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  1. #1
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    Question Can anyone recommend the Motobecane Cafe Noir?

    I'm interested in buying a light weight hybrid bike and noticed the MotobecaneMotobecane Cafe Noir.jpg Cafe Noir online at a huge discount. It's about 21 lbs. and seems to have all the right gear. I like the design and it looks a little like the Bianchi Camaleone Quattro, but for $400 less and with 5 lbs less. Please let me know if the bike is worth buying for $699 and if the company is a good brand to buy. They used to be a French company but now they're a USA brand and all the bikes are made in Taiwan.
    Thanks, John

  2. #2
    Senior Member javal's Avatar
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    The straight top tube alone makes it good looking and interesting!
    the rider makes the bike - steel club member 198

  3. #3
    Newbie Risible's Avatar
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    Per the wiki on Motobecane:

    It has no relation to Motobecane USA, which imports bicycles from Taiwan manufactured to their specification by Kinesis Industry Co. Ltd. under the Motobécane trademark.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motob%C3%A9cane

  4. #4
    Senior Member EsoxLucius's Avatar
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    I rode the Cafe Noir and to me it seems it is well worth the money. In many ways it is similar to my Jamis Coda Comp in how it rides. You will likely have to take it somewhere for final assembly and adjustment though, unless you are adept at those things.

  5. #5
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    Kinesis is one of the largest frame manufacturers in the world and makes frames for many brands you see in your LBS. Motobecane makes awesome bikes. As recommended you should take it to the LBS for assembly and adjustment. Most LBS would be happy to help you out with it albeit for a small fee.

  6. #6
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    Great, thank you!

  7. #7
    Riding Heaven's Highways: In Memoriam justfitme's Avatar
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    I looked at this bike at my LBS (called Bikes Direct) they sell Motobecanes . It is nice bike, but do not be disappointed if it is not 21 lbs.

    I did not weight it but felt like ~23-24... which is absolutely OK for a hybrid.
    There is nothing wrong with BD Motobecanes - I used or still own several BD bikes (Fuji's and Motobecanes) and I do not have anything bad to say...

  8. #8
    CX, MTB, Road, SS, BMX Dion's Avatar
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    I bought one of these for my wife and had to sell it since the more "aggressive" (yeah, I know) seating position hurt her wrists. The one I bought had a carbon fork, v-brakes, 700 X28 tires and a flat bar... I'm taking it hasn't changed since then.

    It is a gorgeous steel bike and very worthy of not only hybrid riding, but commuting and touring.

    I've bought many BD bikes and have not been disappointed whatsoever. Make sure that you go over it with a fine tooth comb since it is a factory direct bike. One of the disadvantages of buying online, but if you're a wrencher, that's all good (and even enjoyable). Bikes Direct has had a LOT of positive and negative reputation on these boards over the years, but for the most part, they aren't any better nor worse (in terms of quality) than any other brand.

    Man... I should've never sold that bike.

  9. #9
    Riding Heaven's Highways: In Memoriam justfitme's Avatar
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    Dion
    Having regrets means that it is not the last try and not the last bike of this class.
    If you will decide one more time with the aggressive bike for your wife and it will be the same problem with her wrists try to use ergo grips - Ergon or somethin less expensive.
    One of our friends had terrible problem with her wrists on Trek FX. I gave her the same advise and it worked.
    For my wife some ebay $15 version of ergo grips works perfectly fine too... better than regular grips

    Also, bar ends might help a lot to provide a rest by changing position..
    Last edited by justfitme; 10-04-11 at 08:08 PM.

  10. #10
    CX, MTB, Road, SS, BMX Dion's Avatar
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    My wife went over the bars on her road bike some years ago and she's never been the same. I went through 3 bike purchases and an array of grips (including ergo) and handlebars when finally we settled on a Scott P5 Sportster with a very high rise stem. She rides flats because she has a knee injury from when somebody doored her while splitting traffic up to a red light on her motorcycle (legal to do in California).

    Unfortunately, the ergo grips did nothing for her, I simply had to get the pressure off her hands by getting the body position very upright without going all the way to buying Townie. With less weight on the wrists, I had to make sure her seat was up to snuff, so we went with a female specific Terry saddle.

    Now my wife can ride to her max without discomfort. I had to spend some money to find the right combo of parts to work for her, but I found the sweet spot.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of ergo grips. I've tried them and I feel that they "mask" the real issue. I used to feel wrist and hand numbness (I race cyclocross on flat handlebars) and I tried ergo grips, and they didnt do anything but make me nervous about not having a solid grip going down muddy, rocky, rooted technical trails.

    Instead, I worked on getting the perfect handlebar width, stem rise and length to fit perfectly with my seat height and fore/aft position, with the goal of making all contact points (hands, butt, feet) evenly weighted. Once I figured that out, I applied it to my 8 other bikes and I feel absolutely ZERO pain, no matter what grip I'm using.

    But... if they work for some... I'm all for it!
    Quote Originally Posted by justfitme View Post
    Dion
    Having regrets means that it is not the last try and not the last bike of this class.
    If you will decide one more time with the aggressive bike for your wife and it will be the same problem with her wrists try to use ergo grips - Ergon or somethin less expensive.
    One of our friends had terrible problem with her wrists on Trek FX. I gave her the same advise and it worked.
    For my wife some ebay $15 version of ergo grips works perfectly fine too... better than regular grips

    Also, bar ends might help a lot to provide a rest by changing position..
    Last edited by Dion; 10-10-11 at 08:25 AM.

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