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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 10-02-10, 07:52 AM   #1
andgott
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Any experience W/Motobecane Carbon Frames?

First, Let me give you a little background... I've gotten back in to cycling after a brief 'break' in the action. When I live in Florida, I was riding every day- I had my 'dream ride', a Titanium Litespeed... A VERY comfortable bike... I loved it. I was never a small person, but the frame held up well to my 250 or so (at the start), and 220 or so (near the end) weight.

Fast forward a few years. Add a wife. Move to Tennessee. Wife (didn't) ride, I got lazy. Put on a few pounds, and since I wasn't riding I couldn't justify the $$$$$$ bike hanging in the garage, so I sold it

But, now I'm back in to it... I have a decent aluminum road bike, A Giant- But it didn't have the 'feel' that the Titanium bike had, not nearly as smooth, and the compact frame just didn't fit me like the Litespeed did. But, Litespeed is WAY out of the budget now (note the addition of WIFE since that purchase!). I still wanted a nice bike, though, that was comfortable. Riding became a HUGE part of my fitness routine, and I'm getting back where I was 'back in the day'. Not there yet, but well on the way!

I had a chance to try out a Motobecane Century, which is a full carbon fiber frame. The geometry was PERFECT- the 55cm frame fit me like a glove, and the ride was UNREAL, even better than the Litespeed. And, the price was right, so I bought one.

Components are decent on it, Nothing to write home about, but they do a good job. As I am a fairly competent bike mechanic, I didn't have any problem with the little bit of assembly, and tuning. I've got a few great rides in so far, and love it. It's even a nice LOOKING ride, too-




Has anyone had any experience with these bikes? I'm especially interested in how they are going to hold up to a heavier rider over time.... I'm in the upper 250 range at the moment... Thought that number is going down. It'll probably never go much below 210, though- I'm just a big guy in general. I weighed that in Jr High!

I realize it is by no means a 'high end' bike, But I didn't buy it for the brand, I bought it because it was the ONLY bike I could find that felt 'right' that was in my price category... Frankly, I could have bought 4 of them for what I had invested in my Litespeed.

And, Had I bought another litespeed, I'd have to factor in the cost of divorce, too

Thanks!

-Andrew
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Old 10-02-10, 09:45 AM   #2
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It's rare for anyone to have a problem with the frame. Maybe after thousands of mile it might crack, but it's not common. More likely that you might have wheel problems, as that is very common for clydes. Ride it and enjoy-looks like a nice bike


I recently bought one of their cross frames and built it up to be a bad weather/around town bike. I have a carbon bike I ride on longer weekend rides. Love the Motobecane so far.
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Old 10-02-10, 04:48 PM   #3
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i have a motobecane grand sprint which is aluminum with carbon seat stays and carbon fork. I've only had it a few months but so far I love it. I'm a big fan of bikes direct for those that know how to work on their own bikes or are willing to pay piecemeal for work to be done on occassion at the lbs. Down the road I'll be considering an all carbon offering like yours or one of their Titanium offerings. BTW, I'm 235lbs.
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Old 10-03-10, 06:45 AM   #4
andgott
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Thanks.

I realize that frames usually are the last thing to go- I suppose I was just a little worried that this one might not hold up like the more pricey ones do... Though I could go buy a couple more for the difference. The wheels that came on it seem reasonably beefy- We'll see how they last over time.
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Old 10-03-10, 11:47 AM   #5
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Fast forward a few years. Add a wife. Move to Tennessee. Wife (didn't) ride, I got lazy. Put on a few pounds, and since I wasn't riding I couldn't justify the $$$$$$ bike hanging in the garage, so I sold it
This is a common story. A lot of bikes, cars, cameras, musical instruments, etc, get sold when people find a husband or a wife.

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Has anyone had any experience with these bikes? I'm especially interested in how they are going to hold up to a heavier rider over time.... I'm in the upper 250 range at the moment... Thought that number is going down. It'll probably never go much below 210, though- I'm just a big guy in general. I weighed that in Jr High!
Welcome to Club Clydesdale.

I've never been on a Motobecane before. I've tried a number of carbon bikes, and recently got one of my own. I love it; mine doesn't fit me quite as well as yours fits you, but it's a comfortable ride (for the first few hours), and it's a lot of fun. I'm 237 lbs currently, and it doesn't creak under my weight. The wheels need to be trued occasionally, and I think mine might flex a little bit. You might have wheel issues sooner or later yourself. Good thing wheels are easy to replace, if the need ever actually does come up.

It's interesting to hear you say you seem to prefer the ride from CF over Ti so far. I've never got the chance to ride a Ti frame.
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Old 10-03-10, 12:13 PM   #6
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I've ridden with many people on full CF Motobecane frames and they've been very pleased with them; riders from 150 to 250 pounds doing distances up to century rides.

When I can afford a "go fast" bike, Motobecane is up there at the top of my list.
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Old 10-03-10, 01:47 PM   #7
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I'd be interested in hearing more about how you like this bike. This is billed by BD as a sort of more relaxed bike. Perhaps comparable to the Roubaix and Synapse. However, notice that this frame is the exact same one as the Le Champion CF bikes on BD, this is labeled as a relaxed bike more because of the triple. The CF Le Champion bikes are supposed to be "semi-compact," meaning a little more upright and comfortable but not so far as the Roubaix/Synapse. It doesn't seem like BD has a truly equivalent to those two bikes. This one isn't as aggressive as their Immortal line. So please do let us know how comfortable this is, how upright are you, is the wheelbase and steering more smooth but slightly slower, etc. Thanks.
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Old 10-03-10, 08:14 PM   #8
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Well, I finally had a chance to get a slightly longer ride in today- 33 miles. The bike did VERY well, and I did OK, too... It's been a while since I've ridden longer distances, so I'm breaking myself back in!

The thing that attracted me to this particular model is the more relaxed riding position that was advertised. My Litespeed was a Veneto model, which was also a more relaxed riding position- which is what I really liked about it. When I compared frame geometries, the Motobecane was VERY similar- And when I got it I was pleasantly surprised with how well it fit me- and how comfortable it was. I had tried some Carbon fiber frames in the past, but never really found one that I liked- It seems most were more 'go fast' frames, where comfort was secondary, especially for someone my size.

It is not an upright position by any means- The seat is still well above the handlebars, but compared to my other road bike (an entry level Giant, with a compact aluminum frame), it allows me to stretch out a bit more. It feels far more comfortable, and so far I've felt a LOT more comfortable after the rides than I did riding on the Giant... Not nearly as achy and sore, especially the NEXT day.

As for the TI vs CF thing- I LOVED my titanium bike- and really DO miss it... The ride was great, and it was pretty light. The ride quality of the CF bike I'm on now is as good, if not better- and it's also lighter (not that a pound or two here and there makes a ton of difference to me- I could loose a couple dozen from the gut that would make WAY more difference first!!). BUT- The price paid is durability- I crashed the Litespeed more than once, and other than nasty road rash and a bruised ego, There were no problems. If I'd have done that with a Carbon Frame, There is probably a good chance I'd have ruined it.

As for steering- She handles well. It's not quite as 'snappy' as my Giant, which is a smaller frame, but roughly the same as the Litespeed. It's super smooth. The Carbon Frame seems to really absorb the bumps in the road, too- Doesn't shake the bones like the Giant does. I'm happy with my investment, as long as it lasts me a while!

-Andrew
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Old 10-03-10, 08:15 PM   #9
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Well, I finally had a chance to get a slightly longer ride in today- 33 miles. The bike did VERY well, and I did OK, too... It's been a while since I've ridden longer distances, so I'm breaking myself back in!

The thing that attracted me to this particular model is the more relaxed riding position that was advertised. My Litespeed was a Veneto model, which was also a more relaxed riding position- which is what I really liked about it. When I compared frame geometries, the Motobecane was VERY similar- And when I got it I was pleasantly surprised with how well it fit me- and how comfortable it was. I had tried some Carbon fiber frames in the past, but never really found one that I liked- It seems most were more 'go fast' frames, where comfort was secondary, especially for someone my size.

It is not an upright position by any means- The seat is still well above the handlebars, but compared to my other road bike (an entry level Giant, with a compact aluminum frame), it allows me to stretch out a bit more. It feels far more comfortable, and so far I've felt a LOT more comfortable after the rides than I did riding on the Giant... Not nearly as achy and sore, especially the NEXT day.

As for the TI vs CF thing- I LOVED my titanium bike- and really DO miss it... The ride was great, and it was pretty light. The ride quality of the CF bike I'm on now is as good, if not better- and it's also lighter (not that a pound or two here and there makes a ton of difference to me- I could loose a couple dozen from the gut that would make WAY more difference first!!). BUT- The price paid is durability- I crashed the Litespeed more than once, and other than nasty road rash and a bruised ego, There were no problems. If I'd have done that with a Carbon Frame, There is probably a good chance I'd have ruined it.

As for steering- She handles well. It's not quite as 'snappy' as my Giant, which is a smaller frame, but roughly the same as the Litespeed. It's super smooth. The Carbon Frame seems to really absorb the bumps in the road, too- Doesn't shake the bones like the Giant does. I'm happy with my investment, as long as it lasts me a while!

-Andrew
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Old 10-03-10, 10:04 PM   #10
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BUT- The price paid is durability- I crashed the Litespeed more than once, and other than nasty road rash and a bruised ego, There were no problems. If I'd have done that with a Carbon Frame, There is probably a good chance I'd have ruined it.

-Andrew
You can crash that motobecane and replace the frame on it about 5 times over before you get to the point of what you would spend on that lightspeed
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Old 10-03-10, 10:45 PM   #11
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Is there a crash-replacement policy?
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Old 10-04-10, 06:46 AM   #12
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Is there a crash-replacement policy?
I might be wrong about this, but that's typically the problem people have with BikesDirect bikes (I own three, by the way). There is a lifetime warranty, but that's for defects in manufacturing. Plus you have to ship the whole bike to them. I noticed their Vuelta USA wheels have a crash replacement program. However, they play the time honored trick of jacking up the official MSRP so ridiculously high that when they say you can replace the wheels of only 25% of the cost it's really the same price as the wheels are if you actually buy them (nobody sells them at MSRP).

The crash replacement program is that it's cheap in the first place. Buy another one. You'll still come in cheaper than some brand name bikes with warranties.
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Old 10-04-10, 06:48 AM   #13
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Yes- there is. They replace frames at cost if crashed.

I'm not as worried about crashing these days, either. I know it CAN happen- But 'learning' on a TI frame was probably a good thing, as the couple of crashes that I did have (all were MY fault) caused no damage other than to decals & ego, Both of which are easily repaired.

As mentioned, if I DO crash, I can replace several times for the cost of the Litespeed. Hell, I could go with the full ultegra version, and still buy 2-3 of them, with a little spare change left over!

-Andrew
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Old 10-24-10, 04:00 PM   #14
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hey,andgott, i really like the looks of the century, could you tell me what size your other bikes are. and how tall you are. I am ride a 56 now and it fits nice. So iam a little nervous going to a 55. I guess there cant be that much difference, could there?And how do you like it by now. thanks
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Old 10-24-10, 04:53 PM   #15
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Well, I've got a couple hundred miles on it now, and still LOVE the ride.

I had one issue- The bottom bracket worked loose, and I had to take it to the bike shop to get it tightened, since I didn't have my bike tools with me (no crank puller, or bottom bracket tool ). Other than that, everything has been great. The guy at the bike shop had never seen one before, and wasn't familiar with the 'brand', but said it looked like a nice bike, especially at that price point.

Freedomrider- I ride either a M or a L in most manufacturers bikes, depending on the geometry of the frame. I was torn between the 55cm and the 58cm, but the last bike I had that really fit me nicely was a Litespeed Veneto, and the measurements for this bike were VERY close. I am 5' 10.5", and have a 'bike inseam' of about 32", and it is a great fit.

Unfortunately, work and weather have gotten in the way, and I haven't been able to put any more miles on it in the past few days! We're sitting in port now, but it's miserable- Cold and rainy. We even got snowed on- It's WAY too soon for this crap!

-Andrew
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Old 10-24-10, 05:20 PM   #16
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thanks Andrew sorry the weather is so crappy. We are just about the same size so i guess i should just do it, i have been looking at the Giant advance defy 3 also. Is yours a triple or double i cant tell from the pics.
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Old 10-24-10, 07:59 PM   #17
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It's a triple. 50/39/30 T.

I've been more than happy with it. For the right person, it's a great deal. If you don't mind doing a little tuning and tweaking, and don't need the support of a LBS. Since I use this bike when I'm on my ship, I'm not in port long enough to make it to the bike shop anyways- especially if I have to drop it off for service. So, for me, the benefits far outweighed the drawbacks.
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