Review: 29er Hal Boost- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Smile Review: 29er Hal Boost

    This is the day I assembled it-
    Review: 29er Hal Boost-57882562_10217188352973085_1352242939585101824_n.jpg
    I rode it several times at trails close to me that I had ridden for years on my hardtail. I found myself going faster and further on the 29er even though it outweighs my other bike by 4 pounds. I attribute this to the full suspension with larger wheels allowing me to carry more speed on the downhills and thus make it further up the next uphill before slowing to first gear. I've only hit some small jumps so I can't comment on that aspect yet but it handles them better than my hardtail did.

    Review: 29er Hal Boost-60344281_10217334042175224_4521246380974407680_n.jpg
    I did a Stan's tubeless set up with MBP 40mm stems from amazon.
    Also picked up some RF Chester clones from amazon:
    Review: 29er Hal Boost-60475598_10217334042375229_8664329627499495424_n.jpg

    I swapped my bars, grips, & stem out with the hardtail's. The Evolve stem is 70mm down from the original 80mm. Handlebars are Nukeproof Carbon at 780mm with 25mm rise from the stock at 700mm.
    Review: 29er Hal Boost-60234230_10217334030414930_6712227091221315584_n.jpg

    grips are DMR Brendog Deathgrips:
    Review: 29er Hal Boost-60153303_10217334030174924_2630495077402673152_n.jpg

    I had to take apart every pivot point and apply assembly grease as they were all bone dry. This was the same for the headset/forks.
    Review: 29er Hal Boost-60577955_10217334029494907_5963973028671913984_n.jpg

    Here it is currently next to my old Trek:
    Review: 29er Hal Boost-60338569_10217334031254951_508919982097170432_n.jpg

    I'll submit an edited review when I get it to the ski slope/bike park this summer. I'm still tuning suspension and getting used to a full 'susser 29 but so far I love everything about it. I admit there are some technical sections where I could maneuver the 26 hardtail easily that I just couldn't get around on the 29 inch bike. I never knew what I was missing in a dropper seatpost but now that I'm getting used to having one- I'm amazed. My only complaint is the rear shock, but that's on me at 250lbs. I plan on swapping out to a Manitou McLeod next year. Lastly about geometry; I find it to be a competent trail bike so far that's only limited by the rider's (me) abilities-lol!

  2. #2
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    Looking forward to hearing your review once you get it fully trail tested. When I moved from a 26" to a modern bike the difference was night & day. In my case, it was from a 26" hardtail (with crap suspension) to a full suspension 27.5+ setup, complete with dropper. I was really taken aback by how the suspension absorbed all the chatter my body had been absorbing on the hardtail. Then when I moved to 29" wheels, although I felt only minor differences while riding, Strava was reporting PRs on nearly every segment of every ride--I suspect that if you were tracking metrics, you'd see a significant difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by metalskool View Post
    I had to take apart every pivot point and apply assembly grease as they were all bone dry. This was the same for the headset/forks.
    This really bums me out. There's just no excuse for that.

    I've got a set of those Fooker Chester-clone pedals on my FantomDS Sport--I transferred them over from my hardtail. Those things are great and have held up well for me over the years.

  3. #3
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    Review Update

    Update:
    I have been trying to hit my local trails every other day, weather permitting. I can go faster than my 26er hardtail friends on open flowing trails but when I get into tight, twisty, technical sections I fall behind. I think it's the taller frame of a full suspension bike and the 29 inch wheels that are the reason. I have some RockShox volume reducers on the way for the Monarch rear shock- I'm 250 lubs give or take a few. I find the shock good and I'm using all the travel but have yet to feel a hard bottom out on it. My hope is to install the reducers, lower the pressure, and regain some small bump suppleness/response. I really love this bike, it's been everything I hoped. As I get more accustomed to it, take bigger jumps, and push my rides harder; I'm rewarded with the bike complying with me. The only drawback I've felt so far is on steep climbs I sometimes find the front wheel very light if I'm not in the right position. When you drop the seat and point it downhill it is stable and predictable. On jumps it's not a poppy feeling bike but again- predictable and fun.

  4. #4
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    Are you running tubeless? When I switched my 29" wheels over to tubeless I immediately started popping them off the ground while climbing. My 27.5"+ tires didn't do that, but those are just naturally heavy.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forbin View Post
    Are you running tubeless? When I switched my 29" wheels over to tubeless I immediately started popping them off the ground while climbing. My 27.5"+ tires didn't do that, but those are just naturally heavy.
    Yep, tubeless with Stan's sealant.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalskool View Post
    Yep, tubeless with Stan's sealant.
    You'll get used to them then. It really does lighten the bike up (especially the front) more than you'd think.

  7. #7
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    After riding at my local trails and getting my stamina up enough to really start pushing the bike; I've replaced the front tire with a Maxxis Minion DHF 2.3x29. I noticed a huge difference in traction and have since ordered a matching DHR 2 rear. I'm also trying Orange Seal Endurance instead of Stan's on this rear tire when it arrives. This bike seems to take anything I throw at it and I'm very pleased with it.

  8. #8
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    Review Update 3

    I put on the DHR II EXO on the rear and went for a ride today.

    Review: 29er Hal Boost-64903628_10217628865945634_8135898210272018432_n.jpg

    It matches the DHF up front.

    Review: 29er Hal Boost-64654514_10217628865545624_63869135808888832_n.jpg

    I can't express how much of a difference these make here in the NorthEast in mud, roots, duff, and loam.

    Review: 29er Hal Boost-65281772_10217628863305568_5827597938599133184_n.jpg

    I'm hitting more jumps and staying off the brakes on downhills more often. I think I've arrived at the ideal set-up thus far for me. Now if this unseasonable rain will hold off for a while; I hope to hit the bike park this summer at the ski slopes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalskool View Post
    After riding at my local trails and getting my stamina up enough to really start pushing the bike; I've replaced the front tire with a Maxxis Minion DHF 2.3x29. I noticed a huge difference in traction and have since ordered a matching DHR 2 rear. I'm also trying Orange Seal Endurance instead of Stan's on this rear tire when it arrives. This bike seems to take anything I throw at it and I'm very pleased with it.

    I've been using Orange Seal Endurance for over a year now in my bike. I converted my girlfriend's Motobecane FantomDS Sport to tubeless and am using it there as well. It took a couple of rides to get it totally sealed, but it's been solid ever since.

    I know there are people who don't believe tubeless makes a difference, but it absolutely does if you ride in a hilly or mountainous area.
    Last edited by Forbin; 08-04-2019 at 04:33 PM.

  10. #10
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    From Wikipedia:

    "Kinesis Industry Co. Ltd. is a manufacturer of aluminum and carbon fiber bicycle frames, forks, and components. Based in Taiwan, it has a plant in Guangzhou, China, and an American subsidiary (Kinesis USA, Inc.) in Portland, Oregon that generates $5-$10 million in annual sales.[1] The company was founded in 1989 by former employees of Giant Bicycles, and was headed by Tom Jeng until 2011, when he left to form Jovial Bike Components.

    Kinesis manufactures and markets its own brand of frames, forks, complete bicycles and accessories[2] which are available only in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Israel, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom.[3]

    Brands also manufactured by Kinesis include Commencal, Diamondback Bicycles, Felt Bicycles, GT Bicycles, Haro, Ideal, Jamis, K2, Kona, Kross, Raleigh, Redline Bicycles, Santa Cruz Bicycles, Schwinn, Storck, Sunn, Titus Cycles, Torker, and Trek[4] as well as the brands marketed by the U.S. company Bikesdirect.com: Motobecane USA, Dawes USA, Cycles Mercier, Windsor America."

    *>>>> 07/08/19 Edit:

    I've been getting up to speed on some downhill sections here near my home that Strava app says top speeds are 30+mph. Also, hitting small jumps and getting my skills up. So far this bike works great.(with the new Maxxis Minions) This upcoming Sunday I'm going to the Ski slope/Bike park for the first time.
    Last edited by metalskool; 07-08-2019 at 03:41 PM.

  11. #11
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    Review Update 4

    I went to Greek Peak Mountain in central NY this past weekend. This was my first time at a full on downhill park. After getting off the chairlift we went down an intermediate trail for our first run. I quickly realized I was riding above my level after almost crashing on a big jump. I spent the rest of the day on green easy trails. Some of these followed alongside of some harder trails through the same wooded sections; I feel the ratings at this park may be off some. Back to the review- I had no problems or complaints with the bike other than brakes but that was my fault. I'm 250 lbs. and rode them pretty hard on some trails. More than once I could smell the hot pads at the bottom getting back on the chairlift. I have ordered TruckerCo sintered pads to replace the Shimano organic pads. The rear disc is discolored dark where the pads contact and it's blueish purple beyond that. If I weren't a Clydesdale I don't think this would have been an issue. I see why downhill bikes have 4 pot brakes with huge discs. The seat post has been a little sticky lately but works for the most part. The day before I went to the ski/bike park I took it to my LBS as I was having some trouble shifting from 4th to 5th to 6th (upshifting middle of cassette) but no problems downshifting to any larger cog. Turns out the hanger was bent slightly. I've never crashed or dropped the bike so I assume it shipped that way. I have no complaints about the forks- they are great. The rear shock isn't so great. When it's set up for my weight I feel like I lose some small bump suppleness. It may be fine for normal size rider. Overall I think if my skills were better the bike would handle anything you throw at it. Just not as well as a DownHill bike, but it's an enduro bike anyway.

    Here's some pics from the top:
    [final paragraph below]












    If there any Strava users out there, here is the link to that day minus our first 2 runs. (I forgot to turn it on at first) https://www.strava.com/activities/2532455601/overview
    BTW Strava says my max speed was 40.7mph. I think that the hubs pass the downhill test.

    I hope this review helps anyone looking to buy this bike.

    EDIT: I had a problem with the rear brake lever returning slowly. Here's a link to that post with the solution- https://forums.mtbr.com/brake-time/x...w-1105133.html
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    Last edited by metalskool; 07-20-2019 at 04:09 AM.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the review! It and several other posts on this site helped me to pull the trigger on a Motobecane bike as well.

    Ordered up a Carbon Fiber 2020 Motobecane HAL CF Boost 29er. It should be here later this week. I will post some pictures in here when it arrives and I get it all setup.

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    My Motobecane showed up. I got it un-boxed and built up. I did swap out some of the standard parts with upgraded bits (Stem, Handle bars, brakes, D-Post, Saddle). Very well built bike, impressed with the frame. I will hit some trails this weekend and give her a good break-in.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Review: 29er Hal Boost-58630761742__4a8c1124-83af-46c4-b437-1ab0c6a0e82c-1-.jpg  

    Review: 29er Hal Boost-fs-bike-1.jpg  

    Review: 29er Hal Boost-fs-bike-1.jpg  

    Last edited by chifanpoe; 07-31-2019 at 06:48 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chifanpoe View Post
    My Motobecane showed up. I got it un-boxed and built up. I did swap out some non-standard parts. Very well built bike, impressed with the frame. I will hit some trails this weekend and give her a good break-in.
    Review: 29er Hal Boost-fs-bike-1.jpg
    Congrats! Awesome bike- enjoy!

  15. #15
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    Im thinking of ordering the same bike. Curious why you decided to swap the brakes and dropper? What did you replace them with? I had a couple more questions:
    - Did you also replace the rear shock?
    - Did you find the sizing guide was accurate? Im 5 8 so Im looking at the 41cm size. Any experience, tips and advice on the purchase would be appreciated.
    Last edited by palmermtb; 08-16-2019 at 03:28 PM. Reason: Additional question

  16. #16
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    Review Update 5

    I have ridden this bike all summer and absolutely love it. Granted I changed a few things in the cockpit to suit me but it's been great.
    I had an issue with the dropper sticking which one day caused me to go OTB while pulling up the seat one handed. After disassembling the dropper post, cleaning, & relubing; it works perfectly. There are 3 plastic & 3 brass guide bushings. One of the plastic had a burr/deformity. I shaved it off and all is well.
    After the day at the downhill park my rear brakes were thin so I ordered some TruckerCo semi-met sintered units for front & rear and installed them. The rear rotor was scorched so I lightly sanded it off with a 150 grit sanding block.



    Here's the new pads on the front:
    (better view angle than rears)



    As I stated in a previous review update I changed the bars, stem, & grips. I also installed a new Ztto dropper remote from Amazon which is a Chinese clone of the Wolf Tooth unit. I also installed a Jagwire dropper post cable that is a slightly smaller diameter cable than the standard shift cables used at 1.1mm. The combo works great for me and I have the cable barrel end attached to the dropper post and the free cut end at the remote which gives me easier cable tightening adjustment.



    I've let anyone who's interested ride this bike and almost everyone comments on how comfy the stock seat is. After swapping the 2.2 Rekons for 2.3 Minions the bike corners more predictably as well as tracking better.
    There may be more upgrades in the future so I'll keep you all posted. Thanks for reading and commenting!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Review: 29er Hal Boost-68691974_10218121241854724_4410529696110870528_o.jpg  

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  17. #17
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    I've got a RaceFace dropper lever like that (exact same style). I put the stock lever I replaced on my girlfriend's Motobecane since the dropper I got her didn't come with one.

    Those thumb levers make a world of difference IMHO. I live in the mountains and I'm using the dropper constantly while I ride. The stock switch is better than nothing, but if you do anything more than light XC, a real thumb-switch is worth investing in.

  18. #18
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    Review 6 upcoming: I've ordered Avid G3 CleanSweep 203mm rotors I found on Amazon for $18.99 a pair! There are a few more things coming as well as new wheels! Stay tuned...


    *edit: New wheels completed and in transit for delivery. Pics to follow!
    Last edited by metalskool; 1 Week Ago at 04:05 AM.

  19. #19
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    I've installed new 203mm Avid rotors (with new brake adapters/spacers) and new wheels.



    I've swapped out the 2.3 Maxxis Minions (tubeless with Orange Endurance) over to the new wheels which are Hope Pro4 hubs on Race Face Arc offset 30mm rims. The rear wheel was built with slightly larger gauge spokes than the front for added strength. Both wheels have 8 white spokes contrasting the black spokes.





    I think I've arrived at the perfect combination for me. This will likely be the last review update. The only thing I foresee changing would be the dropper post in favor of a stronger returning unit.

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  20. #20
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    I bought a HAL 6 LTD Team at the end of August despite a lot of negative talk and have to say, I absoultely love it. I only have a hundred miles on it so far, getting back in shape/recovering from back injury and getting fat but it rides like a dream. I came off a very high end full suspension bike about 12 years ago, it now sits in my "museum". Theonly plans so far are bars and stem to help low back, I got a pair of 29 DT Swiss wheels to run in summer instead of 27s. I will post a pic when I get a chance, cant believ people bag on these bikes and very glad I ignored them. Thanks for the review.

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