Motobecane Fantom Pro Titanium

Pro Reviews

Light, Tight, and the Price is Right

 

We’ll come right out and say it: For a majority of the MBT test crew, aspirations of a cross country championship have waved goodbye to us long ago thanks to a steady diet of frozen burritos and café lattes. However, make no mistake, when a bike as light and able-bodied as the Motobecane Fantom Pro Titanium blows through our office we stop what we’re doing to take note. And with good reason- just how light are we talking here? 23 pounds with pedals. The spec sheet is fairly simple but hints toward confidence and competence:


Shimano XT / SLX Group- 27 speed
Avid Juicy Seven Hydraulic Disc brakes Front and Rear
Custom Welded Aerospace grade 3/2.5 Butted/ Geometrically Enhanced Titanium Frame
Rockshox SID Race 100mm Motion Control Damping, External Rebound and Lockout

Ritchey Pro Seatpost, Stem, Grips (foam with gel) and Bar (WCS)

FSA Orbit XLII Headset

FSA V-Drive Cranks

Skye Saddle

Kenda Small Block Eight (Tomac Signature Series) Tires

Vuelta XRP Super Lite Rims/ Wheels

Why Ti?

 

We know, we know: the hot topic of late in the realm of frame material is carbon fiber but when it comes to simplicity, rigidity, rugged looks, and durability, titanium is still alive and well. Brands like Moots and Litespeed have never swayed from their devotion to Ti and neither have the hordes of loyal customers who refuse to ride a bike made of anything else.

 

Motobecane’s namesake may be similar to a long-standing French scooter manufacturer but this iteration of the namesake happens to be located right here in the USA (in sunny Florida) and distributes a majority of its massive line of bicycles through Bikesdirect.com. We took a look at the Fantom Pro Titanium on account of its clean lines, impressive spec sheet, and the simple fact that for its $4099 MSRP (and that includes shipping), Motobecane is selling a complete titanium mountain bike for less than many companies charge for the frame alone.  Even more amazing is that customers who pre-order the bike through Bikesdirect.com will pay the introductory price of only $1695 (link below).

 

Exactly What is a Fantom Pro?

The Fantom Pro is basically Motobecane’s cross-country titanium race chassis of the award winning Fly Team with a few spec changes to make it a bit more trail worthy. These changes include a slightly wider/ beefier tire choice and an updated fork.

 

The Walk Around

 

Before we even had an opportunity to clip in and sample this bike, the attention to detail in its physical presentation is certainly noteworthy. The frame is absolutely gorgeous with clean welds, pleasing curves and a brushed finish that adds a bit of swirling depth to the matte surface. Decal treatment is quite subtle and when coupled with the frame’s own color (perhaps merely by chance) matched up with the Rock Shox SID’s graphics as if they were a matching pair.

 

A majority of the spec sheet reads out like a typical feather-weight cross county build with just enough heft to allow it to stand up to the rigors of trail riders without the luxury of their own mechanic. And with an overall weight as impressive as the Fantom’s, the efforts pay dividends. The 2.9 pound frame can be purchased on its own for racers wishing to swap components but we sincerely recommend the build of our test unit on account of its weight shavings, coupled with effectiveness. In other words, Motobecane slapped together a spec that includes all of the tasty bits we would likely have purchased ourselves but offers it all at a price that even the most frugal of shoppers couldn’t touch buying the components piecemeal.

 

Trying It On For Size

 

So what does it feel like to mount up into the saddle of the Fantom Pro Ti? To be honest, it took many of our test riders by surprise. Gone are the days of cross-country designs being synonymous with discomfort. In fact, the reach to the bars is quite natural and a shorter top tube and rising stem don’t force the rider to stretch out like he’s trying to touch his own toes. The Ritchey WCS riser bar is an absolutely brilliant choice as well thanks to a bend and sweep that feel every bit at home on the trails as they do in the grip of a World Cup competitor (plus the strength of triple butted aluminum doesn’t hurt either).

 

We tested the (medium) 18-inch frame and found the ergonomics to rival a custom fitting in terms of standover height, reach to the bars, and distance to the pedals. Our test riders ranged in height from 5’8 to 5’10.

 

Setting up the suspension is a breeze thanks to the SID’s intuitive pre-marked anodized sag settings and preinstalled rubber band. Additionally, Rock Shox prints out the positive and negative air chamber recommendations for a wide variety of rider weight ranges right on the fork leg itself. We pressurized both chambers at around 120 psi and ran the compression a bit past the middle (toward the stiff side) and sped the rebound up four clicks from full slow.

 

Busting Out

 

From the first pump, the Motobecane Fantom Pro lets the rider know that it means business. Leg power is converted into spurts of forward motion immediately and the bike starts to build speed with alarming efficiency. Titanium is known for its rigidity and the suspension-less rear of the chassis ensures that no pedaling effort is lost in translation. This is one of few bikes we’ve encountered that seems not to discriminate between sit-and-spin or out of the saddle hammering efforts (a sign that leg power has nowhere to escape to). The Fantom Pro Ti is a light bike and never does it stop reminding the pilot of this fact on the trail. Steering is precise and sprints are downright addicting. We are convinced that riders of any skill level will find leg & lung power they never knew they had on account of the Fantom’s rewarding return on effort. XC racers will be forced to back off and pace themselves as it’s far too easy to take this chassis up on its invitation to sprint to the front of the pack right off the start.

 

We mentioned that steering is light out on the flats but where the Fantom really comes to life is on the singletrack. This thing loves to flow! Switchbacks, twisties, and ribbons of serpentine hard pack turn the Motobecane into a hot knife carving through butter. The slightest flicks of the bar keep the bike railed around the rider’s line of choice, all the while the crisp feel at the cranks lets you stay on the power.

 

Like most bikes with such positive energy transfer, the Fantom Pro climbs too. One would expect that a bike this light would have a tendency to unload the front end on extended climbs (and cause the front wheel to wander) but this simply wasn’t the case. We were able to stay seated and spin a full two gears higher than we’re used to in conquering some major uphills. The Kenda Smallblock Eight tires absolutely claw their way forward in the loose stuff. The SID does offer lockout for the gut-busters but we never felt the need to engage it. The dual air damping of the 4-inch Race is stiff enough to keep the bike from wallowing on all but the steepest ascents.

 

When it comes to descending, a bit of the bike’s flat and uphill charms begin to suffer. Don’t get us wrong, bombing a downhill on the Fantom Pro Ti is possible, it just isn’t as euphoric as reaching the summit (now there is a sentence we find ourselves writing far too seldom). Thanks to a fairly rigid chassis, a decidedly stiff 4 inches of cross-country inspired fork travel, and a saddle with very little padding all adds up to a bike that demands rider commitment (and concentration) when it comes to going with gravity. We found it worked best to stand early on in a descent and to choose lines very carefully along the way. Riders with the all mountain (or worse yet, downhill) mindset of plowing through the rough stuff are going to be in for a bit of a rude awakening.

 

Keep in mind that as with any bike, the Motobecane’s natural abilities are going to be a give and take based on the manufacturer’s intended purpose. That lightweight chassis and feather-easy steering on flat ground are going to work against the bike once the ground starts slanting downward. The key is to commit to a line and ride it out (even if your teeth get chattered in the process) as last minute decisions and panic-cuts have a tendency to gobble up bikes this light and responsive in a hurry.

 

Braking from the Avid Juicy Sevens was a bit of a surprise as modulation is so linear that an inexperienced rider could mistake it as weakness. In truth these are perhaps the least-grabby hydraulic disc brakes we’ve had the pleasure of testing. The stopping power comes on instantly and gradually gains in intensity until the bike is no longer in motion. This is a good thing as it wouldn’t take much to get this lightweight to spit its rider over the bars in a panic-grab situation. Additionally, the Avid Juicy Seven offers up brake pad contact adjusters right on the bars so that riders can fine-tune the feel & feedback at the lever. It didn’t take long before we found ourselves comfortable grabbing a handful of brake lever and letting the Juicy’s take care of the thinking for us.

 

Odds and Ends

 

We realized early on in this test that a majority of our sloppy & choppy east coast trails that serve as our testing grounds weren’t exactly what Motobecane had in mind when they designed the Fantom Pro Titanium yet we were hard pressed to find the limitations of the bike’s abilities. Shifting from the all-Shimano drivetrain was spot on from the get-go and setting up the fork was a snap as well. Each of our test riders praised the 2009 Rock Shox SID Race for its natural stiffness in terms of creating a usable balance between the front and rear of the bike. The large 32mm stanchions (with the “Power Bulge” in the middle) were up to the task of absorbing whatever we could throw at them and weighing in at a total of 3.2 pounds, this is a true XC powerhouse component.

 

The Kenda Small Block Eights were another wise choice on Motobecane’s behalf for their wide contact patch (we measured it at 2.2 inches) and a close-set knobby pattern that works well on most terrain. In fact we had the best luck with this tread pattern on the extreme opposite sides of the spectrum: hard pack (including pavement) and extremely loose/ sandy surfaces. About the only fault we found with these tires was their tendency to pick up small stones with which to fling during rotation. We found ourselves cringing nearly constantly with each and every ting of stones bouncing off the beautiful titanium downtube. Fastidious riders may want to devise a guard before subjecting their bike to the barrage.

 

Having been our first experience with the handmade Vuelta XRP Super Lite rims, we went into the test unsure of what to expect. Now that we’ve logged several weeks of flogging on the wheel set, we can state with confidence that this is an excellent lightweight wheel spec with stellar scores in the lack of rolling resistance department. Plus we’ve yet to ding or knock them out of true even when tackling moderate rock gardens.

Conclusion

While many bikes claim to be jacks-of-all-trades but masters of none, we respect Motobecane’s commitment to honing the Fantom Pro Titanium’s strengths rather than spec’ing the bike with a hodgepodge of components intended to please everyone. As it stands this bike (even with its more trail-worthy pieces) is a cross-country racer’s delight right out of the box. We could state with utmost confidence that 24-hour racers and endurance competitors could make bids for the podium on a bone stock Fantom Pro Ti as well.

 

Perhaps most surprising was the fact that a bike this light can be pressed into trail duty as ours has been standing up to many all-day epics with nary a component swap. Those who insist on using the bike strictly for all mountain trail work could certainly achieve competence with such simple swaps as a beefier wheel set, more aggressive/ lower air volume tire pattern, and perhaps a slightly more comfortable saddle.

 

Make no mistake, however, the cross-country inspired spec sheet is no compromise and tearing into the bike to make it more downhill capable rather misses the whole point. Motobecane has proven its dedication to the racer with the Fantom Pro Titanium and manages to deliver on a lightweight build that will dazzle and charm any rider who swings a leg over one.

 

The Motobecane Fantom Pro Titanium will begin shipping on September 30th for the $1695 introductory special (that price includes shipping and there is no tax in 48 states). After the bike is released, however, the list price returns to $4099. Motobecane is now accepting preorders here:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fpti_09x.htm

 

At this price we imagine inventory won’t last long.

Please note: Our contact at MotobecaneUSA tells us that the production bike will spec slightly wider Kenda Small Block 2.35″ tires which should make for an even more comfortable ride while offering more bite for improved descending.

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  • Anon says:

    Please… Lets be serious here.
    Firstly, Motobecane is dedicated to VALUE not to “the racer”, when it produces its bikes.

    Also, the “list price” is a marketing scam, as their bikes are never sold anywhere near those marked list prices. Its merely a way for people to THINK theyre getting more than they are for their money. This particular model (im sure) would never be sold for over $2000 – not that it couldnt (im sure), but it wont. I dislike marketing lies like these

  • Anonymous says:

    Are you serious? This is an MTBR “pro” review? Wow …

  • Rich says:

    Please…you two are really naive. I’ve been riding for more than my fair share of years and spoken from experience here is a bike manufacturer than has its frames made in Taiwan…like 95% of all bike manufacturers… and specs them with some of the best components on the market. Not to mention they offer them for prices that the big manufacturer can’t even compete with. Oh, that’s because when you purchase a bike from a big name manufacturer you’re paying for their advertising and marketing campaigns. I have been closely associated with all things bikes for many years now and am amazed at how many people will still purchase from the big manufacturers. I know the argument… we need to support our local bike shops and mechanics. I agree, but the newest breed of mechanics are bike assemblers, not mechanics and the local bike shop is already going the way of the dodo bird because of the big manufacturers. It’s grass roots that started this sport and it wasn’t expensive until the big manufacturers jumped into the game. I think it’s great when a small company can come along and challenge the status quo. I say go for it… it’s free market enterprise at its best.

  • Anon says:

    The problem isnt with the price… and its not with the bike itself.

    Fwiw, the price seems very good for “a ti hardtail with decent parts” and the bike itself I cant comment on, though these reviewers seem to think its ok.

    Its with the way its misrepresented that causes problems. To say that this bike has a list price of $4000+, when it will never actually be sold for half of that is deceptive.
    Besides which, the page that this review links to (bikesdirect) states that you should: “Compare to the $4500 Litespeed (www.litespeed.com) or $5000+ Moots or Seven cycles.”
    Now please dont get me wrong here, im sure its not a bad bike, but it will never be sold at 4k because it simply wouldnt sell against those bikes if the price was the same. The credibility of this is weakened still further when you look elsewhere on the page where it states “Compare to $4,500+ Trek, Litespeed” – Trek doesnt make Ti bikes, you cant compare apples to oranges.

    I have no argument with the bike itself as I have never seen or ridden one. What irritates me is the way that the product is put across as something it simply is not, in order to make the price look competitive.

    A good bike will sell itself (and I wouldnt be surprised if this would), without the need for utter bullshit about the pricing – plucking out pie-in-the-sky prices to try and make the price they actually are (around $2k after preorder) seem better than it actually is. Im not trying to argue that the price isnt good, I just see no need to lie about it being a better deal than it truly is
    Quite simply – if I was spending $4k on a Ti hardtail, the motobecane wouldnt even be on my list.

  • DaGoat says:

    I have to totally agree. Not that this isn’t a good bike and for someone who is looking to get a Ti Training/Racing platform, it’s a great deal. But it can’t really be compared to a Seven. Price wise or quality wise.

    How can I say this? I’ve ridden Airborne Ti and you still see the same Chinese Manufaturers floating their stock on EBay. And again, not that these are bad frames, I’ve ridden them and enjoyed them. But let’s talk about a Seven.

    I have a Seven Sola. One of the finest Ti HT’s ever built. It’s got World Cup wins in the hands of Mary McConneloug stamped on it and the thing to understand is it uses Double Butted Tubing. This costs big time. Basically “Double Butting” involves hogging out the inside of the tubes to make the frame as light as possible while still maintaining strength and feel. Not easy and really expensive.

    The bottomline is I’m riding a 22lb Sola with a Reba Fork on it. If I threw the SID they spec this bike out with, I’d be close to 20lbs. That’s at least a full 2 lbs less than this setup. Is 2 lbs worth the cost of a Seven? Maybe or maybe not. If you’re a world class racer, probably. If your a recreational racer on a budget, probably not.

    However, the point is, you can’t compare the price and quality of a Seven to this frame. This bike is a great value no doubt, and a Seven Sola is probably an over priced boutique. But when every second counts on a World Cup race course, Mary McConneloug is riding a Seven, not a Motobecane.

  • M&M says:

    I don’t know, it seems like a pretty good deal to me. I mean if you price out all of the components (the 2009 SID alone is $600)- it seems like a hell of a good price.

    Ti isn’t cheap, that’s for sure!

  • Anon says:

    I think you misunderstand…

    Its a good deal at the price it ACTUALLY SELLS FOR ($1695 preorder, expect max $2k afterward)…
    But theres no way you can call it a $4000/4500 ti bike – because if you were spending that kinda money you simply wouldnt even think about it.

    A good deal, it certainly is. A $4000 bike (as claimed) it most certainly IS NOT. The issue here is with the false-claim, not with the bike itself.

  • Slim says:

    No, it makes perfect sense what you’re saying, Anon. I agree that it’s a strange marketing ploy by Motobecane but if I may make a generalization, it does seem like a lot of online distributors like to flaunt “list prices” to drive home the notion that the customer is getting a steal (never mind the often inflated lists or inaccurate model comparisons).

    I was one of the testers involved and let me make clear that neither MBT or MTBR makes such claims as to support an alleged price hike or, for that matter, the business practice of giving consumers a hurry up and buy now campaign.

    Keep in mind that when it comes to ordering information/ pricing, we have to publish what the manufacturer tells us and in this case, that is how the press kit was worded. Whether or not the bike will actually jump to $4000+ at the end of the month or whether it could sell at such a price point is certainly beyond the scope of our critique. Such tactics and wording would have to be taken up directly with Motobecane.

  • DaGoat says:

    Thanks Slim… Think that clears this up. Great Value, probably a rocking rig, but not a $4000 bike. I’d say closer to a $2500-$3000 bike. S for the introductory price of $1700 it is a good value and the MTBR gang shouldn’t be down on presenting this as an offer. IMHO.

  • John says:

    bikesdirect sells what look like good bikes for a good price, why all the annoying BS with the inflated MSRP?

  • Noel says:

    I think the point is that if it carried a big brand name it would sell for $4000.

  • Anon says:

    Perhaps – but probably not, theres a good reason that Moots, Seven Cycles (etc) carry that premium price. Its because theyre worth it – theyve spent their time building that reputation and are well known as quality items.

    Motobecane are known as a value brand (amongst those that know of them, theyre not as well known as the mainstream brands such as Trek, Giant etc), and that reputation as a value brand adds to the fact that they cannot sell them for big prices – simply because they would not sell – though the badge doesnt affect the ride at all, if youre spending big money, you arent going to want a brand that others percieve as value/cheap because of what their other bikes sell for (and lets be honest, when youre spending $4k+ EVERYTHING matters).

    The thing is though – that whether or not you believe it WOULD carry that tag if it had moots/eriksenn/seven on it, it doesnt and its value is not nearly $4k. Its also not intended to be sold for more than about $2.5k, so to claim more is deceptive to the customers.

  • Bob says:

    You people are all stupid. It’s a bike. Marketing gets in the door, then your personal valuation starts. Who gives a crap about MSRP? You are a fool if you buy any bike at MSRP anyway, so critizing a bike by its MSRP likewise stupid.

    Premium pricies on botique bikes are 95% generated by brand whores like you guys, and World Cup races are not won or lost by a few seconds. World Cup winners can and do win on any bike that they ride, ’cause it’s NOT THAT COMPLICATED!

    Geez, you’re not comparing an 14lb low tensile steel frame to titanium, IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE FOLKS!

    Poor fools who pay MSRP. It’s stupid people like you that make me successful AND look good!

  • Anon says:

    And when the argument cannot be won any other way… out come the insults.

    You simply help to prove the point.

    Noone has stated any personal problems with the bike itself, its all about people being pissed off with an advertising ploy which is so blatently wrong and overinflated that even a child could work it out.

    Im not saying that Motobecane makes bad bikes, or that bikesdirect sells bad bikes – what we’re trying to say here is that we wish they would be honest and pick an MSRP that people could actually believe it could be sold for.
    This bike COULD NOT be sold for $4000 – Why? Because there are better bikes and/from other companies which are justified at that value.
    To say that you could compare a $2000/2500 (what I would put as an MSRP, and the most it would sell for), to a $5k moots is just absurd… and yet that is exactly what bikesdirect are trying to do with that ridiculous marketing ploy.

    I dont see how anyone can defend/condone behaviour which basically amounts to barefaced LYING about the valuation, and making unfair comparisons with bikes worth twice as much as your own, is just plain unfair.
    To put it in context… its like a department store saying their $400 fullsus is comparable with (for example) a Yukon FX, that costs more than twice as much. Is it fair to the customer that doesnt know better? No its not, and though at the end of the day the customer will still make their own decisions about which to go for, to pretend that the cheaper one is closer in class and quality (read, lying about class and quality) is to mislead the customer into (potentially) the wrong choice.

    And whatever you say, if I was spending $4000 on a Ti hardtail, I wouldnt even look at this. Because when youre spending that much money, EVERYTHING matters.

  • mtbhowie says:

    Dudes — what are you guys all hyped up about. All this chatter about the MSRP and marketing, what about the bike, ride quality, over all impression and the price it’s being offered at? even if this bike is 2 lbs heavier than advertise it’s a great deal! Time will tell if the price goes up after month’s end but whatever, I’m placing my order today! Full Ti frame, SLX/XT package SID Race fork — dude I could rid this bike for 2 years, get fed up with it and still sell it for the same money i bought it for!

    Get over the deceptive marketing and focus on the bike. It’s not selling @ 4k it only 1,700.00!

  • Dr. Psylo says:

    Anon, the problem with your argument is that you’re upset with what Motobecane says they could charge for their bike- this is a free country when last I checked. I mean if I made a bike and said I think it’s worth $10,000, that’s my right to do so just as its your right to say “no way in hell would I drop that much on it”.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t let such claims bring you down- in the end it’s your money and ultimately you decide how you would like to part with it. I mean even if Motobecane was asking $4 grand for this bike, nobody says you have to buy it. Maybe they think its worth a million, nobody says they aren’t allowed to think that.

  • CBD says:

    I’ve entertained the idea of buying one of their alu bikes, stripping it, and moving all of the components to another frame. Somehow BikesDirect offers bikes kitted with some sick components for less than you could buy the components themselves. You can get a full XTR bike for $1400. If you go out an buy all of the XTR components one by one, you’re over $1400 easy. That doesn’t include a fork, seat, wheels, handlebars, etc. These bikes are incredible deals no matter what the marketing says.

  • Yo says:

    I have been tempted myself. Of course they are nice bikes-they come from the same factories that make over 90% of the frames out there. They are dirt cheap because a bike company can get a Chinese or Taiwanese aluminum frame and fork for almost nothing. Compare that to a bike with a handmade US frame. The frame costs more than the entire Moto B bike. Of course, the quality of the US bike is better, but not enough to justify the price. Sh-t, I bought my first reasonably nice bike–a Windsor–in 1982. It was $400 and it was no where near as nice as what you can get today from Moto B for the same money. Anybody see a problem with that? But hey, no biggie. That is until your well paying job gets shipped offshore because they can get it done there for 1/10th of what they pay you. After all, price matters most, right?

  • Dantheman says:

    I have been tempted myself. Of course they are nice bikes-they come from the same factories that make over 90% of the frames out there. They are dirt cheap because a bike company can get a Chinese or Taiwanese aluminum frame and fork for almost nothing. Compare that to a bike with a handmade US frame. The frame costs more than the entire Moto B bike. Of course, the quality of the US bike is better, but not enough to justify the price. Sh-t, I bought my first reasonably nice bike–a Windsor–in 1982. It was $400 and it was no where near as nice as what you can get today from Moto B for the same money. Anybody see a problem with that? But hey, no biggie. That is until your well paying job gets shipped offshore because they can get it done there for 1/10th of what they pay you. After all, price matters most, right?

  • grapeape says:

    Well speaking as someone who has actually rode a MotoB and own’s one from Bikesdirect.com, I would have to say that it is just as good if not a little better than my GT or Trek. I did look at an 08 specialized hardrock 29er and found out that it was over a hundred dollars more and half the quality of components of the MotoB fantom pro 29er.

  • Morgan366sailing says:

    All I have to say is Cannondale F3. Hand made in the U.S.A. My dollars well spent in the U.S.
    Cheaper, Better components, lighter ( and frame is made of aluminum ), better handleing, better service and I am completely satisfied.
    Get a grip its the rider not the manufacture thats why the advertisers (politicians) have got things screwed up.
    Your $5000.00 bike any make is not worth that, you are paying for the politician…

  • jn says:

    I’d say its pretty obvious nobody gets it… they are saying its comprible to what a trek or any big name would sell for because all those brands go through about 3-5 distribution channels, which each one makes money… If you order from bikes direct, your getting a bike direct from the factory… they cut out the middle channels and dont advertize… hense why their bike is cheaper. Also, big ridders are riding name brand bikes because they get paid too… where do you think all that money comes from to pay these riders? Those that spend money on over priced MTB’s because they need to have the “Name”. You really think most of the riders out there need a top of the line trek bike vs. one of these? probably not…

  • chando says:

    well most of you guys are a bunch of fairy’s, with the exception of jn . the bottom line is its a ti for 1700 bucks , oh did i mention it comes with all the nessisary components to ride it right out of the box. its agreat deal and like most things that are great in this world somone is going to try and knock it no matter what, Anon you say its not about the bike itself , isnt this a bike review website? you are a fag.

  • CaptainObvious says:

    Chando, you are a complete douchebag. This website is for all things cycling, not just bicycles. That includes bike companies, and their weak, deceptive marketing tactics. The fact that you insult Anon and other posters on this thread shows your ignorance and immaturity, when everyone’s input is valuable (more or less).

    Not all titanium is equal. Titanium is the most difficult of all bike metals to manipulate into a strong, light frame with good welds and solid geometry. Also, a higher-quality titanium will be significantly more expensive as a raw material. I can speak from experience in stating that Motobecanes are great deals for the components, however their frames sport low-quality welds and paint (for their aluminum and steel models.) There is a tremendous difference between the craftsmanship of a Ti frame made by a company like Moots, Seven, or Litespeed vs. one made by Motobecane. Plus, in a time when most things are being outsourced to other countries, I am in full support of American-made products vs. our overseas competitors.

    If you are relatively new to high-end bikes, I say pick one of these up. If you’re looking for a titanium frame that will last a lifetime, wait for a used Litespeed, Moots, or Seven to show up on craiglist or ebay.

  • Dave says:

    CaptainObvious,

    Have you even seen or ridden a ti Motobecane? My wife & I have owned 3 ti Litespeeds & one ti Motobecane. Her ti Motobecane is the best handing road bike I’ve ridden. My Lynskey built 97 Litespeed is also great. But, the post Lynskey Litespeeds are junk. At least the two we owned. They were the worst handing road bikes I have ever riden. They were plagued with high speed woble issues. Riding partners have also owned the same frame & tried several different forks in an attempt to eliminate the woble. Some were better, but none fixed the issue. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another Motobecane ti frame. However, I wouldn’t buy another post-Lynskey Litespeed ti frame.

  • MTBLVR says:

    I think all of this is sort of funny!

    Last fall I set out to get a sick full suspension bike. I wanted to save money, but I also wanted to get a solid well engineered bike. I saw the Motobecane Fantom Team F.S. for $1899. I priced out all of the parts one at a time to see what the bike was worth. It priced out somewhere around $2800 without a frame. I decided to go with an american made manufacture. I bought a Truner Flux with the DW link. I bought the frame for $2400 and spent another $2900 on components! Yeah $5300! Don’t get me wrong, my Turner’s a head \Turner\! It’s sick and I love it.

    About a month after I built my bike, one of my bro’s wanted to buy a new F.S. and I talked him into trying the Motobecan Fantom Pro. He ordered it, paid the $1800 and he was out riding it 4 days later! It actually came out weighing about 6 ounces more than my bike. I rode it and it rides awesome! He’s had it a while now and he loves it. I love it.

    I actually just bought the Motobecane Fly Team Titanium and it is what it says it is. I dare anyone to build or buy a bike anywhere near this quality for the price. So….my point(after a long drawn out boring story) is this…you can pay Motobecane $1500 for a \deceptively\ advertised bike. Or you can pay $4000 for a bike that MSRP goes for $4000. The bottom line is…you really do get a bike, not a name, but a bike that you can’t get anywhere else for less than $4000. Honestly it would be hard to get a bike this tight for $4g.

    I think if you want to pay an extra $2500 for a cool name, that’s great! But as for me, I went with the Motobecane this time because I want to be able to put enough money in the bank so I can send my kids to college. The economy sucks and I love bikes that feel good. So I bought this one on economics.

    Perhaps next time I’ll go American. I know it’s important. But as stated above most bikes aren’t American.

  • Joey says:

    I think the list price means what it would list for retail, as these bikes are not sold retail, then they base it on the retail value of the components and comparable frame, regardless of name brand frame. Make sense?

  • Drew says:

    For those who have actually bought one: does the Fantom PRO titanium really weigh 23.5 ibs???

  • TD says:

    I bought on of these last year. Yes it does weigh 23.5lbs. Current online price for the complete bit is $1495. Pretty sweet deal. This bike is stiff and light, and has excellent build quality. And if you chose to swap some of the components it could push 20lbs even.

    And all you guys doing back flips over the Soda Ti MTB frames. I’m just glad I didn’t pay the Soda tax. I have no desire to subsidize the pro riders who get FREE bikes from the manufactures. Soda frames are great I’m sure but not for another $2500…

    Please guys give me some objective engineering analysis to support the Soda superiority claims. Not this, \a pro rides it\ therefore it’s superior. This is the mentality the manufactures pray for…

  • Don says:

    Please lets be serious, Motobecanes are a GREAT deal, nobody pays MSRP, we are talking paying more for a bicycle then a motorcycle, more then a good used car/truck, its out of hand, more people could ride if it weren’t for the cost of riding, there are too many middle men making money off the bikes out there and people paying for them are keeping the prices high, it has to stop somewhere, it can’t just keep going up, though most mfgrs would love that, technology has its limits, Bob(Hurricane)Hannah raced Pro MX for Suzuki long ago, his bikes were loaded with technology, there were complaints that he won because nobody could get bikes like his, he got a box stock, store bought Suzuki and still beat them, a AMA National MX, another example Lance Armstrong could win Leadville 100 on a storebought anything, if you have to complain, it seems you’re complaining about the wrong thing and at the wrong of the price spectrum. Bringing the prices down is a good thing for the people that ride the bikes, and the ones that want to ride. How else do the prices come down, I have two Motobecanes and just gave my 1972 Motobecane away that I had for almost 40 yrs. They are all great bikes. I’d like to get another on, maybe next year.

  • Arni says:

    Several months ago my friend bought the Ti 29er with all the goodies, I talked him into buying it. I’ve been a loyal Trek guy for ten years, done. The box came and I thought there was no bike inside, boy was I wrong. All we had to do is put the front tire on and handlebars. The bike is lighter than you can imagine. It flew threw the gears without any adjustments. The brakes, Juicy 7′s are equal to any Mercedes ABS stopping system. Quit bitching about the advertising scheme. The bike is freeking incredible. The frame, fork, the whole finish is first class, as are all the components. I haven’t heard anyone in this site that owns a Ti, well we do and it kicks ass.

  • Luis says:

    Well, I bought a Fantom Team FS bike from BD with full XTR package and this bike is sick !! I hate that prices on name brand bikes are so high, and I’m not to fond of the idea of subsidizing …Pro riders, marketing, and the whole slew of folks who push big name brands !! Lets face it…THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE PAYING FOR.

  • JA says:

    I don’t think there MSRP prices are really deceptive because its still arguable that through regular distribution and retail that that would be the store price. These are still titanium framed bikes with top end components. If anyone is taking advantage of the consumer it certainly is not Moto but other big companies that don’t give a rats a$$ either about American jobs if it affects their bottom line and have their bikes built over seas. The only ones not doing this are smaller semi custom/custom companies that really are not in the same league as Motobecane. These larger companies(I’m looking at you Cannondale and Trek) actually mislead consumers using vague laws regarding something being “made in the US”. Rocky Mountain does the same here in Canada with there big “Built in Canada” decals . Sure, they are made here, if assembling them is enough to make that claim! Wait, I believe the frames are still painted here woohoo.
    The bottom line is they are not being misleading at all, and not compared to the rest of the industry. If you are a consumer that is naive enough to pay MSRP on just about anything then I have little sympathy for you.
    Don’t get miffed with them, get miffed with current consumer laws and the capitalist system because they aren’t breaking any rules and are passing the savings on to us!
    If you are so patriotic then go ahead and spend $5-10000 on a bike and keep the jobs here at home. I’d love to but I don’t make near enough to do that.

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