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bikes direct

Old 08-19-10, 05:11 AM
  #1  
gageplate
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bikes direct

Wondering if anybody has bought a bike through bikes direct. If so, would you mind sharing any of the good or bad experiences you have had. Would also like to hear from people that have had friends buy through them. thinking of buying a bike through them for my son but am not to sure about it. Worried about true sizing and feel. Do they have a return policy? if so, has anybody had to deal with that. Thanks all for the help
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Old 08-19-10, 05:21 AM
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Ive bought two bikes through them.
Both everything they said they were going to be.
They are just rebadged Fuji, KHS and other generic Asian gear.
Built right alongside 'good' brands, decals are all that make them diiferent.
The first one that came, the handlebar was strapped to the top tube and
I suppose in shipping it got bumped hard because the TT had a ding in it.
I didnt really care so I didnt call CS about it. The second one was fine, no
problems.
I ordered because where I lived at the time the LBS was about 50 miles away.
I still would order from them again if it was necessary.
IF you have even moderate wrench skills, you wont have any problem putting them
together, its just put on the bars, front wheel and pedals pretty much.....
Oil and stuff like that goes without saying. Ride about a week and retrue the
wheels and all will be well
On my Merciers, the tires and tubes were junk kenda stuff....Glorified rim strips.
That was what I might opine was the worst corner cutting measure.
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Old 08-19-10, 05:36 AM
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Do a search, and you will find many threads on the subject. You will also learn it's a bit of a hot issue here.

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Old 08-19-10, 06:24 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by -=(8)=- View Post
IF you have even moderate wrench skills, you wont have any problem putting them
together, its just put on the bars, front wheel and pedals pretty much.....
Oil and stuff like that goes without saying. Ride about a week and retrue the
wheels and all will be well
Wheel truing is something you can do with moderate wrench skills? I was under the impression that it was something better left to the pros. Can you true as well using just the frame and not having having a wheel truing stand?
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Old 08-19-10, 06:34 AM
  #5  
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I bought the Windsor Tourist touring bike in April. I changed out the cheapo pedals for a better item and saddle for a B-17 and added some planet bike fenders and also changed the brake pads to Kool stops. The preload on the headset and the front wheel bearings was too tight so I backed them off a bit. I added some panniers and lights and its turned out to be my favorite bike. I'm using as a commuter now but were I to tour with it I would change out the gearing for something more suitable for some of the hard climbing, its fine for what I've done so far. Its got Tiagra derailleur up front and the rear is a Shimano Deore. Both work great. I had the wheelset trued (yes they were out) and took off the cheapo tires for some Panaracer Pasel TG's I already had. The guys at the LBS that gave my assembly the once over did a few minor tweaks as they were trueing the wheels and the tech that took it out for a ride afterwards told me he thought it rode like a charm so I am happy with mine. Be aware that some of the items installed are not the finest quality but I got mine the way I wanted it for cheap. At 599.00 and free shipping and no tax you can put a bit into it and have a very serviceable ride. Its not gonna turn any heads but I deliberately made it as un glitzy as I could. I know there are some horror stories about BD but do your homework and know your fit and you should be fine
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Old 08-19-10, 06:41 AM
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My commuter is a Motobecane Fantom CX. Added a rack, some pedals, fenders and a Brooks saddle. It's a great bike for the money. Had it completed and checked out at my LBS. He is amazed at how much I paid for it and how well it's held up. Only issue I had when I received it was the left STI shifter was broken. I called them and they shipped me a new one next day. Of course, when the weather is nice, I'd rather ride my Surly.
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Old 08-19-10, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by asforme View Post
Wheel truing is something you can do with moderate wrench skills? I was under the impression that it was something better left to the pros. Can you true as well using just the frame and not having having a wheel truing stand?
Truing isnt that hard once you can remember which way to turn the spokes. Really.
My comupance into wheel truing were on old Peugeot Helicomatics that always broke spokes on the tight side of the cluster.
I wouldnt recommend learning this way however, for the sake of your sanity
But, I always true on the bike. I set the brakes up properly with about 3mm of clearance and adjust the wheel evenly
in the stays/rear triangle. Then spin it a few time and just watch how it 'undulates'( ??) Ifeel this is better than a stand
because the wheel is actually in the place it should be but I know a more knowledgeable person will disagree.
Just feel the spokes, you can tell which ones are egregiously loose right from the beginning. Tighten them up a little and
go from there. Just remember tightening sucks the rim in. You usually need to loosen the opposite side commensurately
as much as you are tightening the 'wobble' side inward. Just a turn or two at a time or you might run into an out-of-round
(meaning = ovaling ?) situation that is most undesirable.
Clamping a grease pencil or piece of chalk to the bike so it hits the rim on the out-of-true spots helps to mark which
section of the rim the pull in.
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Old 08-19-10, 07:30 AM
  #8  
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A friend bought a Windsor road bike from there and we put it together in my garage. I felt it was a very well made bike with nice components. Bikes Direct gets a lot of flack from some of the bike snobby types but if you don't mind attaching handlebars, seatpost and a front brake caliper they can really be a great deal IMO.
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Old 08-19-10, 07:37 AM
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My experience with them was pretty good. Bought a bike from them about a month ago and they sent me the wrong color the first time, so I emailed them and they sent me a return label the next day. After dropping off the return at UPS that day, they sent the replacement the following day. Pretty quick shipping and good customer service.
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Old 08-19-10, 07:55 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by RLRider View Post
Bikes Direct gets a lot of flack from some of the bike snobby types but if you don't mind attaching handlebars, seatpost and a front brake caliper they can really be a great deal IMO.
Not all dissatisfied BD customer are "bike snobby types", and from my two experiences, there's more to getting a bike ready to ride than just attaching a few items, especially if it's used for daily transportation.

BD bikes may be a great deal financially for many here on BF, but the two BD bikes that I purchased, have been a definite eye opener on the pitfalls of making online bicycle purchases.
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Old 08-19-10, 08:02 AM
  #11  
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They ship quickly, and have decent bikes for cheap. They run a number of websites for in-house brands Windsor, Mercier, Motobecane, etc. It is misleading because all of those websites are run by the same company. There is no Windsor, Motobecane, or Mercier bicycle companies, they are all bikesdirect.com brands, and the separate web sites are all the same company.

The bikes are in some cases identical specs to name brand bikes. I guess some factory in Tiawan or China is making a few extra Fuji's and selling them off to bikesdirect with a different paint job.

The biggest complaints against them was service after the sale. Unanswered emails, no phone number to call, etc. They seem to be doing better now. They used to have a bad record with the better business bureau, but now they have an A+ rating:

https://www.bbb.org/dallas/business-r...as-tx-90124596

The owner of bikesdirect used to post here a lot. Years ago he said he ignored complaints filed at the better business bureau:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=1#post7085288

I guess he changed his mind. It looks like they are responsive to complaints now.

By the way, I own a 2008 Windsor Tourist, and I have been happy with it. However, I have upgraded a ton of stuff on it. Currently, the only things original are the frame, seat post, and seat clamp. I had the original wheels and most other stuff for about 6000 miles before recently upgrading.
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Old 08-19-10, 08:12 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by BigDaddyPete View Post
My commuter is a Motobecane Fantom CX. Added a rack, some pedals, fenders and a Brooks saddle. It's a great bike for the money. Had it completed and checked out at my LBS.
Me too.

mbv2..jpg
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Old 08-19-10, 08:18 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by m_yates View Post
The biggest complaints against them was service after the sale. Unanswered emails, no phone number to call, etc. They seem to be doing better now. They used to have a bad record with the better business bureau, but now they have an A+ rating:
A+ ratings or not, one doesn't know what to expect from an online bike until it's bought and assembled, something I've come to realize from my two online bicycle purchases.
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Old 08-19-10, 08:18 AM
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I don't like the fact that they bought the rights to use the Motobecane and Windsor names among others. These were respected brands and BD used the names to give themselves credibility even though the bikes they were/are producing have no connection with the old companies. I just find it deceptive and if they're going to be deceptive in that manner, where else are they going to try to deceive the consumers?
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Old 08-19-10, 09:12 AM
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i bought a Motobecane LeChampion SL Ti road bike from BD.com back in may. i've been using it pretty much everyday since then as my fair weather commuter. i've got over 1,500 miles on it now and it's been an absolutely perfect bike right of the box. what's most ridiculously shocking to me is that i haven't even needed to make a single derailleur adjustment in those 1,500+ miles. i've never owned an ultegra drive-train before, so maybe that's it, but i've never heard of a derailleur bike not needing some amount of adjustment after it's been ridden a while and the cables have stretched out. weird.

the biggest pitfall i can see with going the BD.com route is sizing. fortunately for me, i have an uncle who is in a riding club, and i went out with them one day and rode all of their bikes and took careful measurements and notes and then compared those with the geometry charts on the BD.com website for the bike i wanted, and sure enough, the dimensions on the 53cm version of the Ti LeChampion were just right for me. and after 3 months of riding the bike, i can confirm that the sizing worked out perfectly for me, but not everyone is so lucky.

overall, i'm completely and totally pleased with my BD.com purchase. i now have a full ultegra titanium rocket commuter that only set me back 2,000 bones. how freaking cool is that?

my uncle (the same one in the riding club) has also purchased several bikes through BD.com for his wife and children and has been very satisfied with the results as well. he was in fact the one who turned me on to BD.com in the first place. i in turn also tuned my other cousin into BD.com and she purchased a bike through them last month and has been very satisfied thus far. so no BD.com horror stories from where i'm at.



i love my BD.com bike:


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Old 08-19-10, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I don't like the fact that they bought the rights to use the Motobecane and Windsor names among others. These were respected brands and BD used the names to give themselves credibility even though the bikes they were/are producing have no connection with the old companies. I just find it deceptive and if they're going to be deceptive in that manner, where else are they going to try to deceive the consumers?
I believe these companies have been out of business for quite some time now so BD has purchased the rights to use the name(s), or possibly purchased the name instead of just the right.
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Old 08-19-10, 09:14 AM
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I bought a Motobecane messenger as a cheap bike to use. Came in great condition, it took a little bit of time to put together as I had no prior experience with bike mechanics, but in the end it came together nicely. I did have to pay for a professional true however, and a whole new set of tools just so I could learn how to do things myself.
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Old 08-19-10, 09:35 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I don't like the fact that they bought the rights to use the Motobecane and Windsor names among others. These were respected brands and BD used the names to give themselves credibility even though the bikes they were/are producing have no connection with the old companies. I just find it deceptive and if they're going to be deceptive in that manner, where else are they going to try to deceive the consumers?
SAAB and Volvo are Chebbies and Porsche is in large part, Toyota.
It sux, yes...But this is the nu wurld order.
The names change but its all the same under the paint
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Old 08-19-10, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by phamby View Post
I believe these companies have been out of business for quite some time now so BD has purchased the rights to use the name(s), or possibly purchased the name instead of just the right.
I'm not questioning the legality, just the ethics. It's a clear attempt to deceive the buyer into thinking they're getting something they're not. Now, lots of buyers know better and don't care. My worry is that if BD has no moral problem with that level of deception, they probably have no problem with similar types of deception.
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Old 08-19-10, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by -=(8)=- View Post
SAAB and Volvo are Chebbies and Porsche is in large part, Toyota.
It sux, yes...But this is the nu wurld order.
The names change but its all the same under the paint
Not quite the same. GM owned SAAB and Volvo and certainly influenced the direction of those car makers for better or worse, but they were distinct car makers that retained their heritage, designs, and a good portion of their facilities and staff. SAAB has since been bought by Spyker.
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Old 08-19-10, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I'm not questioning the legality, just the ethics. It's a clear attempt to deceive the buyer into thinking they're getting something they're not. Now, lots of buyers know better and don't care. My worry is that if BD has no moral problem with that level of deception, they probably have no problem with similar types of deception.
The same can be said of Schwinn, Diamondback (which used to be Diamond Back) and a number of other brands sold through real LBSs.
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Old 08-19-10, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Not quite the same. GM owned SAAB and Volvo and certainly influenced the direction of those car makers for better or worse, but they were distinct car makers that retained their heritage, designs, and a good portion of their facilities and staff. SAAB has since been bought by Spyker.
I just see things differently than a lot of 'serious' cyclists.
I have 10's of thousands of miles in four states and the more I pile on
the more I lament how unecessarilly complicated I made it on myself and
possibly other people through that time when in reality its beyond simple.
I feel (please dont take this offensively, cuz its not meant to be) that we
over-complicate stuff to others when we are trying to sell biking as an
alternative to the painful status quo. When 'serious' guys say you
"NEED' certain stuff, at this point I usually feel that that stuff is not
entirely necessary, but thats for a differnt thread. Relating to this one,
we should not discourage someone by petty semantics. The BD bikes
are as useable and quality per dollar spent as any in an LBS. I dont
think we shoulb be discouraging people by opining what is good or
bad at this level. If it was a WAL*MART bike, I would say "Yes" give
an opinion because they are too disposable to rely on for serious
road work. But a BD bike is a very useable item in any circumstance.
Mine went through the salt slush and mud season of Vermont with
only a few flats. Between the bombed out roads and the miles needed to
get ANYWHERE in VT, I think thats a pretty good test as to a bikes
worthiness. I say, tell people all is good , just do it !
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Old 08-19-10, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
The same can be said of Schwinn, Diamondback (which used to be Diamond Back) and a number of other brands sold through real LBSs.
This sort of illustrates my point. Whatever its faults, Schwinn used to stand for quality. People still remember that and I bet when they see the Schwinn name at a Target, it gives them some warm and fuzzies about buying the product. The problem is that the name is used to pedal some of the lowest quality bikes and accessories you can buy.

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Old 08-19-10, 10:08 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
It's a clear attempt to deceive the buyer into thinking they're getting something they're not.
perhaps it is an attempt to deceive on their part, but for me, and i suspect for the VAST majority of americans, names like "motobecane", "mercier", and "windsor" are pretty meaningless to begin with. before i bought my BD.com bike, i wouldn't have been able to tell you what the name "motobecane" meant, and the name had no influence one way or the other on my decision. my decision process was more along the lines of - titanium? ........ ultegra? ......... 2,000 bucks? ........ HOLY CRAP, I'M IN!
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Old 08-19-10, 10:22 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
perhaps it is an attempt to deceive on their part, but for me, and i suspect for the VAST majority of americans, names like "motobecane", "mercier", and "windsor" are pretty meaningless to begin with. before i bought my BD.com bike, i wouldn't have been able to tell you what the name "motobecane" meant, and the name had no influence one way or the other on my decision. my decision process was more along the lines of - titanium? ........ ultegra? ......... 2,000 bucks? ........ HOLY CRAP, I'M IN!
Then why not simply create and build their own brand? It's not so much that I care about the name. I do care that it's kind of shady and it provides some insight into the values of the management.
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