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Old 09-25-2012, 05:18 PM
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Default New Bike - Motobecane 450 HT
Well, I finally decided it was time for me to get a new bike. Decided on the Motobecane 450 HT from BikesDirect. Decent parts for an awesome price! I got it in the white color, looked like a nice, clean design. Ordered on Saturday, it just got delivered today (Tuesday)! I will be pulling the fork and upgrading it to a RockShox XC 32 TK, most likely, before even riding it. Here's a pic of it unboxed:

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Last edited by robertc; 09-25-2012 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:20 PM
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Not sure about the tires, I may be replacing those as well. Looks like some generic Kenda 26x2.1 tire, can't seem to find them online anywhere.

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Old 09-28-2012, 05:09 PM
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So, in trying to adjust the rear derailleur, I couldn't get it "right" on both ends. The angle of the derailleur looked a little strange to me, so pulled the hanger to get a better idea. Yep... it's bent...



I emailed BikesDirect (Bd4servicecenter@aol.com) to let them know I got a bent hanger from the warehouse. Matt from BikesDirect emailed me the next day to let me know they sent out a replacement to me, should get here today!

FYI, if you need a spare derailleur hanger for a Motobecane 450HT, Amazon carries a quality hanger, the Wheels Manufacturing Hanger 27. It is better quality than the BikesDirect hanger for a lower price than the replacement hanger from BikesDirect (roundstay 400-700HT).
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:39 PM
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I discovered my first bent derailleur hanger that way, and the second was from someone else riding washing the front end out and it smacked the right side on the ground. No big deal, no injuries. I keep a new one on hand for my Jamis and just a straightened spare for my Novara....

If it isn't bent right at the threads, it may straighten out if you are careful. I would only use in a pinch as it would probably bend again easier.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:07 PM
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Got the new derailleur hanger on and installed, working great!

I ended up swapping the fork out for a used Rockshox Recon Race (from BrianB's Jamis), so that should have taken about 1.5lbs off the front of the bike.

Also ended up pulling the bars and stem off and swapping those out. I had a Ritchey Rizer bar I got a couple years ago to put on an old bike, so I used that and got a new stem off Ebay. I got a Ritchey Pro 120mm x 6° stem for $6 shipped and tried that out, but it put the bars too far forward and a lot of weight and strain on my shoulders. I found a Bontrager Race 100mm x 10° on ebay for $8 shipped and got that mounted today. Initial feel seems much better, but I'll have to see on an actual ride.

I also swapped the WTB SpeedV saddle for my almost-new WTB SpeedV Pro Gel saddle before I even rode. Much better, in my opinion.

On another note, I thought I would need to change the pedals out for something "grippier", but after riding on the metal frame "bear trap" pedals it came with, I'm not finding any grip or stability issues!

I still would like to swap the tires out for some Small Block 8's, but these are doing ok for now.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:14 PM
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I like the Small Block 8's -- I put then on my Novara. Since then I bought Crossmark's for my Jamis and they may be a little better on some of the hard-pack here but overall not much difference. Both are great tires in this area at least. I'm not sure it'd be as good for you, but the Slant 6 is a newer tire that I would consider.

I need to ride it more, but the Manitou R7 is very nice. I just have to learn to tune it a bit. I think I need a little softer spring rate and a little more compression dampening for the next ride.

Last edited by BrianB; 05-13-2013 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by southjerseyrob
Hi Robert,
I saw your post on upgrading the forks to your bike. I have the same bike. I am ignorant to the sizes and would like to upgrade my forks as well.
I apologize for asking- but what am or what should I be looking for?
neck size?
travel? etc. I am just lost.
Any help would be appreciated!
Thanks
Rob
Good questions! I ended up pulling a Rockshox Recon Race from a Jamis Dakota, but if you are looking for new, you should look for a fork for a 26" bike with 100mm travel and standard QR axles (not 15mm or 20mm "maxles" like some have). You want a 1 1/8" steerer tube, which you cut to length to fit your bike. The Jamis got a Manitou R7 put on in place of the Rockshox that got put on my 450 HT. A Manitou Minute would be another good fork on the 450 HT. When I was looking, Manitou seems to have some of the nicest forks for the price (good quality, great features, light weight, etc).

One of the main things if you are wanting a cheaper fork than those is to look at the stanchion size and make sure you get something a little beefier. The stock fork on the 450 HT has 28mm stanchions, the Rockshox Recon Race has 32mm stanchions, so it won't flex as much. A lot of the inexpensive forks are 28mm, so keep that in mind. Also, depending on your weight, if you don't go with a fork with air adjustments, you may need to change out the springs. Most forks are setup stock with springs for someone that weighs around 160lbs.

Last edited by BrianB; 05-13-2013 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:43 PM
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The R7 is a lightweight 30mm fork, very nice for a lighter rider who isn't too abusive over rocks/drops. I really like it for my riding style.

You might look at a Mantiou Minute -- that was the fork I was originally looking at. There are 2 versions, the Pro and Expert. The Expert uses air for preload adjustment only, so it doesn't have as wide of a range to be tuned for a rider's weight -- but you can do that by replacing the spring if you are ok tearing it apart. The Pro is more expensive, and it still uses a spring, but has a wider weight range you can tune it for.

I was amazed how well the 450HT rode with a good fork. I'm a bit spoiled by my Jamis, and I still liked it a lot.

Oh, and the BB7's he put on that thing are great, I am not so thrilled with my Elixir 5's being finicky...
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