Motobecane Turino Bike Packing Setup
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Thumbs up Motobecane Turino Bike Packing Setup

    I recently took a gamble on the Motobecane Turino from Bikesdirect.com. Ive always been curious about these bikes at such a low price point and was willing to put down the $1000 to find out.

    Out the box the bike weighs about 10kgs which isn't too bad.

    Shimano 5800/105 2x11 Spd STI Drivetrain

    TOP TRP Hy-Rd Hydraulic DISC BRAKE CALIPERS
    SHIMANO 5800/105 DERAILLEURS
    FSA ALUMINUM COMPACT CRANKSET is great for flattening hills

    I swapped the cheap wheelset with a spare set of Mavic CrossOne. Also Cheap but fit the 35c tyres I'm running quite well.

    All works well. Taking this bike into Lesotho for a bit of mountain bikepacking so itll get a good test in the next few weeks.

    More info to follow but for now I think that if you're in the market for a $1000 bike this one is the one for you.

    Just need to trim that damn steerer
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  2. #2
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    Good point. I added a pair of HyRds on mine (lower level $600 retail version which comes Claris) when I accidentally busted my Tektro's and couldn't wait for the replacement part to come in. These are really great upgrades since it allows them to use the cheaper and more versatile mechanical levers with only a little loss of braking power vs. full hydraulic (most notably in the rear where it doesn't matter much anyway).

    Another suggestion (which I wish I followed) is to consider the OmniStrada instead of the Turino and then get touring tires. The Turino has too narrow rims for any decent tires so you have to replace the entire wheels, but the OmniStrada is the same as the Turino but with 23i tubeless ready rims. While you can't put on 23 or 25c racing slicks on those tires, you can do anything else.

    Hope you're enjoying your ride!

    I'll have to double check, but I think the wheels may actually be lighter too. It sure seems that way (bought omnistrada aftermarket later).

  3. #3
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    So I have to ask, long term thoughts on the turino?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by crhaag View Post
    So I have to ask, long term thoughts on the turino?
    Still a good bicycle. I use it for commuting and, because my wife now has my Cannondale Slate since her first triathlon last year, for off-road/gravel riding. I put around 1200 miles on it a year (of >2000 miles/year I put on all my bicycles), for the last four years. It needed a pretty big tune up last year (drivetrain replacement), which, TBH, cost almost as much as a new bicycle.

    (As I mentioned, I got a set of wheels for the Omnistrada and put touring tires on it. Originally it was for commuting, but I converted them to tubeless with the original tires and now use them for offroad riding. The original wheels are back on for daily commuting.)

    One thing to note is the following are all the same bicycle:

    Turino
    Omnistrada: this is the Turino with wider tubeless ready tires.
    Fantom: this is a tweak to the Turino design where the rear brake cable is up top, original for cyclocross
    Century Ti: Same frame geometry but it titanium instead of aluminum
    Century: Same frame geometry but in carbon fibre instead of aluminum. Also cable routing is internal (see below)
    Whipshot: Same as the "new" Turino but with gravel components (and tires/wheels to match).

    Note there are new models starting in 2019 where the frames have been tweaked to have the cable route internally instead of externally. They also added a slot for an internally routed dropper post. I know this because my cousin bought one (I think it was called the Whipshot) and I noticed these design tweaks in the new model. I do not know the exact year they switched it, and some of the current models sold still use the old frame design. Be aware before purchasing if that is a factor the geometry remains the same.

    Overall, the biggest problem I have with the design is that it has a "semi-compact" frame design, which I think is a bit too old/big. Newer road bicycles use a compact design, which comes from the mountain bicycle world. BikesDirect does not use that design in the high end they sell a flat bar "Strada" that uses a more compact geometry, and their mountain bicycles have compact geometry. The semi-compact design is about 15 years old at this point, making it pretty reliable. The problem with the design is the top tube is very high and the design space is more limited. New high end road bicycles will have a more compact frame meaning there is less need for as many sizes and they can make the frame more aero by dropping the seat stays to reduce the wind profile, etc.

    My only real regret is that I didn't get higher end components and frame (e.g. a Century Ti with maybe Ultegra components). At the time, my reasoning was I was doing a lot of commuting on a Trek Madone and local streets were tearing it apart, I wanted a $500 "beater" (I think I saved $100 by getting a factory second from BikeIsland) for daily commutes. It works great for that, but it has become my primary bicycle for all but long 50mile+ road rides, including offroad rides. While I have the money, I don't have the apartment space now that both of us cycle heavily.

    My general opinion for most people is they buy the Whipshot as a gravel setup offers the best combination for a variety of terrain types. With gravel, you can keep up to a weekend road ride with only a small bit of extra work and do offroad trails that most mountain bicycles before the mid 1990's did (e.g. anything not "enduro" or "downhill"). It will be sturdy enough for any city streets.

    As an example, because I have a cheap "Claris" drivetrain on my Turino, there is no clutch like on the Cannondale Slate or my cousin's Whipshot. When I descend a fire road, I can hear the chain slap my chainstays all the way down, just like it did in the early 1990's. My brakes need a lot of tweaking because even though they are HyRd's, they aren't fully hydraulic so I have to account for the cable stretch over the years in addition to bleeding the brakes every couple years. I also could only convert the offroad tires to tubeless (my wife's Slate has two tubeless wheelsets: the offroad ones it came with and the onroad carbon set I purchased for her triathlons). No reason to suffer/compromise today, IMO.

    I hope this helps you make a good purchase.
    Last edited by tychay; 1 Week Ago at 06:07 PM.

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