The purpose of this post is to share my experience with Bikes Direct.
A couple of years ago I decided to take up cycling after several years off of a bike. Besides the enjoyment of being on a bike I needed to loose weight and increase cardiovascular.
My first bike was a Diamondback Wildwood comfort bike that I picked up off of eBay. I quickly started riding distances of 30 miles and realized this bike wasn’t going to cut it. After lots of research I was tossed up between a hybrid or road bike. One of my goals for 2010 is to ride a century. Knowing I would want several different hand positions while spending several hours in the saddle I decided a road bike was the way to go.
Living on a limited budget a new road bike from one of my local bike shops wasn’t in the cards. I started watching for used bikes and checking out several models from Bikes Direct. At the time I was ready to purchase I hadn’t found a good buy used and decided Bikes Direct would be the way to go.
Over the course of a few months I sent several emails to Bikes Direct inquiring about specifics on various models and availability. Each time my email was answered within one business day. I finally decided on a Dawes Lightning 1200. I liked the relaxed geometry of this bike and the fact that its specifications matched that of the Fuji Newest 3.0 a bike which has received good reviews in several forums. The one specification that was different was the rims which are the same ones used on the Fuji Newest 2.0.
I ordered the bike in early December and it was delivered via UPS within 4 days. The bike was packaged nicely. Assembly included installation of the following:
• Front wheel
• Front brake
• Seat post and seat
The bike did require adjustment of brakes and front and rear derailleur. All manufacturers’ documentation was included for each of the components. I knew from reading the various forum posts these were items I would need to complete but didn’t mind as I enjoy working on my bike. The front rim seemed to be properly trued however the rear rim was not. I took both rims to my local bike shop and had them trued for $15 a piece.
Overall the bike was exactly as advertised and identical to the Fuji Newest 3.0 which I had seen and been fitted on at two different local bike shops. The seat is uncomfortable and low quality but I figure nobody buys a bike based on the seat and I’ll replace it with something much better. I’m having trouble with the handlebars staying tight. It appears the holes for the stem faceplate bolts may not be tapped deep enough. I contacted BikesDirect and they quickly sent a replacement stem. The paint job is good but thin. While assembling the bike I dropped an allen wrench that nicked the paint on the chain and seat stays. Nothing major but it’s noticeable.
Overall the value was good. I paid $439 (shipping included). If I had bought the Fuji Newest 3.0 I was looking at $750 or better plus sales tax.