Motobecane Frames? Mike at BD? R&D? FS 29er? HELP!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Motobecane Frames? Mike at BD? R&D? FS 29er? HELP!

    I remember a post somewhere on this forum that was something to the effect that the frames that Motobecane uses are built by the same frame mfg that builds the specialized/trek/other brand name frames. Where does Motobecane bulid their frames? and how much research and development go into their frames vs Specialized or Trek/Gary fisher, especially the new Full Suspension 29er?

    I recall somthing like Kinesis frame works being the frame mfg.

    Is this true?

    How would you argue a friend who says that Motobecane just makes a crap frame with good components and then charges a crap load of money for it. (i.e the new Squishy 29er design, which i think looks awesome because it is simple and effective.)

    Maybe a question for Mike at BD? Explain what sets Motobecane/BD apart from the leading competetors besides price? How much time and money is spent on research and development on Moto frames? ( i dont mean to put you on the spot Mike, just trying to help my argument vs others who dont believe me)

    I have had my full suspension phantom ds comp for 2 years + and have had no frame problems at all. Knowing that the frame is warrantied for life helps a lot too.

    Your thoughts?
    i love the smell of tri-flow in the morning......

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    They imply with that statement that you're getting the exact same frame, but with a different sticker, which is not true, and Mike won't put his money where his mouth is on that, because the moment the big companies see that, they will take him out and prove him wrong.

    All frame Chinese and Taiwanese subcontractors make everything from the highest end possible technology-packed frames, to the worst stuff Walmart wouldn't even pick up. We here can't imagine the size of these complexes and entire districts devoted to supporting one type of product like they have out there. For catalog companies, they buy what's in their budget from a showroom, do a bit of customizing (paint, etc), and then negotiate price. Others, like the big guys, have full custom to their specs, from tubing, to geometry, so there is a difference and just saying they are made in the same factory means nothing. Not only can the materials vary greatly, but build quality too.

  3. #3
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    Anyone who says Moto frames are junk is only trying to convince themselves.

    Made by Kinesis, but like junktrunk said, materials and engineering vary. Kinesis is basicaly a welding factory working with someone elses specs and materials. I'm still amazed that a comparable pile of aluminum tubes can be assembled into either a $300.00 frame, or a $2,400 frame... It's only recycled beer cans, after all!



    Don't bother arguing with your friend... just ride your bike and enjoy YOUR purchase... and the extra cash in your pocket!
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    Wow, now that is really oversimplifying it to the point of being untruthful.

  5. #5
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    There is no basis for arguing about it . High end frames , low end frames .

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    Don't get me wrong, I would love to be able to afford a Turner or Niner frame, and I understand that engineering has value in and of itself. But in the end, it's still just a pile of aluminum tubes.

    All good, my friend!
    "Fear not the ob-stackles in your path"

  7. #7
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    The quality of their frames is seen time and time again. In the photos of the many happy customers and in their own. Look at the welds…nothing looks sloppy or seems to be done half ass.

    IMHO it doesn’t matter if Motobecane has an in house RD department or they farm out the design work. It makes no difference in the end…a happy customer…is a happy customer. Besides, no manufacturer is going to take a chance on the quality of the main component “the Frame” The investment and the possible losses would be enormous. Enough to ruin everything…would anyone want that?

    As for Mike answering questions…I don’t think he should answer every question asked by someone on the internet. He’s a president of a company and not some shoe sine boy. It a free market…so, one always has a choice. Buy it or not…it’s your money however, their products speak for them selves and we are all here in this forum because of it.

    As for what I feel sets them apart from every other player besides price. I would say…a customer purchasing a Motobecane bicycle is not only getting a low price…they are getting an awesome bike with a quality frame that has some of the best components on the market being offered to-date for that low price…that’s what set’s them apart.

    Now the next question would be…how can they offer a bike of that quality for that low price. The answer is so simple it’s gotta be common knowledge by now. You see it every time you logon the net and go the BD’s website. The first thing you notice…no middle man. Then what must come to mind…low overhead and high volume.

    I don’t know…you owned Motobecane for two years and never had a problem. Nuff Said!

    Now someone will probably suggest that I work for them or something to that affect…truth is…I don’t have an inside track on what’s up with them. I guess I’m just able to cross reference available information and come to a logical conclusion.



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    Lol, the ever-present 'welds look perfect' post.

    I'm going to wear eddie bauer to honor 1998.

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    Forget it...
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    Like life…the trail is unpredictable...

  10. #10
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    If their frames were junk there would be a bunch of posts about it...like there are about the Gary Fisher Superfly (insert other big name model failures here). Not that the Superfly is junk, but there were some definite problems with that frame. I'm no engineer, but from what I can see of my frame, it's overbuilt but heavy. I think the engineering that goes into the higher end name brand bikes allow for bigger tubing, thinner walls, and lighter frames. But those companies are going for the "this is the latest and greatest" angle, not the "this will not ever break" angle. I think BD has decided that they'd rather make a heavy frame that won't break, since breakage and subsequent replacement is a drain on an already thin profit margin. And for an internet based company, you just can't mess up like that or it's out there on forums for 10 years.
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    I think Mike does it like boat builders have been doing it for a thousand years. He copies the dimensions and materials from a successful design.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by junktrunk
    Lol, the ever-present 'welds look perfect' post.

    I'm going to wear eddie bauer to honor 1998.

    Wow....

    And you had issues with MY post????


    Slapped in the face with the truth, and you still want to argue.
    "Fear not the ob-stackles in your path"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by svbackstreets
    I think Mike does it like boat builders have been doing it for a thousand years. He copies the dimensions and materials from a successful design.
    I know at least with my Windsor Cliff 29R Pro, the whole entire bike is a rebranded 2008 Fuji Tahoe Pro. The newer Fuji Tahoe 29ers have a different frame design, so I'm guessing that they sold the specs/plans/rights to the old frame to Kinesis or BD. My bike even came with a folder with all the documentation and manuals that said Fuji on it.

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  14. #14
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    thanks

    Everyone.... Very helpful post indeed. For the record, i didn't post this just argue with a friend, i posted it to give myself some reassurance in my own arguments. I work for a fairly recognized mechanical engineering firm in my city and the riding buddies i work with put the R&D of bike first and foremost because they can relate to amount of time and effort it takes to create something special.

    I feel BD has a great product to offer at a extremely reasonable price. I guess its somewhat overwhelming when all your riding mates own specialized and gary fisher bikes and you try to throw your Moto into the works and be comparable.

    It was not my intent to try to get Mike to chime in just for the sake of me winning an argument. In all honesty i figured if i threw his name in the title and post i would get more feedback. I think i was successful.

    I agree that in the end its all about the rider. Im sure i could ride circles around some of my riding buddies and their pretty fancy bikes with all their special geometry and technology.

    But... when your in the break room getting coffee in the morning and your buddy says, "what kind of bike are you gonna buy next?" And you tell them it will be the new Moto 29er full suspension for 2k and they look at you like your an idiot for spending 2k on a bike that supposedly doesn't have the same face value as theirs, its somewhat defeating.

    In the end i will stick to my moto and will most likely buy another and ride it forever as an example that Motos are at worst an above average bike bike company that can deliver to its customers for a reasonable price that riders can get their moneys worth.

    Another thought... seeing all the advancements in bike technology just over the past 10 years is somewhat overwhelming, but how much more can be done to a mountain bike that hasn't already been done before or that will be a complete scam just to get people to buy their bikes? This is another reason i like VD and the Motos. It seems they are not interested in "reinventing the wheel" or bike in this case, but rather delivering a product that is dependable, reliable and affordable, most commonly confused with heavy, ugly, and cheap.

    Once again, thanks for all the input.
    i love the smell of tri-flow in the morning......

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by klembasek
    but how much more can be done to a mountain bike that hasn't already been done before or that will be a complete scam just to get people to buy their bikes.


    FWIW , go ride some Maestro or DW link bikes , not around a parking lot , but on some 2000 ft accents and descents and you will see what can be done . You can buy performance .

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moto Rider
    The quality of their frames is seen time and time again. In the photos of the many happy customers and in their own. Look at the welds…nothing looks sloppy or seems to be done half ass.

    IMHO it doesn’t matter if Motobecane has an in house RD department or they farm out the design work. It makes no difference in the end…a happy customer…is a happy customer. Besides, no manufacturer is going to take a chance on the quality of the main component “the Frame” The investment and the possible losses would be enormous. Enough to ruin everything…would anyone want that?

    As for Mike answering questions…I don’t think he should answer every question asked by someone on the internet. He’s a president of a company and not some shoe sine boy. It a free market…so, one always has a choice. Buy it or not…it’s your money however, their products speak for them selves and we are all here in this forum because of it.

    As for what I feel sets them apart from every other player besides price. I would say…a customer purchasing a Motobecane bicycle is not only getting a low price…they are getting an awesome bike with a quality frame that has some of the best components on the market being offered to-date for that low price…that’s what set’s them apart.

    Now the next question would be…how can they offer a bike of that quality for that low price. The answer is so simple it’s gotta be common knowledge by now. You see it every time you logon the net and go the BD’s website. The first thing you notice…no middle man. Then what must come to mind…low overhead and high volume.

    I don’t know…you owned Motobecane for two years and never had a problem. Nuff Said!

    Now someone will probably suggest that I work for them or something to that affect…truth is…I don’t have an inside track on what’s up with them. I guess I’m just able to cross reference available information and come to a logical conclusion.



    I have a Fantom 29er and all my welds do not look like that. Just saying...

  17. #17
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    The top bike in the pics is titanium, is your fantom 29er ti? Aluminum welds will not look like that first pic. The second bike is pretty representative of the welds on my fantom 29er and the other 3 fantom 29ers my friends have. These bikes are just as nice as my Pivot Mach 429 in regards to welding. No I am not a shill, just a happy owner, plus I do have the big dollar bike to compare to.

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    Pretty funny how the selling point are the welds.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by junktrunk
    Pretty funny how the selling point are the welds.
    As opposed to using decals as a selling point...lol

    At the end of the day most bikes are two triangles welded together...Is it durable? does it ride well? comfortable? If yes then its the right bike.

    I can appreciate the R&D argument when it comes to FS. But with HT I will put up my catalog 29er against any big player out there...No moto for me, I ride a Sette.

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    Just two triangles welded together? Maybe for straight-guage boat anchors, or superheavy frames, like Motobecanes are widely reported to be. You're removing credit for the tubing profiling that is usually inside, where people can't see. It's called the butting process, and most tubing makers, like Reynolds and Easton have the basic processes on their sites, and they are not cheap, thus most all tubing being done in china and taiwan, even by Easton. Like paying the premium for easton? That's fine and good, but it's still from Taiwan.

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    My large razzo is around 3.3lbs. I would hardly call that heavy. It's actually one of the lightest Al 29 frames you can get I believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dictatorsaurus
    My large razzo is around 3.3lbs. I would hardly call that heavy. It's actually one of the lightest Al 29 frames you can get I believe.



    Not a Moto , has no merit in this conversation .

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    Quote Originally Posted by floydlippencott
    Not a Moto , has no merit in this conversation .
    It actually does. The point is it doesn't have to be in a magazine add and have a booth at your local races to realize there are good bikes out there to be had for low prices.

    I've owned a few bikes over the years and my next one is gonna be a $3000+ Giant. I still look for other options out there.

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    No, it doesn't, but that still doesn't have anything to do with it here.

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    28 lbs without the water bottle.

    Not weight weenie class by any means, but certainly not a "superheavy boat anchor"!




    Granted, the only original parts are the frame, fork, and skewers!
    "Fear not the ob-stackles in your path"

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    Is that a Razzo ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by floydlippencott
    Is that a Razzo ?

    Re-badged
    "Fear not the ob-stackles in your path"

  28. #28
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    28 lbs. does not seem to be an unreasonable weight for that bike , the Stan's wheels probably help keep it down a bit . Any idea on frame weight , maybe put the whole weight argument to rest ?

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    No idea...

    I'll be doing a full takedown this winter, so I'll try to remember to weigh it then.

    The picture lies a bit, I have Shimano 540 pedals, XT brakes with Ashima Airotors, and XTR shifters on there now.
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  30. #30
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    Nice build , is the SLX a double ? Look forward to the weigh in.

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    The SLX were a triple, replaced the 44t with a Gamut P20 bashguard.

    I tried keeping up with the +/- as I built, but I lost track along the way. I do know the stock bike was over 30lbs.
    "Fear not the ob-stackles in your path"

  32. #32
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    Even if moto frames turn out to be lighter or comparable to other frames people will still dig and try to fault them. I don't know the exact numbers but I remember seeing weigh ins for moto frames and I don't recall them being boat anchors by any means. Maybe some models are.

    Entry to mid level bikes from big names are not feather weights either.

    Just look into the Magicshine arguments...not perfect but bang for the bug no other lights can touch them.

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    I have yet to see weights posted on mtbr that aren't faked, or just way off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junktrunk
    I have yet to see weights posted on mtbr that aren't faked, or just way off.


    Most of the info I see posted on weights is pretty accurate , if it is not it gets called out pretty damn quick . My two cents .

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    You're relying on weights being called out to know if they're accurate or not? LIke there's a weight police here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by junktrunk
    You're relying on weights being called out to know if they're accurate or not? LIke there's a weight police here?



    There enough people on this site that know a thing or two about weights of components that it would be difficult if not impossible to fake or misrepresent actual weights . I am not relying on anyone "calling out" , I've been around long enough to know Bull ***** when I smell it .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adim_X
    The top bike in the pics is titanium, is your fantom 29er ti? Aluminum welds will not look like that first pic. The second bike is pretty representative of the welds on my fantom 29er and the other 3 fantom 29ers my friends have. These bikes are just as nice as my Pivot Mach 429 in regards to welding. No I am not a shill, just a happy owner, plus I do have the big dollar bike to compare to.
    Yeah, I was referring to the aluminum frame because I know there's different welding methods for different metals.

    So here is the stock Fantom 29er pictures:




    Here's mine





    The pictures are factual (somewhat - still looks a little different in person), so you can interpret this whatever way you want from this comparison.

    However, for my two cents, the welds on my bike look a little sloppy compared to the stock photo. I honestly don't care too much unless it compromises structural integrity because I'm assuming it's aesthetics (please correct me if I'm wrong)? but using stock photos to argue the welds are great is a weak argument.

    Yeah, I would be more happy if my bike looked just like the stock photo and I expected the bike to look a certain way if that's how it's presented.

    Just to clarify: I don't have anything against BD. They took care of me when I emailed them with issues.

  38. #38
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    While those welds are not the prettiest , I don't see anything that would point to them being prone to failure . I hear you about the appearance though .

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    You cannot tell the quality of a weld by looking at it. However it does say something about the pride of workmanship being put into the frame.

    The mid to high end Motos are all very nice frames. They use nice tube sets, and are made by Kinesis one of the best frame makers there is. The frames use dated designs and are not very fancy. This does not however make them inferior. It really doesn't take a rocket sceintist to make a hardtail frame, a few hundred yeas of R&D have pretty much sorted it out. The Moto hardtails will ride just as nice as any big brand, but they just won't look as fancy.

    I will say though that the Fantom full suspension frame is really in need of a makeover. It is a heavy and very dated design. I suppose it is best suited as a trail bike since it is too heavy for XC and not strong enough for all mountain. WIth the Fantom Team DS they do their best to slap weight weenie parts on it and call it a XC bike, but it just doesn't cut it.
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    The diamond bicycle frame has been around since about 1890 , aluminum construction in bike frames since the 1980's , a far cry from a "a few hundred years of R&D" . Does Moto use the same tube specs as Giant ? Same butting profile , wall thicknesses ? All the subtle differences that determine how well a HT will ride . No way to tell . So the mere inference that HT frames are the same is telling .

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    No, when they are excessively bad in appearance, then you can be certain they weren't done right, either not enough penetration, or burn through and cover up. That you can be guaranteed of.

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    junktrunk, you need to get a life. Quit being a troll. I'm another extremely satisfied BD customer... what are you? Someone who is mad and doesn't want to believe that I got a 28lb full suspension xc/trail bike with an excellent component set for less than $2k.

    I'm guessing the amount of R&D that Motobecane USA does is enough to get a good quality, durable and fun bike. There's no way they can compete with the engineering of top name brands but they primarily sell their bikes to people looking for the best price. Yeah, a $5k bike had damn well better be nicer than a $2k bike.

    And "bad looking" welds don't mean low strength. I've seen nice welds that sucked. And I've seen some pretty s****y welds on the Treks at my local shop. I work with metal for a living. Lets all just shut up about the welds already.

    So how bout dem Packers?

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