Which Motobecane?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Which Motobecane?

    BIKE #1 PURCHASE
    I am an ex-motocross racer and serious mountain biker from the 80s, but I got side-tracked with raising a family and did the career thing.

    I am now 47, 6'3" 225 pounds and slightly out of shape, but can ride strong on rolling trails, but I want to get back into riding up hill and going downhill fast here in Marin County.

    I want a XC bike, right, or an All-Mountain? I like light weight bikes with smooth shifting. I am a component junky and looked at BD, but not sure which to buy under $1,000.

    With my ability level, what are the trade-offs between hard-tail and full-suspension? I don't see myself leaping off anything greater than 3" drop-offs.

    What should I consider on BD for under $1,000? Craigslist didn't have anything for me right now.

    BIKE #2 PURCHASE
    My girlfriend is not coordinated at bikes like me, not strong, has a thin build of 5'11" but is tough, semi-athletic and very determined to master mountain biking.

    I believe in purchasing once, but I don't want to buy her too much of a bike or spend more than she needs. I am hoping to find her a bike that will be efficient performer on trail and hill to keep up with me.

    Going around to LBS this weekend, she liked the fit of the Specialized Stumpjumper and Cannondale Trail since she didn't have to reach for the bars like other men's bikes. What should she consider on BD? Craigslist didn't have anything for her right now.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    It sounds like you want an XC bike. At your budget I would stick with a hardtail. There really are no good FS bikes for $1000. I would be looking at the Fantom HT Elite http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...om_elite09.htm or if you can scrape a few hundred more the Fly Pro which is much lighter.http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...y_pro_3x10.htm

    You might also want to research 29ers. I personally don't like them, but they are developing a big following. Since you haven't been mountain biking in some years you have missed out on a lot of advances.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post
    It sounds like you want an XC bike. At your budget I would stick with a hardtail. There really are no good FS bikes for $1000. I would be looking at the Fantom HT Elite http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...om_elite09.htm or if you can scrape a few hundred more the Fly Pro which is much lighter.http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...y_pro_3x10.htm

    You might also want to research 29ers. I personally don't like them, but they are developing a big following. Since you haven't been mountain biking in some years you have missed out on a lot of advances.
    Thanks to the suggestions. Why wouldn't I consider the Fantom Comp?

  5. #5
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    I was advised firmly about the $1,500 guideline before considering a FS bike.

    What is confusing is that I can get better components for less on Bikes Direct. For example, if I get a FS like the Fantom Comp DS, it has components equal to a $2,500 to 3,000 bike from Kona, Ellsworth, Trek and Specialized and with maybe lesser components, yet the Fantom Comp DS is $1,100.

    I also thought with lockouts I can do uphills equal to a HT and have the luxury of FS for downhill.

    Lastly, some are saying I get a worse frame with the Moto, but since I not a racer, I am having a hard time believing it will make a difference to me being an intermediate.
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  6. #6
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    Hello fellow Mxer, and your my age too. I started racing in the 70s and still ride tracks today. This is a cheap sport compared to Moto-X.
    I have a question, do you have guys to ride with now or are you planning to mainly ride with the GF? I'm thinking you might want to start off with a med. range HT and ride a bit again and see what your into now. Obviously, if you can rent bikes that you'd consider buying, than do it but if you can't, just use some of the sizing programs and get the proper size. I believe if you get into this your going to want a full suspension bike too. I ride a Moto Fly 29er (HT) and find that it fit my style of riding (I'm 6'1") and I like the big wheels. In the future, I'm sure I'll be getting FS bike but I plan on riding a lot of different FS bikes before I do. I'm my opinion, there's nothing wrong with the Moto frames. They put a much better component package on their bikes for the money than do the name brands.

    Anyway, your going to get lots of different opinions on this. As a MX guy, you adapt fine to what ever you have. If you can try out your buddies bikes, than great but at 6'3", you're limited to tall friends.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by motox72 View Post
    Hello fellow Mxer, and your my age too. I started racing in the 70s and still ride tracks today. This is a cheap sport compared to Moto-X.
    I have a question, do you have guys to ride with now or are you planning to mainly ride with the GF? I'm thinking you might want to start off with a med. range HT and ride a bit again and see what your into now. Obviously, if you can rent bikes that you'd consider buying, than do it but if you can't, just use some of the sizing programs and get the proper size. I believe if you get into this your going to want a full suspension bike too. I ride a Moto Fly 29er (HT) and find that it fit my style of riding (I'm 6'1") and I like the big wheels. In the future, I'm sure I'll be getting FS bike but I plan on riding a lot of different FS bikes before I do. I'm my opinion, there's nothing wrong with the Moto frames. They put a much better component package on their bikes for the money than do the name brands.

    Anyway, your going to get lots of different opinions on this. As a MX guy, you adapt fine to what ever you have. If you can try out your buddies bikes, than great but at 6'3", you're limited to tall friends.
    Thanks for your perspective.

    I have a basic Trek that just won't hold up to a good ride with the buddies but has done fine tooling around with the kids. However, the kids have gotten a little more serious and the girlfriend too. We'll be doing downhill fire road rides on the weekends to start before making them do uphills.

    I agree. I adapt. But I only want to buy once for the next 10 years will do slow component upgrades as I get better or things break. Frame is major upgrade. So I am torn.

    I have been borrowing bikes which has shown me I need a better bike, but haven't done enough uphill on a right size FS to feel what others on the forum are advising that they aren't the best on uphill. They are just a tad softer on downhill and would spend on that. Try before you buy is very prudent. But I know I need a whole bike upgrade.

    What is the benefit of the 29ers? It seems like a fad to me.

  8. #8
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    As far as the 29er, they been around for over 10 years, so it's not likely a fad. Disco, was a fad The 23 in front wheel on the 79 Honda Cr 125, was a fad (well, more of a disaster). The 29ers (HT) roll over rocks, roots, and other small obstacles easier than the 26 (HT) wheels and are popular with XC riders. That's not hype, it's absolutely true. To learn more to the 29er subforum and read through some of the post and responses about 29ers. The best way is to ride one, but that's not always possible. The reason I like the HT is my biggest complaint with all the bikes, is not enough motor. I'm working that, but on climbs the hard tails excel. I have no problems on the down hills, but I'm not on the seat.

    I understand, you want to make the best choice and get it right, so I suggest you wait and continue to try and find a bike/style that you really like for the riding you want to do. I started with a base Fantom 29er, the bike was a great entry level bike for me but I soon realized that upgrading was going to cost more than just getting a much better lighter bike (I didn't need to upgrade, I just wanted too!). The components alone are much more expensive than they are in a package unless you have some great connections or are just really patient looking for special deals.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by motox72 View Post
    The 23 in front wheel on the 79 Honda Cr 125, was a fad (well, more of a disaster).
    OMG - I remember that like yesterday! I lived near Hangtown in the 70s with Praire City OHV being my home track and saw Jim Reid's and Marty Smith's factory RC125 with 23 in front. Those were the days.

    I was watching today's AMA MX wrap and saw that Roger DeCoster is still managing Honda team. Of course the girlfriend said, "who?" I remember Ricky Carmichael when he was running the small mini's and winning all the time, but he's retired now.... lol Man, we are old.

    OK, I will put more time on a 29er to experience the bug crushing roll.

  10. #10
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    We're not old, were Vets (more MX references). All this stuff keeps you young. I grew racing in NM, We went to Ponca City a couple of years, I was riding the 250 class and there was a young kid name Erik Kehoe riding a RM 80, in the 80 cc class. He now is the Manager for team Honda. In the 70s, Decoster was the man. The TM 400. I don't know if you watch the races these days, but the level at which these guys compete today is unreal.
    You need to check out the video of Chad Reed getting bucked off over a jump at Milleville. I was watching the race and I thought he was about to die. Scary crash, the thing nightmares are made of.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC4f9TCg4zw

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by motox72 View Post
    We're not old, were Vets (more MX references). All this stuff keeps you young. I grew racing in NM, We went to Ponca City a couple of years, I was riding the 250 class and there was a young kid name Erik Kehoe riding a RM 80, in the 80 cc class. He now is the Manager for team Honda. In the 70s, Decoster was the man. The TM 400. I don't know if you watch the races these days, but the level at which these guys compete today is unreal.
    You need to check out the video of Chad Reed getting bucked off over a jump at Milleville. I was watching the race and I thought he was about to die. Scary crash, the thing nightmares are made of.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC4f9TCg4zw
    I remember Erik Kehoe well reading CycleNews - he won every race on RM 80. He was my idol, but I was too big for am RM80 (was running an RM 370 at the time).

    See, in your old age you forget what you saw. DeCoster is still involved and saw him talking to the riders with a factory shirt on, but maybe he went back to Suzuki or something.

    I was at Hangtown in the 70's when local boy Danny "Magoo" Chandler did the first downhill triple jump on a Maico ever on a race track. The downhill jumps were to be doubled, not tripled. Many years later he had a crash like your youtube link where he didn't land on a nice piece of grass, but landed on a TV camera stand in a Paris Supercross and was paralyzed for life.

    Ok, this is a mountain bike forum... we better digress

  12. #12
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    I'll offer my opinion. I just started riding in January. I bought a 2009 trek 6500 off craigslist in near perfect shape. I thought it was a great bike. Fast forward to now. I started doing some races and decided it was time to go full suspension. I just bought a new 2011 salsa spearfish, $2250, the difference between the two bikes is amazing. With my ht 26, I had to try and weave my way around the roots for a comfortable ride. With the salsa 29er fs I just roll right thru it, it is truly remarkable the difference.

    I bought my wife the moto 600ht and gave her old 2004 giant iguana to the kid, she likes it ok, but I think she liked the giant better. She has crashed a few times on it, so I think that has more to do with it. If looking at the moto, I would say stay away from the matte black, it scratches super easy.

    Anyways hope that helps.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbmartin View Post
    I'll offer my opinion. I just started riding in January. I bought a 2009 trek 6500 off craigslist in near perfect shape. I thought it was a great bike. Fast forward to now. I started doing some races and decided it was time to go full suspension. I just bought a new 2011 salsa spearfish, $2250, the difference between the two bikes is amazing. With my ht 26, I had to try and weave my way around the roots for a comfortable ride. With the salsa 29er fs I just roll right thru it, it is truly remarkable the difference.

    I bought my wife the moto 600ht and gave her old 2004 giant iguana to the kid, she likes it ok, but I think she liked the giant better. She has crashed a few times on it, so I think that has more to do with it. If looking at the moto, I would say stay away from the matte black, it scratches super easy.

    Anyways hope that helps.
    Good perspective! What is your age, weight? What kind of races?

    I had to look up that a 11' Salsa Spearfish is actually a 29er. I test drove a 2011 Focus Black Forest 29er tonight around a LBS parking lot over curbs, etc., and I was shocked how more aggressive the 29er was compared to a 26er.

    Based on other forum members and my 5 min on a 29er, I can see that being a big difference going over roots. However, I wasn't happy with the 29er weight, but maybe since I am Vet now, I shouldn't expect to throw around the bike between my legs like 20 years ago.

  14. #14
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    I'm 5'8 145 lbs. Most races are 10miles in length for the class I run in, My cardio isn't good enough for the longer races yet. I did compete in a 25 mile race once. I race in the south east, Florida, Georgia area

  15. #15
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    Well, I closed the deal. But not a Moto. Not a FS. Not a 29er.

    Phase One is to ride XC trails on a cheaper bike until my cardio is up and my skills need better equipment. Plus girlfriend needs time to catchup.

    Thank you all for your help. Now you get to rip my deal.

    Craigslist $300
    New, and I mean new. Old man won it in a raffle and never road it. Sat in original box in his garage.

    Trek 6500 SL, 21.5"
    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...6500&Type=bike
    (Minus disc brakes in picture - I got pad brakes)

    I wonder what the first upgrade will be?

    My bet are the forks -1-1/8" x 10" tube.

    Suggestions based on the above link?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by duffin View Post
    Thanks to the suggestions. Why wouldn't I consider the Fantom Comp?
    The Fantom Comp is a great bike. The price is right, the components are good, and the frame is tough-as-nails. That said, with you being 6'3", you're probably not going to fit well on it. I am also 6'3" and have the Fantom, in large. I've never really been comfortable on that size frame and the specs of the XL are odd. The XL has a 0.25" longer top tube but a 1.75" increase in standover height. The frame even looks 'clownish' and out of proportion.

    May I suggest Gary Fischer, Santa Cruz, and Giant for frames that are better suited for taller riders.

    -Lule

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by duffin View Post
    Well, I closed the deal. But not a Moto. Not a FS. Not a 29er.

    Phase One is to ride XC trails on a cheaper bike until my cardio is up and my skills need better equipment. Plus girlfriend needs time to catchup.

    Thank you all for your help. Now you get to rip my deal.

    Craigslist $300
    New, and I mean new. Old man won it in a raffle and never road it. Sat in original box in his garage.

    Trek 6500 SL, 21.5"
    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...6500&Type=bike
    (Minus disc brakes in picture - I got pad brakes)

    I wonder what the first upgrade will be?

    My bet are the forks -1-1/8" x 10" tube.

    Suggestions based on the above link?
    Congrats. Air it up and make sure its lubed and ride. As far as what the first upgrade will be? When something breaks replace it. That will be your first upgrade.
    Mike
    2011 Moto Fly Pro

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaLL6 View Post
    Congrats. Air it up and make sure its lubed and ride. As far as what the first upgrade will be? When something breaks replace it. That will be your first upgrade.
    Of course I went for a ride this AM.

    Played with the fork spring and compression. Left it at medium, but wasn't thrilled compared to my friends' HT bikes. Mine felt kinda like a spongy, springy feel versus a plush, don't notice it feel.

    Shifters didn't feel as streamlined either - kinda bulky on the bars. Shifting was OK uphill, but could be crisper.

    I wonder if upgrading the fork and front wheel for a 29er is common. The 26 felt skittish at speed on bumpy and gravely fire road and made me nervous that I'd washout on fast corners.

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