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  1. #1
    Dr. Gonzo Stockton's Avatar
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    New bike, first assembly, any pointers.

    I ordered my first brand new road bike and it'll be here Monday...I'm working all day but off rest of the week, actually off next 2 weeks so I plan on doing a lot of riding.

    I've had a road bike before but it was used and I got assembled.

    This bike is 90% assembled so it's just pedals, handlebars, riser, front tire, front brake caliper and seat w/ post.

    I'm pretty comfortable I can do all that, they emailed me a youtube instructional video and it seemed pretty straight forward common sense.

    Any tips for tunning/adjusting the brakes or derrailluers? Do I need to lube the chain? I know I should lube the pedals any recommended lubricants?

    Are all bikes make with metric parts? My bike is a Motorbecane so it's made in the USA but will it be metric? I'm hoping so since almost all my tools especially my allen keys and allen ratches are metric cause of work.

    Only thing left I need is shoes for my clipless pedals...I guess I should go try on some tomorrow but wasn't sure if I should wait for the pedals and cleats to make sure they're compatible with the shoes or are they all pretty standard?

    Any advice greatly appreciated.

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    Motobecanes in general aren't made in the US (like most other manufacturers, the frames are usually made in Taiwan or China). Even if they were, the parts would be metric. My experience with a Motobecane is that while it is 90% assembled, all the fine tuning of brakes and derailleurs still needs to be done. There are how-to articles at parktool.com. As for pedals and shoes, the one Motobecane road bike I worked on came with SPD compatible pedals. They work fine but SPD was designed for mountain bikes and isn't ideal for road use. If that's what you have, I'd seriously consider junking them and buying a Look or Shimano SPD-SL compatible pedal. I've been very happy with the Shimano PD-6610 pedal.

  3. #3
    Senior Member z415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proximo
    They work fine but SPD was designed for mountain bikes and isn't ideal for road use.
    Only good reason for keeping those is you want to save money and convenience and use the same shoes for mountain biking, too; that is, if you mountain bike at all.
    Falling is learning...[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]...learn to not fall in a box.
    Any good American will watch THIS -and- WHERE WAS MY BIKE MADE?

  4. #4
    Keep on climbing
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stockton
    Any tips for tunning/adjusting the brakes or derrailluers?
    Check out http://www.sheldonbrown.com/ and http://www.parktool.com/repair/.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stockton
    Do I need to lube the chain?
    New chains come lubed from the factory, although it's a good idea to lube it periodically yourself (every 100, 200 miles or so, depending on riding conditions).

    Quote Originally Posted by Stockton
    I know I should lube the pedals any recommended lubricants?
    What part of the pedals were you thinking of lubricating? The only lube I've ever put on a pedal was grease, and that was on the pedal axle threads where it screws into the crank arms. Be aware that the left pedal is reverse threaded (i.e., it tightens counter-clockwise).

    Quote Originally Posted by Stockton
    Are all bikes make with metric parts?
    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by Stockton
    Only thing left I need is shoes for my clipless pedals...I guess I should go try on some tomorrow but wasn't sure if I should wait for the pedals and cleats to make sure they're compatible with the shoes or are they all pretty standard?
    There are a whole bunch of different clipless pedal standards -- Look, Speedplay, SPD-SL, SPD... The list goes on. Not all shoes can accept all cleat types either. So unless you're 100% certain you know what type of pedals this bike is coming with -- well, then, wait to buy shoes. Note some other posters have said that SPD isn't ideal for road use, which is somewhat true... But also be aware that many people have used SPD cleats for many, many, many miles on the road (including me), as they have one very large benefit over road-specific systems -- you can walk in them. Your call to determine if "walk-ability" is in anyway important to you.
    "There is more to life than increasing its speed" -- Mahatma Gandhi

  5. #5
    Senior Member kk4df's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinF
    Note some other posters have said that SPD isn't ideal for road use, which is somewhat true... But also be aware that many people have used SPD cleats for many, many, many miles on the road (including me), as they have one very large benefit over road-specific systems -- you can walk in them. Your call to determine if "walk-ability" is in anyway important to you.
    I've had no problem using SPD pedals on my road bike. I recently invested in some SIDI shoes, and stayed with SPD because I've had good experience with them and because they're easy to walk around in. But a friend of mine has SPDs and gets "hot spots" during long rides; he's considering going to a road cleat because it would distribute the load over a larger area, although I think a stiffer soled shoe might help him just as well.

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    I just assembled a motobecane mountain bike a few weeks ago so I can give you the following tips. I used a ratchet with hex sockets for most of the assembly to make it go faster. Also a bike stand of some sort really helps too

    1. Insert the seat post (id rub a little bit of bike grease on the part that will be in the seat tube to keep it from seizing later)

    2. Mount the handlebars into the stem (the levers and shifters and cables should be atttached). Take your best guess at positioning

    3. The derailuers were mounted and tuned fine on my bike (your mileage may vary). Id refer to the sheldon brown or park tool links above.

    4. Properly inflate and mount the tires

    5. I had to mount the front disc and adjust both sets of brakes. Im sure your road bike has calipers which are easier to adjust (for me anyhow). I usally will start by making sure the brakes are in proper alignment, then, I usally have a helper squeeze the lever while I hold the calipers shut and pull the cable tight and sinch it down. That usally gets me in ball park. Then its just trial and error of spinning the tires and squeezing the lever to check for proper feel.

    6. Rub some grease on the threads of the pedals and mount those. Ever try removing a set of pedals that weren't greased?

    7. After that was basically fine tuning the fit of the bike. Which for me meant a seat swap, and an adjustable ritchey stem to get a little more lift out of the handlebars.


    I use the bike grease that comes in the green tube. The grease it self thick and forest green in color. Any thick grease will do the trick, the idea is to keep the parts from seizing. Automotive lithum grease or even vaseline will work in a pinch.

    Oh, and the bike is made in China btw. All the parts are metric (usually 4, 5, 6 mm hex).

    As far as the chain goes, mine came lubed, but they used a really thick and sticky lube (because its a mountain bike). The first couple times I rode it the chain picked up all sorts of road grit and dirt. I ended up using my chain cleaner to clean it off and relubed with some road lube. If yours comes with the sticky lube, id clean it off and relube it with some road lube.

    If they included free pedals in a blue box that say YF or YP on them, just get rid of them they are crap. Go down to your LBS and pick up a set of shoes and quality road pedals. Most LBS's will mount the cleats on the shoes for you (at least mine did).
    Last edited by soloban; 05-20-07 at 08:46 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proximo
    Motobecanes in general aren't made in the US (like most other manufacturers, the frames are usually made in Taiwan or China). Even if they were, the parts would be metric.
    Actually, Motobecane was originally a French maker. They, like most other bikes, are now Asian sourced.

    ....came with SPD compatible pedals. They work fine but SPD was designed for mountain bikes and isn't ideal for road use. If that's what you have, I'd seriously consider junking them and buying a Look or Shimano SPD-SL compatible pedal. I've been very happy with the Shimano PD-6610 pedal.
    I disagree. SPD (or other "MTB pedals" like Speedplay Frogs.) are very suited to road use if used with good quality stiff soled shoes. Unless you race or ride where there is no traffic and stop signs, pure road pedals are a pain. Their single sided design (except Speedplay road pedals) and the slick, non-walkable cleats are a nuisance at best and a real hazard in wet or slippery conditions.

  8. #8
    Dr. Gonzo Stockton's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. The bike comes in tomorrow I'll post back after I get it all assembled and let you know what I think.

    And the reason I was thinking Motorbecane was a USA company was cause the site said Moterbecane USA but I just realized that's cause it's the American site, haha.

  9. #9
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    The grease on the chain is there to keep it fresh in storage, clean it off with some solvent and lube it. The sticky grease will attract lots of dirt and sand wich make your chain and cassette wear out faster.

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    what a coincidence!
    my bro ordered a mercier from the same person and will arrive on monday. it's his first road bike.
    i was asked to put it together for him.
    who knows, maybe we'll pass by each other on the roads
    (union, somerset counties)

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider

    I disagree. SPD (or other "MTB pedals" like Speedplay Frogs.) are very suited to road use if used with good quality stiff soled shoes. Unless you race or ride where there is no traffic and stop signs, pure road pedals are a pain. Their single sided design (except Speedplay road pedals) and the slick, non-walkable cleats are a nuisance at best and a real hazard in wet or slippery conditions.
    i agree. i chose to have MTB spd pedals because it was better suited for me riding around town and to prolong my cleats. i don't plan on racing so the mtb pedals are fine for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    Actually, Motobecane was originally a French maker. They, like most other bikes, are now Asian sourced.
    When the OP mail orders a brand new bike that is "90% assembled", I think it pretty clear we aren't talking about a French Motobecane. BikesDirect owns the rights to the name in the US and I'm pretty sure they aren't importing them from France.

    As for whether SPD is suitable for road use, I know that it's possible. I personally use SPD on my Sequoia because it's a dedicated commuter and I like being able to walk around the office in MTB shoes that don't look like obvious bike shoes. I also like the fact that SPD pedals generally allow you to clip in on either side of the pedal (although the no-name SPDs my friend got on his Motobecane Sprintour didn't) making it much safer, IMHO, when riding in stop-and-go commuter traffic.

    If you want a dedicated road bike pedal, there are much better choices. Otherwise, we'd see all the pros riding on SPDs.

  13. #13
    Dr. Gonzo Stockton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seriouslysilly
    what a coincidence!
    my bro ordered a mercier from the same person and will arrive on monday. it's his first road bike.
    i was asked to put it together for him.
    who knows, maybe we'll pass by each other on the roads
    (union, somerset counties)
    Yea this is my first serious attempt at road biking.

    I'm in Monmouth county, Asbury Park area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stockton
    Yea this is my first serious attempt at road biking.

    I'm in Monmouth county, Asbury Park area.
    how was the build?
    my brother's bike came in yesterday and I really took my time building it up.
    I lubed the screws and adjusted the components. it took about 3-4 hours because I didn't want to put a scratch on it. i'd really feel bad if i did

    anyway, all i basically had to do was install the front tire, front brake, pedals, stem, handlebar and seatpost. made sure the cables were the right tension and off I went. I just took it for a brief spin (once down the street) because it was late (10:00pm), dark and cars were passing by. rear shifter shifted fine and quietly. didn't get a chance to test the front derailleur. will hopefully be able to try it again today (and ride before my brother gets to ).

    We're planning on going on that Ride for Autism @ Lincroft in June. Have you done that before?
    Is it very hilly?
    Our first and only ride was in the NY bike tour early this month (42 miles) and we seemed to do well in it, but that's because of the stop and go. We were still wondering whether we should do the 50 or 65 mile ride. Thanks!

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    oop, here's a pic of the finished product


    added bonus - site says the spokes are stainless. it actually came with the ritchey pro rims with black flat spokes
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Shuck
    The grease on the chain is there to keep it fresh in storage, clean it off with some solvent and lube it. The sticky grease will attract lots of dirt and sand wich make your chain and cassette wear out faster.
    i've read about a similar post about the stock grease. a handful of members said that this is the best grease out there and not to strip it off. they suggested to wipe excess with a clean rag and ride. apply your lube when necessary.

    a few had experiences after stripping it off saying it sounded better with the stock on and lasted longer.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proximo
    When the OP mail orders a brand new bike that is "90% assembled", I think it pretty clear we aren't talking about a French Motobecane. BikesDirect owns the rights to the name in the US and I'm pretty sure they aren't importing them from France.
    Right. My comment was prompted by the OP thinking Motobecane was an "American brand" and I just pointed out what it's original source was.

    If you want a dedicated road bike pedal, there are much better choices. Otherwise, we'd see all the pros riding on SPDs.
    Also right. Even Shimano has given up on SPD road pedals and gone to a "Look-alike" pedal and cleat design. The big qualifier here is "If you want a dedicated road bike pedal." My contention is that dedicated road bike pedals aren't suited to the needs of many road riders.

  18. #18
    Dr. Gonzo Stockton's Avatar
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    Well I finally got the bike and got it put together.

    I took these pics last night after it was just put together.

    I have 2 water bottle cages, a computer and little hand pump on there now.



    End just went on my first ride. I got home from work late and I'm exhausted but I wanted to ride it but not to far the first time especially at night incase anything happened.

    Went 8.5 miles averaged 15.2mph and maxed at 28.3 coming down a bridge...that feels really fast on a bicycle. I coulda pushed it faster but didn't want to just yet.

  19. #19
    Dr. Gonzo Stockton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seriouslysilly

    We're planning on going on that Ride for Autism @ Lincroft in June. Have you done that before?
    Is it very hilly?
    Our first and only ride was in the NY bike tour early this month (42 miles) and we seemed to do well in it, but that's because of the stop and go. We were still wondering whether we should do the 50 or 65 mile ride. Thanks!
    I've never done any rides before. I'm just getting into this. I had an old Peugot a few years ago but only for one season and the bike was pretty beat up.

    I know the Lincroft area and in it can be very hilly. I don't know what route they're planning for the course though so they might keep it more moderate.

  20. #20
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    Don't fall off the back of that saddle. You probably going to find that it's more comfortable in the long run perfectly level or very close to it.

    And if you're going to ride at night you need at least a blinky rear light and something up front. The front can be a blinky (a be seen light vs. a see light), too, but have a light.

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    congrats on the assembly!
    i'm sure you'll enjoy every minute of riding

  22. #22
    Dr. Gonzo Stockton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vpiuva
    Don't fall off the back of that saddle. You probably going to find that it's more comfortable in the long run perfectly level or very close to it.

    And if you're going to ride at night you need at least a blinky rear light and something up front. The front can be a blinky (a be seen light vs. a see light), too, but have a light.

    Yea I flattened the saddle. That was just when I got everything first bolted together. I've made some minor adjustments.

    I don't plan on doing much riding at night right now but if I do I will definitely get some lights. I don't want to get hit by a car.

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    Where you gonna mount the Heiniken?

  24. #24
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    They work fine but SPD was designed for mountain bikes and isn't ideal for road use.
    Just curious, what exactly makes SPD's less than ideal for road use?

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    The SPDs concentrate the pedaling pressure on a small area which can be uncomfortable unless you have stiff soles. I have the Shimano A520 SPD pedals which have a platform around to spread the pressure over a larger area - they are better. They only have the cleat one side, but the pedal is weighted so the top is always facing toward you when you put your foot in.

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