Motobecane 450HT for a 13yo new rider?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Motobecane 450HT for a 13yo new rider?

    I've been looking for a bike for my 13 year old son with the intent of doing some trail riding with him.

    His current bike is a 24" Huffy from Academy and at 4'11" he is a bit big for it already.

    We went and looked at the LBS's and only found a few carrying any XS frames in our budget. ($300) One we did find at that price was a Raleigh Talus with V brakes and a Shimano Tourney drivetrain.

    On paper, it looks like the 450HT would fit the bill nicely in the 13" frame.

    What do y'all think?

    Save up to 60% off Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane 450HT

  2. #2
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    Many people get the moto bikes since they have nicer components for the same price as a starter LBS bike. This moto does not have anything great when one looks at its components. The X4 is probably better than the Tournery in general, but neither is anything you would want to keep long term or move over to another bike.

    So no substantial gain with ordering online.

    I have purchased 3 motos over the years. The last was an XS moto 29er for my kiddo. It came with an xt rear derailleur and deore shifters.

    Those components were moved to a bigger full squish frame when the xs was out grown.

    I don't see anything here to save so no real benefit to ordering from bikes direct.

    So a wash overall in my opinion. Go with the LBS.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply.

    I just saw the disc brakes and X4 drivetrain and figured it was the better deal, but you're right there isn't much difference between the two and the free adjustments from the LBS may end up being the better deal.

    I thought the Raleigh was a steel frame, but it's aluminum and it has an Altus rear derailleur. The disc brakes would be nice, but probably wont be needed.

  4. #4
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    Got my brother the same bike over a year ago he was 13. It's worked great so far. As soon as he stops growing it will be time for a real bike but the 450 is a solid hardtail

  5. #5
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    I have a 550HT as my backup bike, and I'm currently riding a 450HT frame while I build up my 650b carbon. The frames are pretty good, and fairly lighjt despite the straight gauge tubing. My 19.5 frame weighs in at 4.4 lbs. Not a feather, but not overly heavy either. For me, I prefer the sram shifters hands down. I prefer to thumb shift, and shimano doesn't offer dual activation at the lower price points. Disc brakes are nice, but I'm not a big fan of the low end mechanicals. The low end hydros are fine, as are bb5 or bb7 mechs. But even these novelas will likely feel better than rim brakes. The wheels and tires are heavy, but that's to be expected form both options.

    I think the big deciding factor is the support the LBS offers. Are you comfortable wrenching on your own bikes? The moto may have a slight advantage in terms of components, but if you still need to bring it to a bike shop to set it up, then its probably better to go through the LBS to begin with.

  6. #6
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    As much as I hate to say it, if he's growing fast, get a 26" box store bike or something used. Re-build and re-grease it as a father/son activity and ride the heck out of it. He'll appreciate a better quality of good bike when he gets into it and the small frame will last longer/be easier to find. I would advise getting a better bike before he can drive though. Once that happens, no turning back.
    As far as the moto vs. LBS bike, I'd get the moto. But I like to work on my bike.

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