About one month ago I was ready to order a Motobecane Fantom Cross after looking at a Specialized Tricross Sport at an LBS. Because BD had only email for contact (no live telephone support), it took a week to try to get a couple of pre-sales questions answered. I was frustrated and lost confidence; If communication was this difficult during a time when companies are usually the most attentive, ie making the sale, what would support be like later? I don't do my own maintenance so I was even prepared to spend up to $150 at an LBS (Spokes in VA) for a professional set up. Getting the right fit, frame and then adjustments right down to pedal cleats was important to me for this investment.I wanted a Motobecane to work because the last bike I purchased was a MB in '73 which I still have.
After the week went by, I discovered a Performance store a few miles away and right off our local/regional bike path. They had a Fuji Cross Comp (reg $1270) on sale and that weekend had an additional 15% promo, so I got the bike for $807 plus about $40 tax.
The Fuji had the same frame geometry as the Fantom and looks the same frame as the Tricross. It had better components than the Fantom and if I remember the Tricross also. The FD and shifters are Shimano 105 and the RD is Ultegra, and the crankset is better. Also has center pull brakes which the 09 Tricross just went to ($1400). Plus, I got a Performance membership for $25 and got $87 back in Performance dollars to spend on pedals etc.
The decision for this bike and to buy from an LBS became firmly reinforced over the past several weeks.
> The bike feels great, fits well and rides/shifts smoothly.
> The people at Performance really performed. They had physical inventory so I could pick the right size and test ride the bikes. They had friendly, knowledgeable salespeople and techs who ride and took the time to help.
> One of Performance's really experienced took more than one hour with me to set the bike on a stand and get the adjustments dialed in. The went over the whole bike and tweaked spokes to brakes.
> With the purchase I have lifetime adjustments and I've been back twice for questions and tweeking(once after a fall to check everything out).
> After all this took place a long and drawn out saga played out on this site which was posted by a fellow who paid for a MB from BD and not only did not have his bike after two months, but was having difficulty getting any response from BD. After my experience I was not surprised, and I was further elated I had not gone that route.
At the end of the day, I ended up with a better bike than the Fantom or Specialized Tricross, for a better price, proper fit, and the support of a LBS. And I also like to support local business.
If you have a local Performance store, I recommend you try a Fuji Cross Comp, and either way I would go with your LBS.