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  1. #1
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    2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint

    Hello,

    I'm new to this site and new to road biking (been riding mountain bikes for years). I'm looking at road bikes as I'm starting to put a lot of road miles on my mountain bike and it's a pig I was looking on bikes direct and see that they have a 2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint with Sram components and Vuelta XPR Pro wheels/hubs. Price is $999.00. I was wondering if this is a good price and if it would be a good starter bike?

    Also, I'm am 5'-7" with a 30" inseam. Should I be looking at a 52cm frame?

    Thanks in advance for any help that you may be able to provide me.

  2. #2
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    There's nothing wrong with the bike you're looking at. The Apex group is new but should work for years without hiccup. The wheels are solid and will hold up for anything you can dish out. The price is a gift at $999.

    The most important thing is the size. It is hard to order a road bike sight unseen if you don't have a current road bike to use as a guide. But your mountain bike should allow you to get a number. As a single speed mountain biker for the last 5 seasons I've tuned my fit to where I like it but it's not unlike my fleet of road bikes. Regardless of the 29er wheels and the flat bars, my torso dictates where my arms reach and my hands want to be in contact with the bike.

    Depending on your style of frame you could get a top tube measurement relatively easy and compare it to the Motobecane geometry chart image I've attached. If you have a 30" inseam you can easily ride a 52 or a 54. It's going to come down to top tube and stem length. Realize this, you don't need stand over clearance like you do on a MTB. Generally you'll be rolling along, mile after mile without a break. It's not like on a trail where you are shifting your body around to clear obstacles and negotiate the elevation changes on the trail.

    Without seeing you in person I'm basing your numbers on my brother who also rides. He's your size and ideally he prefers a 55 but he's got the same elongated torso as the rest of our family so he ends up on 54's and uses a longer stem. A 56 is too large for him. I can ride anything between a 58 and 61 cm but I'm 5' 11" with a 34" inseam and a flexible lower back.

    If you can't stop by your LBS or use a buddy's bike to get a better idea of your size, take a tape measure to your MTB and see what it tells you.


    Good luck
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint-motobecane-geometry.jpg  

  3. #3
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    2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint

    Thanks for the help. It looks like I will probably go with the Grand Sprint as I didn't want to spend a great amount of money on my first road bike. I'm sure I'll upgrade later.

    The top tube length of my mountain bike is 21-1/2" so I thinking that a 54cm might be better for me as it has a 545mm top tube. I really don't want too small of a bike. I agree with you about not being too concerned about the stand over clearance.

  4. #4
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    2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint

    Ok, I thought I had my mind made up on the Grand Sprint but I now see a Tommaso Corvo (carbon fiber frame) for about $200.00 more. Does anyone have an opinion on Tommaso bikes?

    Didn't know picking out a road bike was so difficult

  5. #5
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    The Tommaso Is mostly Tiagra - a step down from Apex. Tommasso has always been an importer - like Bikesdirect they buy frames from somewhere, not make them. I dont' think that model is a better value.

    However, the wheels on the Motobecane are nothing special - in fact, they are heavy, loose ball wheels that you could surpass for $120 from Performance. There is a certain deception with many things Bikesdirect related - $799 VueltaXRP wheelsets are one. Like the Motobecane website, I believe the XRP website is a BD invention, rather than anything with much to do with the rest of Vuelta, who wouldn't try to market something this heavy and cheap for $799.

    If I wanted carbon and nice components AND wheels, I'd consider a Planet X carbon frame for $500 and one of their full Rival build groups with wheels, bars, etc. A bit over $1400 for a real nice carbon frame, fork, nice components and wheels.

    You could also look at Neuvation. Or the Kestrel Evoke with 105 and nice FSA wheels BD and others sell for around $1500.

  6. #6
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    2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint

    Since this is my first road bike I really didn't want to get into customizing a bike, especially since I don't know what works for me. I want to get into it on the inexpensive side and upgrade at a later date, after I've been riding for a while. Not sure if that is the right way to proceed (that's why I'm looking for all the advice that I can get).

    I know that some of the online bike shops will offer good deals by utilizing cheaper and heavier components. Is that a major concern for someone just starting out?

    The reason I was considering the Tommaso is that it has a fairly light carbon frame. I was thinking that if the frame was decent I could ride it for a while and then eventually upgrade wheels and components.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by redondoaveb
    Since this is my first road bike I really didn't want to get into customizing a bike, especially since I don't know what works for me. I want to get into it on the inexpensive side and upgrade at a later date, after I've been riding for a while. Not sure if that is the right way to proceed (that's why I'm looking for all the advice that I can get).

    I know that some of the online bike shops will offer good deals by utilizing cheaper and heavier components. Is that a major concern for someone just starting out?

    The reason I was considering the Tommaso is that it has a fairly light carbon frame. I was thinking that if the frame was decent I could ride it for a while and then eventually upgrade wheels and components.
    That course is usually a money pit. For a few hundred more you could get a bike that would never need upgrading, while if you do upgrade a less bike to that standard you'll need to spend twice as much.

    When you buy a bike you are getting a discount on a frame, parts and wheels. Use that discount wisely and you end up with frame parts and wheels that are great and cheaper than you could have gotten them otherwise. I think if you can spend $1200 for a decent frame and cheap everything else, you can spend $1500 for an excellent frame, fork, small parts, components and wheels, like the Evoke. Don't pinch pennies now to throw dollars away next year.

  8. #8
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    2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint

    Yeah, I know where you're coming from. For a couple of hundred less than the Kestrel, I was also looking at the Motobecane Immortal Pro. What is you opinion of this bike? Not that I'm against the Kestrel, I'm just trying to save as much as I can without getting junk.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by redondoaveb
    Yeah, I know where you're coming from. For a couple of hundred less than the Kestrel, I was also looking at the Motobecane Immortal Pro. What is you opinion of this bike? Not that I'm against the Kestrel, I'm just trying to save as much as I can without getting junk.
    For $1295 you get a decent, somewhat light frame (do you like the way it looks?), decent components (mixed group, mostly 105 with non-Shimano brakes and cranks) and Shimano's entry level wheelset with loose bearings that are a bit heavy.

    For $1495 you get a better, lighter Kestrel frame, a full 105 group and FSA wheels with cartridge bearings.

    That's like spending $70 for better wheels, $50 for a nicer crank and brakes and $80 for a nicer frameset. Which do you think is a better deal?

  10. #10
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    2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint

    Sounds to me like the Kestrel is the better deal I need to figure out if I should go with a 52cm or a 54cm. I want to go with the 54cm but after looking at their geometry chart I might be too stretched out for it.

  11. #11
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    What's your relevant dimensions, and what are you comparing it too? Height, inseam, other bike's TT and stem, etc.

  12. #12
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    2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint

    I'm not too concerned about the stand over height. I was looking at the top tube length of a 54cm frame is 55cm. Actually, after doing some more research, maybe that isn't too bad.

    I did a quick and maybe not totally accurate measurement with a fit calculator. Here are the results.

    Heigth- 67"
    Inseam- 30"
    Trunk- 25"
    Forearm- 12"
    Arm- 27"
    Thigh- 22"
    Lower Leg- 21"
    Stemal Notch- 55"

    I was taking these measurement by myself so they probably aren't super accurate. I just wanted to get fairly close.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by redondoaveb
    I'm not too concerned about the stand over height. I was looking at the top tube length of a 54cm frame is 55cm. Actually, after doing some more research, maybe that isn't too bad.

    I did a quick and maybe not totally accurate measurement with a fit calculator. Here are the results.

    Heigth- 67"
    Inseam- 30"
    Trunk- 25"
    Forearm- 12"
    Arm- 27"
    Thigh- 22"
    Lower Leg- 21"
    Stemal Notch- 55"

    I was taking these measurement by myself so they probably aren't super accurate. I just wanted to get fairly close.
    I'd be most concerned about your inseam. Did you measure that with the book and wall method, or pant length?

    If that 30" is accurate, then you have a longish torso, which I could see that making the 55 TT slightly attractive. BUT, the standover is -.5" for you - which is not cool. And if that isn't accurate then the need for a long TT becomes even less.

    Long story short, at 5'7", a 53.5 TT size 52 is the most likely overall fit for you. Once you correct for the seat tube angle, the actual difference between the two sizes is only 8mm - so that 53.5 TT is really a 54.2cm TT. I'd definetly go with the size 52 - it should be long enough for your torso, but short enough to stand over (so your seat post doesn't look funny ).

    I would guess you're going to need something like a 120mm stem, but wait until you get the bike to fit that.


    If you're not good bike mechanic, consider spending the money either for a professional assembly or a mechanic class. It would be a shame to damage such a nice bike because you didn't get a minor adjustment right.

  14. #14
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    2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint

    I used the book and wall method without shoes on. Do you still think that the .5 inch difference in stand over height is still too tall. I really don't want to get too small of a bike but I don't want to be too stretched either.

    I can work on bikes but I'm not too good at truing spokes. I'll take it to my LBS for assembly.

    Do you know if the Kestrel Evoke is a discontinued model, I emailed Bikes Direct to find out what year the bike is. Haven't heard back from them as of yet.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by redondoaveb
    I used the book and wall method without shoes on. Do you still think that the .5 inch difference in stand over height is still too tall. I really don't want to get too small of a bike but I don't want to be too stretched either.

    I can work on bikes but I'm not too good at truing spokes. I'll take it to my LBS for assembly.

    Do you know if the Kestrel Evoke is a discontinued model, I emailed Bikes Direct to find out what year the bike is. Haven't heard back from them as of yet.
    No, the 52 won't be too small. It is the most appropriate bike for you body, and it has long enough TT. The additional .8mm on the 54 won't help that much, but the rest of the 54 will cause problems. I wasn't just suggesting the 52 for standover clearance - it's a good size all around for you.

    The Evoke is a 2010 or 2009 model. Nothing interesing in carbon design has happened since then, however this is not the latest version of 105, if that matters to you.

    If you want another option:
    http://www.planet-x-usa.com/pPRO%20C...-Complete.aspx

    $499 carbon frame and fork, $895 Sram Rival with lightweight B wheelset is $1394, but you'll have to assemble it. (In your shoes, this is what I'd get.)

  16. #16
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    2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint

    What makes the Planet-X a better choice than the Evoke? Hope I'm not asking too many questions, just want to make the right choice.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rx-79g
    The Tommaso Is mostly Tiagra - a step down from Apex. Tommasso has always been an importer - like Bikesdirect they buy frames from somewhere, not make them. I dont' think that model is a better value.

    However, the wheels on the Motobecane are nothing special - in fact, they are heavy, loose ball wheels that you could surpass for $120 from Performance. There is a certain deception with many things Bikesdirect related - $799 VueltaXRP wheelsets are one. Like the Motobecane website, I believe the XRP website is a BD invention, rather than anything with much to do with the rest of Vuelta, who wouldn't try to market something this heavy and cheap for $799.

    If I wanted carbon and nice components AND wheels, I'd consider a Planet X carbon frame for $500 and one of their full Rival build groups with wheels, bars, etc. A bit over $1400 for a real nice carbon frame, fork, nice components and wheels.

    You could also look at Neuvation. Or the Kestrel Evoke with 105 and nice FSA wheels BD and others sell for around $1500.

    I think I should point this mis-statement out.
    XRP Pro wheels are precision bearings [not loose ball as you say]

    They are hand built by the top wheel building shop in taiwan; hand trued and re-tensioned and re-trued 3 times. The shop that does these wheels is contracted by other top wheel brands to build wheels that retail at way over $1500.
    I do not think anyone sells a wheelset that can even come close to these for $120 or even twice that.

    All brands of wheels have QC issues and defects. I have sold about every brand of wheel ever made and I can tell you I have never seen a line of wheels with better QC and lower defect ratio than XRP/Velta.

    Of course, wheels are only one component on any bike that someone considers; and everyone has their favorites; but I can not think of a mid priced wheel I would prefer for normal riding over an XRP Pro
    mike
    http://www.bikesdirect.com - supports Mtbr.com and RoadBikeReview.com as great places to exchange ideas
    ~~~~
    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." Mahatma Ghandi

  18. #18
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    2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint

    Mike,

    I am looking at bikes on your site, originally, the Motobecane Grand Sprint. Now as you can see by this post, I'm considering the Kestrel Evoke. What year is the ones that you have for sale. Also, do you have a 52cm (black) in stock? Do you agree with rx-79g that a 52cm would be better for me than a 54cm?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesdirect
    I think I should point this mis-statement out.
    XRP Pro wheels are precision bearings [not loose ball as you say]

    They are hand built by the top wheel building shop in taiwan; hand trued and re-tensioned and re-trued 3 times. The shop that does these wheels is contracted by other top wheel brands to build wheels that retail at way over $1500.
    I do not think anyone sells a wheelset that can even come close to these for $120 or even twice that.

    All brands of wheels have QC issues and defects. I have sold about every brand of wheel ever made and I can tell you I have never seen a line of wheels with better QC and lower defect ratio than XRP/Velta.

    Of course, wheels are only one component on any bike that someone considers; and everyone has their favorites; but I can not think of a mid priced wheel I would prefer for normal riding over an XRP Pro
    In 21 years in and around the bike industry, this is my first brush with "precision bearings". Bearings are either loose, or they are in cartridges. I have some lovely Campy hubs with very round bearings and precisely polished races - but they don't stop being "loose ball" hubs.

    So what are "precision bearings", that are neither loose nor in cartridges?

  20. #20
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    I too vote for the 52 cm.

  21. #21
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    2011 Motobecane Grand Sprint

    Thanks for all the suggestions, now all that I need to do is figure out which bike to buy

    Looks like I'll be going with a 52cm.

    Thanks again!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rx-79g
    So what are "precision bearings", that are neither loose nor in cartridges?
    Mike said "precision bearings [not loose ball as you say]". And in your words, "bearings are either loose or they're in cartridges." So it should be obvious that they're cartridge bearings with the more or less empty marketing term "precision" put in front of it. But perhaps you really didn't want an answer to this question.

    What I'm not entirely clear on is why anyone would use "loose ball wheels" to imply low quality. I have some lovely loose-ball Campy hubs that are the centerpiece of my extremely nice "loose ball wheels."

  23. #23
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    Now that we're clear what "bearings" are, any suggestions on a bike? :-)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by wim
    Mike said "precision bearings [not loose ball as you say]". And in your words, "bearings are either loose or they're in cartridges." So it should be obvious that they're cartridge bearings with the more or less empty marketing term "precision" put in front of it. But perhaps you really didn't want an answer to this question.

    What I'm not entirely clear on is why anyone would use "loose ball wheels" to imply low quality. I have some lovely loose-ball Campy hubs that are the centerpiece of my extremely nice "loose ball wheels."
    It would be obvious, if the VueltaXRP website didn't make it sound like they were three different things, and Mike made no effort to correct me.
    What is the difference between sealed cartridge bearings and sealed hubs?
    Sealed hubs are sealed from outside elements. Sealed hubs can use either ball or precision bearings. Sealed cartridge bearing hubs use precision cartridge bearings.
    http://www.vueltaxrpwheels.com/faq.asp

    So, sealed hubs and cartridge bearings are different, but precision bearing can be found in either sealed hubs or cartridge bearings.

    Wim, you know as well as I do that just because Campy makes great loose ball hubs that doesn't mean they're a better product in general than cartridge bearings. They're precise, well sealed and require no maintenance or adjustment.

  25. #25
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    I do not know anything about their bikes but I had a very bad experience with bikesdirect.com and would never buy anything fro me them. I did not find them to be customer focused and they seem to distrust everyone from San Francisco based on some event.
    Embrace the fact that everyone on these forums has their own unique desires, needs, experiences and environment so what works for you may not work for others.

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