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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks.

Kevin Leonhardt said:
They used to be known as Decathalon, I believe Decathalon was/is a large sporting goods chain in europe. I figure they changed the name because who wants to ride a store brand bike? I don't know anything of their quality.

Kevin
I appreciate your input. Do you know, by any chance, how to contact for a possible purchase?
 

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From one of my post

I was watching the tour and saw some interesting bicycles specifically the Agritubel team Mbks and the Ag2r Btwins. Wasn't familiar with either.

Did a little research and came up with the fact that Agritubel bicycles suppodely weren't MBKs (old Motobecane) but they were relabeled Cyfacs bicycles. Is this still true? (Looking at them on the web site and the TV they didn't appear to be, but I couldn't really tell)

Also, has anybody had any experience with either of these manufacturers/bicycles


MBK
http://www.mbk-cycles.com/menu.html
Looks interestings, haven't decided whether I like it yet

Btwins
http://www.btwincycle.com/pages/prod...=gb&prod_num=5

I do like the btwins frames though.

Btwins are former Decathalon frames. The bicycles look like they run about 17.5 lbs with an ultegra group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks.

I searched this forum and no luck with that either. I really appreciate your input. I also agree with you: these bikes are smooth and pretty looking. I wonder about their marketing strategies: are they just relying on the TDF exposure first, in order to launch a mass consumers marketing scheme later?! I am just coming off my skin while I try to patiently wait...
j__h said:
From one of my post

I was watching the tour and saw some interesting bicycles specifically the Agritubel team Mbks and the Ag2r Btwins. Wasn't familiar with either.

Did a little research and came up with the fact that Agritubel bicycles suppodely weren't MBKs (old Motobecane) but they were relabeled Cyfacs bicycles. Is this still true? (Looking at them on the web site and the TV they didn't appear to be, but I couldn't really tell)

Also, has anybody had any experience with either of these manufacturers/bicycles


MBK
http://www.mbk-cycles.com/menu.html
Looks interestings, haven't decided whether I like it yet

Btwins
http://www.btwincycle.com/pages/prod...=gb&prod_num=5

I do like the btwins frames though.

Btwins are former Decathalon frames. The bicycles look like they run about 17.5 lbs with an ultegra group.
 

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I used to work for Decathlon. B-Twin is the new name for their bicycle line. They make a poorly designed hybrid model called the B-Twin. They just wanted to change their bike product line and chose B-Twin. I think Penta (Which is what their road components and wheels are named) would have been a better name.

I met their road bike designer when I was in France in 2004. They do indeed design their own frames. THeir higher end models were mostly built in France and Belgium. I got to ride a couple of their Tour Frames. One was an all aluminum for 2002 and the 2004 frame which had carbon stays. They were both nice frames and well constructed. THey were stiff and the all aluminim model was a bit on the harsh side. The carbon stays smoothed it out a little.

But their bikes are heavy. Part is due to the components they spec out on them. For example, the 2002 aluminum frame with ultegra shifters & deraileurs and low spoke wheels was only a couple of ounces lighter than my Full Ultegra Lemond Zurich with an 853 steel frame and 32 spoke open pro wheels.

They new full carbon bike looks great. This bike would be designed by Decathlon, but I am not sure if the yet have a factory that can build carbon frames. I know they were starting to having one of their factories build their own carbon fiber forks so they could save money on buying them from Time. I am not sure if they are at that point yet.



I was in a store last week and they had last year's aluminum/carbon frame. But the US usually gets things a year late. If they are going to get the full carbon frame, it will probably get here in February. But if they were to get the bike in the picture above, it would be priced probably at about $2500. That is not bad for a full carbon Tour Team frame with an Ultegra group. They do not sell frames alone though.

I had tried to talk them into doing Internet or mail order sales of their frames, wheels and clothing (at the time it was both Cofidis and AG2r). I remember in 2004 during the TDF I was getting 2 or 3 calls a day from people wanting the team kits and several inquiries on the team bikes. But my old boss missed the deadline for ordering the jerseys so we did not have any. This year they do have the AG2r kits for sale in the stores.
 

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Alpedhuez55 said:
I used to work for Decathlon. B-Twin is the new name for their bicycle line. They make a poorly designed hybrid model called the B-Twin. They just wanted to change their bike product line and chose B-Twin. I think Penta (Which is what their road components and wheels are named) would have been a better name.

I met their road bike designer when I was in France in 2004. They do indeed design their own frames. THeir higher end models were mostly built in France and Belgium. I got to ride a couple of their Tour Frames. One was an all aluminum for 2002 and the 2004 frame which had carbon stays. They were both nice frames and well constructed. THey were stiff and the all aluminim model was a bit on the harsh side. The carbon stays smoothed it out a little.

But their bikes are heavy. Part is due to the components they spec out on them. For example, the 2002 aluminum frame with ultegra shifters & deraileurs and low spoke wheels was only a couple of ounces lighter than my Full Ultegra Lemond Zurich with an 853 steel frame and 32 spoke open pro wheels.

They new full carbon bike looks great. This bike would be designed by Decathlon, but I am not sure if the yet have a factory that can build carbon frames. I know they were starting to having one of their factories build their own carbon fiber forks so they could save money on buying them from Time. I am not sure if they are at that point yet.



I was in a store last week and they had last year's aluminum/carbon frame. But the US usually gets things a year late. If they are going to get the full carbon frame, it will probably get here in February. But if they were to get the bike in the picture above, it would be priced probably at about $2500. That is not bad for a full carbon Tour Team frame with an Ultegra group. They do not sell frames alone though.

I had tried to talk them into doing Internet or mail order sales of their frames, wheels and clothing (at the time it was both Cofidis and AG2r). I remember in 2004 during the TDF I was getting 2 or 3 calls a day from people wanting the team kits and several inquiries on the team bikes. But my old boss missed the deadline for ordering the jerseys so we did not have any. This year they do have the AG2r kits for sale in the stores.

Basically Decathlon sells bikes at the lowest possible cost so they spec the bikes with a couple of lures and level it out with no-name heavy parts. Their own wheels are heavy and a little flexy. Stems, bars, posts are almost always cheap stuff and their lower end bikes come with crappy brakes, hubs and headsets.

I bought their very entrance level bike and over time turned it into something I like very much. The frame has a well thought out geometry and is plenty stiff. I've installed a Truvativ GXP crankset and it sits absolutely fine without refacing the BB, and that's something a lot of higher acclaimed frames have trouble with. Generally great bikes for the money and even the pro bikes are relatively cheap.

Before and after:
 

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rogger said:
Basically Decathlon sells bikes at the lowest possible cost so they spec the bikes with a couple of lures and level it out with no-name heavy parts. Their own wheels are heavy and a little flexy. Stems, bars, posts are almost always cheap stuff and their lower end bikes come with crappy brakes, hubs and headsets.
The stems bars and seatpost were junk. THe cranks were OK on some of the mid level bikes. The brakes were rebadged Tektros on a lot of the bikes. The bikes the teams road used other stems and seaposts. I think Ag2r was using Deda. But the Decathlon stems & Bars were heavy. The bikes were about a pound or two heavier than they should be.

The geometry was good except on the smaller frames. They would put on a triple on a bike that could not accomidate it.

This year they seem to have upgraded a bit and are using some better components. That 2399 Euro full carbon bike had all Ultegra accept for the Truvativ crank. Even if to spend a couple of hundred on a better stem, seapost and bars, it is still a bargain. If that road bike is available next year in the US, I may grab one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Excellent!

Hey man...thanks for all that great info! Thanks for taking the time to reply! Did you get to mingle with the buiders?( It must be exciting to be around a circle of bike designers and builders, to see and smell the engineering become a pretty sharp road racing beauty). I wish the product would be accessible to the common consumer like me and with such great prices!
Alpedhuez55 said:
I used to work for Decathlon. B-Twin is the new name for their bicycle line. They make a poorly designed hybrid model called the B-Twin. They just wanted to change their bike product line and chose B-Twin. I think Penta (Which is what their road components and wheels are named) would have been a better name.

I met their road bike designer when I was in France in 2004. They do indeed design their own frames. THeir higher end models were mostly built in France and Belgium. I got to ride a couple of their Tour Frames. One was an all aluminum for 2002 and the 2004 frame which had carbon stays. They were both nice frames and well constructed. THey were stiff and the all aluminim model was a bit on the harsh side. The carbon stays smoothed it out a little.

But their bikes are heavy. Part is due to the components they spec out on them. For example, the 2002 aluminum frame with ultegra shifters & deraileurs and low spoke wheels was only a couple of ounces lighter than my Full Ultegra Lemond Zurich with an 853 steel frame and 32 spoke open pro wheels.

They new full carbon bike looks great. This bike would be designed by Decathlon, but I am not sure if the yet have a factory that can build carbon frames. I know they were starting to having one of their factories build their own carbon fiber forks so they could save money on buying them from Time. I am not sure if they are at that point yet.



I was in a store last week and they had last year's aluminum/carbon frame. But the US usually gets things a year late. If they are going to get the full carbon frame, it will probably get here in February. But if they were to get the bike in the picture above, it would be priced probably at about $2500. That is not bad for a full carbon Tour Team frame with an Ultegra group. They do not sell frames alone though.

I had tried to talk them into doing Internet or mail order sales of their frames, wheels and clothing (at the time it was both Cofidis and AG2r). I remember in 2004 during the TDF I was getting 2 or 3 calls a day from people wanting the team kits and several inquiries on the team bikes. But my old boss missed the deadline for ordering the jerseys so we did not have any. This year they do have the AG2r kits for sale in the stores.
 

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I did get to mingle and even ride with the designers at the demos. It was a great experience. I talked a lot to him about the Cross Scene in the US. I even took some of the designers on a mountain bike ride here when they came over to Boston for some meetings.

I had tried to get my old boss to get a few the CX bikes over here. It was smartly designed. Good cable routing and shaped tubing to make shouldering the bike easy, stiff, light. I could have sold a lot of them. Plus it was only going to be $900 for a 105 equipped bike including Time Atac Pedals. He asked me why we did not get any and I told him I had tried to get my old manger to order them but he did not. The designer gave my old boss a lot of grief about not ordering them.

I will give Decathlon some credit for pricing. They do keep the prices pretty low on most of thier bikes. We were selling a Campy Mirage equiped bike for $699. But they are the manufacturer as well as the retailer. So they can underprice a lot of other brands. I had put together some marketing info for the sales people on our mountain bikes. We were retailing one of our entry level mountain bikes at $279. An almost identical Fuji was $200 more, and a comperably equiped Trek model was $600.

Unforunately, the company's chances of surviving in the US are not too good. They sent the CEO back to France last year. I started and they said they planned on openning 400 stores in the US in the next 10 years. Then a few weeks later they closed 16 of the 20 stores here.

Let me know if you have any other questions on the bikes.


ru1-2cycle said:
Hey man...thanks for all that great info! Thanks for taking the time to reply! Did you get to mingle with the buiders?( It must be exciting to be around a circle of bike designers and builders, to see and smell the engineering become a pretty sharp road racing beauty). I wish the product would be accessible to the common consumer like me and with such great prices!
 
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