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  1. #1
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    Budget bike : Dawes Lightning

    Ok, I don't need anybody to come tell me that i totally need a more expensive bike etc etc, i want something good for exercise, cheap, relatively fast..
    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-TRACK-ROAD-R...QQcmdZViewItem
    A single speed and
    this
    http://cgi.ebay.com/BRAND-NEW-24-SPE...QQcmdZViewItem

    Just some questions:
    Are these relatively light in comparison to dept. store road bikes?
    Ie. 24-25 Pounds... I know thats really heavy for you guys, but its decent for me.
    How much weight does being a single speed save?
    Is single speed the same as fixed gear, IE: you have to pedal and you cannot coast.
    How hard is it to assemble these "BD" bikes.
    Assuming that all these different brand names will probably be the same, from $200-350 whats my best bet?

    Im probably not going to ride more than 20 miles a week, at the MOST.

    Also, is single speed really hard to go up hills? Even after getting used to it?
    Thanks for any help!


    PS. I already have tried looking for old bikes, but most are too large for me, and also in my area, people demand too much money just because it's a road bicycle.
    These are the kinds of ads i have:
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/211785653.html

  2. #2
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    Allow me to plug my own thread about a similar bike:

    2007 Mercier Galaxy Al - Trawling the Bottom End

    It appears that Dawes, Windsor, Motobecane, and Mercier are all the same company and the bikes are very similar. The Mercier I bought from bikesdirect.com is practically the same as that Dawes you are looking at, save for paint color and decals.

    I'm loving my bike and I'm glad I bought it. It is indeed heavy relative to pricier bikes, but it feels good and solid when you're riding (at least so far!). I look at it like a training bike and if I get into this sport seriously, I'll really appreciate the good stuff.

    I can guess at answers for your single speed questions, but I'll let someone else with actual experience chime in.

  3. #3
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    Are you sure you know what size bike you need? That would be my first question.

    That single speed is going to be tough on your knees. If you're going to be riding in traffic, it will be tough to accellerate from a total stop and through intersections, etc.

    If you're only going to put in 20 miles a week, then you're not going to build your legs up enough to really be able to push a single speed, especially up a hill. It will be labor intensive and won't be a lot of fun which might be all the excuse you need to quit riding altogether.

    The assembly on my BD bike took about three hours. You just want to make sure that your wheels are true. If not, your nearby LBS can true them for you.

    Bikes in that price range are probably all going to be about the same quality and weight-wise.
    It takes forever to reach a destination that does not exist.

  4. #4
    MB1
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    Don't buy from Bikes Direct.

    That a company is loathed all over the internet should be a warning to all.
    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    these are better than i was expecting, and my expectations were already rather high.

  5. #5
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    Why is it loathed? Don't they have a ebay outlet?
    Thanks for the suggestion, I probably won't get a SS.
    By the way, 24 pounds is light (for me), Im comparing it to a 200 dollar walmart bike that weighs 32 pounds.

    And I swim, year round, so im thinking this can be my "dryland".
    Thanks for responses.

  6. #6
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    first of all..

    do what you want to do and buy what you want to buy!! don't listen to all of these people, some of which have taken a generality and made it fact.

    I ride a single speed every day to work..up a 8-10% slope in some spots. yes, its hard...its a lot of work if you're not in shape (I'm a Cat. 3 road racer) BUT you can change the gear ratios to make it MUCH LESS WORK. put on a 42 or 44 tooth chainring and replace the rear cog with an 18 or even 21 if you're that out of shape and go for it. not every single speed has to have a 48/17 ratio.

    single speeds can coast down hill...fixed gears cannot. the language should be intuitive. single speeds have a freewheel mechanism built around one cog.

    contrary to popular belief, I don't find single speeds to be that much less maintenance than a geared bike, but I do like the fact I don't have to worry about shifting while in traffic.

    do what you wish, and learn from your own experiences, not what faceless people on the internet write...

  7. #7
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    Last edited by Lifelover; 11-04-2006 at 07:54 PM.
    Joined the other team in the name of the economy

  8. #8
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    I think a single speed for someone riding only 20/mi week is probably not the best idea. If weight is an issue, you can get a mountain bike in the 24-25 lb range anymore, and probably you'll ride it more comfortably than a SS road set up.

    This particular online vendor has both fans and detractors. My concern for you would be two fold: 1) you are new to cycling and thus could really be screwed up with the wrong size bike; and 2) you're on a tight budget and will absolutely positively have to pay for a bike build (if not additional adjustments or wheel truing) even if the bike otherwise is fine upon arrival.

    There's no bargain in being on the wrong sized bike or needing $100 in immediate service. I generally do not recommend internet buying for one's first bike unless you are being assisted by a very knowledgable friend. Since you are interested in bang for the buck more than building a relationship with an LBS, you're a great candidate to buy used (road or mtn) and can get more buck for that $300 in the used market.

    But everything you say about your needs and expectations just cries out to be solved with a used mt bike and slicks if you asked me.
    JESUS IS COMING

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  9. #9
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    This is the bike I got from Bikes Direct. I am very happy with the bike and the service of Bikes Direct. In a little over a year I have put almost 3000 trouble free miles on this machine. Like many people who purchase bikes whether $1000 bikes over the internet or $4000 bikes from LBS I have upgraded the wheels and a few other parts. Like those who purchase $4000 bikes if I wasn't very happy with my purchase I wouldn't have invested another $400 for wheels.When I ride with my local club it is not unusual for me to beat most of the other riders back to the lot after a 50-60 mile trip even though they have expensive Trecks, Giants, Orbeas or Colognos. If had a $4000 bike I would be embarrassed to be beaten by someone with a $1000 bike purchased over the internet.Take a look at the bike and instead of listening to people who have no experience with Bikes Direct and their products decide for yourself.
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    Last edited by geraldatwork; 09-25-2006 at 06:50 PM.
    "The Shill"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by geraldatwork
    This is the bike I got from Bikes Direct. I am very happy with the bike and the service of Bikes Direct. In a little over a year I have put almost 3000 trouble free miles on this machine. Like many people who purchase bikes whether $1000 bikes over the internet or $4000 bikes from LBS I have upgraded the wheels and a few other parts. Like those who purchase $4000 bikes if I wasn't very happy with my purchase I wouldn't have invested another $400 for wheels.When I ride with my local club it is not unusual for me to beat most of the other riders back to the lot after a 50-60 mile trip even though they have expensive Trecks [SIC], Giants, Orbeas or Colognos [SIC}. If had a $4000 bike I would be embarrassed [SIC] to be beaten by someone with a $1000 bike purchased over the internet.Take a look at the bike and instead of listening to people who have no experience with Bikes Direct and their products decide for yourself.

    Please, let's just flippin' not go there... the "I beat someone on a more expensive bike" topic is one step short of trolling IMO. If it ain't a race, don't assume people are racing. Also, don't assume that everyone buys (or rides) for speed. And you should know better to think there's really a correlation between brand name and mph.

    Sheesh. I think you can make your "I've been happy with service and product" without going this route, can't you?
    JESUS IS COMING

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  11. #11
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    Here's a little review I did on my sister's dawes lightning (geared): Just assembled a $225 Ebay Dawes (review) The only other issue that's come up is the fact that the tires are thin/flimsy and flat very easily (not unusual for stock tires on a low-end bike). The bike has got ~1000 miles on it now and works just fine.

    On the other hand, I was looking for a bike at the same time and was in the same price range. The fact that a bike was "new" meant little to me, so I ended up with a 10-year old Ultegra/600-equipped specialized. If you have some experience with bikes and can spot potential problems -- I would suggest searching through craigslists and yard sales for a few weeks.
    Last edited by SPDu4ea; 09-26-2006 at 12:10 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtolleson
    Please, let's just flippin' not go there... the "I beat someone on a more expensive bike" topic is one step short of trolling IMO. If it ain't a race, don't assume people are racing. Also, don't assume that everyone buys (or rides) for speed. And you should know better to think there's really a correlation between brand name and mph.

    Sheesh. I think you can make your "I've been happy with service and product" without going this route, can't you?
    When I see a poster who doesn't have a clue what they are talking about saying "don't buy from Bikes Direct" I take it personally and consider them a troll. They are indirectly telling me I made a bad choice and I am going to respond. Period. As far as most club rides are not races I guess it depends on what club you are referring to. My club has numerous levels of skill. So within each group the riders are fairly even. During our mostly 50-60 mile rides we push each other. That doesn't mean we don't help each other out. If someone or a group of people are having a bad day we will wait for them. Sometimes I'll lag behind. But we ride together not race.However usually during the last 2 or 3 miles back to the lot a half a dozen of us who are feelin strong will go full out. I take pride when my BD bike beats out all of those overpriced bikes with similiar components to mine. I hope this clarifies what you were asking.
    "The Shill"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by geraldatwork
    When I see a poster who doesn't have a clue what they are talking about saying "don't buy from Bikes Direct" I take it personally and consider them a troll. They are indirectly telling me I made a bad choice and I am going to respond. Period. As far as most club rides are not races I guess it depends on what club you are referring to. My club has numerous levels of skill. So within each group the riders are fairly even. During our mostly 50-60 mile rides we push each other. That doesn't mean we don't help each other out. If someone or a group of people are having a bad day we will wait for them. Sometimes I'll lag behind. But we ride together not race.However usually during the last 2 or 3 miles back to the lot a half a dozen of us who are feelin strong will go full out. I take pride when my BD bike beats out all of those overpriced bikes with similiar components to mine. I hope this clarifies what you were asking.
    Well, you didn't respond to that poster (who btw knows more about bikes than all of us put together). He wasn't saying, "don't buy a Motobecane/Mercier/Dawes/Bottechia because they aren't fast." You made a boneheaded, irrelevant statement suggesting that bike purchase has a rat's ass to do with speed. You refuted (or thought you did) an argument that absolutely NO ONE was making.

    If you are really feeling "pride" when your "bike" "beats" other brands, you need to get over yourself.

    Be sure and tell the guys and gals in your club the way you really feel, too. I'm sure you'll be a big hit.
    JESUS IS COMING

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  14. #14
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    I bought my wife a Windsor flat bar road bike from bikes direct. She is a beginner and was agast that I suggested we spend at least $1,000 for a bike. So I found the Windsor for $310.00.

    I figured it would not be tuned properly so when it arrived I just stripped it down and built it back up. It shifts really well and she likes the ride. I raised the handlebars with a stem extension and we had to get her a new saddle. The saddle it came with was awful.

    So all in all for under $400 she has a bike that works well and she can ride around the neighborhood on and may eventually lead to a more substantial bike that she can go on much longer rides with. I think it was a pretty good deal.

    But if you don't know how to repair bikes and don't know what size you need you need to go to a LBS and get fit and spend a little more money to get somehting that is properly set up. Otherwise you won't like riding it and either you go ahead and get something more expensive thus wasting the $250-300 origional purchase or you end up never riding a bike again.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtolleson
    Well, you didn't respond to that poster (who btw knows more about bikes than all of us put together). He wasn't saying, "don't buy a Motobecane/Mercier/Dawes/Bottechia because they aren't fast." You made a boneheaded, irrelevant statement suggesting that bike purchase has a rat's ass to do with speed. You refuted (or thought you did) an argument that absolutely NO ONE was making.

    If you are really feeling "pride" when your "bike" "beats" other brands, you need to get over yourself.

    Be sure and tell the guys and gals in your club the way you really feel, too. I'm sure you'll be a big hit.
    It took a some time but I have been over myself for a while now. I feel much better thank you. I have also noticed that when fellow forum members have positive things to say about Bike Direct bikes it seems to get you upset. Not the first time, and probably not the last time. Kind of like in that Abbot and Costello movie where they are in jail and Costello mentions "Niagra Falls" the inmate goes off the deep end. Someone mentions "Bike Direct" and you seem to react in the same manor. Very funny indeed.
    "The Shill"

  16. #16
    MB1
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    Let me count the ways, some of which are on display in this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by taikuodo
    Why is it loathed?
    Bikes Direct marketing practices are along the line of all those rug merchants who advertise suggested retail price savings that only exist the imagination of the advertiser-no one but a fool has ever paid those MSRP prices.

    Another potential problem is their lack of phone number-you just can't get hold of a real person, it has to be done on-line. Reports of their warranty service have been mixed.

    If that were all that Bikes Direct did they would not have earned the really bad reputation they enjoy. What really makes them hated on bike forums is the companies proven practice of sending shills and sock puppets to bicycling web sites like this one to endlessly go on and on about what a wonderful company Bikes Direct is and how much money they have saved and how much they love their bikes that they purchased from Bikes Direct.

    The forum management spends endless effort tracking down these posters IP addresses and banning the ones that can be proven to be Bikes Direct shills-always missing some. It is pretty easy to recognize who the shills are from the similarities of their posts-the same glowing praise over and over again and the attacks on folks who disagree (no other brand and company even comes close).

    With all the known problems and the blatantly dishonest marketing from Bikes Direct buying from them would be along the same line as replying to a Nigerian Scam e-mail.

    Or to make it simple-don't buy from Bikes Direct.

    I hope this answers your question.
    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    these are better than i was expecting, and my expectations were already rather high.

  17. #17
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    Any search will reveal dozens of customers who are happy with their BD purchase and an an equal amount who have no personal experience with BD who say bad things about them. I am a shill for most any product I use that I have a good experience with and I think others might be able to share the same positive experience. I have said good things about my wheels, saddle and other parts on my bike. Not just BD bikes. If you go through my posts you will also see that on a few occasions I have suggested that before anyone buys a bike over the internet they should pretty well know what size they need and if there is any doubt would be better buying from a LBS. I am happy with the bike and feel it offered me good value. If someone wants to buy me a $4000 more well known brand bike I will be happy to ride it and probably would say positive things about it. I hope somebody takes me up on it.
    "The Shill"

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by geraldatwork
    It took a some time but I have been over myself for a while now. I feel much better thank you. I have also noticed that when fellow forum members have positive things to say about Bike Direct bikes it seems to get you upset. Not the first time, and probably not the last time. Kind of like in that Abbot and Costello movie where they are in jail and Costello mentions "Niagra Falls" the inmate goes off the deep end. Someone mentions "Bike Direct" and you seem to react in the same manor [SIC]. Very funny indeed.

    Uh, look again. Actually, I didn't say jackcrap about BD. I addressed your ridiculous statement about "beating" people on your BD bike. You can make this about BD, or not. You can see my thoughts about the OP's question (none of which involved attacking BD) above. Don't claim I said something I didn't, or deflect from my concern: your inane "speed" theory.

    I don't see any need to belabor it any more. Have a fine day.
    JESUS IS COMING

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  19. #19
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    BikesDirect is fine

    Quote Originally Posted by taikuodo
    Why is it loathed? Don't they have a ebay outlet?
    Thanks for the suggestion, I probably won't get a SS.
    By the way, 24 pounds is light (for me), Im comparing it to a 200 dollar walmart bike that weighs 32 pounds.

    And I swim, year round, so im thinking this can be my "dryland".
    Thanks for responses.
    don't listen to all of the haters...I ordered my bike from Bikes Direct about 2 years ago. Didn't have any issues. I purchased a Dawes 1000, which works perfectly for my needs. The bike was delivered within 1 week, everything looked good and nothing has broke down yet. I use my bike to commute to work, and it is much more comfortable than the "bike shaped object" that I had before.

  20. #20
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    Call me a contrarian, but ...

    Quote Originally Posted by MB1
    Bikes Direct ... to make it simple-don't buy from Bikes Direct.

    I hope this answers your question.

    Whoa! I've bought 3 bikes from them. My only problem with them is which one to buy next!
    It was GREEN, officer!

  21. #21
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    I have one of those, too!

    Quote Originally Posted by geraldatwork
    This is the bike I got from Bikes Direct. ....
    Now finishing up my 4th season on it, at least 12,000 miles, probably 150 races. I finally placed in a race a couple weeks ago. I guess I should have spent twice as much on a Scott, then I'd have won more races I guess.

    Got my eye on one of the new titanium Moto's....
    It was GREEN, officer!

  22. #22
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    Bull. BD.com is a fine company.

  23. #23
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    Threads like this make it worth stopping in here every couple weeks.
    Clean up on aisle 8 please.
    And who makes Treck bikes?
    LS

  24. #24
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    3 year old thread.
    BD has already made inroads with folks here.

  25. #25
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    I have been thinking about purchasing a BD bike for about a year now. I have read pros and cons. And guess what.. I AM buying from them. No where can you gat the same quality bike for the price. Just but the guy a 6 pack at the LBS and he will work on your bike for small $ if necessary.

    There are haters out here. Why??? I dont know...

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