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  1. #1
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    Update on my moto review

    Ok, so I have owned my Moto Outcast 29 for less than a year. I basically built it up in February I think so I will say I have been on it for about 8-9 months now. Which at this point I can say that I am over the new bike hype and can give a more honest review of it.

    First of all I will say that it is not a weight weenies dream frame. I have a medium size frame which weighs in right at about 4.6 lbs if I remember correctly (been a while since I had it all in pieces and weighed only the frame).

    As most of you know it is made by Kenesis (been around for years) and is made of 6000 series aluminum.

    The ride quality is like any other aluminum frame in my opinion in that it is stiff. I will say that the frame does not flex as much as my old Super Go Access frame however which was impossible to ride as an SS set up as it simply kept throwing the chain (yes, I did the conversion properly).

    I think it is great that the bike can be run geared or as an SS. However, now that I realize I like SS more, I am now wishing the frame simply looked cleaner by not having all the extra cable stops on it or the rear rack mounts on the seat stays. To me, tha tis just extra crap on the bike adding unneeded weight.

    The bottom line is that it was an economical way for me to build up a 29er and see what all the hype was about. Honestly, I am sold. Not that I wouldn't go back to a 26" mind you but I would have to have a racing set up full squish for me to do that and I just don't see me dropping that sort of coin for something that I probably wouldn't ride that much.

    In any case, I would have to say that my largest gripe about this particular frame is the whole slider setup/design.

    1. When I got my frame it had a goopy weld on the inside area that prevented one side of the slider from being flush to the dropout area. Instead of filing down the frame, I simply dremilled out a small track in the slider plate. I figured it would be cheaper for me to replace the plate than the frame. This worked quite well. Had I not been so frickn stoked to get the bike together and ride, I should have returned the frame. However, the bike has almost completely built by the time I found this problem.

    2. There is no tensioner system for the sliders. This makes things a little bit more of a PITA to get the wheel centered in the frame intially.

    3. The hooded design of the dropouts/slider mounts on the frame make it impossible to get any sort of washer under the bolt to help prevent scaring up the frame.

    4. Because it comes with no washers (I highly suggest you buy some before installing your wheel and tightening things down) tightening up the slider mounting bolts basically put dents into the softer aluminum. The problem here is that it creates indentations that the bolts simply want to migrate back to if/when the wheel slips (because there are no tensioners you can't really prevent this unless you crank down the tension on the mounting bolts, thus making the scaring worse) Which of course is what happened to me. Not that I really cranked on them mind you but we are dealing with aluminum here so there is a fine line. I will elaborate on this a little more shortly.


    So other than that, I don't have alot of complaints about the frame. I went into it knowing that it was an inexpensive option for me. Unfortunately, alot of my parts are worth more than my frame at this point and I guess it is time to start looking into something a little nicer. The downside to this is that I have become quite picky about what I am looking for and what I feel works for me. I don't want to settle on something that simply works. I want something that does what I want it to, is lighter, designed better (paragon sliders), cleaner welds, no extra cable guides...Pretty much, that leaves custom! But I don't custom funding so that is just going to have to wait or I will have to settle on something else. That being said, I think a Jabber might be in the picture but I won't be doing anything until the spring.

    Ok back to the slider issue. As noted above, the bolts put dents in the metal. By crushing the metal with the bolt it basically caused the metal to swell around the screw. This became apparent when I tried to tension the chain last week. I could see that there was still room in the slider to pull the wheel back but it wouldn't move. I pulled the bolts out and saw that the slot had been transformed if you will. I ended up having to buy a small set of files. I took one of the small files and filed down each slot in the sliders (6 all together) to open the slots back up to their original size. This allowed the bolts to slide easily from one end of the slider to the other w/ no hang ups.

    The only issue remaining is the areas where the bolts dug into the frame. I have found some washers at my local hardware super store that fit into the hooded dropouts but they are the same size as the bolt head. What is needed is a washer that is the same size as the hooded area with a slot in them. This would provide a steel reiforced area for the bolt to tighten onto without further damage to the frame. Now here is the challenge. Go find a washer like that! I have looked all over the place for the past couple of months and found nothing. McMaster-Carr had/has nothing of the sort. The only thing I can think of is trying to get a thing piece of sheet metal and making my own somehow. But I just don't think it will be worth the amount of work it will take. I mean it will probably take me a good hour to just make the first one (prototype) and then I'm sure things would speed up a bit. But the bottom line is that I will need 6 of them!

    I spoke with Bike Direct via email a month or so about this and they did offer for me to send them back my frame so they could take a look. Realistically, there really isn't anything they can do. I mean this is not a defect in the frame. It is a design issue and the minute you tighten up your bolts you will have created these dents in the frame. It is now a User issue imo. Trust me, I would love to swap it out but the reality is that I will have the same problem on the next one. The desin has not changed so the problem is still there.

    So there you have it. The bike is still in working order though I don't have as much tension on my chain as I would like. It has not created a problem just yet in that I have not thrown my chain. I have heard it pop a couple of times mind you which means it was close though. That being the case, I guess the search is on for my next frame.

    I'm sure alot of you probably have not experienced this. For you, I highly recommend that you at least find some washers to slip under the stock mounting bolts as this will help a bit. I will at least prevent the bolt from digging into the frame as you tighten them. I'm not saying that it will prevent any crushing or deforming of the slots but at least you won't be drilling into it.

  2. #2
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    1spd, I never thought of that. My chain popped off twice today while riding, though I don't think its because of the dropout issue (i will be shortening the chain by a link). I do like the "idea" of the dropout being geared/ss friendly depending on your whim, but have not come across the issue.......yet. If you do decide to make some kind of metal insert, please make me a couple and i'll pay ya amigo!! Problem is, after wear and tear on the frame, the inserts make cost more to make/design than the frame itself!!! I guess it would be time for SUPER UPGRADE!!!!! (I'll just tell the wife that the frame is cracked and get me something else! LMFAO!!)

  3. #3
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    Ended up ordering a Vassago Jabber two weeks ago. Should be getting delivered tomorrow.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1SPD View Post
    Ended up ordering a Vassago Jabber two weeks ago. Should be getting delivered tomorrow.
    Nice! Be sure to post pics!

  5. #5
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    Hey 1spd, any pictures of what you're talking about and where you recommend washers, etc above? I ordered my Outcast last week and it's expected to be delivered tomorrow. I want to take preventative measures building it up. This will be my first ever single speed mountain bike, so I can't picture what you're talking about. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Sorry, I don't have any photos at the moment but can try to take a couple this evening. In the mean time, the picture below is a stock photo I pulled that should help out.

    The black plates that bolt to the frame are called sliders. These plates allow you to bolt the wheel up using a standard quick release skewer while at the same time allowing you to move the wheel forward/backwards to adjust the chain tension. You can see 3 bolts on each plate. You need to pull those bolts out and add a washer to them then put them back in. This should allow the bolt to rotate against the washer when tighening them down without the bolt itself digging into the softer aluminum (the bolts are steel and will basically grind right into the aluminum frame). Hopefully this helps you out some.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Update on my moto review-moto-slider.jpg  


  7. #7
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    Also, as you can see in the photo above, there is no tensioner included in this design. You have to rely on all 6 of these bolts being tight to prevent the rear wheel from sliding forward when under load. Tensioners come in several different styles. Some hook right on the rear axle under the bolt, others are simply a screw passing thru the frame pushing up agains the axle to keep it from moving. I have included a few pictures of different styles to show this.

    The first pictures if of a Paragon Slider. Simple design. You have two bolts holding the slider plate and another bolt that passes thru the frame to allow you to set where the slider will stay (adjust the chain tension). These tensioning bolts also help you to center the wheel in the frame as well. Something else that was a little difficult to get set right in the Moto due to not having them.

    The second picture is of the older tried and tru design of chain tensioner or nut tugger as many of us call them. Thse work with a horizontal dropout or track end style. It won't work on the moto since it has a vertical dropout (wheels slides into the drop out vertically)
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info! Got the bike assembled yesterday and had a chance to take a really short shakedown ride before I lost daylight. I'll post up more when I've had a chance to ride, but so far it's been a blast. I installed the 33 inch chain ring. The cranks were not very tight, so if anyone else picks one up and doesn't swap out the chain ring make sure everything's tight. It is interesting tightening the chain w/o a tensioner. So far I'm pretty happy.

  9. #9
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    "It is interesting tightening the chain w/o a tensioner." I think there are several more colorful phrases for this one. I will choose to say, "Challenging"

    Now, here is an old technique I learned back in the day with my bmx bikes. Flip the bike upside down. With the wheel loose in the dropouts, place the handle of a hammer between the tire and the bb/chainstays junction. Use the hammer handle as a lever to push the wheel towards the rear of the dropouts, thus tightening the chain. You can also steer the wheel at the same time to get it centered as well. While holding it in place with one hand (holding the hammer) tighten the bolts with the other. Pretty simple and works quite well.

    Good luck and hope you enjoy it. Honestly, aside from the dropout/slider issue, I really have no complaints about my Moto frame. It was a great deal and it served me well. The whole intent of the Moto purchase for me was to have the oportunity to try a 29er. I have realized I like it and have simply moved on. No regrets at all.

  10. #10
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    Here's a pic of the new Vassago build. Basically, I kept all parts, had to trim my brake lines, swapped out the seat, and bought a new seat post (needed a 400mm) but did buy another KCNC post. Quite happy with it really!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Update on my moto review-wi-vass.jpg  

    Update on my moto review-vass.jpg  


  11. #11
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    I posted the above shot of the rear triangle, not to show off my spiffy and super White Industries FW but so you can see the tensioner system. It works great btw!

  12. #12
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    What kind of discs do you have, 1SPD?

  13. #13
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    My rotors are KCNC's. They are pretty much the same as the Ashima's (ever so slightly different design). Couple of quick links to fleabay auctions for you to see the pics of them (i'm not the one selling them-just random adds so you can get more info.

    KCNC Razor disc (what I have)
    New KCNC disc rotor, 160mm, 73g, 2 pieces | eBay

    KICNC/Ashima version (slightly heavier)
    kcnc ashima airotor-160 steel disc rotor 160mm 85 grams used | eBay

    Been happy with them over all. They are pretty light and cheap. There are lighter rotors out there but you will be paying over 2.5 times as much money. I mean a scrub rotor is over $100!

  14. #14
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    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!

    That was an awesome and honest review.

    I am seriously considering the Outcast since I want a SS dedicated frame and don't want to spend too much. Plus, it's a nice bonus that it can be run geared if desired.

    I have a question about the sliders. You mentioned that you could have lessened the effect of the slider bolts biting into the soft aluminum in the slider bolt trench by fabricating some sort of washer or a plate to distribute the force better.

    What if you replaced the stock slider bolts with longer bolts that had a larger diameter head? The head would then rest on the outside of the "bolt trench" and you could easily use washers to help too.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    William

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    thanks for the info.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by will-lee wonka View Post
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!

    That was an awesome and honest review.

    I am seriously considering the Outcast since I want a SS dedicated frame and don't want to spend too much. Plus, it's a nice bonus that it can be run geared if desired.

    I have a question about the sliders. You mentioned that you could have lessened the effect of the slider bolts biting into the soft aluminum in the slider bolt trench by fabricating some sort of washer or a plate to distribute the force better.

    What if you replaced the stock slider bolts with longer bolts that had a larger diameter head? The head would then rest on the outside of the "bolt trench" and you could easily use washers to help too.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    William
    I suspect the longer bolts would work. However, it would result in bolts protruding further out from the frame which could be a bit of a scrape hazard. The best answer is for some sort of rectangular plate washer that could be inserted into the hooded dropout. Unfortunately those don't appear to be made so I think a standard washer the same size as the stock bolt head would work just fine.

    I'm glad you guys appreciate the review and I hope if helps to make you aware of what you might be getting. Washers are cheap but can go a long way to saving the drop outs on your frame!

  17. #17
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    Awesome, truly appreciate the time you took. I'm looking into buying an Outcast this week. If they had red at bikesdirect Id be all over it but they only have the black left, so now I'm trying to decide whether to get the red frame off of ebay and build up my own.

    I do work at a fabrication shop so the first thing I'll do is fire up Autocad and draw a few of these washers that fit in the groove and then CNC them out of some sheet metal. I'll see of that will solve the issue.

  18. #18
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    So how did everybody else like their Outcast. I built up a Point 5 as a SS with a WI eccentric hub but didn't really like how it turned out. Vertical drop outs would make it so much easier to change a tube on the trail.

    Has anybody had a problem with chain tension? wheel moving backward? wheel moving forward? I am really thinking about this frame.

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