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  1. #1
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    Twice the price or half the quality? Help me decide please!

    Torn between a Specialized Sirrus or an online cheapie Gravity/Motobecane/Windsor....

    Gonna ride this a lot for 5 months on east coast and then leave it there for when I visit. For that reason I'm leaning toward cheap but don't want too low-end or I will be irritated. For reference, I ride a Specialized Dolce road bike and Gary Fisher MTB so I am used to good components and a decent ride.

    Sirrus is a great bike, but can I ride those 28mm tires on a light trail (rail trail)? Is the $500-600 price LBS mark-up or much better quality?

    Online (ebay chicabike) I can get a Gravity/Motobecane/Windsor for $200-300, but they look borderline on quality. "Comfort" saddle, flat pedals, signs of low-end to me. I cannot find any reviews on these bikes or info about what Specialized or major brand they compare to.

    Appreciate any insights you guys have!

  2. #2
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I'd advise spending the extra money on the Sirrus. And it will also give you a warranty - unlike those net-bikes. And you'd need special tools to set the net-bike up properly, so add in that expense and skill.

    Can you ride trails on 28C tires? I do all the time on my hybrid. They aren't made for screaming over logs, rocks, and holes - but dirt and gravel is easy.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  3. #3
    STFD mcgreivey's Avatar
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    I don't know anything bad about the other bikes, but I know the Sirrus is good. I ride mine (with 28C tires) on gravel trails, with the occasional rough spot. I ride carefully through those spots. 95% of the time ride on the road. I haven't had any troubles.

  4. #4
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    What kind of protection will it have while stored - that could be a decision maker for me! Will it be safe? Will it be exposed to weather? Will it be stored inside a living area?

    That being said, BD bikes are really pretty decent bikes, for their price. Specialized bikes are really nice bikes, though expensive.

    If your money supply is not an issue, either way will work - just pay a LBS to assemble, adjust, maintain, either one.

    If you are a competent mechanic, save the bucks, and do it yourself.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  5. #5
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    Since I absolutely despise ebay, and happen to own a Sirrus, I would go with the Sirrus! Very comfortable and fun to ride. Fine gravel and dirt paths shouldn't be a problem, or you could upgrade to maybe 32-35c tires for a little more cushion and "off-road" capabilities.

    There is nothing wrong with online bikes, for the most part, but you need the few special tools and ability to properly assemble them. For most people, its better to spend the money on a quality name brand bike from a reputable bike shop. If you are going to ride it hard for 5 months, Might as well have a warranty and a bike shop to back it up!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Without getting into the whole online vs. LBS debate, I'll throw this out there- there is more opportunity for the classic 'bait and switch' when shopping online (and not just for bikes):

    -The info could be inaccurate. You could be ordering something with Ultegra, but in reality are ordering Tiagra. May or may not be intentional on the seller's part.

    -The order could be shipped wrong. Once ordered a case of foam plates for the breakroom, and ended up with a HP inkjet printer (and the shipping label on the printer claimed that it was foam plates).

    -Returns/exchanges are a bit more complicated when dealing with e-tailers. You have to get their permission to return the product(s), before you (typically) pay for the return shipping charges.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  7. #7
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    Thank you all for your helpful comments. Between a Sirrus for $600 and a cheapie for $200-300, I ended up in the middle. I ordered from BD (Motobecane Cafe Latte for $399). Since I am going to land in DC but then travel around, I don't see much advantage to buying at a LBS as far as the service/maintenance you get when you buy from them. So, I will assemble the bike and then take it to a LBS for a once-over. Wish me luck! (If I am in over my head I know I can post here for help!)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by karenkailua View Post
    Thank you all for your helpful comments. Between a Sirrus for $600 and a cheapie for $200-300, I ended up in the middle. I ordered from BD (Motobecane Cafe Latte for $399). Since I am going to land in DC but then travel around, I don't see much advantage to buying at a LBS as far as the service/maintenance you get when you buy from them. So, I will assemble the bike and then take it to a LBS for a once-over. Wish me luck! (If I am in over my head I know I can post here for help!)
    How is the bike working out for you? I was looking at getting one of these as well.

  9. #9
    STFD mcgreivey's Avatar
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    That Motobecane appears to be comparable to a Sirrus, but I've never seen it in person. I'm curious to know more. I need a cheap second bike!

  10. #10
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    It's a good cheap second bike. I'm glad we didn't get the $250 level -- just too cheap for anything other than tooling around. The $400 Motobecane has worked well, but you get what you pay for. BD advertises this as a $900 bike -- I never believed that and you shouldn't either. The cons are that it came with a few dings (I don't care) and I don't like how much it cost to get it road ready. I decided to let a bike shop assemble it, and I'm glad I did because it also came with a stripped nut. BUT, assembly cost me $70 -- and the other shop near where I was wanted $120! In this forum folks said it would be $25-50.... not in the Baltimore suburbs I guess! Also, I detected a definite attitude from the bike shop. They know it's an online purchase and they obviously lost a sale. But in the end I saved a few hundred bucks and that was the goal for this bike. If I were going to ride it all the time and in my local area I'd want the relationship with the LBS and I'd get the Specialized quality.

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