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Which one to buy/size!

Old 09-22-12, 01:24 AM
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Which one to buy/size!

New in the Bike Forum! My first post.

I am interested in these two bikes:

2013 Motobecane Fantom Cross Team Ti

jake the snake

Information about me are as below:

Height: 66” (inch), or 5' 6".
Inseam: 31”
Torso: 26”
Arm length: 25”

I am 67 years old but in a very good shape (for my age). I ski, hike, and do other sports. I weight around 200 lb (that is why I want to start biking again, lose some weight).

I have been riding bikes since I was 13 years old. I have ridden road bikes for many years. The last one I rode was a Specialized Roubaix 2007, which I sold few years ago. I like to get back to biking but no longer on a road bike as I like to have a more versatile (all around) bike, etc.

I have never bought a bike based on my measures (I bought them because they felt right)! I did not know that you can do that! Now I know and this bike will be the first one I want to do it right (I hope) and buy it based on my measures.

My questions are:

1. Which of the two bicycles above is a better buy? Also:
2. What will be my sizes of the bike with the information about my measures above?

I tend to gravitate toward bigger bikes as I am only 66” but have long legs, arms, but shorter torso, I think!

Please suggest if you think there is a better bike for me than these. I know I can buy lower qualities bike (and cheaper) for what I want to do. But I rather buy a better bike with less hassles, etc.

Thanks for any help in advance.
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Old 09-22-12, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Maitreya
... But I rather buy a better bike with less hassles, etc...
BD -Bikes Direct- is ok and all, and a good place to get your money's worth in components and frame... But with BD there are no test rides [you can't tell if you will actually like the SRAM or Shimano STI levers and the way they shift; let alone the fit of the bike], no people to talk to or be helpful with finding you the right equipment/ gear/ cloths, there is no support from a LBS -Local Bike Shop- [you can take the bike to a LBS for anything from a tune up to a build up, but they will NOT treat you as they would if you had bought a bike there -well, if they are a bad shop they could treat you equally poorly if you bought a bike there or not but that is beside the point- And if you do it in a way to piss them off they might screw with your bike -don't go to their shop and spend time with them looking at bikes and getting sized up like you were going to buy a bike and then just show up one day with your BD bike partially assembled asking for help, if you go into a shop tell them you are looking to buy a bike online and are wondering if they could assemble and tune it up for you, naturally for a cost, and buy some extras from them like cycling gloves and cycling shorts you can wear under normal cloths if you wish]


Another thing to really consider is your mechanical knowledge in setting up a '90% assembled' bike that will need hubs/ bearings greased, bolts checked, cables properly tensioned [at first not as important, but in the first few hundred miles it matters] and then the wheels that come with most BD bikes need some attention in terms of truing and tensioning [you will NEED to take it in to have that properly done for ~$30-50 or so, otherwise you will be pedaling along and then start hearing 'plink' noises and have spokes break on you 'for no reason']... If you cannot fully strip/ maintain a bike yourself, and don't have a good LBS around you that is willing to do the setup then I would avoid BD entirely because you are entirely on your own.


PS: Don't believe BD's 'MSRP' price as it is a gross overestimation, if you found a "comparable" bike at a LBS as one on BD, it is typically $200-500 more than the BD price. But they can be talked down in price on the last-year models they are going to be clearing out, and you will probably get lifetime tuneups and they will try to be as helpful with you later down the road
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Old 09-22-12, 03:05 PM
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Thanks Agent 9,

Considering all things you have mentioned are though about and the decision has reached a point of: Which bike is a better bike, what would be the answer to that question? Is it
2013 Motobecane Fantom Cross Team Ti, or jake the snake!

I have not really decided where I will buy the bike yet. However, both bikes seem very interesting and they have cut my eyes.

I also am interested to hear what everyone says about the size of the bike I might need. I know different makers have their own sizes and it is different with each bike, etc., but sizes are not that far off from each other and you can have some idea what your sizes are: I am 5' 6" (66"), inseam 31", torso 26" or 27", and arm length 25". I know there are formulas that can be used for these measurements to guesstimate average size of the bike you might need! However, I am not confident that I can do it right. The LBSs I have gone to never asked me about my measures and I have told them I can use a 17" or 54 cm (I am not sure of this though).

I have worked on bikes (not an expert for sure) and can manage some repairs and maintenance. I also live in Albuquerque, NM which is a bike friendly city. We have tons of very good LBSs. So I have a good chance to work with one of them. Some of them already have told me that they will help me with assembling the bike if I bought it from BD (Bikes Direct). One of them said it probably cost similar to tuning your bike there.

Again thanks for the reply and am looking forward hearing more about the questions I have about the new bike I am interested on, and the size I might need.
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Last edited by Maitreya; 09-22-12 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 09-23-12, 09:16 PM
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Well, the Bikes Direct bikes are only available from online at Bikes Direct [though there is a store-front for them in Texas I believe, but that is a bit out of the question]... I say buy local, and buy something decent but not over the top; not only will they fit you for the bike but you can get all the cycling extras there and also have their help on mechanical problems and adjustments in the future.

That Motobecane [not the old made in france Motobecane, they went under and got bought out and have been a tiwaneese brand since] while a nice bike will not be worth it for the hassle and money for it being your 'first bike'. The big thing it has going for it is mainly the Titanium frame [though it is one of those subtle difference things and not so much a end-of-the-world-life-changer -from what I understand its sorta like the difference between one quality brand of eggs and another at your supermarket, unless you ride a lot and have done so in the past you will not actually notice anything]... IMO you would be just wasting your money on it, when you could get almost 2 great bikes plus gear for that price [including local work done on it]

Go to the dealers section on Kona's website and find some of the closer dealers then head out to one and tell them you are looking at a mid-upper end road bike [$1000-1500+] and that you would also like to see their close out and previous year models in your size [they are new bikes, its just that nobody bought them so they need to off-load them before the 2013 models arrive and nobody else wants the 'old' models anymore. Lucky you, the previous year bikes should be pretty much identical except for the paint job and the fact they were made a few months before the new ones were; you are getting the 'same' bike; not like with computer hardware where newer generation stuff is actually different/ better/ worse than the previous stuff]


So because of buying the bike local you get the bike shop to support it -should be something like lifetime tune up and membership there or discounts on stuff, it really depends on the shop, but you get a bunch of 'little extras' that will help you greatly when not in the saddle. The Kona is using a solid frame that isn't going to make or break your ability to ride fast and comfortably, plus the wheels should already be trued and tensioned by the shop as part of setting it up; all that makes a Kona a much better bike/ choice than the BD bikes... but if you are utterly head over heals for the Titanium frame then just plunk down the green for it and see how it goes, worst comes to worst you can sell it or mount it on a wall. I would refer you to a LBS to get sized up, but off-hand I'd say a 54-56 would probably work for you -if its not quite right you can always adjust the seat or get a new seatpost/ stem/ handlebars/ risers and so on. I'm 6" with ~34" inseam and 58 seems to be 'my size'. Are you measuring inseam with the book-between-your-legs method, or is that pants-inseam?

So to put it ranked:
1) close out/ last year's model from a LBS [best bang for buck, leaving $$ for upgrades like wheels/ tires/ cogs and gear for you to wear]
2) A new model from a LBS [if you must have the 'latest' for no specific reason]
3) BD Motobecane Ti Cross [if you have the Titanium lust]



Oh, and if you are going to consider sending that kind of money on a bike, you had better plan on riding it into the ground [thousands upon thousands of miles -maintaining it throughout of course] otherwise you are not giving it the life it deserves, and should just get a $1000 or less close out bike
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Old 09-24-12, 02:42 AM
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Hay, thanks a lot again for the very helpful answer.

I was ready to buy the Jake or Jake the Snake (JTS). I found the dealers here in Albuquerque (from Kona's website). There were two dealers here in Albuquerque and none had any of them (Jake and JTS) in stock. Then I read in this Forum that dealers are mad of Kona because they (Kona) now sells their bikes directly to the public (from their website) and dealers kind of do not want to order from them, if they do not have to. The dealer offered to order one for me but I would be kind of obligated to buy it (although he gave me the option I might not buy it if I really did not want to). I like to try both Jake and the JTS but how?

I was hoping someone will be selling their Jake or JTS in Albuquerque area, so I have been checking the Craigslist with no luck.

All these pushed me away from Kona and that is when I considered BD. I also have dealers for Trek, Specialists, Felt, Raleigh, etc. here in Albuquerque. However, I feel their prices are high and I will be paying them for their names and over head of their shop, etc. plus tax! That is why BD again stood out against them. However, your explanation of the added services makes sense. I surely do not have to have a Titanium frame.

Again thanks for all the help, and I surly appreciate it.

I would be very eager to hear from others and if anyone has suggestions on which bike I should consider. I will listen and consider all suggestions. It is just too hard to found what you should buy with all these choices.

I am thinking to join a CX club and talk to people there and become more familiar with CX crowds, their experience with different bikes, etc. before committing to any specific bike. However, don't they expect you to have a bike before joining them?

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