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  1. #1
    Junior Member Yacht4U's Avatar
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    Is Motobecane a good bike??

    I have a 60 yr old friend that is purchasing his first roadbike. He is very frugal and is thinking about an online purchase of a new Motobecane Cafe Latte? bike. The list price on it is 900.00 and he says the online vendor will sell for 400.00 + shipping...

    Is this a good bike? Why is it so inexpensive. Does anyone know about this brand??

    I suggested that he should buy his 1st bike from a dealer in the area since he has no experience at all with road bikes. He will have to assemble it when it arrives and as far as I can tell, he is not that mechanical, but as I said, he is very frugal.

    here is a link
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...fe_latte_x.htm

    Any input would be appreciated

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    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    It seems to spec out well but for almost the same price I can get a Bianchi or Giant equivalent hybrid from my LBS and get a bunch of very valuable support and fitting. I made the same choice and concluded that the LBS route was the better value and nothing since has changed my mind.

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    Not a bad bike for the price, about what it's worth IMO.
    I bought a bike from Bikes Direct a few months ago. It is shipped to your house in a manufactures box, like direct from the factory. You have to put on the pedals, handle bars, front wheel, and any other accessory(reflectors). Then you have to be able to adjust the shifting and brakes. In addtion to that, I found that the bearings did not have an adaquite amount of grease, so I went through the headset, BB and, wheel bearings.
    This is fine for me, but it's something to be aware of if he has a shop assemble the bike. Also, if this is his first road bike, or first new bike in a long time, he would be better off with getting a bike from an LBS. They can determine the correct size, assemble it, and make adjustments if any are needed. Most LBS's will make adjustments for free for a period of time. And many will give a discount on stuff when you buy a bike, like a helmet, gloves, rack, bottle cages, etc.
    Last edited by leob1; 09-23-11 at 08:05 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    BD "list price" is typically inflated quite a bit. The bkes can be good values especially if you have the skills and tools to properly assemble and adjust as well as the knowledge to be able to discern the right size based on the measurements given. However, I've paid less for name-brand, comparably bikes from an LBS when they were on sale.

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    If he does use BD talk to him about paying an LBS to assemble and adjust everything since he isn't mechanically inclined. As stated the bearings are frequently lacking or even missing grease and some threads in the BB and headset may need chasing.

    Just remember that these are not the original Motobecane bicycles, the name was purchased and the bikes are made in Asia. Many members here love the BD bike they purchased and the prices can be outstanding for the components included.

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    DisMember YokeyDokey's Avatar
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    A friend bought a Motobecane from BD, one of the better models with upper-level components. He is 100% happy with it and he was a seasoned rider/owner going in. I've thought about buying a well-componented bike from BD and cannibalizing the components for a quality vintage frame build, then put nick-nack components on the new BD bike and see what I can get out of it. I guess I wouldn't be selling it to anyone who reads this forum...
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  7. #7
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I suspect that, if you went to few local shops with your friend, and explained what he wanted and that he didn't have a lot of money to spend, you'd find one willing to provide comparable value. Being an LBS is tough in these economic times, and with competition from online buying. At least give the local guys a chance... they deserve ithat chance, and you want them to be there when you need them, right?
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    Senior Member Giacomo 1's Avatar
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    Is Motobecane a good bike??


    The OP's question sort of depresses me.

    These days bikes have become generic. No matter what the brand name is on the tubes, it is likely made in the same Taiwanese factory as Giant, Jamis, Raleigh and nearly every other bike that you can name. Unless you go boutique or high end, basically every bike is the same. They even have the same components, mostly Shimano. So don't think that Motobecane is still some exotic French made bicycle, or a Raleigh is still made in England or that Schwinn is still made in the USA, because they are not.

    Yeah, it's all abit depressing....
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  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    I suspect that, if you went to few local shops with your friend, and explained what he wanted and that he didn't have a lot of money to spend, you'd find one willing to provide comparable value. Being an LBS is tough in these economic times, and with competition from online buying. At least give the local guys a chance... they deserve ithat chance, and you want them to be there when you need them, right?
    Have to agree. This motobecane is a $400 bike. It is not worth anymore than that and I bet that if you went to a proper bike shop- you would get a bike as good as it and get good service from the shop to go with it.
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    Senior Member GFish's Avatar
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    A $400 bike on BD is going to cost apx. $600-700 for an equivalent bike at the LBS. Except, the fall season usually means discounts on 2011 bikes at the LBS, making these bikes and service a better bargain. Check your LBS for sales first and try to go this route, the overall experience and support is much better buying local.

  11. #11
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    I think BD bikes are usually cheaper than what you can get at an LBS with the same spec.
    I know several people with Motobecane roadies from BD and have not heard a complaint other than the set-up.

  12. #12
    Senior Member skinnysanta's Avatar
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    I agree LBS prices are usually much higher for similarly equipped bikes except when they have sales going on, then the LBS can offer competitive pricing with support which is sometimes not as good as it should be. Some LBS are helpful, some are snob clubs.

  13. #13
    Senior Member skinnysanta's Avatar
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    BTW, I ride one BD mountain bike a Windsor Cliff Comp 29 that I have been 110% satisfied with.
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...liff29comp.htm

  14. #14
    Ridin' South Cackalacky dahut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
    Is Motobecane a good bike??


    The OP's question sort of depresses me.

    These days bikes have become generic. No matter what the brand name is on the tubes, it is likely made in the same Taiwanese factory as Giant, Jamis, Raleigh and nearly every other bike that you can name. Unless you go boutique or high end, basically every bike is the same. They even have the same components, mostly Shimano. So don't think that Motobecane is still some exotic French made bicycle, or a Raleigh is still made in England or that Schwinn is still made in the USA, because they are not.
    Close enough to the truth. I recall reading somewhere that Giant makes their own bikes - and churns them out with everyone else's labels on them, too. Supposedly, they have risen to be the largest bike maker in the world by doing this.

    Bottom line - most new bikes are made in Asia and/or are adorned with off the shelf Asian components.
    Last edited by dahut; 09-23-11 at 03:34 PM.
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  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahut View Post
    Close enough to the truth. I recall reading somewhere that Giant makes their own bikes - and churns them out with everyone else's labels on them, too. Supposedly, they have risen to be the largest bike maker in the world by doing this.

    Bottom line - most new bikes are made in Asia and/or are adorned with off the shelf Asian components.
    It is true that Giant make bike frames for a lot of manufacturers but they are made to the design of the other manufacturers. They are not relabelled Giant frames.
    Last edited by stapfam; 09-24-11 at 01:11 AM.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yacht4U View Post
    I suggested that he should buy his 1st bike from a dealer in the area since he has no experience at all with road bikes. He will have to assemble it when it arrives and as far as I can tell, he is not that mechanical, but as I said, he is very frugal.
    I agree with you about buying local. Two things to consider: 1) Finding the right size, and 2) Assembling the bike. If he buys mail-order without previous experience, then he's just blindly winging it on frame size and geometry and fit. There's a big risk he could end up with a suboptimal experience. It's like buying shoes by mail instead of at the shoe store. Even when you think you know your size, there is value from being able to try something on.

    Secondly, he's not familiar with bike mechanics, so he really ought to either: A) Find a friend who knows, or B) Take the thing to the shop and pay the shop to check it over. The actual assembling might be easy, but how will he know whether there is a minor problem such as a too-tight wheel bearing or a loose headset or spokes tension too low? He doesn't know enough to know.

    Lots of people buy from Bikes Direct, but my opinion is that buying over the Internet works better once you've gotten some experience with bikes and how they work, and have developed a good feel for what size and style of frame you want to ride.

  17. #17
    Ridin' South Cackalacky dahut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    It is true that Giant make bike frames for a lot of manufacturers but they are made to the design of the other manufacturers. They are not relabelled Giant frames.
    You make re-labeling sound like a dirty thing.

    As it turns, out everyone "designs" bikes pretty much the same way. Certainly this is so at the Motobecane's price point. You give the impression here that, year after year, bike makers are taxing the Giant factories in Asia with utterly new creations for the mass market. But, Giant isn't doing much out of the ordinary over there, even with someone else's "designs" on the shop floor.

    Nor are they doing anything unique by contract manufacturing for others. I work in an industry where it is quite common to "relabel" goods. We make "stuff" for one company, in the same factories where nearly identical "stuff" is made for someone else. The end result is it is all pretty much the same "stuff." It might surprise you to know how common this is in manufacturing....

    Occasionally, something different comes along, sure. But odds are good that even the genuinely new designs are made in the same Pacific factories as everything else. I know it's kinda boring to talk about manufacturing economics and so forth when it comes to bicycles. After all, our bikes are personal to us. We prefer to think they are unique. But they aren't, really.

    Essentially, it's pretty much the same "stuff" cranked out of the same factories. This isn't bad mind you - it's what forms the basis for many global economies. Which takes us back to the bottom line.
    The Motobecane of today is essentially the same as the other bikes found in it's equivalent price point. Near identical frame, generic components, different paint and labels. All good enough.

    You can depend, however, on much unique hype and marketing to accompany them.
    Last edited by dahut; 09-24-11 at 10:13 AM.
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    They will try to teach you a lesson if given the chance, and you will stumble over their stinking feet."

  18. #18
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Loved my '72 Moto and really love the '79 Super Mirage for casual rides.....but I wouldnt own one of the new Moto's. Probably because of the equippo
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  19. #19
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    When I first got back into cycling some people in these forums gave me a great piece of advice: Try before you buy. If you donít know just what you need deciding what you want can be a pain literally. In that price range you can find something from Performance Bikes if you have one close to you and at least it will be assembled and they will correct any defects or adjustments that need to be made. You can also take it back to them if you donít like the bike. The LBS idea is almost always worth a few extra bucks but that is up to your friend. The name on the bike frame is most often less important than the components provided.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Philipaparker's Avatar
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    I bought a Ti-Century Elite from them and couldn't be happier. I commute to work on it everyday and save me Cervelo for weekend rides. The bike came boxed and I put it together. did change out the saddle to something more to my liking. Overall the bike was a great value, everything worked well together and it wasn't hard to put together at all. As an aside I rarely see Motobecanes for re-sale either on Craigslist or Ebay I tried for 3 months to buy a used one thinking someone bought it and wouldn't like it, wrong. There are always plenty of Treks, Specialized, Bianchi, Fuji and Giants available but rarely a Motobecanes.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
    Is Motobecane a good bike??


    The OP's question sort of depresses me.

    These days bikes have become generic. No matter what the brand name is on the tubes, it is likely made in the same Taiwanese factory as Giant, Jamis, Raleigh and nearly every other bike that you can name. Unless you go boutique or high end, basically every bike is the same. They even have the same components, mostly Shimano. So don't think that Motobecane is still some exotic French made bicycle, or a Raleigh is still made in England or that Schwinn is still made in the USA, because they are not.

    Yeah, it's all abit depressing....
    Unfortunately seems to be the case with many products these days...

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  22. #22
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Motobecane, like Windsor, used to be their own real brands. But they went under and BikesDirect bought the names. Now they're just store brands. Only BD sells them, so the 'list price' is a misleading term. They're an 'ok' value, but remember that you don't take it to the local bike shop for warranty work, or even for setup adjustments that might be needed.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yacht4U View Post
    I have a 60 yr old friend that is purchasing his first roadbike. He is very frugal and is thinking about an online purchase of a new Motobecane Cafe Latte? bike. The list price on it is 900.00 and he says the online vendor will sell for 400.00 + shipping...

    Is this a good bike? Why is it so inexpensive. Does anyone know about this brand??

    I suggested that he should buy his 1st bike from a dealer in the area since he has no experience at all with road bikes. He will have to assemble it when it arrives and as far as I can tell, he is not that mechanical, but as I said, he is very frugal.

    here is a link
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...fe_latte_x.htm

    Any input would be appreciated
    Buying a bicycle from a place like BD is perfect, when you know exactly what you want and do most of your own repair work, so you can do the assembly and adjusting yourself, and if some part is defective you can simply take a defective part off and send just the part back. If that is not the case, it can actually be cheaper to go to a shop, get an idea of size, try out some bikes, pick one, and any problems you take it back to the shop and they fix it. Yes it can cost a little more money, but you can shop around, and save plenty. This time of year bike shops are trying to unload their 2011 models, in the North it's so they have room for skis, snowboards or skates, in the south it's so they can get the 2012 models in. Some of the list prices are well beyond reality, this is one of them, probably find something similar in a bike shop for around $600, (FYI that's a hybrid, not a road bike) you can probably get it this time of year for around $525 and that is assembled, adjusted and ready for you to ride out the door. Shipping and assembly can easily make the mail order bicycle at least that expensive.

  24. #24
    Junior Member Yacht4U's Avatar
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    Is Motobecane

    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    I suspect that, if you went to few local shops with your friend, and explained what he wanted and that he didn't have a lot of money to spend, you'd find one willing to provide comparable value. Being an LBS is tough in these economic times, and with competition from online buying. At least give the local guys a chance... they deserve ithat chance, and you want them to be there when you need them, right?
    AZTall...I agree with you totally, but this is a guy who does not take advice easily. He just took delivery of it yesterday. He managed to get it assembled although he had trouble figuring out the front disk brake and his gears were not adjusted properly so he took it to my LBS and they were going to charge him 70 bucks to adjust brake and do a "tuneup" but he had to wait a day. He brought the bike back home and managed to fiddle with the brake and gears and they all seem to be working properly now.



    He said he will take it in for a tuneup after he puts about 200 miles on it. I will be sure and tell him about the comments about grease in the bearings... ...



    His bike seems pretty nice and for sure it is light and fast compared to mine. On my Suede DX when I am in my top gear( 21) I can only get it going about 24 mph....he was at that speed with me and had not even shifted to the large front gear wheel yet. He had 8 more gears to go. I wonder how fast his bike can go??? any ideas?? 35-40mph?????



    I tried his bike. Really nice and smooth and fast, but, I gotta say that seat is a killer. I can easy put 100 miles rides on my seat and my butt is fine but with his seat I think 40 miles would have me screaming!!!!!

    Thank you all for the comments

  25. #25
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Hardheaded people do what they do and reap the benefits or suffer the consequences.
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