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Old 04-14-18, 10:12 AM   #51
Maelochs
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But ... as far as the bikes go ... they tend to be good value for the money.

I have never taken along ride on an MSRP but I have taken many long rides on a Dawes I bought at BikesDirect.
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Old 04-14-18, 10:33 AM   #52
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But ultimately, if a bike is only available thru 1 place, then MSRP is meaningless(as is 'list price' which is what BD calls it).
Oh, boy, I think I need to retract my original point

After reading this I went back to the BD website, and it looks like BD has stopped using "MSRP" in their prices. They used to, but it looks like they do not anymore.

So....... nevermind.
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Old 04-14-18, 01:00 PM   #53
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I've purchased six bikes from BD and two framesets from sister company Bike Island. The bikes consists of five Motobecanes and a Fuji Aloha (triathlon bike). The two framesets are a Kilo TT and an SE Premium Brew.

I gave away the SE Premium Brew when I got the Kilo TT. One of the Motobecanes mentioned above was actually for my girlfriend, but you get one guess as to who did the assembly.

So I think I'm pretty qualified to talk about BD. Obviously, I've had good experiences with them or I wouldn't have made so many purchases. That doesn't mean that they're perfect. A primitive website and too many bikes with triple cranks are a starter. Also, many of their bikes look (and are) dated. Sometimes the stems aren't appropriate for the frame size, and sometimes more expensive versions of the same bike have some worse parts than more inexpensive versions. Example: my Motobecane Adventure Elite LTD (9-speed with hydraulics) came with the dreaded 1-piece welded steel crank, while less expensive versions of this bike have decent Suntour alu cranks with removable chainrings.

But you have to look at the big picture. I view their bikes as inexpensive platforms for modifications. I get rid of the crummy pedals and saddles immediately, and other parts as well, depending on the bike. I live with the crummy tires until they get some wear. Of course, their more expensive bikes have better parts, and the more expensive the bike, the fewer parts come off. Their better bikes even come with okay or even good tires.

They really shine when they come into possession of odd lots of non-BD brands. The Fuji Aloha mentioned above was a downright steal. Their titanium bikes look very nice, though I'm less enthusiastic about their carbon bikes.

Their sizing guide has been accurate and you can buy your recommended size with confidence. (If you fall between two sizes, you'll have a difficult to make.)

They're to be commended for providing very detailed descriptions about their bikes. The one or two times when the bikes I've ordered deviated from the descriptions were actually upgrades or improvements.

The bikes are delivered quickly and are well packed.

I think it's silly to get hung-up on their gimmicky MSRP or some of their corny ad copy, like "Secret Sale." Just look at the bike, what it costs and compare it to other company's offerings.
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Old 04-14-18, 07:58 PM   #54
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I have two separate bike shops in my basement, have been working on bikes for decades and have had hundreds and hundreds of bikes pass through my paws. Have seen it all from inexpensive Walmart bikes to custom built $15k Tri-Bikes and I can tell you after buying 4 of these* bikes over the years, they are quite wonderful. When folks ask me where they can get the best value and quality for their money, I always steer them to BikesDirect. I am definitely not a fan of the gross mark-ups of framesets whether they be steel/aluminum/Ti/Carbon just because a known name brands "logo" was slapped on the downtube. I've been doing this too long and have ridden too many bikes, both name brand and no-name, to honestly tell you otherwise. I've been training,racing,commuting on Chinese carbon/aluminum and steel for over 10 years and they are excellent.........all of them. Folks get really offended because they feel the need to defend their name brand name bike after they find out that the Trek, Cannondale, whatever, was/is made in the same exact factories side by side as the Chinese/non name brand version. If you want to spend the money, go with the better Groupset, that's where it really makes the difference. As an example, my brother who is the head mechanic at a shop here in Chicago EP'd me a Cervelo S3 with SRAM Red. I rode that a few years but also had a Chinese carbon frameset that I bought for $370. Tapered head tube.......yes. Internal routing.........yes. 950gm frame/350gm fork.........yes. I built that up with SRAM Red and put a Chinese carbon clincher wheelset on it. I also rode that for a couple of years swapping between the Cervelo and it. That pup rode just as well if not better than the Cervelo. Sold the Cervelo and never went back. I now have two Chinese aero carbon track framesets (one for racing/one for fixed road training) and two Chinese carbon road framesets. I got the second one for $300 shipped after bartering with the seller. These easily rival (quality) any name brand carbon bike out there and absolutely trounce them on price. Oh, and after putting thousands of miles on 3 Chinese carbon wheelsets (one tubular/two clincher) I would never pay double to triple for a name brand carbon wheelset again.




*BikesDirect
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Old 04-14-18, 11:00 PM   #55
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BD is a marketer and distributor of brand names.
FIFY. They don't distribute brands. They have purchased brand names form defunct but respected manufacturers like Dawes, Motobecane, Kestrel, and Windsor. They farm their work out to Chinese manufacturers and slap these labels on them.
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Old 04-15-18, 07:16 AM   #56
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REI end of year pricing on whats left of their CO-OP brand.
Diamondback corporate site pricing.
Raleigh corporate site pricing.
Nashbar if they have your size and during a 25-26% off sale.

All are good alternative options, especially the Dback and Raleigh corporate discount sites.



As for my opinion on bikesdirect- if they sold em without MOTOBECANE plastered across the bike, I would like them better. So if they had their own in house brand name(versus having bought license to use an expired US distribution name of an actual historical company), I would like them much more. Also, if they didnt claim insane discounts, i would like them much more.
As for the bikes themselves- they seem perfectly fine from what Ive seen. Most are generic aluminum tube frames...hard to mess that up at this point. Last week I saw a bunch of various carbon Motobecane BikesDirect road bikes. I cant tell 1 carbon bike from another, but they werent cracked and were being used...so if thats the standard needed to call em good, then they were good.

Seriously- if they developed their own brand, called it Direct Cycles or VeloDirect, and sold bikes under than name- i would like em a bunch more.
If you are going the direct route then you need to look hard at Canyon. Incredible bike for the money.
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Old 04-15-18, 08:00 AM   #57
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FIFY. They don't distribute brands. They have purchased brand names form defunct but respected manufacturers like Dawes, Motobecane, Kestrel, and Windsor. They farm their work out to Chinese manufacturers and slap these labels on them.
My Motobecane frame is made by Kinesis, which is a reputable frame manufacturer and was made in Taiwan. Trek also outsources the frame production. Ultimately a brand is just a decision on what components inc. fram to assemble.

Unlike LBS brands like Giant and Specialized, BD lists the actual component brands (i.e. rim, hub, headset) and you know what it is. LBS brands just use total no-name products and call it a Giant-SX whatever. I'm not saying BD uses better components, but they don't try to make a non-name appear legit by faking a brand.

A bicycle is not rocket science, once you have a frame and fork that don't break, it is just selecting components. The GX RD on a Trek is the same as on a BD bike.

Maybe being a real brand requires more innovation, like coming up with new creaking press fit BB standards every year.... but I'm fine with a not-innovative threaded BB....
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Old 04-15-18, 08:15 AM   #58
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This question has been asked about 10 million times here. Perhaps I'll copy / paste the below in future threads.

I have purchased four bikes from BD over the past 12 years. I've also purchased several LBS, branded bikes during the same time period.

Positives:
1. BD does generally represent a legitimate good value. Ignore the MSRP (more on that later) but I'd say you're honestly getting a 30%-40% savings from comparable bikes for their higher end models. That's nothing to sneeze at. Also, their higher end builds have good quality brand name parts.
2. Most of their higher end frames are really good. All of their Ora Engineering-made Ti frames are very nice and represent a serious deal. I also have one of their top end fat bikes and it's surprisingly well made, featured and finished.
3. The Kilo TT / WT is simply the best cheap steel single speed / FG you can buy for the money. I'd say it's likely the best deal they offer.
4. BD uses tried and true stuff. Threaded BBs, round seatposts, external cabling etc. Simple, proven stuff. Also, their pre-assembly is usually pretty good.
5. Free shipping.
6. Despite what you read, I don't think BD sells anything made in China. All of the frames I've seen from them are made in Taiwan, just like every other brand. All of their aluminum frames are made by Kinesis, who makes aluminum frames for everyone. Their Ti stuff is all made by Ora, a highly respected manufacturer. No idea who makes their carbon or steel but BD doesn't sell unbranded Alibaba garbage.

Negatives:
1. You had better know exactly what you want and understand exactly what you're getting. Read the spec sheet carefully. BD doesn't lie but (like everyone) they spec to a price. Understand what you're getting. Know what size you need. Be prepared to spend some of the savings to buy a new stem or saddle if you must. Keep in mind that trying to return the bike is likely going to be a pain in the ass. You're on your own with BD.
2. Ignore the "MSRP" or brand comparisons. Both are complete BS. Honestly, this isn't a big deal to me but it really bothers some people and gives the company a "used car salesman" vibe. As does their awful website, to be fair.
3. You need to know how to mount handlebars, disc rotors, seatposts and do minor bike adjustments. You might need to get the wheels properly tensioned, you might need to slightly true a rotor or two. Honestly, IMO any serious cyclist should know how to do what BD requires you to do, but some people really don't want to deal with anything. If you're one of those people, you need to be willing to pay $100 to have a bike shop assemble the bike.
4. BD's bikes are several years behind bleeding edge technology trends. As I said above, the upside is that the bikes BD sells are reliable, proven and simple. On the other hand, if you need the latest styling cues, "features" or proprietary technology BD obviously isn't for you.

Meh:
1. Most of their cheapest bikes are of similar quality to other bikes in their price range. If you buy a $400 BD bike, you're getting a bike that might sell for $500 in a shop. $500 bikes are $500 bikes, don't expect to win races on it or anything.
2. BD bought up a bunch of famous old European brands (Motobecane, Mercier, Dawes etc) and is selling inexpensive made-in-Taiwan bikes under those brands. I understand how this could bother people. To me, you know what you're buying and everyone else knows what a Motobecane actually is these days.
3. If you're hung up on bling, street cred or brand recognition, BD obviously isn't for you. In fact some snobby cyclists will assume you're a newbie or weak when you ride a BD bike. I'm a grown ass man with a mortgage and kids' college to worry about, so this doesn't bother me.

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Old 04-15-18, 08:42 AM   #59
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Meh, having not really lived when Motobecanes were sold new by the French company, I don't really get attached to this notion that there is some sort of faux prestige they are trying to attach to the bikes. If I weren't into the C&V stuff, I'd probably have no clue that there even was another Motobecane (or Windsor, or Mercier, or Dawes for that matter). If anything, a generic BD Motobecane is probably of better quality than most of the generic French Motobecanes I see. Some of them certainly are as sexy as the old offerings.
If they weren't trying to attach faux prestige to the bikes they wouldn't call them Motobecanes, Mercier, etc.; they would paint "bikes direct" on them. That is my biggest problem with them. They are generic sweat shop, bikes painted with an old time prestigious label. I don't mind the mail order part at all. I bought a Lynskey that way. I just think you are paying a small amount for a low quality product. Fine if that is what you are looking for. If on a tight budget, I'd much rather buy a quality used bike on Craig's List.
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Old 04-15-18, 09:27 AM   #60
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My Motobecane frame is made by Kinesis, which is a reputable frame manufacturer and was made in Taiwan. Trek also outsources the frame production. Ultimately a brand is just a decision on what components inc. fram to assemble.

Unlike LBS brands like Giant and Specialized, BD lists the actual component brands (i.e. rim, hub, headset) and you know what it is. LBS brands just use total no-name products and call it a Giant-SX whatever. I'm not saying BD uses better components, but they don't try to make a non-name appear legit by faking a brand.

A bicycle is not rocket science, once you have a frame and fork that don't break, it is just selecting components. The GX RD on a Trek is the same as on a BD bike.

Maybe being a real brand requires more innovation, like coming up with new creaking press fit BB standards every year.... but I'm fine with a not-innovative threaded BB....
Why are you so defensive? My comment was that they do not sell brands, they buy the labels of out of business brands and use them on their bikes - that is a fact. I think you are also mixing up brands and models. BD and GIANT an Trek are brands, their various bikes are models.

BD also use no name parts like stems handlebars, seatposts, saddles, fork, headset and some parts with names I can't find anywhere (Dura Forte Taperblade fork). BD tells you no more than LBS brand-names do of what their components are.

Right, BD don't try and do innovation.
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Old 04-15-18, 09:31 AM   #61
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If you are going the direct route then you need to look hard at Canyon. Incredible bike for the money.
Well sure, but canyon wasnt available when i made the comment you quoted.
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Old 04-15-18, 09:46 AM   #62
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Why are you so defensive? My comment was that they do not sell brands, they buy the labels of out of business brands and use them on their bikes - that is a fact. I think you are also mixing up brands and models. BD and GIANT an Trek are brands, their various bikes are models.

BD also use no name parts like stems handlebars, seatposts, saddles, fork, headset and some parts with names I can't find anywhere (Dura Forte Taperblade fork). BD tells you no more than LBS brand-names do of what their components are.

Right, BD don't try and do innovation.
You stated they are made in china, which is not true, at least not more than LBS brands make things in China.

For my Fatbike I could see they used sunringle rims, novatec hubs (for the better or worse), Maxxis tires, FSA headset etc. Specialized/giant use their "hosuebranding" and you only see it is a "giant SX-2" rim. Obviously they buy the parts form a supplier and re-brand them. Giant now even uses giant-branded tires.
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Old 04-15-18, 10:20 AM   #63
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BD also use no name parts like stems handlebars, seatposts, saddles, fork, headset and some parts with names I can't find anywhere (Dura Forte Taperblade fork). BD tells you no more than LBS brand-names do of what their components are.
First, let me state for the record that in house branded stuff can be very high quality. Bontrager, Roval, Syncros, Oval, MOST, Giant etc, these are all in-house brands that make great stuff.

Having stipulated that, in fairness take a look at any BD bike at $1,500 or more and compare it to an LBS brand bike at $1,500 or more. Big LBS brands have almost entirely gone all in-house brand across the board these days on every part you mentioned at all levels (even the very high end). Meanwhile, BD sells lots of bike with Ritchey or Race Face components, Mavic wheels, Continental, Maxxis or WTB tires etc. With higher end BD bikes, you can go online and buy the wheels/stem/bars/saddles/tires they are specing elsewhere. More often with high end BD, you know exactly what you're getting. Regardless of whether that matters or not (and it may not), I think that was the point being made.

This of course is not true with lower end BD. But it isn't true for anyone these days at the lower end.

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Old 04-15-18, 10:36 AM   #64
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You stated they are made in china, which is not true, at least not more than LBS brands make things in China.

For my Fatbike I could see they used sunringle rims, novatec hubs (for the better or worse), Maxxis tires, FSA headset etc. Specialized/giant use their "hosuebranding" and you only see it is a "giant SX-2" rim. Obviously they buy the parts form a supplier and re-brand them. Giant now even uses giant-branded tires.
You are sweeping with a large brush. Many bike-direct bikes don't list the component manufacturer.

My Specialized has Roval rims, a well respected and high quality Specialized brand, and DT Swiss 350 hubs. Their house brands are not bought and rebranded - they are made to Specialized design specifications. Same with most of their frames. They design bikes. The same is true for others such as Trek and Giant.

Kiinesis has manufacturing in China. Perhaps I should have said Asia, again my comment was directed to the fact they don't sell brands as stated.
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Old 04-15-18, 10:49 AM   #65
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My Specialized has Roval rims, a well respected and high quality Specialized brand, and DT Swiss 350 hubs. Their house brands are not bought and rebranded - they are made to Specialized design specifications. Same with most of their frames. They design bikes.
C'mon man, you're being a bit silly here. That's a $7,000 bike you're riding, comparing it to any BD bike is crazy without taking that fact into account.

Also, you place value on "Specialized design specifications", maybe others don't.

This thread is devolving into yet another one where people who wouldn't be caught dead on a BD bike (and have likely never even seen or ridden one) are pitted against unwilling "defenders" of BD who have actually purchased from them. This has already happened ad nauseum here. I'm out.

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Old 04-15-18, 11:46 AM   #66
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you get what you pay for. When I bought my Sturgis NX for $1,100 I figured an LBS version would be about twice the price. $1,500 LBs fatbikes still have QR, 1x10 etc. So I think I got a good deal and the quality of frame and components is great. 0 issues.

What you don't get (and don't pay for!) are test rides and assembly. Assembly is laughable and if you are member here, you should have learned that by now. Takes 10-20 minutes to install the handlebar and frontwheel and do some fine tuning on RD.

Lack of test ride is the only drawback for someone who is not hamfisted. But my experience in LBS is they kind of point you to what the manufacturer suggests for your size anyway (or what they have on the floor) and a 5 minute ride doesn't tell the whole story.

They have cheap bikes, and expensive ones. It's obvious that the more expensive ones are better. but $ for $ they will be a better price than LBS.

If you want to go into premium bikes, Canyon is a great online source too. They are pricier than BD, but have more premium.

LBS doesn't mean quality bike. Just look at the Giant Escape 3 for $380. Almost all components inc. Tires are "Giant" brand and you get the honor of using a 7-speed freewheel and hi-te steel fork. The hubs are listed as "alloy, 32h". Maybe it is a bit better than Walmart bike, but freewheel and steel fork (not even Cro-Mo) screams BSO in this day and age. Same true for other entry level LBS bikes.

For my above purchase I figured test ride and assembly would have cost me $1K had I bought a similar bike in LBS.
There is nothing wrong with spending $1K for a test ride and assembly, to each their own.
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Old 04-15-18, 01:45 PM   #67
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C'mon man, you're being a bit silly here. That's a $7,000 bike you're riding, comparing it to any BD bike is crazy without taking that fact into account.

Also, you place value on "Specialized design specifications", maybe others don't.

This thread is devolving into yet another one where people who wouldn't be caught dead on a BD bike (and have likely never even seen or ridden one) are pitted against unwilling "defenders" of BD who have actually purchased from them. This has already happened ad nauseum here. I'm out.
I have a bike direct bike.

My specialized didn't cost that much and I was just using that as an example. They design much less expensive bikes. I was just pointing out the differences and correcting misstatements.

The OP asked for opinions and I gave mine.

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Old 04-15-18, 03:18 PM   #68
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I have a 2013 Motobecane Vent Noir, it has been a great ride. It still is my trainer/weather bike, but I have done several double metrics, and centuries without issue.
If your comfortable with doing your own wrenching, and research to get the correct size, it's a great valve to but from BD. Do your research, and understand what you're buying.
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Old 04-16-18, 06:59 AM   #69
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If they weren't trying to attach faux prestige to the bikes they wouldn't call them Motobecanes, Mercier, etc.; they would paint "bikes direct" on them. That is my biggest problem with them. They are generic sweat shop, bikes painted with an old time prestigious label. I don't mind the mail order part at all. I bought a Lynskey that way. I just think you are paying a small amount for a low quality product. Fine if that is what you are looking for. If on a tight budget, I'd much rather buy a quality used bike on Craig's List.
Eh, from the opposite perspective: I bet 95% of BD users don't have a clue about the history of any of those brands, or even knew they existed. Heck, even after finding out they appropriated the Motobecane name, it took me a bit longer to realize Mercier and Windsor were also once a different bike manufacturer. From my perspective when I started biking, they may as well have been made up names.

Also, do I really think they are any less quality than the bulk of Motobecanes I have ever seen? Nah. Not as if they were exclusively a high end manufacturer.
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Old 04-16-18, 09:36 AM   #70
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Eh, from the opposite perspective: I bet 95% of BD users don't have a clue about the history of any of those brands, or even knew they existed. Heck, even after finding out they appropriated the Motobecane name, it took me a bit longer to realize Mercier and Windsor were also once a different bike manufacturer. From my perspective when I started biking, they may as well have been made up names.

Also, do I really think they are any less quality than the bulk of Motobecanes I have ever seen? Nah. Not as if they were exclusively a high end manufacturer.
I think you are undervaluing Motobecanes in that era and earlier.

Regardless, If BD did not intend to rely on the original Motobecane cache and reputation, they would not have bought that name for use on their generic frames. There is only one explanation why they did.
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Old 04-16-18, 09:49 AM   #71
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Eh, from the opposite perspective: I bet 95% of BD users don't have a clue about the history of any of those brands, or even knew they existed. ...
That would be me. Don't know, don't care. As far as I knew, "Motobecane" meant entry level bikes constructed from generic frames and standard low end components. It's just a brand, and all brands are intended to make people think of a certain quality, or certain nature of a product. It's what they're for, not worth worrying about.
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Old 04-16-18, 09:16 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Eh, from the opposite perspective: I bet 95% of BD users don't have a clue about the history of any of those brands, or even knew they existed. Heck, even after finding out they appropriated the Motobecane name, it took me a bit longer to realize Mercier and Windsor were also once a different bike manufacturer. From my perspective when I started biking, they may as well have been made up names.

Also, do I really think they are any less quality than the bulk of Motobecanes I have ever seen? Nah. Not as if they were exclusively a high end manufacturer.
That was my thought too.


Motobecane: worst name in the world, and the only people who knows what it means are people who will be annoyed you are using it. Not the smartest marketing.
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Old 04-17-18, 05:01 AM   #73
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First off, anyone who knows the old Motobecane is probably not considering BD bike.

Second, anyone who is more concerned about the decal on the down tube than the bicycle itself, would probably not shop at BD.

BD bought up old names for their cachet, sure … but never pretended to be anything but what they are. They never pretended to be selling anything but what they sold.

Read the sales literature of any of the major bike companies, and it is indeed literature … low in fact, heavy in flowery language describing stuff which by and large isn’t related to the actual bicycles.

BD’s website, on the other hand (except for the crowing about “Compare to Trek models at 2X the price” and such) is really straightforward. They list out every piece, and don’t try to sell them as anything but what they are.

They don’t try to tell you a how their house-brand parts have some amazing, revolutionary designs, or are the product of whatever process …. But they are all the same pieces, pretty much.

“House-brand” parts are just the same as any other parts at any given price level—a cheap “Bontrager" or “Oval”-branded stem isn’t any better than the other (and likely neither as strong or light as a $20 Kalloy Uno stem anyway.)

BD tells you Exactly what you are getting. You make the decision.
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Old 04-17-18, 07:46 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
Motobecane: worst name in the world, and the only people who knows what it means are people who will be annoyed you are using it. Not the smartest marketing.
Actually a very fair perspective I hadn't considered!
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Old 04-17-18, 08:22 AM   #75
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I own a BD Gran Premio and have had zero issues from box to close to 10,000 miles on it. I did some upgrades (saddle, handlebars, wheelset) but due to personal preference, not because there was anything wrong with the original equipment. The factory wheelset and handlebars are on my Plan B bike and work fine. The saddle would have been changed on any of the comparable LBS bikes I tried as well.

IMHO, good bikes at a fair price. I live a good distance from any LBS, so delivery to my doorstep in about a week was a plus. I work on my own bikes so LBS assembly, adjustment and service were not a factor. I don't recommend them for a complete newbie unless they have some knowledgeable assistance to assure proper sizing and assembly.
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