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  1. #1
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Thoughts about Bikes Direct

    If you have ever lurked in the Road Bike Forum, one of the thing that I continue see is the savaging of the Online Retailer Bikes Direct. Well I have seen their website and while yes it does look like a 10 year old designed it, you have to love it's simplicity and low cost setup.

    There is a LBS here by that same name and the other day while I was waiting on my wife to finish her all day endurance shopping training , I decided to go get my hair cut and had to wait about 20 minutes so I popped in next door to the bike store. They carried the BD bikes brands and generally were pleasant folks. I asked if they were one and the same, which they were.

    They have incredible prices and what looks to be some fairly nice set ups. When you think that the only real differences between their bikes and the big brands everyone knows in the US is the name on the downtube, one wonders if saving $1000 is really a bad thing when it comes to a bike purchase. One of the bikes that they displayed for $1200 was a carbon Motobecane frame with 105\Ultegra\Ritchey and Cane Creek components. I went back and took it for a test and it was a very nice ride. Just seems funny that they get savaged as much as they do.

    The Parent Corp of BD is Cycle Spectrum in Houston which has 35 locations in 3 states and they sell the same stuff as the BD site, so they must be doing something right. So my question, has anyone ever bought a bike from BD or Cycle Spectrum, what was your experience and how has the bike held up?
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2003 Trek 7300 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  2. #2
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxgtr
    If you have ever lurked in the Road Bike Forum, one of the thing that I continue see is the savaging of the Online Retailer Bikes Direct. Well I have seen their website and while yes it does look like a 10 year old designed it, you have to love it's simplicity and low cost setup.

    There is a LBS here by that same name and the other day while I was waiting on my wife to finish her all day endurance shopping training , I decided to go get my hair cut and had to wait about 20 minutes so I popped in next door to the bike store. They carried the BD bikes brands and generally were pleasant folks. I asked if they were one and the same, which they were.

    They have incredible prices and what looks to be some fairly nice set ups. When you think that the only real differences between their bikes and the big brands everyone knows in the US is the name on the downtube, one wonders if saving $1000 is really a bad thing when it comes to a bike purchase. One of the bikes that they displayed for $1200 was a carbon Motobecane frame with 105\Ultegra\Ritchey and Cane Creek components. I went back and took it for a test and it was a very nice ride. Just seems funny that they get savaged as much as they do.

    The Parent Corp of BD is Cycle Spectrum in Houston which has 35 locations in 3 states and they sell the same stuff as the BD site, so they must be doing something right. So my question, has anyone ever bought a bike from BD or Cycle Spectrum, what was your experience and how has the bike held up?
    I can't tell you about the bikes from BD, but I can say that there is a lot of bike snobbery over in Road Forum. If you don't ride the $5000.00 machine, it seems, to some there, you aren't a "real" cyclist. This doesn't apply to all the people there, but what can I say, some are more into bling over function.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  3. #3
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    I can't tell you about the bikes from BD, but I can say that there is a lot of bike snobbery over in Road Forum. If you don't ride the $5000.00 machine, it seems, to some there, you aren't a "real" cyclist. This doesn't apply to all the people there, but what can I say, some are more into bling over function.

    Yep, that is why I like this group.
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2003 Trek 7300 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  4. #4
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    After countless trips to several LBS and hours searching on E-bay and other online bike classifieds, I bought a 2006 Motobecane Fantom Cross CX bike from BD last fall. I paid $650 for the bike that came equiped with mixed Tiagra and 105 components, carbon fork, etc. I read alot of posts that said the Fantom Cross is the same bike as the Fuji Cross Comp, except I bought it for less than half of what the Fuji costs.

    Don't get me wrong, I support my LBS plenty. But the LBS couldn't offer anything close to the same setup for the same price. I don't race the bike or anything like that, but it seems to work great. As for dealing with BD, everything was handled on-line. No problems though, the bike was properly packaged and arrived on time. I guess if I had an extra $1500 maybe I would have spent it on a more recognized brand, but this works fine for me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBIkid
    Don't get me wrong, I support my LBS plenty. But the LBS couldn't offer anything close to the same setup for the same price.
    This is my issue.
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2003 Trek 7300 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  6. #6
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I'd buy a carbon bike from BD. But then again I'm not sure I'd buy any carbon bike..

    Having said that, I have a friend who has an aluminum motobecane that she bought from BD. Although the welds aren't pretty and the bike's a bit heavy, she tells me the BD folks treated her well (internet/phone order) and were generally helpful in getting everything setup.

    BTW, there's also some steals on ebay right now as people stuck in Wyoming are looking at their bikes and saying to theirselves "I'll never ride again" while thinking about the snow outside..

  7. #7
    Banned. Turboem1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    I can't tell you about the bikes from BD, but I can say that there is a lot of bike snobbery over in Road Forum. If you don't ride the $5000.00 machine, it seems, to some there, you aren't a "real" cyclist. This doesn't apply to all the people there, but what can I say, some are more into bling over function.
    I totally agree. Some of their attitudes are just plain mean.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Yea, I'm probably not going to buy carbon either but, you never know and now I can say I've ridden one. .
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2003 Trek 7300 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  9. #9
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxgtr
    Yea, I'm probably not going to buy carbon either but, you never know and now I can say I've ridden one. .
    In all honesty, I think if I was going to buy a CF bike I'd probably look at a trek or giant. Butt, I ride Titanium so what do I know?


  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxgtr
    This is my issue.
    I'm one of the people who has some of the biggest issues with Bikes Direct. I don't care what kind of bike you ride. I don't care what kind of wheels you buy. As long as you ride a bike, you're okay by me. That said, here's my issues with BD.

    First, for LBIkid, you rode all kinds of bikes. You probably found what size you needed at the bike shop. The bike shop invested money in you (they pay their employees whether you buy your bike or not). You found the bike you wanted and then, to save yourself money, you bought it on-line. If we go strictly by price, you got a good deal but what happens if everyone does that. We all go to a shop, get them to invest all kinds of time and energy in making a purchase and then we go elsewhere. The shops won't stay in business for long. Then who do you go to? If your local shop can't make a go of it, only a fool would open another similar business in the same area.

    Next, there are constant posts on the Road forum that ask, " What size bike should I get?" I've owned literally dozens of bikes over the years. I can tell from measurements of the bike is good for me or not. But I can't tell you. You need to try the bike to see if it works for you. With on-line bikes, you need to guess, order the bike, build it, try it (unless you stiff some poor bike shop), find that it doesn't work for you, disassemble it, pack it and ship it back. And then start again. How many times do you pay shipping and invest time in the bike, before the 'deal' isn't a deal anymore. For me it's a pretty low threshold. I know what I'm doing, but I've only ever bought 3 bikes on-line (of around 36 purchased). They were okay but one of them was a little small.

    Finally (I have other issues with BD but enough's enough), I object to BD's business model. They sell you a bike. You have to figure out how to put it together. I can do it in a couple of hours or less in my garage. But lots of people want to take them to their local shop. You stiffed the shop on the purchase and now you want them to put it together? The last person to work on the bike would bear the liability of something goes horribly wrong with the bike and some one gets injured. BD doesn't bear that liability but the shop does. The shop is subsidizing BD since BD doesn't have to carry that burden but they are also being undercut. If the shop owner is smart, they wouldn't do the work.
    Stuart Black
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  11. #11
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    As far as I'm concerned, its an option and everyone needs to decide what is best for their own situation.

    In response to "cyccommute", I didn't spend alot of time with LBS staff fitting me to a bike. Most of the looking that I did was bike shop browsing on my own. Had one shop spend about 20 minutes with me and decided that the sytle of bike (flat bar road bike) was not for me. That shop didn't stock CX bikes.

    I chose to take a chance ordering a bike without being able to test ride that specific bike. Beacuse I'm only a recreational rider, it worked out ok for me. I'm sure I could have spent more money at the LBS and gotten a bike that fits me better, but for the amount that I use the bike, price was more a concern than fit. I'm not a hardcore biker. I do it for exercise and I do it because I like to be outside.

    Turns out that I bought a bike for my wife from the same LBS, so it all works out in the end. My original point was that I ordered a bike from BD and it has worked well for me thusfar. Its not something that everyone should do.

  12. #12
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBIkid
    I chose to take a chance ordering a bike without being able to test ride that specific bike. Beacuse I'm only a recreational rider, it worked out ok for me. I'm sure I could have spent more money at the LBS and gotten a bike that fits me better, but for the amount that I use the bike, price was more a concern than fit. I'm not a hardcore biker. I do it for exercise and I do it because I like to be outside.
    I'm glad it worked out for you. But most recreational riders...or, rather, unexperienced riders...would do better in getting a bike from a shop for the simple matter of fit. If the bike doesn't fit, do you know what to change? I do...lots of others do to...but even I can go through a lot of money trying to find the right stem or saddle or handlebars or etc. A shop can help with that a lot. And, in the end, if the bike doesn't fit, people won't find riding enjoyable and they won't do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by LBIkid
    Its not something that everyone should do.

    I think this is my main point. For someone who knows what they are doing, BD might be a good option. For someone without experience in bicycling or working on bikes, it's better to work with a bike shop. As an experience cyclist, however, I have a good relationship with many bike shops and I give them my business so that they will be there tomorrow.
    Stuart Black
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    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
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    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  13. #13
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    I have had an "up close" look over the past decade at how "Cycle Spectrum" and its mail order branch "BikesDirect" operate. I live near Rice University, and Cycle Spectrum has two stores near campus. Many Rice students purchase bikes from Cycle Spectrum. They are lured in by price tags that say "Retail Price $700 - on sale today for $299".

    The Rice students don't know enough about bikes to know that better bikes are available at a nearby Trek dealer for about the same price. And, the Rice students don't know that in most states, it is a crime to put a $700 price tag on a $300 bike, and then claim it is "on sale" or "half price".

    Rice students are impressed by the promise of "Free Service For As Long As You Own the Bike". What they don't know is that their bike will sit for four or five days when all it needs is a new tube in the tire. Or, that the "defect" in the shifting or braking was caused by improper assembly and set-up at Cycle Spectrum. An improper assembly done by the same untrained sales clerk who will be assigned to attempt to repair the bike.

    And, that Cycle Spectum bike WILL fail. Cycle Spectrum/BikesDirect keeps their profit margins up by using a mix of "name brand", good quality parts, with some cheaper, lower grade parts mixed in. Often, that lower grade part is a seat post, or a hub, or a brake caliper. When that low grade part needs to be replaced, the Cycle Spectrum customer often ends up going to a first rate bike shop and being shocked by the size of the bill.

    The customer says "How could it cost $100 to put on a good pair of brake calipers on this bike...the bike only cost $300". But, the fact is replacing poor quality parts with high quality parts is an expensive proposition. It is cheaper to buy a top brand bike from a top bike shop, and not have worry about replacing the brake calipers with ones that actually work.

    If that same student had taken his $300 to a good bike shop, he would have gotten a better bike that was correctly assembled. And, when that bike needs service, the better bike shop will have trained, experienced techs who know how to fix the bike and that will use high quality parts.

    I hesitate to post this information. When I post about my experiences with BikesDirect, there usually are a number of personal attacks directed at me by BikesDirect shills posing as Forum Members.

    Recently, after I posted about BikesDirect, I received a "Private Message" informing me that BikesDirect funds "Bike Forums" and implying that I would be banned from Bike Forums if I criticize how they do business. Kinda of an "offer you can't refuse" sort of thing. Sigh...
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 01-25-07 at 02:03 PM.

  14. #14
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    I had *almost* bought the "special sauce" until some things just didn't add up.

    First, why are they resurrecting "dead" names instead of just coming up with their own? You know, Dawes, Windsor, Motobecane. Logic says "marketing" but if they had a good product, wouldn't their own brand names bring folks to the table?

    Second, the price scares me. I know that's a HORRIBLE argument, but the low prices do scare me. When I was 12 a Huffy damn near killed me due to shoddy materials and improper assembly. Since then every bike in our family has been a bike shop bike. I've heard others relate similar experience. Basically, there is a reason these bikes are so cheap.

    Now, I know that we are paying for a name when we buy a Trek, Giant, or whatever. But another thing we are paying for is (generally) a good reputation. All those brands didn't get there because their product is crap. I bought a low-end Specialized, and you'll be damn sure the second I can afford it I'll replace it with a higher end one. I know the same is true of many I talk to, be it that they have a Trek, Giant, or whatever else. You make lots of money by making brand loyalty.

    Which, in itself, is why you see loads of people in here who own a dozen Treks even though they are "low end" according to the cycle snobbery. And it's not just Trek, it's also Bianchi, etc etc etc. Now, what you don't see is many people defending the stuff that BD.com sells. There are a couple, sure, but I don't see a great amount. I see more on the opposite side.

    Their prices are compelling, but so are Wal-Mart's. Guess where I don't shop?

    Anyway, point being, they may have a great product but I don't see much praise for them.

  15. #15
    By Necessity. RDRomano's Avatar
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    The price would have gotten me, but every local bike shop I spoke with either refused flatly to build up a BD bike or have strongly discouraged me (albeit in more tactful language that the former group) from buying BD saying things about either quality or liability or business model, all of which were mentioned by the above poster. Not ironically, I ended up buying from the shop that spoke with the least acrimony about BD; they were the most knowledgeble, the most professional in approach, and pretty laid-back too. And I still got riding for under a $900. Yeah, it sounds like a lot, until you throw in the ten or so hours they spent talking to me, the fenders, rack/panniers, Brooks, lights, helmet, shorts/jersey, local path maps, service for a year, a fitting session that was so in depth as to border on sexual harassment, and membership to one of the larger local clubs.

    Oh, my ride is a Kona Dew Deluxe. I was all set to get the basic Dew. The Dew Deluxe comes in 62cm, the Dew only goes up to 60. The LBS owner said, "Look, I can make the 60cm Dew fit (longer post and stem) but I really feel like you'll be happier and better off in the long run to let me order you the 62cm Dew Deluxe. I know you're on a budget, so I'll tell ya what: the Deluxe is $200 more. I'll split it with you, meet you half-way. Gimme another hundred; I'll put you on the better bike. Ordering a bike versus ordering a post and stem makes no difference to me, but if you're not on the right bike, you won't come back." I love my bike. I've already taken my fiance and my Mom in to see him, the former of whom has purchased. BD could not have done this for me, even if they wanted to.

    And while I'm sure there are many people who have fine buying experiences with BD, my LBS treats me like the King of Cheese every time I walk in. That's worth something to me. A lot, in fact.
    --Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer, whose brother is a district judge, once observed that, "The role of a district judge is to decide quickly, wisely, and fairly. This is not to say that the role of an appellate judge is to decide slowly, foolishly, and unfairly, for that would usurp the function of the Supreme Court."

  16. #16
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the input and I am really glad no one got obnoxious about it. Thanks for the info about the cycle spectrum experience as well. I have mixed feelings about not getting a known bike brand versus the remarketed 70's brands, but I also have strong feelings about getting dinged on price. I am perplexed about getting a bike mail order and when I needed some maintenance I could not perform myself, who would I take it too.

    I have a great LBS I typically frequent I and have received nothing less than excellent service from them. While I am not made of money, I will just have to make the best decision for my financial and cycling needs when it comes to making a bike purchase. Might just need to look at last years models and see what kind of discount I can get.

    Again thanks for everyones input.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  17. #17
    Clyde Rider/Racer
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxgtr
    If you have ever lurked in the Road Bike Forum, one of the thing that I continue see is the savaging of the Online Retailer Bikes Direct. Well I have seen their website and while yes it does look like a 10 year old designed it, you have to love it's simplicity and low cost setup.

    There is a LBS here by that same name and the other day while I was waiting on my wife to finish her all day endurance shopping training , I decided to go get my hair cut and had to wait about 20 minutes so I popped in next door to the bike store. They carried the BD bikes brands and generally were pleasant folks. I asked if they were one and the same, which they were.

    They have incredible prices and what looks to be some fairly nice set ups. When you think that the only real differences between their bikes and the big brands everyone knows in the US is the name on the downtube, one wonders if saving $1000 is really a bad thing when it comes to a bike purchase. One of the bikes that they displayed for $1200 was a carbon Motobecane frame with 105\Ultegra\Ritchey and Cane Creek components. I went back and took it for a test and it was a very nice ride. Just seems funny that they get savaged as much as they do.

    The Parent Corp of BD is Cycle Spectrum in Houston which has 35 locations in 3 states and they sell the same stuff as the BD site, so they must be doing something right. So my question, has anyone ever bought a bike from BD or Cycle Spectrum, what was your experience and how has the bike held up?
    After I quit racing, I used to spec out and build bikes for crit racers and triathletes and have purchased several bikes from Bikes Direct. Yes, the website is rediculous, poorly designed, a bit confusing with regards to navigation BUT don't let any of that dissuade you from purchasing from them. For the most part they're very friendly and Tom's right, there's a whole truckload of roadbike snobby a-holes out there (in the past they've typically been the people I laughingly said, "come on..." as I passed them going up a a rough climb) but the BD folks are quite pleasant. The bikes are EXACTLY as you see/read, they come in the original manufacturer's box (packed prefectly) and in all my experience in buying and building, I've never found a place that can offer the same component packages on decent framed bikes as what they offer on BD. It has always seemed to me that the great majority of the cost pushed back to us consumers by BD is for the groupo on the rig and the frames tend to be Fujis or Motobecanes(sp?) etc.
    Obviously a frame is of great importance but having a top notch component group under you is going to carry you indefinitely if well maintained, and I've found that frames come and go.
    So again, absolutely you can let your guard down with Bikes Direct, they are sound retailer with pretty fantastic prices but a ****ty website. Hope that helps.

  18. #18
    Clyde Rider/Racer
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Finally (I have other issues with BD but enough's enough), I object to BD's business model. They sell you a bike. You have to figure out how to put it together. I can do it in a couple of hours or less in my garage. But lots of people want to take them to their local shop. You stiffed the shop on the purchase and now you want them to put it together? The last person to work on the bike would bear the liability of something goes horribly wrong with the bike and some one gets injured. BD doesn't bear that liability but the shop does. The shop is subsidizing BD since BD doesn't have to carry that burden but they are also being undercut. If the shop owner is smart, they wouldn't do the work.
    I agree with a lot of what you said, supporting a LBS is always good practice but the bikes in your LBS are terribly speced out and if anyone argues with that, you're simply not in the know - they'll usually have great looking but seriously poor wheelset, garbage front end components with a top of the line rear derail. etc. etc. My LBS is where I buy water bottle cages and grips, tubes, etc. they can make their money off of other folk's repair needs and selling BMX bikes to junior high kids but if you're a serious cyclist, you demand the best component package you can afford, it's simply being fair to yourself. And if one isn't sure about sizing and whatnot, you go to your LBS, pay a small fee and get sized, know what top tube length you need, know if a 59cm works but has you a bit more bunched up than a 60cm, find a a rig that's price fits your budget and you like, then go to that manufac's website and do your homework with regards to geometry and tech needs - then go to a Bike Direct or something similar and buy your ride. Say you're looking at that Carbon bike for $1200, spec'd out the way it is...then go ride the $1200 LBS rig, it's comical. And lastly with regards to what cyccommute wrote; again, having purchased say less than twenty but more than ten bikes from Bikes Direct, they come (or at least used to) about 97% put together - attach the stem to the fork, put the pedals on, the seat in and plug in your wheels and off you go but you are going to want to get your cables stretched after a month or so, and your LBS will be happy as hell to charge you thirty bones to do so.

    Two last things:
    1. cyccommute, didn't mean to debate you bud, and I agree with ...er...recognize that most of what you said was well on the mark. Having worked for a few and been in the community/industry a long time - I am of the opinion and practice that the consumer should do what fits their needs/demands and budget first local small business loyalty second.

    2. jaxgatr, Carbon is really nifty, no doubt but in the case you've described, it's opposite of what i was talking about...most of your $1200 would be going into a Carbon Motobecane...and i don't know, none of my business per se but i'd rather ride a steel or aluminum bike specd out with Ultegra or Dura-Ace from BD than a Carbon rig with 105 parts...just a thought. And if you're a clyde of any serious weight, your safety on carbon should be considered before buying.

  19. #19
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The CLYDE
    ... but i'd rather ride a steel or aluminum bike specd out with Ultegra or Dura-Ace from BD than a Carbon rig with 105 parts...just a thought. And if you're a clyde of any serious weight, your safety on carbon should be considered before buying.
    Agreed, I rode a steel bike tonight and it had a great feel and ride. I am of size and while I like the carbon bikes looks and setup, I think I am going to stick to steel. I felt more comfy on the steel bike, quite possible due to setup of the bike. It was a friends bike, Trek 520, he is just about the same height, reach as me, where as the carbon was a display bike.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    Recently, after I posted about BikesDirect, I received a "Private Message" informing me that BikesDirect funds "Bike Forums" and implying that I would be banned from Bike Forums if I criticize how they do business.
    Did you forward that PM of BS to a moderator or Joe Gardner himself?
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  21. #21
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The CLYDE
    Two last things:
    1. cyccommute, didn't mean to debate you bud, and I agree with ...er...recognize that most of what you said was well on the mark. Having worked for a few and been in the community/industry a long time - I am of the opinion and practice that the consumer should do what fits their needs/demands and budget first local small business loyalty second.
    I respect you position but I have my own issues with the 'lowest possible price model'. My father-in-law owned a very successful small business back in the '80s (an office supply store) that was run out of business after he sold it by the big box office stores. The community is poorer for it. I've seen the same thing happening in other areas when a large company runs the competitors out of business and then towns become empty shells with big boxes around them. I'm luck in that I live in an inner urban area with a thriving business district with lots of small shops carrying all kinds of stuff from baked goods to meats to, quite possibly, the worlds greatest hardware store. I can walk to all of them and enjoy doing business with them. I pay a little more but the alternative is to drive 10 miles round trip to go to the big boxes and have to deal with surly people who are just doing a job...instead of enjoying the community.

    I feel that there is a hidden price we pay for going with the cheapest price. We become consumers but we lose the community...so I'll take local loyalty first, price second.
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  22. #22
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    I respect you position but I have my own issues with the 'lowest possible price model'. My father-in-law owned a very successful small business back in the '80s (an office supply store) that was run out of business after he sold it by the big box office stores. The community is poorer for it. I've seen the same thing happening in other areas when a large company runs the competitors out of business and then towns become empty shells with big boxes around them. I'm luck in that I live in an inner urban area with a thriving business district with lots of small shops carrying all kinds of stuff from baked goods to meats to, quite possibly, the worlds greatest hardware store. I can walk to all of them and enjoy doing business with them. I pay a little more but the alternative is to drive 10 miles round trip to go to the big boxes and have to deal with surly people who are just doing a job...instead of enjoying the community.

    I feel that there is a hidden price we pay for going with the cheapest price. We become consumers but we lose the community...so I'll take local loyalty first, price second.
    Ding ding ding. You hit my thoughts on the head. As I get older, I appreciate this so much more. When you deal locally, and preferably with a smaller shop you get people who actually CARE and know what you like. There's a local bread shop that's like that. Everything's natural, and only arguably more expensive than store bought crap ($2.75/loaf) but they are REALLY nice people. Bike shops are the same way, the guys at the store closest to me already know me but I've yet to buy a bike from them. In fact, they bend over backwards for any little business that anyone gives them - a reason why they're business is thriving.

    However the "box store mentality" is sadly taking over this town. Small hardware stores (which I prefer) are being run out by a Home Depot, Menards, and Lowe's - all within 1 mile of each other on the south side of town. Copies of all are up on the North side of town. It's unreal and ridiculous. I call that section of shopping "Wal Mart S*!* Land" because all it contains are chains. Nothing local, just chain stores, restaurants, and everything else.

    Anyway, BD could be the second coming. Their bikes really could be identical to what I buy at the local stores. But I'd rather give my business to the kid that trips over himself and spends 30 minutes helping me find the "perfect" bag for my handlebars (a $15 Jandd bag).

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    I met a guy on the RoadBike forum. He was a new rider and new to the forum. I had been monitoring the forum but not the general cycling discussion. To make a long story short, he got caught up in this controversy and I was naive, too. In the end he got a great bike and deal and is extremely happy and supports BikesDirect. He did not have any historical perspective and was looking for the best deal. He has since went back to an LBS for a fitting and bought some components from them. Probably will become very common for new riders since he got a Dura-Ace equipped bike for less either $1,495 or $1,595, I am not sure which. Either way it was a great deal.

    BTW, we live in the same area and have now done some riding together. Nobody that I know is prejudiced on the source of the bike purchase!
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  24. #24
    Leaving Clydehood cydisc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    I can't tell you about the bikes from BD, but I can say that there is a lot of bike snobbery over in Road Forum. If you don't ride the $5000.00 machine, it seems, to some there, you aren't a "real" cyclist.
    Correction. 10% of those riding $5k bikes are "real" cyclists. The other 90% are OCP.
    Standard disclaimer applies. Your mileage may vary.

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    Ocp?
    --Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer, whose brother is a district judge, once observed that, "The role of a district judge is to decide quickly, wisely, and fairly. This is not to say that the role of an appellate judge is to decide slowly, foolishly, and unfairly, for that would usurp the function of the Supreme Court."

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