*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
If you’re new to mountain biking and need a great bike, check out this Motobecane mountain bike review to discover these bikes and find the one you need..
The history of Motobecane bicycles goes back to the roaring 20s when bicycles were in their heyday throughout Europe and America. This French bicycle manufacturer is still in business today, selling many bike styles, including mountain bikes. In this Motobecane mountain bike review, you will find out about their options and if they have a model that’s right for you.
WHAT IS A MOTOBECANE MOUNTAIN BIKE?
Bicycles haven’t changed much since John Kemp Starley had the idea to put a chain to connect the pedals to the back wheel in the late 1800s. This revolutionary idea set off a golden age for bicycles, and many new companies formed in Europe and the United States, including Motobecane in France.
As new styles of bicycles were developed, the company kept up with the trends and developed an excellent reputation for their mountain bikes. They have several mountain bikes models, which they now manufacture in Taiwan instead of their home country.
Motobecane mountain bikes, like most other companies mountain bikes, break down into two categories: hardtails or full suspension mountain bikes. A hardtail bike has a suspension fork, but it doesn’t have a rear shock. A full-suspension bike has a shock in front and the rear for comfort.
Hardtail bikes are also lighter, and Motobecane is well-known for their lightweight mountain bike frames. Lightweight bikes usually run faster, and the company has won several mountain bikes races due to their lighter frames. In fact, one bike model weighs less than 20 pounds.
They also have a third category of mountain bikes called fat bikes. These bikes are hardtail bikes with wider tires meant for riding in the winter. However, riders took to the bike because of its traction due to the wider tires, and every bicycle manufacturer has their versions of this bicycle.
In the hardtail’s category, Motobecane has several models that are listed by tire size or type. They have the:
- Pro Level 26ers – These bikes have 26-inch tires with titanium or aluminum frames, Rockshox forks, and either hydraulic or disc brakes. Many of these bikes weigh less than 20 pounds.
- Pro Level 29ers – The models in this category have 29-inch tires, butted titanium or aluminum frames, Rockshox forks, SRAM components, and disc or hydraulic brakes. Some of these bikes, like the Fantom 29 Elite, have 30 speeds.
- Fat Bikes – The fat tires on these bikes make them easy to distinguish because the tires can be 4.8-inches wide, like those on the Sturgis NX Eagle Bullet. They have hydroformed aluminum or 4130 Chromoly steel frames with RockShox Bluto forks, and disc brakes.
- General Trail Hardtails – These bikes have heavier aluminum frames, some of which are a little over 28-lbs. with disc brakes. They are not speedy, so they are more suitable for general trail riding by casual riders.
In their full-suspension bicycles, they have bikes with full carbon or aluminum frames, like the 350 DS Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike. The rear shock is adjustable, and it also has disc brakes, and a Speed V Sport saddle.
Motobecane was ahead of the curve when they began using Japanese parts on their bikes before almost every other company. Many of their models use Shimano parts like shifters, derailleurs, and cassettes. Another brand of components that they use on various models is Tektro.
SRAM, which is an American company based in Chicago, components are found on several of Motobecane bikes. They use SRAM:
- Brake Levers
LIGHTWEIGHT MOUNTAIN BIKES
Mountain bikes that go off-road can take some punishment because most riders never know what they are going to encounter when they try a new trail. They may need to ride over tree roots, rocks, small logs, and other obstacles in the way.
Many mountain bikes have sturdy frames to help withstand the impact of what is on the trail, which can add to a rider’s fatigue. However, riders who have a Motobecane bike are less likely to feel fatigued because the company makes very lightweight frames.
Some of the hardtail models have bikes that weigh less than 20 pounds, the full-suspension mode
ls often weigh less than 22 pounds, but the general hardtail bikes may weigh up to 28 pounds or so. Since they build racing bikes, you may pay a higher amount for lightweight frames.
MOUNTAIN BIKE SIZES
The sizes for the Motobecane mountain bikes range from 13 to 23-inches for some 29-inch bikes to sizes 14 to 22-inches for some of the 26-inch bikes. The sizes are determined by the rider’s inseam when they stand over the bike. So, measure your inseam and try standing over bikes to find out what size gives you clearance at the crotch when you stand over the middle bar.
Motobecane offers a full one-year warranty on all their bicycles, plus there are bonus warranties with the length determined by the material of the frame. For instance, titanium frames and carbon parts and frames have 100-year bonuses.
Steel frames have 25 years, aluminum frames have a 10-year bonus warranty, and original components have five-year bonuses. The bicycles do not require registration to be under warranty. Buyers just need to keep a receipt of their purchase to show when they need work on their bikes.
To provide examples of the technical specifications for Motobecane bikes, here are the specifications for the Fantom 29 Elite as noted in this Motobecane mountain bike review.
Fantom 29 Elite
- Main Frame: MOTO29 HX Aluminum, Hydroformed Downtube w/ reinforced Gusset, downtube bottle and seat tube accessory mounts
- Rear Triangle: Aluminum with replaceable rear derailleur hanger and TrailTuned PowerStay Design
- Fork: RockShox Recon Silver, 100mm, ThruAxle w/ Remote Lockout, 1.5in-1 1/8in Tapered Steerer (correct shock pictured on Lava Red model)
- Crank Set: Shimano Deore FC-M610L, 42/32/24
- Bottom Bracket: Shimano 73mm Outboard
- Pedals: Mountain Platform
- Front Derailleurs: Shimano SLX, FD-M670A, DualPull, TopSwing
- Rear Derailleurs: Shimano Deore XT RD-M781 SGS, 3×10
- Shifters: Shimano SLX SL-M670 w/ Optical Display
- Free Wheel / Cassette: Shimano CS-HG50, 11/36 10sp
- Chain: KMC X10SL
- Front / Rear Hubs: Gravity Front Disc for 15mm ThruAxle, Gravity Rear Disc 135mm
- Spokes: Stainless steel
- Rims: WTB i25 TCS 29, Tubeless Compatible, 32 holes, Disc, Black with I-Beam Construction and 4D Drilling
- Tires: (no choice between) WTB Bronson 29 x 2.2 Comp or the Nano 2.1
- Brake Set: SRAM Guide R with Hydraulic Disc, and a 180mm Rotor
- Brk Levers: SRAM Guide R
- Headset: ORBIT 1.5 ZS that are 1 1/8 to 1.5in
- Handlebars: Ritchey Mountain Rizer, 17° Upsweep, 9° Bend
- Stem: Ritchey 4 Axis 84/6D 110mm
- Saddle: WTB Speed-V-Sport SE
- Seat Post: Ritchey 2 Bolt, Alloy
- Tape / Grip: WTB Dual DNA Compounds
- Seat Clamp: Super Light Alloy w/ Chromoly Allen Bolt
- Colors: Matte Lava Red, Matte Black
- Sizes: 13in, 15.5in, 17.5in, 19in, 21in
Each model has its specifications, which can be found on the website on which you find the bicycle or on the Motobecane.com website. Seldom do two bicycles have the same specifications because they use different components, frames, tires, and their sizes may be slightly different.
As with the technical specifications, these mountain bikes are available at different price points. The price ranges are between $800 to $7,000. Some of these bikes are racing mountain bikes, while others are for the more casual rider.
HOW IT COMPARES
One of the brands that are almost always seen as a competitor for the Motobecane mountain bikes is the Trek mountain bikes. Trek bikes are a well-known brand in the US, and they have racing bicycles as well as causal models. Another well-known brand that compares very well to Motobecane is Specialized. Here are some comparisons to the Motobecane mountain bikes.
TREK MOUNTAIN BIKES
The Trek company offers downhill, cross country and fat bike mountain bicycles. The models range from the Top Fuel line to the Procaliber, X-Caliber, and the Marlin bikes, which are specifically for women. The Top Fuel bikes are full suspension models with frames made from carbon for durability.
The Procaliber and X-Caliber lines are hardtail bikes, so they don’t have any suspension on the rear end of the bike. The Session line is downhill mountain bikes with full suspensions and carbon frames that are speedy.
Then there are the fat bikes from Trek, which feature 4.5-inch wide tires, a lightweight aluminum frame with carbon forks for durability, and a Shimano drivetrain. However, some of the more expensive fat bikes have carbon frames that can survive a beating on mountain trails.
While most bicycles ship from the factory between 80 to 90 percent complete, the buyer is responsible for assembling the rest. Trek ships their bikes to a dealer near the buyer to complete the assembly of their bicycles. This delivery method ensures that the bicycles are put together correctly and are safe to ride.
Trek makes more models for women than Motobecane, and their size chart makes it easier to convert to the height of a rider. So, you don’t need to convert the size of the bike to centimeters to find out which height the bicycle fits. For models that don’t have women’s bikes, such as the Farley fat tire models, they are unisex, so they fit both men and women.
The warranty for Trek bikes is similar to other brands as each component has a slightly different warranty. For Trek, the frame has a limited lifetime warranty with five years on the swing arms of full-suspension bikes,
There are three-year warranties on the aluminum frames and swing arms for the Session, Scratch, Slash and Ticket bikes, and two years for rear suspension components and Session and Slash carbon frames and swing arms. It is essential to register your bicycle for the warranty and Trek Care.
- Brand – Trek
- Ease of Use – 4 Stars
- Assembly Time – 4.5 Stars
- Build Quality – 4.5 stars
- Warranty – 4.8 Stars
While many mountain bike brands only offer one or two lines of full-suspension bikes, Specialized offers a wider variety. Their S-Works, Stumpjumpers, Epic Expert, Enduro, Turbo Levo, and Epic models are all full-suspension bikes.
Some of these models, like the Epic Comp, Enduro, and S-Works, have hardtail models, and they are clearly hardtails. Their fat bikes are also hardtail models, as they are with the Motobecane and Trek models. Their Chisel and Rockhopper models are hardtails too.
The Fat Bikes feature tires that are 4.6-inches wide, so they are right in line with what Trek and Motobecane offer.
Although Specialized has assembly instructions that come with their bicycles, they advise buyers to have an experienced bicycle mechanic assemble the bike to prevent serious injuries. Several components go on bicycles, so it is better to hire someone to assemble the bike out of the box if you’re a novice owner.
Specialized frames and Roval wheels have lifetime warranties against structural defects and workmanship that goes to the original owner. Other Specialized parts have a limited two-year warranty. So, compared to the other two brands, Specialized warranties are simpler.
- Brand – Specialized
- Ease of Use – 4.3 Stars
- Assembly Time – 4 Stars
- Build Quality – 4.5 stars
- Warranty – 5.0 Stars
PROS AND CONS
While the Motobecane mountain bikes are a great brand, they do have their flaws like any other product on the market.
- Lightweight frames
- More choices than competitors for hardtails
- Less expensive models than competitors
- Easy to maneuver
- Shifting can be slow
- The gears are narrow
- Some handlebars are heavy
Although many riders do not think highly of the Motobecane bikes, their owners love them. Their pricing is what attracts newcomers to Motobecane mountain bikes because many models are less expensive than brands like Trek or Specialized. They also use the same quality parts as their competitors, so many people like the fact th
ey are buying a high-quality bicycle for less.
Since they are not as well-known as Trek or Specialized, it may be challenging to locate an authorized dealer, but they are readily available online if you want to find a dealership that sales these bikes, you need to contact Motobecane directly.
After researching these bicycles for this Motobecane mountain bike review, and learning about their competitors, we recommend buying a Motobecane for your mountain biking adventures.