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View Poll Results: Would you buy a Motobecane MTB over a similar Specialized/Giant/Kona

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  • for 100 dollars savings

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  • for >=200 dollars savings

    1 33.33%
  • Even if not significantly cheaper

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  • Never, not a chance

    2 66.67%
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  1. #1
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    Motobecane Bikes: Owner opinions

    I've done a days worth of research on motobecane bikes, but what I've found mostly opinions of non-owners or bike snobs or a bunch of ebayers who are just extatic to get a non-huffy. So I'm pleading for good information here. I've searched the forums here and I'll try to consolidate the info in here...

    Please contribute to this thread if you are an owner/have looked at one in person/riden one/etc.

    Brand History from what I've gathered:

    Motobecane was a very respectable French brand which sold out a few years ago. Now the name is owned by the people who run bikesdirect.com. The bikes are Made in Taiwan and China and theres a lot of people saying that they use the same frames as Giant/Specialized/whoever.

    I'm not so much interested in the brand of the past, and how good their mopeds/road bikes were/are still after X years. I want a cheapish MTB bike with good components and a solid frame, without paying for a brand name. They're a bunch of these bikes going on ebay with excellent specs so I want your opinions. But again. Please do not threadcrap without first hand knowledge or at least without giving good reason.

  2. #2
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    Here's some of the bike's I've found on fleabay...

    500DS

    500HT

    700DS

    600HT

    300HT

    400DS

    700HT

  3. #3
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    Some Opinions from the wibbly wibbly web...

    "Some dude at the bike shop I went to today in Dallas says it is the same frame as Specialized and comes from the same factory. Though he said it was a French Bike company. Says it is the identical parts etc. if not better because some parts are higher grade than Specialize uses on their lower lines. Who knows, he was a saleman. I didn't like the feeling of the rear shock, but I haven't owned a full suspension bike, just tried a few. It felt too stiff, maybe it could be adjusted."
    -here


    One guy rated 4/5 on mtbr.com:
    "If you are looking for a downhill bike or a hardcore professional race bike, this is not for you. However for getting around town, riding to school, And hitting the trails for a few hours on the weekend this would be a great bike for the money. Some of the components can be upgraded as they wear out to make the bike even better."
    Some other idiot, whose opinion I do not value, gave it 1/5 citing its Frenchness and mechanical problems:
    "this bike never worked right from the day i bought it. every time i took it out for a ride i would have to spend hours on end fixing it. i must say in its defense when it worked it wasnt that bad. it is french after all so you cant expect too much. but the bottom line is, it is too high maintnence to be any fun. oh and i am being nice with the two flaming chillies because this bike is very flaming."
    -here

    More reviews of Motobecane bikes can be found on mtbr.com

    The 600DS and the 500DS look very similar, what could be the differences in the frame? Is there even a chance of one of these DS models being worth a crap, or should I just stick with HTs (thats my gut reaction).

  4. #4
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    The 700DS has three very positive ratings, albeit from novice riders on mtbr.com:

    "This is a great entry level FS ride. Beginners will not outgrow it's capabilities too quickly and Weekend Warriors can ride it forever. You can find better FS bikes out there, but for price (under $1000US) you can't go wrong with this one."

    "I'm sure i could have found a better bike out there but it would have cost me twice as much. This bike will take anything the weekend warrior is going to throw at it. If your intersted check Ebay."

    "i could bought a great front suspension bike or a not so bad full suspension bike for the same price, i'm glad i bought this one for my first full suspension bike. and yes my next bike would be a good full suspension, non starter bike."

    "Great workmanship, durable and rugged. This bike is a pleasure to ride and I put it through some serious riding trails like down hill boulder and root covered single track trails and it begs for more! The ergonomics are great and it absorbs the trashing, the disc breaks stop on a dime. What could one expect from a company thats been building bikes for over one century."
    -Here

    (I especially like that last one, being as they're a new American company with no ties to the original... ...at least according to the Wikkifidlers

  5. #5
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    After seeing the welds on a recent Motobecane road bike, and the horrible drivetrain issues (bad chainline, bad derailleur/cassette combo), no grease in the headset, and wheels I all but needed to rebuild, I would really hesitate to buy one. Sure, it was low end, but the quality was really poor even for a low end bike.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  6. #6
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    thanks for the info. Any info on their Mountain bikes?

  7. #7
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    ok here put the bike in this box [_].... then RUN AWAY....

  8. #8
    RIDING CLEAN! Veloduo's Avatar
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    Have ridden three high-end aluminum/carbon "Motobecane," or as we refer to them around here, "Taiwanbecane," road bikes. Let me say this: pretty impressive. Frames are solidly made and well-finished. Way better equipped than nearly any comparably priced bike, even Asian-made ones. You have to carefully examine the assemblyof ANY bike that comes largely pre-assembled, and these were no different, although problems, such as they were, were limited to overlong or not-ideally-routed brake and derailleur cables, derailleur adjustment, headset adjustment, etc. Nothing terminal, or even critical, but things to be aware of and check. Hate to tell some of y'all, but you need to scrutinize the same sorts of things on "name brands" from your local factory Trek or Specialized dealer, too. Bikes all rode quite nicely, and when tweaked properly, performed at least as well as similarly equipped aforementioned brands. I'm no apologist for sight-unseen purchases or internet predators, but if you've got an experienced eye and a desire to save a few hundred skins, these machines look to be worth a go...Ended up buying a full-Ultegra triple Century Pro, carbon fork and seat stays, very decent Shimano wheels, Ritchey bars, stem, post, etc., for about half of what I'd pay for a similarly equipped flagship brand. Price a new Ultegra gruppo -- it's like they threw in a free frameset. Had the bike for months now, no problems, love the ride, convinced I made a shrewd choice.

  9. #9
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    their bikes looks good on paper or site but not many stores carry them so i have never gotten the chance to ride one, so no way i am gona buy it on the internet because i cant try it one.

  10. #10
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    Hello everyone!

    Did any of you get a change to ride a motobecane bike? does it worth his price?

    about the company, be careful because according to wikipedia, there are two companies, one is French and it exists for very long time, and one is American (Motobecane USA):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motobecane
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motobecane_USA


    Does anyone know if there is any store in NY where you can try motobecane bikes?

    Maybe you can help: I'm looking for a "full suspension" bike with at least 24 speed (27 would be awesome) from shimano, with a very strong frame. I had a cheap full-suspended bike when I was younger (6 years ago), and although that I was pretty light I've bent the frame around the hole for the saddle's stem, and the stem of the saddle itself!

    not only, I also broke the pedals of this bike! ...only because I was jumping on my two feet on the pedals...

    now i'm heavier and I want to be able to do anything with my bike whiteout to stress about broking it!

    Do you have any suggestion for me? my budget is "only" $500 delivered max for a full-suspended bike.

    I don't think that i'm ready to regress to a front-suspended only bike , even if i'll get better components for the price.

    thank you a lot for sharing information

  11. #11
    ed
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    Quote Originally Posted by koluo View Post
    Do you have any suggestion for me? my budget is "only" $500 delivered max for a full-suspended bike.

    I don't think that i'm ready to regress to a front-suspended only bike
    Oh, the hype.

    Doug, see what you're doing to people?

  12. #12
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    I could not be happier with my moto fantom trail. Better parts, less money than anything I compared. Same overseas made frame as everyone else, different name on stickers placed on downtube.

  13. #13
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    FWIW...as a member of two mt. bike groups here in N. Cal., I have never seen a Moto brand bike on the trail. Not saying they don't make a decent bike, but gotta believe it may be a crap shoot with regards to making sure you get the correct size and probably a pain in the rear with regards to any warranty issues..forget the 30/90 day free tunes a local shop would include.
    A few years back I was shopping for a road bike..tried to call BD, but they don't have a damn phone. Emailed my question about size and 3-4 days later I get a message from them that says to test ride a certain model of Trek at my local shop and then place an order with us...pretty frikken cheesy company in my opinion.

  14. #14
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    I have a Motobecane road and Fantom Trail bike. The road bike has held up really well for 4k miles (i'm not a light guy ~250lbs) and no problems. The fantom trail has worked out well too although I have only had it for a few weeks, but the shocks are good, the shifters are decent and riding single tracks with it is fun. Dumped it a few times and I have found no issues with it. I am lucky to live in a town with a Cycle Spectrum which stocks Motos so I was able to test ride the fantom before buying.


    Just because people buy big name brands doesn't mean that they are the only options.

  15. #15
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    Doug, see what you're doing to people?
    Hey, who started the slippery slope of all this gearless / suspensionless regression trend? The peeps want boing!

  16. #16
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    Uh, isn't a 4 year old thread about done?

  17. #17
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    koluo revived it to see if people had follow-up feedback after having owned one. It's legit - - if 'dredge-y'

  18. #18
    ed
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    Yah...I was gonna lock-down, but decided to pick on D instead.

  19. #19
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    Oh, ok. lol. Whatever works. This is from back in the day when I had my first Trek.

  20. #20
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    Thank you soo much for all your replies!

    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    Oh, the hype.

    Doug, see what you're doing to people?
    I'm sorry if I misspoke, but I was speaking for myself only and my riding style, which is a personal taste. I do know that a lot of people prefer other kind of bike!

    Quote Originally Posted by HeyitsDave View Post
    I could not be happier with my moto fantom trail. Better parts, less money than anything I compared. Same overseas made frame as everyone else, different name on stickers placed on downtube.
    Wow thanks for sharing, you make me want to order a motobecane bike right away!

    Quote Originally Posted by jimx200 View Post
    FWIW...as a member of two mt. bike groups here in N. Cal., I have never seen a Moto brand bike on the trail. Not saying they don't make a decent bike, but gotta believe it may be a crap shoot with regards to making sure you get the correct size and probably a pain in the rear with regards to any warranty issues..forget the 30/90 day free tunes a local shop would include.
    A few years back I was shopping for a road bike..tried to call BD, but they don't have a damn phone. Emailed my question about size and 3-4 days later I get a message from them that says to test ride a certain model of Trek at my local shop and then place an order with us...pretty frikken cheesy company in my opinion.
    Thanks for you answer! You told me what I wanted to know: the bikes themselves!

    You are right about the fact that sometime it's really annoying to not have the ability to test the bike before buying, or to have a decent warranty and a local store support, but hey, if they'd have all that then the price of their bike would be the same as other brand!

    so I guess it's a choice.. if you're ready to deal with your new bike's problems by yourself then why pay more? go for the "ebay generation" company that motobecane usa is!

    Quote Originally Posted by bigm141414 View Post
    I have a Motobecane road and Fantom Trail bike. The road bike has held up really well for 4k miles (i'm not a light guy ~250lbs) and no problems. The fantom trail has worked out well too although I have only had it for a few weeks, but the shocks are good, the shifters are decent and riding single tracks with it is fun. Dumped it a few times and I have found no issues with it. I am lucky to live in a town with a Cycle Spectrum which stocks Motos so I was able to test ride the fantom before buying.


    Just because people buy big name brands doesn't mean that they are the only options.
    Ok i'm done, i'm ordering right now!!!!!!!


    where is my credit card..

  21. #21
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    always the same flamewar when moto is brought up...

    my experience: 5 years owner of fantom comp bought in jacksonville florida in a bikesdirect shop, heavy usage, training, competing and commuting (inc. hauling my 2year old around in a trailer every day) all year round in Icelandic weather. The ususal wear and tear, replaced cassete, chainrings, rear brake and the headset. The rear wheel gave up this spring (vuelta xrp vision), broken spokes. Nothing bad about the frame, because the bike was cheap I do not spare it when it comes to jumps and downhill, it takes all the beating I can throw at it....

    I'm saving up for the titanium moto, would never spend my money elsewhere... where else can you get XTR/SID 20lbs bike for $2000??

  22. #22
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    Motobecase Cafe Express 8 - Nice Bike not sure I would so again.

    So I went round and round regarding purchasing a Motobecane from Bikes Direct. I understand the attraction to LBS's and have not had any problems 10 times over the past 20 years with Trek, Specialized, Giant, JAMIS, and over all had great luck esp with service on TREKs.

    This bike though (Cafe Express 8) seemed fairly unique and I was bent on getting the Nexus 8 hub and just could not find one locally, and those I did find had this weird style to them like glorified beach bikes. the cafe Express 8 from Bikes direct
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e_express8.htm
    has a nice hybrid style similar to the Trex FX 7.x which i rather like esp for light trails , rail beds etc. (my road bike does NOT do well on these and it beats up the bike )

    I am supplying this info b/c it just did not seem to exist as I did MY research. So the order process was easy, the bike was $449 shipped and it came in three days ! wow! i really did not know what to expect - as I pulled it out of the box i was instantly and pleasantly surprised with the frame, wheel quality and even the brakes. I knew the HUB would be nice as I have seem those and it seemed right on. what I instantly did not like was the pedals and seat and seat post which looked more like Walmart quality than the rest of the bike.

    As it turns out the cranks suck too. In fact- in the FIRST time in my life I stripped the threads on the left pedal AND the crank with almost no effort- as it seems to catch and half way on it just locked on me. I managed to get it off. prior to that i took it for a little ride and it shifted nice and over all the bike had a great feel to very much like my wife's FX 7.3 maybe a touch nicer (and this with no tuning or anything yet).

    SO, this is late Friday, after 'hours' on the Bikes Direct site. i wrote my email - Its mid Monday no response yet. they state explicitly pedals and cranks and NOT covered in the idiotic 'could be any bike' instructions. BTW, Nothing about the hub in the instructions.

    Meanwhile Saturday I lost patience and took it to my local Performance shop who will retap the crank, replace the crap pedals and in general tune the bike (the rear wheel terribly out of balance and brakes squeaking loudly). So riding the bike the first weekend- lost. already not worth what I saved) Plus add the prices of the new parts, labor and frustration the bike cost just went up $100 IF they can salvage the crank, which i think is made of butter, def the worst I have ever owned.

    So... they say this bike is 1/2 its retail value of $1000 but there is NO way this bike is worth that. my feeling is that the frame is ok (better than i thought), the gears and wheels nice but they definitely saved costs by putting what looks to be be bargain basement parts on the smaller parts (which DO add up. ) and I suspect sooner than later I'll have to replace.

    For example a Trek SOHO is $1050 (?) but has disks, nice seat, and over all looks much better plus you would get it built up and MY trek shop does lifetime service for free (Cycling Spoken Here, Cary NC) plus I would bet you can get 100-150 off that retail price so if you brought this cafe express up to bike shop standard with better parts , had it built, this 450 would jump up and least 2-300 bucks so my guessing is these bikes are a bargain, but not an amazing bargain. instead of 50% LBS price I would say when you are all said and done maybe 15-20% less and you get a no name with no one to really call for issues. or warranty issues.

    Fortunately this is just a weekend knock-around for the gravel park paths so it should be fine. and it will be a community family bike as there are three of us about the same size. my wife suggested to me to get a Trek just like hers, but I I only did this for the Nexus 8 HUB which I guess is ok who knows? the bike is in the shop till wednesday.

    So would I do it again? based on this experience probably not but I assume eventually i'll get this straightened out and have a nice sold reliable and maintainable bike to cruise around on. i was thinking (earlier) of upgrading my Dura Ace road bike with one of their suped up carbon frames that seem really cheap but i am not going to mess with the bike nor likely will I use Bikes Direct again, especially for a nice bike that is already working perfectly . for a beater bikes it fine but I am guessing a reputable brand Craigslist bike thats 1-2 years old would be a far better bargain as it was prob put together properly in the first place.

    So many people on this forum say its a bad idea i wanted to prove them wrong. Maybe if Bikes Direct ever responds to me positively - this may improve the over all experience and I will update this long write up.

  23. #23
    Riding Heaven's Highways: In Memoriam justfitme's Avatar
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    Motobecanes in the family

    During last 8 years we purchased 6 bikes from BikeDirect. Actually not a website but the store - we live in Jacksonville where we have actual store.
    3 of these 6 are Motobecanes - MTB Fly XC, TT Nemesis and Cafe Express8.
    I did not have any issues or problems with them at all.

    Fly XC was heavily used as cross country bike and was abused very actively. I do not think you can find anywhere esle for a 1000 dollars something with SID, XT and 25lbs .
    Or TT bike with full Ultegra and great geometry for $900.
    Besided, after 2 years of usage Cafe express and Nemesis were sold for a very close number I purchased them.

    3 other bikes are Fuji's - 2 of them (Roubaix Pro) almost 8 years old, have thousands miles on them and evrything still original.

  24. #24
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    ^^Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to weigh in on a SIX-YEAR-OLD THREAD.

    Sheesh .

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    ^^Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to weigh in on a SIX-YEAR-OLD THREAD.

    Sheesh .
    Not the end of the world. A friend of mine is going through this exact research and will appreciate all the feedback.

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