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  1. #26
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    Re: How is Motobecane vs. the big brands?

    Good reads - thanks for posting. I will start reading the full vertical-limit series when rocking the baby back to sleep at 3am

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by pushstart View Post
    Good reads - thanks for posting. I will start reading the full vertical-limit series when rocking the baby back to sleep at 3am
    Truth be told, I used to sound just like Lesscan until someone schooled me. LOL I love American-made bikes, I have two of them. Taiwanese made bikes are definitely good quality, and also happens to be where most bikes on the market are being made (including all of the mainstream American-ish brands e.g. Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Raleigh, etc. as seen in the first link).

    The Taiwanese specialized in frame building, the big companies invested on the infrastructure there, the workers got a lot of practice. Once upon a time, Japan was frowned upon in the same way... now you are lucky if you can find a bicycle frame or a camera built in Japan. It's basic economics, it gets cheaper to move production elsewhere (Malaysia, Vietnam, China) and then Taiwan and Japan move upscale.

    You see it across the board, the same tactics... take blank dvd-r's for example, there are only a handful of factories making all of them and yet there are hundreds of different branded products at the store. In reality companies like Apple and Sony are selling the same thing with a different label. The good DVD-R's first came from Japan, then production moved to Taiwan... now most of them are coming out of India. Pick a product, you'll find similar trends. The vertical-limit article really lays it out well and is specific to bikes, which is a bonus.

    Personally, if I'm buying a mass produced steel or aluminum tig welded bike, Taiwan is now my first choice. I feel sorry for anyone who can't distinguish between Taiwan and China considering how much effort, time, and money the US military has put into protecting the independent government in Taiwan. I can't help but wonder if Lesscan is confusing Taiwan with HongKong? That said, I'd still rather buy an American made Lynskey/Waterford/Rivendell/Seven/Independent or something... if budget allows.

    While Chinese-made is what I avoid, I've actually heard that the best carbon bikes are coming out of there... that's a reasonable statement if the major companies are investing in lots of the latest technology and equipment and that is where they are building the factories. We shouldn't judge a product on the country of origin, so much as which country is getting the most financial investment, has the most modern and up-to-date equipment for producing a given product.

    Unfortunately, that's not always easy to determine for the end consumer. It's all further complicated by value-added... you'll hear the term VAT or value added tax thrown around. It has to do with what percentage of the end product is manufactured in a given country... and that is what determines which country-of-origin sticker goes on the final product.

    More confusion is added by stickers such as "Assembled in the USA of imported components" or "Designed in the USA" or "HandMade in the USA." All of which are incredibly vague.

    Anywho... yeah, great links! Don't forget to bookmark them. The vertical-limit article is a must read for anyone trying to understand the business model of bikes-direct, REI's Novara, Ribble (UK), or any other housebrand bicycle.
    Last edited by headloss; 11-04-2013 at 06:22 PM.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lesscan View Post
    But I dont care! And now I care even less because of your attitudes.
    Its good to know that a simple bike conversation can be turned into a personal attack.
    Thanks for expressing your points so maturely even in the face of someone who doesnt agree with you nor cares about political semantics.

    Good day "gentlemen"

    I wont be responding so if you really need to have the last word... have at it!
    Personal attack? Dude, you see what you want to see. Sorry to bother you, I didn't know that I needed to wear kid's gloves when I talk to other adults on this forum. Welcome to the internet, and all that. But really, I have no interest in attacking you or anyone else here. We are all here to help, the sarcasm and bluntness are included at no charge. I give it, and I take it. I suppose I don't like when other's give me the attitude either... but you and I are just the sensitive type, I guess.

    BTW, when did I talk about politics? You should read those links and educate yourself... I took the time to dig them up as a courtesy to YOU!!! I'm talking about bikes, manufacturing, trade, and economics. Politics? Not so much. *shrugs*
    Last edited by headloss; 11-04-2013 at 06:31 PM.

  4. #29
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    The only reason NOT to buy an asian frame is for social reasons, or political reasons. Which is fine, you can feel however you want to feel about those topics.

    In terms of just flat out sheer quality, this argument is pretty dead by now. The Taiwanese and Chinese stuff has proven itself many times over by now. Its as good, or even better than US made stuff.

  5. #30
    lighthouse54.1
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    In 09 i decided to buy a touring bike and wanted something made in America or at least partly made in America. So in my shopping i noticed that Surly.com was proudly waving the American flag. i looked at the bikes and bought the Surly long haul Trucker. A few weeks later i was cleaning the bike and i noticed that on the bottom it said "made in Taiwan". So i did some research and learned that Surly sold out at some point and my bike was a product of the new deal. it is a good bike. However i wanted a lighter bike later on so this time i had a frame custom built for me in Santa ynex, Calif. Anyway it is made from italian tubing and made in America. The components are shimano 105. Anyway my son bouhg t a motobecane from bikes direct and the bike has been fine. he just recently upgraded to a Cannondale Cadd10 but still has the motobecane. he said the only thing he does not like about the motobecane is that the front end shimmy's on high speed descents. It did cause him to descend at a slower rate. The reason i say the bike was fine because my Eisentraut from the 70's shimmied, My Specialized Allez from the 80's pulled to the right and my Surly had a floating front end feeling. So until my current custom bike which is a lighthouse sequoia i have never owned a bike that worked well in the front end. The lighthouse is my last bike as i am 66y/o. The bike being Columbus Steel and being great will last for decades so i am finsihed buying road bikes. i might buy some other kind of bike maybe. i would like a cool city bike but a lighthouse city bike would be expensive. Just thinking about it. no more off the rack bikes with poor fitting and front end problems for me.

    Oh, my LBS will not even speak to me because i would not buy a bike from them using the ride in the parking lot fitting program. When i asked them about a fitting program they said they did not offer one because it took to much time. They felt that standing over the bike and a ride in the parking lot was all that was needed. They selll Specialized anyway and I have not forgot about my Allez that pulled to the right for 11 years. When i bought it Specialized refused to warranty the frame and said i should expect poor alignment with a production frame.

  6. #31
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    Surly never manufactured bicycles in the USA, but they are based here. A lot of their assembly is done here. They build wheels here. All the parts are coming from overseas. My Trek 520 was "built" in the USA, it also happens to be one of the last frames welded together in WI. The fork (spinner) and all of the (original) components are imported. It's par for the course. You want an American made frame, you aren't going to a large volume builder.

    Quote Originally Posted by lighthouse54.1 View Post
    Oh, my LBS will not even speak to me because i would not buy a bike from them using the ride in the parking lot fitting program. When i asked them about a fitting program they said they did not offer one because it took to much time. They felt that standing over the bike and a ride in the parking lot was all that was needed.
    That is an LBS not worth supporting. No reason to turn their nose to competitors bikes, from what I understand, most profit comes from accessories anyways. Personally, I won't buy a bike from a shop unwilling to swap out stems for a test ride. I might be lucky, in that I know shops that will go to that extent to satisfy a customer.
    Last edited by headloss; 11-05-2013 at 08:12 AM.

  7. #32
    lighthouse54.1
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    Not sure about the Surly. The website had a made in USA flag when i was shopping. But the bike is made in Taiwan. Still wherever it came from it's a solid bike with some handling problems. My youngest son took it over last january.

    My LBS is the only shop in the county but I do not really shop there. The owner is cranky and the prices are high. I was buying some Co2 cartridges there but I discovered that amazon sells them for a buck and that immediately changed how I buy those. I just ordered up a box of 30.

    Currently I own 2 bikes. A Cannondale M500 that I ride to work. I bought it over 20 years ago and it has an American Flag decal on it. I also have my new bike the Lighthouse made in Santa Ynez Ca. Components are 105. I think 105 is made in Japan but I am not sure about that. I build my own wheels and I went with Mavic open pro, DT spokes. But I am not an anti Chinese shopper or anything. Most of the stuff I buy in the world is made in China.

    If I needed a new frame I would buy another Lighthouse.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye Jim View Post
    I have the Champion SL, I think its a 2010 model. Almost 20,000 miles with no trouble at all. Gets lots of compliments, I removed the decals, folks think its a Linsky.
    What method did you use for the decal removal? I want to do this over winter but I am suffering paralysis of analysis. Thanks!

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfonsina View Post
    What method did you use for the decal removal? I want to do this over winter but I am suffering paralysis of analysis. Thanks!
    If the Motobecane is similar to Habanero and the decals are not under clearcoat, then it works to just use a hairdryer and old credit card (or some hard plastic) to scrape them off. A little googone or citrus degreaser at the end to remove sticky residue. That's what I did.

    If they are under clearcoat, then my suggestion is probably useless

  10. #35
    pmf
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    I've got a Litespeed I want to do this too. There's no clear coat on the bike. I was told Goo Gone works well. Th eframe is older (1999)so I worry trhat the metal exposed that was under the decals for all these years will look a little different because it didin't oxidize any. So even without the decals, there will still be a shadow of the decal. Is there a metal polish that would clear that up?

    My other alternative is to buy a new set of decals, but that kinda scares me. One little mistake and it looks terrible.

  11. #36
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    Yeah, that is a valid concern. I removed my Habanero downtube decals immediately upon receipt but even then could see the outline for awhile -- eventually it evened out. So that could definitely be an issue with an older frame. But yeah, goo gone works well for the residue, but I found I needed heat to remove them initially.

  12. #37
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    OK, wait! Why are we removing decals?

  13. #38
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    I love the bare TI look, it looks really classic. I will try the hairdryer trick, thanks! there is no clear coat for sure.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy56 View Post
    Hello folks, I've been lurking in this forum for some time now trying to gain some updated knowledge on the purchase of a new road bike and I will admit, you don't disappoint. You are a very knowledgeable group of riders. My last roadie was a Peugeot U08 back in 1974 but lately I have gotten the bug to get back on another one. I have been riding an old Specialized MTB and it's just too much work for a 6:00 am, 8 mile fitness ride. I'm also aware of the different models that the big 4 manufactures have on the market today. I'm 57 years old and looking for a bike that will allow me to ride for casual fitness and I also plan to ride the RAGBRAI ride across Iowa on my brother in law's team next summer, so I need to start logging some training miles. My budget at this time is around $800. I see plenty of used Trek, Specialized and Cdale on craigslist in the price range. However, they're used bikes and I don't know what problems may surface later on. Several experienced riders on my brother in law's RAGBRAI team ride Motobecanes and swear by them. Does anyone have any experience with this brand through Bikes Direct? Thanks for any input. ~ Mike

    Know someone with a Ti road bike Motobecane, and asked him this question. He rides a fair amount. The reply back was that it's a good bike, but not in the same league as what could be purchased from Moot, Seven or previously Serotta. Ignoring price, which is always hard to do, nobody would ever buy these bikes on pure quality and build alone.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    Know someone with a Ti road bike Motobecane, and asked him this question. He rides a fair amount. The reply back was that it's a good bike, but not in the same league as what could be purchased from Moot, Seven or previously Serotta. Ignoring price, which is always hard to do, nobody would ever buy these bikes on pure quality and build alone.
    You're right, but you could say the same for just about any brand. If you could ignore price, how many would buy a Trek 1.1 instead of a Madone or a Domane? The attraction, IMHO, is getting a Ti frame at mid-level Al/steel prices.
    Quote Originally Posted by chudak View Post
    It's made with a mixture of titanium, unobtanium and the freshly harvested dew from the sweaty brows of 16 YO suburban virgins.
    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    Don't forget the ground up unicorn horn. That makes it magical.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    You're right, but you could say the same for just about any brand. If you could ignore price, how many would buy a Trek 1.1 instead of a Madone or a Domane? The attraction, IMHO, is getting a Ti frame at mid-level Al/steel prices.

    Well yea, but you're kind of building a strawman argument by making that leap. Motobecane is basically a purchased brand name slapped on top of generic sourced china made bike with brand name group-set thrown in.

    The better argument might be that many of the branded bicycles are basically buying frames from the same factories and adding their paint scheme.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    The better argument might be that many of the branded bicycles are basically buying frames from the same factories and adding their paint scheme.
    This is more like it. The better the components, the better the bike.
    Unless youre doing some serious jump off the side of the mountain biking or racing the Tour de France, the frame is not as important as the components are.

    Most frames are created equal in each category and some even created in the same factory, until you get up to the $$K bikes.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    Well yea, but you're kind of building a strawman argument by making that leap. Motobecane is basically a purchased brand name slapped on top of generic sourced china made bike with brand name group-set thrown in.

    The better argument might be that many of the branded bicycles are basically buying frames from the same factories and adding their paint scheme.
    I'll agree on the whole but I will quibble on the 'generic' label for their Ti frames, as they're built by Ora Engineering ( Ora Engineering Co., Ltd..- Taiwan BikeFrame, bicycle pedalon imb2b.com ). While not exactly mainstream, they do quality work (not Moots level, but Moots is on top for a reason). I'm inclined to believe there is a large market for these types of frames as Lynskey just got into this level of the market just last year, as well as Habenero (who as you know have been around quite some time).
    Quote Originally Posted by chudak View Post
    It's made with a mixture of titanium, unobtanium and the freshly harvested dew from the sweaty brows of 16 YO suburban virgins.
    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    Don't forget the ground up unicorn horn. That makes it magical.

  19. #44
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    Hope this reply isnt too late. Ive had lots of road bikes in the years i have been riding from bargain carbon, aluminum,a trek aluminum-carbon stays, to a cervelo s2. The smoothest riding, funnest and i might even say best value of all is my new motobecane gran premio comp equipped with shimano 105. Rides great, wont break the bank and will withstand a crash no problem. Compact crank and wide greaing will let you spin up anything, and did i mention its beautiful.

  20. #45
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    Gowcheco, just curious: what was the weight of your Gran Premio out of the box? Thanks.
    Mike

    1995 Torelli Corsa Strada
    2015 Wabi Classic

  21. #46
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    I second Torelli4 request.

    I'm in the lookup to get a serious mean road bike, requirement is it will have to be good quality Steel or Titanium.
    In 2011 Motobecane used to sell the Gran Premio Pro which had Reynolds of above grade as the 520 offered on the GP Comp. A shame it dissapeared.

    I'm expecting to order a Le Champion SL Ti as soon as they restock, but the doubt still remains is how much does the GP Comp weights? At first sight the bike does not make you awe as compared to watching the Ora engineering Ti bare metal frame, but the model I might buy costs $2,200 USD against the $800 USD of the GP Comp, so any feedback on that bike is appreciated.

    I will use mainly the bike for long distances.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by gowcheco View Post
    Hope this reply isnt too late. Ive had lots of road bikes in the years i have been riding from bargain carbon, aluminum,a trek aluminum-carbon stays, to a cervelo s2. The smoothest riding, funnest and i might even say best value of all is my new motobecane gran premio comp equipped with shimano 105. Rides great, wont break the bank and will withstand a crash no problem. Compact crank and wide greaing will let you spin up anything, and did i mention its beautiful.
    It's amazing how many single post members only come here to praise bikesdirect... definitely the most popular brand with single post members! Crazy coincidence...

  23. #48
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    Shills not withstanding, I think their bikes are great for what they are. That caveat is important, in that, most of the frame designs are a little dated, but let's face it, most riders who are seriously considering these bikes don't need or aren't interested in the newest designs. Even the lower level bikes are certainly capable for most types of riding short of racing IMO.
    Quote Originally Posted by chudak View Post
    It's made with a mixture of titanium, unobtanium and the freshly harvested dew from the sweaty brows of 16 YO suburban virgins.
    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    Don't forget the ground up unicorn horn. That makes it magical.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torelli4 View Post
    Gowcheco, just curious: what was the weight of your Gran Premio out of the box? Thanks.
    I rode to LBS this afternoon and with one bottle cage and crank bros candy pedals it tipped the scale at 21 pounds. Dont let that scare you it rides great and gears gets you up anything. And my frame is a 51 sloping.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    Shills not withstanding, I think their bikes are great for what they are. That caveat is important, in that, most of the frame designs are a little dated, but let's face it, most riders who are seriously considering these bikes don't need or aren't interested in the newest designs. Even the lower level bikes are certainly capable for most types of riding short of racing IMO.
    No doubt... there aren't many $400 road bikes in the world outside of a company like BD. Hybrids and MTB, there are options... roadbikes, it's a bit harder to find anything in the BD price range. They are definitely a fit for a particular and needed market segment. Shills not withstanding.

    FWIW, to the shills, I had more respect for the company before seeing all the false reviews that pop up on here. Just let the product speak for itself and stop chasing people away from the brand due to bs. I've never seen a bad BD review (I'm sure they are out there if I search, but they certainly aren't common). Fake positive reviews are ridiculously common and make it hard to take the product seriously. Seriously...

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