up and running.
Ive been riding xc for several years. The fly is a superb bike! i`ve never seen sucking tires as those kendas that came with the bike. I was riding in a sunny day over a flat dry nice street, took a light turn when suddenly the tires slipped and in a second i was like a cat doing turns in the floor. Now ive some clavicle´s tendons broken :S my advice: change those suckers for some goodies.
Similar Products Used: rocky mtn vertex, zaskars, old school univegas.
Bike Setup: 2011 stock comps with sram xo
a Weekend Warrior
from Mount Holly,Nc
Date Reviewed: January 24, 2010
Strengths: weight, parts, price, looks awesome
Weaknesses: flat bar, foam grips, Kenda Klimax tires
I've been riding this bike for 6 months now and love it. Had no problems with Bikesdirect. Bike arrived in 5 days. Brakes, shifters,wheels all came tuned and true. Perfect shifting right out of the box. This bike really accelerates and climbs great. The Avid Elixir are awesome and stop you on a dime with little effort. Overall very happy with this bike. My only complaint is the 22" flat Ritchey bars were too low and narrow. They steer quick but feel too twitchy and unstable going down any hill at speed. My full suspension Klein which I love is now collecting dust in the garage and has become a buddy bike because this one is so much fun to ride . Highly recommend this bike to anyone wanting to spend 1500 or less on a hardtail racebike.
Bike Setup: XT shifters and f der,XTR r der, monkeylite 25" lo-rise carbon bars, SID race 100MM fork, Avid Elixir CR brakes, egg beater C pedals
a Cross Country Rider
from Newburyport, MA, USA
Date Reviewed: February 18, 2009
Strengths: great price and components, light weight, great handling
Weaknesses: The seat is a throw-away, the stock bars were too narrow for me, replaced the cassette with a SRAM 990 32 because original Ultegra 27 was too tough on my old joints
I love this bike. I have an extra set of Vuelta Team wheels that I keep different tires on. In summer a set of Tom Slicks and in winter a set of Schwalbe Ice Spikers. I also love the stock Kenda Klimax Lite tires. Yeah, they're skinny and a little squirrelly on some downhill runs but the weight can't be beat when climbing and they find the bottom quickly in the mud and overall they're extremely fast. They flat a lot but that's the trade-off and I personally don't mind. I've ridden this bike in every conceivable condition and can't stop smiling. Is it perfect, no, what is? But it's a great ride at a great price. Someday I'll probably by another for the parts.
a Weekend Warrior
from St. Louis, MO, USA
Date Reviewed: July 8, 2008
Strengths: superlight, great braking power
Weaknesses: eery creaking sounds with weight transfers. I have tightened everything and don't know if it just frame flex or what.
Had a pinch flat in a parking lot the second time I rode the bike last year. KMC chain broke on a a packed gravel flat trail last week. I have never had a chain break on me before. Replaced it with a SRAM chain which rubs awfully on the large gear on the front.
It is indeed light and fast but does not seem very durable even with the limited riding it has seen by me. I have little time to ride and maybe get out once or twice a month.
Bike Setup: XT front/XTR rear deraileurs, FSA afterburner crankset, Avid Juicy carbon discs, Rock Shox SID
a Cross Country Rider
from certereach ny us
Date Reviewed: June 14, 2008
Strengths: speed, components, price
Weaknesses: tires and seat need to be changed before first ride
At 240 lbs I was skeptical to go with a hardtail. Possibly the best move ever, this bike is fast, the geometry is astounding. Never felt this competant or powerful before must be cautious with this new found speed and agility. Only time will tell if the frame will endure. I have split two bike frames in half in the past.
Bike Setup: xtr-rd xt-fd and shifters sid front shock
a Cross Country Rider
from Olney, MD United States
Date Reviewed: March 19, 2008
Strengths: Lightweight. Unelievable components for the price. Looks awesome.
Weaknesses: The only thing so far is the head tube badge is already starting to fall off. This is not a big deal.
This is an awesome bike. I was more than satisfied with it, this bike is worth way more than I paid for it. I bought this bike to use as a hybrid, I put road cranks and slick tires on ( my mountain bike is a Jamis Dakota Elite, with a frame also built by Kinensis like the Motobecane). The bike truly is light, most bikes are a little heavier than advertised, but this bike was lighter. With my lights and pump on the bike it weighed in at 21.8 lbs. There are however some shortcomings to this bike if you plan to use it as a cross country bike since it really is set up more for light weight/racing than regular cross country use. First it has an Ultegra casstte, these gears are all wrong for mountain biking, at least if you have to climb steep hills. The tires, while light, are paper thin with minimal tread and the inner tubes are so thin they feel like sandwhich bags. I feel like you would get a lot of flats. The foam grips are uncomfortable and soak up sweat. The seat is comfortable, but has little padding and begins to hurt after a few hours of riding. I understand that all the above parts are there for light weight, but it makes for a rather impractical bike. I have replaced the grips, tires and tubes and seat. Since the bike is so cheap you can replace all these parts and still get a great deal. The Ultegra cassette works great for me since I am using the bike as a hybrid. How does it ride? It hauls ass. I can easily smoke unsuspecting road bikes unless we are on a straight downhill. I love to see the looks on peoples faces when they see a mountain bike blow by them on their road bikes. For my purposes (as a hybrid)I give it 5 chillis. As a XC Mountain Bike I give it 4 chillis, only because its set up more for light weight than daily use which can easily be fixed.
Weaknesses: Tires are 1.9's, a little skinny for my taste and not enough tread. They are light though. Saddle not comfortable. A little skeptical about strength of wheels, but no problems yet.
I wanted an XC hardtail to get back into biking and found that the Fly 9357 was the best bang for the buck compared to other deals online. I was a little skeptical about Motobecane and ordering online and setting up, but I am glad I did because it turned out great. Set the bike up no problem and had a no hassle experience with bikes direct.
Bike is very light, flickable and very stiff. I consider it a VERY harsh ride on trails near me with lots of rocks and roots, but tis the nature of a hard tail with a race fork. I quickly had to learn how to loosen my body to absorb the millions of roots when flying down trails.
This bike is designed to be an XC race bike, but I have beaten this bike up hard and taken it to the limit doing things it wasn't designed for. Why? Beacause I bought a bike to have fun and ride whatever terrain I wanted to.
When I first got it I was so excited to hit the streets again, all I did was jump up and down sets of stairs, bang curbs, spent an hour plus everyday trying wheelies, searching for dirt jumps, dropping off ledges, manuals across pads, riding down huge sets of stairs, and endos. All of that in addition to hitting the local trails hard. This is why I say it is versatile.
A couple things. Flat bar was too low for me causing hand pain. Put a hi riser on there and problem solved. The carbon bar introduced a 'little' more flex and forgiveness.
Saddle was light, but not comfortable, and the longer I ride, the more I realize how important comfort is. I actually broke the saddle plastic frame trying to manual across a pad when the rear wheel struck so hard on the lip of the curb and my rear end impacted the seat. I was so suprised I didn't bend a wheel or break something else. That was the point that I was no longer skeptical about the wheel strength.
Drivetrain has been good. Learn how to work on your bike if you are ordering online. I have had some chain suck issues here and there, but I beleive that is due to my lack of tuning knowledge.
Fork is a... well race fork. It is not very comfy, but I probably don't even have it set up right. I have tried various combos of pressures, but at the end of the day I am still shaken up. The fork has performed well, but, don't expect the plushness of an AM fork.
Brakes are nice and have tons of power. Sure there may be better options out there, but come on V-brakes stop a bike fine, and hydro disc brakes stop a bike very fine too! Make sure to check tightness the lever pivot set screws.
Overall bike is a very good buy. I'll admit that I have read things online about frame breakage and has made me paranoid, but it would have broken a long time ago if that was the case. It seems that when people talk about bikes they always point out that there are "better" products and components, and it always seems like if something isn't the best then it is a "weakness". So my response to that is.. this is what I got for 1300.00 and it has performed very well. I recommend this bike especially for newer bikers looking for a good buy who are willing to DIY and maintain it. And about the Motobecane name and frame quality.. it's the same damn thing as any other bike made in China.
5 chilis for value, 4 for overall cause there is always better.
Similar Products Used: Trek 950, 930; Gary Fisher Montare
Bike Setup: Stock.
a Cross Country Rider
from glendale, az, usa
Date Reviewed: December 31, 2007
Strengths: bang for the buck, light weight, great components
Weaknesses: It wasn't free
Excellent bike for the money. If you have more cash to spend, go ahead and get a Felt or ?, but for $1300 shipped?? not possible to get more bang for your dollar. I've heard complaints about the sid race being flexy, and the juicy carbons not being very good, and also the vuelta xrp wheels supposedly exploding or something. I can't find fault with any of those products. (my vueltas are 28 spoke and have shown that they are just fine for xc).
Please note: I am 165lbs with gear and ride xc=no major drops, but with rocky climbs and descents. Your mileage may vary.
I would reccomend the fly 9357 to riders who want bang for the buck (want light weight, great components, and don't want to spend more than $1500), not reccomended for Clydesdales or those who are scared of minor assembly).
Similar Products Used: Ibex alpine 550 (not very similar)
Bike Setup: stock, except for wtb mutanoraptor up front, kenda nevegal in rear, titec pork rind grips
a Cross Country Rider
from Oviedo, FL, USA
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2007
Strengths: The bike is light, agile and fast. The Avid brakes will stop you almost immediately (I'm having a hard time riding my other rig with V-brakes). The handling it spot on and climbing is a breeze. The SID fork does its job until things get rough.
Weaknesses: The tires had to go. Too light and not enough grip.
Great bike for the money. I could have spent a bit more but took a chance on the brand since the frame is manufactured by the same company that manufactures frames for so many other bike companies (Kinesis). Couldn't be more satisfied.
Similar Products Used: GT Avalanche Race, Specialized FSR
Bike Setup: Changed tires to Panaracer smoke/dart (old reliable), added Shimano clipless pedals.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 9, 2007
Weaknesses: Wheelset?, Grips, saddle
This bike rocks for the price, I am no wrench, but the bike was simple to setup. A few adjustments were needed on the front disc, but took less than an hour to get completely set up. If you can't get this bike put together, you have to consider yourself mechanically compromised. This bike is bar none the best value for any bike on the market. I sold my roadbike to have a bike I could ride on the road and race that was less than my 28lb turner. I actually made a profit. I think the wheelset is probably the weak link, but I have thrashed these so far without a problem. I just figured to thrash and trash, but so far so good. Had trouble getting them to stans and am still running tubes. The tires suck, but their stupid light and race worthy on your typical smooth xc course. I would recommend this bike to anyone. Newbies or grannies on a budget wanting to race sport or higher.