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  1. #1
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    2012 Motobecane 600HT...thoughts for $360

    This bike would be for my wife. Lights trails for the most part. $360 seems like a great deal for this bike. Thoughts?


    Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane 600HT

    Frame Custom 7005 Aluminum Trail-Tuned POWER STAY frame, box section chainstays, bi-axial gussetted downtube, sculpted rear dropouts with replaceable rear derailleur hanger, 2x H2O bosses, International Standard rear disc mounts Detailed Picture Gallery
    Fork RockShox Dart + Advanced, long travel, Adjustable Preload
    Crankset TruVativ 5D Aluminum arms 175mm, Triple Rings 22/32/42T
    Bottom Bracket Sealed Cartridge
    Pedals ATB Beartrap
    Front Derailleur Shimano Alivio Top Swing
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore LX long cage
    Shifters Shimano Alivio Mega 8 Speed STI Rapidfire Pods (24 speeds total)
    Cassette/Freewheel 12-28T 8 Speed PowerglideRamps
    Chain 8 Speed Z72 Narrow
    Hubs Formula DiscSpecific Aluminum (black) Sealed Bearing mechanism
    Spokes Stainless Steel
    Rims WTB SpeedDisc Rims Double Wall Aluminum
    Tires WTB Velociraptor Blackwall 26 x 2.10 (front and rear specific)
    Brakes TEKTRO IO Mechanical Disc Brakes with Multi Pad Angle adjustments
    Brake Levers Tektro for Disc
    Headset Cane Creek Internal Sealed caged ball bearing VP A42E 1.125 inch
    Handlebar Skye Comp Aluminum Riser
    Stem Skye Comp Threadless Aluminum 1.125 inch
    Tape/Grip WTB Dual Compound Palm Pillow
    Saddle WTB Speed V with comfort groove
    Seat Post Skye Aluminum Micro-Adjust
    Seat Clamp Alloy w/QR
    Sizes 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23 inch
    Colors MatteBlack

  2. #2
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    Hey there,

    I am a noob so My post may not have much weight, but from reading the specs, and seeing it is on sale, I would say that it would be way better than any DEPT. store bike.

    I just bought 2 from BD as well and they should be here this Tuesday. i will post comments and pix when i get them.

    I say go for it!

    Here is your bike your speaking of

  3. #3
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    +1 Go for it

    I don't think you can find another bike of this quality with those components for anywhere near that price.

    I was on a very limited budget and picked up the 500HT at that same price a few wks ago. Wish I would have waited for this sale. I'm happy with the 500 though. At the time, the 500HT was the best deal I could find new or used.

  4. #4
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    I'm just hesitant...my wife is 5'7''. Would the 17 inch frame with 26 inch wheels work for her for the most part? It says for people from 5'5'' to 5'8''. The stand over height is 29 inches and my wifes inseam was about 32. I'm thinking she would need bigger, but i'm a noob.

  5. #5
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    The 17" should work just fine. And yes, I agree that the 600HT is the best deal she will get at that price range. If you are concerned about sizing and the Moto is too small, you could pick up an 18" Nashbar or Sette frame for under $100, swap the parts, and sell the 600HT frame:

    Sette Reken Alloy Hardtail Frame at Price Point

    Nashbar Double-butted Aluminum Mountain Bike Frame - Mountain Bike Frames

    Also, I'm 5'7 and did order a 17" Windsor Cliff 4500 about a year ago. At first, it felt a little small, but after a few rides, it felt a lot better. I also just ordered a 17" Motobecane 600HT, knowing that the fit would be simlar, except the 600HT is going to fit a little differently, because of the longer travel of the forks.

    In short, I think you will be ok with the 17", but I would order soon, because they aren't going to last long!
    Last edited by getagrip; 04-14-2012 at 04:59 PM.

  6. #6
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    I just ordered this bike this morning. I had the 500ht booked marked too order
    but now ive got the money the size i need was sold out. So i am very happy
    the 600ht went on sale for the same price. As far as the bike goes from looking
    at the specs and componets i think its alot of bike for the price. I cant wait.

  7. #7
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    LX RD, Tektro discs and levers, RockShox Dart 2, TruVativ crank, free shipping, no tax. This is a heck of a deal for $360.

    Ian

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    damn man...I was busy all day and just got back now to order and its gone for the 17 inch. Oh well. I'm a noob so was a slighty doubtful and hesitated.

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    Bahahahah

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    Bummer, but you can get a pretty good Nashbar mountain bike for $399.00, as shown below:

    Nashbar AT-3 Mountain Bike - Mountain Bikes

    The specs are pretty close to the 600HT...really, not that much different. In some cases, you are getting a better known brand like a Shimano bottom bracket and a Ritchey headset. Also notice that it has 120mm of travel, which indicates it will be on the larger size for a 17":

    Nashbar AT-3 Mountain Bike

    FRAME: TIG-welded 6061 aluminum, disc mount and replaceable derailleur hanger
    FORK: Suntour suspension fork with 120mm travel, 1 1/8" threadless steerer, preload adjust and hydraulic speed lock-out
    REAR SHOCK: NA
    HEADSET: Ritchey 1 1/8" threadless
    CRANKSET: FSA Dynadrive 44X32X22T
    BOTTOM BRACKET: Shimano BB-UN26, sealed cartridge, square type
    SHIFTERS: Shimano Alivio
    LEVERS: Tektro 2-finger
    HANDLEBAR: Alloy 15mm rise
    STEM: Alloy 3D Forged, 17 degree rise
    FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano Alivio
    REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano Deore
    CASSETTE: CS-HG30-9 9-Speed, 11-34T
    BRAKES: Tektro Novela mechanical disc
    WHEELSET: Rims: Alex TD-24 32-hole Doublewall Alloy; Hubs: Alloy Disc
    TIRES: Maxxis Mobster, 26x2.35 front, 26x2.1 rear
    PEDALS: Aluminum body, steel cage
    SEATPOST: Alloy, 27.2mm
    SADDLE: WTB Pure V-Sport
    CHAIN: KMC HG53
    GRIPS/TAPE: Velo

  11. #11
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    By the way, the Windsor Cliff 4700 is not bad for $399. However, I think the Nashbar bike gets the nod over the Windsor, but the Nashbar bike does not have free shipping. Having said that, I think it would be worth the extra money to pay for shipping for the Nashbar bike instead of the Windsor, because really, its pretty darn close to the 600HT.

    Anyway, here is the link to the Windsor so that you have another option to compare the Nashbar bike to:

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Windsor Cliff4700
    Last edited by getagrip; 04-14-2012 at 07:51 PM.

  12. #12
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    Getagrip,

    Appreciate the help. I'll look into the Windsor and Nashbar. The nashbar charges tax and shipping so its about 70 bucks more.

    I may also jump up to the Airborne Guardian which seems pretty decent.

  13. #13
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    If that works, go for it, but take a close look at the geometry of each bike, which Nashbar unfortunately doesn't have listed on their site, but I think you would be ok. I noticed that the Guardian is a 29er, and if that is the case, an 18" may be too big, because 29er sizing is quite different. Some people who switch to a 29er switch back to a 26er, as can be seen in this thread:

    Returned my 29er for a 26er

    Here is another one to consider that comes in a 17": the Schwinn Rocket Comp. Please note that the eBay listing is off on sizing, but its a nice bike - I have one! It does have kind of a high chasis because of the 5" travel in the fork, which might freak your wife out a little because its a long drop if you fall.

    Schwinn best full suspension red mountain bike sale | eBay

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain916 View Post
    damn man...I was busy all day and just got back now to order and its gone for the 17 inch. Oh well. I'm a noob so was a slighty doubtful and hesitated.
    I have a feeling that bike weighs around 33lb and the rear cassette is tiny (11-28t, seriously??). A 28t gear is way too small and would be torture on anything but bike paths. I would recommend finding a bike with a 32t or higher. The Nashbar bike that has been linked in another reply has a 11-34t rear cassette and a 9 speed drivetrain which would be much easier to ride.

    EDIT: Since the motobecane is roughly $100 less than the Nashbar bike after shipping is taken into account you could save some $ by doing one these,

    Option #1: change the rear cassette with a larger 8speed like this in either 11-32t or 11-34t for around $13-15.

    Option #2: you could convert it to a 9 speed with this this and this for roughly $65.
    Last edited by FireLikeIYA; 04-15-2012 at 07:59 AM.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    I have a feeling that bike weighs around 33lb and the rear cassette is tiny (11-28t, seriously??). A 28t gear is way too small and would be torture on anything but bike paths. I would recommend finding a bike with a 32t or higher. The Nashbar bike that has been linked in another reply has a 11-34t rear cassette and a 9 speed drivetrain which would be much easier to ride.
    Yeah, it probably will be a little tougher to ride up hills, but a lot of that depends on where you live and what kind of terrrain you ride. A 28t in back forces you to ride in a higher gear and get stronger. My Schwinn FS has a rather stubburn front derailleur which makes it really a pain in the you know what to downshift shift from the 32t to the 22t. The result was that I stayed in the 32t because I was more or less forced to, but now I'm strong enough to stay in it on most rides I do. Of course, it wouldn't work so great on other courses...but don't forget, you can always buy a new cassette with lower gear ratios.

    That being said, I think the Nashbar is a great bike, so if the 600HT is sold out in your size, paying an extra $70 or so for the Nashbar is worth it.

    The shipping weight of the 600HT is listed at 30 pounds. In my experience, Bikes Direct bikes tend to be lighter than similar bike store bikes. And by the way, as of this morning, the 17" is still available...when I go to the site and do a test to add it to my cart, I have no problems.
    Last edited by getagrip; 04-15-2012 at 12:10 PM.

  16. #16
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    The spec on that bike isn't "all that." If your wife doesn't already know her fit numbers, and from the height/inseam post I'm guessing she doesn't, you're both better off if you can find something locally for your price.

    Call your local bike shops and see if anyone carries used or consignment bikes. Play It Again Sports and pawn shops can be another place to see several used bikes all at once, which is the goal here. Then your wife can ride a few different bikes and make a much more informed decision.

    Women sometimes articulate their backs from a little higher than men - really depends on how high her waist is. Women with shorter backs and higher waists are likely to want a frame with a shorter reach.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    The spec on that bike isn't "all that."
    For the price it is. Compare specs to a Trek 4300 at $789 with ACERA components:

    Trek Bicycle

    That said, Specialized seems to offer better deals on woman's specific bikes than Trek, but you pay a lot more for less bike. The Specialized Hardrock Disc sport goes for $630:

    Specialized Bicycle Components : Myka Sport Disc

  18. #18
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    Forgot to mention the Giant Women's Revel 1 - probably the best specs you will find locally on a women's specific bike selling for $500 or less:

    Revel 1 W (2012) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

  19. #19
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    Acera components work fine. I started my first racing season with them. Rode the Acera (or Alivio? can't remember which is which) crank until I wore out the middle ring. Rear derailleur until I fell on it. The only part that really didn't work very well for me was the front derailleur, and it's the same on the Moto. So, meh.

    I don't really want to argue about whether BD's bikes are any good. They do seem to hang better parts on them than major-brand bikes at the same price, although not as good as those at the price they claim as the MSRP. But for me, the big value of my bike is that I can ride it for many hours without it hurting me, and that's all about fit. It's worth riding a few bikes, and important to note that the nominal sizes don't compare across brands well. Incidentally, I'd need to size up once relative to most bike with traditional XC geometry to get the right top tube length in a 600HT. Annoying.

    I've bought my last three bikes used. Private sellers, so I had to have a good idea going in that they'd fit me, but for the two I cared about, I did, and they do. So, about the same on the fit issue as BD but I've done better on the spec for price. A track bike with the right geometry isn't even available from BD for less than $800, more than three times what I spent. It costs more to buy used at a used bike shop, but I think the opportunity to ride several bikes back-to-back is a real value-added for someone who doesn't already know her fit numbers/head tube angle/whatever else.

    I think the OP's going to have better luck getting his wife to ride with him if she has a sense of ownership over the bike. Even if it's used, buying locally gives her a chance to get a bike that really is for her. My fiancee's happier to ride her hybrid than one of my racing bikes, even if it's set up for her. Go figure.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Acera components work fine. I started my first racing season with them. Rode the Acera (or Alivio? can't remember which is which) crank until I wore out the middle ring.

    I don't really want to argue about whether BD's bikes are any good. They do seem to hang better parts on them than major-brand bikes at the same price, although not as good as those at the price they claim as the MSRP. Incidentally, I'd need to size up once relative to most bike with traditional XC geometry to get the right top tube length in a 600HT. Annoying.

    I've bought my last three bikes used. Private sellers, so I had to have a good idea going in that they'd fit me, but for the two I cared about, I did, and they do. So, about the same on the fit issue as BD but I've done better on the spec for price.

    I think the OP's going to have better luck getting his wife to ride with him if she has a sense of ownership over the bike. Even if it's used, buying locally gives her a chance to get a bike that really is for her. My fiancee's happier to ride her hybrid than one of my racing bikes, even if it's set up for her. Go figure.
    My guess is that you were racing with Alivio. Acera components used to come stock on Trek 820s...now they've downgraded to Tourney.

    Yeah, you can sometimes find better value on used bikes than Bikes Direct bikes, but a lot of that depends on the area of the country in which you live, and usually, its not that easy. For instance, compare my local Craigslist (Omaha) with Seattle Washington's Craigslist. Seattle's selection and prices on bikes is TEN TIMES BETTER:

    omaha / council bluffs bicycles - all classifieds - craigslist

    seattle-tacoma bicycles - all classifieds - craigslist

    Yes, Bikes Direct top tubes seem to be a little shorter than some other manufactures like Specialized, but they are consistent with many of Trek's models. However, if you do end up getting a frame that does not fit right, it is not too hard to swap everything over to another frame, which can be done for about $100, and that's not taking into consideration that you can probably sell your Motobecane frame for $75 to $100, which you can use to purchase the tools needed for this and future bike repairs. I agree though, that their MSRPs are inflated, but let's face it, their components aren't only equal to bike store bikes at equal prices, they are flat out SUPERIOR.

    Anyway...if the OP is still reading this, I hope he gets the bike that will work best for his wife. For the rest of you still reading this, don't be afraid to purchase from Bikes Direct. Outside of a few isolated instances (which you can read about in this forum), for the most part, their customers seem VERY happy with their bikes!

  21. #21
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    Here's a good one. Don't tell your wife where you saw it, if you buy it.

    Cannondale Lefty hardtail, XTR, XT
    BikePedia - 2006 Cannondale F800 Complete Bicycle

    When I moved and started racing, I had this.
    Specialized Bicycle Components : Hardrock Comp Disc

    I'd already put "my" cockpit setup on it - so flat bars, bar ends, a racier saddle and the stem to tie it all together, and a fork I found on EBay for $75. Drivetrain's a mix of 300- and 400-level stuff, so pretty typical. I guess you got me on Alivio rear derailleur and shifters, though. The bike also had Panaracer Smoke and Dart tires, at the time, and some ten-year-old Time ATACs.

    Current iteration's on the bottom of this page.
    Post your $1000-2000 HardTail

    Nice long ride on it today with a friend. So that was nice. Happy Sunday, everybody.

    When I think about it, there are two things that spring to mind. First, if I hadn't been in such a rush, I could probably have done a lot better by buying used instead of retail. I'm not sure if BD was around at that point or not, but I do think I benefited from riding this size, 17", against the 19". Second, I'm glad that Specialized has seen fit to produce even their lowest-end mountain bike with pretty traditional XC geometry. When bad timing locked me into that bike when I did start having time to ride more and pick up racing again, it meant that I could stick with replacing what broke - I've never had to do a complete do-over, or move to a new frame. Since I like hardtails, it would't have been terribly difficult, but I still think it fits well in the category of "easier said than done, and has hidden costs." I killed a bike frame not too long ago, and ended up deciding that a new frame was not a feasible option for that, for example. I have a pejorative that I use when I think of the Trek 3- and 4-series geometry, but I'm a liberal and don't like to use it in print. Even pretend, internet print. So, I don't find a comparison between the 600HT and Trek to be particularly flattering. To either, really.

    When I got my 'cross bike in 2008, I was determined to "do it right." So I went to a few bike shops and rode a few different bikes at each, and a couple of sizes of the one I did buy. Again, I'm glad I did it, it got me onto the right size.

    I know you're stoked on your BD bikes. I think you might have as many bikes as I do now. For myself, I'm just as happy that I've spent more of my time and even taken a hit on some of the builds getting bikes built on frames I'm happy with. If they could all magically have nicer builds, I guess that'd be cool, but it's more important to me to be able to set them up for good fit and handling and for me, in the absence of a reference bike that starts with a test ride.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Here's a good one. Don't tell your wife where you saw it, if you buy it.

    Cannondale Lefty hardtail, XTR, XT

    I killed a bike frame not too long ago, and ended up deciding that a new frame was not a feasible option for that, for example.

    I think you might have as many bikes as I do now. For myself, I'm just as happy that I've spent more of my time and even taken a hit on some of the builds getting bikes built on frames I'm happy with. If they could all magically have nicer builds, I guess that'd be cool, but it's more important to me to be able to set them up for good fit and handling and for me, in the absence of a reference bike that starts with a test ride.
    Kinda funny you had to look through a week's worth of Omaha Craigslist ads to find a good deal...the link you posted for the Cannondale is from April 9th.

    You can learn a lot from building a bike, but beware, if you are someone who is pre-disposed to early balding and grey hair, building a bike will accelerate that process!

    In my case, I learned a crap load about bikes by starting from scratch and rebuilding from a Trek 820 frame. Even though that project didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, swapping everything over to a new Leader hardtail frame worked at nicely for me, so I HIGHLY encourage frame swaps for anyone who thinks their frame is too small or too big. In most cases, you can usually find a happy medium about which frame size to get by doing a little research online. In some cases, you will find that not all of the parts swap over, such as headsets or bottom brackets, but for the most part, its a fairly simple process.

    It would be nice to be able to test ride every bike you are thinking of buying, but when you consider the value you can get online, that's not always the best option. Let's face it, like it or hate it, we are in the age of the internet, and many happy customers have found exactly what they want online, in terms of both sizing and quality, without having to do a ride at a local bike store to find out. However, for some people, who either lack technical skills to tune bikes or who don't have a friend to tune their bike for them, buying online may not be the best option.

    Including the 600HT that is on the way here, I now have 4 bikes. But according to The Rules ( see Velominati › The Rules ) , that's only 1 bike more than the MINUMUM number of bikes that one should own, but still 1 less than ideal...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Motobecane 600HT...thoughts for 0-rules-12.jpg  


  23. #23
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    I took about a week and a half to find my track bike too. I just stuck a feed on my home page that kept track of a Craig's List search. I actually bumped into the ad when I opened a CL page to revise my price up - figured I'd do it in steps until I got to the start of track season. So, I don't think putting in some bracket prices and search terms made searching CL a particularly arduous exercise, and I do find mine to be full of crap too, if I don't do that.

    I hadn't read the 510H build thread before. Normally I find them kind of boring, but yours was an exception. If you're going to bring it up, you might include a link, so the poster knows how what you're suggesting turned out for you. I think goals and perspective are pretty important in how a person approaches buying bikes, and your threads really make both of our points better than I think our posts do.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    I appreciate everyone's detailed feedback. I love this website. I will definitely post when I get my wife a ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I took about a week and a half to find my track bike too. I just stuck a feed on my home page that kept track of a Craig's List search. I actually bumped into the ad when I opened a CL page to revise my price up - figured I'd do it in steps until I got to the start of track season. So, I don't think putting in some bracket prices and search terms made searching CL a particularly arduous exercise, and I do find mine to be full of crap too, if I don't do that.

    I hadn't read the 510H build thread before. Normally I find them kind of boring, but yours was an exception. If you're going to bring it up, you might include a link, so the poster knows how what you're suggesting turned out for you. I think goals and perspective are pretty important in how a person approaches buying bikes, and your threads really make both of our points better than I think our posts do.
    I'd LOVE to have a better Craigslist section for bikes here in Omaha. However, if we did, I'd be up to like 12 bikes!

    Glad you liked the Leader build thread. Honestly, I need to add to it, since I've pretty much swapped everything out except for the cranks, bottom bracket, and headset. My friend, who does my derailleur adjustments and other bike related stuff, was the benefactor of parts I didn't want or need for both the Leader and the Trek 820.

    I've nicknamed my Leader "The Money Pit" since I've put so much darn money into the thing, for pretty minor upgrades (e.g. going from an 80mm Rockshox Dart 2 to a 100mm RST Omega lockout fork). However, I'm pretty much done doing upgrades, and it is now a singlespeed. I think, though, that I would have saved lots of money had I just purchased a Bikes Direct bike and swapped the parts over to the Leader frame.

    I've only ordered 1 mountain bike from Bikes Direct, and that was a Windsor Cliff 4500, which felt too small at first, but it grew on me, and I liked the sizing. I'm interested in seeing how the 600HT is different, but I'm pretty sure the frame geometry is going to be similar, except I think the "long travel" will make a difference in the feel (not sure if it will be 100 or 120mm), and of course, the parts are a lot better than the Windsor.

    I've timed myself on the first part of a mountain bike course here in Omaha, and on my Schwinn FS and Leader singlespeed, the times are nearly identical, at about 18 and a half minutes (18:42 with the Leader). I'm going to time myself on the Motobecane to see if my time is faster or not. I may end up going with another frame, but first I want to see how the 600HT stacks up against the other two bikes. My guess is that for now, I'll probably want to keep the 600HT frame, because I can see the potential benefit of having the shorter top tube over the Leader (e.g. making it easier to "wing" the bike - the Windsor was great for jumps, and I expect the same for the 600HT), but we will see.

    Anyway, for those interested, here are the threads on the Leader build and singlespeed conversion:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-cor...**-737782.html

    Please help me convert my mountain bike into a singlespeed

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    My fiancee's happier to ride her hybrid than one of my racing bikes, even if it's set up for her. Go figure.
    By the way, congrats on your engagement. I've read in other threads where it seemed like you and your biking "date" didn't see eye to eye, so I'm glad it worked out for you, even though she rides a hybrid!

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    LOL, thanks. We generally get along pretty well, but she's not particularly comfortable on bikes. Lucky there are more things to life.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    LOL, thanks. We generally get along pretty well, but she's not particularly comfortable on bikes. Lucky there are more things to life.
    I've got a Japanese friend who married a Chinese girl. He likes to snowboard, karaoke, and swing dance. She likes none of these things, so he does them alone, while she stays home. Recently, I got him into mountain biking, and he managed to dislocate his shoulder about a month ago on his mountain bike. She does not like to mountain bike either, but they have been together for 22 years, in spite of their differences. So, its probably better than she doesn't like to bike, because that will give you extra time apart, and they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.......

  29. #29
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    SOrry OT question, i've been eyeing this 600ht for the past week, but should i just throw my money towards 08 diamondback response sport for $175 that i found on CL?

    BikePedia - 2008 Diamondback Response Sport Complete Bicycle


    EDIT: Damn i thnk i should throw my money towards the 600ht bc of the better components...

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    So today the 600HT arrived. Only had about an hour to assemble it between work shifts (overtime), and on top of that, my computer caught a nasty virus, which appears to have either wiped my hard drive or seriously damaged my computer, so I was fiddling with that at the same time I was trying to assemble the Motobecane. Needless to say, I'm only about half way finished with the assembly (disc brakes and rotors on the front wheel are not attached), but I do have some first impressions, and was able to take it for a brief test ride in the parking lot of my apartment complex.

    The top tube looks really short, even shorter than the Windsor by a hair. I did take a brief measurement, but I was in a hurry to get back to work, so I don't know how accurate it was, and the Motobecane was upsidedown when I did it. The measurement only came up about a half inch shorter than my Leader frame, but I'm going to re-measure later...maybe it was just my perception. The frame is of really good quality, however, just not sure if I like the sizing, so I may indeed swap the frame.

    On that note, for the benefit of everyone reading this, I'm going to take it to the mountain bike course this weekend and see how the 600HT stacks up against the Schwinn FS and the Leader. The tires and rims on the Schwinn FS and 600HT are pretty much identical, so taking out the frame difference, it will be an fair comparison. I really am curious to see how the handling feels and to see if I can finish the course faster on the Moto.

    Not sure if I like the handlebars and stem or not. In the pictures, I liked the look better than the generic ones I had on my Windsor (which are now on my Leader), but in person, I don't like them as much. The seatpost is on the short side, and I will probably end up replacing it, or just grab the seat off my Leader and use it, which also has the old Windsor seat on it - yes, the Windsor makes a great spare parts bike! Pedals were standard Bikes Direct platform pedals that come stock on a lot of Bikes Direct bikes, but I've already replaced them with Shimano M520 clipless.

    In my brief test ride, the 600HT felt ok, kind of upright, but didn't feel overly short. I had not yet adjusted the position of the saddle, but I did get that "on the bike" vs "in the bike" feeling. Of course, when you ride a bike on dirt, it changes your perception quite a bit, so I really won't be able to give an accurate perception of it until I take it off road. I hadn't yet adjusted the rear derailleur, but it actually shifted great. The front derailleur didn't shift at all, but to set up the housing correctly on the front of the bike to get the handlebars right, I disconnected it in the rear, so that may have played a factor. The Dart 2 Fork (which does include a lockout) appears to have 100mm of travel (haven't measured it yet), but did feel like a lesser fork than my RST Omega. Of course, I haven't yet adjusted it or taken it off road. Rear brake seemed to work all right.

    So early impressions are overall decent bike, but I'm not jumping up and down about some of the things I mentioned above. The real test will be how it rides, and how it stacks up against my other bikes during the off road time trial, and we will see how it handles. Anyway, stay tuned and check back after this weekend to see how the 600HT fares against the competition!

    Forgot to mention that it does feel a little heavier than I expected.
    Last edited by getagrip; 04-16-2012 at 07:23 PM.

  31. #31
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    If this frame doesn't work out for you, maybe this is your opportunity to get one that's really right. Nice bare frames are a little more expensive, but I think you'll be pretty stoked on how they set up.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    If this frame doesn't work out for you, maybe this is your opportunity to get one that's really right. Nice bare frames are a little more expensive, but I think you'll be pretty stoked on how they set up.
    I've thought about that - spending $300 to $400 on a really good frame. Honestly, I really like the Sette frames, but they only come in a 18", and that could be a hair too big - same with Nashbar. Do you have any suggestions in that price range? I'd probably also have to invest in a seat post, handlebar, and stem too! LOL Everything else on the bike seems decent. We will see if the left crank arm falls off the FSA crank as the reviews say - almost had that happen on the Schwinn, which also has an FSA, but my friend noticed it was lose and tightened it up, just before the ride. Good timing!

    If I hadn't already "been there, done that", I'd swap everything over to the Leader, but I'd like to go in a new direction for something different.

  33. #33
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    Pricepoint actually could be a good source. The Serum Elite has pretty standard XC geometry. A little expensive. They also carry the Soma Groove, which is a classy-looking bike and from my home town, although I remember it having a somewhat short top tube.

    bikeman.com has a ton of frames. I think they're overstock, mostly, because it's major-brand stuff but sometimes they'll have something weird like a team edition of a frame - not "team" but a specific team. The Surly Ogre has your name written all over it, but it'll take a couple years to show up for your price. Of course, the wonders of EBay could speed that up.

    Check out on-one.co-uk. I was drooling over the Whippet until I demoed a 29er. But they have a bunch of different frames for different riding styles, and really a lot seem pretty cool. Some have a slotted dropout with a derailleur hanger, so perfect for you. Many frames are available well within your budget. They have a US affiliate, but last I saw, the selection was limited. So you'd likely just have to suck it up and pay shipping.

    You've probably seen my rants about nominal sizing a couple times by now, so I won't bother a repeat. Suffice it to say, figure out what reach and ETT you need, and if you need to care about head tube length, and don't worry so much about what the frame size is labeled. You've also got a lot more experience of the uselessness of nominal sizing at this point than I do.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Ride Report!

    After spending most of the day trying to fix my computer and do my taxes, I was finally able to finish building the Motobecane 600HT. I tightened the bolts on the crankset, installed the front brake, put new cleats on my shoes, and went for a ride.

    Honestly, the 600HT was a lot more fun to ride than I expected it to be, and I don't think I'll be needing a new frame. For some reason, getting it out on the trail made a huge difference for me in terms of how the bike felt...it almost seems like a perfect fit. The handlebar and stem worked fine, and I was able to get the seatpost adjusted to the right height, in spite of the fact that its a little short.

    Even though I haven't yet adjusted the derailleurs, out of the box shifting worked great, and I expect it to get even better when my friend has time to make the adjustments. The bike pedals very easily, and the Tektro IO brakes work fine - much better than the Tektro Novelas that came stock on the Windsor. On that note, here is a thread that helped me get the front brake adjusted:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/brake-time/ad...es-527077.html

    On tonight's ride, I was able to do the time trial. As I was riding, I thought I was going to kill my previous time by around 3 minutes, but I still finished the ride 12 seconds behind the time on the Leader singlespeed! So, not sure if this is going to be a race bike - might have to convert my Leader back to a 27 speed to do that, but I think riding the Moto will keep me happy for the summer.

    In doing some comparisons between the two bikes, the Moto has an effective top tube that is about 3/4 of an inch shorter than the Leader. If anyone is interested learning about frame geometry (which, honestly, I know almost nothing about), I can post side by side photos if someone with more knowledge than me wants to explain the potential advantage of one style of frame over another (e.g. head tube and seat tube angle, effective top tube length, seat positioning relative to the cranks, etc).

    On the downside, I did notice a little instability on the front end of the Moto if I leaned over one way or another, but I think that had to do with the angle of the tire tread hitting the ground. My guess is that lowering the tire pressure will fix that. Also, the 600HT is not the fastest bike to climb hills on, but it seemed to do well on short climbs that weren't too steep. Also, not sure how I feel about the handling - overall, it felt fine, but there was one section of the course after a steep drop that I veered off into the grass more than I usually do, but that could have been the line I chose.

    In the weeks ahead I'm going to do more time trials and compare and contrast my 3 mountain bikes. If the Moto is ever faster than the Schwinn or the Leader, I will post it, but for the moment, it gets 3rd place in the speed category, but I expect that to change once I'm a little more familiar with the bike and after doing all of the proper adjustments (there is a nob on the bottom of the fork and I don't even know what it does, LOL). However, in the "fun" category, the 600HT wins, hands down!

    Just for kicks, I may time myself on my Motobecane Cyclocross on the same course.

    So, the 600HT gets my nod of approval. Definitely a fun bike to ride. My guess is that Bikes Direct is either phasing it out entirely or upgrading the frame, as this model is on clearance, but if you can ride a 13" or a 15", which they still have available, this is a great bike for the money. Of course, there are also other bikes in this series at very reasonable prices, but based on my previous experience with a Windsor vs Motobecane frames, I'd have to give the edge to the Motobecane HT series. Having said that, my Motobecane 600HT has much better specs than my Windsor Cliff 4500, and I'm sure that biases me in favor of the HT series over the Windsor.
    Last edited by getagrip; 04-20-2012 at 03:29 PM.

  35. #35
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    Last night I took the 600HT back to the mountain bike course to see if I could improve upon my time. This time around, even though I thought that I was slower than last night's time, I actually improved my time to finish at 18:33. I didn't look at my watch until 10 about yards after I crossed the finish line, so this time is basically on par with my time on my Schwinn Rocket Comp FS. I was also able to get the next section of the course timed too, but I don't have a time on that side of the course with the Schwinn FS. Today after work, I'm going to ride my Schwinn FS to see how it stacks up to the 600HT on the second part of the course, which has more gradual climbs and descents, and to find out if I can get lower than the 18:30 mark on the first part of the course, which has more short climbs and descents, with a lot more curves.

    During yesterday's ride, I tried to focus a little more on riding techniques, like cadence and leaning forward when on climbs, so I'm finding that there are little things you can change while you are on the ride to get faster. I hope to learn more techniques as the riding season progresses - if you have any tips about how to get faster, please list them here - or maybe I should start a new thread for that!

    I did notice that part of the reason the Moto is a little sluggish up hills is because I haven't been shifting to the largest cog in the rear (28t) because of the lack of derailleur adjustments, which causes more noise and firction in the rear of the bike, which makes me paranoid and hesitant, so I'm not going to ride the Moto again until I get those adjustments made. I expect to get faster after that happens, because I will be able to go full out without hesitating or being paranoid I'm going to break something. In the higher gears thugh, it was much smoother. I did notice that my hands were practically numb after I finished the second section of the course, which I timed at 40:12, and a lot of that had to do with the fork, so I'm going to loosen up the preload on the fork a little bit as well. I may also try parts of the course with the forks in lockout mode, to see what kind of an impact that has on my time.

    Finally, after about a month or so, I'm going ot do an expiriment. I'm going to buy a different frame, probably a low end 18" Sette since I can get it for less than $100, then swap all of the parts of the 600HT over to that frame (well, assuming everything is compatable). I want to see how large of an impact that has on my time trials and riding experience.
    Last edited by getagrip; 04-19-2012 at 08:53 AM.

  36. #36
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    About the only time I can see lockout being useful off-road is if you're climbing out of the saddle. Even then, since the fork that I could get for "my" price and on short notice doesn't have it, I've been pleasantly surprised to discover how little difference it makes. Which is funny, because I find the way FS bikes sink to be really disconcerting.

    IME, numb hands are really about fit. See if you can ride the Moto comfortably on an asphalt bike path. I bet it still messes with your hands. If so, often the solution is to raise the bars. Sometimes if a cockpit is really too cramped, you actually need to lower them or get a longer stem, but I don't think that comes up nearly as often.

    I wouldn't bother with another low end hardtail as an experiment. I think it'll be pretty similar to what you've got. Maybe it makes more sense to visit one of your local shops and hop on something with traditional XC geometry. That longer top tube is either going to feel like you've been let out of a tiny prison cell or it's going to make you dump a lot more weight on your hands. Either way, it shouldn't take long to notice a difference, and get an idea of whether it's something you'd want to do on purpose.

    Check out parktool.com for instructions for tuning everything but your suspension fork. You shouldn't need your friend's help for the basics anymore.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    I think my hands are actually pretty jacked, but there is a specific section on the second part of the course which rattles you quite a bit, and it definately effected my hands yesterday. I don't notice it as much on my FS because I've got really spungy forks, and the rear suspension, of course, absorbs lots of the bumps for you. I did order a pair of gel Fox gloves which reviewers state will alliviate the numbnesss a little bit, but we will see. I did notice my hands didn't hurt as much when I had my 30mm riser bar on the Leader, but I didn't like the backsweep on that bar, so I switched over to the Windsor handlebar bar and stem for that bike.

    We will see if locking out the fork "really" makes any differnce or not. I can see it making me a little faster on climbs, and it should make a huge difference on the longer climbs on the second part of the course. That's one thing I can't test out on the FS because it doesn't have a lockout fork, but I can test that out on the Moto to see if there is a direct correlation between locking out the fork and speed increases. So Andrew, we will see whether or not your theory is true.

    On that note, that's why I want to do the frame swap. With all of the parts being the same, its a nice way of answering the question of how much a difference minor changes in geometry will make...such as top tube length, head angle, seat angle, etc. Its one of those things a lot of people have strong opinions about, but not too many people have tested. A lot of people can say that they upgraded to another bike and it made a huge difference, but not too many people have taken parts off one frame, put them on another frame, and timed themselves to find out how much faster or slower the bike was on a particular course, or multiple courses for that matter. Honestly, its something I'm really curious about.

    I can do a lot of the basic stuff myself, and even did a half way decent job of installing and dialing in the front brake, but derailleurs and shifters still stump me. I understand the general process a lot more now than I used to, but like some others in this forum, no matter how much we read about how to adjust derailleurs, they still give us fits. With enough practice, I'm thinking that by the year 2015, I should have it down. Maybe.

  38. #38
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    While you're at it, try the 'cross bike on that loop. Give yourself a lap or two to get used to it - it's a real eye-opener - and then clock yourself. Or if you use strava.com and a smartphone, you can just do as many laps as you want and not worry about timing, then pull your data afterwards.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain916 View Post
    I'm just hesitant...my wife is 5'7''. Would the 17 inch frame with 26 inch wheels work for her for the most part? It says for people from 5'5'' to 5'8''. The stand over height is 29 inches and my wifes inseam was about 32. I'm thinking she would need bigger, but i'm a noob.
    I ride a medium 700 ds and I'm 5'7. The fit is great. You may have to cut the seat post a couple inches but medium is probably the right height.

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    Good thread. I am looking for my wife as well.

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    I've been reading a little about frame geometry, and a few things are starting to make more sense in terms of the way I "think" my bikes are performing, and the reasons why they perform the way they do. I won't know for sure until I time myself in specific sections of on the trail to confirm this, but here is one factor why your bike might be slower or faster vs another bike on a specific section of the trail:

    Head Angle: This is the angle of your fork in relation to the ground. Let's say your head angle is 71 degrees, as is the case with the Motobecane 600HT. As the head angle approaches 90 degrees, climbing should be easier, or faster. So, in theory, a bike with a head angle of 71 degrees should climb easier or faster than a bike with a head angle of 70 degrees.

    Going downhill, the opposite is true. As the head angle moves further away from 90 degrees, it will perform better going downhill. So, in theory, a bike with a head angle of 70 degrees will go downhill faster than a bike with a head angle of 71 degrees. I've never understood this until now, but you could say that a bike with a 70 degree head angle is "slacker" than a bike with a 71 degree head angle.

    It seems like I'm moving faster on the Schwinn Full Suspension going downhill compared to my other bikes. Part of the reason for this is because a FS design reduces the amount of bouncing the rear end of your frame does as you are heading down hill, which allows you to move at a faster rate than a hardtail because your rear suspension absorbs most of the bumps, instead of your bike frame on a hardtail.

    Unfortunately, I don't have geometry specs on the Schwinn (Rocket Comp if anyone knows where to find geometry specs), but I'll bet the other reason the Schwinn is faster going downhill has to do with the angle of the fork, which I believe is slacker than my other hardtails. This would also explain why the Schwinn is slower going up hill, not to say that its THIRTY SIX pound weight isn't also a factor.

    And check this out...

    My Leader seems to be the fastest climber of my 3 mountain bikes. Of course, its at a disadvantage since I only have ONE GEAR, but it has a 71.5 degree head angle, which means in theory, it should be faster than the 600 HT when climbing up hill, but slower downhill.

    In addition to getting overall times of each section of the trail with the Schwinn FS vs the 600HT (and later the experimental frame when I buy it and swap the parts over from the 600HT), I'm also going to time myself with each bike on the gradual climbs and descents, which should be a really good indicator of how frame geometry and design effect a specific downhill or uphill section of the trail.

    For the experimental frame, I wonder if I should go with the Nashbar frame, because it has the exact same head angle and seat angle of the 600HT, expect the top tube and seat tube being longer. That would give a better indication of how "just" the effective top tube has an effect on performance. Then again, that might be kind of a boring experiment, so maybe not...

    My one thought about how a longer top tube makes you faster or more efficient is because it forces you to angle your torso forward, shifting your center of gravity toward the front of the bike. I suppose it could also effect the ride in other ways and force you to use other muscles because your back and legs, particularly hamstrings, would be at different angles. which could potentially effect the ride.

    There are obviously many factors that contribute to how fast or slow you ride (top tube length, seat angle, tire size, etc.). Getting back to the original question, you can't say that head tube angle is ALWAYS the main factor at determining speed up or downhill, but it is kind of cool to understand how bike geometry effects this. As I learn more about this, I'll post more about it. If anyone wants to add to what I'm saying (or correct it if I'm wrong LOL), go for it!
    Last edited by getagrip; 04-20-2012 at 03:35 PM.

  42. #42
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    Nice reviews here. I'm also thinking of buying this bike, but will the 15" frame still fit my height 5'6 1/2"?? I think my inseam is 29-30.

  43. #43
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    Head angle is more important to how the bike holds a line and responds to hits and compressions. It's easier to keep the front end weighted on a bike with a steeper head angle, so it's easy to hold a line on a climb, especially when they're slow and technical. So other things being equal, it'll be easier for me to climb something technical cleanly if I have a steeper head angle. I'm sure there's a limit and I'd speculate that it's less than 90, but I don't know what it is.

    On the way down, I feel like bikes with a steeper head angle want to rotate around the front wheel more, and ride up and over things less. That means it's harder to keep the bike under control when banging into things or riding through compressions on the way down.

    Neither of these makes the bike slower or faster per se, but it should be a little easier for a rider to ride something faster with a head angle that's conducive to that kind of riding. I think the effect on fun factor is bigger - it's more fun when I don't have to fight the bike. The point being, the effect on speed is a second-order effect, probably biggest for an intermediate level rider who can flow well some of the time. For someone who's pretty bad all of the time, it's not going to matter very much, and for the most skillful riders, I think it's only important if they're competing and it facilitates finishing a climb just a little faster for the XC guys, or carrying just a little more speed through bumpy sections for the DH guys.

    I experience changes in reach as hurting me or not hurting me, rather than making me faster or slower. I suppose I'm probably also slower on a bike with the wrong reach because I'm in pain. But my attitude about setting up reach and drop on a bike is that when I hit the combination that doesn't hurt me, I'm done asking questions. I tried going to a longer stem a while ago and it made my back hurt after about a half hour. More recently, I had to replace my suspension fork and switched to something with less steer tube. Having my stem tipped down with fewer spacers hurt my back and neck. So I moved it to the bottom of the stack and flipped it up, and it's better. When the reach is too short, it can mess with my lower back too, and it also just makes it hard for me to keep the front wheel tracking. So for me, top tube length is about having a bike that supports the reach that works for me with a stem length that gives me handling I like.

    Going fast on a mountain bike is a matter of developing more power or wasting less. Developing more power is mostly aerobic capacity, and somewhat strength. So what I want from my bike is that it stay out of my way - not mess with my riding position and cause me to develop less power, and not have bizarre handling that makes me waste energy, either via the brakes, traveling a longer distance than I need too like if I wander around on a trail and have to work hard to make corrections, not pogo, not get squishy when I get out of the saddle, etc.

    BSNYC put it well, "Bikes aren't fast. People are fast. Bikes are overpriced." I do think that bikes can get in the way of fast people being fast and particularly cheap bikes can be very frustrating to own and ride. But I think once one hits a certain threshold, I think for XC that's a hardtail that fits with a Deore or maybe Alivio build, a suspension fork with tunable spring rate and damping, and nice tires that are appropriate to the trail, any further speed increases by changing the equipment around are going to be very small. It's kind of a democratizing aspect of the sport, actually - lots of people make more money than me, especially since I'm working on a degree right now. But if I can protect a little more time every week from the rest of my life and I spend it on my bike, I can still go and be faster than them. Unless they have better genetics, anyway, then it's all over.

    I often second-guess my bike purchases. It's a gear sport, and I think we all wonder if we're that one amazing tire away from being Danny MacAskill or Julien Absalon, but the reality one has to keep in mind is that those guys are skillful and fast respectively because of the hours they put into becoming ridiculous on bikes.

    Pin a number on some weekend. It's an eye-opener.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by hOlykamOtie* View Post
    Nice reviews here. I'm also thinking of buying this bike, but will the 15" frame still fit my height 5'6 1/2"?? I think my inseam is 29-30.
    Don't buy a 15"! Honestly, I think it would be too small. You would be better off going with a 17" Dawes Haymaker 1500 or Windsor Cliff 4700. If you get the 15", I think you would end up regretting it, or just swapping out the frame, even if you have to pay a bit more for the other models. Here are the links:

    Mountain Bikes - MTB - Dawes Haymaker 1500

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Windsor Cliff4700

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I often second-guess my bike purchases. It's a gear sport, and I think we all wonder if we're that one amazing tire away from being Danny MacAskill or Julien Absalon, but the reality one has to keep in mind is that those guys are skillful and fast respectively because of the hours they put into becoming ridiculous on bikes.

    Pin a number on some weekend. It's an eye-opener.
    My friend just won two races yesterday on an old "Frankenstein" K2 Zed 1, with parts from my Windsor, Leader, and Trek 820. LOL He did it on a bike with V-brakes, and beat guys with all sorts of different bikes. He felt the main difference between rider A and rider B has much more to do with how hard the person trains, rather than the sticker or geometry of the bike...

  46. #46
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    ^^^
    Couldn't have said it better myself. The point being, at some point you need to say, "This is my bike," and focus on the riding part.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Just broke another personal best with the 600HT and finished the first part of the course at 17:31, about a minute ahead of the Schwinn FS. Still haven't timed myself back on the Schwinn to see if my time on the FS has improved, but I did improve my time for the combined 1st and 2nd sections of the course on the Moto to 36:39, down from 40:12 just four days ago. Also, finished the entire course at 56:34, which is down from around 1:05 on the Schwinn FS.

    The main "downer" about the ride I kept thinking was "I wish this was a FS" after getting bounced around so much in the rear. My hands were not quite as numb as they were last time, but still bothered me...I suppose adjusting the rebound control on the fork helps, which is that little nob at the bottom of the fork I had previously mentioned.

    Also rode a different and more technical course yesterday and did much better on that course than I ever have before on any of my other bikes, so the Moto is working out nicely so far. On that note, here are 2 very unglamorous pictures from after my ride, around "dusk":
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2012 Motobecane 600HT...thoughts for 0-600ht-001.jpg  

    2012 Motobecane 600HT...thoughts for 0-600ht-002.jpg  


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    @getagrip.
    Do you think the 15" would fit a women that is 5'5" or would it be too small?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jansondt View Post
    @getagrip.
    Do you think the 15" would fit a women that is 5'5" or would it be too small?
    That's a tough one. You are cutting it really close. According to the Bikes Direct website,

    "15 inch fits most 5'1" to 5'4"

    So technically, a 15" would be too small, although it might be slightly larger than normal size Motos because of the long travel fork, at least when it comes to standover clearance. Here is what you can do. Check out the Geometry Chart for the Moto here:

    Motobecane USA | 26 inch Hardtail Mountain Bikes 400 to 700HT

    Now, get a measuring tape and do the Competitive Cyclist Fit calculator (link below) - make sure to choose mountain bike for the fit. Now, compare the measurements the fit calculator gives you and see how close they are - you will have to use your best judgement.

    Fit Calculator - Competitive Cyclist

    If you get the 600HT and it doesn't fit, you can order a 16" Sette or Nashbar frame for $100, sell the Moto frame, and swap the parts over...but realize that this requires knowledge, special tools, skill, and patience, and realize that some of the parts may not be interchangeable, so if this scares you off, I'd say go for the Windsor Cliff 4700 for $400.

  50. #50
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    She's gonna be mad when I wake her up with a measuring tape in my hand. haha.

    She is really only going to ride it twice a year on camping trips but i'd still rather it fit pretty good.

    Thanks for the links and the quick reponse.

    This 600ht is so much nicer than my bike. I have an all stock 2004 trek 3700. But I shall soon have an airborne goblin. Just have a 4 wheeler that I have to sell first.

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