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I am relatively new to cycling. I currently have a Trek 750(hybrid) that was given to me for free. I couldn't even tell you what compnents it has. This has been the bike I use for women's triathlons (I'm working on my 3rd this weekend). It has some issues.
I would like to get a road bike. In the research I have done alot of bikes have Shimano components. When looking at bike shops I see Trek, Specialized, Bianchi, etc. I have also priced bikes at BD online. The lbs bikes are considerably more expensive for similar components as BD. My question is will a Mercier or Motobecane frame be as good as Trek or Bianchi. My gut tells me the real difference at the level of bike I'm looking at is the nameplate only , since the components are the same/ similar (Tiagra/105).
Any info might help me convince my SO (aka MacTavish- read cheap scotsman) that I really can get a decent bike at a decent price. Don't think he'll go for the $12-1500 pricetag. Thanks
 

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ISL56
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The frames are of good quality. I have purchased two bikes from BD. One Frame has 7000 miles, the other nearly 9000 miles.

Both have survived crashes.

If you buy from BD take your purchase to a local bike shop for set-up. What they (BD)have delivered to me in both instances was less than desired. My last purchase required crank work at the LBS before I was able to ride. ( I don't do cranks) I was able to fix/tune- up/correct other issues. If you don't wrench/have a stand, then take the BD purchase to the LBS.

That said, both bikes are/were excellent values, and I'd recommend BD's price/equipment value relationship to anyone....just be prepared to take the bike to a professional for a tune-up and final assembly. My LBS is happy to do the work. They make more money on repairs and selling me clothes and shoes than they do selling bikes....

Good luck with Mr. MacTavish-- If a bicycle purchase from BD can't happily press his tight-wad buttons, nothing will......
 

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Dexter11 said:
I am relatively new to cycling. I currently have a Trek 750(hybrid) that was given to me for free. I couldn't even tell you what compnents it has. This has been the bike I use for women's triathlons (I'm working on my 3rd this weekend). It has some issues.
I would like to get a road bike. In the research I have done alot of bikes have Shimano components. When looking at bike shops I see Trek, Specialized, Bianchi, etc. I have also priced bikes at BD online. The lbs bikes are considerably more expensive for similar components as BD. My question is will a Mercier or Motobecane frame be as good as Trek or Bianchi. My gut tells me the real difference at the level of bike I'm looking at is the nameplate only , since the components are the same/ similar (Tiagra/105).
Any info might help me convince my SO (aka MacTavish- read cheap scotsman) that I really can get a decent bike at a decent price. Don't think he'll go for the $12-1500 pricetag. Thanks

Why not go to a real bike shop and get a bike? then u actually get service and they'll fix it for you when needed? may pay a little more, but at least your getting a better deal.
 

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The increase in price on Bianchi, Trek, Specialized, etc. is not from the name, its from the fact that they are sold ONLY at authorized dealers. So both the company and the LBS need to make profit margins on the bike. What BikesDirect does is cut out the LBS part and sell factory direct. This is what allows significantly lower prices. Are the bikes good quality? Yes, they are produced by a well known and competent manufacturer in Taiwan and China...just like the Trek, Bianchi, Spectialized, etc.

I own a Windsor that I purchased from BikesDirect and it is a solid bike. However, they do arrive in "Dealer Ready" condition so unless you are a very competent bicycle mechanic, have a bike shop do a thorough assembly. A quality LBS will not flip you crap for buying a bike online, instead they will look at it as an opportunity to win you as a customer for service, parts, and accessories. The only thing a quality LBS will not do is provide warranty service (should you need it) on your bike.

The other risk is sizing, you are buying sight unseen so unless you know exactly what you need, its a bit of chance to weather or not you end up with the right size. BikesDirect does have some sizing charts, but they are very general. Again, a quality LBS will help fit you correctly, but of course they will charge for this where it would have been free if you buy a bike from them.
 

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I have purchased a bike from both BD and LBS. In the end the cost will be about the same, but I think you will get an overall better bike from LBS. When you purchase a bike from an LBS typically, assembly, adjustments, fits, free stuff, etc are included with the price. With BD you have to buy each as you go along. Some of the parts like pedals, clip-on-aero bars, etc, from BD are of very cheap quality.
 

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I purchased a BD bike this spring. I assembled myself, because I can, and to save money. Even if I had my LBS do it, I still would have saved a grand. (Paid 1800 for my bike). It's got 2K miles on it, had minor tune issues that I've had on all my previous (LBS) bikes. I would go the BD route again, no matter who builds it.

Now FIT, that is another issue. Make sure you get the right size frame...
 

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I have 3 Bikesdirect bikes. I'm starting to think about another one, and maybe another. My club team gets a discount on a famous name brand and they are still about double what I can get an equivalent bike for at BD.
You will probably have to buy pedals no matter what bike you choose. The BD ones, if they supply them at all, are probably not the ones you would use. Ditto for the seat. You will probably end up changing the seat.
Wheels and tires: BD's are as good as any, but I switch back and forth between my street wheels and my racing wheels. The BD are good street training wheels, for very little money, but I have some very special racing wheels, so it doesn't really matter what kind of wheels come on the bike.
I do virtually all my own work,but I have to admit, my LBS does a much nicer job than I do on cables, derailleur adjusting, etc. I'm a lazy mechanic; I just wanna ride.
 

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I agree, with the experience level that you seem to have Id go find a trusted LBS and let them help you out with a proper fit which is important especially for Tri's. BD is the type of place where you can get a great deal if you know the tech aspects well and wrench on your own bikes. You mentioned that you wanted a road bike but also mentioned Triathlons... if you want a tri bike the Fuji Aloha seems to be a popular choice for more reasonably priced models. Specialized also makes great bikes so give them a look as well. I personally like bianchi but have heard from multiple sources that they arent quite what they used to be. None the less Id say that a good LBS would be ideal for you.
 

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I have heard that the Fuji Aloha is actually the same frame as the Motobecane Nemesis. I have a Nemesis and have compared it side by side with a Fuji. I truly thought my Nemesis looked better.
 

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I have almost 6000miles on a Moto Le Champion I bought in July, 06'. I have beat this frame to death on frost heaved roads and bike trails where I live. I have hit a lateral rut on down hill section of a race circuit at better than 30mph and felt the frame flex. Spooky. But the frame has held up, as it should.

BD offers a decent product with good components. At the entry level, they're offerings are probably tough to match.

But the assembly can be an issue unless you feel comfortable with a wrench in your hand. Assembly at an LBS will cost you some $ but will definitely be worth the cash if you can't do it yourself. I assembled mine and rode it 6 months before I had it tuned.

If you have a good LBS where they are actually interested in answering your questions, no matter how many you ask, and where you feel comfortable, then, even though you might pay a bit more for a bike, that might be the way to go.

I have such a place here and would have bought from them in a heart beat but by July they were out of bikes in my size and price range so if it hadn't been for BD I probably would have been watching craigslist.
 

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If you are doing Tri's... You really need to get fitted at a shop...The fit for a tri bike is much more complex than you think. An LBS will have a stash of stems that they will swap out on the bike to get the fit just right. It also depends on type of riding or 'experience' I can tell you that specialized has three distinct road bike experiences depending on what you want.

But if its a Tri bike you are after... Use the calculator at Competative cyclist.
DO NOT go off stand over height... its a useless measurement.
The important one is the top tube or Virtual top tube. This depends on your flexibility and how Race'y of a bike you want.

Either way, Know a little about you body and how it works before buying a bike, Dont be afraid of the price, Get a bike that Grows with you - not out grows you. If me.. for tri's..... Kestral Talon!!!
 
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