I tool a leap of faith and bought this bike on line from Bikes Direct, b/c of the components and carbon fiber frame. All in all, the frame itself, is good, no complaints. I do however have beef w/ the components that bikes direct sells w/ the bike. In particular the FSA crankest. Not once, but 2 darn times my left crank arm has fallen off while in the middle of no where. Not Reliable, and would make extra sure you double check every bolt when you buy a bike from them. I'm for now, OK w/ the fame, but the crankset, not pleased w/ in the least bit. Good luck to you if you decide to go w/ bikes direct and be careful!
Strengths: Nice balance of quality on the components. Great price. Light enough (haven't weighed it though) and a great change of pace from the FS mtb.
Weaknesses: customer service not up to par but at this price they probably can't afford it and make a profit. I suspect if you have some rather major issue that requires a return, you'd have no problem. I would have rated the overall at 5 if the customer service were better. But if you want excellent customer service, or you can't wrench yourself, go to your LBD, you won't regret it unless the avg employee age is under 20 of course.
I've learned a lot on this forum so decided to contribute something. This was a sweet deal. I did my homework, read up on others' experiences with bikesdirect and decided since I do my own wrenching, it would be OK. I was right. The freewheel turned out to be garbage so instead of writing emails back and forth, sending the whole bike back and waiting a long time, I replaced it myself, cost $40 for the part at Bobcat bikes in Salinas. Problem solved in less than an hour. They are cool people. This experience was as much about dealing with bikesdirect as it was about figuring out what to get without being able to ride or even see the darn beast. I am loathe to get a dealer's input and test their stuff then buy online so this was a bit of a shot in the dark, based on experience building up mountain bikes and a lot of wrenching over the years. Bikesdirect has less than adequate customer skills and I suspected it would be that way. I realized after ordering my choice, that is was not actually in stock. Several email exchanges ensued with the bottom line that I got a different bike that was $5 less which I'm very happy with but the defensiveness of the employee was not helpful. I asked for the emails to be forwarded to a mgr or owner but never heard from anyone. This made me realize the best choice on the freewheel would be to replace it myself. It should be obvious to all who order bikes from them that you will probably be replacing some of the components over time if you pay less than $2,000. Under that and some of the components are of lower quality and should be replaced so you can customize your bike with lighter/better parts that YOU choose. They do not offer any customization and they make that clear up front so don't ask. Just realize if the word Ultegra is in the ad, it does not mean all the components are Ultegra, read carefully. The choices they make in what to make higher quality are good choices in my opinion. Rear derailleur was Ultegra, front was 105. Sturdy light Shimano wheels, ok brakes. Carbon frame, aluminum bars and stem and so on. The cheap seat is actually a very comfortable, a surprise. The setup was easy, none of the cables needed replacing or shortening although I had all those kinds of materials handy in case. It took about 2 hours to get it together and the only thing that I really had to do was retrue the rear just a bit. I was able to wait on that and do it at a friend's house, he has a truing stand. I think I might have had to adjust the rear derailleur just a bit but I have a Park stand I used to assemble it so it was done in 5 minutes. Haven't touched it since. I thought the wheels might need swapping but they turned out to be very good wheels, no problem with spokes or staying true, just the freewheel that was bad out of the box. I look forward to riding this black carbon beauty, it's wonderfully light esp. since I moved into road from mountain biking. If it were 2 lbs heavier than it should be, you could not get me to complain about it. Just one thing though, the Motobecane branding is a bit silly, it's only a decal, the company doesn't exist anymore. It was also a good excuse to get some cool new jerseys and shop for road shoes at REI.
Favorite Ride: hey, is there a bad ride in Monterey?
Purchased At: bikesdirect
Bike Setup: Changed the 11-25 shimano 105 cassette for an Ultegra 12-27 since I like hills, 25 just wasn't enough. Paid $80 at pricepoint.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: May 6, 2008
Strengths: Level of Components, Frame for the Price.
Weaknesses: Rim Strips.
Very nice price for a bike with Ultegra Components. I had the same issue with the rim strips and got a flat first time out on the front. Replaced the rim strips, added a cage, computer, pump, and seat bag.
Similar Products Used: 70's vintage Motobecane Grand Touring
Bike Setup: Stock except for the addons (Cage, Cateye Computer, Pump)
Carl J. Berninger
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2007
Strengths: Compared to my fine 1998 Fuji Roubaix, the Century Pro is plenty stiff, but gentle on the old bod. Seems to really want to go, go
go, even up hills. Brakes are buttery in feel and work well with the grooved Ritchey rims. Effortless shifting.
Weaknesses: None - No customization is possible, since it comes in a factory packed box. Peddles are Wellgo, one sided clipless. Saddle is a bit hard.
This all carbon bike is sweet at a great price, which includes shipping from Texas.
See specs on bikesdirect.com
All carbon frame, including all stays and fork, Headset FSA, Shimano Ultegra rear and front triple, brakes Cane Creek SCR3, Hubs Ritchey Pro sealed, Rims, Ritchey Pro, Crank/BottomBracket FSA, Handelbars Ritchey Pro.
Ordered Sunday, arrived Thursday with sufficient firm emails and UPS tracking.
Packed in original Moto box, excellant.
Took several hours of easy setup. No adjustment necessary.
Favorite Ride: Bethesda, MD to Georgetown on Capitol Crescent Trail
Purchased At: bikesdirect.com
Similar Products Used: Have owned many bikes over my last 73 years.
Bike Setup: See Above
Date Reviewed: October 21, 2007
Strengths: Components and Price are prefect, I like the semi carbon fiber body.
Weaknesses: Its a great bike.
This is my first new/expensive bike. I've ridden and owned many used bikes, different sizes and geometries. What attracted me to this bike vs the Trek 1200 or 2100 was the fit. This bike fit me perfect, and the components were great for the value.