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  1. #1
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Bike's Direct question

    I have bought various relatives bikes, a couple of Craigslist bargains and one folding bike. I am looking for a hybrid type bike for a sister and have been stalking Craigslist in areas we have been traveling through. No luck. I really would prefer to spend no more than $400 as if I get her a bike I think that I will need to spend an equivalent amount of money on my brother. I would prefer a LBS and am checking them out tomorrow as I finally am in a town with more than one bike shop. If I don't have luck there I am considering Bike's Direct. So, with this long lead up, my question is how much do you have to do to get a BD bike ready to ride? Is that something an amateur with minimal tools can handle?

    I was thinking of this bike: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...affic_2_xi.htm
    Or this, if I am feeling the money pinch:
    http://bikesdirect.com/products/moto...e_express3.htm

  2. #2
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    I bought my son a bike from them and was very pleased. Bike came in perfect shape, was easy to assemble, and didn't even need adjustment.

    Arrived in a week and they communicated they received the order, and when it shipped.

  3. #3
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
    I bought my son a bike from them and was very pleased. Bike came in perfect shape, was easy to assemble, and didn't even need adjustment.

    Arrived in a week and they communicated they received the order, and when it shipped.
    What did you have to do to assemble it?

  4. #4
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    I have no direct experience (pun not intended). I have looked at bike direct and see what could be some good values.

    What I have gathered from a lot of threads, especially in commuter forum, is:

    You need to check all the bearings for correct lubrication as more than one person has had bikes with minimal grease show up

    If you are not handy with basic bike mechanics, you need to budget in what the cost will be a bike shop for the followup tuneup that should be done after the first bit of riding as part of the total cost.
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  5. #5
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    You have to mount the front wheel. Mount both pedals and attach handle bar. The brake levers and shifters are already attached. Oh yes mount the seat. That is about it. Grease, adjust if needed. Mine was pretty close, didn't need much adjustment. Basic tools are needed a set of allen wrenches and a open ended adjustable wrench.

  6. #6
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    I purchased a high-end road bike from BD and as stated, it required minimal final assembly. After that, I did take it to a LBS for final check-out and adjustments ... just to make sure. I didn't want to be going down a steep descent at close to 40 mph and have the thing "explode" on me. I would think a hybrid bike would be simpler to adjust out-of-the-box. I kick myself for not getting one of their GT carbon mountain bikes that they had last year. I'm hoping they get another shipment some day.
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  7. #7
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    This is NOT a BD bike, but it came to me the same way they ship.



    Took me about an hour to put together, but I was really taking my time and goofing off. Just having fun with it.

    I, too, have heard stories of SOME BD bikes not being lubed well. I would have it checked out by your LBS. Would that cost negate the cost savings of BD? I'm not sure. I will tell you, if I had not bought my Lynskey, I would have bought the BD Moto Ti.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eazyasone23 View Post
    You have to mount the front wheel. Mount both pedals and attach handle bar. The brake levers and shifters are already attached. Oh yes mount the seat. That is about it. Grease, adjust if needed. Mine was pretty close, didn't need much adjustment. Basic tools are needed a set of allen wrenches and a open ended adjustable wrench.
    Agree. When my friend bought a Motobecane Cross Outlaw from BikesDirect, we disassembled everything because we'd read the same reports that squirtdad mentions: minimal grease on some critical parts. We found that everything was properly assembled by BikesDirect. We did end up tweaking the derailleur limit screws a bit to fine-tune the shifting.

    FYI, you can find their sample assembly instructions online.

  9. #9
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    What they said, although for some reasoning don't remember putting the seat on...anyway I checked the bearings and the wheel true..they were fine on mine. My buddy bought a Nashbar cyclocross bike and the bearings had zero grease in them and the wheels needed work...not saying all bd bikes come perfect but mine did.

  10. #10
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help. I haven't made up my mind yet, but it is a possibility. The assembly seems to be something I can do, however checking the bearings for lubrication isn't something I know how to do. First I am going to check out the local bike shops and see what I might be able to get for about $400. I am not hopeful but it is possible that a 2011 something is hanging around.

  11. #11
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    My Madone didn't have enough grease in the BB from a LBS. In less than 200 miles it got noisy. Their free tuneup took about 10 minutes. They didn't adjust anything. The only thing they did was rewrap one side of the bars and pitch me for their "professional fitting". Right now, no ones knows whether she'll get the bug to ride. I'd kinda look at this as an experiment. If she really ride this a lot N+1 will set in. Goldfinch you've been around bikes enough to put this together, It's not a $3000 CF bike. Go for it!

  12. #12
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    There is something appealing about the internally geared hubs, either the three speed or eight speed. How reliable are the no name internally geared hubs?
    Last edited by goldfinch; 07-12-12 at 07:28 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    My Madone didn't have enough grease in the BB from a LBS. In less than 200 miles it got noisy. Their free tuneup took about 10 minutes. They didn't adjust anything. The only thing they did was rewrap one side of the bars and pitch me for their "professional fitting". Right now, no ones knows whether she'll get the bug to ride. I'd kinda look at this as an experiment. If she really ride this a lot N+1 will set in. Goldfinch you've been around bikes enough to put this together, It's not a $3000 CF bike. Go for it!
    Actually, putting it together seems like kind of fun.

  14. #14
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    Actually, putting it together seems like kind of fun.
    I would have to agree with that. I like knowing exactly how things work. I put my last 2 together from scratch (not one dadgum thing was assembled!) and no, I didn't do it right the first time. There are tons of internet resources to help you along though, including the mechanics forum here. I say go for it!

  15. #15
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    I bought a single-speed from them when I first got back into cycling 2 yrs ago. I soon realized I needed gears and got 100% of my money back selling the bike locally on craigslist. I only rode the single speed for 100 miles or so but it was a nice bike for the money, $299, and was an easy assemble. Shipping was fast and I was very happy with my bike order. The only fault was my thinking I could ride a single-speed around the hills of Seattle at 300lbs

    Assembly was quick and easy but I do like to tinker

  16. #16
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    My Madone didn't have enough grease in the BB from a LBS. In less than 200 miles it got noisy. Their free tuneup took about 10 minutes. They didn't adjust anything. The only thing they did was rewrap one side of the bars and pitch me for their "professional fitting". Right now, no ones knows whether she'll get the bug to ride. I'd kinda look at this as an experiment. If she really ride this a lot N+1 will set in. Goldfinch you've been around bikes enough to put this together, It's not a $3000 CF bike. Go for it!
    Sorry to go off-topic for a moment. Jethro, you need to find another LBS that you can trust. Not one that only wants what's in your wallet, but one that will make the journey with you.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    There is something appealing about the internally geared hubs, either the three speed or eight speed. How reliable are the no name internally geared hubs?
    The second bike she linked has a 3 speed internally geared hub....made by a company called Shimano.

    Goldfinch - I've purchased three bikes online - one from Abex bikes (before they went out of business and then came back into business), one GT from Performance, and the most recent a cross bike for my wife from BD. All three came in similar states of assembly, and completing is quite simple - can be done with a multi tool, an hours worth of time, and a beer. All three needed very minimal adjustment of brakes and deraillers. All three had grease on the headset and bb bearings.

    Do you have to take apart the headset and crank/bb to check the grease? No, you don't have to....if you can and you have the tools it's worth the little bit of effort it takes to do it. If you don't - for the riding your sister is likely to do I wouldn't worry that much about it for a while. There will most likely be SOME grease on them...maybe not the best grease, or the perfect amount, but some.

    Besides that, it's take off all the packaging, put on the handlebars (usually the stem is turned backward), maybe connect a cable or two, put on the front wheel and seat. Adjust brakes and shifting as needed. Make sure all bolts are tightened properly. Check quick releases. And go ride.

  18. #18
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Volosong: I went a step further and bought a Surly Cross Check frameset and put that bike together this spring. I did buy a wheelset already built for it, so I still have that skill to obtain. I'm not saying all LBS's are bad but I know Goldfinch has had some frustrating experiences with a few. I think she'll find the experience liberating.

  19. #19
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    The funny thing is that you will probably do a better assembly job than most LBS mechanics
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  20. #20
    Rook Ronius_Maximus's Avatar
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    I've had one good experience from bikes direct. The 2 bikes you're looking at are really quite different. For a hybrid bike, I prefer at the very least, Alivio components which the GT has. I have an outfitted GT Transeo 3.0 and love it. Do you have a Performance Bike in your area? I know Performance Bike varies from place-to-place but i've had nothing but EXCELLENT experiences with Performance Bike. Their customer service has been phenomenal and has earned my support. If you purchase a bike from them, be sure to also purchase their membership ($30) because with their membership, you get basically 10% back on all purchases made within a year starting from that first purchase. Once a year, you get the opportunity to get back 30% on purchases INCLUDING bike purchases so keep that in mind.

  21. #21
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    What do people think of this Schwinn with an eight speed internal Nexus hub? http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._sporterra.htm

    I have an aversion to the use of the good old Schwinn brand name on crappy bikes, but this one doesn't look bad and the internal hub might be good for my sister as she wouldn't have to worry about derailleur adjustments.

    One irritant is that very few of the bikes have quick release wheels.

    Ronius, no Performance Bikes in the area.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 07-13-12 at 06:25 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    One irritant is that very few of the bikes have quick release wheels.
    I would expect that bikes with internal-gear hubs would not have quick-release rear wheels. These bikes don't have rear derailleurs, so proper placement of the rear wheel is critical to maintaining the proper chain tension. A quick-release skewer doesn't have enough clamping pressure to keep a rear wheel from moving around in a horizontal or semi-horizontal dropout.

    If you zoom-in on the picture of the BD Schwinn bike, you'll see that it has a semi-horizontal rear dropout that allows the rear wheel to be moved forward and back by an inch or more. Compare that to a derailleur-equipped bike where the rear wheel is always held in a single location, with the rear derailleur taking up any slack in the chain.

  23. #23
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I understand the need not to have quick release wheels on the rear with the internal gear hubs. But no front quick release? Makes it hard to throw a bike in a car.

    Can you put a front quick release skewer on a bike without one?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    What do people think of this Schwinn with an eight speed internal Nexus hub? http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._sporterra.htm

    I have an aversion to the use of the good old Schwinn brand name on crappy bikes, but this one doesn't look bad and the internal hub might be good for my sister as she wouldn't have to worry about derailleur adjustments.

    It seems that many of BD's bikes are the same bike, just re-badged from GT to Mercier to Windsor, etc. That Schwinn is probably just the same as any of the Motobecanes on the site. I, too, am kind of bummed about that, as I am a Schwinn-lover from childhood on.


    Haha I just linked to this page yesterday in the commuting forum... It seems that almost anything on the page would probably be a good choice for you. The Kensington seems like an outstanding bike, though a bit above your price. (I wish they made one in my size, but no dice.)

  25. #25
    nashcommguy
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    Afa the Motobecane is concerned IMHO you'd be much better off searching Craigslist and waiting for a classic Raleigh Sports drop tube to show up @ 1/2 the money. There's no comparison in the quality of the SA hubs in the older 3 speeds to the new ones. Cant speak to the other one, but again it would seem CL would have an mtb/hybrid w/twist-grip shifting for much less money. Most of the time these bikes have been purchased w/intent to ride and then never get used. Have 'flipped' several of them myself over the years and have obtained good quality deals for friends and family.

    Btw, I'm not a BD hater as my main commuter is a BD bike. A MB CX as a matter of fact. My next bike is going to be an IGH Mercier WT5 from BD. They are a good online source w/a solid customer service dept. My CX was ordered on a Wednesday and I had it out of the box and test riding it on Saturday afternoon. Just had to true the rear wheel a little.

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