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Motobecane USA Mirage Sport

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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

Motobecane USA Mirage Sport

Old 05-14-13, 06:53 PM
  #1  
ralph12
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Motobecane USA Mirage Sport

I'm looking for my first road bike--I initially planned on buying a Fuji Connoisseur from BD, but they sold out.

I noticed they do still have the Motobecane Mirage Sport: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...t_xi.htm#specs

Does it seem like a good value, for someone who will be using the bike mostly for recreation (casual rides around town, out in the countryside, and to the store) and physical rehabilitation of an old leg injury, but who wants a lighter bike and more speed than would be provided by a "comfort bike"?

I've checked out the bikes at my LBS's, but the do not have any road bikes in my price range. I'm a college student and for me, it really isn't between a $450 road bike and a $1000 road bike...it's more between a sub-$500 road bike or no road bike.

Do you think the Motobecane Mirage Sport might be a good choice?

I'm also looking at the regular Mirage, which is only $349. Again, I don't know that much about road bikes, and I won't be riding competitively...this is for fun, exercise, and maybe transportation.

Last edited by ralph12; 05-14-13 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 05-14-13, 07:17 PM
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Do you have much experience with bikes in general? The reason I ask, is that BD bikes require assembly. It's simple stuff, but a complete noob may have difficulty and may not have the tools to do so. You may want to factor in the cost of having your LBS assemble it. Another downside to BD bikes is hoping you get the correct size, otherwise you will be uncomfortable trying to ride a bike that fits poorly.

Beyond those issues, that bike would most likely be fine to start out with and would fulfill your needs.
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Old 05-14-13, 07:25 PM
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If you can handle the work of putting a bike together (as orangejuliio, it's not hard but it's not easy), BD has some reasonable bike. One thing I'd look out for is whether the bike you are interested in can take a reasonably sized tire. 700 by 23c (which a lot of the BD bikes come with) is more suitable for racing. For general riding, you want a bike that can take at least a 700 by 28c if not a 32c. E-mail BD and ask them which of their bikes can take a fatter tire. The bike (and the wheels) will hold up a lot better with a little fatter tire.
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Old 05-14-13, 07:29 PM
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I purchased a Motobecane Vent Noir this past winter and have been very happy so far.
That said, are you comfortable assembling and tuning the bike (shifters, and brakes)? Have you used a fit calculator to help you with sizing? Have you any experience in setting the fit, IE: saddle height and position, handle bar height and position, etc?
I am not trying to discourage you just pointing out what is involved with online purchase verses an LBS, that will help or take care of these details.
Another consideration would be to shop CL for an affordable alternative.
Good Luck in your choice.
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Old 05-14-13, 07:45 PM
  #5  
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Ralph12, I was looking at a Motobecane also but the Mirage S model. It has an aluminum frame and carbon fork. I know my size and have don't have any real issue with general assembly. The price and features are hard to beat. Curious to know if other forum members have any good experiences from bikes direct.
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Old 05-14-13, 08:06 PM
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I actually just upgraded from a 2009 Mirage Sport recently. I got mine through craigslist sans wheels, tires & cassette. I ended up buying the needed parts and putting a couple hundred miles on it.

In all, its not abad bike. Like others have stated, you have to assemble it. Take this as a good challenge and dont be intimidated by it. Learning to adjust the derailleurs, brakes and everything else will make you much mpre knowledgable.

Two suggestions for you:
1. Spring for the mirage sport with the STI shifters. In general they are nice to have and can always be transfered to a new bike.
2. Really measure and research the fit. The M. Sport has a fairly short effective top tube and headtube. Where normally I ride a 54cm a 5cm would have fit me much better
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Old 05-14-13, 08:28 PM
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ralph12
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Well, to be honest I might not be able to have the bike put together--I lack the tools and I don't have any experience assembling bikes. I'd like to learn, and maybe I could figure it out with resources online, but then again, I would have to buy the tools (BD sells a tool kit, though I'm not sure what all it includes...wouldn't be surprised if a better value could be had elsewhere; I'm not sure). Then again, maybe I can.

As far as sizing goes, I have used this fit calculator: http://www.ebicycles.com/bicycle-tools/frame-sizer

It recommended me a 55 cm frame (i am just above 5' 9", with roughly 32" leg length). But according to bikes direct, the 54cm Mirage (not the Mirage sport) has a standover height of 791 mm. I would barely be able to clear that; I have a mountain bike of about that height, and it's rideable, but only just, and it feels big, and I don't really clear the top tube much, if at all. I know road bikes don't really always require one to clear the top tube, but I would like to, if only by a bit.

Most 54 cm bikes I've seen have a lower standover than 791 mm, I think....is it possible they measure differently? Or perhaps they are proportioned differently...

The Mirage Sport 54 cm has a standover of 786 mm, so very slightly shorter
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Old 05-14-13, 09:11 PM
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That fit calculator is mediocre at best. it gives you an average idea but the fit calculator on competitivecyclist.com is much more comprehensive.

As far as tools go...spend $20 and buy them at the hardware store. to set up the bike you will need 6, 5, & 4mm allen keys, a philips head screwdriver, and maybe some pliers and a crecsent wrench. the bikes do come assembled to the point where you have to mount the handlebars, seatpost, pedals...things like that. cables are already installed and the wheels are toolless installs. one other thing to remember is that for proper fit you will want to make adjustments on the road. you can carry your 3 allen wrenches for that. you won't have to return to the lbs for every tiny adjustment

for standover height, the 5mm difference is almost nor measurable. we are talking about 3/16". this also goes back to measuring yourself. measure your actual cycling inseam as opposed to your pants inseam. I wear 30" inseam jeans but easily clear a 31" standover with plenty of room for the boys.
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Old 05-14-13, 10:07 PM
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Don't worry about standover height, it's the dumbest way to size a bike IMO. I'm the same height and inseam as you and a 54cm frame with a ~540-550MM effective top tube will fit you just fine. I'd go with the Motobecane Mirage Pro because the Microshift shifters are going to be better than those bottom end Shimano jobies. If there's any way you can scrounge up another $250 the Gravity Liberty 3 with Tiagra has much nicer shifters. If you can handle assembling the bike then you can always take it to a bike shop to have the derailleurs adjusted at roughly $20 a piece if need be.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../liberty_3.htm
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Old 05-14-13, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Space Pope View Post
Ralph12, I was looking at a Motobecane also but the Mirage S model. It has an aluminum frame and carbon fork. I know my size and have don't have any real issue with general assembly. The price and features are hard to beat. Curious to know if other forum members have any good experiences from bikes direct.
A resounding yes.

My bike required that I clamp on the handle bars, attach the pedals, attach the wheels, attach the seat and seatpost. Idid have a shop adjust the shifters, derailuers and the brakes, lube the wheel bearings.

I would not buy the Allen keys from a hardware store, however. An alternative is a neat 4/5/6mm tri tool that bike shops carry.
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Old 05-15-13, 07:00 AM
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ralph12
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I actually already have a full set of allen keys (one of the few tools I own), so I'm glad I won't need to buy those. The other tools, I will pick up from wherever I can get them cheapest (I'm on a tight budget).

I won't need a stand to set the bike up, right? I really can see myself assembling it myself, then.
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Old 05-15-13, 07:11 AM
  #12  
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When I first started working on bikes I did not own a stand. There are some jobs you can't do without a stand (like removing a bottom bracket) but a stand is not necessary to assemble a bike. You can get buy on a handful of tools; buy good ones as they'll last you a lifetime.
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Old 05-15-13, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by clarkbre View Post
The M. Sport has a fairly short effective top tube and headtube. Where normally I ride a 54cm a 5cm would have fit me much better
A 56 cm?
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Old 05-15-13, 07:42 AM
  #14  
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Might want a second opinion on sizing. Try this fit calculator:
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO
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Old 05-15-13, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ralph12 View Post
A 56 cm?
Yes. Sorry, these cell phone "keyboards" don't quite cut it.

So normally a 54cm frame will have a 54-55cm effecticve top tube. The effective top tube on the 54cm Moto Mirage Sport is only 53. Riding and adjusting the fit on mine, I ended up having to buy a longer stem that brought the handlebars up a bit. But, that's just fit for me. Yours may be different.

Like others have said, a stand is not needed. If you do decide to buy and assemble the bike don't get overwhelmed. Get it all together first and then break down derailleur and brake adjustments into sections. start with the rear derailleur only. then when that is working well, move to the front. Then adjust the brakes.
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Old 05-16-13, 02:59 PM
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I bit the bullet and bought the Mirage S. It really was the only way I could get into road biking at a decent price. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...s/mirage_s.htm

Assembly was super easy, as was mentioned earlier. Install bars, front brake, front wheel, seat post and pedals. Wheels were true out of the box. Had to adjust the rear brake quit a bit. I have yet to take it for a long spin, but I know that I need to adjust the front derailleur because it is rubbing a little on the chain when I push hard.

For size reference, I am 6'1.5" (6'2" on a good day) with a 34" inseam. The 60 cm is perfect for me. I almost ordered the 58 cm because I was afraid the 60 would be too squirrelly for me, which would have been a huge mistake for me. Even with no road bike experience in the past 10 years it handles very well.

I also got to give my 18" Trek MTB to my brother. It actually fits him, unlike me who was looking for ways to monkey rig it into a comfortable road ride!
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Old 05-16-13, 07:00 PM
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Glad to hear you made the move and like the fit. Post a picture when you get a chance.
Now go ride the tires off it
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Old 05-16-13, 07:40 PM
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I got the motobecane grand record last Sept and have been very satisfied with it. I have put about 1200 miles on it with no issues at all. Assembly was quick and easy, adjustments took about 30-45 minutes and I was riding around. I would definitely go with a BD bike again
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