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  1. #1
    Genius
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    My 600HT Journey

    Alright. My first Motobecane. I will be honest. As a life long Cannondale and Scott connoisseur I have yet to determine if this bike will be a keeper. Currently I ride a Leftied Scott Genius and a C'dale 1FG singlespeed so this bike is definitely up against some tough competition. Those are badass rides and are two of the best in their respective genres. So how will the 600HT measure up? Time will tell. Until then I will enjoy the journey and share my thoughts and findings here. So why do I have this bike? Well, a couple reasons. First, I'd like to have a inexpensive bike I can ride to the store/starbucks, lockup with my mediocre lock, and not be worried that it wont be there when I come back out losing thousands of dollars of bike. This 600HT costs all of $350.00. Now that's still a decent chunk of change but it's still just 10% of the price of the others so if its ever stolen its not the end of the world. Second, I want to try my hand at some bikepacking this year. I have all kinds of gear I bought on amazon that will be arriving in the next couple weeks and I dont want to modify my other two bikes that are currently dialed in just how I want them. So this bikes primary purpose is other than quick trips to the store will be for Bikepacking.

    Wait? What!?! Did I just say Bikepacking..... On a $350 bike. Righhht. Well the answer is *Yes. Truth be told its actually a $600ish bike that was on bikes direct as clearance so not a bad deal. Before I saw this one I was considering something like a Cannondale F7 and just replace the components I didn't like or want. It's the frame I was really after because I have enough spare parts lying around the garage that all I really needed was a frame. Enter the 600HT at a decent price for which I can still replace the parts I don't like an maybe keep some that I've not tried before IF they turn out to be decent.

    So first up. Below is the bike in the a box that was beat up pretty good.









    Packing was minimal but the bike did arrive without any damage.









    It came 70% pre-assembled so it only took about 30 minutes to get it rolling which left enough time to get a short ride around the neighborhood in before the rest of the family got home. Naturally the shock was the first thing I wanted to "test" so ramming the bike dead-on 4-5 times into street curbs without lifting the wheel was in order. It fared better than I expected. Not bad for an entry level fork. I had planned on replacing the fork almost immediately with a Fox Talas but I may just use this Dart one until it gives out. The steering felt overly responsive to mainly due to the narrow handlebars. My other rides have bars that are much wider. These will have to go as well as the stem. The stem is not impressive to look at and has a rather brittle appearance.









    Here are some of the parts I have on hand which shall replace those I feel are not up to par.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  2. #2
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    I will be reading your thread as i have just purchased the same bike. My
    first real ride with this bike was today and over all iam impressed. I would
    just like to get a lighter fork for it. And maybe a few other things to lighten it up.
    Keep us posted...
    Last edited by wootenator; 04-22-2012 at 03:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Genius
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    The bike itself actually isn't that bad. A solid buy for the price for sure. I took it out for 20 miles a few days ago in its stock configuration (minus the plastic pedals.... I used some metal flats instead) to an intermediate level XC trail here in New Mexico, and it held its own. I was really rough with it on the was back and nothing broke or came loose and although it over-steers due to the narrow bars I managed not to crash it. The components are heavy, fairly durable but heavy. I believe it's a lot better that the 1st real mtn bike I ever had. With that being said, am I going to ride this thing from here to Arizona still stock? No. hence the extra parts. Tonight I will change out the rork, brakes, seat, stem, bars, and cassette and give it another go in Otero tomorrow to get an apples to apples comparison.
    Last edited by De La Pena; 04-21-2012 at 08:17 PM.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  4. #4
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    Just got this bike myself, I really like it. Thinking about upgrading the fork already though haha.

  5. #5
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    I also picked up the 600HT...just too good of a deal to pass up. I'd be curious to know how much the bike weighs before and after you do the swap - or just the total weight of the parts you are removing vs the parts you are replacing them with. I'd also be curious to know how much difference the Fox fork makes. I've only ridden lower end forks...haven't yet made the jump to Fox forks yet, but I'm always drooling when I see them on other bikes. I will say I liked the Tektro IO brakes. That may sound like a curious statement, but they are much better than the Tektro Novelas that came on a previous Bikes Direct bike.

  6. #6
    NuB
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    Im all new to this..... So how much better is the 700HT vs the 600HT ??

    Is the price difference worth it??

  7. #7
    NuB
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    BTW, Congratulations !!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NuB View Post
    Im all new to this..... So how much better is the 700HT vs the 600HT ??

    Is the price difference worth it??
    There isn't a huge difference with the 700HT. Slightly better front derailleur and shifters, plus it is a 9 speed with an 11-32 cassette, so it will be easier to climb with it. Maybe slightly lighter. Other than that, they are pretty similar. I probably wouldn't pay the extra $190 for the 700HT, but it is a better bike, but not by a huge margin.

  9. #9
    Genius
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    Update

    Update
    So I did get to have a little fun with this setup a couple times this summer. Nothing extravagant just a couple over-nighters to identify & work out the kinks. This was my first attempt at bike packing and it was relaxing to finally turn off the phone for a couple days. Something I hadn't done in years. The bike handled well. I did replace the dart with a Talas, replaced the tretek brakes (or whatever they were called), tires, wheels, rear cassette, shifters,.... stem, and bars. None of which I had to buy as they were laying around the garage. I will be replacing the crank with an XT 3 ring this winter that I got for $150 from a crazy ass jenson sale a couple months ago.

    The bike weighed in at 42 pounds fully loaded including three full water bottles. Lighter than I thought it would be. I figured it would have been closer to 50 pounds. Handling was slightly challenging at first but I found that after an hour or so I got my "sea legs", so to speak, and was surprised at how quickly I adapted to the unique handling characteristics in the rough. I rode from Encino to Clines Corners and back for a round trip of 60 miles, There is a county road (dirt) in the back if Encino that traverses dozens of "finger canyons" that run for miles just off the dirt road. It does get cold at there at night even in the summer due to an elevation of 7000' in Clines. My 40 degree sleeping bag was plenty adequate for the mid 50 degree nights. My stove and other gear worked well so no complaints there. The only thing I need to replace is the tent bag which has already suffered punctures.

    Pics or it didn't happen.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My 600HT Journey-1.jpg  

    My 600HT Journey-2.jpg  

    My 600HT Journey-3.jpg  

    My 600HT Journey-4.jpg  

    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  10. #10
    Genius
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    Still going strong and ready for another season with this setup.

    .
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My 600HT Journey-2.jpg  

    My 600HT Journey-3.jpg  

    Last edited by De La Pena; 06-07-2014 at 08:33 PM.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

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