Fly Ti 29'er build complete- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fly Ti 29'er build complete

    Finally put my Ti 29'er together with the frame and fork deal from Bikes Direct, and thought I'd share the results here for anyone thinking of doing the same. I had the Fly Ti 26'er before and swapped most of the parts over.

    The XL frame without the headset weighs just under 3.6 lbs - on par with a Niner EMD and lighter than comparable titanium frames. The tube set is completely different both in shaping and dimensions. The bottom bracket is 73mm vice 68mm and slightly lower, and the seat tube is 27.2mm vice 30.6mm. Interfaces did not require facing or chasing.

    Here's how mine is different from a stock Fly Ti 29'er:

    FSA K-Force Light crankset (44T big ring)
    Easton EC90 seatpost
    Easton EC90 flat handlebars
    Specialized lock-on grips
    Chris King hubs
    Stan's Arch rims
    DT Swiss Super Comp spokes
    2.35" Panaracer Rampages
    SRAM 990 11-32T cogset
    SRAM 990 chain (110 links if you need to know, but I think 108 will work better)
    Specialized Rival SL saddle
    Avid Juicy Ultimates (6" front and rear)
    Shimano XT pedals

    The result including pedals (but before bottle cages and tire pump) is 24.91 pounds. With lighter "summer" hard pack tires and tubeless (I think I bought the world's heaviest 29
    er tubes from QBP) this will easily be a sub-24 pound bike. The 11-32 cogset feels about the same as the 12-27 on the 26'er too.

    Ride is incredible, even in deep piles of leaves and mud over logs and rock piles. The slacker (for a 29'er) head angle with the big wheels is just right for me. It's light enough to bunny hop over small to medium logs. I'm more of a road biker since moving to DC, but this thing has me clearing stuff I'm sketchy about on my Stumpjumper. Can't say enough good things!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fly Ti 29'er build complete-fly29er.jpg  


  2. #2
    Rollin 29s
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    Sweet! Looks like a great build, and glad you like the bike.

    One thing I've noticed with mine is that it takes about the same effort to get up to speed as it did on my 26" bike, and also the bike does not carry as much momentum as I've heard people say 29ers do, but I think both of these things are due to the light weight of the bike (even lighter than my 26er).

    Where it shines is in its ability to roll over big stuff that would have thrown me over the bars on my 26er, and super power to the ground acceleration.

    So far I'm very impressed.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65
    One thing I've noticed with mine is that it takes about the same effort to get up to speed as it did on my 26" bike, and also the bike does not carry as much momentum as I've heard people say 29ers do, but I think both of these things are due to the light weight of the bike (even lighter than my 26er).
    Are you using the Small Block Eights? That might be why. The Rampages are pretty heavy to begin with and I put what I now feel are ridiculously heavy tubes in them. I'm definitely feeling the inertia but I like it...the bike just plows through everything and carries speed even better than I thought it would.

  4. #4
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    That's a sweet rig.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXNavy
    Are you using the Small Block Eights? That might be why. The Rampages are pretty heavy to begin with and I put what I now feel are ridiculously heavy tubes in them. I'm definitely feeling the inertia but I like it...the bike just plows through everything and carries speed even better than I thought it would.
    I am running the SB8 tires, and running them tubeless on Stans Flow wheels, so they are probably a few grams lighter than they would be with tubes. The Flows are actually lighter than the stock Vuelta wheelset, by about 125g, which surprised me because they are stronger wheels.

    I also swapped out the Ritchey flat bars with Answer Pro Carbon risers.

    I weighed the bike at 24.5 lbs, but that is with some heavier SPD pedals. Egg Beaters on the way should bring it down to sub 24 lb. Not bad for a 21" frame.

    Anyway, your point is good that the lighter wheel/ tire set up would affect momentum.

  6. #6
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    Nice build on your Fly. I'd like to ask how tall you are? Riding the XL frame? I'm 6'3" and was wondering about sizing. Noticed in one of the other threads that somebody recommended the 29ers for taller riders. Was wondering what frame size would be appropriate for me....not being sure of the sizing always kinda makes me hesitate on the Motobecanes. Also, is there a difference in fit between the 26 and 29" frames of the same size? Thanks for any responses. Mark

  7. #7
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    I know your question was to the OP, but FYI I'm 6'4" tall (205-ish pounds) and I got the 21" (XL) frame. My last hard tail 26" bike was a 21" frame and it fit me well. Looking at the geometry of the FLY Ti 29er, the 21" frame looked like the best fit for me. Standover height is fine.
    At 6'3" that's the one I'd go with.

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    Thanks for the reply. I'd like to ask a few more questions. Why did you switch from 26" to 29" wheels? It sounds from above that you are happy with the choice. Would you switch back to a 26"? Are you using this bike to race? type of local terrain? I really think that the Motobecane offers alot of bike for the money. Sometimes I get sticker shock when I wander into the LBS! Thanks, Mark

  9. #9
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    I switched from 26" because I talked to a lot of people on MTBR and a local mountain bikers forum in my city, and a majority recommended a 29er based on my height and local terrain. I didn't make the decision before trying out some 29ers at my LBS.

    From my parking lot rides, I liked how the bikes felt, but they were no where near as nice as the Fly 29 I ended up with. The bikes I test rode ranged from $1000 to $2100, and even the higher end ones I rode did not ride as nice as the Fly Ti. And the components they came with were 2 steps down from what the Moto is spec'd with for less money.

    I still have my 26" full suspension bike, but I won't switch back to it. I might take it out sometime for the heck of it, but the 29er rides so much faster, lighter and with more direct power to the ground. It's much more fun to ride! The main thing I noticed right away was that the 29er felt like a much more natural sized bike for my body. Now that I am used to looking at the 29er and riding it, my 26" bike's wheels look strangely small, and the bike feels awkward in comparison.

    I didn't buy the bike to race - just for recreational riding, but now that I have it I feel faster and more in control (and more confident), and I am definitely going to get into a few local races. Local terrain is tight singletrack with short hills, some rock gardens, log piles, jumps, bridges and fast sections.

    I was very skeptical of this bike and Bikes Direct at first, and I asked them a lot of questions via e-mail and did a lot of searching on the Web about them. They answered all questions promptly and professionally and I felt more at ease once I decided to put my deposit down on the Fly Ti 29er. When the bike got here and I took it out of the box, I knew I had made the right choice. The quality is top notch, welds are flawless and everything about the bike is very high quality.

    You absolutely can't go wrong for the money. It would be a deal if it cost $1000 more.

  10. #10
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    Isleblue, Thanks for your replies. Its great that you guys on the forum are so helpful. You had alot of interesting comments. Especially regarding your now seldom used FS bike. And how now the 26" wheels feel awkward...very interesting comments! Thanks, so much. Mark

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbaulfinger
    Nice build on your Fly. I'd like to ask how tall you are? Riding the XL frame? I'm 6'3" and was wondering about sizing. Noticed in one of the other threads that somebody recommended the 29ers for taller riders. Was wondering what frame size would be appropriate for me....not being sure of the sizing always kinda makes me hesitate on the Motobecanes. Also, is there a difference in fit between the 26 and 29" frames of the same size? Thanks for any responses. Mark
    I'm 6'2" with a 34" inseam. The XL 29'er fits me perfectly; it's geometry is pretty much identical to the Fisher Superfly.

    I had the XL 26'er version of the same bike (that's where the XTR parts came from) and it's a very different geometry. The top tube is very short (24.1"), which meant going with a 130mm stem for me, and the head angle is very steep. It's a quick, light handling bike but pretty twitchy and tricky going downhill or over things like log piles.

    When I bought that bike though, I started by checking out bikes at the local bike shop that have similar geometry, or at least just the top tube length, to see what I could live with. I'd try finding a HT bike that's close and see what fits.

    99% sure that between the 29'er and the 26'er Fly though, you'll prefer the 29'er. That longer ("normal") top tube, longer wheelbase and shallower head angle make a tremendous difference for us tall people.

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    Nice feedback. I am looking for a bike & have been for quite sometime. I have rode my Specialized RockHopper into the ground. I do a lot of riding(year round) and have always test rode & "broused" the local bikes shops in awe of the 29ers. Nearly all ov my fellow riders have "converted" to 29ers and I am STRONGLY considering it after I demoed a Fisher SuperFly 29er at the local trails. And for the money, the Motobecane Fly Ti 29er is amazing priced. The parts list alone is over 2K...and then there in the frame on top of that. Wow.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdeclue22
    Nice feedback. I am looking for a bike & have been for quite sometime. I have rode my Specialized RockHopper into the ground. I do a lot of riding(year round) and have always test rode & "broused" the local bikes shops in awe of the 29ers. Nearly all ov my fellow riders have "converted" to 29ers and I am STRONGLY considering it after I demoed a Fisher SuperFly 29er at the local trails. And for the money, the Motobecane Fly Ti 29er is amazing priced. The parts list alone is over 2K...and then there in the frame on top of that. Wow.
    If you liked the Superfly, then you'll love the Fly 29'er. The geometry is pretty much spot-on identical with the exception of the G2 fork, which some people replace anyway.

    I converted because HT 29'ers are the last things I regularly have trouble keeping up with on the east coast. Part of it is momentum over logs and rocks; the other is just having too high of a center of gravity and slowing way down around tight corners. The 29'er fixes both problems for me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXNavy
    If you liked the Superfly, then you'll love the Fly 29'er. The geometry is pretty much spot-on identical with the exception of the G2 fork, which some people replace anyway.

    I converted because HT 29'ers are the last things I regularly have trouble keeping up with on the east coast. Part of it is momentum over logs and rocks; the other is just having too high of a center of gravity and slowing way down around tight corners. The 29'er fixes both problems for me.
    The main thing that surprised me about the 29er handling is that I expected it to be slower and harder to turn in tight singletrack than a 26er due to the physically larger size of the 29er bike. In fact it was the opposite. My first time out on the Fly Ti 29er I was significantly faster around the same singletrack path that I regularly ride on my 26" bike. I was struck by the fact that I applied the brakes much less often and how the bike could carry speed around corners and turn more sharply with more control than on my other bike. In relation to the center of the wheels, my riding position is slightly lower on the 29er, but I still feel like it is a big bike compared to my 26. Handling however is much better and I don't know quite what to attribute that to.

  15. #15
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    Sorry if I am hijacking this thread, but had a sizing question about the Ti 29er FLY. I currently ride a medium Specialized Stumpjumper and according to the geometry, I fall right in between the 15.5 and 17.5 sizes. I am 5'7"-5'8" with a 30 inch inseam. Should I size up or size down?

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