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Old 12-13-04, 07:26 PM   #1
bobbyg66
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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
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Old 12-13-04, 07:45 PM   #2
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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"
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Old 12-13-04, 08:30 PM   #3
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If your doing light riding, nothing overly aggresive which it doesnt sound like you are doing, ide snag it
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Old 12-13-04, 09:00 PM   #4
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It's a great bike for your needs, I'd go for it.
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Old 12-13-04, 10:06 PM   #5
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Thumbs up here...just make sure you get the right size frame for your body size.
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Old 12-13-04, 10:09 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 12-13-04, 10:15 PM   #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.
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Old 12-13-04, 10:45 PM   #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.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:26 PM   #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?
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Old 12-13-04, 11:42 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:50 PM   #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?
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Old 12-14-04, 05:45 AM   #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.
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Old 12-14-04, 06:16 AM   #13
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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
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Old 12-14-04, 07:39 AM   #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...
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Old 12-14-04, 08:27 AM   #15
bobbyg66
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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...
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Old 12-14-04, 08:50 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 12-14-04, 09:36 AM   #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.
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Old 12-14-04, 09:56 AM   #18
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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.
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Old 12-14-04, 11:37 AM   #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.
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Old 12-14-04, 11:55 AM   #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 12:30 PM.
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Old 12-14-04, 12:07 PM   #21
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I have no idea what my bike SHOULD weigh, but without bottles or my light my bike is 34lbs
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Old 12-14-04, 12:31 PM   #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.
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Old 12-14-04, 01:17 PM   #23
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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 ; )
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Old 12-14-04, 02:25 PM   #24
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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
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Old 12-14-04, 04:53 PM   #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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