Full test: May 2008 (Click here to order this issue)
Highlights: The Motobecane Fly Team Titanium's only connection to the French monarch is its name. Motobecane USA is a U.S.-based company that designs bikes, has them manufactured in Taiwan and brands them with the famous moniker. Motobecane's Fly Team Titanium frame is made from double-butted, multi-shaped 3/2.5 titanium. The finished product is stunning. The down and top tubes are nicely diamond shaped. Other than looking trick, they do strengthen the head tube, bottom bracket shell and seat cluster junctions. Motobecane cleans the Fly Team Titanium with a standout acid-dipped finish. The 2.9 pound frame is available by itself for $1595.
Best quote: "From the very first pedal, the Fly inspires its pilot to put it down. The tight controls and frame angles are so lively it's easy for the rider to find his zone. The Fly rider will have an overwhelming desire to sprint past the front row and take the lead in a cross-country race start."
Bottom line: No doubt the Motobecane Fly Team Titanium is light and tight and could be competitive in a cross-country race if its pilot was ultra fit and an exceptional bike handler. Still, most racers would have to seriously consider a fork upgrade, different tires and a reasonable gear ratio to make the Fly really fly. At over four grand for the bike, that's a lot of upgrading.