2009 Motobecane LeChampion Titanium Review
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  1. #1
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    2009 Motobecane LeChampion Titanium Review

    Hello every,

    I know reviews are normally to be posted in the review section, but there were so many people asking about this bike, and only one small review, that I wanted to post it here so it wouldn't get missed.

    Let me start by saying I've only been riding since this January. I took up the sport after frustration with numerous running injuries. My first bike was a intermediate K2 mod 3.0 with 105's, Kinesis frame, and carbon seat stays and fork. It's a great bike, but the more I rode the more I wanted something more. I guess you can say I was bit by the upgrade bug, and by the the sport itself.

    I spent hours of otherwise productive time looking at bike reviews and articles learning more about the sport and the technology behind it. At 6 foot even, about roughly 195 lbs, I decided that carbon probably wasn't for me. Although it's strong for sure, I still had concerns about the longevity of any frame. Also, since carbon is improving every year, I knew that I'd feel the need to upgrade again soon once something better came along.

    So, I was down to Aluminum, steel, or TI. After reading about Bikes Direct (BD) for some time, I decided to give them my business. There were many many more positive reviews of them than negative. Also, the negative ones were pretty old.

    The TI frame caught my interested. Not only is it super strong and light, but non corrosive and could probably last a lifetime. The pictures on the site show that the welds are on par with the big boys from Litespeed and maybe even Seven. For $1999, you get Richey WCS wheel, bar, stem, and Ultegra SL crank, brakes, and derailleurs. This is less than half the price of any name brand TI bike.

    So, I took the leap and bought the bike. 6 days later, I received a aluminum bike in the mail and I was pissed. Some of you might remember my post last week.

    Needless to say, Mike from BD took care of the issue and sent me the right bike right away. When I opened it, I was stunned. This is a much better looking bike than what's in the pictures. The tubes are not simple round tubes as shown in the picture. They are shaped into rounded triangles and fitted perfectly. I was reading about how to remove the graphics and decals, but upon seeing them, the bike looks really sharp. They're worth keeping.

    The only thing I didn't like about the bike was the standard crank. I had purchased a FSA K-Force compact ahead of time and had my LBS install it. One interesting to note is the seat that comes with the bike. Although it doesn't fit me well, it's of very good quality. It uses crom/titanium rails and has a soft carbon shell underneath. Most bikes like this install a seat as a afterthought. This shows BD is selling top quality bikes no matter how you look at it.


    So, I bought a Selle Italia Carbino Kit seat and threw it on. Off I went for a short ride around the neighborhood.

    The second I rode down the driveway I was shocked. I had always heard of the "magical" TI ride, but I had no idea how much better it would feel vs. AL. Even though my K2 was a AL / Carbon, it just couldn't compare. It's like a old Honda civic vs. a new BMW. The TI felt smooth, taught, but not sloppy. The Vittoria (spelled wrong) tires are great too. Once again, no compromises made by BD.

    On another post, Mike from BD described this as a comfortable touring style bike. I guess it is, but the geometry is a bit more forward than my K2. I guess that's something I'll have to get used to. This is a 56c frame, and it's almost too big. This could be because it's just not dialed in right.



    I love this bike, and I'm glad I bought it. A sad note -- as far as I know, I got the last 56c frame of this type. If you want this bike, you better hurry. They're almost gone.
    Last edited by aaronis31337; 08-28-2008 at 08:09 PM.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronis31337
    After reading about Bikes Direct (BD) for some time, I decided to give them my business.

    I love this bike, and I'm glad I bought it.

    Similar to my experience.

    Thanks for writing up the review and enjoy!!!!!

  3. #3
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    Any new $2,000 bike should look and feel pretty darn good on the first ride around the neighborhood. And moving from one material to another, you're going to focus on what "feels" better about it. "Hey, I just moved from steel to aluminum. Now it feels like every bit of my power is transferred from the pedals to the drivetrain. No more flexy steel!"

    Give us a review at 1,000 miles when you've really put this bike through its paces. Right now it reads like an ad for BD.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees
    Interesting, if somebody posts a glowing thread about their new Look / Colnago / DeRosa / Cervelo... where are the shill accusations?
    +1

    you guys are out of line with the shill stuff. Lighten up

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronis31337

    On another post, Mike from BD described this as a comfortable touring style bike. I guess it is, but the geometry is a bit more forward than my K2. I guess that's something I'll have to get used to. This is a 56c frame, and it's almost too big. This could be because it's just not dialed in right.

    Sounds like you are too stretched out. You can get used to anything, but I'd go with a shorter stem and compact bars to shorten your reach. You could flip the stem (which shortens the reach but looks dorky) to see if it is a reach issue before you invest in new hardware. Good luck

  6. #6
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    nm

    KS
    Supreme commander at the forefront of the struggle against intellectualism.

  7. #7
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    Shoot, and I was on the fence about ordering one too (I need a 56).

    Did you mean to say "but not sloppy" instead of "but now sloppy"? Also, what's wrong with the Ultegra crank?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by XR4Ti
    what's wrong with the Ultegra crank?
    It's a very nice crank - what's wrong with it is that they're expensive.

  9. #9
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    Yes, I meant to say "but NOT sloppy". The bike feels very tight and smooth. I took it out for a quick 20 miles today. I love it even more.

  10. #10
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    I needed a compact since I like to do a lot of climbs

  11. #11
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    You can still get the lower-end version of this frame. I wish I had in fact, since it comes with a compact crank. The wheels aren't as nice, but I doubt you'd notice.

  12. #12

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    wanna sell me the saddle(for cheap hopefully)?

    i have the same bike and find this saddle perfect for me.

    i think i'd wanna put it on a SS i wanna build next year.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=frank828]wanna sell me the saddle(for cheap hopefully)?

    [\QUOTE]

    Yeah, everyone wants to sell their stuff cheap

  14. #14

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    [QUOTE=AlexCad5]
    Quote Originally Posted by frank828
    wanna sell me the saddle(for cheap hopefully)?

    [\QUOTE]

    Yeah, everyone wants to sell their stuff cheap

    haha ok

    what do you think i should be paying for a second hand no brand stock saddle from a motobecane bike??

    and i was hoping, i didnt tell him to sell it to me cheap.

  15. #15

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    how funny, you got the last 56cm and i got the last 53cm. i usually ride a 56 but went for the 53 after double checking all the dimensions of this frame. im 5'10" at 235lbs(body builder) and had a issue buying carbon as well and went for this instead. im suprised you removed the dura ace crank for the one you installed though. i hear bikes direct is completely out of stock of this model in all sizes thes days.

  16. #16

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    Well to the poster that was asking about the 1000 mile mark review, here it is:

    I bought the bike about a few months ago and I average about 150 miles a week. I now have a little over 1100 miles on the bike and it's been performing quite well. I too purchased the LeChampion Ti SL. My previous bike was a Trek 5500 OCLV/120. As you all might know, it is full carbon (120) with full Dura Ace grupo. I had a bit of hesitation coming from a Dura Ace kit and going down to the Ultegras. I suppose I could have sprung for the Team version which is the full Dura Ace as well but I decided not to. I wish I did. I have the 53cm frame.

    Coming from a carbon frameset and going to a Ti/Carbon (fork) combination, I've found the Ti to be a bit more springy. It took a bit of getting used to. The carbon frame definitely is great for road vibrations but riding the new Ti frame hasn't made me miss the ultra light componentry of my Trek. The carbon was a bit for forgiving in rough roads but the Ti hasn't been that bad.

    The welds are exceptional. The "dimes" are good and if you take away the decals, it could very well be mistaken for other, more expensive Ti frames. Let's face it, aside from the US made Ti frames like LiteSpeed, Merlin, etc. this frame can compete with the best of them. I remember LiteSpeed having a division called Airborne. I don't think they're in production anymore but like the Motobecanes, they were also pretty good. The Airbornes were slightly more expensive though at about $700 each frame back in 2000.

    The replaceable derailleur hangers are good. Since I bought the bike, I've had a few upgrades - changed the seat post to an aero carbon post, installed my old Novus Ferrari saddle and replaced the wheelset with my Ksyriums with carbon skewers. Most of my upgrades were from the old 5500. The WCS Protocols are great too don't get me wrong. Heck they're even lighter by a couple hundred grams but I just like the stiffness of the Ksyriums.

    Would I recommend it to a friend? Definitely.

    Rikki
    Last edited by rikki; 09-03-2008 at 12:05 PM.

  17. #17
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    I think the bike is a bit too big for me. I wish I got the 53 too. Now I'm in the market for a 90mm stem.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean44
    how funny, you got the last 56cm and i got the last 53cm. i usually ride a 56 but went for the 53 after double checking all the dimensions of this frame. im 5'10" at 235lbs(body builder) and had a issue buying carbon as well and went for this instead. im suprised you removed the dura ace crank for the one you installed though. i hear bikes direct is completely out of stock of this model in all sizes thes days.


    woops, i read the thread too quickly i bought the team ti not sl, now i see why you changed the crank out, yours didn't come with all the dura ace components.

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