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bikes direct loop frame

Old 09-07-11, 10:09 AM
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cateyes
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bikes direct loop frame

hi there! first post on bike forums...i apologize if this is a duplicate or in the wrong place...i promised i searched first!

anyway, i just ordered a bike from bikes direct after trawling through page after page of search results to see whether it was a good risk. it's at the LBS getting tuned up now, but i think it was an ok move!

anyway, it seems like bikes direct bikes are usually the exact same frame sold by a name brand, but with slightly different components and different paint jobs/branding. their new "mercier" elle city bike looks/seems equivalent to a linus dutchi, but the frame isn't exactly the same, so i was wondering what name brand that outsourced to taiwan was having knockoffs sold by bikes direct.

i think i figured it out! papillionaire in australia looks like their loop frames used to be lugged, but the online shop picture shows a welded frame...the wheels/components are the same, so i think i found it!

what do you think?

bikes direct bike:


papillionaire bike:


(i confess, i am being thrown off by the difference in saddle/seat post height and different handlebars...it affects the overall look of the bike, but the frames seem to be the same.)

anyone know of any other chromoly welded loop frames that could be the mother of the bikes direct bike?
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Old 09-07-11, 10:14 AM
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I don't believe they are the exact same frames, made in the same factories, as other brands. I'm under the impression they're very similar frames, but made independently. That's my understanding, anyway, but it's not based on any specifically verifiable information.
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Old 09-07-11, 10:22 AM
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Those frames look to be the same to me. A lot of brands are made by the same factories in Taiwan ... the components are much better on the red bike. Better crank & wheels for sure. Buying the same 'looking' bike from your LBS would have cost a little more ... but you would have gotten better components, service, and likely no murmuring when you drop off an internet deal bike for a tune-up. My LBS has to tune these all the time.

Must say, it's a good looking bike. Great color. Wish it had no branding on it. Enjoy.
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Old 09-07-11, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
I don't believe they are the exact same frames
I think they're the same because the tubes are the same ... and the rear fenders are both poorly aligned to the wheels in the same way.Plus, the chain-guards are identical.
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Old 09-07-11, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by oggypop View Post
I think they're the same because the tubes are the same ... and the rear fenders are both poorly aligned to the wheels in the same way.Plus, the chain-guards are identical.
In this case you might be right. But I don't think it's the case with all of their bikes.
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Old 09-07-11, 10:55 AM
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well, i already have a leather saddle, and i bought some specialized cream tyres for $14/ea...those were the main component differences. the brakes/shifters appear to be the same, and i figured into the cost having my LBS guys do a tune-up...
i think even with those additions, i'm still coming out ahead of a linus by a bit. especially when you consider
1) i didn't pay shipping
2) my LBS guys don't SELL any elegant loop frame city bikes in the style i really wanted.
i considered linus and biria (both of which also come with non-leather saddles...and the papillionaire above upcharges for them and the lovely leather grips pictured) but with shipping or tax paid to the closest bike shop that stocks them (1+ hrs away), i am still doing better to get this one...believe me, i did my research! the tubing/shifter/brakes are all the same from bike to bike!
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Old 09-07-11, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by oggypop View Post
Wish it had no branding on it.
Nothing much to add except that with a large number of the bikesdirect bikes, decals go on top of the clearcoat, so the decals are easily removeable with a heat gun or blowdryer and a razor blade. Or there are other methods involving solvents, but this method has worked for others.

Nice looking bike. Not quite C&V (except in aesthetics) but it should make a nice rider with some new tires on it.
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Old 09-07-11, 11:07 AM
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Nice looking bike. I wish one of their ladies models of city bike would be of a decent size. I'd love to get my 6' wife on one of them (their windsor oxford deluxe mixte looks especially nice), but they're all for small people.
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Old 09-07-11, 11:21 AM
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i'll post pictures after i pick it up this afternoon!
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Old 09-07-11, 11:26 AM
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Does the OP work for Bikes direct? They (bikes direct)have a history of posting threads about their bikes on this sight "disguised" as new forum members......
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Old 09-07-11, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
Does the OP work for Bikes direct? They (bikes direct)have a history of posting threads about their bikes on this sight "disguised" as new forum members......
I have heard that. Of course, the time I heard it, I was being accused of being a bikes direct employee. So, I dunno if it's BS or not.
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Old 09-07-11, 11:37 AM
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A couple of things. First, you made a good move by taking the BD bike to a shop and having it tuned. I recently bought one of their bikes, and it had no grease in the headset bearings, front and rear hub, or bottom bracket threads (sealed unit). You could have ridden the bike as it was out of the box (with some problems-- the headset was way over tight) but it would have been disaster down the road.

Second, BD shaves price points off with some very cheap components. To be fair, this is also a problem with a lot of LBS bikes (as is poor assembly, in particular of the lower end models). This means many of the parts will be replaced, in some cases rather quickly if you actually ride the bike.

BD tends to make cheaper versions of bikes they know will be popular. They're a fairly market savvy batch, although I think they may have jumped the gun a bit on the model I bought. Here, for instance is mine as purchased:



as it is now:



I don't doubt they hack other companies designs to some extent-- almost no bike companies are really innovators-- and it wouldn't surprise me at all if the bikes are sourced from some of the same factories. We live in a world where branding is very very important, which is at least part of the reason BD bought up old respected names like Mercier. Linus? I dunno, you'd have to ask. But I'm sure BD noted a market for Dutch style city bikes growing in the US, and moved to take advantage.

The build quality is nothing special, but it isn't on most LBS bikes I see, either. We're not talking Waterford here or anything...
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Old 09-07-11, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
Does the OP work for Bikes direct? They (bikes direct)have a history of posting threads about their bikes on this sight "disguised" as new forum members......
I think BD is pretty direct (hahaha) most of the time. They certainly use these boards for market research, in particular the fashionista-- oops I mean SSFG-- board. There's a good thread on the little Nanos over on folding bikes, for instance, I don't think BD has a thing to do with that one.
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Old 09-07-11, 11:48 AM
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Whatever happened to that blog post about the cracked Motobecane Fly something or other mountain bike?

It was the top result for BD on Google for a while, and it was always fun to read the latest BD "customers" insult that guy in the comments.

Can't find any sign of it now.
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Old 09-07-11, 12:01 PM
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nope, not remotely a BD shill. :-D

just a girl who is kind of obsessed with pretty european style bicycles...with a not-healthy-enough bank account to afford one from europe.

linus and public were both options, but i REALLY wanted a red bicycle. BD had one. sold! (it also helps that they accept paypal, and i had enough in my paypal balance that it was like it was free! :-D)
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Old 09-07-11, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cateyes View Post
and i bought some specialized cream tyres for $14/ea...
Can I ask from where Cat?

Welcome to BF C&V.
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Old 09-07-11, 12:14 PM
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from specialized's site! https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...jsp?spid=62715
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Old 09-07-11, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cateyes View Post
it also helps that they accept paypal, and i had enough in my paypal balance that it was like it was free! :-D)
that's what I tell myself too when I buy something I don't need with my paypal balance (not that this is the case for you).
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Old 09-07-11, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
In this case you might be right. But I don't think it's the case with all of their bikes.
+1 But it doesn't necessarily mean Papillionaire made it; it may mean only that they both used the same (Taiwanese?) supplier. I think they cruise the catalogs like you, and buy direct (ha!) whatever latest-fad-bike catches their fancy. Different paint, and for some perhaps even cheaper components, and voila! a BD special.
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Old 09-07-11, 01:57 PM
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oh sorry, yes. that is what i meant...i figured most bikes are made in taiwan, so it was like a game to figure out which name brand company uses the same taiwanese supplier as BD for this frame.

also, here is updated bike...switched out pedals (the ones it came with don't fit the aesthetics at ALL!) and saddle with ones i had for my vintage peugot mixte. (there! i have a bike that DOES belong in C&V)



i think it is just so, so lovely, and it rides superbly! took the hills better than the 10spd mixte! (at least the short little one on my VERY short ride home from LBS)
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Old 09-07-11, 02:01 PM
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looks fantastic, i'd be happy to pedal that around town.
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Old 09-07-11, 02:05 PM
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It's a cool bike. BD is famous for bad pedals, I think they just assume you're going to switch them out anyway. My commuter is also from BD, a Mercier Kilo OS, though I've modified it a lot.
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Old 09-07-11, 03:48 PM
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Where is the front fender?
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Old 09-07-11, 04:07 PM
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Looks great. I miss the fender too.
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Old 09-07-11, 04:12 PM
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+1 call the bike shop and ask for your front fender.
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