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Old 06-05-10, 04:27 PM   #1
olsenmt
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Trek Valencia vs Motobecane Cafe Sprint

I recently had my Trek 7.3Fx stolen, so I'm thinking of getting a new hybrid.

I am currently choosing between a Trek Valencia http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ncia/valencia/
and a Motobecane Cafe Sprint http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...afe_sprint.htm

On paper, the main draw of the Motobecane is that it is much less expensive ($550 vs ~$700-750) and that it has carbon forks. However, as some of you know, Motobecanes are mainly sold online thru bikesdirect.com, which means I cant try it out in advance. I'm sure some of you have very negative opinions of bikesdirect.com... please only comment in this regards if it concerns the quality of the bike... I don't care that it's a product of Chinese sweatshop labor, etc....

I have test ridden the Trek Valencia, and it is freaking sweat. It is way expensive, though. And I'm concerned that because it is so sexy, it will be a beautiful target for a thief (I of course will lock it up, but locks are never 100% safe... if a thief wants it badly enough, he will get it).

I'm not sure about the components comparison... they both have Shimano Deore derailluers... the Trek has better breaks... the Motobecane has a crappy seat, mediocre tires.
So in some ways the price difference may even out, though the carbon fork is definitely sweet (or so I am told).

Please weigh in and let me know your thoughts!!
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Old 06-07-10, 08:19 AM   #2
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The Motobecane will require assembly;how mechanical are you? Note,in addition to installing the bars and stringing the cables,you'll also prolly have to tension and true the wheels. Can you do that? If not,what will your local shop charge to do it for you? Take this into consideration.

If you know how to work on bikes,or have enough friends who do,BikesDirect bikes can be a good buy. But if you don't know how to wrench,an LBS bike comes with professional assembly,usually free adjustments,and actual people you can talk to. Plus,BD bikes can be damaged in shipment(I've had to deal with this several times with bikes from eBay). Fun fact:if the rear derailleur hanger is bent or snaps in shipment,BD won't cover it because they say it's designed to do this to protect the frame and der.
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Old 06-07-10, 09:34 AM   #3
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Hi,

The Valencia wasn't about when I was looking for a similar speced hybrid. It ended up between a trek 7.3 and a Kona Dew Plus. Went with the Kona as it was more nimble and fun (for me). The Valencia's geometry and design looks very similar to the Kona - though the Kona is a bit less bling - even the Valencia's forks look a copy of the Kona's classic P2 forks. It might be worth considering? http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=dewplus
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Old 06-07-10, 11:16 AM   #4
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You're comparing a disc brake bike (Valencia) to a non-disc bike and asking for an apples to apples comparison. Ain't gonna happen.

The Trek has the better overall setup and that's the reason for the price delta. The reason it doesn't have a carbon fork is because it has discs, and a carbon fork for discs is going to approach 1/2 the cost of the whole bike due to the fact it has to deal with more stress.

The Valencia is a decent bike. So is the Trek PDX which is essentially a lower cost Valencia... both of which from a geometry standpoint are the old Trek FX disc.
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Old 06-07-10, 08:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
The Motobecane will require assembly;how mechanical are you? Note,in addition to installing the bars and stringing the cables,you'll also prolly have to tension and true the wheels. Can you do that? If not,what will your local shop charge to do it for you? Take this into consideration.

If you know how to work on bikes,or have enough friends who do,BikesDirect bikes can be a good buy. But if you don't know how to wrench,an LBS bike comes with professional assembly,usually free adjustments,and actual people you can talk to. Plus,BD bikes can be damaged in shipment(I've had to deal with this several times with bikes from eBay). Fun fact:if the rear derailleur hanger is bent or snaps in shipment,BD won't cover it because they say it's designed to do this to protect the frame and der.
I am semi-mechanical, but have never done anything technical with bikes other than change a tire. I was thinking that if I went that route, I could join the local bike coop and learn how to it with their help. Joining the coop would cost me $25.
It's also worth noting that I am a busy man these days (travel for work, job searches, etc...), and it will be hard to predict when I'll get the time to do all the bike maintenance learning stuff.

I also am nervous about the BD horror stories in regards to customer service. Currently I'm leaning towards the Valencia. To be honest, I'm most nervous about buying a nice bike because it will be a prime target for thieves.
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Old 06-07-10, 08:54 PM   #6
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The kona bikes look pretty cool, but I there aren't any local dealers so I can't test ride them...
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Old 06-07-10, 09:05 PM   #7
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I don't see how the disc break vs non-disc factor makes the comparison impossible. I see your point that carbon forks would not be possible for a disc break bike (of reasonable price), but that doesn't mean the two can't be further compared (unless you can explain to me further...).

Anyways, to give you some more info, the main purpose of this bike will be for commuting. I am anticipating a commute of ~5-10 miles each way, mostly on paved urban setting.

My LBS brand options are Trek, Fisher, and Bianci. I could possible get access to Giant and Canondale, but that requires a 1 hour drive each way, which is pretty unattractive to me.
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Old 06-07-10, 09:48 PM   #8
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The Valencia is hands down the better bike. For one, you'll be replacing the stem and the wheels on the Sprint, since both are worthless due to their considerable flexing. The other is you'll get to test ride a Valencia before you plunk your money down, not so with the Sprint.

Last edited by dynodonn; 06-07-10 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 06-07-10, 09:51 PM   #9
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The Valencia hands down is the better bike. For one, you'll be replacing the stem and the wheels on the Sprint, since both are worthless due to their considerable flexing. The other is you'll get to test ride a Valencia before you plunk your money down, not so with the Sprint.
what do ou mean by the 'considerable flexing'?
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Old 06-07-10, 10:01 PM   #10
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what do ou mean by the 'considerable flexing'?

It's the same stem and wheels that came on my Cafe Noir, the bar ends were probably moving close to an inch with light to medium pressure, and the stem was the first thing to go. The wheels would flex enough to rub the brake pads on 10 to 15 mph turns.
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Old 06-08-10, 07:33 AM   #11
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It's the same stem and wheels that came on my Cafe Noir, the bar ends were probably moving close to an inch with light to medium pressure, and the stem was the first thing to go. The wheels would flex enough to rub the brake pads on 10 to 15 mph turns.
Wow, thanks for letting me know that. I will definitely not buy thru BD. I had gotten the impression that the Cafe Sprint was a good deal, but if you have to replace a couple of the parts, then that pretty significantly cuts into the money you save.
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Old 06-08-10, 07:55 AM   #12
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Wow, thanks for letting me know that. I will definitely not buy thru BD. I had gotten the impression that the Cafe Sprint was a good deal, but if you have to replace a couple of the parts, then that pretty significantly cuts into the money you save.
Just to let you know, I replaced the Noir with 7.3 FX and I was much happier with the Trek in original form than I ever was with the Noir in customized form.
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Old 06-08-10, 01:52 PM   #13
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I bought the Valencia+ (the ebike version). I have a 30 mile r/t commute and it was just becoming too much of a PITA on my old Trek 7100. I really hate hills and headwinds.

I've had a few problems with the Valencia+ but all were because of the electronic components - for instance I've been waiting over two weeks for spokes since I broke two on that monster rear wheel. But the Valencia itself is a great bike and I love it (when it's working).
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Old 06-10-10, 11:59 AM   #14
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purchase made

Thanks for the advice everyone.

I ended up getting the Trek Valencia. It is very early on, but so far I am happy. It is very comfortable and smooth, and should be what I'm looking for in a commuter bike. I like all of the components so far; the new nebula seat is better than the seats for the FXs and other similar bikes that I tried out in that is; the saddle puts the pressure on the sit bones, and not on my junk. I like the handles... the new models have these wedge shaped handles that let you lean on them more easily. The disc breaks are not as good as regular breaks yet, but I'm told this is because you must break them in first.

It isn't quite as comfortable as a few full blown commuter bike that is fully upbright and has a couch-like saddle... however I can't picture myself riding one of those... and they are too slow for me.

After putting some considerable mileage on it, I will try to post an up date. In the meantime I will say that the bike looks damn sexy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by olsenmt View Post
I recently had my Trek 7.3Fx stolen, so I'm thinking of getting a new hybrid.

I am currently choosing between a Trek Valencia http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ncia/valencia/
and a Motobecane Cafe Sprint http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...afe_sprint.htm

On paper, the main draw of the Motobecane is that it is much less expensive ($550 vs ~$700-750) and that it has carbon forks. However, as some of you know, Motobecanes are mainly sold online thru bikesdirect.com, which means I cant try it out in advance. I'm sure some of you have very negative opinions of bikesdirect.com... please only comment in this regards if it concerns the quality of the bike... I don't care that it's a product of Chinese sweatshop labor, etc....

I have test ridden the Trek Valencia, and it is freaking sweat. It is way expensive, though. And I'm concerned that because it is so sexy, it will be a beautiful target for a thief (I of course will lock it up, but locks are never 100% safe... if a thief wants it badly enough, he will get it).

I'm not sure about the components comparison... they both have Shimano Deore derailluers... the Trek has better breaks... the Motobecane has a crappy seat, mediocre tires.
So in some ways the price difference may even out, though the carbon fork is definitely sweet (or so I am told).

Please weigh in and let me know your thoughts!!
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Old 06-10-10, 01:25 PM   #15
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Congrats on the purchase.
I have a Valencia for my city commute and it is great.
It is heavy but stands up to the daily commuting abuse.
I put on fenders and a rack and lights and rode it all winter.
Cheers,
Matt
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Old 06-11-10, 10:32 AM   #16
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Congrats on the purchase. The Valencia is a decent bike. IMHO a big improvement over the BD bike. Shop is right, brakes will get better once they seat in.
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