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  1. #1
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    true bikesdirect weights on high end purchases? (Le Champion ti titanium)

    Has anyone recently purchased one of the smaller high end BD bikes? Hopefully the top tier le champion Ti bikes? Can you comment on their weights? Are bikes direct bikes general 1-2 pounds over quotes?

    I'm interested in buying a dura ace, or etap bike, in 48cm size, it's currently a little under $3000 at bikesdirect. Figuring it's an investment. I've done some looking around to see if there are any used bikes. After contacting 5 sellers (on craigslist) I've noticed 51 cm bikes seem considerably heavier than I thought they'd be.

    I've come across ultegra kits, not dura ace, but responses are always the same that the 51 cm titanium motobecane le champions are mid 18-19lbs this seems far from manufacture specs, the ultegra bikes are listed at 16.4 to 17.25 lbs, yes for a 48 cm, but 51 cm it's that much larger seems heavy for a $2000+ bike

    From what I've understood the main differences between the higher end shimano components is often weight and durability. I'm sure the TI frame is likely too blame, but what's the point of a $2000-3,000 bike, with likely B grade oem parts that weighs almost 19lbs, probably over 20lbs for a larger frame?

    The le champions on bikesdirect have older generation parts (maybe B grade / lower quality oem than typical lbs sale). After doing some research on what I thought would be a simple purchase I'm having doubts about buying from BD.

    My thoughts are for $2100-3,000 I can get a broker to find me a quality bike vs throwing the dice on a bikes direct bike that I might be very unhappy with, if I received a 48 cm bike that was close to mid 18s/19lbs I'd return it for $3000 i'd rather return and pay a few hundred than keep, I dunno maybe I'm being cheap, or my expectations are to high, they do use "quotes."
    Last edited by khouse123; 03-13-2018 at 07:46 PM.

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Wait...Bikes Direct and 'top tier' in the same sentence?
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  3. #3
    wim
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    Don't put your trust in weights listed on the internet or reported to you by owners. If weight is as important to you as it seems to be, you need to be able to weigh the product yourself before you pony up the cash.

  4. #4
    pmf
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    I recently put a bike together that ran almost $6000 and it weighs 20 lbs. You're not going to notice the difference between a 16 lbs bike and a 19 lbs bike. And titanium hasn't been the 'gee whiz that's light' material for a long time. My 56 cm titanium bike with Campy Chorus 11 speed and custom wheels that weigh 1550 grams is maybe 18 lbs. If you want a really light bike, look at carbon fiber, and don't look at Bikes Direct. And plan to spend a lot more than $2000.

    That said, for $3000, the titanium bikes direct offering is a pretty good deal. You can always peel off the Motobecane decals and buy some from Litespeed decals -- then no one would know that you are so frugal. The Shimano parts they list are 8000 and 9100 -- the most current, not 'grade B' parts. I'm not familiar with SRAM components, so I have no idea what version they're using.

    Try contacting BD. The guy who owns them used to post here.

    Bikes Direct has my vote for being the saddle sore of roadbikereview forums. It just keeps coming back, and none of us can resist picking at the oozing sore that it is.

  5. #5
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Try contacting BD. The guy who owns them used to post here
    That used to be Mike Spratt or Dr. Mike Spratt. Not sure if he still owns the outfit. But if he does, perhaps posting his name here will lure him out of hiding.

    Don't expect too much information. BikesDirect basically forwards boxed-up bikes from a country of origin to the buyer. I don't think they would weigh a bike for you because it would mean unboxing and assembling it. But who knows, things change.

  6. #6
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    ' B grade parts'?? what is this rumour?

    if you get a derailleur which says Ultegra or Dura Ace on it, you got the real thing. Shimano (nor the others) doesn't dump rejects on the market

    With BD, you basically get a nice build kit, and a free frame, the way I see it. Then can go frame shopping in a couple years to try something different
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

  7. #7
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    I got a cheap MTB of theirs a few years back. While most of it was decent, it's the things people don't pay attention to is what you discover once you try upgrading it: the bars alone were insanely heavy. The same goes for the stem. Cheap discs, headset, basic iron bolts. You'll spend like $300 to $500 to upgrade those to standard parts.
    That being said, as PMF said, don't stress too much on weight. I went from a 16.5lb carbon bike to a 21lb steel bike. And yes, I'm happier with the ride!
    I have a single track mind

  8. #8
    pmf
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    I've been looking at the BD titanium bike with Shimano Dura Ace 9100

    Save Up to 60% OFf Shimano Dura Ace DA9100 Dura Ace 9100 Road Bikes | Titanium Road Bikes | Roadbikes - Motobecane Le Champion Team Ti

    As much as we all like to dis BD, its pretty impressive set up for the money. I put a 9100 group on my wife's Colnago (yeah, I know ...) last year -- it ran me around $1500 at one of those UK web vendors. The BD has a full 9100 group on it -- no cheesy FSA cranks, Tektro brakes, or other cheap substitutions. The tubes are claimed to be butted 3/2.5 alloy -- not straight gauge. The welds look OK -- not too gloppy. There's no carbon bars or anything fancy, but Ritchey WCS stuff is decent. I'm not a fan of Mavic Ksyrium wheels, but they're better than what comes on most bikes that cost $2800. The pedals are crap, but so what, that's a personal thing everyone changes anyway. All in all, it's a great deal for the money. I bet the decals come right off with some acetone.

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    That bike seems like a bargain to me. That group set is very nice and it comes with a whole bike. I don’t think that it will be light but that is not what TI bikes are all about. If you are not happy with the bike I would swap out the group set for something cheaper and sell the bike on Craigslist.


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  10. #10
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    You get what you pay for. As the saying goes in the world of bikes:

    1) Light
    2) Durable
    3) Cheap

    Pick two.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  11. #11
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    You get what you pay for. As the saying goes in the world of bikes:

    1) Light
    2) Durable
    3) Cheap

    Pick two.
    No. It's light, stiff, cheap ... pick two

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    No. It's light, stiff, cheap ... pick two
    Regardless, you're not getting more than 2 out of any of these.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  13. #13
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    Two things: Quoted bike weights from vendors are often for the smallest frame without things you would normally have on a bike: e.g. pedals, bottle cages, etc. As was said above, if you want light, don't look at Ti.

    The low end Bikesdirect bikes often have brand X stuff outside of the derailleurs or other showcase parts, but this tends to be not so much the case as you go up the hierarchy. Look at the BB or brakes on a low end bike from a major brand and you might see something similar. To their BD's credit, they give a list with the make and model of every component, so you can decide. Someone I ride with has a Motobecane carbon bike with eTap, and it is all decent stuff: Ritchey WCS and Mavic Ksyrium wheels. I don't care for the graphics of the frame, but it appears to be your basic made in Taiwan monocoque, and he is very happy with it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Regardless, you're not getting more than 2 out of any of these.
    No. You're correct Lombard. The saying is:

    1) Light
    2) Durable
    3) Cheap

    Pick two. Performance used to make the Scattante XRL frameset that was fairly light and stiff and sold for $299. I remember seeing a few CAT5 and CAT4 racers on these. They delivered the goods. Back in 2011, the bike shop a buddy of mine worked at had a customer with one built up with full Dura Ace 7800, Speedplays, Ritchey WCS cockpit and Ksyriums SL wheels. It was just under 17 lbs. I test rode one of their Scattante R660s and that bike was pretty darn stiff.
    Last edited by terbennett; 03-20-2018 at 01:19 PM.

  15. #15
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    I bought that model of Ti bike (2012) from them in a size 53. I've had very few complaints. I didn't weigh it but it feels light to me. Their sizing does run a bit large. The 53 is a little big and the 51 would have been a little small for me.

    I had to iron out a few small issues with it like getting seat clamp to hold but overall, I'm very happy with the purchase. I really wanted a titanium bike and the price at BD can't be beaten.
    2018 Motobecane Immortal Pro
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  16. #16
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by terbennett View Post
    No. You're correct Lombard. The saying is:

    1) Light
    2) Durable
    3) Cheap

    Pick two. Performance used to make the Scattante XRL frameset that was fairly light and stiff and sold for $299. I remember seeing a few CAT5 and CAT4 racers on these. They delivered the goods. Back in 2011, the bike shop a buddy of mine worked at had a customer with one built up with full Dura Ace 7800, Speedplays, Ritchey WCS cockpit and Ksyriums SL wheels. It was just under 17 lbs. I test rode one of their Scattante R660s and that bike was pretty darn stiff.
    But it wasn't durable?

    The 'light, cheap, stiff' saying might be getting dated. I first heard it when the only company making aluminum bikes was Vitus ... and they weren't stiff, although Sean Kelly may beg to differ.

    This was back when gee whiz light was anything under 20 lbs. So the BD titanium bike does pass the test back when that saying was coined, and I assume its durable to boot.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    But it wasn't durable?

    The 'light, cheap, stiff' saying might be getting dated. I first heard it when the only company making aluminum bikes was Vitus ... and they weren't stiff, although Sean Kelly may beg to differ.

    This was back when gee whiz light was anything under 20 lbs. So the BD titanium bike does pass the test back when that saying was coined, and I assume its durable to boot.

    And you know what happens when you a$$-ume.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  18. #18
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    It was durable, and fairly light, but the frameset wasn't as light as some higher end framesets of the time. A full Dura Ace equipped aluminum race bike with Ksyrium SLs isn't that light at 17 lbs with just pedals and FSA SLK components. the CAAD10-1 in 2011 was 1 lb. lighter with 7900 Dura Ace shifters derailleurs and 6700 Ultegra brakes, chain, and cassette. The CAAD also had Shimanos RS80 wheels, which were a good 100 grams heavier than what the Scattante had.

  19. #19
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    I feel like buying a used aluminum or carbon bike, maybe even a vintage ti, for something around $1000 might be better for me. I thought I'd get a significant weight savings with a larger budget, thinking their $3k bikes might actually be around mid to low 17 lbs like the quote (I ride a xs or small frame and have been looking for those frames- BD are 18-19 lbs for ultegra bikes the upgraded bike will likely be about give or take a pound lighter, putting it at high 17/18lbs).

    I can probably pick up something made in the last 10 years maybe not the most modern gear ratios but likely similar/modern geometry same weight 18 -19 lbs for a 48-50cm. I've owned a cheap $150 off brand bike that weighed 23lbs with brifters, pedals, reflectors, cage etc. I currently own an almost 10 year old single speed that is slightly under 19lbs and could weigh less if I upgraded the wheel set. I didn't want to go up in weight because I feel like I do notice a difference in the 19-23lbs, but $3k for a bike that actually weighs minimally less, or potentially more, doesn't make sense. yeah I know it's like apples and oranges....but hey I'm cheap.
    Last edited by khouse123; 03-28-2018 at 05:58 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by khouse123 View Post
    I feel like buying a used aluminum or carbon bike, maybe even a vintage ti, for something around $1000 might be better for me.
    I wouldn't touch a used carbon bike. And you will never find a $1000 Ti bike unless it's been beaten up.

    Quote Originally Posted by khouse123 View Post
    I thought I'd get a significant weight savings with a larger budget, thinking their $3k bikes might actually be around mid to low 17 lbs like the quote (I ride a xs or small frame and have been looking for those frames- BD are 18-19 lbs for ultegra bikes the upgraded bike will likely be about give or take a pound lighter, putting it at high 17/18lbs).
    So let me ask you this. How much do you think your average speed will improve on the 18lb. bike vs. the 19lb. bike?
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    But it wasn't durable?

    The 'light, cheap, stiff' saying might be getting dated. I first heard it when the only company making aluminum bikes was Vitus ... and they weren't stiff, although Sean Kelly may beg to differ.

    This was back when gee whiz light was anything under 20 lbs. So the BD titanium bike does pass the test back when that saying was coined, and I assume its durable to boot.
    Oh yes! The Vitus aluminum frames! I remember riding one of those. I had never noticed frame flex until riding one of those. Still amazes me that Sean Kelly wasn't annoyed by climbing on that. I was.

  22. #22
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    Bikesdirect won't list the bike as 17-18lbs because there are known brand name entry level bikes that can compete with that price and weight.... which means it's actually not as good of a deal as buyers think.

    Overall I would not suggest buying a new stock bike from bd over $1000, unless it was a clearance option and a few hundred off the typcial bd prices. When you buy with them you don't have the brand privilege and service you get with a regular bike shop. A lot of local shops can offer great bikes around the $1500-2500 range with fitting and servicing etc. It's likely all the motobecane bikes weigh 1-2lbs over quoted weights, my bike is about 1.5 lbs over.

    I was lucky enough to end up getting an older Le Champion for around $750 in like new condition off of craigslist. It's a stock 51cm titanium Motobecane Ultegra Le Champion which is the entry level TI bike.

    My thoughts are, bikes are only as valuable as what people want to pay for them. Most people probably buy Motobecanes to get a "better deal for your money." However, there should be more transparency on bikesdirect's behalf, you get Zero service with them. Buying with them is all about saving money and getting a "better bike", the question is are the bikes actually better? Some cases yes, others no. Their discount site bikeisland.com offers the most competitive deals. I feel like if you don't get what you think you're getting it's really questionable if it's a better deal.

    The website should accurately represent the bike weights, you should get what's quoted or have the right to return the bike for free. I'm betting major bike brands do not have as much discrepancy as BD.

    My motobecane ultegra bike model is quoted to be 16.4 - 17.25 lbs. The actual weight is a few grams under 18 lbs **without pedals** in accordance to quoted weights. I doubt the 48 cm is even close to 16.4 - 17.25 lbs. Am I happy with 18lb, yes because I didn't pay $2300, which is the current price. Would I be as happy if I paid $2300 probably not.

    The Dura-Ace le champion 48 cm is quoted to be 15.5 - 16.9 lbs; I find it hard to believe that they could shed over 2lbs.

    In general weight doesn't truly matter. We all get caught up in trying to get the lightest bike, but for most cyclists we don't race or ride in capacities that it truly matters.
    Last edited by khouse123; 07-01-2018 at 10:15 AM.

  23. #23
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    Just a general comment about Ti frames...A friend of mine owns Vassago. If I understood him correctly a light 3/2.5 Ti frame that rides well would come in around 1200g. Put a less than light fork and mid tier group and weigh it with pedals, cages, computer mounts etc...it can quickly add up to 19 lbs. Point is, if you're really concerned about a pound or three Ti frames are not for you.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodys737 View Post
    Just a general comment about Ti frames...A friend of mine owns Vassago. If I understood him correctly a light 3/2.5 Ti frame that rides well would come in around 1200g. Put a less than light fork and mid tier group and weigh it with pedals, cages, computer mounts etc...it can quickly add up to 19 lbs. Point is, if you're really concerned about a pound or three Ti frames are not for you.
    Agree. My Lynskey Ti bike weighs 19.5 lbs with a Potenza groups and standard wheels. The bare frame is 1750grams. My steel Colnago weighs 19.3 lbs. Both are large frames (59c-c). There are good reasons to buy Ti but its not a weight weenie material anymore

  25. #25
    pmf
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    You make some good points. I especially like the one where a few pounds isn't going to make a noticeable difference to most cyclists.

    A LBS does provide services that BD doesn't. And the consumer pays for those services as higher prices. The question I'd ask is, are these services worth the higher bike prices? I think the more experience you get with cycling equipment, the less its worth it. For people just starting out, the LBS services are probably well worth the money, rather than ending up with an ill fitting bike.

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