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First Impressions: BD Motobecane Mirage S

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

First Impressions: BD Motobecane Mirage S

Old 06-06-15, 07:34 PM
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Shiloh253
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First Impressions: BD Motobecane Mirage S

I'll preface this by saying that I'm still a newbie to the road bike community. I rode a Trek MTB for the longest time before upgrading to this bike. But still, I couldn't find many reviews on this bike so I figured I'd toss mine out there.

The Bike: Save Up to 60% Off Carbon Fork Road Bikes - Motobecane Mirage S

Bear in mind, this is NOT a full review, merely a "first glance".

Bought the bike on a monday, came to my door on friday. Not too shabby, and the free shipping is always a plus.

Putting it together: Pretty straightforward, I constructed the entire thing with just a few allen wrenches. Everything came wrapped in foam and/or cardboard, no scratches on the frame or bars, wheels seem to run pretty true. Unfortunately I'm stuck using the platform pedals until I can afford some clipless.

First ride: I just rode around campus for about twenty minutes to get everything dialed in and get an idea of how it differed from my Trek. Well, the first difference became obvious very, very quickly. For anyone going from an MTB to a full-on road bike, "twitchy" is an understatement. I was used to slow, gentle movements on a heavy frame. And while this thing is far from the lightest (the Motobecane came out to just about 24 pounds) the responsiveness is a big adjustment. However, I'm getting more and more used to it and I like it quite a lot.

I'm also not used to feeling every little bump and rut in the road. The carbon front fork helps a little, but nothing like suspension. Yet again though, getting used to this as time goes on.

Surprisingly the gears came pretty well indexed. I had to do some minor adjustments but it took less than fifteen minutes altogether. It's running like a top now, shifts are crisp and quick. The brakes definitely needed a bit of work, but yet again a quick fix.

What else is there to say? Most everything on this bike is pretty basic. Aluminum wheels, Tourney components (most likely upgrading these somewhere down the line) aluminum frame, carbon fork, 14 speed, compact crankset...yeah, pretty boring. But, for $400 I'm already happy with my purchase.

Put another 15 or so miles on it today with zero issues. Though I do have a few takeaways for myself:

-Need a shorter stem. I got the 56cm and while I love the frame size itself, the reach to the bars is a touch long and can get uncomfortable. Probably going to drop down to an 80mm.
-The saddle is...eh. Wearing padded shorts I don't notice it much, but after a while it can definitely get a little sore.

That's about it really. If you just need an affordable bike to get into the road scene, or want a cheaper training bike for the off-season the Mirage is a pretty good choice. Nothing special about it, just another chinese made BD rig, but it's /my/ chinese made BD rig and I'm enjoying it so far.
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Old 06-06-15, 07:49 PM
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awesome, cool beans.
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Old 06-06-15, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Shiloh253 View Post
I'll preface this by saying that I'm still a newbie to the road bike community. I rode a Trek MTB for the longest time before upgrading to this bike. But still, I couldn't find many reviews on this bike so I figured I'd toss mine out there.

The Bike: Save Up to 60% Off Carbon Fork Road Bikes - Motobecane Mirage S

Bear in mind, this is NOT a full review, merely a "first glance".

Bought the bike on a monday, came to my door on friday. Not too shabby, and the free shipping is always a plus.

Putting it together: Pretty straightforward, I constructed the entire thing with just a few allen wrenches. Everything came wrapped in foam and/or cardboard, no scratches on the frame or bars, wheels seem to run pretty true. Unfortunately I'm stuck using the platform pedals until I can afford some clipless.

First ride: I just rode around campus for about twenty minutes to get everything dialed in and get an idea of how it differed from my Trek. Well, the first difference became obvious very, very quickly. For anyone going from an MTB to a full-on road bike, "twitchy" is an understatement. I was used to slow, gentle movements on a heavy frame. And while this thing is far from the lightest (the Motobecane came out to just about 24 pounds) the responsiveness is a big adjustment. However, I'm getting more and more used to it and I like it quite a lot.

I'm also not used to feeling every little bump and rut in the road. The carbon front fork helps a little, but nothing like suspension. Yet again though, getting used to this as time goes on.

Surprisingly the gears came pretty well indexed. I had to do some minor adjustments but it took less than fifteen minutes altogether. It's running like a top now, shifts are crisp and quick. The brakes definitely needed a bit of work, but yet again a quick fix.

What else is there to say? Most everything on this bike is pretty basic. Aluminum wheels, Tourney components (most likely upgrading these somewhere down the line) aluminum frame, carbon fork, 14 speed, compact crankset...yeah, pretty boring. But, for $400 I'm already happy with my purchase.

Put another 15 or so miles on it today with zero issues. Though I do have a few takeaways for myself:

-Need a shorter stem. I got the 56cm and while I love the frame size itself, the reach to the bars is a touch long and can get uncomfortable. Probably going to drop down to an 80mm.
-The saddle is...eh. Wearing padded shorts I don't notice it much, but after a while it can definitely get a little sore.

That's about it really. If you just need an affordable bike to get into the road scene, or want a cheaper training bike for the off-season the Mirage is a pretty good choice. Nothing special about it, just another chinese made BD rig, but it's /my/ chinese made BD rig and I'm enjoying it so far.
be aware a shorter stem can amplify twitchy-ness.
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Old 06-06-15, 08:29 PM
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Shorter reach bars is another option. Those bars look to be quite long in reach.

I'm also not used to feeling every little bump and rut in the road. The carbon front fork helps a little, but nothing like suspension. Yet again though, getting used to this as time goes on.
On a road bike, the suspension is your knee's and elbows. Play around with the tyre pressures to find a happy medium.

Nice bike. Enjoy
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Old 06-06-15, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bt View Post
be aware a shorter stem can amplify twitchy-ness.
I'd be willing to work with that. I think it's moreso just getting used to the increased responsiveness over the old main battle tank (read: trek MTB's)
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Old 06-06-15, 10:38 PM
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Thanks for the report! It looks like a good first road bike for $400. You indeed did discover the differences in ride between a road bike and a MTB. More miles under your belt will help the transition. And you might also find that as you develop core muscles from riding, the more stretched out position might not be uncomfortable.
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Old 06-06-15, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
Thanks for the report! It looks like a good first road bike for $400. You indeed did discover the differences in ride between a road bike and a MTB. More miles under your belt will help the transition. And you might also find that as you develop core muscles from riding, the more stretched out position might not be uncomfortable.
My pleasure! And I'll be giving it a little more time anyway, I'm living on a bit of a tight budget until the end of the month anyway so unless it becomes a serious problem, the stem will have to wait.

Also I do have a bit of a dumb question: I ride on really crappy roads. If I want to avoid punctures from stuff like goatsfeet/thorns, would I be better of getting puncture-resistant tubes or better tires?
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Old 06-06-15, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Shiloh253 View Post
-Need a shorter stem. I got the 56cm and while I love the frame size itself, the reach to the bars is a touch long and can get uncomfortable. Probably going to drop down to an 80mm.
Where are your hands when you are riding?

Also, try flipping the stem as well.

Originally Posted by Shiloh253 View Post
My pleasure! And I'll be giving it a little more time anyway, I'm living on a bit of a tight budget until the end of the month anyway so unless it becomes a serious problem, the stem will have to wait.

Also I do have a bit of a dumb question: I ride on really crappy roads. If I want to avoid punctures from stuff like goatsfeet/thorns, would I be better of getting puncture-resistant tubes or better tires?
I ride puncture resistant tubes but I don't think they've done anything at least against inorganic road debris. The one time I had a puncture a safety pin went through my tire and tube. The pin part was about an inch long and ... yeah basically nothing would have stopped that except a really strong tire or at least an inch thick tube. In other words I've never noticed anything which penetrated the tire but not my tubes on my bike.


I suggest more puncture-resistant tires instead.
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Old 06-06-15, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Deontologist View Post
Where are your hands when you are riding?

Also, try flipping the stem as well.

I'm riding on the hoods most of the time. It just seems I'm stretching a little too far, my wrists and hands start to hurt after a while of that.

And would flipping this particular stem help? It looks pretty much level to me.
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Old 06-07-15, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Shiloh253 View Post
I'm riding on the hoods most of the time. It just seems I'm stretching a little too far, my wrists and hands start to hurt after a while of that.

And would flipping this particular stem help? It looks pretty much level to me.
It might look level but if you flip the stem it won't be level any more.

I have a super level stem and when I flipped it I got a nice few cm of lift.

(Then I flipped it back to level, but that's just me).
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Old 06-07-15, 01:06 AM
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Indeed the "adjustment" period will probably surprise you.

Whereas you'll start out wanting to be a bit more like you were on the MTB, just give it time & ride lots. You'll start noticing the position feels more normal and you'll even start getting into the drops more & then when you start wondering if you might even feel better lower or longer, you'll laugh thinking back about how short & high you wanted your position to be.
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Old 06-07-15, 05:07 AM
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OP, this is not certain, but if you need an 80 mm stem on a 56 cm frame, the frame is likely too big for you. Assuming that is, the 56 cm means approximately the effective top tube. If 56 cm is the actual top tube, the frame is almost surely too big for an 80 cm stem. Make sure first that you have the saddle right distance fore-aft relative to the bottom bracket. That is an independent variable and is not used to make reach more acceptably. Once you have that right, you can address the stem length question.
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Old 06-08-15, 10:03 PM
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@rpenmanparker: Thanks, I completely forgot about that! I did nudge the seat forward a little bit and there is a difference. I'll probably still end up getting a shorter stem, but I went out for a nice long ride today and it was markedly more comfortable than before. Still a touch bit stretched out, but my arms and shoulders are getting used to it pretty quick I think.

The only thing that desperately needs changing is the saddle. At first I thought it wasn't bad, but after spending close to three hours on the bike today that's just not the case. It feels like Thor drop-kicked my pelvis.
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Old 06-09-15, 05:26 PM
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Got the same bike recently. Did you get the black one? Pretty sweet looking right? I have 166 miles on the clock and really am liking it.
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Old 06-09-15, 05:36 PM
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I'm not familiar with those shifters, do they have a thumb button to shift?
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Old 06-09-15, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by SempreCycling View Post
I'm not familiar with those shifters, do they have a thumb button to shift?
They're the Tourney model, so kinda: It has a thumb click to shift up, but you click the brake lever in to shift down.
@Motolegs: That was a tough decision for me, haha. Ended up going with the black one. The white might not scratch as much, but for some reason I loved the black color. And same here! Didn't take me long to set up and everything runs just as it should. The saddle is "eh" at best, but I'm willing to work with that for the moment.
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Old 06-09-15, 05:47 PM
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So, like the old Sora models. Got it.
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Old 06-09-15, 06:27 PM
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Personally would get a used bike off CL with a better groupo and gearing before this, but it's still a solid bike.... just not what I'd be looking for.....
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Old 06-09-15, 06:47 PM
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I made the switch from an old MTB to a CX bike with really aggressive geometry a year and a half ago. For the first 9 months or so I rode it with the stack of spacers all on the bottom and the stem flipped. This created enough rise (about 2-2.5 in) that I had to change out the front brake cable.

As the back got stronger I started moving the spacers back underneath and then finally flipped the stem back over and now ride it about completely slammed.

It's all about conditioning. Take your time and make small adjustments.

I did finaly swap the stem out from 110mm to 90mm, but that was not over a reach from the saddle issue. The 110mm stem put me just a little too far forward when climbing or sprinting out of the saddle and felt unstable and squirrely. The shorter stem helped with that a lot, but doesn't really feel any different in the saddle.
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Old 06-10-15, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bigdo13 View Post
Personally would get a used bike off CL with a better groupo and gearing before this, but it's still a solid bike.... just not what I'd be looking for.....
wyoming bicycles - by owner - craigslist

^ This is what bikes on CL are like in my area. Just FYI.
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Old 06-13-15, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Shiloh253 View Post
wyoming bicycles - by owner - craigslist

^ This is what bikes on CL are like in my area. Just FYI.
LOL... I immediately se your point... That kind of doesn't make sense to me...I would've thought that road cycling would be more popular in Wyoming... I guess I'm just spoiled being in CO...

I know some CL ads are open to shipping if it's not too far... generally it's not that risky a move if you know your setup real well... I would still take a gander around the CO ads if your in Wyoming...

I think that the Bikesdirect bike you got is going to work out fine for awhile though... eventually though, you will want to trade-up...
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Old 06-13-15, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bigdo13 View Post
LOL... I immediately se your point... That kind of doesn't make sense to me...I would've thought that road cycling would be more popular in Wyoming... I guess I'm just spoiled being in CO...

I know some CL ads are open to shipping if it's not too far... generally it's not that risky a move if you know your setup real well... I would still take a gander around the CO ads if your in Wyoming...

I think that the Bikesdirect bike you got is going to work out fine for awhile though... eventually though, you will want to trade-up...
Yeah, Wyoming's kinda odd. If you go to Jackson or Lander, you'll almost see more bikes than cars, great bike culture, generally pretty awesome. But Riverton, not so much. I get weird looks, people shouting at me to get off the road, intentionally swerving at me...yeah, it's rough. Plus, I'm convinced our roads are made out of pie crust for as cracked as they are. That carbon fork is definitely getting tested.

And that's definitely in the future. I just need this thing to last me long enough so I can get a feel for what I like, maybe do a few races/tours for kicks and giggles, get me around town, etc. Once I've got a more stable income I'd love to get my hands on a used Specialized or CAAD.
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Old 06-13-15, 08:34 PM
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Also double post because I roll like that.

I've yet to get a bike comp for this one, but at a low estimate I've put around 70 miles on it so far. Things I like:
-Shifting is amazing. Quick, quiet, crisp.
-Good range of gears, haven't found a situation where I couldn't find the right set.
-It's pretty comfortable in terms of absorbing shock. The carbon fork is definitely helping!
-Tires seem to be pretty decent. Haven't gotten a puncture yet (knock on wood) and they're holding up well

Things I don't like:
-The saddle. Oh dear Flying Spaghetti Monster this saddle is just NOT comfortable. Needs to go ASAP
-Brakepads aren't too great. They'll stop you, sure, but it's far from smooth
-Wheels need some minor truing. Nothing insane, but a tad bit off.
-Should have got the white color, black is already scratching. But I don't really care

So far, so good. Everything that needs some work is easily fixed. As soon as I get paid at the end of this month I'm getting a new saddle and brakepads, but that's all I really see needing to be replaced at the moment.
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Old 07-02-15, 04:55 PM
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Another short update for anyone who's interested. I've added the following so far:
-Saddlebag for spare tube, multitool, patch kit, and tire levers.
-Cheap LED rear light, red flashing strobe. Only $9 at wallyworld but it seems to do pretty well.
-New bottle cages.

I've been riding at least 4 times a week, usually around 7-10 miles each but slowly increasing that. The only real complaints I can come up with are the saddle, though that will change soon because my new one just came today. Also I still think the reach is a bit long, but a 90mm stem is on the way as we speak.

Everything still works just as it should. Brakes could probably use a bit of work but they stop me just fine. And while I know they're far from top of the line, the Tourney components are doing great! No issues so far.
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Old 04-24-16, 10:45 AM
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what's your height?

thanks for the post, very helpul.

saw your comment about the 56 cm being a slight reach. curious how tall you are for reference?

thanks!



Originally Posted by Shiloh253 View Post
I'll preface this by saying that I'm still a newbie to the road bike community. I rode a Trek MTB for the longest time before upgrading to this bike. But still, I couldn't find many reviews on this bike so I figured I'd toss mine out there.

The Bike: Save Up to 60% Off Carbon Fork Road Bikes - Motobecane Mirage S

Bear in mind, this is NOT a full review, merely a "first glance".

Bought the bike on a monday, came to my door on friday. Not too shabby, and the free shipping is always a plus.

Putting it together: Pretty straightforward, I constructed the entire thing with just a few allen wrenches. Everything came wrapped in foam and/or cardboard, no scratches on the frame or bars, wheels seem to run pretty true. Unfortunately I'm stuck using the platform pedals until I can afford some clipless.

First ride: I just rode around campus for about twenty minutes to get everything dialed in and get an idea of how it differed from my Trek. Well, the first difference became obvious very, very quickly. For anyone going from an MTB to a full-on road bike, "twitchy" is an understatement. I was used to slow, gentle movements on a heavy frame. And while this thing is far from the lightest (the Motobecane came out to just about 24 pounds) the responsiveness is a big adjustment. However, I'm getting more and more used to it and I like it quite a lot.

I'm also not used to feeling every little bump and rut in the road. The carbon front fork helps a little, but nothing like suspension. Yet again though, getting used to this as time goes on.

Surprisingly the gears came pretty well indexed. I had to do some minor adjustments but it took less than fifteen minutes altogether. It's running like a top now, shifts are crisp and quick. The brakes definitely needed a bit of work, but yet again a quick fix.

What else is there to say? Most everything on this bike is pretty basic. Aluminum wheels, Tourney components (most likely upgrading these somewhere down the line) aluminum frame, carbon fork, 14 speed, compact crankset...yeah, pretty boring. But, for $400 I'm already happy with my purchase.

Put another 15 or so miles on it today with zero issues. Though I do have a few takeaways for myself:

-Need a shorter stem. I got the 56cm and while I love the frame size itself, the reach to the bars is a touch long and can get uncomfortable. Probably going to drop down to an 80mm.
-The saddle is...eh. Wearing padded shorts I don't notice it much, but after a while it can definitely get a little sore.

That's about it really. If you just need an affordable bike to get into the road scene, or want a cheaper training bike for the off-season the Mirage is a pretty good choice. Nothing special about it, just another chinese made BD rig, but it's /my/ chinese made BD rig and I'm enjoying it so far.
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