1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Need advise: 2014 Motobecane 550HT - Is it a good value for the money?

    Hi,

    I just found this, 2014 Motobecane 550HT, on sales on bikesdirect.com for nearly $400.

    Save up to 60% off Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane 550HT

    The specs is quite good for an entry-level bike.

    My question, is it good for the money? Any other suggestion for a budget of max. $500?

    Thank you for all the advise.

  2. #2
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    Motobecane has kinda turned into another Airborne. It will be hard to get that group of components on another bike for $400. The frame on the bike is pretty basic mtb geometry. So it will be fine for riding around on basic trails that don't have a lot of technical terrain.
    Bike Doctor



  3. #3
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    It will do for a starter. Fork will have issues on any rough off road riding. This bike will work for a daily commuter and lite trails (paved bike/smooth fire road). It is a 3X8 which is a bit dated but not too bad. 26'er, which is why it is selling at a reduced price. If it gets you out riding, go for it. However, you understand that it comes in a box and if you do not set it up it might cost ~$50 for an LBS to assemble it for you.

    Nice 29'er 3X7 for $299;
    29er Mountain Bikes Up to 60% Off - MTB - Motobecane 329HT

    Nicer for $449;
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29 SPORT

    Best for $549, 9 speed.

    Save up to 60% off new 29er Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 29 Expert

    This bike is Rockhopper quality and will ride trails like an entry level XC HT. Again, you need to build it from a box and will not have LBS support for tune ups and what not. You might be able to find a 2013 leftover Rockhopper or similar for close to the same price with lifetime tune's and support. Your choice.

    Mark
    2012 XXL Carve Expert

  4. #4
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    Many thanks, guys!

    @Mark,
    I notice the 3 bikes you recommended are all 29'er. Any particular reason for that?

    I am 5.6 feet tall with an inseam = 31 inches. Can I fit a 29'er?

  5. #5
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    LOL, I would describe Airborne as another bikesdirect.

    Does "5.6 feet" mean 5'6" or 5' 7-1/4"? Either way, people put way too much into the idea that 29ers are for tall people. There are size small 29ers available if that's what you want.

    What are you riding now? What do you like about mountain biking?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    ^^ +100

    People need to stop worrying about 29er's being too big unless you're 6'3+... They seem to be stuck in this rut of well a 20" bike is for kids, 24" inch is for bigger kids, 26" is an adult mtb size, and 29" is for really tall people that are too big for 26" bikes. LOL

    Yes! A 29" offers a more natural fitting cockpit and riding position for taller riders. But general measurements(geometry) a 18" frame on a 26" is going to be very close to a 18" frame on a 29". No, not saying they are exactly the same, as there are slight differences. But if the 29er just felt too big, than drop to a 16" frame. Voila!
    Bike Doctor



  7. #7
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    +1 fantom 29 sport if the most you can spend is $500. but again, it depends on what kind of riding you want to do. as far as value in that price range i can't think of a better deal.

    Yes you can find a 29er that fits you. go to LBS and ride a few, or more than a few.

  8. #8
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    29er is cool, but not necessary. 29er is like a SUV or a Van, vs 26er a sedan. Big wheel may feel more stable but it can feel sluggish, and if you got skillz then you can rip any wheel sizes. It's not a cure all pills many think.

    That's said if you plan to sell the bike it's easier to sell a 29er than a 26er, too many koolaid drinking noobs.

  9. #9
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    I would strongly suggest test riding a few of the models and see what fits best/most comfortable......

  10. #10
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    I think 29er hand down is way better for sure (choice wise), and i'm average height 5'7", don't waste money on a 26" with any kind of suspension. If you wanted 26" you can easily get a used steel MTB 50-100$ over craigslist (not sarcasm these bikes are good and can be ridden over rough trails).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by redrezo View Post
    I think 29er hand down is way better for sure (choice wise), and i'm average height 5'7", if you wanted 26" there are already plenty of awesome vintage 26" MTB around for 50$.

    It's not worth buying a new MTB if you don't try something new.
    So with the logic newer is better, what are your feelings on 650b? Better then 29er?

  12. #12
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    I dunno I haven't ridden 650b, the issue with 650b is there isn't as much industry support for it vs 29", which makes tire selection/ inner tube selection an issue.

    In the future that might change, but unless you don't like the ride of a 29" for whatever reason it might be worth checking out 650b I guess.

  13. #13
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    Re: Need advise: 2014 Motobecane 550HT - Is it a good value for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by redrezo View Post

    unless you don't like the ride of a 29" for whatever reason it might be worth checking out 650b I guess.

    Or a 26er, I guess.

  14. #14
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    For trail riding the fork is the most important component.
    The Gravity Point 2 is $500. It comes with a RockShox XC28TK coil fork. It has Shimano Deore/SLX drive.
    It has better more current geo than the Motobecanes with shorter chainstays, close to Trek geo.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point2 29er Mountain Bikes
    A 15.5 would be your size. It is a 29.
    The comparable Airborne Guardian is $675 shipped.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    LOL, I would describe Airborne as another bikesdirect.

    Oh snap. That's pretty good.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by redrezo View Post
    I think 29er hand down is way better for sure (choice wise), and i'm average height 5'7", don't waste money on a 26" with any kind of suspension. If you wanted 26" you can easily get a used steel MTB 50-100$ over craigslist (not sarcasm these bikes are good and can be ridden over rough trails).
    Why do you think 26 is a waste of money? What specifically makes 29er better than 26er? Have you ridden a 26er on the trail?

    Quote Originally Posted by redrezo View Post
    I dunno I haven't ridden 650b, the issue with 650b is there isn't as much industry support for it vs 29", which makes tire selection/ inner tube selection an issue.

    In the future that might change, but unless you don't like the ride of a 29" for whatever reason it might be worth checking out 650b I guess.
    650b is growing at much faster pace than 29er and there are plenty of choices from frame, forks, tires, no need for different size tube as the current 26er tube would do the job just fine and most 650b riders usually run tubeless.
    Last edited by mimi1885; 10-21-2013 at 09:15 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Why do you think 26 is a wast of money? What specifically makes 29er better than 26er? Have you ridden a 26er on the trail?
    Because you can buy a vintage rigid steel 26" MTB for 50$ AND get a new 29er at the same time.

    And don't give me crap about how a rigid vintage MTB is obsolete. They are good once you develop rider skills.

    650b is growing at much faster pace than 29er and there are plenty of choices from frame, forks, tires, no need for different size tube as the current 26er tube would do the job just fine and most 650b riders usually run tubeless.
    where's the evidence that supports 650b outpacing 29er? I'm sorry but i've read articles where it's growing but not set to dominate the market. If you have statistical evidence based on consumer feedback/data that can show a heuristic for future growth then you'd have a stronger case

  18. #18
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    27.5 bikes are not coming out as entry options. They are more often long travel full suspension AM bikes.
    Filling a space 29ers are just now beginning to fill.
    29 wheels roll over obstacles more easily than smaller 27.5 and 26 wheels.
    They always will.
    They also have a larger contact patch for traction in climbing and cornering. They will get lighter and they already handle and turn quick as the geo with shorter chainstays goes into production.
    A beginner has no reason to look at 27.5s unless you are beginning your riding in BC.
    If you want to ride a 26 for a year buy used.

  19. #19
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    If I wanted more suspension travel, I'd most likely be sticking with a 26" wheel for now. Although "my" brand has gone to 650B for their FS trail bikes. But it's not really all-or-nothing. There are a lot of really nicely spec'd 26" bikes getting resold at the moment. They were nice bikes two years ago, they're nice bikes now. I think that's a great way in for someone who doesn't want to or can't spend retail. We (usually) aren't so weird about used cars - for a lot of us, new is wildly impractical. Granted bikes are cheaper, but they're not a necessity for most of us in the way that a car can be. Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with leveraging the money of someone who's more ready to throw it around than me if it gets me on a nicer bike. (Or car.)
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by redrezo View Post
    Because you can buy a vintage rigid steel 26" MTB for 50$ AND get a new 29er at the same time.

    And don't give me crap about how a rigid vintage MTB is obsolete. They are good once you develop rider skills.
    Lol, I don't think that $50 would buy my Yo Eddy rigid. Why not spend real money on a 26er and buy used crappy 29er, there are plenty of them for cheap.


    Quote Originally Posted by redrezo View Post
    where's the evidence that supports 650b outpacing 29er? I'm sorry but i've read articles where it's growing but not set to dominate the market. If you have statistical evidence based on consumer feedback/data that can show a heuristic for future growth then you'd have a stronger case
    Where is the evidence that is not? What do you know about the history of the sport? Are you serious, what kind of question is that? Slow down with the Koolaid drinking.

    First true 29" mtb tire introduced late 98 early 99 by WTB. First 650b bike introduced February 2007 at the NAHBS show in San Jose, it was a hand cut and re-stiched a pair of WTB 29er tires to fit the 650b wheels.

    The first 650b (27.5") MTB tire available was the Pacenti Neo-Moto 2.3", produced in mid 2007. Followed it up shortly thereafter with the Quasi-Moto 2.0" and the Neo-Moto 2.1" in 2008. Rims had been widely available on the road / touring side for a long time at that point. But Velocity and Stan's jumped in early with MTB specific rims in late 2008 / early 2009. Same year Jamis introduced the 650b production bike.

    It only been 6 years since the first productions of the first 650b tires now almost every major brand has 650b specific components and frame. Back in January of 2008, there's already a thread listing 650b compatible components and 26er frame. Major companies had responded to the growing segments for 3-4 years now. How far did 29er got in the first 3 years.

    29er was introduce in the early 80's took a long time til the enthusiasts start promoting it. The 29ers that save the day were hybrid from Gary fisher back in 2004-2005. Trek were about to pull the plug on it's 29er line months earlier. It was not that unpopular.

    The secret sauce was the "beginners". You see, most noobs ride with "shy" body english, which fit well with less lean more traction more stable big wheels format. It's less responsive and the small bumps are less of the issues for riders who sit on the saddle. So this is the push 29er needed to grow the market share. If it was left to the racers and enthusiasts, we won't be having this conversation.

    I'm not a 29er hater, in fact I own a Niner HT now and owned a Rip9 earlier, didn't miss it as much as I thought I would when I sold it

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Lol, I don't think that $50 would buy my Yo Eddy rigid. Why not spend real money on a 26er and buy used crappy 29er, there are plenty of them for cheap.
    Because there are plenty more cheaper 26 mtb's that are worth far more than the price people are asking them for, people practically throw away perfectly good indestructible rigid MTB's that you can't even buy nowadays except in an expensive niche market (HQ butted Cromoly frame/fork/stays) worth far more than they are being sold and u can just spend $50 to fix it up.

    Yes noobs must invest their money in 26er bikes in a dwindling market, because when they try out a 29er and decide that's what they want to buy, now they won't have the money to spare.




    Where is the evidence that is not? What do you know about the history of the sport? Are you serious, what kind of question is that? Slow down with the Koolaid drinking.

    ...blah blah blah

    I'm not a 29er hater, in fact I own a Niner HT now and owned a Rip9 earlier, didn't miss it as much as I thought I would when I sold it
    And where is the evidence that it is so? Maybe you ought to drink some of that kool-aid before throwing out flame-bait while evading direct questions.

    I take a bit of issue with your last paragraph, you know you remind of this one guy I saw on an internet forum who said he wasn't a racist and it was ok to use terms like g**k, Ch*nk, J*p because his wife is asian. Oh the irony.

  22. #22
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    Need advise: 2014 Motobecane 550HT - Is it a good value for the money?

    So now I'm a racist because I don't promote 29er? Nice try.

    What other evidence do you need. I said 650b is growing at faster pace the 29er, you asked how, I gave you the progress, what more do you want. Do you even understand what was said or you just assumed I said 650b has bigger market share than 29er. Is that what it is. Am I a racist for pointing that out again?

    There wasn't any baiting questions, I just want people to think about what makes their 29er better than their 26er before buying a 29er based on diluted evidence and information, especially in a noob's thread.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

  23. #23
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    Wow dude, you really need some basic reading comprehension lessons me thinks.

    mimi1885 gave you perfect examples of how 650b is being accepted at a far greater rate then 29ers were, and you take that info and try to turn some race card?

    Not sure what your problem is.

    Actually, it appears your problem stems to you making a statement that really has no logic to it, and several members have called you out on it / questioned you about it.



    Quote Originally Posted by redrezo View Post
    Because there are plenty more cheaper 26 mtb's that are worth far more than the price people are asking them for, people practically throw away perfectly good indestructible rigid MTB's that you can't even buy nowadays except in an expensive niche market (HQ butted Cromoly frame/fork/stays) worth far more than they are being sold and u can just spend $50 to fix it up.

    Yes noobs must invest their money in 26er bikes in a dwindling market, because when they try out a 29er and decide that's what they want to buy, now they won't have the money to spare.






    And where is the evidence that it is so? Maybe you ought to drink some of that kool-aid before throwing out flame-bait while evading direct questions.

    I take a bit of issue with your last paragraph, you know you remind of this one guy I saw on an internet forum who said he wasn't a racist and it was ok to use terms like g**k, Ch*nk, J*p because his wife is asian. Oh the irony.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    LOL, I would describe Airborne as another bikesdirect.

    Does "5.6 feet" mean 5'6" or 5' 7-1/4"? Either way, people put way too much into the idea that 29ers are for tall people. There are size small 29ers available if that's what you want.

    What are you riding now? What do you like about mountain biking?
    I am riding a scooter now, thinking to switch to a 29er for daily commute of about 10km both-way. On weekend I would ride a lot more. So biking for me is mostly about exercising. Researching quite a lot on here and on bikesdirect.com, I think I would go for a Gravity 29Point1: Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point1 29er Mountain Bikes

    I am 172 cm = 5'7" tall, with inseam = 79cm = 31''. I guess a 15.5 29er would fit me. Any advise/comment? Many thanks!

  25. #25
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    My recommendation would be to go to your local bike shop and test ride several 26 and 29ers. When I purchased my MTB I went to several shops and they were really pushing the 29ers but I did not like the feel so I bought a 26 and love it. Plus I did not want a bike that just rolls over everything. I wanted something I could toss around and corner faster. All my buddies ride 29ers and I am able to keep up and out maneuver them in tight corners or tree gates. Each to his own...you need to get what is comfortable to you and your riding style.

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