Here's the Motobecane Mirage that I just bought from Bikes Direct.
I intend to use this as a commuter bike once I get all of the bugs worked out of it, and once my job site gets a little more bicycle-friendly - right now there's a lot of very rough dirt, which turns into mud if there's any precipitation.
Anyway, I got it completely together on Saturday and took it for its first ride - only a couple of miles as I needed to make a seat adjustment and forgot the proper tool! Today I took it for a little bit of a longer ride - about 12 miles. I'm still learning the downtube shifters - a first for me - as well as learning my way around the area.
The bike rides great. The steel frame gives a ride over rough cold-patch blacktop that I can only describe as springy. Handling is good - maybe a little sportier than my Surly LHT.
As to the bikes direct part, their "manual" is pretty much worthless. But assembly is really pretty easy - the hardest part is cutting all the zip-ties holding it together. Here's a pic of how it comes out of the box:
Pretty discrete box, huh? The UPS lady asked "You gettin' a bike?"
The wheels seem to be true right out of the box, and the derailleurs seem to be perfectly adjusted.
There was one snag during assembly, and that was in mounting the front brake. If you look at the following picture there is a boss welded on the front of the fork where the brake mounts. This provides a flat surface to which the brake mounts. However the brake ships with a spacer that is flat on one side, but the other side is chamfered to fit a curved surface. The spacer included wouldn't work, but some sort of spacer was required, otherwise the brake mounting bolt was too long. I figured I could either cut the bolt a little shorter, or I could come up with some sort of spacer. For now I went the spacer route, and a trip to Home Depot yielded three 1/4" washers that seem to do the trick.
Any suggestions on a better, more elegant fix for this?
Oh, here's the bike in all its glory:
I added a Brooks B17 saddle to replace the el-cheapo plastic one that came on the bike, and added my own seat bag, bottle cages, rear blinkie, CygoLite headlight, and a Mini-Morph pump. I managed to fit a spare tube, a combo tool, patch kit, and a cable lock in the seat bag, and I have a U-Lock hooked through the seat rails. Also I have a CatEye Astrale 8 computer.
One thing I did NOT know I was getting were the in-line brakes:
I could have done without these, as I had planned on mounting a large handlebar bag. The brake levers leave no room, however.
Derailleurs and shifters are SunRace and MicroShift:
Regarding the frame, here's a couple of snaps of the welds (butted 4130 tubing):
All in all I'm pretty happy. I think all I have to add yet is rear rack, and maybe a trunk bag.
Oh, I call it the Motobecane Zombie because I know that Motobecane is really dead as a brand, and this is just a sort of Motobecane-back-from-the-grave sort of deal!