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Old 03-19-13, 11:35 PM
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Bikesdirect

I really couldn't decide on the title of this thread so I am sorry if you think I should be more specific or whatever.

I have $400 of either saving money or bike spending money (I am still deciding on what to do with it). I have no bike shop available to me so I am stuck buying online. I have looked on Bikesdirect.com and I like some of the bikes they offer and the prices. However, I have no experience with this site and I know very little about Bikes to tell if I am making a good purchase. What would you guys suggest?

Just so you know, I currently have a decent fixie but sometimes I just like to relax a bit and not pedal so hard.
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Old 03-19-13, 11:55 PM
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From what I have seen on here, many will direct you to a LBS, I checked out a few, but ultimately decided to purchase from BD. <ducks for cover>

I purchased a Motobecane Elite Adventure. It took me about 4 hours to get the bike set up, and so far am very pleased with my purchase. It may take some less time depending on how much experience they have setting up a bike. But for me it was also a learning curve. I went around to a couple of local bike shops, and the starting range for most bikes was the $600+, which was more than I wanted to spend. I got my bike from BD, and the next day the price went up to just over what my budget for a bike was. So for me it was online or CL. I ordered on a Sunday, had my bike on Thursday. All in all a pretty simple process and can't complain.
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Old 03-20-13, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by orange57
From what I have seen on here, many will direct you to a LBS, I checked out a few, but ultimately decided to purchase from BD. <ducks for cover>

I purchased a Motobecane Elite Adventure. It took me about 4 hours to get the bike set up, and so far am very pleased with my purchase. It may take some less time depending on how much experience they have setting up a bike. But for me it was also a learning curve. I went around to a couple of local bike shops, and the starting range for most bikes was the $600+, which was more than I wanted to spend. I got my bike from BD, and the next day the price went up to just over what my budget for a bike was. So for me it was online or CL. I ordered on a Sunday, had my bike on Thursday. All in all a pretty simple process and can't complain.

Thanks for this!! My biggest issue is will the bike be reliable. It's bad enough that I once threw down $20 for a bike and it now has way too many issues. I would hate to throw down $300-$400 and get something unreliable. My fixed gear bike now has done me great. The only 'issues' are the brakes which is my own fault for messing with them. Had I of left them alone, there would be nothing wrong with my bike lol
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Old 03-20-13, 12:58 AM
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I like the idea of BD if you're strapped for cash. I also think you're forced to learn to "tune" a new bike, which is easier than tuning a used bike because everything is new (i.e. no rusted or frozen screws). These skills will be valuable. Some good values can be, in theory, had because it "cuts out the middle man." I don't like BD because it cuts out the middle man and takes money out of the local economy. It functions essentially as the Wal-Mart of bikes. However, I do realize that being fiscally responsible is a luxury position to be in, just like buying fresh bread/meat from a local baker/butcher, which is much more expensive than a supermarket.

I usually try to buy everything hand-made in the EU, but sometimes it's not fiscally possible and when that's not the case, I at least try to buy from a local retailer as it keeps the local economy diverse and thriving. Bookstores are a great example, as I try to buy used from a local second-hand shop because even though Amazon is cheaper, I'd rather hit the local second-hand shop (i.e. not a chain store) on a sunny weekend. When I stop buying from the more expensive local place, it will cease to exist as will their local role in the community (Amazon can't read out loud to a bunch of kids on the weekend in multiple languages, for example.)

The real question is what's your financial position?
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Old 03-20-13, 01:21 AM
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I bought a single speed Motobecane from BD, and a buddy bought a Windsor Tourist.

The pedals they came with were horrible, cheap and crappy. The handlebars were uncomfortable and skinnier than "normal."
You have to know how to assemble a bike, adjust the brakes, derailleurs, etc.
Overall we are both very pleased with our purchase.
Its a good value for your money if you know what you are doing... I can see it being a huge PITA if you don't.
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Old 03-20-13, 01:22 AM
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I currently have a decent fixie but sometimes I just like to relax a bit and not pedal so hard.
You can always just put a freewheel IGH wheel in the fixie and add brakes.. 3 speed hubs can fit.

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-20-13 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 03-20-13, 03:29 AM
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People love them or hate them. They are just rebranded Fujis and KHS type stuff for the most part. Same as whats on a bike shop floor except they cut corners on tires and stuff like that. Ive bought one and the few other people I know who have, have no issues at all. The only complaint I had on mine is that it was packed poorly and the frame came dinged. I would not consider using one as a commuter bike until I changed out the tires at minimum, so you are looking at another 50-100 to any money you spend on the bike. Thats just me, though . . .
I like the opinion above(#6), if its a nice bike you are comfortable on, slap on a freewheel or buy a 3sp / coaster back wheel. They can be had for 150 or so.
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Old 03-20-13, 05:54 AM
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Great deals on decent bikes, every day.
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Old 03-20-13, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
You can always just put a freewheel IGH wheel in the fixie and add brakes.. 3 speed hubs can fit.
Agreed. If you want to be able to spin freely just get a flip-flop wheel or get a IGH wheel as FB mentioned and get some new brakes if you ruined them.

If you want a second bike that is different, and BD is a good way to go as you still have bike n and will be working on n+1.
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Old 03-20-13, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by -=(8)=-
Same as whats on a bike shop floor except they cut corners on tires and stuff like that.
All brands cut corners on their lower end models. BD is no exception.
BD bike are no different than LBS bikes. They just cost less because they eliminate the LBS markup.
BD bikes are a great deal if you or someone you know is sufficiently knowledgable about fit, geometry, and quality of the componentry to choose the right bike. If you aren't sure about any of these things, its a good bet you will end up spending more in the long run than you would if you spent more initially for an LBS bike.
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Old 03-20-13, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mihlbach
All brands cut corners on their lower end models. BD is no exception.
BD bike are no different than LBS bikes. They just cost less because they eliminate the LBS markup.
BD bikes are a great deal if you or someone you know is sufficiently knowledgable about fit, geometry, and quality of the componentry to choose the right bike. If you aren't sure about any of these things, its a good bet you will end up spending more in the long run than you would if you spent more initially for an LBS bike.
quoted for truth!

IF you know what you're doing, you can get some absolutely smoking deals through BD, but if you're a newbie to the world of cycling, getting properly sorted out by an LBS will most likely serve you better.


and as for BD corner cutting, i've heard that many times before on this forum. it's absolutely no different than any other bicycle retailer. you get what you pay for. i have a titanium Motobecane le Champion SL road bike that i purchased from BD 3 years ago. it came with full ultegra drivetrain, brakes & brifters, mavic ksyrium equippe wheelset, vittoria rubino pro III tires, and ritchey WCS bars, stem, post, & saddle all on a beautiful titanium frame for $2,000! none of that is top-end race stuff, but it's all very good upper-end componentry throughout (and at an absolutely RIDICULOUS price). where exactly is the corner cutting there?

Last edited by Steely Dan; 03-20-13 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 03-20-13, 08:25 AM
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I have a BD bike. I had to swap the world's worst seat out, and did some stuff I'd have done with any bike. But overall, a win.
I also used to have a full ultegra road bike (aluminum with carbon forks) that came with great wheels -- American Classic 420's. It was a great deal.

I give 'em a thumbs up, as long as you are willing to swap out stuff you don't like.
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Old 03-20-13, 08:27 AM
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I have a Motobecane 400HT as my commuter. It ran me $300. Before that I was rolling on my $5000 handbuilt rando bike. At the end of the day, the motobecane is great. I added about $200 or so in upgrades (rack, fenders, tires, dyanmo hub, new front rim etc) and had exactly what I needed. As others said, if you can set up bikes it is a great deal, or if you have someone to help you. I'd be more than happy to help a neighbor setup a BD bike 1) b/c I like working on bikes and talking bikes 2) I hate my LBS so much.
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Old 03-20-13, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mihlbach
All brands cut corners on their lower end models. BD is no exception.
BD bike are no different than LBS bikes. They just cost less because they eliminate the LBS markup.
BD bikes are a great deal if you or someone you know is sufficiently knowledgable about fit, geometry, and quality of the componentry to choose the right bike. If you aren't sure about any of these things, its a good bet you will end up spending more in the long run than you would if you spent more initially for an LBS bike.
+1. Choosing the bike and the correct SIZE is the trick, you don't get a do-over. I've ordered two bikes from BD, for others, probably needed about 20 minutes to assemble them. But like many other people I disassembled, regreased and re-assembled the bike just to be sure it was done right. Frankly, I might have done the same thing if I purchased them from a LBS...


The advantage of an LBS is you are (slightly) more likely to get a bike that fits if you're a noob.
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Old 03-20-13, 09:16 AM
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BD has decent bikes at prices you will not get at an LBS. I go through a favorite LBS. My choice.
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Old 03-20-13, 09:16 AM
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You will get a better bike for the same amount of money at BD than ad your LBS, no doubt. The service you're paying for at the LBS is something that is easily acquired knowledge and does not take a college degree. Fitting is not rocket science either if you're an average individual which most of us are. If you get your measurements down at https://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...decorator=true you should have no problem getting a properly fitting bike from Bikesdirect.
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Old 03-20-13, 09:16 AM
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My two current bikes came from BD. Road bike is a Motobecane Le Champion CF and I am very happy with it. Since I bought it in November 2010 I rode 12500 miles on it. The only things I added were a Koobi saddle and Ultegra pedals. Last year I had to replace the STI brake levers because my sweat corroded them so much they wouldn't shift. My mountain bike is a Motobecane 70HT. I don't ride it as much (only 1500 miles). I had a problem with the seat clamp not closing all of the way. It took me a year to figure out what the problem was but when I contacted BD they sent me a replacement seat post. Since then I replaced the handlebar and stem because I wanted a better setup for my Garmin Edge to clamp on.

I am more than happy with both bikes. Prior to these two I also bought a Mercier road bike from them. The assembly is not real difficult.

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Old 03-20-13, 09:50 AM
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Thank you everyone for your advice! I'm glad to discover that Bikesdirect is reliable. I do understand I will have to do a little work making sure the bike is ready to ride and I figured that. Again, thank you everyone for your advice, I'll let you guys know what bike I choose if I do end up buying.
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Old 03-20-13, 10:06 AM
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IMO, BD bikes start to have a good Price/performance ratio after the $800 mark. Their 1k-2k bikes are awesome. The cheap bikes is still cheaper than comparable name brand bikes, but you don't save that much. meh.

Their customer service is just fine in my experience.
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Old 03-20-13, 10:13 AM
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I bought a Windsor Tourist last year from BD. As stdlrf11 said, the pedals weren't much but I had some Crank Bros pedals to put on it anyway. There was some assembly involved, but it wasn't too bad. However I've done my own bike maintenance for decades so YMMV.

The Tourist is about 10 lbs heavier than my nice carbon fiber Giant. It's not nearly the same quality. However I'll be using it again this year on a 5-day, 250 mile tour on a crushed limestone bike path as its fat tires are the right tool for the job. I also use it for night riding and times when there's ice and snow on the ground.

Overall a great value so far.
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Old 03-20-13, 10:38 AM
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I spend enough money at my LBS that having a good relationship with them is important to me. They look out for me in ways that save me money. Maybe I would be ahead on a dollar basis if I went my own way, but it's not worth it to me.
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Old 03-20-13, 10:44 AM
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I'm happy with my Bikes Direct bike, and it saved me $300 over the closest LBS alternative. Most of the assembly was pretty straightforward, but I have been doing my own bike maintenance for a while. Getting the wheels properly tensioned and trued was the hardest part. You might want to think about what tools you may need to assemble the bike, and how much that could add to the total cost. It's mostly things like allen wrenches and screwdrivers for basic assembly, but some use torque wrenches, and tools like cone wrenches, a spline tool for the cassette, etc. are needed if you want to see if hubs are properaly greased. You'll need a spoke wrench for tensioning and truing the wheels.
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Old 03-20-13, 10:57 AM
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A friend of mine gave me a Bikes Direct Motobecane Fantom Cross Team Titanium frame after he realized it was too tall for him (he is short). I built it up with my own wheels and a 9 speed 105 drive train and I love the bike. The frame is awesome.

If you know about bike mechanics, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a BD bike and assemble it yourself.
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Old 03-20-13, 11:15 AM
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I have a number of LBSs available to me, but I still bought from BD. I simply do not need their services. I have never let anyone else work on my bike. When I did have something that I didn't think I could handle, they couldn't either and I wound up doing it myself anyway. I also can easily wait for parts to arrive via UPS. I generally don't go into a bike shop more than once a year or so, and even then they usually don't have what I'm looking for anyway.

I got a Windsor Fens road bike from them for $800. I just got it and I'm not experienced with road bikes, but it seems like a superb bike for the money to me. I was very pleasantly surprised by how nice it was when it showed up. I wouldn't expect any better assembly or finish from an LBS bike.

I very nearly went with a cross, but I decided that if I was going to get a fun summer bike I might as well go all out.
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Old 03-20-13, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
I spend enough money at my LBS that having a good relationship with them is important to me. They look out for me in ways that save me money. Maybe I would be ahead on a dollar basis if I went my own way, but it's not worth it to me.
Not saying you should spend your money elsewhere, but you have to be paying more at your LBS (compared to a BD-like model) even if they are knocking something off the price for you. LBS's cost money to operate...the customers have to pay for that.

I avoid LBSs like the plague around here, since most of them sell above MSRP and really don't stock the types of parts, bikes, or clothes that I am generally am interested in. I'm certainly not willing to spend enough up front to persuade them to "look out for me" (i.e. charge reasonable prices).
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