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Old 05-28-08, 07:23 PM   #1
WilliamK1974
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Buying from bikesdirect.com

Has anyone on this board purchased a bike from bikesdirect.com?

In the not-too-distant future, I want to turn my Haro Flightline Sport from a commuter to a full-time MTB. So I've been looking at road bike options for commuting. bikesdirect.com has some choices that look appealing, such as the Dawes Lightning 1500 and the Windsor Tourist. Both have the ability to add racks and some other good features, and appear to have the sort of gear ratios needed for the hilly riding that's inescapable here in SE Tennessee.

Now, does anyone on here ride one of those bikes? What's your take on them?

And how does the order process from bikesdirect go? I'm not afraid to put my own bike together. I've bought a couple of bikes from my LBS, and will keep them in mind if or when I do this. But I feel like I've supported them some and have the right to shop around some.

Thank you,
-Bill
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Old 05-28-08, 07:30 PM   #2
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Ok, there's three things you need to know.

1) BikesDirect is fine, just shady marketing practice, plenty of people have ordered from them
2) Their support team isn't known to be the greatest
3) You're about to start a flame war.

Have fun.
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Old 05-28-08, 07:39 PM   #3
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I would buy from them.
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Old 05-28-08, 08:00 PM   #4
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I bought from them. If you know what you want, they are a good deal. I do wish they would quit it with the defunct brand names plastered on their bikes. Just seems cheesy.

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Old 05-28-08, 08:49 PM   #5
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well said everyone. and this will hopefully be the end of this thread......
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Old 05-28-08, 09:31 PM   #6
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Hey, it's your money.
They got their last taste of mine in 2003. It was a 'learning experience'.
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Old 05-28-08, 10:13 PM   #7
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If you have a well stocked tool box and can work on bikes extensively, then go for one. Other wise, we charge $70 to build a boxed bike, completely adjusted.
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Old 05-29-08, 02:32 PM   #8
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If you have a well stocked tool box and can work on bikes extensively, then go for one. Other wise, we charge $70 to build a boxed bike, completely adjusted.
+1....I have two friends who have bought from them; one at each end of the BD price spectrum. Both are very happy with their purchases. My high end friend knew how to work on a bike long before he ordered from BD, and used that knowledge to get his running well. My low end friend used me to get his running well. Both bikes are still running well years later and the high end one podiums regulalry in the expert MTB races.

Your BD bike will not come out of the box ready to go. As long as you understand that and have a plan to deal with it, you will be fine.
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Old 05-29-08, 02:46 PM   #9
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I have not purchased from BD, but I did just buy a bike off eBay from sprtymama. I think the bike is excellent quality for the money. The downside is that it needs setup, fit, lubrication, etc. I would have been better off buying from the LBS because I don't have much experience with setting up the bike. It's a tradeoff. If you're good at the above - go for it.
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Old 05-30-08, 02:07 AM   #10
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I also bought from sprtymama on E-bay. I believe it's a relative of Mike from BD though. I got a Dawes Lightning 1200 and it seems to be a good buy for the money.
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Old 05-31-08, 12:15 AM   #11
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Ok, when people mention tools, are you talking about basic hand tools, or does bike assembly these days require more specialized tools? I work on cars as a hobby and have several bikes, so I have a decent assortment of hand tools and some power tools, but have never yet bought any bike-specific tools. Planning on it, but haven't done it yet.

I've done the bike in a box thing and got it together and rideable with little trouble. But that was at least 15 years ago. Sure I could do it again, but wonder if anything has changed.

Believe it or not, my intention was not to start a flame war. I neglected to search the forums for bikesdirect cause I was more interested in the bikes themselves. The method by which I obtained them was more minor.

Thanks,
-Bill
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Old 05-31-08, 05:31 AM   #12
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Bike repair can be done using Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, a set of crescent wrenches. If you plan on replacing the bottom bracket or crankset, you'll need a crank puller and a bottom bracket wrench. Maybe two or three different ones depending upon the make and age of your bikes. Pedal wrenches are nice because they are much thinner than your crescent wrenches and can get into the tight spots. Might want to have a spoke wrench to tighten loose spokes. Headset wrench for threaded headsets is 32mm, usually just out of reach or most adjustable crescents and the ones that do fit are Huge. Cutting brake/shift cables requires some nice cutters, simple wire cutters from Home Depot aren't up to doing a neat job. Cutting cable housing is best done with the proper tool but you can also use a Dremel cut-off wheel to do a neat job without mashing the housing flat. Don't forget to ream out the hole before inserting cable.

If you need to replace a cassette you'll want a chain whip and a lockring remover.

Park Tools has a very nice website with lots of "How to" instructions if you get stuck on a repair.
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Old 06-01-08, 12:53 AM   #13
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Ok, when people mention tools, are you talking about basic hand tools, or does bike assembly these days require more specialized tools? I work on cars as a hobby and have several bikes, so I have a decent assortment of hand tools and some power tools, but have never yet bought any bike-specific tools. Planning on it, but haven't done it yet.

I've done the bike in a box thing and got it together and rideable with little trouble. But that was at least 15 years ago. Sure I could do it again, but wonder if anything has changed.

Believe it or not, my intention was not to start a flame war. I neglected to search the forums for bikesdirect cause I was more interested in the bikes themselves. The method by which I obtained them was more minor.

Thanks,
-Bill
If I remember correctly, all that is needed to assemble a bikesdirect bike is a normal wrench and an allen wrench. Basically you just put on the wheels, pedals and seat, then tighten the handlebars and brakes.

Yesterday I rode my Windsor Wellington 40 miles.

Assembly instructions:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/instructionhelp.htm
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Old 06-01-08, 07:42 AM   #14
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If I remember correctly, all that is needed to assemble a bikesdirect bike is a normal wrench and an allen wrench. Basically you just put on the wheels, pedals and seat, then tighten the handlebars and brakes.

Yesterday I rode my Windsor Wellington 40 miles.

Assembly instructions:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/instructionhelp.htm

Sometimes it's a little more involved than that, take for instance my last BD purchase, the bike came with a broken front spoke necessitating front tire removal, fishing out the broken spoke nut from the hollow rim, and retruing the wheel. Also, which I failed to mention in a previous post, the BD bike also came with the chain completely off the front rings and was jammed tightly between the bottom bracket and the drive crank, causing me to pull the drive crank partially out to release it, since all other attempts to release the jammed chain had failed. This last BD bike needed much more than just a normal wrench and allen wrench to assemble.

Last edited by dynodonn; 06-01-08 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 06-01-08, 07:53 AM   #15
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If I remember correctly, all that is needed to assemble a bikesdirect bike is a normal wrench and an allen wrench. Basically you just put on the wheels, pedals and seat, then tighten the handlebars and brakes.

Yesterday I rode my Windsor Wellington 40 miles.

Assembly instructions:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/instructionhelp.htm
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Sometimes it's a little more involved than that, take for instance my last BD purchase, the bike came with a broken front spoke necessitating front tire removal, fishing out the broken spoke nut from the hollow rim, and retruing the wheel. Also, which I failed to mention in a previous post, the BD bike also came with the chain completely off the front rings and was jammed tightly between the bottom bracket and the drive crank, causing me to pull the drive crank partially out to release it, since all other attempts to release the jammed chain had failed. This last BD bike needed much more than just a normal wrench and allen wrench to assemble.
You also left out adjusting brakes and derailers. You, all you need is wrenches and pliers, but you also need the knowledge and possibly experience. There is also a difference between knowledge and wisdom. You can out the bike together, but can you assemble it? When you put the bike together, all the parts are installed. When you assemble a bike, all the parts are correctly installed and work properly. Go to Wal-Mart and you will see bikes put together, but go to the LBS and you'll find bikes assembled.
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Old 06-01-08, 08:37 AM   #16
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You also left out adjusting brakes and derailers. You, all you need is wrenches and pliers, but you also need the knowledge and possibly experience. There is also a difference between knowledge and wisdom. You can out the bike together, but can you assemble it? When you put the bike together, all the parts are installed. When you assemble a bike, all the parts are correctly installed and work properly. Go to Wal-Mart and you will see bikes put together, but go to the LBS and you'll find bikes assembled.

I agree, there's definitely more to assembling a bike than just bolting on and tighting parts.
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Old 06-01-08, 07:58 PM   #17
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Sounds like bike direct is worst than wal-mart.At least wal-mart builds them.
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Old 06-01-08, 09:24 PM   #18
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Sounds like bike direct is worst than wal-mart.At least wal-mart builds them.
How do you think your new Trek shows up at the LBS?

Bikesdirect is a mail order bike company that mails you the bike the same as your LBS orders a Trek or Specialized and gets it. Heck they are even packaged almost identically.

The difference is you would never walk out of your LBS with it in the box, you are paying the bike and for the service of the building and configuration of the bicycle. If you can do that yourself and you are not a name brand freak and not someone who freaks out about how BD uses old names they bought, then you can save money with Bikesdirect.

That said I'm fairly new to biking, and there is something to be said for that LBS assistance. I bought a BD bike and had a whole bunch of problems, completely every one caused by my ignorance of bicycles (I work on cars, I figured how hard could it be?), and none due to the quality of the product. Once I figured it out, with help from here, a book I bought, and my LBS, AND BD's customer service, I have a damn good bicycle, learned a thing or two about them, AND saved a bunch of money.

Walmart bikes and BD bikes do not belong in the same sentence.
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Old 06-01-08, 09:50 PM   #19
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How do you think your new Trek shows up at the LBS?

Bikesdirect is a mail order bike company that mails you the bike the same as your LBS orders a Trek or Specialized and gets it. Heck they are even packaged almost identically.

The difference is you would never walk out of your LBS with it in the box, you are paying the bike and for the service of the building and configuration of the bicycle. If you can do that yourself and you are not a name brand freak and not someone who freaks out about how BD uses old names they bought, then you can save money with Bikesdirect.

That said I'm fairly new to biking, and there is something to be said for that LBS assistance. I bought a BD bike and had a whole bunch of problems, completely every one caused by my ignorance of bicycles (I work on cars, I figured how hard could it be?), and none due to the quality of the product. Once I figured it out, with help from here, a book I bought, and my LBS, AND BD's customer service, I have a damn good bicycle, learned a thing or two about them, AND saved a bunch of money.

Walmart bikes and BD bikes do not belong in the same sentence.
My bike BD mtb looks very plain when compared to Wally mtbs, and the BD bike cost several times more, but while in a Wal Mart a few days ago, I happen to check out a Wally bike close up, and personally saw several places where cost cutting had been taken to make the Wally bike priced as low as it was.
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Old 06-02-08, 01:22 AM   #20
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I happen to check out a Wally bike close up, and personally saw several places where cost cutting had been taken to make the Wally bike priced as low as it was.
Name some.
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Old 06-02-08, 01:26 AM   #21
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They got their last taste of mine in 2003. It was a 'learning experience'.
If its not a bother to you,what happened?

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Old 06-02-08, 01:39 AM   #22
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How do you think your new Trek shows up at the LBS?
Someone must have rode it to the bike shop,loose rear cone,only 2500 miles use of a hub.Definately someone rode it too the bike shop
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Old 06-02-08, 11:48 AM   #23
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I had a bad experience trying to buy a bike through bikesdirect.

I had made the purchase online on a monday and received a tracking number on wednesday and they also charged my card that day. That friday I noticed that although having a tracking number my package had not shipped so I sent an email. I did not get an email back until Sunday and the email basically said they would call the warehouse and email me back ASAP letting me know why my bike hasn't shipped. The next day I get an email back saying "I'm glad you contacted us! We tried to email you a while ago letting you know your bike was out of stock. we have refunded your money."

Okay why did I get two emails saying two different things? The second email claiming they tried to email me before seemed like total BS because a) they charged my card, b) they had just told me less than 24 hours ago that they were going to call the warehouse to find out what's up. They tried to play it off like they had already tried to email me earlier last week about this, but I really feel as if they weren't even aware until I had emailed them.

The money did not post until that Friday, about 11 days after I originally made the purchase. This was extremely inconvenient because I wanted to buy another bike on their website since they ran out of the one i wanted. I couldn't do this because I didn't have the money back in my account for 11 days.

The whole experience could have been handled in a much timelier manner if they had a freaking number to call instead of dealing strictly through email.

I ended up buying a bikesdirect bike (kilo tt) on craigslist that was a month old. The bike is beautiful and I would not hesitate buying if your concern is bike quality. The bike I bought was well worth the money.

Their customer service however was a big fat F- .
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Old 06-02-08, 06:49 PM   #24
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Someone must have rode it to the bike shop,loose rear cone,only 2500 miles use of a hub.Definately someone rode it too the bike shop

I'm a little confused?
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Old 06-03-08, 04:39 AM   #25
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I ordered once, they shipped me the wrong bike. They compensated by giving me stuff''s (a set of bike lights, cateye cyclocoputer and a rear rack) or returning it with free shipping. I just need a bike for recreational ridding, so I took the offer. ' bike still runs fine. I don't know If I should order again from them, though.
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