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  1. #1
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    Motobecane 600HT Bikepacking

    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.









    As you saw, it came 70% pre-assembled so it only took a few 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 have bars, stems, posts, and shifters and other junk but didn't throw them in.
    Last edited by De La Pena; 03-25-2014 at 03:06 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

  2. #2
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    very cool, looking to forward to where this goes...
    "Mi amor Nuevo Miércoles!"

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  3. #3
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    My 2008 Kona came with the Dart 3. From my experience the real flaw in the Dart 3 is the 28mm stanchions. The fork has adjustable preload, rebound, and a binary (on/off) lockout, and is decent enough that it won't fall apart on you. However I found it flexed enough that as I cornered hard the brake rotors would rub. The Fox will obviously be a huge upgrade, but now you're going to cry if someone ever steals it from the bike rack. I think any 30mm or 32mm fork will be an upgrade. I think this is why RockShox's bottom end forks now include the XC30 and XC32, which are basically fatter Dart 3's. I'm now running a manitou minute and never have to touch the brake caliper anymore.

    What is your bikepacking setup looking like? Are you going with a rack or seat/frame bags?

  4. #4
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    Let me get this straight, you pinched pennies on a ride that will be used as a multiday tool? Kind of like buying a Kmart backpack for an extended wilderness trip or using an ironing board as a snow board. You will feel it.
    SingleSpeed,in the way
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  5. #5
    Genius
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    Quote Originally Posted by makachut View Post
    Let me get this straight, you pinched pennies on a ride that will be used as a multiday tool? Kind of like buying a Kmart backpack for an extended wilderness trip or using an ironing board as a snow board. You will feel it.

    Yup. You pretty much got it straight except for the Kmart comparison. The bike itself actually isn't that bad. I took out for 20 miles yesterday in Otero in its stock configuration and its okay. 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.
    "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

  6. #6
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    Thats a good lookin bike really. And ive noticed that alot of even the lower end bikes dont lack anything in the frame, if they do its just heavier, usually its not any weaker. They just throw mass bought low end components on it to bring the cost down. For your bikepacking needs the fox fork is a good idea but im not sure id leave it on my daily beater bike. Id probably even go as far to leave the dart on it and debadge it so as not to tempt anyone.
    2010 Giant Yukon FX
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  7. #7
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    for bike packing I recommend a rigid fork if your packing anything up front.
    SingleSpeed,in the way
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by makachut View Post
    if your packing anything up front.

  9. #9
    Genius
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    Quote Originally Posted by makachut View Post
    for bike packing I recommend a rigid fork if your packing anything up front.
    Yeah. I was thinking about that too. Fortunately both forks have a lockout.
    "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
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    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 Motobecane 600HT - Can it survive me?  Can I survive it?-1.jpg  

    Motobecane 600HT - Can it survive me?  Can I survive it?-2.jpg  

    Motobecane 600HT - Can it survive me?  Can I survive it?-3.jpg  

    Motobecane 600HT - Can it survive me?  Can I survive it?-4.jpg  

    Last edited by De La Pena; 09-13-2012 at 02:02 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

  11. #11
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    I wanna see the bike loaded up.

  12. #12
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    This setup is going strong and is prep'd for another season. All with the same gear I started with. Probably gonna hit the finger canyons from Clines Corners towards Red Hill, get restocked in Encino, ride the salt lakes toward Duran and finish on top of the mesa.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Motobecane 600HT - Can it survive me?  Can I survive it?-2.jpg  

    Motobecane 600HT - Can it survive me?  Can I survive it?-3.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

  13. #13
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    Very cool. A bike with a purpose on a sensible budget. Well done.

  14. #14
    Genius
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    This setup cost me all of $700 bucks. Fully loaded it is right at 40 pounds heading out. At the end when I am tired it is thankfully less than 35, mostly due to the water consumption.
    Last edited by De La Pena; 03-27-2014 at 01:19 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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