Unbranded Steel 29er- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Unbranded Steel 29er

    I picked up an unbranded Motobecane steel frame from bikeisland.com: http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ls&ProdID=1620

    I wanted a HT 29er to complete the TD next year and to test out at TNGA this year.

    www.tourdivide.org
    http://www.firstworks.com/tnga/

    I chose the frame for two reasons. I have a Fantom Team fully that has been absolutely awesome! I've pounded that bike for 3 years and it hasn't made a peep of an objection. That gave me confidence in the brand. The other reason is the price on that steel frame.... can't beat it.

    I had reservations about the fork but after some reading ... they seemed durable and according to other users, on par with RS Reba... some say better.

    I have built it up with some parts taken from the Fantom and some new purchases. I had a local shop build up the wheels with Stan's Arch rims.

    I haven't done much hardtail riding in the past 3 years so my line choice and riding style still need to come around - BUT - this bike is awesome!

    I've gotten about 70-miles on it so far and it rides great. The head tube is steep enough that the 100mm fork feels quick - not sluggish at all in the steering. The frame, of course, is very compliant. Precise too. The combo of the stiff fork and HT frame make it go exactly where you point it. The fork is more stiff than my 26" Reba on the Fanotm - fore/aft stiffness is very noticable under braking load. No final comment on lateral stiffness of the RST - but like I said, it goes exactly where you point it.

    The penalty for the stiffness? Weight. The fork is about 4.5 lbs. The crown is substantial, there are V-brake bosses and the arch is very beefy.

    I purchased the 21" frame because I'm 6'4" - but I'm thinking I could go with a 23" frame. Sounds huge - even to me... but we'll see how it fits when everything is fine tuned. I have long legs and a short torso - 35" inseam.

    Just wanted to share that there is another option beside Alum and Ti in the Moto lineup.

    Rob
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Unbranded Steel 29er-img_5262%5B1%5D.jpg  


  2. #2
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    I wonder if it would be possible to buy the frame only. What does unbranded Moto frame mean? It's a Moto, but they don't slap their logo on it?

    I don't see any geometry numbers for this frame. Are the identical to the Fantom Pro? 4.6 pounds isn't a feather weight, but for a steel frame that's not too bad. I'd be interested in hearing more after you've done some longer rides on this bike.

  3. #3
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    yes, it's a moto, but no stickers. came in a motobecane box from texas like all their bikes.

    if you seach the 29er forum here on mtbr you'll see others whom have been riding the frame and fork. all with good things to say.

    i took a wild-shot in getting the bike... no geometry on the site. i don't know if it's the same as any other moto or not... but from what i can seem to gather it is just about exactly the same frame as KHS's Tuscon - it may actually be the same frame for all i know. i guess i could take measurements and compare to the Tuscon....

    i don't know if you can get the frame without the fork.... contact BD/BikeIsland to see.

  4. #4
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    So far I love my aluminum Fantom Pro frame. It's taken a hard pounding the last couple months and performed pretty well, so I'm guessing a steel frame might be a little more compliant in the rocky stuff.

    I'd be curious to compare frame weights. Bikes Direct doesn't list the weight of their aluminum 29er frames and I haven't found anything online that lists their weight. If I could build up a steel geared 29er under 25 pounds without breaking the bank I'd be satisfied.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  5. #5
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    Actually you can pick up the frame alone (as a Motobecane Fantom 29er, not unbranded) through bikeisland. I am working on building a bike for myself and have decided on the same frame/fork setup and I am ecstatic to hear such good reviews. I am 6'0" with a 31" inseam (more torso than leg) and I will be going with the 19" on this one. Seems like that is what has fit me best with Spec, Giant, Felt, Kona so figured the same would be good for this bike.

    Quick question trebor_strebor: did you not cut the steerer tube? Looks like it in your pic?

  6. #6
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    Nice bike...
    -_0
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    Like life…the trail is unpredictable...

  7. #7
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    Here is some more feedback.

    I LOVE THE RIDE!

    I just finished a 350 mile adventure across Georgia and had this bike loaded down with a bunch of bikepacking gear. It felt so good. Compliant and precise in the corners.

    The fork worked great too.

    Steel is so comfortable to ride - especially over that distance.

    gregnash- I did cut the steerer - but only about 3/4 of and inch. I needed to leave it long for my Fred Bars. I'm using this bike for the Tour Divide next year and that length is necessary to get my setup correct.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Unbranded Steel 29er-imag0104.jpg  


  8. #8
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    Sound's like an awesome trip and you did your bike up right.
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    Like life…the trail is unpredictable...

  9. #9
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    Sounds like you are really loving the bike. Would you mind posting your specs. I have a "Custom Build" thread going in the 29er forum and I am comparing items. I plan to pull the trigger on either this frame/fork or the Access XCL 9'r frame and RST M29 fork this weekend. Both end up about the same cost no matter what and both have had great reviews.

    I am 6'0" with a 31" inseam so I am thinking that the 19" will be perfect for me if you are 6'4" and the 21" feels perfect for you!

  10. #10
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    specs as of now:

    origin8 120 mm stem
    Salsa 11* sweep flat bar (soon to be 17*)
    race face 400mm seat post - could probably get away with a 350mm
    FSA carbon team with triple chain rings 22/34/44
    sram pg 990 11-32 cassette
    Stans Arch hoops laced to Circus Monkey hubs
    XTR shifters/der
    BB7 brakes with sd7 levers 185 f 160 r

    I don't know the weight. Maybe 25 pounds.

  11. #11
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    is the seatpost really 26.8mm or is it 27.2mm? Kinda hard to find a 26.8.

  12. #12
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    26.8

  13. #13
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    Interesting stuff. I'm considering a TD run in the next couple of years so I'm always interested to see gear choices. The TNGA looks like a good training ride too.

  14. #14
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    Steel is real baby! I'd be interested to see the weight, you should borrow a digital scale.
    "If that's your big problem of the day.....you have a great life. Enjoy it and ride your bike." ~The Mayor

  15. #15
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    FWIW - This is the same frame as a 2008 KHS Tucson.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris
    FWIW - This is the same frame as a 2008 KHS Tucson.
    Holy crap you're totally right. I test rode a Tucson for a couple days and it was a nice bike I almost bought it.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by inteq9
    Holy crap you're totally right. I test rode a Tucson for a couple days and it was a nice bike I almost bought it.


    fwiw, I didn't figure that out, I read it on another thread I ran across where several people had bought them and built them up. Somehow or another they figured it out.

    I would consider this frame, but it has a pretty tall stand over height for me in the 19" frame which has the correct ETT for me.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  18. #18
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    Frame Weight

    The site says 2100 grams where others state 2340 grams.

  19. #19
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    I still haven't weighed the bike....... sorry to those that are interested in those numbers.

    I did another long ride, Cross Florida Individual Time Trial, and again - the bike is superb for what I'm doing. Covered 175 miles in 15 hours 46 minutes and the bike didn't complain once.

    One shortcoming of the bike i've come across. No replaceable der hanger

    I managed to knock the hanger out-a-whack at the TNGA. I straightened it - a nice feature of a steel frame - but worry a little about it actually being broken off at some point. At least then I can grind it off and have a SS!

    Since this frame comes in a SS version with sliders.... that may be an option for those who may feel that no hanger is a downside. Of course sliders add to the frame weight....

  20. #20
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    My 19" frame weighed right ~5lbs -- respectable for sure considering the HT gusset and all. ETT is 24" on the dot too, for those counting; bb height was a hair over 12" too, with an unsagged 80mm Reba. Oh, and lotsa rear tire clearance. Great frame... probably should've kept it.

  21. #21
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    Hello, I am new to mtbr.com. I am currently in the process of putting together a 29er bike. I like your thread because I can see that I am probably going the right way on this build by choosing this frame and fork. Your build has given me new ideas on what to do on mine. I'll make a thread of my build process. I got some green velocity blunt wheels on ebay, and I will be using the rest of the parts on my current 26" mt. bike.

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