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  1. #1
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    Got a Bikesdirect Mercier Galaxy... my review as a newbie

    If any of you check out the Mechanics or triathlon forums You may have seen me before, but if not I'll just say hi, I'm Tom from Freeport LI and I am becoming a Bikeaholic.

    Anyway I'm sure you can figure out I'm going to do a triathlon and I had this Bianchi Sport SX I was gonna make into my Tri-bike. However I found it was too small, so on the suggestions of some here I checked out Bikesdirect.com. I decided on the Mercier Galaxy AL seen here: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...galaxy_al8.htm

    So I read the e-mail from them which basically says that all the nice stuff your LBS does, you will need to do, which since I got myself a book and some tools (and I'm very mechanically inclined)I should be able to do myself. So I got it Friday and put it together today. They weren't kidding about having to make adjustments! First off you might as well toss the instruction book that comes with it, its worthless. They did e-mail a nice youtube video though that is helpful. I ended up using my repair book and the pictures from their website to figure out the stuff that i couldn't figure out on my own. I got it all together and found that the wheels were REALLY out of true and trying to do it myself was just a disaster, so after a whole bunch of frustration I pulled them and brought them to my LBS, who when I called ahead I asked "can you do these on the spot?" they said "sure, if they aren't too bad", I replied "how bad could they be, they are brand new!"... Well maybe it was partially my fault but once he got them on the rack he said "I thought you said they weren't that bad!". Admittedly I totally didn't help it by trying to do them myself, but they were pretty darn bad when i got it. I had the front and rear brake adjusted perfectly and they would jam up every time.

    So I get the wheels back home, put it together, hop on...... and proceed to take a dump in front of my parents house! This is the first time I ever rode a road bike, it doesn't take bumps like my mountain bike does! So theres a scrape on my handlebars and my right brake handle. And my hands hurt! Lucky I had my helmet on!

    Try #2 went much better, and it really rides nice, I didn't realize how much faster you can go on a road bike. A few observations though: Tighten EVERYTHING, even the stuff that they already bolted together, I mounted the handlebars which were already attached to the stem and seemed solid... then I got on and they twisted down after 2 bumps. The wheels.. well I mentioned those already, same as the useless instructions. The brakes were a bit tough to get right and honestly I don't know if I have the front perfect yet.

    Overall if you could do the work, even a newbie like me could get this thing going, and when it was done it is REALLY nice. After you have it together the build and workmanship looks far nicer than the low price they have. It took me a hell of a lot longer to get together than it probably should, but someone experienced should have no problem.

    I also installed a VDO C3DS wirelss with cadence sensor (which I can't get to work), which i like but don't like. I like its functionality... but it doesn't function when theres interference, which if you are riding on the street around where I live is everywhere. Ah at least it will work when I'm on a nice bike trail.

  2. #2
    ROAD enthusiast revolator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Leader View Post

    "But, buying a bike still means tinkering or bringing it to the LBS, just less than doing a rebuild project."



    ... I think tinkering with a new one wouldn't be so bad, ...
    I was trying to warn you . But, it looks like you made it through.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by revolator View Post
    I was trying to warn you . But, it looks like you made it through.
    Let me tell you... taking a bike apart is a HELL of a lot easier than putting it together! I'm sure you already knew that though, thanks for the tips man!

  4. #4
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    Here she is

  5. #5
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    Of course... first workout mile 15, I manage to run over a nail and get a flat. And I have no spare tube with me... GREAAAT

  6. #6
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    Lesson learned. Congratulations on the new bike.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Leader View Post
    [COLOR="Wheat"]If any of you check out the Mechanics or triathlon forums You may have seen me before, but if not I'll just say hi, I'm Tom from Freeport LI and I am becoming a Bikeaholic.

    Anyway I'm sure you can figure out I'm going to do a triathlon and I had this Bianchi Sport SX I was gonna make into my Tri-bike. However I found it was too small, so on the suggestions of some here I checked out Bikesdirect.com. I decided on the Mercier Galaxy AL seen here: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...galaxy_al8.htm

    So I read the e-mail from them which basically says that all the nice stuff your LBS does, you will need to do, which since I got myself a book and some tools (and I'm very mechanically inclined)I should be able to do myself. So I got it Friday and put it together today. They weren't kidding about having to make adjustments! First off you might as well toss the instruction book that comes with it, its worthless. They did e-mail a nice youtube video though that is helpful. I ended up using my repair book and the pictures from their website to figure out the stuff that i couldn't figure out on my own. I got it all together and found that the wheels were REALLY out of true and trying to do it myself was just a disaster, so after a whole bunch of frustration I pulled them and brought them to my LBS, who when I called ahead I asked "can you do these on the spot?" they said "sure, if they aren't too bad", I replied "how bad could they be, they are brand new!"... Well maybe it was partially my fault but once he got them on the rack he said "I thought you said they weren't that bad!". Admittedly I totally didn't help it by trying to do them myself, but they were pretty darn bad when i got it. I had the front and rear brake adjusted perfectly and they would jam up every time.

    So I get the wheels back home, put it together, hop on
    [/COLOR]...... and proceed to take a dump in front of my parents house! This is the first time I ever rode a road bike, it doesn't take bumps like my mountain bike does! So theres a scrape on my handlebars and my right brake handle. And my hands hurt! Lucky I had my helmet on!

    Try #2 went much better, and it really rides nice, I didn't realize how much faster you can go on a road bike. A few observations though: Tighten EVERYTHING, even the stuff that they already bolted together, I mounted the handlebars which were already attached to the stem and seemed solid... then I got on and they twisted down after 2 bumps. The wheels.. well I mentioned those already, same as the useless instructions. The brakes were a bit tough to get right and honestly I don't know if I have the front perfect yet.

    Overall if you could do the work, even a newbie like me could get this thing going, and when it was done it is REALLY nice. After you have it together the build and workmanship looks far nicer than the low price they have. It took me a hell of a lot longer to get together than it probably should, but someone experienced should have no problem.

    I also installed a VDO C3DS wirelss with cadence sensor (which I can't get to work), which i like but don't like. I like its functionality... but it doesn't function when theres interference, which if you are riding on the street around where I live is everywhere. Ah at least it will work when I'm on a nice bike trail
    .
    Okay. I know what you mean. But still.
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  8. #8
    . 3 Speed Ape's Avatar
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    so how do you like the Galaxy after a few months?

    Would you recommend it?

  9. #9
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    i did that once when i was little.

  10. #10
    . 3 Speed Ape's Avatar
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    ^^ ??

  11. #11
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    This is how it looks now:



    I installed a set of PZ racing aero bars, and VDO sent me a new computer that works perfect. Overall I absolutely love it. It rides great, my friends are all impressed by it. Its definitely faster and more agile than my friend's Cannondale (probably the different gearing and frame geeometry). Everyone who sees it can't believe it was only $500. I ride it all over the place now, its really an amazing deal.

    One tip though, the stock brake pads SUCK, like to the point its almost scary to ride. an Investment of $40 for a set of kool stops is WELL worth it. Also be careful installing the pedals, I must have cross threaded the right one and managed to strip it (it fell off during a ride), I had to have a shop helicoil the hole.

    PS my first triathlon is tomorrow, with this bike!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Throwmeabone's Avatar
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    Your seat looks way too low!

  13. #13
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Rouge Leader, here's the proper way to photograph a bike:

    Crank side out. That is my bikesdirect.com bike, which needed a new BB after 26 miles when the cheap Chin Haur seized on me.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  14. #14
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    Rouge Leader, here's the proper way to photograph a bike:

    Crank side out. That is my bikesdirect.com bike, which needed a new BB after 26 miles when the cheap Chin Haur seized on me.

    At least he has the white garage door part right.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throwmeabone View Post
    Your seat looks way too low!
    That pic isn't recent, you are right it is way low. A few days after that pic I raised it up when I realized I was kicking my own ass with it that low.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    Rouge Leader, here's the proper way to photograph a bike:

    Crank side out. That is my bikesdirect.com bike, which needed a new BB after 26 miles when the cheap Chin Haur seized on me.
    Yeah like I said old pic, I figured that out later on too. This bike has a Truvative BB. Did you contact Bikes Direct about it? i would imagine they would send a new one. One of my quick releases was scratched in shipping, they sent me 2 new ones (front and back) no questions asked.

  17. #17
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Leader View Post
    Overall if you could do the work, even a newbie like me could get this thing going, and when it was done it is REALLY nice. After you have it together the build and workmanship looks far nicer than the low price they have. It took me a hell of a lot longer to get together than it probably should, but someone experienced should have no problem.
    Not to knock your mechanical skills or your writeup but rebuilding a bike out of the box isn't something a newbie should attempt without supervision. There is a very good chance you will miss something that is important safety and mechanically.

    Nothing can be trusted on the bike that is out of the box.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  18. #18
    Commie
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    so the morale of this story if one decides to get a BD bike is to take it to a good shop to have it built?

    Im really wanting a Sport/performance road bike to pick up next year sometime..and they have some great prices on BD. Either that or i will get a Giant OCR 1

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Not to knock your mechanical skills or your writeup but rebuilding a bike out of the box isn't something a newbie should attempt without supervision. There is a very good chance you will miss something that is important safety and mechanically.

    Nothing can be trusted on the bike that is out of the box.
    I have good mechanical skills but NO experience with bikes. If your LBS charges $100 or so to put a bike together it is well worth it for them to do it. I spent a LOT of time adjusting the brakes, deraileurs, etc to my liking which they worked (sort of) "out of the box" but I'm sure the shop could have gotten them perfect pretty quick. I also had to have the shop true the wheels, and I managed to cross thread a pedal which stripped it and it came apart on a ride. So the helicoil for that hole cost $25, the wheel truing was $40, I could have had them build it perfect for $100....

    HOWEVER, I learned a lot doing it all myself (even figured out how to true a wheel myself), and now I feel confident in doing my own bike maintenance. It all depends on what you want from your bike experience, and I prefer to be self sufficient.

  20. #20
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    No kickstand?

  21. #21
    Fred Zen Kabloink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throwmeabone View Post
    Your seat looks way too low!
    How can you judge if the seat is too low without seeing the rider on the bike?
    Everyone is a Fred in their own special way

    I'll tell you the meaning of life, but first you have to promise not to laugh... "Frank & Earnest"

  22. #22
    Senior Member m_yates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    ....That is my bikesdirect.com bike, which needed a new BB after 26 miles when the cheap Chin Haur seized on me.
    I have a bikesdirect.com Windsor Tourist. It also came with a Chin Haur bottom bracket and mine also failed. It lasted a little longer than yours (600 km). I'm tempted to replace my Chin Haur headset even though it is still functioning properly....

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kabloink View Post
    How can you judge if the seat is too low without seeing the rider on the bike?
    Educated guess. There is about an inch of seatpost showing. Either that or the bike is way too large.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    Educated guess. There is about an inch of seatpost showing. Either that or the bike is way too large.
    After doing my Triathlon this week I tried it even a bit higher and it felt even better.

  25. #25
    Strong with the Fred Big_e's Avatar
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    This seems like as good a place as any to post. I got my new Mercier Galaxy steel. Being a vintage biker, I feel better on steel than aluminum. I tossed (put them away till my friend picks them up) the pedals that came with it and put on SPDs. I personally think the rack that came with it is kinda flimsy and I may replace it with a lighter yet stronger one I have in the garage.
    I'm getting it ready for some rides coming up in August. Barlows posted some info in the Texas forum on some rides (populaires)which are gonna be held by the Lone Star Randonneurs. This sounds like fun.
    I rode it around the lake acouple of times and she is a blast! Fast and responsive. Like Rogue Leader said, the brake pads feel like you're stopping on old brake rubber so a replacement of pads is in order. This will be a good time to try out those Kool Stops.
    I've been riding vintage bikes with downtube shifters. The Galaxy has brifters and you can downshift with the thumb! That's a first for me. Here's a pic of her, ain't she a beauty?
    Ernest

    PS: I'm 5'7 and got the 56cm. She fits just right!
    PPS: Nothing wrong with aluminum! I was looking at the aluminum bikes long and hard but steel just feels like an old friend to me. This bike, my Dawes SST and my old Schwinn Super LeTour are my favorite bikes.


    Last edited by Big_e; 07-08-09 at 07:58 PM.
    I love pho long time.

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