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  1. #1
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    Motobecane FLY Team 29 Titanium after 2 years review.

    About 2 years ago I got an itch to get myself a 29er. Mostly because I needed something more reasonable for commuting than my heavy aging Rockhopper or carbon Stumpy FSR. I found out about bikesdirect and my eyes just turned to dollar signs. A bit over a grand for an aluminum 29er, with great fork, xtr bits, hydro brakes? That's just nuts. Due to lack of stock I ended up buying the Titanium version, because... **** it, it's Titanium. How awesome is that?

    Since then I've been using this bike almost every single day all year round. First thing I noticed is now damn fast it is. I commute on a pretty much smooth paved path and on the Rockhopper with slick tires I could average high 20, 30km/h. On the 29er it was an easy 35, 40km/h if I work it.

    In 2 years I probably put in about 10,000 kms. Not too shabby for a mountain bike.

    It took a bit to get used to it on the trails. It's definitely feels larger and not as agile as 26er, but it's stable and fast. I suck at maintaining momentum on switchbacks so it hurts me a bit. On the climbs is pretty damn great though. I guess being titanuim frame flex makes it so it's not as brutal on my back. Raced it regularly. Weekly races, some longer 50+km ones.

    Needless to say I really like the bike. However, I think I like the idea of a titanuim 29er more than I like this specific bike. There are some shortcomings that drive me absolutely nuts and I don't have with my other bikes. Here's a small list my experiences with it.

    Handlebars. What the ****. It's a large 29er, not a x-small one. They are ridicously narrow. Might be great for a hipster fixie bike, but not for a mountain bike. I immidiately replaced it with wider carbon ones.

    I lost a rear wheel. Smashed it into the curb a little too fast. Also road tires, while seems like a good idea, don't really do anything for speed. Also less air means that hard concrete things like curbs can reach rim way faster. After than spokes started to snap. You try replacing bladed spokes... good luck. Now I have a set of Stan's NoTubes Arches laced to Hopes Evos. No bladed spokes, just good old DT Swiss Comp. I'd say it's just as light, if not ligher than the original wheelset.

    I have no love for Richey Pro stuff. Seat post has a really stange 2 bolt system that holds the seat. So I managed to lose one bolt without even realizing that. Eventually I replaced the whole thing for Thomson Masterpiece, way better. After ending up under a strong rain all Richey Pro graphics melted away: imgur: the simple image sharer

    Speaking of seatposts. My damn seatpost keeps slipping and there's nothing I can do about it. Look how horribly it gauged it is now: imgur: the simple image sharer. I'm not that heavy either, about 190-210lb, depending on the month. It was the same issue with Richey as well, but it looked even worse due to it being black. Also why in the hell would you install 34mm clamp in place of 31.8mm. Now I have a nice Hope clamp. But even if I clamp it with all my retard strength, it still slips. Adding carbon assembly gel stops the slippage but makes entire bike creak and pop with every pedal stroke. Drives my up the wall. None of my other bikes have this problem.

    Speaking of creaking... Seat post is offender #1 here. Also rear wheel causes tons of creaking if not secured with herculian strength. Before figuring this out I was mistakenly blaming the crankset. God, I hate the creaking. Why my FSR with so many moving parts is dead silent compared to my Moto?

    Not a big fan of FSA crankset either. I had one break on me due to shitty pinch bolts. They are tiny compared to XT/LX cranksets... broke the thread while tighting them up. Raceface I recently installed had a simple side bolt, damn genious.

    This winter I stripped down the drivetrain and put in cheap set of wheels with studded tires. Pretty great setup. However how do I wish this bike had horisontal dropouts. That would be amazing. But now I'm forced to use this crap: imgur: the simple image sharer It works, but less than ideal. Please notice my ghetto setup to attach fenders. Is it really that hard to make some eyelets?

    Based on this I think this is going to be my next 29er: Ryan's Lynskey Performance Pro29 Lefty in South Carolina | Flickr - Photo Sharing! Damn expensive though. You really cannot beat Motobecane in price.

  2. #2
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    I love mine so far. I haven't had it as long as you, but it has a been a fun ride. I love the compliance I get from the Ti. I was so close to by a BMC because it was a seriously fast bike that fit perfectly, but I really wanted Ti and took the chance. I have never looked back and love every ride on it. I did ditch some of the Ritchey Pro stuff and put a Ti seatpost and stem, along with some Crank Brothers Wheels. It is a serious looker and performs as well. It has been and will be a keeper. Let all the naysayers say what they will. I will keep beating them and their bikes on the trail.

  3. #3
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    It's great to read long term reviews. I've been considering. One for a while. I'm hoping the team fly gets updated w a tapered head tube and bb30. Ti definitely has an appeal that carbon does not.
    C-DALE FLASH 29 Carbon 2 (19.6 lbs)
    C-DALE BB1

  4. #4
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    I had creaking in my Fly Team 26 that drove me mad, I couldn't find the source for months and it was really ticking me off. Noise seemed to get worse with every ride.

    Checked the seat post, crank, rear hub and cassette. Turned out that the rear derailleur hanger was loose. Tightened the two bolts up and all is silent now.

    Might be worth a check.

  5. #5
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    Glad to hear you like yours as much as I love mine! I like the ride so much so that I have two, first was the Ti XX 2x10 and ive been racing that F*%&ER for 2 season now, LOVE IT! Changed the flat ritcheys bars for some with more sweep and width, swapped my Mavic Crossmax UST wheel set on as well.

    At the end of the season I wanted a matching SS, I searched and found a frame, bits and pieces here and there and WAMMO a matching SS Ti that Bikes Direct wouldn't build. The trick to my build was a White Ind. ENO rear hub, makes chain tension a snap, never slips and looks clean and hell.


  6. #6
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    I too have had mine about two years, although I've been off the bike on a desert excursion for the last eight months or so :-D

    The saddle, handlebars, seat post and clamp are essentially throw-away items on these bikes. All are pretty much worthless (unless you have this weird love of super narrow bars) but I accept them as part of the deal to get an excellent price point for everything else.

    I had an issue with an EC90 seat post slipping in this frame; it was undersized quite a bit. But a Specialized carbon road post (a temporary install) and the current Thomson both fit just fine.

    I've never once had a problem with the frame creaking. I've broken one derailleur hanger in a seriously bad endo that should have wrecked more than it did but the frame was fine.

    I have the FSA K-Force Light carbon crankset with ceramic bearings (a holdover from my first Motobecane, the 26" Ti Fly) and really like it.

    I do wish the geometry were closer to my XL Tallboy than the Superfly. If it were a half inch shorter in ETT and had a degree steeper head tube angle it would be perfect. The Tallboy (with the fork down at 95mm) feels much more nimble than the Motobecane because of that. Will say the slack head tube does make up for it being a hard tail on rough descents though!

  7. #7
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    My Ti Fly 29er has also turned into Mr Creaky, though I haven't isolated where it is coming from yet. Thanks for all the tips on things to check out! My bike is a 15.5", so the first thing I replaced was the seatpost - the Thomson 27.2 x 410mm is definitely the ticket for the smaller frames. I'll probably get one of those Hope seatclamps, too - is the 31.8mm clamp the one to get? Looks nice. I'd also love to replace the crank, though mine is holding up alright. I've already had to replace the big ring once, and you can't get a bash guard for this crank so I guess it's just a matter of how many times I want to replace the big ring before getting sick of it.

    The wheels on mine have been fine - no issues. I'm replacing the Small Block 8's this year - they suck in gravel. Stans/Hope wheels would be sweet, but hard to justify right now. I also replaced my handlebars right off the bat with some wide carbon ones - very nice.

    The fun mod I was forced to do after pulling into my garage with my bike on top was replace the fork. Now I've got a new Reba RL with G2 geometry (takeoff from a Trek HiFi Plus), which seems to have quickened up my steering a bit. These forks are very hard to find, so it's fun to try out something new.

  8. #8
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    That's really odd. I found that crankset is not that that worn yet. And I spend most of the time on the big ring too, Pleasantly surprised actually, because FSA V-Drive I had on another bike got worn into nothing in 2 summers.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the reviews everyone - looking forward to getting the Ti myself. Anyone else have some long term review or feelings?

  10. #10
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    It's not that I'm wearing out the rings - just banging them into rocks and breaking teeth. :-)

  11. #11
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    Here's my bike after switching to summer gear


  12. #12
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    The end of March will be 6 months for my Fly Team 29 Ti. Well over 1000 miles, nearly 75lbs lost, and it still puts a grin on my face to ride.

    I purchased the frame/fork and built it up myself to prevent the " I don't like X component" statements. I wasn't happy with some of their selections, so figured this was the best way for me to go.

    Overall, after six months I am still very very happy with my purchase. I have had some minor issues, but nothing major and always was easily corrected. First issue I had was the derailleur hanger coming loose. Removed, cleaned, reassembled with a drop of locktite on each bolt. No problems since, and the bolts break free now when turned, pretty sure this is a permanent fix. The other issue is the creaking problem. I have found that the seatpost is the culprit for me. Like above, disassemble, clean, reassemble. I use a small dab of Phil W grease when putting it back together, and this gets rid of the creak for quite awhile. I use a Thomson post and clamp, and keep the same height climbing and descending. I think a rider that raises and lowers their seat may have a worse time with this.

    Overall, this frame has stood up to my abuse very well and I would recommend it to anybody that is looking at ti bikes and cannot afford or doesn't require a boutique frame builders logo.

    To the naysayers about Motobecane.... Keep riding your bikes and we will keep riding ours.

    *edit* Old pics, but still basically the same. Now using M785 XT brakes, got tired of the Elixir CRs going out of adjustment. Seatpost is about 2 inches higher now as my riding position has adjusted during my weight loss. Also...F those tires. Raptor Nano model sucks the big one IMO. Swapped to 2.2 Spec Captain Controls, both F/R, and haven't looked back. Great tire for the CO front range.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Motobecane FLY Team 29 Titanium after 2 years review.-resizefull.jpg  

    Motobecane FLY Team 29 Titanium after 2 years review.-resizehbars.jpg  


  13. #13
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    75lb lost in 6 months? That's awesome. Keep on riding.

  14. #14
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    Alot if it yes. I bought a used bike on CL to get started and ended up riding alot so made a larger investment in the Moto.

    Just got done installing a new chain, casette, and set of Gore cables. Four days off work and goin to ride!

  15. #15
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    A bit over two years on the Ti Fly Team 29er. A few days a spoke popped out of the rear wheel rim. Husband did a quick fix. Three miles into a fairly rocky ride yesterday, another spoke popped out on same wheel. Wrapped the spoke around its neighbor, and kept going for another 6 miles with no problems. Will probably rebuild on this same rim & hub. Otherwise, still loving the bike. Changed saddle immediately but my husband still uses it on one of his bikes. Wasn't too bothered by the width of the handlebars.

  16. #16
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    When was the last time these Ti frames were in stock and when will they be avail again? Glad to see no real complaints about the frame. In my experience there will be always an issue by someone somewhere with a component.

  17. #17
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    May is the last I heard... But who knows really.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by FirstStateCamber View Post
    Glad to hear you like yours as much as I love mine! I like the ride so much so that I have two, first was the Ti XX 2x10 and ive been racing that F*%&ER for 2 season now, LOVE IT! Changed the flat ritcheys bars for some with more sweep and width, swapped my Mavic Crossmax UST wheel set on as well.

    At the end of the season I wanted a matching SS, I searched and found a frame, bits and pieces here and there and WAMMO a matching SS Ti that Bikes Direct wouldn't build. The trick to my build was a White Ind. ENO rear hub, makes chain tension a snap, never slips and looks clean and hell.

    Any more full on side pics of this bike? What size is it? Nice and clean look!

  19. #19
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    slipping seatpost solution

    The seatpost slipped on m Ti moto roadbike and I all did was contact bikesdirect and they sent me a double clamp. really, this was not a big deal

    Problem Solvers

  20. #20
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    I've had mine for about a year. I've also swapped out some of the ritchey stuff. Waiting for the seat post to develop a 'crack' so I can justify replacing it. Also had the squeek before but it also came from the stock seat. I just put some oil in the rails and it went away. The best way to do it is to put the bike upside down and put about two drops each rail and let stay for 5-10min.

    Love my bike. No regrets buying it. I can pass it on to my son a couple years down the road.

  21. #21
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    Just got my Fly Ti 29er last week after reading so many good reviews. Just cannot beat this deal and I get kinda upset at people who dis these bikes and there are allot of them unfortunately. Haven;t even done a true trail ride yet but just some local rides at parks where there are some rock out cropping to test my technical skills as I did on my first real mtb a Kona Kula-1994-their first easton aluminum with XT spec and the old Marzocchi XC500. Big differance. I thought I would be having trouble seeing as its been a long time since I rode this stuff but this bike simply makes everything much easier. Now I can plow through lines that would have caught my front wheel and tossed me. This thing is awesome. Admittedly, its not as nimble as a 26er but the improvements far out weigh the few negatives. I was also surprised at how easy it is to maintain speed especially over the local dog park/field which is constant hardpacked wash board. The benefits of titanium really shine in the saddle over this stuff. I love this bike and will readily come to its defense against the naysayers on forums.

  22. #22
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    2014 Fly Team XX 29er Ti

    I just received a Fly Team XX 29er Ti this week and took it out on some Cape Cod trails today. I'll provide a full rundown from the box to end of today's ride. For the record, I'm 6' tall, 172# with a 35" inseam. I went with the 19" frame size.

    The Build:
    The box arrived in good shape and there was no damage to the bike. The only things missing were instructions for tuning the fork and the crank boots that are shown in one of the photos on the website. I'll check with Motobecane to see if they're supposed to be included. Overall, the bike looked great and was exactly to spec.

    During the build, I removed all of the reflectors and the spoke protector from the rear wheel. Out of curiosity, while I had the cassette off, I removed the tires and tubes and weighed the wheels. They're 1816 grams including the rim strips, which is respectable, if not especially light. The tires were 620 grams, with 144 gram tubes. Nice!

    I also weighed the entire bike in stock configuration (minus reflectors and spoke protector) and it was 22.17 pounds, slightly lighter than the weight for the 15.5" frame listed on the BD website. So far, so good!

    Four issues were found during the build:

    1- The rear wheel was out of true by ~3mm (1/8"). It was certainly rideable, but I trued it anyway. The front wheel was fine.

    2- The seatpost is a loose fit in the frame, enough to be a concern about slippage. I measured it at 27.25mm just below the top, but it feels much looser down lower in the seat tube. I'll see if I can borrow a tubing micrometer to get an accurate measurement.

    3- The seatpost is also too short. I don't know why they would spec a 350 mm post for 19" frame; it doesn't make sense.

    4- The crankset exhibited a lot of friction, which I thought was just seal drag due to it being new. It turns out that the crank had not been fully seated in the bottom bracket, it was 2-3mm shy. Once it was properly seated and the preload ring was adjusted correctly, the drag was normal, but the front derailleur needed to be readjusted to the new crank position.

    Modifications:
    I made three changes to the bike right away:

    1- I prefer grip shifters to triggers, so I removed the stock shifters and grips, and installed XX Grip Shifters.

    2- I reversed the brake hoses so the front brake is on the right. Iíve been riding this way for decades and I wasnít about to change now.

    3- I replaced the stock saddle with one that I find to be more comfortable. I swapped the seatpost for a 400mm Thomson from another bike. The fit in the frame was still loose, but at least the post was long enough.

    The weight of the complete bike ready-to-ride was exactly one pound more than the stock configuration, 23.17 pounds.

    The Ride:
    The handling is quick, much like a 26Ē bike and there didn't seem to be any disadvantage to the bigger wheels in the twisty stuff. The bike accelerates well, but what is most striking is how it holds speed once youíre moving. Climbing, descending and cornering felt solid and were only limited by the available traction (more on that later).

    The frame feels stiff and efficient under power and the fork lockout is very effective. At my weight of 172# plus gear, I found that leaving the Gate at its lowest setting provides enough cushion to take the edge off obstacles when climbing. With 90 psi in the fork, I only used 2/3 of the travel; dropping to 85 psi bumped that up to ~75%. Clearly, more experimentation is necessary to find the optimum pressure.

    I was surprised that 35 psi in the tires was more than enough. I never bottomed the rims on heavily rooted trail sections and plan to reduce the pressure on future rides. In comparison, I typically need 40-45psi on my 26Ē full suspension bike to avoid bottoming on the same trails.

    Unfortunately, the loose fit of the seatpost resulted in slippage and creaking while riding, both with the stock clamp and with a Hope quick release. I need to have a discussion with Motobecane about both the skimpy post length and the slippage.

    The Small Block 8 tires performed every bit as poorly as expected on leaves, pine needles and sand, but thatís not what theyíre designed for. Iím open to recommendations for reasonably light tires with a more aggressive tread thatís better suited to New England trails.

    For those who may be wondering about the XX Grip Shifters, the shift action is incredibly light compared to older versions. Shifting to lower gears on the cassette is actually easier than shifting to higher gears and I found myself occasionally grabbing two gears rather than one. Itís going to take me a while to get used to the light shifter action, but thatís a nice problem to have.

    Overall, Iím pleased with the bike so far, but the tires prevented me from really pushing it. Once that situation is dealt with, it should be fun to see what itís truly capable of.
    Last edited by Bnystrom; 11-18-2013 at 03:26 AM. Reason: typo correction

  23. #23
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    Re: Motobecane FLY Team 29 Titanium after 2 years review.

    Racing Ralphs work pretty well on the east coast until you hit muddy season. And lower pressure (tubeless) makes the 29er magic. Nobby Nics if you want a little more grip without sacrificing speed.

    I weigh 185 and run 26 psi rear in a 2.25 and 18 front in a 2.4. Not squishy and doesn't bottom. The 29er has way more volume than a 26er and takes less pressure.

    I had a Thomson but it beat me up on longer rides. A Syntace P6 Hiflex is magic on this bike.

    Carbon wide tubeless rims from Light-bicycle.com don't hurt either :-)

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

  24. #24
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    Thanks for the suggestions

    I was originally planning to switch to RRs, but after yesterday's ride, I'm leaning more toward the NNs or possibly something even more aggressive like the Conti Mountain King. The local trails can be quite rocky, so durability is an issue. Regardless, I'm definitely going to reduce the pressure further until I find the sweet spot.

    The Syntace post sounds great, but the price...yikes! Perhaps it's unwarranted, but I'm still leery of carbon posts on MTBs. I've seen them fail on 'cross bikes and I'm concerned about the clamping issues with these frames causing localized pressure on the post.

  25. #25
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    Hey, congrats on the new steed. I got the 3X Xtr version awhile back and love it. My first off road bike since the late 90s and really am blown away with the bigger wheels. they just go over stuff so easily and keep going. I too had to replace the stock tires, at least for the wet season as I live on Vancouver island in BC. Here we have lots of roots and rock with puddles and mud. I have the Schwalbe Rocket Ron for the front and Maxxis Beaver back. I'm still undecided on the RoRo but the Beaver is awesome AND it weighs just 500g! I'm a bit of a weight weenie, and while I ride trails rather than race XC, I like light stuff. Seriously, these tires grip great, even on wet rock. The front RoRo has been great too but I have washed out a couple times but I think it has more to do with my not mountain biking in over ten years.

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