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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by headloss View Post
    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...
    I read a lot on this forum and other about BD "shills." I'm curious whether anyone has actually been outed as such, or whether the charge is simply speculation. Isn't it also possible that BD customers are on the whole, less informed and therefore less critical of their purchase? Frankly, I put myself in that category. Returning to the sport after a twenty plus year absence, I was looking for a good bang for the buck road bike, which by most objective accounts, BD provides. My bike performs very well, to my admittedly less than exacting standards. I pedal; the bike moves. I pedal harder; the bike moves faster. Maybe if I spent hours obsessing over and dollars spent on potential component upgrades to make my bike a little bit lighter, or a little sportier, I would be more critical. Personally, I'd rather spend my time and money on other pursuits. I suspect all this makes me a typical BD customer, but not typical of the population of the forum as a whole.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
    I read a lot on this forum and other about BD "shills." I'm curious whether anyone has actually been outed as such, or whether the charge is simply speculation. Isn't it also possible that BD customers are on the whole, less informed and therefore less critical of their purchase? Frankly, I put myself in that category. Returning to the sport after a twenty plus year absence, I was looking for a good bang for the buck road bike, which by most objective accounts, BD provides. My bike performs very well, to my admittedly less than exacting standards. I pedal; the bike moves. I pedal harder; the bike moves faster. Maybe if I spent hours obsessing over and dollars spent on potential component upgrades to make my bike a little bit lighter, or a little sportier, I would be more critical. Personally, I'd rather spend my time and money on other pursuits. I suspect all this makes me a typical BD customer, but not typical of the population of the forum as a whole.

    Lots of companies engage in this sort of thing, I doubt Bikes Direct is an exception and I believe they get more of their sales generated by this sort of activity than other retailers.

  3. #53
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    In my limited experience base on the half dozen people I know personally who have purchase bikes direct. For the most part they are satisfied, but in no way believe their bikes are as good as the the more traditional expensive brands. They bought purely based on price and the fact they got brand name components such as Shimano or SRAM. Most had some issue with the bike when it arrived, but nothing that couldn't be fixed/resolved, and with the exception of one, none are serious hard core riders who use the bike on a regular basis.

  4. #54
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    @jwalther, it's speculation seeing as no one who does this is going to admit to it.

    Kind of odd that a first post from anyone is to praise BD and then with one or two more additional posts (at the absolute most) they poster disappears into obscurity. They never contribute in any other threads, talk about any other bikes, or ask any questions... Do you honestly think anyone is going to set up an account just to let everyone know how awesome their BD bike is, without being paid/encouraged to do so?

    Please note, I haven't come right out and called anyone a shill, specifically... it's possible that someone's first/second post could be an out of nowhere positive review and then they go on to be active members and beat the stereotype. However, most (all?) of the posts fitting this description post once or twice and are never heard from again.

    It is a common practice. You see it a lot with Amazon reviews where some product (always some generic brand of far-East origin) will have six or seven positive reviews all giving five stars. Yet, when you look at each reviewer's history, they have only reviewed that product (and two or three at the absolute most, presumably in an attempt to cover their tracks). A legit Amazon reviewer will have 10, 20, 30+ reviews. That's not to say that there won't be one-or-two-review reviewers, but you aren't going to have that across the board for seven or eight reviews of the same product (almost all in broken English to boot... which is suspicious as well, seeing as Amazon has independent sites across the globe). So, it's not just this site and the pattern is similar.

  5. #55
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    IME of a BD entry bike in the 1200 mark (kestrel) and the SL TI in the 2K mark, that I got a lot of bike for my buck. I wonder why BD don't have reviews on their own site? I think the higher end bikes would have overwhelmingly positive reviews. I dunno about the cheaper end though. I believe that BD is great if you can work on your bike yourself or have access to someone who will do that. If you are a dumb chick like me, who wants to take it out of the box and ride it and have everything to be perfect, BD is not for you (luckily I have someone here who fixes ****).
    The real issue here though is that we are not discussing brands or manufacturers or build or anything so tangible, we are discussing the retail model, which some people don't like. People who would happily buy components and kit at the lowest $ but somehow see this anathema when applied to the actual bike. I suppose I don't get it. When I buy my next car, it will be online so I don't have to deal with patronizing idiots.

  6. #56
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    I've been riding my Motobecane Immortal Pro since 2011 and have completed a number of Century rides, a Gran Fondo, a dozen or so triathlons and many, many miles of roads in central FL, the DC area and now northern Alabama. I find that the bike is the equal of bikes that cost much more and has been reliable, competitive and an enjoyable bike to ride with or without comparing it to other bikes.

    I also have the Motobecane Jubilee Deluxe that I used to use for commuting (can't get there from my current apt but that will change next year) and that bike is bullet-proof.

    To me, I got a lot of bike for my money in both purchases and I have ridden the paint off of them over the years. The frame for my Immortal is older that the current big name rides, but I have not found that to be the limiting factor in how fast or long I can go. It all comes down the engine really, a different bike would not result in a faster century if the components were better or the frame newer. I replaced the FSA crank with a 105 so my bike is nearly all 105/ultegra now and I don't believe that an all ultegra or dura ace component mix would change anything. Neither would SRAM gear.

    I don't really care what the sticker on my bike says, its the riding that matters. Motobecane bikes roll the same as other manufacturer bikes do, and so long as I am satisfied, that's all that matters. I will complete at least 3 century rides this year on my Immortal, but I am getting a new Tri bike sometime this summer. Motobecane does not make a carbon frame high end tri bicycle, so I am looking at Kestrel and Quintana Roo right now. The bundle at Nitro Multisport is hard to resist, a whole tri setup for $1,999 is tempting.
    As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities. Voltaire

    A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. Thomas Jefferson

  7. #57
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    I have purchased 3 bikes from Bikes Direct. I still ride a Trek as well, but absolutely pleased with the purchase of these bikes. My CF Le Champion, with complete Rival for 1299., Mavic Aksium and the Taiwanese frame.......good deal in my book. Just google the price for a full groupset of Rival and you will get the point.

  8. #58
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    People pushing bikes direct almost always start taking about the group, and about how the frame doesn't matter. I find that strange, since you're touching the frame the whole time you're on the bike, and really only interact with the group when changing gears. For myself, I value how a frame feels far more than I value the consumable parts of the bike. I suppose it's hard to test ride an online bike, but easy to quote group levels.

  9. #59
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    I'd like to see a Tour De France or Giro D'Italia won by bikes direct.

  10. #60
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    Re: How is Motobecane vs. the big brands?

    The frames are just fine. For my previous bike I bought just the frame (LeChampion CF); that is a great frame. It is not the lightest carbon frame by any stretch, but it was plenty stiff and the build quality was excellent.

    There is, of course, absolutely no reason a grand tour couldn't be won on a Motobecane/BD frame. Except that they couldn't afford to sponsor a team.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    I'd like to see a Tour De France or Giro D'Italia won by bikes direct.
    The irony LOL.

  12. #62
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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.
    I just bought this bike from the BD store in Orlando (Cycle Spectrum), they didn't have it in stock but they ordered it for me. (It should be here today!) I was a little shaky on ordering from BD, but after I went up there and checked the bikes out in person I felt pretty good about it, and Frank, the manager said it wouldn't be an issue to return or refund if I wasn't happy once it arrived. I'm pretty excited about this bike, I've been doing 40 and 60 mile rides on a Specialized Crosstrail... It'll be nice to have a road bike I think. After I've gotten a good ride in I'll post again.

    This is my 1st post, not a shill, just a lurker... =)
    Last edited by ellisjte; 02-07-2014 at 08:47 AM. Reason: spelling

  13. #63
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    I bought my bikes from Frank, a nicer bike dude cannot be found!
    As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities. Voltaire

    A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. Thomas Jefferson

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmps View Post
    People pushing bikes direct almost always start taking about the group, and about how the frame doesn't matter. I find that strange, since you're touching the frame the whole time you're on the bike, and really only interact with the group when changing gears. For myself, I value how a frame feels far more than I value the consumable parts of the bike. I suppose it's hard to test ride an online bike, but easy to quote group levels.
    It's been pointed out before in other threads, that most (but not all) of the frames are older designs or copies of frames from the mainstream companies (example would be the Gravity Avenue A,B,C or the Liberty 1,2,3 which are copies of the former generation of Giant Defy). There's nothing wrong with the frame designs, the copies are from proven 'winners', just that they aren't the newest, shiniest, most cutting edge out there.

    It's hard to argue for an older frame design, but group sets are much easier to compare. Many of the mid-range bikes on BD have component sets of high enough quality that if they were to be bought a la carte, would be equal to or higher than the cost of the BD bike including the frame.
    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.

  15. #65
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    I have a very long thread about my BD experience started in the Fall of 2011. Overall, it's been good. I love my Ti frame. I did have a fairly serious issue with the headset in which a part was assembled upside down. This caused high speed wobbles and even a professional mechanic could not get it tightened properly. It was only when he took it apart that he discovered it had been assembled incorrectly. It also took me quite a few rides to sort out the seatpost which just wouldn't stay tight.

    My overall opinion about BD is that they sell quality products for reasonable prices but expect to have some issues. Once everything gets ironed out, it's hard to beat the package.
    2012 Motobecane Le Champion Team Titanium
    2002 Jamis Eclipse
    2000 Specialized Allez Elite

  16. #66
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    To the OP, I've owned a Motobecane Vent Noir for over 3 years and have put over 4k miles on it. For the price, it is a good bike and I had no issues with it other than having to readjust cables and brakes after I assembled the bike. Like any other bike, ultimately it's your legs doing the work. It's a good bike to start with so when you get your next bike you will know what you like in terms of geometry and ride quality. I currently have a TCR and it's a whole lot stiffer and lighter than the Motobecane but I still take out the Motobecane every now and then.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acceler8n View Post
    To the OP, I've owned a Motobecane Vent Noir for over 3 years and have put over 4k miles on it. For the price, it is a good bike and I had no issues with it other than having to readjust cables and brakes after I assembled the bike. Like any other bike, ultimately it's your legs doing the work. It's a good bike to start with so when you get your next bike you will know what you like in terms of geometry and ride quality. I currently have a TCR and it's a whole lot stiffer and lighter than the Motobecane but I still take out the Motobecane every now and then.
    Been following this thread as I know a now former Motobecane owner and have a couple of thoughts. First most bikes sold today will perform adequately for mos riders. The differences show up when pushed to the extreme, and that's what my friend noticed. When pushed on the descents it just did not handle as well as the premier brands, but for more normal riding it was fine. Also have seen the bike, and the construction and attention to detail while OK, do not match up to a Seven , Firefly or Erikson, etc. There's a reason people pay up. If you want to think a Motobecane = Moots go ahead, but I think you are kidding yourself.

  18. #68
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    I don't think any reasonable person who has ever laid eyes on both a Motobecane (say LeChamp Ti) and any Moots model could ever say they were equal. I would say though that most (~75%) riders wouldn't get any improvement from a Moots over a Moto though. Most riders just don't push that hard, or ride so extreme that they need Moots quality, even if they want it. I'm still inclined to believe that anybody who would consider a Motobecane as a viable bike choice (myself included), will be well served by a Motobecane, as it'll probably be all the bike they need (if not all the bike they want).
    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. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    I don't think any reasonable person who has ever laid eyes on both a Motobecane (say LeChamp Ti) and any Moots model could ever say they were equal. I would say though that most (~75%) riders wouldn't get any improvement from a Moots over a Moto though. Most riders just don't push that hard, or ride so extreme that they need Moots quality, even if they want it. I'm still inclined to believe that anybody who would consider a Motobecane as a viable bike choice (myself included), will be well served by a Motobecane, as it'll probably be all the bike they need (if not all the bike they want).


    Well , let's face it there are a lot of cyclists buying road bikes that greatly exceed their performance requirements and will never push the the bike to where they will notice a difference. That said, Moots is custom, and the custom Ti builders will select tubing appropriate for the rider.

  20. #70
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    Oh no doubt about it. If people bought bikes based on their (the rider's) performance, there'd be A LOT more Trek 1.2's on the road and a lot less SWORKS (of all flavors). Anybody who's looking to drop the cash that a Moots, or Kish, or I.F. is asking for, generally knows what they're after, buying a frame from them (be it performance or bling).
    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.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    Been following this thread as I know a now former Motobecane owner and have a couple of thoughts. First most bikes sold today will perform adequately for mos riders. The differences show up when pushed to the extreme, and that's what my friend noticed. When pushed on the descents it just did not handle as well as the premier brands, but for more normal riding it was fine. Also have seen the bike, and the construction and attention to detail while OK, do not match up to a Seven , Firefly or Erikson, etc. There's a reason people pay up. If you want to think a Motobecane = Moots go ahead, but I think you are kidding yourself.
    Definitely not equal but you get what you pay. In Motobecane's case, its a good deal.

  22. #72
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    its a good shill

    Quote Originally Posted by Acceler8n View Post
    Definitely not equal but you get what you pay. In Motobecane's case, its a good deal.
    Yet another poster who hasn't contributed to the site except to tell us what a great deal we're missing on a BD brand... *sigh*

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by headloss View Post
    Yet another poster who hasn't contributed to the site except to tell us what a great deal we're missing on a BD brand... *sigh*
    Look above before making a dumb comment. I've owned one and still do.

  24. #74
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    I've been riding a Le Champion SL since fall of 2007. Don't know exact miles, but I'm guessing it's around 10,000. I've done at least a dozen centuries including a metric double as well as a tour through Europe and a tour from NYC to Vermont. I paid $1100 at the time. I could afford something much more expensive, but I haven't found a compelling reason to upgrade yet.

    Other bikes I own for comparison: A high-end Bianchi steel frame bike (built up for wife), a high-end LBS brand carbon mountain bike (Trek Top Fuel), no-brand China frame TT bike, Shwinn Slicker commuter (kind of a POS, but that was the point).

    Positives:

    Was quite the bargain compared to the LBS bikes available at the price point. The local LBS was selling bikes that were 5+ lbs heavier with Sora/Tiagra mix. Mine has full Ultegra other than the FSA carbon crankset. Some have had problems with FSA, but I've had no issues other than a bent chain ring (caused by shipping it back from Europe) and normal wear items (have replaced chain and cassette). I don't race, but I'm confident that If I were to race in anything other than a pro event, any losses would be my fault and not the bike's fault.

    Negatives

    If you can't wrench, you will pay an extra $100 or so getting it set up. You may also get something ill fitting. Nobody is going to hold your hand and give you free tune ups. Since I have a stand and a set of tools, this was not a big deal for me, but it would be a big deal for a total cycling noob. The frames are't even last year's model, more like the five years ago model. You also have to be aware of all the components. Some of the models have one high end component (like an Ultegra rear derailleur) to sell the bike, with a bunch of low-end components to fill it out.

    Overall: You generally do get what you pay for. However, part of what you are paying for when you buy an LBS bike is the service and convenience of a shop and a salesman. If, like me, you don't place a high value on those services, Bikes Direct may make sense. You also won't get the latest and greatest, but it's probably the cheapest way into a new serviceable road bike for the recreational rider.

    I feel like the sweet spot for bikes direct is the $900-$2000 range. For more money, you could get something pretty decent from an LBS. For less, you start getting into serious component compromises.
    Last edited by nealric; 06-09-2014 at 01:14 PM.

  25. #75
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    My experience with BD has been great. In 2008 I bought a 2009 Immortal Spirit. Initial setup was absolutely a breeze and it was ride worthy within the hour. The bike was fantastic overall then and it still is now. So light and manuverable. Dura Ace all around except the brake calipers/crank.

    It was not all great though as I had to change the saddle, pedals and brake pads as all three were obvious cost cutting choices to me. I added a custom red/black Fizik saddle, FSA carbon handle bar and carbon seat post and Fulcrum racing wheels but kept the Ritchey wheels it came with. Nothing wrong with the Ritchey wheels at all just wanted the Fulcrums as they went with the black/red theme of my bike. For the cost of my bike plus the expensive add on's I purchased I could have bought a name brand bike but I am happy with what I got. The bike doesn't feel one bit cheap over all even when brand new.

    If you are not a brand snob and are open-minded enough to see past subjective marketing you could save yourself a few bucks and get a pretty solid bike. I think the Immortal frames, like I have for instance, were older well respected name brand frames and made by the same mfg so why would it magically be a low class/quality frames just because of the BD name?

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