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  1. #1
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    20lb aluminum mtb <$400 as main bike? (newbie)

    Hi all. I'm 66, single and retired. My car was stolen and totaled
    by joyriders in Feb. Because it could happen again, I decided not
    to replace but to see if a bike was manageable after 50 years
    of little exercise. This was complicated by a 'minor' stroke I had
    in '98 and haven't fully recovered from yet.

    But I'm confident the task is doable. Mainly because of a new diet
    I discovered 4 years after the stroke. http://www.primaldiet.com
    I believe in it's teachings as gospel. It has already shown much
    improvement in my condition but for various reasons, none good,
    I have been unable to consume the quantities needed to recieve
    the full benefits. Yet. But I still believe it will happen.

    Meanwhile, the bike experience has been somewhat mixed. The first
    one was a mtb. At 50+lbs, it didn't take long to pine for something
    lighter. A 30lb 70's Fuji Arcadia solved that and put the mtb in the
    closet. Since then I've read most of the related posts here trying to
    decide what next? It's obvious to me that a road bike is not strong
    enough for my needs. A mtb is but was too heavy.

    Until now.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...121256057&rd=1

    Would appreciate all advice and opinions any member would be kind
    enough to offer. Unless strongly discouraged, I will buy it. Features
    needed are light weight and strength for pulling a bike trailer. Both are
    solved here with 4 bonuses. New, brand name, disc brakes and a
    super low price. What do the members think?

    Bob Goza, retired in Tucson, AZ USA

  2. #2
    ummmm beer 98bomber's Avatar
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    seems like a fairly good deal, if it is going to be rode hard the rims & hubs may go on ya. also look at the size of the bike, a 22" bike is to big for someone 5'11"

  3. #3
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    If your doing light riding, nothing overly aggresive which it doesnt sound like you are doing, ide snag it

  4. #4
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    It's a great bike for your needs, I'd go for it.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

  5. #5
    Senior Member incipit's Avatar
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    Thumbs up here...just make sure you get the right size frame for your body size.
    '03 Trek 4500, Marzocchi MX Comp ETA, Avid mechs w/flak Jackets, Shimano XT Deraillers, XT Hubs w/Rhynolites

  6. #6
    <<<<>>>> Original 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98bomber
    seems like a fairly good deal, if it is going to be rode hard the rims & hubs may go on ya. also look at the size of the bike, a 22" bike is to big for someone 5'11"
    It sounds like a good bike for your needs. The only thing I would check is the size. I'm 6'4" and a 22" frame is too large for me. Just be sure the size works for you.

  7. #7
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    BUT: I will give a personal guarentee that it is not 20 pounds. The bike he is talking about in the "quotes" from magazines is the Fly Team, which is an amazing racing machine, not to be confused with the 500 HT that the seller is selling. I would place it more likely at 30 pounds. But, it will also hold up to your needs, and with some minor adjustments will suit you fine, but I would recommend not buying a bike off of eBay for your first shot. Instead, try a few bikes at a REAL bike shop, not x-Mart, and if you like the fit and feel, then go for it. You most of the time will be able to get free lifetime adjustments with it too.

  8. #8
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    Learned it is more than 20lbs. That's the Motobecane Fly. (Probably
    about $16-$1800msrp). If it's around 30 it will still fit the bill.
    Won't be doing anything that'll tax it for awhile. And I'm 6'2"
    so it should fit me ok. $387 including shipping is unheard of for
    a brand name. It's unbelievable for a brute like this. 30 lbs is what my
    Fuji weighs and this one is many times stronger. Even if it comes in
    as high as 40, I'll still have a hardened rear axle, disc brakes and
    bombproof tires. Hard to pass that up, unless something totally
    unexpected turns up.

    Thanks to all who responded.

  9. #9
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    Says on eBay that it fits up to 6'4". Since the standover is lower than
    my Fuji, I thought adjusting the seat was all there was to fit.
    Seems I'm mistaken again. And not for the last time. What's the deal?

  10. #10
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    For what its worth, that bike costs around $400 retail in the store if I recall correctly. In any case, I would recommend buying from an actual store. I'm not sure if Motobecane will honor the warranty on an eBay sale (is the guy an authorized dealer? do they allow internet sales?), and when it does need warranty work, who are you going to bring it back to? Also, most shops include free tune ups and adjustments with the purchase of a new bike.

    As for fit, someone 6'2" will feel comfortable on a 19"-21" depending on riding preferance and inseam, etc. I'm 6'1 and ride a 19", my boss is 6'3" and rides a 19", there are a few guys I ride with about my height that also ride 20" or 21" bikes. If you go to a shop you will most likely leave with the right size, on the internet, especially if you don't know bikes, its a crap shoot.

  11. #11
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    trekkie820, I'd like to buy it from the shop that sold me the mtb,
    but the owner looks like he's giving it up. Not for lack of biz. Just
    isn't there much. And when you catch him in, there's at least five
    in front of you. And the eBay price is half of msrp. How much
    could I ask him to come down from $695? The free tuneups
    aren't much of a factor because I do all my own maintenance plus
    the above. Also, by suggesting I try 4 or 5 bikes, that implies that
    this bike is not rare at the price, weight and features. Is that true?

  12. #12
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    Eh, you can't really haggle LBS guys. Well, if it's what you want then go for it! I would almost want to head to the store, just to test ride a 22 inch bike to make sure it fits.

  13. #13
    <>< SoonerBent's Avatar
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    I'm going to go a little against the grain here. First, I buy tons of stuff on ebay. Most of my bike, Harley and sailboat stuff I get there. I research until I'm comfortable that the item is what I want and buy (or win) it. Second, I'm 5'7" and ride a 19" which should be way too big by normal standards. I'm a roadie at heart and have done thousands of miles over many years on road bikes. But, I don't do any real hard off road riding. I wanted to get down to one bike that I could ride hard on the road, get good workouts, and take off occasionally through the woods if I feel like it. On the too big frame I feel more like the fit I would have on a road bike. I like that way. Sounds like this might be what you're after also. Good luck.

    SS

  14. #14
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    seeley, original 8 and others have convinced me to check the
    fit before buying. Don't think the 2 lbs nearby (2mi) carry it though.

    About my riding: Whereever possible use neighborhood streets
    and sidewalks when available for turns. I'll use the bike lanes on
    major streets but only on straightaways. Too many drivers drift
    into the bike lanes on all turns for me to be there. So that's how I
    ride and also is why this setup is desired. Because many driveways
    are extremely bumpy, skinny road bike tires don't last very long.
    I had resigned myself to beefing up the Fuji before checking
    aluminum mtb's on ebay. Finding the Motobecane at my price was
    totally unexpected. Expect to give up a little durability but the
    ability to more stably pull a trailer when hauling heavy loads and
    reducing flat tires makes up for it. And being able to go offroad
    safely when forced to is the biggest advantage. Seems to happen on
    almost every trip. The Fuji carves into gravel and falls over with too
    sharp a turn. One fall (of 3)was a bad one and don't want another.

    bikeforums has amazed from the start with the knowlege and accuracy
    of almost every poster. trekkie820 said, "I would place it more likely
    at 30 pounds." MotobecaneUSA sez, "29-30lbs.

    50 years ago a bike was a simple piece of machinery. How times have changed...

  15. #15
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    soonerschwinn, your riding style dscribes what mine will
    be when I've put sufficient time on the trainer I don't have yet.

    This is a copy of an email from sprtymama, the owner of
    the eBay seller of the Motobecane. It explains bike weights
    better than anything I've ever read and at the same time
    reinforces my decision and makes me want to hold off longer...

    (The Motobecane 500HT) weighs approx 30 pounds.

    All bike shop quality mountain bikes under $1000.00 weigh roughly 30 pounds


    you might find this interesting:

    The dirty secret of the bike industry
    All bike shops lie about weights
    All manufacturers lie about weights
    even magazines quote weights without pedals and reflectors

    Mountain Bikes in bike shops all weight around 30 LBS - almost all of them except ultra lights like the Motobecane FLY TEAM (the lightest ATB made -- at 20lbs)

    Road bikes all weigh very close by group
    Sora bikes - around 23
    Tiagra bikes - around 22
    105 bikes around 20
    Ultegra bikes around 19
    DuraAce around 18

    (and this surprises most people - steel road bikes and aluminum weigh almost exactly the same)

    The lightest production road bike is the Motobecane Le Champion 10 - 14.1 LBS
    It is a race only bike with carbon cranks, carbon wheels, glue on tires, etc
    Lightest 'normal' bikes are the Fuji Team SuperLight and Motobecane Le Champion SL -
    both these are 15lbs

    For fun, you might ask a few stores what their bikes weigh
    then come back in with a fishing scale!! You will be shocked

    This is a real problem to everyone in the industry
    I wish that accurate weights were quoted and available
    but 25 years ago Schwinn started quoting weights as much as 10 under actual
    and everyone had to 'keep up'

    I hope this helps

    courtney spratt
    sprtymama

    ----------------------------

    Helps me a lot. Slows me down. May not have to give up steel. We'll see...

  16. #16
    Digs technical steeps
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    I wouldn't let a few pounds stop me from getting the bike I like for the riding you've described. A lot of mtb's in the $500 - $1000 range will weigh around 28 - 30 lbs.
    'My other bike is a bike.'

  17. #17
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    I appreciate all I've learned from the knowlegeable members
    here in just a few hours with a break to sleep. It has also
    allowed me to better understand my original purpose and to
    have a much better chance for a satisfactory purchase.

    What I'm after is a lightweight everyday bike that is strong,
    durable and relatively indistructable. And that can be
    converted to do the job of a van or pickup truck for the
    infrequent times when that is necessary. Road bike
    performance with mtb strength. I've ridden my last mile
    on flimsy tires. 4 falls is 4 too many. 1 was from the
    sidewalk into the road.

    But it's amazing what a concentrated mind can accomplish.
    Especially when generouslyaided by the the members of
    the best bike forum I'm aware of. All that is left to do now
    is to find out if the 500HT is truely the best choice. Then
    buy it. Then a trailer. Then a trainer and start cranking.

    A sincere thanks to all who contributed to my quick
    education. Wieh I'd registered sooner. Old Bob in Tucson.

  18. #18
    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    i dont know much about the bike thats on sale, and what bike is light or whatevers, but i've bought many things from that seller and shes awesome. if you ask her anything the response is fast and great. well.. you can probably see what kinda seller she is from her rating, but i just thought you might like to have a opinion from someone that actually bought something from her. haha and shes a mom, and her son is in to MUni.

  19. #19
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    What you need isn't a mountain bike. You're basically looking for something like a road bike, but more durable. You might like a cyclocross bike better. A cyclocross bike is like a beefier road bike, with some mountain bike componenets on it, like stronger wheels and bigger tires.

    Here's an example of a cyclocross bike.

    Also, the guy on ebay is lying to you. Motobecane does not make the lightest bikes in the world. And even if they do make a 14.1lb road bike, it can't be a race bike as there's a minimum weight limit of 15lbs for road racing.

  20. #20
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    If you want a bike for local transport rather than pure sport, then you need a practical bike with fittings for rack and fender. Suspension is really not needed for riding on the road, or even easy trails.
    Work out your current transportation budget. I am car-free not car-less, I hire as and when I need them.
    As for the style of bike, a high quality non suspension MTB, hybrid*, touring or cyclo-cross would do the job. The typical weight, with rack, fenders and medium size touring tyres should be 25-30lbs.

    * The hybrid style of flat bar bike has become a lot better recently with bikes like the specialized Sirrus
    Last edited by MichaelW; 12-14-04 at 11:30 AM.

  21. #21
    Toyota Racing Dev. PWRDbyTRD's Avatar
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    I have no idea what my bike SHOULD weigh, but without bottles or my light my bike is 34lbs
    Linkage...My 2004 Kona Hoss Dee-Lux My Mindless Banter
    Disclaimer: I'm 425lb...I put unnormal loads on my bike. This should help you in answering any of my questions.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by notfred
    Also, the guy on ebay is lying to you. Motobecane does not make the lightest bikes in the world. And even if they do make a 14.1lb road bike, it can't be a race bike as there's a minimum weight limit of 15lbs for road racing.
    Sure you could race it; you'd just have to add weight to it.

    I also think that a cyclocross (CX) bike would be a good choice in this situation as well.
    2011 Surly Crosscheck
    95 Klein Attitude

  23. #23
    Digs technical steeps
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    When I think of pulling a trailer and similar, I think of a Kona Hoss: http://www.konaworld.com/shopping_ca...1&parentid=182

    A 2005 could probably be scored for around $700 new. Looks like the pullin' machine of mtb's to me ; )
    'My other bike is a bike.'

  24. #24
    Toyota Racing Dev. PWRDbyTRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juniper
    When I think of pulling a trailer and similar, I think of a Kona Hoss: http://www.konaworld.com/shopping_ca...1&parentid=182

    A 2005 could probably be scored for around $700 new. Looks like the pullin' machine of mtb's to me ; )
    It handles some abuse
    Linkage...My 2004 Kona Hoss Dee-Lux My Mindless Banter
    Disclaimer: I'm 425lb...I put unnormal loads on my bike. This should help you in answering any of my questions.

  25. #25
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    'All-around-bike' - as fast and as safe as possible
    as a daily ride while regaining the skills and
    strength required to operate it. - minimum $ a plus.

    The bike I'm looking for is usually identical to one
    that many posters here have built for themselves.
    A bike light enough to enjoy the benefits less weight
    brings in everyday use but at the same time strong
    enough to go touring, offroad for short periods and
    most other uses that will come up. The bikes these
    members built were all beauties that fit this bill to a 't'.

    Unfortunately, aside from time and skills I don't have,
    costs tend to run from $1000 and rapidly up from
    there. This effort may be the most beautiful bike I'll
    ever see...

    http://folks.harbornet.com/kstagg/Mariposa.htm

    But at $3,600 is too rich for my blood and I have the
    scars to prove that handlebar carrying isn't wise.

    The Motobecane 500 HT almost miraculously
    seems to fit these same specs, at least for my needs
    for the next 1 or 2 years, for less than $400.

    Even for this low price, once acquired, my job is only
    just beginning. Safe biking requires the strength and
    quick reflexes of youth just as golf or any sport does.
    Am a long way from regaining such strength but there
    will be many times while attaining it that the strength
    qualities of my daily ride will come in handy. Maybe
    even saving my life. And likely more than once.

    I had decided that this was an important enough goal
    to purchase one of the many bikes made for these
    purposes in the $1-2,000 range. That I apparently can
    have it for a small fraction is a Christmas present out of
    the blue that seems to increase in value each day.

    Will post a steel alternative if one is found around the
    same price range and with the same feature set.

    (1) New and respected brand if possible - For confidence
    (2) Shocks - For the unexpected and tire/rim/axle life
    (3) 30lbs top - For the most affordable speed
    (4) Hardened rear axle - For most stable weight bearing
    (5) Disc brakes - For better unexpected braking
    (6) </=$400 - For the miser in all of us. Raise as needed.

    These are the specifications for the 'all-around-bike'
    written by a novice. And one not qualified to defend them
    in any convincing way. Just what he believes will do his
    job until convinced otherwise. And most important of all;
    seemingly available on eBay now for $387 total.

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