Motobecane "Outcast" 29"er

The online retailer, Motebecane U.S.A. has released a 29″er single speed as an ’08 model. Interesting features include linear pull brakes, aluminum frame featuring horizontal drop outs with a CroMoly rigid front fork, and possibly the only 29″er offered with a fixed/free rear wheel. The Rear wheel comes stock with 18 tooth cogs in freewheel and fixed, just flip the wheel around in the drop outs.

Also on board are Kenda Nevegal tires on Alex rims. Most of the rest of the spec is generic house branded components, but for a paltry $329.00 you can’t really expect much more. The odd spec here is the TruVativ 42 tooth single speed crankset. That yeilds a gear that’s pretty stout for off roading!

While this can be looked at as another “ho-hum” single speed addition, you would be hard pressed to find anything much less expensive. It perhaps shows the trend to provide less expensive 29″ers to the marketplace.

The Motobecane Outcast 29″er is offered in Matte Slate, White, and Matte Copper and isn’t listed yet on their official site. Currently the only place I have seen this is on e-bay.

No Responses to “Motobecane "Outcast" 29"er”

  1. BOAB Says:

    I saw the Moto on ebay too, not to sure about the 42t front ring. I know they put it on for commuter/street options, but that might be tough off-road. I’m thinking about one for my wife, she doesn’t ride off road much and when we do together it’s mostly trail riding. But she likes my SS 29er, so we’ll see. The website doesn’t even have anything about it.

  2. blackbean Says:

    The newly released Jamis SS 29er also comes with pretty stiff gearing – 34×16. But this (42×18) is ridiculous. I guess it’s for fire road and rail trail type riding. I ride 32×20 and even found that to be a tad to high when riding some of the most technical places on the East Coast. A buddy rode the Jamis and spoke to the rep afterwards about the gearing. It all depends on where you ride and although I’m not the strongest rider, I’m pretty strong. I can’t see someone riding 34×16 or 42×18 in the places where I ride. And at 329-odd bucks I don’t think this is meant for REAL off roading.

  3. George Krpan Says:

    A bike this cheap would have it’s uses. Wouldn’t feel so bad about locking it up outside the library or theater. The fixie mode would be entertaining. Don’t forget not to stop pedaling and wear a helmet until you’re sure of yourself.
    A geared version would be nice.

  4. spacecase Says:

    What is known about the geometry of the Outcast? I am thinking about selling a road bike to get one of these. Also, I have never owned a mountain bike and have gotten the feeling that I would like the 29er experience so this seems like an opportunity for me. My curiosity remains about the geometry and I’m also wondering if anybody knows about the aluminum pros and cons. In short, somebody shine a little light on this ostensibly perfect first MTB for me.

  5. Dirt McGirt Says:

    Judging by the geometry of the rest of the Motobecane “stuff” it’s probably all funky and weird. Stupid mailorder bikes…….

  6. Cloxxki Says:

    Y’all don’t seem to know that 29″er are for wide, flat trails and cycle paths. No need for wee gears there.
    Then again, also not for the world’s grippiest 29″ tires. The first 29″ Nevegals we’ve seen in wire bead, I suppose?

    If the XL has a bit of top tube, I want one for commuting. Swept cheap trekking bars on it, 17t freewheel, and Big Apple tires!

    No, I want one to put a 34t chainring (or better : 22t freewheel) on and show up to a race with an otherwise stock $329 bike and hand out some mental obstacles to my competition. I need bike shorts with “stock bike, $329” on the azz.

    Or no, this bike is screaming to be a “dingle” project. 36×15 and 33x 18 gears. Get to trail in 36×15, manually “shift” the chain to 33×18 and then reverse…

  7. mtbdee Says:

    It would make a nice errand bike with for trips to the supermarket. But then I could just cruise some yard sales too…

  8. martini Says:

    Y’all know that its REALLY easy to change the gearing. Right? You know this don’t you? Just cause it comes set up one, doesn’t mean its gotta STAY that way! I know of very few people that DON’T tinker w/shit on their bikes after they get them. For $329, gearing is a non-issue. Really.

  9. mtbdee Says:

    I think stock gearing indicates the amount of thought put into a bike’s design. Maybe this bike is meant as more of an urban ride that’s capable of woods riding? That’s kind of how they sell it on Ebay.

    People’s gripes with regard to high stock gearing on a MTB 29er are legit. It’s true that most folks tinker with their rides, but why should someone deal with changing out the 34×16 when they’re buying a Jamis for ~ 1K ? For a grand I expect a little more thought put into the gearing on a SS. Something all a little more useful offroad in most places makes more sense – from a shop perspective as well. What shop wants to take the time to swap out rings and freewheels at almost every POS? Maybe the shops in the really flat areas will be cool with it, but in any area with real hills (or mountains) it’ll be an issue for the non Ullrich customers out there.

  10. blackbean Says:

    mtbdee, I think you define the issue very well. We all know SS gearing can be changed pretty easily, but it still take planning. Depending on where you will ride, you have to change the gears the night before the ride. And every extra cog costs around $30. I also don’t agree with the argument that 29ers are made for rail trails and flat areas. I ride my XXIX anywhere I normally rode my Epic – it is just as capable and more (being that most of it depends on the rider in any case) in some cases. HT, FS, FR, SS, 29er, they are all XC mountain bikes and you should be able to ride the same trail with any of these types of bikes. I actually find it more exciting to ride the FR SS than any suspension or geared bike, but at 34×16 it’s not possible except for the Jan Ullrich type.

  11. Dirt McGirt Says:

    “I think stock gearing indicates the amount of thought put into a bike’s design. ”


    Stupid sub-par mailorder bikes…… They make me weep…..

  12. Guitar Ted Says:

    QUOTE mtbdee:”For a grand I expect a little more thought put into the gearing on a SS.” QUOTE

    My question is, why should we be paying a grand for a mass produced single speed? They manage to put disc brakes, suspension forks, and (gasp!) gears on 26″ers for far less money.

    29″ers are commanding premium prices as far as I can see.

    And we’re payin the price! 🙂

  13. mtbdee Says:

    My question is, why should we be paying a grand for a mass produced single speed? They manage to put disc brakes, suspension forks, and (gasp!) gears on 26″ers for far less money.

    29″ers are commanding premium prices as far as I can see.

    And we’re payin the price!

    I hear you – If I were in the mkt for a rigid SS 29er I’d go for the Redline, GT, Raleigh or Haro over the Jamis. I’m not sure I’d notice the subtleties in the steel frames to pay the premium for the Jamis. Maybe with the introduction of the bigger players we’ll see prices drop for geared HT and SS 29ers?

  14. blackbean Says:

    Guitar Ted, I can’t agree with you more. Why pay $2K for a full supsension bike with gears and half that for a bike with no suspension and gears??? I really expected to find awesome 29er SS bikes on the market for about $800. I bought the Raleigh XXIX for $750 and in 6 months of super-hard technical ridingm, I’ve only spent $60 on maintenance – stretched chain, trueing of wheels and replacement of a crank arm. (The only reason I had to replace the crank arm is because the shop where I bought it did not put it together properly, so it came loose and wore out – my fault for not checking it out before each ride). I wanted to buy the Karate Monkey – but @ $1500 for a bike with no gears or suspension it’s outrageous. I don’t buy bikes for the sake of its name. At half that price I bought a bike that most people will frown upon, but it’s as tough and better than any bike double it’s price. I normally spend $120+ a month on maintenance of my FS bikes (I tend to be rough with the stuff) – I hardly ever go on a ride without breaking something or dropping or crashing into something. On the $750 XXIX I’ve spent a fraction of my regular montly maintenance over SIX months. Why do we need to pay $1K+ for FR SS bikes?

  15. mtbdee Says:

    In defense of the Karate Monkey it is possible to build one fairly cheap and gain the advantage of it’s multiple personalities. I’d agree that the prices for complete builds can be steep. Mine wasn’t cheap, and it wasn’t built with any high dollar parts, and it was tough to justify – especially with no test ride available. The choices we have now are so much better than when I dipped my toes in the water (Nov. ’05). If I was looking at my first SS 29er now it would be of the Haro/Raleigh/RL variety.

    The more bikes that hit the market the more reasonable things will become . I think overpriced mass produced full rigid Singlespeeds will price themselves out of manufacturer’s lineups after a while. Although, I keep thinking the SS market has been tapped but we all know it certainly isn’t there yet.

  16. raguyver Says:

    I just my 17″ Matte Slate Outcast 29er in yesterday. I rode it 42/18 on the same trail I recently rode a rigid steel 26 38/16 and my fs alum 32/15 on. It is a trail behind the UGA campus and isn’t very technical but a good place to experiment. Overall the Outcast rode great. Even with an aluminum frame, the 29 rear wheel took the roots better than either the sprung hardtail or steel rigid. The 42/18 gearing is a chore, but makes for great training. The crank/freewheel spin sooo smooth, and you can really feel incredible grip from the Kenda rear (ran it at 25psi). I haven’t taken it to a really technical trail yet, but got a 32 tooth for the front from my LBS. Weighs 27.6lbs for a 17″, easily drop a few with new post/saddle/bars. Only complaint would be for cushier grips, but it IS a rigid. Overall, definately worth the money: handles great, rolls/grips great, and even looks great. Now to try it as a fixie…

  17. HaveMercy! Says:

    I’ve been thinking about picking up an Outcast 29er as a townie bike for awhile, but I can’t figure out where all that weight comes from. I actually like the taller gearing for a townie…I think!

    raguyver, how much weight do you think you could shave by simply replacing post/saddle/bars?

    My fully geared, disc brake, Titus Switchblade weighs less than the Outcast. For those of you who have an Outcast, I’d like your opinions on where else the weight resides. If it’s in wire bead tires and heavy rims, that’s rolling mass and double whammy. I’m likely to throw fenders, a light, and a rack on this which will even add more weight. It would be nice to offset those additions by shaving weight somewhere else.

    Seems to me that the closest comparison to the Outcast is the Redline Monocog at $500. It’s pretty heavy too, but has a steel frame. For the $$ the Outcast is pretty interesting. Thoughts?

  18. raguyver Says:

    Well the Kenda Nevegals alone are ~800 grams each….so that is a ton of weight, but they offer excellent grip and can run perfectly at 20psi. The saddle and seatpost together are 660g, and the handlebar is 266. A couple of cheap easy and lite fixes. If you plan on ruinning it as a townie/weekend fun bike you could swap the tires to something lighter and resell the Kendas for a pretty good price. I haven’t weighed the fork but have thought about maybe a Fetish carbon fork (so it’d still be rigid and also have v-brake posts). Swap out the heavy pedals as well (565g). So basically, another $100~ for post, bar, saddle, and pedals would take off a lot. Also I just put on some Oury grips, nice and plush ’cause the roots and logs can kill the hands. Seriously though, this is an incredible deal on a really really fun bike for town, mild trails, campus, and with an occaisional swap to 32/18 a great trail bike. With just a new ring or tires, this bike could be whatever you want it to be.

  19. DJonez Says:

    Just got my Outcast- love it!!! I’m new to the whole thing, totally reminds me of my BMX days. The 42 is pretty hard to pull on the trail, where can I get a 32 that will match up to the crankset?

    Like I said, I just got into mountain biking, any advice/ tips would be helpfull!


  20. raguyver Says:

    DJonez, you can either just get a 20 tooth freewheel (mine is ACS claws and uses a 3/32 chain, not bmx and cost $20), or get a basic 32 front. Go for steel to last longer:

    I went with the stock 42/18 fixed and flip to 42/20 freewheel for hard trails. no matter what gearing you have on a singlespeed or just a hard course, you may have to do some cyclocross style running. the 42/20 gives a 2.1 gear ratio, compared to 32/16 (2.0) on most SS bikes. I don’t know the terrain you are riding in, but some hill attacks and sprinting ability are worth it.

  21. DJonez Says:

    Thanks for the reply-

    Threw a 36 on the front, much better- (36/18)

    Terrain around here is pretty tight, quick climbs etc.

    Flipping back and fourth on the back would be real cool though, I tend to spin out a bit when riding around town.

    Thanks Again- still learning this stuff.

  22. kgeakin Says:

    I just ordered the outcast29 from sprtymama on ebay. They claim it comes with an additional 33T chainring as well as the installed 42T chainring. A nice touch I think. Should know for sure in a few days when it arrives.

  23. alexderbez Says:

    yeah if you find out about that chain ring from the ebay seller i would like to know…i got a ral. xxix for myself but i am trying to build up an outcast to something of a light bike…thanks

  24. mike at moto Says:

    Gearing seems to be unclear to some.

    The Outcast 29 comes with a 42 front AND a 33 front. Customer gets both and thus can use either. This was thouhtout in detail.

    Some riders are in Florida or NY city or other flat places. Some riders are in the mountains. Some ride streets mainly. Some trails mainly. Some in mud; some on hard pack.

    Having the bike come with 2 chain rings helps everyone. And it is eay to mount whichever you like. The Outcast has the 42 as stock setup so that the chain is longer; then if 33 is mounted the chain can just be cut down.

    In the future, we may have the bike come with 2 FWs and 2 chains also.

    For now, the good news is: this bike and the Fantom 29ers [nulti speed] are selling out as quick as they unload. we feel 29ers are growing quickly enough that we are now working on adding Ti framed versions.

  25. mark Says:

    I only have the frame. Can any one tell me the length of the bb spindle to use the 42 tooth chainring?

  26. mark Says:

    118mm seems to work. shimano 5500 triple.

  27. DJonez Says:


    Wish mine would have came w/ 2 chainrings (it didn’t) would have saved me $35 bucks…

    BTW, I bought mine from Cycle Spectrum here in Houston, so if they are supposed to be delivering bikes w/ more than one chainring, you might want to touch base w/ them.

    Maybe you should ship me an extra chainring while you are sending out all those bikes that are flying of the shelves.

    I only post because you were so adament about clarifying the issue, which now seems even less clear (was I hosed out of a chainring, or did Motobecane realize the stock gearing was silly after the fact?)

    When were these bikes first delivered, and when did they start coming w/ more than one chainring?

    NOBODY I have communicated w/ that has bought one of these bikes mentioned anything about getting 2 chainrings (they all bitched about the ridiculous stock gearing though…)

    Dave Bloching
    6830 N Eldridge Parkway #105
    Houston, Tx 77041

  28. Doug Says:

    I bought one of these bikes from Bike Direct. It was mentioned that it came with a 33t ring. But it was not in the box. They sent one out a week later. Put it on,went for a ride,and the tire rolled off the rim. Put it back and it rolled again. Now I admit that this could be a problem with the wheel. But another problem was that the wheel kept sliding in the dropout. I tightened it down to the point of bending the Axel. But it still slides. The chain tension-er just pops off. So it is no help. I’m 6’3″ 240lbs. So this is not a big guy bike. The 21″ is speced with the same parts as the smaller size. So you would have to upgrade to get a good fit. No QR hubs. just bolt on. For the price of upgrades ,this bike could run up towards $500. You can get a Redline at a shop for that price and get a far better chain tension-er. But I saw that you could get a frameset for $95. If your a big person,this would be the way to go. But then,I can think of better framesets for $100. I’m sending mine back because of the defect,but bike direct says I’m responsible for the shipping. Another good reason to skip out on this one

  29. the dude Says:

    i thought about buying this to pirate the parts for my zion commuter bastard 29er bike thing. but since neither motobecane nor the online dealers can tell me what the seatpost diameter is nor whether i can get it with a smaller chainring–i don’t feel like throwing 400 bucks that can be better spent on parts for my racing hardtail.

    especially if all that i can use for the money is a crankset (maybe), stem, handlebars, seatpost, saddle, and some tires. if it came with disc-ready rims, it’d be more of a ‘bargain.’

    i can work with spare parts, but not in this case.

  30. mrimpacto Says:

    My Fantom has a 27.2 seatpost. This is my first MTB but I remember spending more on a frame for a road bike 25 years ago. The parts set is very good for the price, and for a weekender or commuter a guy could do way worse. I was surprised how light it is compared to older MTB’s.
    I have already started the upgrade route, stem, bars, saddle, Thud buster LT seatpost, and tires . I feel that I will be pretty happy with this bike in the long term and will have way less money involved than in a FS 29er. Although as with any other hobby, things can always get out of control in both time and money.

  31. mrimpacto Says:

    P.S. At 250 pounds, putting the bike on a crash diet wont do much good no matter what.

  32. Mr. Paine Says:

    All of the companies mass producing these bikes have the frames made in Taiwan. If you think there’s a difference (beyond geometry, or style of dropout, or some such triviality) you’ve been made to play the fool and taken to it. The entire concept is nothing more than a means to prevent the deflation of retail prices (as are the annual changes to componentry, or the adoption of external bearings, or internal headsets). Maintaining the price point for bikes and components at the highest possible point is the entire point of model introductions and name changes and all the fiddly bell ringing that keeps people thinking that they must ride the gear lenghth or component setup the retailer bolts on to the frame.

    Not a single cartridge bearing is manufactured in the US – not one. But every year for the last seven years the companies have found a way to cause an upward change in the price of a bike by little more than using a bearing of a few millimeters greater diameter.

    The whole concept of the 29er was adopted as a mass product launch because ofthe retail failure of the cyclocross concept. Market share is was brought us this bike (mtb’s sell better than road bikes (with or with knobby tires)).

    We should be celebrating a bike that costs less than $400. Hell the 29er (also known as 700cc) wheelset costs more than half of that alone.

    In the end it’s all just a dumb game to keep consumers worrying about what to buy, and how often to replace, rather than doing their own maintenance and learning that bike technology in 2008 is no more complicated than it was in 1908.


  33. Guitar Ted Says:

    Mr. Paine: Hmm……and if anyone doesn’t think you have an axe to grind after reading that rant, they truly are a fool. 😉

  34. Christopher Says:

    I bought this bike through eBay used for around $200, I’ve spent around $200 in upgrades so far and I’m rather impressed by its performance. It is true that most of the components are lower end, but even without any upgrades this bike performed exactly as I expected it to. I think that’s the issue, you do get what you pay for, but with the comparative price ranges of other ss 29ers you suspect at this price that something must be wrong.

    The one complaint I do have is, as with most bikes without any upgrading, that the components didn’t fit my body type. Through some bargain shopping I was able to upgrade the essentials and feel very comfortable and trustworthy of the bikes performance.

    I use the bike for trails ranging in difficulty and even with the stock components I was able to maneuver various obstacles ranging from drop offs to sand without any trouble.

    The main complaint I hear is the lack of disc brake capability, but I think the point of this bike is a simplistic, entry level all-around ride. If you go into the situation knowing what you want out of a bike, you can definitely justify just how fun and affordable the Outcast is.

  35. Patrick Says:

    So for a guy 6′ 1″ at 230 pounds who only wants to ride up and down the street or hit an occasional trail, would this bike work?

    Yay or Nay?

    Also could I get away with doing NO UPGRADES? Just climb and ride a couple of times a week?

    Yay or Nay?

    Yeah I’m a simple and cheap bastard. LOL.

  36. Pierre Rousseau Says:

    Guitar Ted,

    I love axe-grinders. They know something is terribly wrong anyway. Le’me tell you what.

    I just bought a 19″ Motobecane Outcast 29 for my retired 4 years ago at 46 6’2, 270 lb. Should arrive any moment. I’ve set up camp at my front door in ambush of Brown.

    O, my other website is

  37. john Says:

    anyone who is claiming that this bike is worse because it comes through the mail or from taiwan is a sucker.

  38. Jim Says:

    I have had an Outcast for about 6 weeks.
    All has gone well and I would highly recommend the bike.
    I am 6′ tall and weigh 210.
    Ride mostly hard pack trails and street. Nothing too steep or too rough.
    The only changes made have been, a 21 tooth free wheel (same chain length),
    and some Mary style bars.
    All else is stock and working fine.

  39. MIxed Greens Says:

    i bought one cause i wanted a SS to beat the piss out of like a giant BMX. i had no idea what to expect from a 29er, it’s really fun, but hard to throw around. i guess they’re made more to be a trail bike than an urban assault type bike. for the first month i kept gearing stock and found it to be a great commuter, and very fun bar-hopper. the bike is really fast once you get going, really keeps up with city traffic, though the tires sound like i’m riding a monster truck. i decided to go with a smaller chainring and now i’m having much more fun on trails and climbs (and wheelies, haha). Overall i like the bike, though i think i maybe shouldve went with a 26″ SS.

  40. brokenspoke Says:

    I have had great luck w/ mine. No problems at all. Very sturdy and well built.
    Ride mostly street and loggingt roads and this is perfect.

  41. mrimpacto Says:

    An update on my Fantom Pro. I’ve ridden single track, beach sand, road, and logging roads and it has held up well. It might not be great for serious abuse and big air, but it has been great in semi – casual riding. Buy it, do some upgrades and enjoy it without breaking the bank.

  42. Raddley Says:

    I have the Outcast 29er with a few upgrades (stem, carbon bars, seatpost, 32t chainring). I have ridden it on most of the rocky, technical single track in the central New Mexico area. Cedro, Otero, White Mesa, Faulty, the Zunis, Gallup.

    Maybe I’m just lucky but I think this bike is more than just an ‘errand’ bike. It certainly can’t be beat for the price.

  43. al Says:

    hey all, i am also a “clydesdale” lolol at 6’2″ and about 230 lbs. i am really leaning towards this bike, for a lotta the same reasons as i have read, the price, single speed, etc. Just how hard is it to go up and down some moderate to tough hills, with the stock bike? i am in good shape, as i run a lot and work out, but i am new to mountainbikes. most of my rides entail trails, with a lotta roots and rocks. also, is this bike strong enough to handle my weight? i dont go big, like jumps and sruff, but i do like speed on the dirt and rocky trails..thanx

  44. Rusty Says:

    I’ve been thinking about one for a while. I find it amusing that all the people that have something negative to say about the bike have clearly never ridden it.

  45. Guitar Ted Says:

    Rusty: And I find it equally amusing to read all the positive comments about a bike when it is clear the poster hasn’t ridden it. 🙂

  46. Victor Says:

    I’ve been ridding my Outcast 29 for 6 months now, and I can say that this bike has exceeded every expectation I had about it. It is very light and with the proper gearing climbs like a mountain goat. I really love this bike.

    Ridding a rigid single speed is the closest you can get to that first bike you had as a kid. Pure Fun! It will also make you a better and stronger rider, as you soon discover you have to conserve momentum to keep the big wheels rolling.

    I ride mine on single track on the mountains east of San Diego. I use a 33t chainring (included) and a 22t freewheel (ACS Claws). This works very well for me. I ride with a group of experienced 29er riders, and they all agree its a sweet bike. I have ridden the Surly Karate Monkey, Pugsly, and Voodoo Dambala 29ers and I prefer the Outcast because it is lighter and steers very quickly. It is very agile in the trail, and if you use low tire pressures (30 front, 35 back) the Nevegals will smooth out even the harshest trail.

    Once I realized the potential of this bike, I decided to make a few upgrades:
    KoolStop Mountain Pads (a must)
    Ritchey WCS Carbon Riser Bar (very stiff)
    Ritchey Stem
    Ritchey Seat Post

    I hope this helps, Keep Pedaling

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