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  1. #1
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    I'm hooked on Motobecane/BD, next step (for me and GF)

    Last fall, I went on a big fitness binge. While I'm aware of the unhealth affects of gaining and losing weight repeatedly, it keeps happening because I simply hate running. I enjoy exercising (I play intramural sports at the school where I work), but running has become so bland and boring that I've grown to despise it.

    So, without any real cycling experience, I made the leap in October (with the advice of an aquaintence who works at a LBS) to buy a Motobecane Record from bikesdirect. I hadn't ridden a bike since middle school, so it had been a while. I got a couple of rides in before it started to get too cold for someone who's bike attire was tshirts and shorts. On Black Friday, I bought a trainer from my local Performance shop, and probably logged about 10-15 hours on it this winter. Nothing excessive.

    During this time, I was dying to take it out, but whenever I tried to ride around the neighborhood, it was just to unrealistically cold for the attire I possessed. I did take the opportunity to buy some things though at a lower price (helmet, gloves, frame pump, clipless pedals, shoes, okay I might have been a little obsessed!) so I would be equipped and ready when Spring hit.

    So when the warmer weather started arriving in the past week or two here in MD, I finally got to take it out on some rides. I've ridden on 2 rides already longer than 15 miles. I like the bike, quite a bit, but I'm already getting hungrier for something better. However, I'm not sure what the next purchase should be.

    I'm not entirely fit, but I'm getting there quickly (5'11" 235 -> 210 since October) and I do want to make the jump to carbon fiber. I've been eyeing up the Motobecane LeChampion CF as an ideal next bike for a fall/winter purchase later this year. But wouldn't mind buying a nice set of Carbon Wheels to upgrade significantly now, and just use those same wheels on the LeChamp down the road.

    I guess my question is, should I upgrade wheels? (now? after I buy the LeChamp? ever?)
    Are the Chinese Carbons durable enough to be ridden everyday?
    Should I fight the urge to buy anything now and just ride the record through the year buying nothing but tubes/tires?

    I feel like I'm going to splurge and buy the lechamp anyway down the road, so if the tires are durable enough and not going down in price, should I just buy them now to make my rides nicer?


    My GF is also showing mild interest in cycling as well at this point. What would be a great entry BD bike under $400? I'm looking mostly for value, since there is a chance she decides it's not for her. I'm looking at the Wellington, but I like most of the Merciers as well. Tomorrow we're visiting the LBS to look at some others and get her size.

    Thanks for reading all that!

  2. #2
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    If she might not be interested in cycling, it's best to buy a used bike. That way if she doesn't like it, you can sell the bike back and won't lose too much money.

    If she does enjoy cycling, go big and drop a few grand for a nice bike.

    Also, congrats on a more healthier lifestyle.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lardo View Post
    If she might not be interested in cycling, it's best to buy a used bike. That way if she doesn't like it, you can sell the bike back and won't lose too much money.
    Yeah that's also a big part of the plan tomorrow. Go to my buddy's place, get sized and check the used section. If we see anything that catches her eye within the budget will jump for it for sure.

    Would buying a pair of wheels from a store like aliexpress.com/fm-store/502344 be a good long term investment to put on the LeChampion later (and still reap the benefits now) or would it be like polishing a piece of poop?

  4. #4
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    I doubt that your Record's frame is a piece of poop. According to BD, it's built by Kinesis, which builds a lot of better name frames.

  5. #5
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    The Century frameset and the Le Champion frameset are practically identical so I would make a decision between those two based on the components you want. I think the Century frameset may be made a little nicer than the Le Champion, but have no hard data to back that up other than anecdotal observation. The Le Champion uses a braze on front derailuer which I do not prefer.
    Last edited by wooglins; 03-02-2012 at 11:41 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MixMastaPJ View Post
    I've been eyeing up the Motobecane LeChampion CF as an ideal next bike for a fall/winter purchase later this year.
    Assuming you were looking at the SRAM Rival version, the price jumped $200 yesterday.

    Was $1399. Now it's $1599.

  7. #7
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    Well we got the girlfriend fitted today at a LBS, came home and decided on the Mercier Galaxy AL SC3. Can't go wrong for $350, especially since it has all the same components as mine, so if it isn't for her, I've got some spare gear.

    I think I'm gonna go with the SRAM Rival LeChamp this december and if I ever crave more than that I'll get nicer frame to put the mavics and sram on.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MixMastaPJ View Post
    Well we got the girlfriend fitted today at a LBS, came home and decided on the Mercier Galaxy AL SC3. Can't go wrong for $350, especially since it has all the same components as mine, so if it isn't for her, I've got some spare gear.

    I think I'm gonna go with the SRAM Rival LeChamp this december and if I ever crave more than that I'll get nicer frame to put the mavics and sram on.
    I have the Galaxy SC2 (Same bike as your GF's, only with steel fork instead of carbon) and am loving it, for my first "adult" bike. They're a LOT of bike for the money- and lkike yourself, I'm also eyeing the Le Champs/Centuries as my next move, if I ride the wheels off of this SC2 this year, as I plan to.

    I'm a noob as far as bikes.....but am pretty competent when it comes to frugality..... In my opinion, upgrading components (like wheels) on these cheaper bikes is not really cost-effective. Just ride what you have.....and when you make the move to the better bike in the future, get one with wheels that you like, and all will be well. Upgrading wheels now would be a waste of money, IMHO. They likely won't give you much or any benefit now...and would likely be unnecessary on the better bike- so would likely just be a waste of money.

  9. #9
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    Just to give you guys a bit of an update:

    We got the bike in the big box on Thursday, had some trouble getting the front brake to calibrate and sit correctly. I was able to disassemble/reassemble it without too much hassle. The derailers are still a little tricky however. I'll probably take it to my friend's place later this week to have him look at it.

    I bought the Ksyrium Elites when they were on closeout last week at performance for 349. They have been worth every penny so far, seeing that they took over a pound of weight off the bike and it handles and accellerates completely different. The bike I'm eyeing up for later (if not the lechamp CF, then maybe a supersix) uses only aksiums anyhow, so this upgrade will be even better than those, and I can just throw the aksiums on the record for training.

    now to log some miles!
    ____________
    2011 Motobecane Record
    -Mavic Ksyrium Wheels
    -Shimano SPD-SL Pedals (PD-R540)

  10. #10
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    Ksyrium Elites are a nice upgrade. I just got a set (unfortunately not at $349) for my $3500 Trek District Carbon, and they're a nice upgrade on that bike, too.

  11. #11
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    Kysyrium Elites

    The Performance closeouts are 2009 models, thus the $349 sale price.
    The latest Elites have several improvements as indicated by this writeup from Competitive Cyclist:

    "We're certainly happy any time a wheel gets lighter, and happier still, when the weight saved is at the rim. This latest version of the Ksyrium Elite Wheelset uses aggressive Inter Spoke Milling (ISM) to take away all the excess aluminum between the spoke threads and sidewalls. And rather than being all black like last year's rim, the ISM machined sections are left raw so this wheelset looks nearly identical to its more expensive Ksyrium siblings.

    Speaking of similarities, the Maxtal aluminum rims use Mavic's FORE drilling, so you don't need a rim strip as the spoke holes don't penetrate the outer rim wall. And like the more expensive rims, these were also built using Mavic's SUP welded/machined rim joint and UB Control machined braking track for pulse-free, controlled braking performance in all conditions. Where the Ksyrium Elites differ are the spokes and the hubs. You won't find any carbon fiber in the hubs nor will you get Zicral spokes. Instead you'll get tried and true aluminum hubshells and stainless steel bladed spokes. We like steel spokes. They're strong, durable, and they present very little surface area to the wind.

    The Mavic Ksyrium Elite Wheelset combines durability with lightness to create a great training/racing package. The 22mm front rim is tied to the hub with 18 radial spokes and the 20 spoke rear wheel has a 25mm deep rim and Mavic's Isopulse lacing -- radial on the drive side and two-cross on the non-drive -- for extra stiffness and better power transfer. And just like their top level wheels, these Ksyrium Elites run Mavic's QRM+ bearings on aluminum axles. Both the front and rear hubs feature a micro-adjustable bearing preload system that is easily adjusted with the wheels on the bike. Choose between Campagnolo or Shimano/SRAM compatible freehub body. They come with a spoke wrench, bearing adjustment tool, and BR301 quick release skewers."

    So, you should probably have no regrets on your purchase of the latest models. So far, I have been happy with mine.

  12. #12
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    Yeah I got the 09s. Still a huge jump from my alex rims haha
    ____________
    2011 Motobecane Record
    -Mavic Ksyrium Wheels
    -Shimano SPD-SL Pedals (PD-R540)

  13. #13
    BirdieBogey
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    MixMasterPJ: Welcome to the world of "What's my next bike gonna be?" This is a life long affliction affecting some 99.6% of cyclists on all continents. It is accompanied by symptoms of not watching where you are going when eye-ing the make and model of the bike of the rider next to you, of viewing bike porn in magazines and on the Internet, of stocking up on outfits that make you look ridiculous and squeeze belly fat over your waste band, and providing endless fodder for daydreams while you should be working. Hopefully, the hit all this makes on your pocketbook alone will help restore some of your sanity and get you on the road to recovery. However, the fact that you are already thinking about carbon wheels means you have a pretty severe case. Good luck and keep us posted.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdieBogey View Post
    MixMasterPJ: Welcome to the world of "What's my next bike gonna be?" This is a life long affliction affecting some 99.6% of cyclists on all continents. It is accompanied by symptoms of not watching where you are going when eye-ing the make and model of the bike of the rider next to you, of viewing bike porn in magazines and on the Internet, of stocking up on outfits that make you look ridiculous and squeeze belly fat over your waste band, and providing endless fodder for daydreams while you should be working. Hopefully, the hit all this makes on your pocketbook alone will help restore some of your sanity and get you on the road to recovery. However, the fact that you are already thinking about carbon wheels means you have a pretty severe case. Good luck and keep us posted.
    hahaha thanks!
    ____________
    2011 Motobecane Record
    -Mavic Ksyrium Wheels
    -Shimano SPD-SL Pedals (PD-R540)

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