Motobecane Sturgis Fat Bikes

DESCRIPTION

  • Frame Motobecane Hydroformed Aluminum Alloy 6061 Frame, w/Disc Mount, TIG Weld, replaceable rear derailleur hanger, H2O bosses, Tapered
  • Front Derailleur: SRAM FD X7 LDM 2X10 S3 36T STGR Dual Pull
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM RD X7 Type 2 (Clutch) Long Cage 10Spd BLK
  • Shifters: SRAM SL-X5 Trigger BLK
  • Cassette/Freewheel: SRAM CS-PG-1030-A1 ( 00.2418.001.030 ) CS-PG-1030 11-36

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-2 of 2  
[Oct 28, 2015]
Brad Johnson
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Nice components
Great price for what you get
A blast to ride

Weakness:

A bit heavy
4.5 tires measure 4.1

I just got my 2016 Sturgis Bullet last week and so far I love it. This is my first fatbike so I don't have much to compare it to outside of test rides I did on other fatbikes, but it rides very comparably to bikes I looked at for $1000+ more. Some of those bikes had similar grade components, some were even lesser-grade components. Terrific bang-for-the-buck with the Sturgis. I've only been out on it a couple of times but I can't wipe the grin off my face when I'm on it. I got the metalic purple, so on top of all the fun this is a great-looking bike too.

Upgrades on the 2016 model vs the 2015 include a Race Face Crank and Mulefut 80SL Tubeless-ready wheels, although this comes along with a $200 price increase over the 2015 model.

Set up was quick and easy (< 20 minutes), although this is my 2nd online bike assembly (other was a Motobecane also). I dropped a washer from one of the stem bolts and I think I spent more time looking for it than the rest of the assembly process. I did have to tweak the rear derailleur cable barrel adjuster, but that was it. Put a wrench on every bolt and found a couple that were not quite as tight as I would like, but that's to be expected. Bikes Direct recommends this also.

The bike isn't the lightest. My 19" was 35.9 lbs assembled (as shipped) w/o pedals or reflectors. The front tire/wheel alone was almost 8 lbs. However, the bike seems to carry it's own weight very well. I was expecting to really feel the weight on climbs and over obstacles but I didn't notice it too much accelerating out of corners, even corners turning up a climb.

I did noticed the bike's weight when maneuvering at higher speeds. Quick S-curves, pumping on corners and some off-camber downhills made me grab the brakes a lot more than I would on the same trails on my Ti 29er. Some of this may also be the low pressure in the tires causing shift/drift of the bike's weight, or maybe it's just something you develop a feel for with more ride time.

As for obstacles, fat tires and inertia are your friends, this beast rolls EVERYTHING. Rock gardens which stalled me before are rolled with relative easy. Smaller rocks and roots aren't even acknowledged by this fatty. The Rockshox Bluto fork definitely makes a difference in riding over rough terrain and landing jumps.

The 4.5 Snowshoe tires are awesome on hardpack and gravel. They seem to grab everything and hang on tight. I have been gaining increased confidence (and speed) when cornering on these vs the 2.35" Panaracer Rampages (which I love) on my 29er. The downer for me on the tires is they are spec'd at 4.5" but measure (at the widest - not tread surface) 4.1" on the Mulefut 80SLs. Perhaps on a 100mm wheel they'd be closer to 4.5", but this is one of the few things I haven't loved about this bike so far. I see Vee came out with a 5.05" tire, but given the specs on these I wonder if they'd mount up at over 4.5" on the Mulefut 80SLs. No experience yet on snow or ice, but should have opportunity to try that out here in MN in a month or so.

The "auto steer" (if that's the right term) when cornering is something that takes a bit of getting use to - you turn the bars like you would expect with a non-fat bike, but the fat-and-flats kind of fold-over and pull the bike into the turn more than you expect. I felt this same effect on the other fatbikes I test rode, so it's not a knock against the Sturgis Bullet. As I understand it, it's a function of tire width, tire pressure, and weight on the tire.

One item worth noting, the Mulefut 80SL wheels are a double-edge sword. They get fantastic reviews as wheels go, but getting the tire bead to break loose is a serious undertaking. I'm planning to go tubeless to minimize flatting because I suspect on-trail tube changes may not be possible. I was just going to try installing the included red rim liners to see how those looked, but gave up after an hour of trying to get the front tire off the rim. I'm no rookie either, I have changed tubes on all five of my other bikes and of those I only have one that I can't do w/o tools/levers. That hour included some googling with good info found, but nothing really new for me to try. I did finally find a post by a wheel-builder who said he had to lay the wheel on the ground and stand on the side of the deflated tire and bounce to get the bead to pop out of the groove. So bottom line - good wheel for tubeless (great seal, apparently), but makes tire removal a challenge.

I highly recommend this bike to anyone looking for a mid-level fatbike. If you want a big-name bike, be my guest and pay 50-100% more. In my opinion, this $1500 bike performs as well as similarly equipped bikes priced at $2500-$2900. I'm all about function-over-fashion, but as I said this is a great looking rig.

Can't wait to get out on the trail again on this beast and I'm really looking forward to getting out on some snow!

[Sep 08, 2015]
Fleas
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

You get what you paid for. The stock components are ready to work.
The full cable housings have kept things shifting smoothly through some very poor conditions.
Thru-axles.

Weakness:

It's a little heavy (esp. the rim strips! - throw them away and use tape or pretty much anything else), but at this price it is good.
Pay close attention to every part during assembly. Do not assume that if a part is connected that it is race ready. It will be "ride-ready", but "race-ready" it's not. This is most apparent where lubrication and seals are concerned.

I'm 6'-3", 185#, 34" inseam. I ride everything except big jumps.
This is for the Sturgis Bullet with the 120mm Bluto suspension fork.
My expectation of this bike was that it would be ridden when any other bike could not be, so it was very likely to see adverse conditions (mud, sand, water, ice, snow, slush...). This meant I would get an aluminum frame instead of steel to fight corrosion.
The bike was easy to build. Special attention was needed for wheel truing, and extra grease was needed in all bearings to prevent water intrusion due to some pretty weak seals, esp. the bottom bracket area. Getting it "race-ready" was not an overly involved process, though.
After 6 months of adverse conditions as well as dry, hardpack singeltrack days with logs and rocks, the bike is performing very well. I would say "reliably"...."consistently".
Tektro Draco hydraulic brakes have nice lever adjustment and plenty of power and modulation.
X5 Shifter with X7 drlr works great (and the orig. rear hanger is still good).
Snowshoe tires are 3-season, IMO, but will work in snow. They provide excellent traction in most conditions at a suitable tire pressure. There are better options for snow, though, and this bike will fit 4.8's easily.
I chucked the saddle and used a WTB Speed V.
Bluto fork @ 120mm is good.
I have ridden muddy farm roads; wet, slushy, snowy trails; wet shale creek bottoms; sandy beaches and volleyball courts; submerged, mossy rocks... If you can pedal, the bike will continue forward. That part is for real and it's pretty amazing, and the 2x10 drivetrain goes a long way to help you get torque to the ground (even if you don't have a lot of power in the form of strong legs).
On hardpack Summer singletrack, the bike handles well if tire pressure is appropriate, but it would not replace my 29er - it picks up right where the 29er leaves off.

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