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  1. #1
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    Buying new bike - Motobecane Fantom Team or Trek Fuel EX 8??

    Anyone have experience with both of these bikes and can offer any kind of comparison. I'm also interested in the Moto Fly Team if you have any input there. Too many great bikes out there anymore!!

  2. #2
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    Most of the advice I am getting of of bikeforums.net is to go with the EX8. The local bike shop that sells them is a great place too, so it looks like the EX8 will be my new ride. Also heard the EX 8 suspension is supposed to be pretty nice for 08 as well - hoping it is a good deal for the $$.

  3. #3
    TNC
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    One red flag for me would be that you don't see many riders posting stuff about Motobecane bikes...or did I miss it? The last couple of bike shops that I actually saw one in were almost more like discount bike store fronts. Now that's not always a bad thing depending on the kind of bike you're looking for, but MB doesn't seem to be on the same playing field as Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc., etc. That alone would keep me away. If someone knows something really good about Motobecane and how well they stack up against the more readily known brands and models, it would be interesting to hear.

    Edit: Damn, I just noticed mtbr actually has a brand forum for Motobecane. After looking at that Fantom, I don't think I'm too impressed. It looks better than a WalMart bike but not equal to most anything else you can get from a more well known manufacturer.
    Last edited by TNC; 11-28-2007 at 05:22 PM.

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    I have ridden my MB for over a year now constantly. I ride about 15-30 hours a week offroad with my 2007 Fantom Comp. When you buy a MB you don't get the latest technology in the frames, they just use old, tried-and-true geometries and materials. But, because of this you get a bike that is plenty capable for significantly less than you would from a company on the edge of tecnology that does a lot of research like Specialized, Ellsworth, ect. No they are not the same quality, and yes you have to spend a little time dialing it in when it hits the doorstep but I am more than satisfied with my Fantom, especially considering what I paid. It works, and works well enough for me to have spent many many miles and hours on it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdpolk
    No they are not the same quality, and yes you have to spend a little time dialing it in.

    I dont think you know what you are talking about. You have to dail in any fs bike. How is the moto any less quality?

  6. #6
    TNC
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    I thought he was fairly close.

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeegeek2112
    I dont think you know what you are talking about. You have to dail in any fs bike. How is the moto any less quality?
    His description of "dialing in" seemed to apply to the whole bike...not just the suspension. This bike comes in a box...not prepared by a dealer. It looks like it will be totally up to the owner assemble and dial in just about every aspect of this bike. That's not necessarily a bad thing if the owner has that capability, but I think he was right in clearly pointing that out.

    As far as the "less quality" issue is concerned, it looks like a very, very basic single pivot rocker design that is definitely on the porky side. Anyone know the suspension rate on this design? How's frame durability? You're not seriously comparing this frame to a Kona, Trek, or other models that currently use or have used this design, are you?

  7. #7
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    Sorry, I was not clear. I have the comp ds model, which is the four bar design. I agree about the single pivot model.

  8. #8
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    By less quality I mean this...
    1) The bike is assembled but it will require that you check every part of it to make sure it is installed with the correct torque. Usually bike shops do this before they even put the bike on display or sell one, since MB bikes don't have a machanic look them over before you get them it is up to the owner to either give the bike a once over or have a shop do it because the only people to have looked at it are assembly line workers.

    2) The paint is thinner than on some higher end bikes like Specialized so it scratches easier and cable rub occurs faster. But, it is a mountain bike! All mountain bikes get scratched so I don't see a big deal with that.

    3) The frames are only offered in aluminum. You don't even have the option for a nicer carbon, scandanadium, titanium, etc frame. There is nothing at all wrong with aluminum, but it simply can't be compared to the the more exotic materials. However, I don't see the need to spend an extra $1000 to $2000 on high end materials for very minor differences in the ride and I don't mind the slight weight gain of aluminum over carbon, especially since you take away the risk of that rare wrong hit on the carbon rendering your several thousand dollar frame useless.

    4) The suspension designs and fame designs are not the best offered on the market. Motobecane simply hasn't spent the time and money to research new frame designs like the high end companies have. This means you get second rate, older designs that have been proven time and time again on the mountain without the cost of a name brand frame. This is a weakness to some but a good thing to me. I don't mind riding a frame that works and has been proven in the field for several years because it works. I don't need the latest and greatest at enormous price increases for the kind of riding that I do; I don't think that many of us at all do.

    5) Because it is a mail order bike, you don't have the option for free repairs and tune ups. I don't mind that either. I bought the Park Tool AK-37 tool kit for $160 on sale and can repair my own stuff as it needs it, even on the trail head.

    Like I said before, the name brand bikes have a little more to offer. To me, it isn't worth the extra cash that can be spent on replacing worn out components, buying riding gear, lights, spare tubes, the tools you will need anyway, lubes, gas to the trail heads, etc. I have been completely satisfied with my MB and am even saving for another right now. Also for what it is worth, I have ridden several high end bikes before. Most recently they were an S-Works carbon Epic, S-works carbon Stumpjumper, Santa Cruz Nomad, and an Ellsworth Moment. I liked all of these different bikes, the Moment was probably my favorite. But, I keep up with my friends on their high end bikes and even out run some of them all the time with no trouble on my cheaper bike. This is just my take on things.

  9. #9
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    Good job! Motobecane long haul review

    As a long term road and cross country xc rider with many miles put in on various frames and surfaces, I wanted to offer some honest and unbiased support to the Motobecane build quality. I've Won Corporate in 24 hrs of Adrenaline, and typically log 3000 miles per year with 1600 - 2000 of off road miles. I have three mountain bikes, a 20.5 lb hardtail for races, 24.5 lb. Jamis XC Pro, as well as my Motobecane Fantom Elite duel susp. built up w/XT and XTR at 27.5 lbs. I've so far logged over 2000 (all offroad) miles on my MotoBe with nary a problem on the frame build, pivots, etc. I've haven't had to replace any bearings in the linkage/pivots, and the frame has been bombproof. Setup is important, and the rear shock that came with the frame was a mediocre RockShox bar. My actual setup now is as follows:
    Front Fork - Rock Shox Pike SL (95 - 140M uturn) w/20M thru axle
    Wheelset - extremely light Sun DS2 XC rims - Marzoch 20mm hub XTR rear hub
    Shock - Fox Float RL - (setup for 4 inches of rear travel)
    XT/XTR drivetrain w/Race Face Cranks
    Avid Mechanical Disc brakes
    Fizik saddle/ritchey stem & post
    Note: The 27.5lb buildup is due to the heavy Pike shock and 20mm hubset. Using a standard size hub and lighter fork, easily drops 2 lbs.

    If you see any bad reviews on these models, it's typically due to the bad experience with bikesdirect, or they opted for a cheap/heavy buildup. If you set this bike up correctly, it will bomb anything at twice the price and will hold up as well or better. While both my hardtail, and Jamis ProXC are faster for cross country, I choose to ride the MotoBe most of the time for training and plushness. It also rocks downhill, and with my setup, I and can quickly switch to 5in rear travel, and run the front Pike at 140mm. Going with gravity it then leaves any xc bike in the dust. FYI - I have done quite a bit of timed tire testing for Specialized, and my MotoBe is typically only 30 seconds - 1 min. slower over a 4.5 mile 18 minute XC course. The plus factor is that I could ride the MotoBe all day in comfort. To conclude, I think the build quality and welds etc. on the high end MotoBe's is excellent (not pretty), and if you really want to race one, go for the Fly Team (hardtail) or Fantom Team (full susp). I think they all copy eachother, and MB is no different. They are sticking to time tested designs. Also, know that almost all mfg'rd frames are now coming out of the far east.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeegeek2112
    Sorry, I was not clear. I have the comp ds model, which is the four bar design. I agree about the single pivot model.
    If this is your bike:

    .

    Then it's not a four bar It's a single pivot linkage or faux bar. The path of the rear wheel follows a concentric arc around the pivot point, the path of the wheel is not affected by the pivot because it is located on the seatstay above the axle. If you removed all the extra links above the seatstay, it wouldn't change the path of the axle therefore, you've got a single pivot! Be careful about telling people they don't know what theyre talking about.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clutchman83
    If this is your bike:

    .

    Then it's not a four bar It's a single pivot linkage or faux bar. The path of the rear wheel follows a concentric arc around the pivot point, the path of the wheel is not affected by the pivot because it is located on the seatstay above the axle. If you removed all the extra links above the seatstay, it wouldn't change the path of the axle therefore, you've got a single pivot! Be careful about telling people they don't know what theyre talking about.


    Maybe I am just retarded, or illiterate, but it states CLEARLY on the seat stays(both sides) active 4 bar. Maybe moto is lying when they put that sticker on the bike???????
    BTW, about this :Be careful about telling people they don't know what theyre talking about.[/QUOTE], I said it about his quality statement.
    Last edited by coffeegeek2112; 12-03-2007 at 09:34 PM.

  12. #12
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    Just because the sticker says so doesn't mean it is what it says it is. A four bar or Horst link has the pivot on the chainstay, a faux bar or single pivot linkage has it on the seatstay. Not trying to flame you about the not knowing what your talking about thing, just thought it was ironic...

    PS-I think it is interesting that the only other bikes I've seen this advertising tactic on are Wal-Mart bikes. I can't think of another company that labels their suspension on the bike as something that is blatantly wrong. I know motobecane has okay bikes but I can understand why others would confuse this as being indicitave of low quality.

  13. #13
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    Kona claims their stuff is 4 bar, and it's set up the same way as the pic above (pivot above the axle/dropout). Is Kona wrong too?

    http://www.konaworld.com/08_tech_dual_suspension.htm


    4 bar doesn't necessarily automaically mean "Horst link" exclusively...........It's just a generic description of how many things are moving around when the suspension works.

    Of course I could be wrong, my post count is really low..

    Back to the original question, MBA gave the EX9 a wonderful review a month or so ago. Got me looking at the EX8 since it's a bit more reasonably priced. I have yet to ride one.

  14. #14
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    Correct me if I am wrong, but a single pivot means one pivot point. I see four on the moto.

  15. #15
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    Look at where the axle is compared to the pivot point. The axle is directly attached to the forward pivot point, therefore it is a single pivot. For example compare to a Spesh FSR (fancy name for four bar linkage):



    The pivot is forward of the axle on the seatstay, meaning that the forward pivot point is interrupted by another pivot before reaching the axle. This changes the path of the axle as it moves through it's stroke and minimizes chain growth and reduces stiffening/squat under braking.

    Many companies use the faux bar suspension and it works fine, just all those pivots and linkages are simply a function of driving the shock, it doesn't have an impact on the axle path like a true 4-bar.

  16. #16
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    Here guys, check out this link: Helpful suspension technology webpage . You can sift through the overly technical stuff but it covers most of the major suspension design thats out there and has some really useful information. I hope it helps.

  17. #17
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    sweet link

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clutchman83
    Here guys, check out this link: Helpful suspension technology webpage . You can sift through the overly technical stuff but it covers most of the major suspension design thats out there and has some really useful information. I hope it helps.
    Thanks for that link. I will say I am an uninformed douche.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeegeek2112
    Thanks for that link. I will say I am an uninformed douche.
    Dude, your fine. I'm in no way an expert, I've been called out for being an idiot as recently as a couple weeks ago. I love learning about this stuff and sometimes the best way is to say something that gets someones attention! Sometimes it's tough to get answers from guys because they read it, roll theyre eyes, and move on. Talking about it is the only way we learn .

  20. #20
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    This is simple:
    If there is only one pivot point between the BB and rear axle, then the suspension is a faux bar or single pivot.

  21. #21
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    It is an informative link. No doubt. Brings back memories of my kinematics and physics classes from 20 years ago...........

    I do see where it states; "The pivots will still be physically attached to the main triangle separately and thus the suspension will constitute a true 4-bar." I think the author was making the comparison between single pivot suspensions and 4 bars, and was reinforcing that even though the wheel path is identical to the single pivot, it was a "true" 4 bar linkage. Not that this variation (Horst link) was the only "true" 4 bar. But hey, maybe I'm misunderstanding something.

    And the article still calls all the other 4 bar variations, 4 bar linkages/suspensions.

    But whatever........

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