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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bugtussle's Avatar
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    Windsor Tourist's Are back

    The Windsor Tourist is back on eBay for $600 with shipping. They claim that its a rebadged Fuji, built in the same factory(Ideal Bicycle Corp). It seems like a fair price, the best deal I can fine on a Fuji localy in $759. Are there any members who own one of these or know someone who does and could give some feedback on this bike? Thanks

  2. #2
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugtussle
    They claim that its a rebadged Fuji
    Where do they claim this? I find no mention of Fuji either on the EBay page you referenced or on the Windsor site.

    It is NOT a rebadged Fuji. I've seen one of these in person, and it was a cheap Chinese or Taiwanese bike with very low-end componentry and crappy workmanship.

    Their comparing this thing with a Co-Motion Nor'Wester and Rivendell Atlantis is laughable at best.
    Last edited by michaelnel; 01-13-06 at 04:44 AM.
    ---

    San Francisco, California

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bugtussle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelnel
    Where do they claim this? I find no mention of Fuji either on the EBay page you referenced or on the Windsor site.

    It is NOT a rebadged Fuji. I've seen one of these in person, and it was a cheap Chinese or Taiwanese bike with very low-end componentry and crappy workmanship.

    Their comparing this thing with a Co-Motion Nor'Wester and Rivendell Atlantis is laughable at best.
    This is a quote from an email from Mike at bikesdirect.com where they claim it to be a Fuji, "hi
    yes they are the same bike - same every detail excpet decals
    both are made by ideal with same frame".

  4. #4
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    Heh... BS.

    Fuji lists the following sizes for their Touring model:
    43cm, 49cm, 54cm, 58cm, and 64cm

    Windsor lists 49cm, 53cm, 56cm, 59cm, and 62cm

    Other than that, the Windsor site's link to the geometry goes to some other Windsor POS's geometry specs, and the specs in the EBay ad are simply a cut & paste of Fuji's specs, right down to the order they are listed and the pointers to the diagram that is present on the Fuji site but not in the Windsor EBay ad.

    Personally, I'd steer way clear of the Windsor.
    ---

    San Francisco, California

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bugtussle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelnel
    Heh... BS.

    Fuji lists the following sizes for their Touring model:
    43cm, 49cm, 54cm, 58cm, and 64cm

    Windsor lists 49cm, 53cm, 56cm, 59cm, and 62cm

    Other than that, the Windsor site's link to the geometry goes to some other Windsor POS's geometry specs, and the specs in the EBay ad are simply a cut & paste of Fuji's specs, right down to the order they are listed and the pointers to the diagram that is present on the Fuji site but not in the Windsor EBay ad.

    Personally, I'd steer way clear of the Windsor.
    Good point!!

  6. #6
    o.O Seggybop's Avatar
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    The frame looks exactly the same as the Fuji... if it's not rebadged, it's some kind of clone.
    mi yu mi yu

  7. #7
    Steel and Leather Rich vSB's Avatar
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    I own a Windsor Tourist and I rather like it. If it's made in China or Taiwan -- so what? -- so is my Surly LHT, my Gary Fisher 229, my Surly 1x1, and my Bianchi Pista! The components are OK too -- Shimano Deore, Shimano Tiagra, Truvativ Touro, SRAM, Tektro Oryx... I think it's easily worth the $550 I paid.

  8. #8
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    I think they probably are Fujis. The geometry and sizes listed in the ebay auction are nearly identical to the 2006 Fuji Touring as is the componentry. Even the rack looks the same.

    That said, their advertising is outright deceptive. It is in no way comparable to a Co-Motion or even a Trek 520. The comparison price of $1200 is completely bogus. The website shows a risible list price of $1495. It's comparable to a Fuji Touring for around $800. If it's worth it to save $150 to $200 depending upon taxes, shipping and sale prices while giving up dealer prep and a reliable warranty, it might be worth considering.

    OTOH, considering the borderline fraudulent advertising, I don't think I'd trust these guys with my money.

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    It's not a bad bike for $650.00 dollars but it will probably need a turnup upon arriving. If you can't do the tuneup, then it makes sense to get a Fuji touring. I still think the bike is probably the least expensive touring bike on the market. What more can you ask for? You can't touch a Trek 520 for under 1K and a completed LHT is going to cost $800.00 dollars easily.

  10. #10
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    What makes a bike a "Fuji"? Fuji selects a design, selects the suppliers, and then tests the finished bikes to ensure they met Fuji's design and safety standards. Next, the bike is shipped to an authorized Fuji dealer, who assembles the bike, and fits it to the customer. After thirty days, the customer is asked to bring the bike back to a Fuji dealer for a check-up and tune-up. The bikes come with a warranty that is backed by Fuji and its dealers. THAT is a Fuji bike.

    BikesDirect buys bikes here, there, and everywhere. They are "backed" by BikesDirect. That means they are not "backed" at all. There is NO meaningful warranty provided with a BikesDirect bike. The bottom bracket arrives defective? Send it back or fix it yourself.

    BD likes to put several well known parts of its bikes and features those parts in its ads. Then, the ad goes silent about key components. On a bike actually used for touring, key components include the bottom bracket, the hubs, and the rims. BD is very, very silent as to the "names" of those comonents on its touring bike. So, add to their price the cost of a set of real touring wheels.

    BikesDirect is the single most "creative" marketing force in the cycling industry. They lie about the list price of their bikes. They lie about the retail value of their bikes. And, they lie when they claim a Windsor is a Fuji.

    If you buy from BD, or the five or six "fronts" they use on E-Bay, you need to know how to build and repair a bike. If you view their product as a "box of parts", and have verified you are getting a good price on those parts, you may end up be very satisfied with your purchase. But, don't be confused. You won't have a Fuji bike.
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 01-13-06 at 09:21 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member metal_cowboy's Avatar
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    One thing you might do is check the sellers feedback to see if there are any recent buyers of the bike. You can then contact the buyer and ask them questions on the bike and if they think it was a wise purchase. I have done this on several items and have always found most buyers willing to give you a honest opinion on their purchase.
    Rivendell Alantis, Rivendell Rambouillet, Klein Adroit, Co Motion Big AL

  12. #12
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    You won't have a Fuji bike.
    Excellent summary, Alan, and exactly why I would avoid bikesdirect.
    ---

    San Francisco, California

  13. #13
    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    You guys sure are rough. It seems the people that buy these bikes seem pretty happy with them. The support is always an issue with anything bought over the internet, so I agree but also assume that people buying stuff over the internet already know this.

    I took a chance on a bikesdirect Mercier and it is exactly as advertised. It took about 2 hours to get it all set up. I needed to have the lbs look at one adjustment I didn't know how to make, and I managed to break the front derailluer cable, so it wasn't completely painless, but it all works.

    Would I do it again? I don't know. I like supporting my lbs. But I would at least consider it. It's not like it's a scam or anything.

    My Mercier rides great, it's exactly what I wanted. Nothing on it is cheap, the BB is Shimano Ultegra, the frame Reynolds butted 853, and the headset is FSA. There may be better parts available, but certainly not in the same price range. It's all Ultegra, and most bikes in this price range aren't even all 105.

    Az

  14. #14
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Talk about hype, Windsor lists the MSRP of this bike, which is a clone of the Fuji Touring, at $1495, which is what my Fuji World listed at. Comparing this bike with a Riv or Co-motion is even more laughable.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  15. #15
    Senior Member Bugtussle's Avatar
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    I wanted to thank everyone for your input on this thread. Ive decided to keep my older Miyata 610 to use for longer trips. Ive had the bike for 17 years and love the way it rides. When I first became interested in the Windsor I e-mailed bikesdirect with a few questions and recieved a few replys from them. I asked twice if they could send me a phone # so I could call about a few more details. In 2 attempts they would not send me a number I could call. You can look all over their website and their eBay about Me page and not find any numbers listed. If they are this hard to get ahold of to buy, think about how bad it will be when things go wrong. I do all of my own wrenching and an not afraid of buying something online. Im currently looking at IBEX where they have a good reputation for selling quality bikes online. Im currently looking at the Corrida LT which is very well equipped for $599. Ive talked with them 3 times on their toll free line and have found them to be really friendly and helpful.

  16. #16
    Hi. I'm in Delaware. Robbykills's Avatar
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    I bought a motobecane mirage from bikesdirect.com when I first started cycling. I didn't have a lot of money and I really wanted a good working bike. It hasn't let me down and I've been slowly upgrading it with better parts (105 rear der., STIs etc.). The frame is not bad. Now if I had to do it all over again, knowing what I know now, I'd just buy from my favorite shop, but as it stands I am happy with the bike and people working at the previously mentioned shop have assured me it is a pretty decent frame for the price.

  17. #17
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    After a fair amount of research I just bought a road bike from Bikesdirect.com and I wanted to share my experience. Bikesdirect sells generically branded bikes manufactured primarily by Kinesis in Taiwan. Many of these same frames are apparently used by some of the bigger names. Bikesdirect is also the online alter ego of Cycle Spectrum (which kind of put me off, based on reputation).
    I purchased a Windsor Kennet http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../kennet_07.htm which is double butted aluminum frame with carbon stays and a Kinesis carbon fork. Full Ultegra 10 speed drivetrain and American Classic wheels.

    The good:
    1. bikes direct answered all of my many tehnical and non-technical questions via email promptly.
    2. Bike was ordered on a Thursday and arrived the following Tuesday. Tracking numbers were provided.
    3. Bike arrived in a suprisingly small box, but was packed extremly well packed with lots of thin card board wrapped around anything that could be scratched and taped using masking tape so as not to damage the paint.
    4. Colors were anodized not painted and quality looked very good (kind of a red and white pearl metallic).
    5. Wheels were true
    6. After assemby bike weighed 18.5-19 lbs with pedals (cheap fishing scale)

    The expected bad:
    1. Some assembly required. This included putting on the seat post, stem, handlebars, front wheel skewer, and front brake caliper. Assembly time about 1.5 hours with all adjustments.

    The unexpected bad:
    1. Despite what the website suggests, everything had to be significantly adjusted:
    A. Front and rear derailleurs including high and low limits.
    B. Front and rear brakes including repositioning pads.
    C. Cable routing on handlebars (cables are all connected but it was like working a Rubiks Cube to get the cables the way they should be)
    D. Seat was cheap, heavy and yellow (replaced)
    E. Seatpost was a 27.0 and fit to loosely, should have be a 27.2 (replaced)

    Bottom line: I expect I'll get flamed for buying a bike online but, I paid $995 for this with no tax or shipping. I tried, but couldn't find a similarly equipped bike within $1000.00 dollars. Warranty questions concern me despite assurances that I can return it within 30 days for a full refund and that the frame is warrantied for life (just some real unknowns there). But even in the worst case scenerio (unwarrantable broken frame), I feel like the components alone are worth the price I paid.

    -Hiro

  18. #18
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    I bought my Windsor Tourist from BikesDirect in about March 2005. Since that time I put between 16 and 17 thousand miles on it, mostly just day trips. I have only done a few days of loaded touring on it so I can't say how it might perform over the long haul with touring loads.

    My expeerience is as follows. I ordeered the bike and it arrived in about a day and a half. It was well boxed and all the parts were there. A friend who has considerable experetise and I assembled it in a couple of hours. It looked good and rode fine.

    As you can imagine, over the course of over 16,000 miles the bike has had a lot of maintenance but there were only a couple of problems that relate to the quality of the product. The first was that I experienced broken rear-wheel, drive-side spokes. In the first 1500 miles, three broke. I found some discussion on the net to the effect that this was a problem others also had. So I decided the rear wheel needed respoking. I contacted BikesDirect and asked them to supply better quality spokes to replace the deficient spokes supplied with the bike. I offered to handle the installation myself. They never replied to my e-mail. So I respoked with DT Swiss butted spokes, rear wheel only. I have not broken a rear wheel spoke since. At about 15000 miles I broke a front wheel spoke. I decided not to respoke the front wheel. I have a lot of spares left over from respoking the rear wheel and front spokes are easy to install even on the road. I carry a few tools when I ride including spoke wrenches. Unfortunately, the DT Swiss spokes on the rear require a different size wrench than the no-name spokes on front so I have to carry two wrenches.

    Second problem: When I first got the bike I contacted both Bikes Direct and Windsor by e-mail to ask if I could buy touch-up paint. I did not receive a reply. Early on, the decals on the top tube started to rub off. I probably should have done something right away but I did not. Over time, the decals and the paint on the top tube softened and pealed off over a considerable area. At about 12000 miles I took all the components off the bike and had the top tube professionally repainted for about $100. I then sprayed the entire frame and fork with clear coat I purchased in spray cans from an auto parts store. So far the paint job looks great after about 4 months but check back in a couple of years. I think what got to the top tube was a combination of sweat and sports drink that attacked the paint so I am trying to remember to clean the bike after most rides.

    There has been plenty of other maintenance but I would consider it more or less routine. The original Kendra tires wore very well. I am on my second front tire and I have just put my third tire on the rear. So that is an average of over 5000 miles for rear tires and over 8000 and still going on the front. I clean the chain every 500 to 1500 miles depending on how much wet weather I have ridden in. I am on my 4th chain and second cassette. The hub bearings have been overhauled (cleaned and regreased) a couple of times and two of the cones have been replaced. I am not sure they actually required replacing but there were some rough spots under magnification. I just replaced the bottom bracket after over 16000 miles. It was a real dog to get off. I am talking big heavy duty wrench and a sledge hammer. I wonder if they greased the threads when the bike was originally assembled? (The bottom bracket was the only component I did not remove when the top tube was painted and it was already installed in the frame when the bike arrived from Bikes Direct. So this was the first time there was any attempt to remove it). I had to replace the rear deraileaur and I upgraded it a bit at the time but the reason it had to be replaced had nothing to do with the original quality of the deraileaur supplied, I managed to damage it. I am on the second set of peddles. I rode the original peddles with the clips. I am not a fan of clipless.

    Bottom line, I think the bike has proven itself. There were a couple of problems and don't count on any help from the supplier but for the price I think I am getting my money's worth up to now. It might be argued that, for a bit more money, I could have bought the Fuji. The problems might have been avoided and the cost of painting and respoking might have been avoided. But who knows for sure. There might have been these or some other problems with the Fuji. In my opinion, if you can assemble the bike and you do most of your own maintenance, consider the Windsor at lower first cost. If you don't want to do the assembly and you want maintenance back-up from your LBS, consider spending a little more on the Fuji and buying it at your LBS.

  19. #19
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    I'm also interested on a touring bike. So here's my question...
    will this one http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../gal07_big.jpg be a good choice for starters?

  20. #20
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    Wow Hiro and Woof5. Did you join BF.net just to post this.

    Well yes, it looks like you did.

    -D

  21. #21
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    So what if they did? Those are the two most informative and *balanced* posts I've seen yet about bikesdirect. (Thanks guys!)

    They didn't post glowing marketing propaganda, as is typical of the BD style. No reason to suspect these folks had ulterior motives.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by hackybiker
    So what if they did? Those are the two most informative and *balanced* posts I've seen yet about bikesdirect. (Thanks guys!)

    They didn't post glowing marketing propaganda, as is typical of the BD style. No reason to suspect these folks had ulterior motives.
    You don't follow the road forums much. These kinds of posts have gotten much more sophisticated.

    Maybe they are legit, maybe not. But they sound alot like posts I have read in the last few months by other posters who magically show up and post the same day, and then disappear.

    That being said, BD bikes can be a good value as long as you can do your own wrenching and understand you are largely on your own.

    -D

  23. #23
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hackybiker
    So what if they did? Those are the two most informative and *balanced* posts I've seen yet about bikesdirect. (Thanks guys!)

    They didn't post glowing marketing propaganda, as is typical of the BD style. No reason to suspect these folks had ulterior motives.
    Well ... let's see if they continue to visit the forum. So far both only have a single post.

  24. #24
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand
    Well ... let's see if they continue to visit the forum. So far both only have a single post.
    Maybe they opened a new ID so they wouldn't get flack on their "real" ID. I wouldn't blame them. On some forums if you say anything that isn't completely scathing about BD they call you a shill.

  25. #25
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    I've worked on several bikes sold by "Bikes Direct". They are no different than the bikes sold at your local bike shop.

    The BD bikes are not shipped ready to ride and take a few hours of fine tuning to get road ready. I would suggest taking off the crank, greasing the threads in the BB, checking the grease in the hubs & headset, stressing and truing the wheels, cutting down long cable housing-- general assembly stuff at goes on in every good bike shop.

    If you feel you're up to this stuff, A BD might be for you. You can save $200-300 easy enough.

    If you're not a good bike wrench, or don't have a buddy who is willing to spend a Saturday helping you put your BD ride together for you, I wouldn't buy one.

    In reality, Bikes Direct and your local bike shop sell simular bikes....for the same price! Factor in the shop assembly, first free tune up cost, and some other free thing a shop ends up tossing in -- and there is little difference in price.

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