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  1. #1
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    Is the titanium Motobecane Fantom 29 trustable?

    I could use some advice regarding to the subect MB. The bike is listed in BD for $1,799. Link below. I can afford this price and want a Titanium frame ( old school - durability is well appreciated) but wonder if this bike is trustable. Thanks in advance for any comments/feedback.


    SRAM X9, 3x10 Speed 29er Titanium Front Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2013 Motobecane Fantom Titanium 29er | SRAM X9 hardtail mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles


    2013 Motobecane Fantom 29 Titanium
    29er Mountain Trail Bikes
    with LockOut Reba RL 100mm,
    SRAM X9 30 Speed
    + Avid Elixir Hydraulic Disc Brakes

  2. #2
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    I had a Motobecane and while it was aluminum I never fully trusted it. When it was in my possession it seemed like my wallet was always disappearing and I would eventually find it out in the garage missing any cash I might have had. Another time I was riding out in the middle of nowhere and stopped to pee, while I had my backed turned it took off and left me out there. Had to walk 12 miles back to the car. Who knows what it was up to all afternoon while i was hiking out.

    It got to the point where i wasn't comfortable leaving it at home with my wife's bike. Maybe I was being paranoid, but it seemed to always be watching it.

  3. #3
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    If you want Titanium for under $2k, your choices are pretty much Motobecane and ........Motobecane.

    Fantom 29 seems be good according to everyone I talked to that has one and the frames seem to be solid.

    As far as it bleeding your wallet dry, the only thing made by Motobecane is the frame.
    If the components on it break, the same components will break on any other bike.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geda View Post
    I could use some advice regarding to the subect MB. The bike is listed in BD for $1,799. Link below. I can afford this price and want a Titanium frame ( old school - durability is well appreciated) but wonder if this bike is trustable. Thanks in advance for any comments/feedback.


    SRAM X9, 3x10 Speed 29er Titanium Front Suspension Mountain Bikes - MTB - 2013 Motobecane Fantom Titanium 29er | SRAM X9 hardtail mountain bikes | Save up to 60% off list prices on new bicycles


    2013 Motobecane Fantom 29 Titanium
    29er Mountain Trail Bikes
    with LockOut Reba RL 100mm,
    SRAM X9 30 Speed
    + Avid Elixir Hydraulic Disc Brakes
    Motobecane is the only one that really fits your needs and budget..

  5. #5
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    I see lots of Motobecane around on my local trails. Would think they are as good as any bike in that price range.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    As far as it bleeding your wallet dry, the only thing made by Motobecane is the frame.
    ..and not even that. MB subcontracts this out to an Asian manufacturer like just about every other bike company on the planet.

    John Tomac used to have a really interesting post on his website back when tomac bikes were still around; he talked about setting up production in China. The biggest distinguishing characteristic that drives cost in Chinese-made bike frames is how much quality control you insist upon. The more you want, the more expensive the product becomes. To the point where it actually becomes more cost-effective to domestically manufacture products that need high levels of consistency and quality control. Obviously, some of this can be offset by economies of scale, etc.

    My point is this: MB frames are fine; they are made in the same factories with the same amterials as many other bikes. Where MB saves cost is in R&D (or lack of); they tend to be a few years behind on stuff like cutting-edge geometries and suspension designs, hydo-formed tubes, press-fit BBs, etc. on thier bikes; its all pretty vanilla stuff. Solid, but nothing sexy. They follow the trends, they don't set them.

    The truth is that the absolute BIGGEST problem with MB is the unspoken stigma of being seen riding one. Everyone knows they are an inexpensive mail-order bike, so gear snobs tend to look down on them. They don't advertise much, and they don't sponsor race teams. But if you don't give a sh!t about what other people think, then they can be a good deal, IMHO. Especially for a kids bike or as a first bike to get into the sport.
    Mind your own religion.

  7. #7
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    I have a motobecane fantom ti 29er. I also have a Knolly Endorphin and a Knolly Chilcotin on the way. So I have ridden $$$$ in addition to my mailorder ti bride.

    The Fantom ti is a solid bike. When you see one in person you will be amazed at the clean, smooth welds. It really is a pretty bike. It is definitely a cross country bike geometry wise so keep that in mind. It is designed to climb and go fast over relatively smooth ground.

    I have pushed my Fantom pretty good - the biggest drop I have done on it was just under 3 foot from a retaining wall to grass. The bike and wheels were fine, but I havent done that since. I am just not smooth enough to do that on a bike not designed for it. I rode it out on some moderately techy slickrock (Southern Utah) yesterday. It doesnt eat up the chunk the way my full suspension 26er does, but it sure didnt stop me from having a good time.

    The one thing I thought was going to go south on the build were the generic vuelta wheels. I weigh in over 200 pounds with gear, pack and 100oz water so I have killed some rims. I went ahead and bought an extra wheelset from bicycle wheel warehouse to put on when the vueltas inevitably taco-ed. Nearly two years later, those extra wheels are still in the box they came in.

    You can set it up however you like. I have run everything from 35mm roadslicks for commuting to my current setup of 2.4 mountain kings on the back and 2.5 weirwolfs on the front.

    If the geometry meets your needs, I wouldnt hesitate to get one. Honestly, you would have a hard time purchasing the build kit from a bike shop for that price if somebody gave you a free ti frame.

  8. #8
    Axe
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    I have a 26" frame - got it before 29" had been available, and can not find a good enough excuse to exchange it for 29" or 27.5", not because I want bigger wheels, but because frame is a tad old school in geometry (29rs seem a bit more current). I rode it anywhere for five years, from road riding to getting down DH worthy trails.. It is absolutely solid. Nice tubing, well welded.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    If you want Titanium for under $2k, your choices are pretty much Motobecane and ........Motobecane.
    Lynskey for $1100, or Titus Fireline for $900 and get creative with internet shopping for a build kit.

    I am not sure either frame is any better at all.

  10. #10
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    This isnt my pic (stole it from vitalmtb) but I took my fantom ti down the exact line in the smaller bottom pic yesterday and she loved it. Didnt take the line in the larger pic because that line scares the crap out of me and its not required.

    Is the titanium Motobecane Fantom 29 trustable?-guac.jpg

    Afterwards I took her out for a spin on some nice lonely double track with a view. She practically pedals herself on the smooth stuff.

  11. #11
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    My friend had one that broke (bottom bracket area) after two years of riding SS (he used a Phil Wood "adjustable" bottom bracket since it had vertical dropouts and he had a specific gear ratio in mind). Given his experience (especially with warranty considerations), I would purchase a Lynskey Silver Series and build it up.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fos'l View Post
    My friend had one that broke (bottom bracket area).
    Where did it break? Any pictures anywhere?

    They list "ONE HUNDRED YEARS All frames made of Titanium. " warranty. Did he try to use it?

    Why do you think Lynskey is stronger?

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    It was his bike, and I didn't take pictures, so if you're the type (we have them in socal) who say pictures or it didn't happen, it didn't happen. I have several friends who own Lynskeys, and while I don't think they're necessarily better, their customer service is exemplary. JUST MY OPINION.


    QUOTE=Axe;10438326]Where did it break? Any pictures anywhere?

    Why do you think Lynskey is stronger?[/QUOTE]

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurkinite View Post
    ..wise words...
    If the geometry meets your needs, I wouldnt hesitate to get one. Honestly, you would have a hard time purchasing the build kit from a bike shop for that price if somebody gave you a free ti frame.
    This
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  15. #15
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    All manufacturers have failures, its how the warranty is handled after a failure that defines the value. Plenty of anecdotal info about warranty service in the Bikes Direct/Motobecane forum.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is the titanium Motobecane Fantom 29 trustable?-20120718072429.jpg  


  16. #16
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    I had one and it was fine. Nothing mind blowing. If I had the same money to buy a nice hardtail again I'd buy a Kona Honzo and be done with it. If your a spandex wearing XC rider you'll probably love it. I didn't care for the geometry. I'm a trail/AM rider so it didn't mesh with me but I didn't know what I was buying at the time. Since then I've learned what floats my boat

    If you're set on Ti, you can't find a better deal. It's a solid bike! If you end up not liking it you can always flip the frame and buy just about any reasonable frame you can think of. I sold my Moto frame on ebay with ease. Got $750ish for it, if I remember right, after riding it for a summer.

  17. #17
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    Is the titanium Motobecane Fantom 29 trustable?

    My buddy had one and he loved it, but he always made excuses for riding it. Ride what you love, says me. If you don't love it, don't buy it. But if you do, ride the hell out of it.

  18. #18
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    If the decals bother him, there's ways to get them off

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fos'l View Post
    It was his bike, and I didn't take pictures, so if you're the type (we have them in socal) who say pictures or it didn't happen, it didn't happen. I have several friends who own Lynskeys, and while I don't think they're necessarily better, their customer service is exemplary. JUST MY OPINION.
    I am not saying it did not happen. I am interested what happened (weld, tube, where), and how the warranty was handled. Would not you be interested if somebody mentioned something about a bike you ride? I kinda keep track of all my bikes..

    Anything breaks. As far as Lynskey - nothing wrong with them at all, but their cheaper version are not any better. MB are made by a decent builder.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFYFZX View Post
    If the decals bother him, there's ways to get them off
    I removed, though not all of them. Takes like ten minutes with a paint stripper, just be careful not dripping it anywhere. Titanium frames should be clean. Debadged most of parts and rims etc. as well.

  21. #21
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    Thanks all for your comments.

    I don't care about the bike's brand in terms of how others may see it, but I do really care about the perceived quality on my end - and by that I mean that I want to buy something I can feel good about with regard to quality and have no suspicious.

    It does concern me a little that the Motobecane warranty may not be the best and that there are cases of broke frames..... But I realize this may be misleading.

    Now, to add complexity, whatever Bike I buy might be traveling overseas in a couple of years...

    How about the Lynskey MT 29 Shimano XT (link below)? Any opinions on this one? I know it's $700 more expensive than the MB, but I am willing to out a few extra dollars to get something I could use for many years to come.

    https://www.lynskeyperformance.com/s...himano-xt.html


    Thanks

  22. #22
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    Sorry, guess I was being too defensive. The failure was a tubing crack in the seat tube where it connects to the bottom bracket. My friend contacted BD about the problem, but ultimately didn't receive any relief, and transferred his parts to a Sette carbon frame which he loves. My comments about the Lynskey don't mean that I think they are constructed better, but that, from several friend's experiences, they have exemplary CS. In every instance of which I'm aware Lynskey fixed the problem, the repaired frame APPEARED better than new, and the failure hasn't recurred.

  23. #23
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    pics or it didn't happen.









































    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fos'l View Post
    Sorry, guess I was being too defensive. The failure was a tubing crack in the seat tube where it connects to the bottom bracket. My friend contacted BD about the problem, but ultimately didn't receive any relief, and transferred his parts to a Sette carbon frame which he loves. My comments about the Lynskey don't mean that I think they are constructed better, but that, from several friend's experiences, they have exemplary CS. In every instance of which I'm aware Lynskey fixed the problem, the repaired frame APPEARED better than new, and the failure hasn't recurred.
    I am surprised. BD are not a flight by night operation, and from what I heard (did not get to test) they are about as reasonable as most manufacturers as far as warranty/crash damage etc.. Well, I guess sh.t happens.

  25. #25
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    The flip side of this is that more than a few people have posted about BD not honoring warranties because of sticker removal. WTF kind of reasoning is that? There comes a point that getting the cheapest possible stuff becomes counter productive and BD is that point. Lynskey Silver Series, a true XT build ftw.

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