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Bikes Direct - Entry Level

Old 05-21-16, 11:47 AM
  #1  
Zachanonymous
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Bikes Direct - Entry Level

I'm back, with another question, if I bought a cheap entry level bike off of bikes direct, what are my options for swapping out the rear cassette .... I want it geared as close to 11-32 in the back as possible, (I don't know if you can go any lower than 11 teeth) Basically my question is, does the key style of Shimano rear cassettes stay standard across the board or is there some kind of deviation? And if possible, is that hold true with other brands?
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Old 05-21-16, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Zachanonymous View Post
I'm back, with another question, if I bought a cheap entry level bike off of bikes direct, what are my options for swapping out the rear cassette .... I want it geared as close to 11-32 in the back as possible, (I don't know if you can go any lower than 11 teeth) Basically my question is, does the key style of Shimano rear cassettes stay standard across the board or is there some kind of deviation? And if possible, is that hold true with other brands?
Shimano makes a few different cassette styles.

  • Uniglide - Obsolete (last cog screws on, even spacing on splines). A couple of different ones were made, including Dura Ace.
  • FREEWHEELS. Many 7 speed bikes have freewheels and not cassettes. Not compatible with cassettes without changing wheels.
  • 7 speed cassettes. Still being made. A few around.
  • 8-10 speed cassettes. Standard up until a few years ago.
  • 11 speed cassettes. Road cassettes need new freehubs. MTB cassettes may not. The new 11s freehubs can not be bolted onto most older hubs.
  • Capreo. A specific 9T-26T, 9 speed cassette, used mainly with small wheel bikes. Some non-standard variation is possible.
  • Also, note that most new freehubs (except Capreo) are compatible with 11T cassettes. They require a small machined area at the end of the freehub. Some older ones only work with 12T cassettes.

SRAM is mostly compatible with Shimano stuff, but they also make a 10T cassette that requires a special freehub, I think.

Campagnolo has their own cassettes, with a couple of different standards.

=================

As far as your Bikes Direct idea. Be careful of the freewheel vs cassette distinction. They may sell both. You can change the number of sprockets, but most new bikes use indexed shifting, which means that changing from say 8s to 10s would require new shifters and maybe a new derailleur. Going to 11s may also need a new rear hub.

Last edited by CliffordK; 05-21-16 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 05-21-16, 12:13 PM
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Best would be if you posted links to the bikes you are considering so we can make specific comments.
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Old 05-21-16, 01:05 PM
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Bikes direct is Warehouse to You, skipping all mechanical help from local dealers.


If you lack mechanical skills take the BD box to a Bike shop and they can put it together for a Fee.
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Old 05-21-16, 01:32 PM
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Yes, Shimano cassettes have a standard key pattern, which is not compatible with Campagnolo. You'll have to add some chain, and the derailleur will have to be capable of handling the extra chain.

I agree, this is where the BD sales model breaks down. Inexperienced/first-time buyers are attracted by the price (which is gained by cutting out the shop; ) but those are the people who are most in need of a shop's technical help.
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Old 05-21-16, 04:20 PM
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Save Up To 60% Road Bikes - Windsor Wellington 2.0 2015

Would I have to add chain, I mean it seems to me that it's not necessary.

What kind of gearing do the Elites run?
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Old 05-21-16, 04:38 PM
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Honestly after some thought, I'll probably just suck it up and leave it stock. Depending on what model I go with - Which is more than likely looking to be a Wellington of some sort.
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Old 05-21-16, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Zachanonymous View Post
Honestly after some thought, I'll probably just suck it up and leave it stock. Depending on what model I go with - Which is more than likely looking to be a Wellington of some sort.
The model you cited above comes with a freewheel, not a cassette. So you'd have to replace the hub/wheel to put on a cassette instead.
As to the chain, it depends on how closely it's sized to the 28t large cog which is standard on the bike. If the chain is just long enough for that size cog then you'd have to add a couple links to use a 32t large cog. The key is to have a chain long enough to handle the large chain ring/large cog combination. If you don't and accidentally shift into it then it's easy to exert enough force to rip apart the rear derailleur or even twist the frame.
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Old 05-21-16, 05:16 PM
  #9  
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One last question, when it comes to the pedals, Platform Road Pedals doesn't ring any bells. I don't have the fancy shoes and I don't know what the pedals that have the little mini cage on them are called either?
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Old 05-21-16, 05:31 PM
  #10  
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Not to be negative, but I would definitely Not recommend a bike with a freewheel/cluster. They work okay ... even with seven speeds ... but are not as durable (particularly if you are heavy) as a freehub/cassette.

If you spend just a little more and get a bike with a freehub/cassette you have a Much wider selection of ratios available, from a couple manufacturers. Also, you have a much wider selection of wheels available. I have an old Cannondale with a freewheel and finding decent, not heavy, not bank-breaking rims is not so easy ... not too hard, but for the money I could get better, lighter wheels with a freehub and have a lot more choices.

Changing a cassette or a cluster takes about $15-$25 in simple tools ... a chainwhip and a freewheel key or cassette tool which suits that brand---and is ridiculously simple. Adding a couple links to a chain is also simple, and a good skill to learn. A chain tool can be had for $7-$10 ... but it might not even be needed.

The real question is the derailleur. Not all of them can handle 32 teeth.

But ....

That bike comes with a triple, a 52-42-30. I doubt you will run into much that you cannot ride using a 30x28 low gear.

i'd say, for the money, that looks like a decent ride. it depends, of course, on what you want to do with it. if all you want is a no-frills, gets-the-job-done, reliable bike to tool around on, that looks like a good deal. No reason you couldn't do light touring on it, and certainly any kind of commuting/utility riding. Unless you weant to compete with others, the fun-factor should be high.

One thing I want to point out ... it Looks like the shifters are on the stem. That's fine if you ride on the tops, but might be a pain if you like to ride the hoods or drops.
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Old 05-21-16, 05:47 PM
  #11  
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Zach,

Everyone here knows that one of my bikes is a BD Motobecane and that I am an advocate of BD and other online bike retailers for the right buyer. From your posts, I have some concerns about your ability to select an appropriate bike and to do the necessary inspection, assembly and adjustment. It's fine to be a beginner, we all were at one time, but as much as I like my BD bike and have recommended them to others, you need some guidance at this point. You can certainly ask questions here, but you need to find a cycling mentor who has the requisite knowledge and experience to help you make sure you get an appropriate bike and that it gets properly assembled and adjusted. Lacking an independent mentor, your LBS might be a good bet for now.

For the price point you are looking at, I suggest you consider a good used bike. Last year I purchased a Trek Pilot 1.2 road bike for my daughter. Aluminum frame, CF fork and a mixture of Tiagra and 105 components with an FSA crankset. In excellent condition and having been serviced and inspected by an area LBS, I got it for $350 with a 30-day trade in option if my daughter didn't like it.

Good luck with your purchase. Let us know how it goes.

Last edited by GravelMN; 05-21-16 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 05-21-16, 06:20 PM
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Some BD bikes are great deals, but the cheap ons often are not. The one you're looking at is nowhere close to an $800 bike. Take a look at the 2013 Fuji Sportif 1.7 at Performance Bike... it is the same price, but has Shimano dual control levers, not the cheap handlebar shifters like the Windsor. The Fuji also has a cassette hub.
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Old 05-21-16, 06:39 PM
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Well, you might be mad or not, but I went ahead and made the purchase. (I'm probably going to regret this one in the morning .... ) - As for my local bike shop, well it doesn't exists anymore. Great area to ride but sadly it's probably depressed as compared to certain districts in the direct suburbs of any city.

As for my bike, this is what should be shipping Save Up to 60% Off Carbon Fork Shimano Road Bikes - Motobecane Mirage S

Let me know if I should start sulking now, maybe I can go out and get a six pack before it gets too late..

PS- I got to watching the Tirreno to Adraitico Stage 2 and holy hill stompers - *that cadence*

Last edited by Zachanonymous; 05-21-16 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 05-21-16, 07:13 PM
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Looks like fun. Enjoy!
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Old 05-21-16, 08:54 PM
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One more question, the included platform pedals(I assume those are the type for those shoes that sound like high heels) are not the standard pedals, will this be a problem? Are bike pedals standard when it comes to fitment?

Last edited by Zachanonymous; 05-21-16 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 05-21-16, 10:29 PM
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Yeah I been riding my Dawes well over a year now with all its stock components with no problem. Matter of fact think I'll go for a little evening ride right now and harass the folks at McDonald's drive through.
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Old 05-21-16, 10:36 PM
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Platform pedals are normal, flat pedals. Dont require special shoes.
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Old 05-21-16, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Zachanonymous View Post
As for my bike, this is what should be shipping Save Up to 60% Off Carbon Fork Shimano Road Bikes - Motobecane Mirage S
I had a similar neo-Motobecane from BD. Can't beat it for the price. You'll probably want to get new pedals, but other than that I'd get to know the bike before thinking about upgrades. If you're mechanically inclined you can put it together yourself with the help of youtube videos and the mechanics forum here.
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Old 05-21-16, 11:40 PM
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It's a step up from the Wellington 2.0 you were looking at. Should be an OK entry level bike. I'd ride it stock for a while. Don't get upgrade-itis, it can end up costing you more than getting I higher level bike in the first place. You will be getting plain flat pedals that you can ride with any street shoe. When you decide to go clipless (the pedals where you actually clip in and out) we'll open a whole-nuther can-o-worms for you. Just make sure you have the proper tools and assemble and adjust the bike properly. The instructions are pretty clear and there are some YouTube videos on the process. You will likely need a set of metric allen (hex) wrenches and a couple of screwdrivers (flat and phillips in a couple of sizes). If you can get to an LBS, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have the hubs serviced and wheels trued and tensioned early on. The factories tend to be a little skimpy with the grease and hub adjustment is a bit of a finesse skill that takes some practice. Running a hub significantly too loose or too tight can cause damage.

If I can ask, how did you decide on the proper frame size?

Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 05-22-16, 05:17 AM
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I used their sizing chart, and being that I'm 6'3'' I went with the 62cm - if that was a mistake LET ME KNOW - I had a Nishiki up until a few years ago and rode a medium size frame for almost 10 years. I assume I can cancel my order up until Monday morning.. I will definitely think about having a LBS grease and look it over, thanks to everybody for the great input
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Old 05-22-16, 06:32 AM
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Check this out--https://www.competitivecyclist.com/Store/catalog/fitCalculatorBike.jsp?

Height is one variable among many. I am over 6 ft and ride a medium frame at most and can fit on smaller .... but i have an odd build. 62 is pretty huge, though .... if your limbs are ov average proportions you should be fine, but do some measurements and see what you think.

A smaller frame can bet stretched with a longer stem, a couple spacers, more seat post exposure, and even a setback seat post. A too-large frame can be fixed with a sawz-all and a welder.
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Old 05-22-16, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Zachanonymous View Post
Well, you might be mad or not, but I went ahead and made the purchase. (I'm probably going to regret this one in the morning .... ) - As for my local bike shop, well it doesn't exists anymore. Great area to ride but sadly it's probably depressed as compared to certain districts in the direct suburbs of any city.

As for my bike, this is what should be shipping Save Up to 60% Off Carbon Fork Shimano Road Bikes - Motobecane Mirage S

Let me know if I should start sulking now, maybe I can go out and get a six pack before it gets too late..

PS- I got to watching the Tirreno to Adraitico Stage 2 and holy hill stompers - *that cadence*
That is a good bike and a smoking deal. I have one. The frame and fork ride extra sweetly. The wheels are bombproof and fast. The skewers are crap, get some Shimano skewers. The seatpost clamp is made of peanut butter, get a Salsa clamp. I'm 6'0" and got the 60cm size, fits perfect.
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Old 05-22-16, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Zachanonymous View Post
I used their sizing chart, and being that I'm 6'3'' I went with the 62cm
That's probably a good size for you.
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