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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 02-19-12, 07:44 AM   #1
GreenKLR
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Bikes Direct or LBS opinions please, ( no flame posts)

I have been doing a lot of looking and researching and did some riding. I like the trek Gary Fischer 8.4 DS. I found a BD Motobecane with virtually the same componets for $410 less.
I know you loose the LBS support but I have read some good things about BD and for the amount I plan to ride I cant see this as a loosing deal. Any thoughts?
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._adventure.htm
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Old 02-19-12, 07:45 AM   #2
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Old 02-19-12, 07:49 AM   #3
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If that is what you are looking for, just go to your nearest Dicks or Sports Autorithy and grab one off the floor.
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Old 02-19-12, 07:53 AM   #4
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I have been doing a lot of looking and researching and did some riding. I like the trek Gary Fischer 8.4 DS. I found a BD Motobecane with virtually the same componets for $410 less.
I know you loose the LBS support but I have read some good things about BD and for the amount I plan to ride I cant see this as a loosing deal. Any thoughts?
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._adventure.htm
One could.. with some care.. negotiate that window closer I think. Then you get the local support.. an assembled bike that you see.. vs the one in the box which could lack adjustments and arrive with freight damage-- which is ONE major hassle.

A bird in the hand is worth a box full in the bush...

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Old 02-19-12, 07:58 AM   #5
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Buying off the internet is always a gamble.

I just bought a new bike.

Everything is perfect with it.

I bought a new wheel set for it, and they are now lost in space and the seller has my $$$.
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Old 02-19-12, 09:06 AM   #6
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My first road bike was a BD Motobecane Vent Noir. My LBS was ok with helping with anything I needed but I always felt bad taking my bike to them if I needed something I could not do myself. I recently upgraded to a Cervelo RS and I must say that I am very happy to have gone thru the LBS. Not only did it make me feel better to give my LBS some business but I also get free tune up and I got a free fit. They will also warranty my frame and components along side Cervelo. In the end I feel better now taking my bike in but if maintenance is something you can handle then the BD Motobecane will probably be a great bike for you. I never had any real major issues. It just required the usual minor tune ups.
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Old 02-19-12, 09:28 AM   #7
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Buy a tube of grease. In my experience, there is none on Bikesdirect bikes as delivered, and I do own one. At a minimum, you'll need to grease the seatpost and remove the bottom bracket and grease the threads, then reinstall it. Likewise any cup and cone bearing surfaces on the bike. To be fair, I've seen bikes from reputed to be reputable LBSs with the exact same issue. You'll probably also need to replace some of the cheaper parts on the bike, but that holds true for LBS bikes as well.
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Old 02-19-12, 09:44 AM   #8
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I'm not sure I'm seeing the question.

The BD bike will take 30 minutes to put together, maybe longer if you disassemble and re-grease, then assemble. It's easy, perhaps fun if you like to work with your hands.

From my expiernece, you can't trust that the LBS invested much attention putting together a bike you find on their floor - which they also received in the same brown box. Around here, they probably had a kid put it together after school.

If you are talking consumer loyalty, then you must believe your LBS is loyal and caring about you...which seems fantastic to me, if true.

The Gary Fischer has some provenance, the Motobecane screams BikesDirect. If that matters to you you'll buy the Fischer.
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Old 02-19-12, 09:45 AM   #9
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Part of what you are paying for when you buy from a good reputable LBS is someone to help you with sizing, a professional to assemble the bike, the convenience of picking it up locally, and someone to stand behind it after the sale. Of course, that all costs $$.

+1 To above, LBS come in all shapes and sizes, if you don't get a good one, then these advantages go away.

If you don't need the above, then there are plenty of worthy options, including BD. Myself, buying a nice bike USED trumps BD, big time. Not only do I find comparable bikes to the BD offerings used for less $$, they are LBS branded, which helps A LOT on resale. Don't think resale matters? Most of us sooner or later will want something different: different type of bike, higher end, whatever. At that point, resale potential (or the lack of it) becomes readily apparent.

The last new bike I bought was 1975, and I really would have been a lot better off buying used then (I bought a new Peugeot UO8, and could have found a PX10 or similar used back then for the price).

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Old 02-19-12, 09:51 AM   #10
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My next bike will likely be a bikes direct bike. Why? Value. I don't take my bike to LBS for ANYTHING anymore. I have the tools and equipment I need to repair the bikes I own, and if I buy a bike that requires another tool (bb removal, etc) I will just buy it. I also know what size frame I like, which helps.

However, if you don't have a bike repair stand (sorry, they make life easier), a wheel truing stand, and all the tools, as well as the knowledge to get the bike set, go with the Fischer. So you might save $400. I have about that into tools....
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Old 02-19-12, 11:08 AM   #11
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A third option would be to find something local on Craig's list. I don't know what the warranty situation is like for Fisher bikes but since you can buy a whole other Motobecane for the difference, maybe it doesn't matter.

You can always take it into a LBS - they'll be happy to take your money the same as they would when you bring in your Trek.
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Old 02-19-12, 11:13 AM   #12
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Thanks for the comments. I keep seeingcomments about parts quality but the bike direct bike uses Shimano Deores same as a Gary Fisher..same shifts, BD has a SUNTOUR crank same size and tooth count... I did see areview where the BD frame was not as responsive but other wise everything elseis the same..
I know that if I put 1000 miles on this in a year that will be a good year forme..
Being a technician by trade I cant see where simple adjustments could be thathard with the proper documentation.
Also when I was a kid we bought a 10 speed, and we rode... I saw an old guy atthe LBS yesterday and he asked what happened to that??


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Old 02-19-12, 11:14 AM   #13
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A third option would be to find something local on Craig's list. I don't know what the warranty situation is like for Fisher bikes but since you can buy a whole other Motobecane for the difference, maybe it doesn't matter.

You can always take it into a LBS - they'll be happy to take your money the same as they would when you bring in your Trek.

Yep, I have been spending lot of time there too.. On of the nice things about looking to buy something is the looking... once you buy it then you are like.. what am I going to do now????
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Old 02-19-12, 11:36 AM   #14
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I got a BD LeCamp Ti for Christmas. I have nothing but glowing reviews for it. It looks exactly as pictured on the website. Assembly was easy. It needed very little adjustment. The ride, drivetrain and quality of components on my bike is great. plus I think the bike is gorgeous. I never rode the stock wheels which are Mavic aksium race because i don't think they can handle my weight (265 lbs). That's also the reason I went with Ti over carbon.

If you are confident in your mechanical ability and confident in getting the proper fit it's a great deal.

As for me, I'm the kind of guy who does most everything mechanical myself.
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Old 02-19-12, 11:42 AM   #15
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I'm one of those people that like to actually see something and handle it before I buy. The online descriptions don't do that much for me. If I take a LBS's time for advice and assistance I feel that I should buy from that LBS.
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Old 02-19-12, 11:49 AM   #16
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Buying off the internet is always a gamble.

Absolutely, of my two BD purchases, one went to the scrapyard, and the other is relegated to family ride status. At least with an LBS bike, one can check out a bike first hand before purchasing, rather than finding out it's shortcomings after assembling it.
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Old 02-19-12, 12:17 PM   #17
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Absolutely, of my two BD purchases, one went to the scrapyard, and the other is relegated to family ride status. At least with an LBS bike, one can check out a bike first hand before purchasing, rather than finding out it's shortcomings after assembling it.
You may have hit the nail on the head with your comment about family ride status.. I am just going to ride around the top of the hill I live on. I may never go past that point.
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Old 02-19-12, 07:40 PM   #18
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[COLOR=#3E3E3E][FONT="Tahoma"]Thanks for the comments. I keep seeing comments about parts quality but the bike direct bike uses Shimano Deores same as a Gary Fisher..same shifts, BD has a SUNTOUR crank same size and tooth count...
I've never seen those comments anywhere. You are just trading a LBS experience for an internet buy, eliminating a lot of overhead and cost, and assuming some responsibility for assembly (of course, you can pay a local shop to assemble for you). All the bike manufacturers have been buying components from the same companies for decades. And now more and more of them are outsourcing the frames too. And even 30 years ago, a lot of bike shop brands were just marketing companies (never built a single bike).

Buying from a shop gives you someone in person, local, to assist with sizing, and to handle warranty and repair issues. But for this, a premium is paid.

I forgo the local shop, and BD as well, and just buy used instead. Of course, I am responsible for any/all repairs, getting my size right, and forget any warranty. Buy right, and even if you make a mistake (wrong bike, wrong size), you should be able to resell it, get your money out of it, and then do it right.
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Old 02-19-12, 09:09 PM   #19
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My next bike will likely be a bikes direct bike. Why? Value. I don't take my bike to LBS for ANYTHING anymore. I have the tools and equipment I need to repair the bikes I own, and if I buy a bike that requires another tool (bb removal, etc) I will just buy it. I also know what size frame I like, which helps.

However, if you don't have a bike repair stand (sorry, they make life easier), a wheel truing stand, and all the tools, as well as the knowledge to get the bike set, go with the Fischer. So you might save $400. I have about that into tools....
I only pay infrequent visits to the LBS since I used to work there. But I was assembling bikes there when I was in my late 20's as a hobby, I also had years of wrenching experience before that but we always had a check list to do when assembling a bike and it normally took me a couple of hours to assemble each one. We lubed everything that had bearings and trued and tensioned the wheels and adjusted everything.

I now perform most of my own work but there are a few things that I won't buy the tools to do since the tools are too expensive for the infrequent use. Frame adjustment tools and facing tools are too expensive, I have only had to face one bike and I have only had to bend one fork to straighten it. The only frame tool that I do own is the dropout alignment tool.

I general I agree with the above comment but there are a few exceptions. Also most people won't own a truing stand unless they are experienced at wheel building.

Back to the OP, I wouldn't buy a bike online unless I were very sure of my size, I also like to try out the bikes to see if that bike is a the style that I want to ride. When I purchased my touring bike I tried four or five different touring bikes before deciding that I really wanted a touring bike and the style of touring bike (flat bars vs drop bars) that was fit for me. It is nice having the two years of free tune-ups but I didn't use them since I maintain my own bikes and it is a good idea to maintain your own touring bike incase you have problems in the middle of nowhere.

But I was thinking of getting a cheap BD bike for my kid, when she goes to college in the fall. If the bike gets stolen at school it cost less than her Bianchi or Giant bikes.

Last edited by cyclist2000; 02-19-12 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 02-19-12, 11:20 PM   #20
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Bike forums poster and Clyde rides across the US on the Bikes Direct Windsor Tourist:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=2471
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Old 02-20-12, 01:53 AM   #21
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You can still go to a bike shop,
on a fee for service basis, of course..

Local, here, throws in 6 month free service after sale with new bikes sold.

Personally, just not much interest in BD stuff, ..
my purchase, 6 months ago was a Bike Friday..

came in with the heavy rider build option, ..

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Old 02-20-12, 07:17 AM   #22
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Take a look at Jenson USA, they sell brand name bikes and at prices close to BD. Bought my last bike there. It came with free shipping a nd a free bike built. They put the bike together then back in a box. All you need to do is put the front wheel on and handlebar. I was real happy with them.
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Old 02-20-12, 07:46 AM   #23
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I own a BD bike a Windsor Tourist that I bought off craigslist. The original owner was selling it because of fit issues he may not have had if bought something locally. In my case the fit was good and as you posted the components they list are exactly what they say they are. If you take a close look at the component list some items are also listed as being generic, hubs, spokes, bars etc. From what I have seen the quality of those items is ok. The one exception I had was with the machine built wheels and generic spokes. In my case I believe it was the wheel building that was lacking. I think you could very well have the same issue with many lower end LBS bikes as well. If you have the skills and a few hours to put the bike together and lube it etc. and maybe go over the wheels you should be fine. I would be more worried about getting the proper size without being able to try one out if you are new to riding.

All in all after replacing my spokes I have been very happy with the BD bike. And in all honesty I think just doing a re-trueing and tension in the beginning would have been enough. After I started breaking spokes I just didn’t want to risk it and went for the replacement.
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Old 02-20-12, 07:52 AM   #24
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I have been frequenting a few local bike shops and getting to know a bit of the back end - bottom line, new, manufactured bikes receive minimal wheel/spoke tensioning, minimal grease in any bearings, and minimal torquing of BB and other bolts. A good shop will adjust and torgue everything well, but not rebuilt BBs and bearings to pack with proper amount of grease (and I agree, the cost makes this prohibitive). These things I believe any bike needs and should have.
So, BD or CL is my choice, then I take it to my trusted LBS to overhaul the bike (and use his tension guage on the spokes, rarely done anymore I've seen). They like the work in winter, sometimes have accessories at below EBay prices, and I know I have a better maintained bike than a new one.
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Old 02-20-12, 09:17 AM   #25
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I have been doing a lot of looking and researching and did some riding. I like the trek Gary Fischer 8.4 DS. I found a BD Motobecane with virtually the same componets for $410 less.
I know you loose the LBS support but I have read some good things about BD and for the amount I plan to ride I cant see this as a loosing deal. Any thoughts?
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._adventure.htm

Bike Shop. Partly the support, partly my desire to support local small biz.

Shopping for a bike for me also involves shopping for the shop.
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