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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a new member and this will be my first official post on MTBR (not including the intro post).

I'm definitely in the weekend warrior category but I did race XC and rode a lot when I was younger. Most of my current and future riding will be local trails that range from 7 to 15 miles with varied terrain from fast flat single track to covered in decent sized roots. Not a lot of big up or down hills but a few that should be respected.

I'm in the market for a new bike and I've narrowed it down to these two offerings from Bike's Direct.

EITHER the Sub 25.5 lb, 2020 Motobecane HAL29 NX Eagle with the Rock Shox Sid:
SRAM Eagle Full Suspension 29er Mountain Bikes Save Up to 60% Off 29er 120mmTravel All Mountain SRAM Eagle 1x12 , 2020 Motobecane HAL29 NX EAGLE 1X12 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bikes SRAM Eagle 1x12 Speed Shimano XT Hydraulic Disc Brakes Rockshox



OR the 2019 Motobecane HAL Boost Ltd with the Rock Shox Pike:

Save Up to 60% Off LTD QTYS of these 6 Inch / 150mm Travel Full Suspension 29er / Boost Mountain bikes 2019 Motobecane HAL Boost EAGLE LTD SRAM Eagle 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bikes SRAM EAGLE 1x12 Speed Shimano XT Hydraulic Disc Brakes Rockshox


Here's some high point specs that I'm battling with. I'll call them Sub 25.5 for the first one and Boost for the second one. The last topic is where I'm really struggling, the wheelset.

Travel (ft/rr):
- Sub 25.5 = 120/120mm (4.72/4.72 inches)
- Boost = 150/140 (5.9/5.4 inches)
QUESTION - Which one would be better suited for trails?

Fork
- Sub 25.5 = 120mm travel Rock Shox SID
- Boost = 150mm travel Rock Shock Pike
(This would be answered with the first question, either are from what I can tell good forks)

Brakes are Deore XT on both bikes, the only difference is rotor size:
- Sub 25.5 = 160mm rotors
- Boost = 180mm rotors
DRAW

Drivetrain
- Sub 25.5 = SRAM NX
- Boost = SRAM GX
Obviously the GX will be the higher end (not necessarily better) choice so the Boost slightly wins this category.


And the one thing that for me honestly tips the scale to the Sub 25.5 is the wheelset (this is where I really need some sound advice or argument for either one).

WHEELSET:
- Sub 25.5: DT Swiss 1900 Spline 22.5 Wheelset with DT Swiss rims and straight pull hubs and spokes.
- Boost = Novatec hubs, WTB rims and non-specified spokes.
WINNER: For me it would have to be the wheels on the Sub 25.5 but is that enough to override the longer travel and GX components with a dropper post on the Boost model?

These two bikes are in my opinion, for the same price, excellent choices. But what does the jury of peers say?

Thanks for any help/guidance/suggestions.
 

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If you've read my reviews you'll know I own the HalBoost. Pro's for it are the dropper post- I never realized how much they improve biking until I had one. I use it on every downhill section EVERY time I ride. The boost wheels are another pro since it's also the frame that's boost. If you ever wanted a different brand new frame; all the parts would be compatible to most new bikes. I took the bike to a DH park and had a peak speed of 40 mph. I'm 250 lbs- so I feel they passed a big test there. When I was comparing Motobecane bikes last winter I had questions like you. Mostly would I use that much travel and would a heavier bike be a drawback? I use all the travel even on mellow trails and the 30 pound bike is faster than my 27 pound hardtail. I don't feel the added weight mostly because I carry more speed on downhills which get me up the next hill. And it rolls faster with 29 wheels- I simply find it a quick bike. The HalBoost is a beefier frame so I feel that's a pro as well. If you're wondering if it's too much suspension for trail riding- I'd say no. Lastly, the M8000 brake rotors and GX components are better grade than on the other bike, so for the same price it's a better deal. 180mm rotors are better stopping than 160's period. I'm planning on going to 203's in the future. Lastly the Pike fork is better than the SID and it's already Debonair upgraded which is better as well.
 

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Pretty sweet deal for $2K on either bike...the HAL Boost would be my pick too. Biggest question for you is if 150 travel and a little more 'heft' is overkill for terrain you plan to ride. But todays longer travel bikes have come a long way with newer geo and improved components. Even with the additional travel and weight many are very good climbers and super fun all-round bikes with the added benefit of having more 'big hit' capability than an XC bike.

I've never had Motobecane but have been buying bikes on-line for years. If you're not afraid to do your own setup/mntc you save so much when you buy a bike direct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks metalskool. I have seen many of your other posts and that helped me narrow it down to these two. I'm not too worried about overall bike weight. I'm at 225 right now and if I want to make the ride "lighter" then I need to shed a few more pounds (I used to weigh over 300, I've got 25 pounds to go to hit my goal).

Anyway, the last bike I raced was a 2001(ish) GT Zaskar with full XTR and a 20mm Axle Marzocchi Bomber. I'm not the same as I was 18 years ago and I don't need that level of components. Thanks for the link to the video, I'll check that out.

From what I can tell the Pike is the better fork and you provide good evidence to back that up. I was a little worried with the slightly shorter travel so for that, the HAL Boost is the winner.

But to get a full DT Swiss straight pull wheelset on the bike with less travel and the SID has really caused a dilemma for me. You make some very good points and thank you for that. The pendulum is starting to swing towards the HAL Boost.
 

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I don't have either of those bikes, but I do have a RockShox Pike and it's awesome. My bike also has boost spacing. You should be able to run 27.5"+ wheels as well on the boost model. This is what I do--my bike came as a 27.5+ and I got a set of 29" wheels (from Motobecane actually) that I swap out depending on the season & location. That really is a big benefit--it basically gives you 2 bikes in 1.

The HAL29 NX Eagle has boost spacing on the front hub, but not on the rear. I honestly don't how that might impact you as far as running a 27.5+ setup...it might have no impact whatsoever if you've got solid clearance. That model does have shorter chain-stays, which is a positive. Also, that's a sweet looking setup--highly tempting.

On the downside, I have an eTen dropper on my Motobecane (which is not my primary bike). Mine is external. It is fine, but the eTen is absolutely an entry level dropper. It isn't user-servicable, but the cartridge is pretty inexpensive ($30). The big limitation for that dropper is the travel is only 100mm travel. You may or may not want more than that (e.g. 125mm, 150mm, 175mm). FWIW, my eTen arrived with a bad cartridge (not from BikesDirect) and I was able to replace the cartridge and get it lubed with SlickHoney myself with no issue. I'm actually having issues with my far more expensive KS Lev Integra..... Personally, I wouldn't let the dropper be a major deciding factor in which bike to pick--you can buy an eTen for ~$100 or get a better one. I agree with metalskool that you WILL want a dropper. There's NO doubt about it. If you get the NX Eagle, just factor in that cost--it'll also give you latitude to buy a better dropper.

Random thoughts--going by how you describe your local trails, it doesn't sound like you'll be taking any huge drops. You shouldn't really worry that much about your fork travel IMHO. If it is as flat as you describe, then the bike weight is slightly mitigated as well. I don't race and as long as I'm able to keep up with my friends, my bikes weight doesn't really impact my enjoyment. All that said, I do think lower weight is a good goal.

I think you'll be happy with either bike. It's too bad the Motobecane community isn't bigger--it's hard to get info and opinions.
 

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Just another couple of points after looking at the photos. The NX Eagle has a couple of not-so-small details regarding the frame that differentiate it. First, it has a water boss inside the downtube whereas the Halboost has it on the underside (my bike is also like this). It might be a small thing, but the NX's ability to carry the water bottle inside the triangle is actually a big deal because a bottle on the downtube (like the Halboost has) will get covered in dirt/mud. Trust me, I deal with this every ride--to the point where I'm now generally just wearing a pack.

Also, the frames are significantly different. The Halboost just seems beefier in a number of areas--I suspect this is where a lot of the weight-savings comes from on the NX. I doubt that the NX's frame will be any less durable. That said, if you look at the seatpost tube, you may or may not be a bit limited on the NX as it pertains to a dropper. There's a bend in the tube that seems an inch or two higher than on the Halboost. It's difficult to see what's going on. Obviously the NX has internal routing available--I'm just not able to discern whether it has internal routing for a dropper. It might be worth an email to BikesDirect to find that out; I'd also query them about whether you might be limited with a dropper choice on that frame. If you do email them--I'd also ask about the ability to use 27.5+ wheels/tires. Your front fork will almost certainly be fine. My guess is that you'll be fine with the dropper AND wheel--but I noticed it and just wanted to point it out.

Also worth noting is that the NX has what appears to be complete internal cable routing--including for the rear derailleur and the rear brake. The Halboost seems to only have it for the dropper. My bike (Diamdonback Catch 2) has cable routing like the Halboost. I don't dislike it, but internal routing is much more desirable in 2019 and frankly, it will help your resale value if you're taking that into consideration as well. The NX's frame is just more modern, which isn't to say that the Halboost is bad--it's not at all. But it is slightly dated.
 

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My HalBoost actually has 2 water bottle cage holders- one inside frame triangle & one outside on the downtube.

Bicycle tire Wheel Tire Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel rim


I did have an issue with my dropper sticking in the down position (a common issue with many) but was able to disassemble and clean/lube myself and fix it. KS has great service videos so you can do it yourself:

https://www.kssuspension.com/maintenance-videos/

One last thought about the DT Swiss rims; if they do have straight pull spokes, some people claim they spin sometimes when tuning the wheel or truing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all for the input. I'm not too worried about overall weight, it was more of a these two bikes are the same price and they both have high points and low points.

Not sure if the straight pull DT Swiss are threaded at both ends or not, that should help keep the spokes from spinning if they are. But it looks like that's a moot point since I'll probably go with the HAL Boost. I also like the option of being able to get some 27.5 Plus wheels in the future and being able go between the two. But from what I can tell I'll be more than good just sticking with the 29's.

As for the water bottles, I don't use them. I wear a Camelbak that has a 3 liter capacity and enough space for a few tools, small pump and an extra tube. For the rides we do around here that's been enough water for the ride and some leftover for the drive home.

Thanks for the info on the dropper. We'll see how long it takes me to figure that out, when to use it, when not to use it, the right timing to drop it or raise it. It'll probably be the cause of crash since I'll be playing with it and not paying attention to the trail.

Also not too worried about wrenching on my bikes. Spent a good part of my younger days working at a bike shop. Not mention if I get in a bind there's always YouTube University to bail me out!

I've got 25 pounds to go to meet my goal of 100 pounds lost and I've also got to prove to myself (and more importantly my wife) that this is something I'm going to stick with and continue doing. I've really enjoyed being back on the pedals the last few weekends but that small dirt jump bike I'm riding now isn't the best trail bike. Now I've got something to work towards. I really want a better suited bike than my current steed and with the input I think the HAL Boost is the direction I'm heading in.
 

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Something I thought of when I was riding this morning:
I had a lot of the same queries and ideas while considering bikes. As for longer travel, I almost went with a shorter suspended "trail bike". And for many other components I thought the same= "I'm just going to use it for light trail riding- I'm not some pro pedalhead." I'm glad I didn't go with any less looking back.

You have to be honest with yourself and ask this question:
'Am I the type of person who gets into something and stays at entry or mid level or am I the type that eventually goes all out?'

Years ago when I got into paintball with my kids I bought an entry level Spyder marker. That year I upgraded everything except the frame, even installed a board & eyes. I put enough money into it I could have bought a high end electro.

The moral of the story is if you ARE that type of person- don't kid yourself and say you're just going to be a light duty occasional rider. Plan on making some trips to parks or trails with downhills and jumps in the future in your decision making process.

Just some food for thought...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again for the insight metalskool. Unfortunately I AM that kind of person. First off, when I raced it was only the best and I couldn’t be talked to down.

About 5 years ago I submitted an application for an entry level field staff for an Archery company that’s a bow manufacturer. 5 years later I’m on factory staff and I shoot just about every day of the year. I hunt and shoot all kinds of competitive target Archery.

The same thing that you describe fits me to the tee. Definitely something I’ve considered...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Soooo, did you pull the trigger on a Moto-bacon?
Not yet...I'm solid I'm going to get it it's just a matter of timing now. I set a personal goal that I have to be under 200 pounds before I fire for effect. In the last month I've gone from 236 to 224. The other goal was to put 250 miles on my current bike (which I haven't been riding in 15 years) and I'm already at 78 miles ridden. Making progress and hopefully looking at pulling that trigger before spring next year.

I'll just have to see if anything changes in the line-up and what Bike's Direct has in stock or has to offer when I'm ready. I still can't find any other bikes at their price point that come with the high level of components the Motobecane's do.
 

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I just got the HAL Boost LTD team and absolutely love it. I am picking up a set of 29 DT wheels I found brand new for $299 so I will have both. Like you guys, I get the obsession when I do stuff reguardless of which sport or hobby it is...I am down 5lbs toward my goal of 25-30 total. I cant even compare the ride between my old 26 and this bike, I also dont notice the weight difference between the Breezer Tornado at 24.5 and the HAL at 28.5. The suspension is insane, the xo1 drivetrain seems to shift faster than my brain can process the thought. My only suggestion to you would be forget the old bike and put those 200 miles on the HAL, you wont regret a single petal stroke! BTW, the pedals on these bikes suck, I got the Expedo Magnesium and love them. If you are in outdoor industry like I am, Experticity has them at 40% off so under $50! I used to ride SPD but really like the flats better.Even the tires on this thing are great!
 

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I just got the HAL Boost LTD team and absolutely love it. I am picking up a set of 29 DT wheels I found brand new for $299 so I will have both. Like you guys, I get the obsession when I do stuff reguardless of which sport or hobby it is...I am down 5lbs toward my goal of 25-30 total. I cant even compare the ride between my old 26 and this bike, I also dont notice the weight difference between the Breezer Tornado at 24.5 and the HAL at 28.5. The suspension is insane, the xo1 drivetrain seems to shift faster than my brain can process the thought. My only suggestion to you would be forget the old bike and put those 200 miles on the HAL, you wont regret a single petal stroke! BTW, the pedals on these bikes suck, I got the Expedo Magnesium and love them. If you are in outdoor industry like I am, Experticity has them at 40% off so under $50! I used to ride SPD but really like the flats better.Even the tires on this thing are great!
Congratulations! Welcome to the enlightened group that saved $$ and I hope you have many miles more to enjoy it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well. I was all set to get one of these on order and I found myself back in San Antonio for my moms funeral. I ended up visiting a bike shop owned by a friend that I’ve known for about 35 years. I won’t go into particulars on the bike but I was able to get a pretty nice bike for a can’t beat price. At any rate, I’m riding again and I will say the new bike is a 29” full suspension and before I came back to SA I was able to get in a few rides and can say I like the 29” wheels over my old 26” wheels. I do want to say thanks to everyone for the advice and suggestions.

HAPPY RIDING!
 

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I just swapped out my front tire for a DHR II 27.5x2.8 up from a 2.6 recon and I cant even expain how big a difference it made in handling and traction. Only had time for 4 half mile laps around my track but it rocks!!!
 
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