Weaknesses: Geometry could be tweaked a tad bit for fit but that's all the negative I can think of.
I love this bike. Why pay twice as much and sometimes three times as much for the same butting, lightweight, stiffness, durability, speed? This is a quality bike. It looks great. It handles great. It's light, it's stiff, it's fast. It's comfortable for all day riding!!! What a value. I"m thinking of getting another one as a spare.
Date Reviewed: March 24, 2013
Strengths: Value, weight, material, finish
Weaknesses: Factory Seat
This is a very nice bike for the price, the parts alone make it worth buying. Then throw in a TI frame and it's hard to go wrong. I did replace the factory seat and changed out to Carbon Fiber pedals. This is my first road bike and I'm very pleased.
New Motobecane Owner
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: August 22, 2012
Weaknesses: See review...
Ok... since at least half (alright, most) of the reviews on this site seem to focus on the overall package (and let's face it... Dura Ace is Dura Ace regardless of what it's hanging on) I thought it would be beneficial to write a comprehensive review primarily about the frame since a lot of people are somewhat dubious when it come to Motobecanes (I certainly was).
So here goes...
Overall quality... Motobecane and their Asian manufacturer (Ora, I believe) have done a very nice job with this frame. Unlike the Asian ti frames of the old days it doesn't scream "I'm not made is the U.S.!" like they used to. The welds are very clean (not buttery smooth like a custom ti builder where they melt into the frame tubes) but certainly a 9 out of 10. The scotchbrite finish is consistent throughout and my frame was perfectly aligned out of the box (yes... I have frame gauge). Nice touches like welded bottle bosses (instead of inserts) and machined, relieved dropouts give the frame a genuinely "high-end" look. No problems with design or QC at all.
Geometry / Fit ... Semi-compact, slightly sloping is how it is described (and it is) so it’s best to size it by top tube length since stand over is not really an issue. I needed a 55 cm top tube (exactly what the 53 cm Motobecane had) so that's what I got. I was also looking for something with a slightly more upright position than my current Specialized and in theory the 150 cm head tube on the Motobecane (1 cm taller than my frame) should have fit the bill perfectly. The Bikes Direct site says that the frames have "higher head tubes for a more upright position" but you really have to check what you are currently riding. The 53 cm was only “barely” higher than my (very aggressively sized) S-Works, which worked for me but if you were coming from a road bike with a decidedly less performance oriented geometry than a race bike, you would probably be getting a less upright position with the Motobecane. Not to worry however, as the fork steerer tube is cut quite long and can still accommodate a reasonably upright position should you need or want it. After cutting off about an inch I was ready to go. Just make sure you know what you have before you buy.
Ride Quality / Handling… On the road, I felt immediately at home on this frame. It has very predictable handling and is very well mannered. If you choose to push it into a hard corner it sticks consistently. It doesn’t require a lot of rider input to get it to go where you want and responds well without being overly “twitchy.” The frame makes good use of the qualities of titanium without sacrificing too much (see “Stiffness” below) as it’s much more lively than carbon while yielding a very nice overall road feel.
Stiffness (Ok, the big question, right?!)… Depending on what your frame of reference is (along with your weight, riding style, etc...) you may find this bike a bit less stiff than you are used to. Relative to a Specialized S-Works E5 (my last bike) the Motobecane definitely has a bit more give to it (I'm only 5'9" and 145 lbs but a strong sprinter). However, it’s certainly stiffer than older round tubed ti frames that I’ve owned. It is ti, so part of the reason you are probably buying it is for the comfort... which comes at the price of stiffness regardless of what hype you read. I can still make the chain rub on a good uphill sprint but the frame is not "whippy" by any stretch of the imagination. In my opinion, anyone other than a colossus or an Olympian should find this to be a solid yet comfortable riding frame unless you want to go out and race crits on it.
Bottom Line… Overall, I can’t say enough good things about the bike. Certainly you will make some small changes (your favorite saddle or bars, etc…) but I can’t imagine doing any better for the money… five shiny stars out of five. Hope this was helpful!
Similar Products Used: Specialized E5 S-Works, Merlin Titanium
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: March 28, 2012
Strengths: Titanium frame, full Duraace 7900 components and Mavic krysiumelite wheels. Nice looking too. And of-course price $2700.00
Weaknesses: None so far
I love this bike. Has a nicely built titanium frame with great welds. Duraace 7900 components and Mavic krysium elite wheels. Recently changed cog to an 11/21 from an 11/28 originally provided but I live in south florida. Will also change the small chainring to a 42 t from a 39 t. These changes are only because of how flat it is here and would like to have more usable gear selection. The large chainring is a53 t and that one stays. Those of you considering a great buy look at this bike. No flex either as some people may say. Motobecanes are a sensible buy I can't understand why some people pay twice or triple for a similar bike.
Bike Setup: Full duraace 7900 components, Mavic krysium elite wheels, Diamante rubino pro tires. Titanium frame
Date Reviewed: December 31, 2011
Strengths: Smooth ride, light weight, good components, value
Weaknesses: None yet, but for someone who does not ride race bikes often, i can only compare to my touring bike.
Although I'm primarily a commuter I purchased a Motobecane Ti as a faster ride than my daily commuter (which is steel touring bike). The bike has SRAM Rival components and the welds look good. I ve only ridden it a few times, but it handles great, better than expected and is comfortable. It was also one of the few non custom bikes that had my unique geometry requirements.This is the second bike from BD that I've purchased, and both are well built.