Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I wanted to share my experience of ordering and assembling a bike via Bikesdirect (a Motobecane LeChamp Ti w/ SRAM Rival).

Quick background on me: I've been riding a road bike for only ~2yrs, but have fallen in love with the sport. I now commute to work 2-3x a wk (a hilly 14mi round trip) and try to do a 40-50mi ride most weekends. Did my first century last fall, and am planning to do another in May (7 Hills of Kirkland, 7000' of climbing) and Seattle to Portland (200mi over 2 days) in July.

My prior bike (which has now become my bad weather beater) is a ~25lb Fuji Newest 1.0.

My BD ordering story goes back to last Nov. I wanted the LeChamp Ti but was torn between the Rival version or splurging on the SRAM Red version. I decided to splurge on the Red version, placed the order on a weekend and eagerly awaited my new bike. One of the issues w/ the Red bike was that it came w/ a standard double and I wanted compact, so I went ahead and also ordered a new Red compact crankset off of eBay.

I quickly got a UPS tracking number with an expected delivery date of just a few days later. Sweet (or so I thought). Over the next couple of days, there were zero status updates for that UPS tracking number, but the delivery date stayed the same. I was a little puzzled but didn't think anything of it. Then the anticipated delivery date came and went but no bike arrived. I contacted BD via email the next day, and was told that they sent me an email 3 days earlier saying that they were out of stock of my bike (despite the web site showing otherwise), and that it would not be back in stock until the spring. They did offer me $100 off a future bike purchase, but I was still dismayed and now stuck with a beautiful new crankset and no bike to install it on.

I still had my heart set on the Red group, so I decided to wait until it came back in stock. Fast forward to February... I decided to email BD again and ask what the latest was on the Ti w/ Red, and was told that it would not be back until late summer, and was going to be redesigned w/ the new (still unreleased) Red hydraulic disc brakes. Given the rides that I had planned, I really wanted my new bike and couldn't wait that long, so I decided to go purchase the Ti w/ Rival. Since I already had the crankset, I considered upgrading other parts from Rival to Red, as well.

So, I placed the order and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was (and still is) on sale for only $1500, even though it's listed at $1700 on the BD site. You'll see the lower price after you add it to your cart. Minus the $100 discount, and I got the Rival bike for $1400... not bad at all.

The bike arrived in 4 days, and was very well packed. No box or bike damage. I asssembled the bike without any issues (including swapping the Rival crank w/ the Red one that I had previously bought) and once complete, came across 3 issues.

1. The front derailleur cable was secured at a steep angle, causing it to hit the driveside crankarm on every rotation.
2. the same cable was already slightly frayed at the end
3. the rear brake would not spring back open after releasing the brake lever. This one stumped me for a while, but after removing the removing the bar tape and brake cable, I found that the cable housing had been poorly cut. There was a shard from the housing pointing back toward the center, causing the cable to bind. I had to remove the shard, and reinstall the cable and bar tape.

All in all, fixable problems, but indicative of poor assembly practices and quality control at the factory, in my opinion. A complaint email w/ pictures to BD yielded receipt of a new shift cable in a couple of days via Priority Mail.

After finally getting the bike to a rideable state, I'll say that I'm very happy with the bike. I've had it for about 1.5 months and have ridden it a few hundred miles. I don't know if I have anything new to offer that hasn't already been said on this forum, but the bike is very comfortable... a noticable difference vs. my Fuji. Accelerates fast and climbing hills is much easier (the bike also came w/ the 11-32 cassette and WiFli rear derailleur, which is what I was hoping to get). SRAM group is AWESOME. Shifting is fast, crisp and intuitive. Brakes are solid. Once concern I do have is w/ the tires. I already seem to have a bunch of small cuts in only the rear tire, not the front. Tire hasn't ruptured and no flats (yet), but am worried about their longevity. a few other reviews I've read on these tires have stated similar experiences.

I made a few other changes from the stock build, including:
- Replacing the Mavic Aksium wheels w/ BWW Blackset Race 13's
- Swapping the Rival FD w/ the new Red Yaw FD
- Performance Forte Carve MTB pedals... light and the same as what I have on my Fuji. I tried the 105 road pedals that came w/ the bike and didn't like them.
- Performance Forte Pro SL saddle

Also got the new Red shifters but haven't had time to install them yet... hopefully this or next weekend.

So, net-net, I had a few hiccups w/ the ordering and build, but in the end have been very happy with the new bike.


BTW, if anyone is interested in the parts I removed, PM me and make an offer. I have:

- Mavic Aksium wheelset, never ridden
- Rival FD, great condition. used for only ~50mi
- Shimano 105 pedals. Used for ~100mi. Pedals have some cosmetic scratches and the cleats have some minor wear, but still in good condition.
- Ritchey Pro Streem saddle, never ridden

Thanks for reading my lengthy post! View attachment 278409
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Nice write-up. I'm glad BD corrected the problems and rewarded your patience.

I'm not sure if my Team Ti came with the same tires as yours but my rear one didn't last long at all. The front one still seems fine though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Jason.

The tires mine came with were the Vittoria Rubino Pros. I haven't had an actual problem yet, so I'm withholding judgement, but am at least concerned. I have Zaffiro Pros on my Fuji, and they've held up well and were pretty cheap. If I have to replace the Rubinos, I'm thinking I'll try Conti Gatorskins.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just out of curiosity -- how old is your Newest? I just got my teenager a 2012 model (3.0, in my case), and the weight us nowhere near 25 pounds; it seems incredibly light to me.
It's a 2010 model, size S. Print Bike Page - NEWEST 1.0
Mfr stated weight is 23.38lbs, and w/ cages, computer, lights, fenders, loaded saddle bag, I'm sure it's well over 25. Feels like a boat anchor compared to my Le Champ, but it's not bad at all. A great choice for a first road bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Thanks, Jason.

The tires mine came with were the Vittoria Rubino Pros. I haven't had an actual problem yet, so I'm withholding judgement, but am at least concerned. I have Zaffiro Pros on my Fuji, and they've held up well and were pretty cheap. If I have to replace the Rubinos, I'm thinking I'll try Conti Gatorskins.
Those were the same on mine. It's a small quibble for me. I absolutely love the feel of riding titanium and am very happy with my decision to choose this material rather than carbon fiber.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
For the guys with cuts to their rear tires & not the front...

What you might be doing is hopping the front tire over debris/obstacles while the rear hits full force. This happens more with heavier guys or on longer rides when your "bunny hops" aren't as energetic. The next time you're on a ride, watch & see if this is what's going on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
looks like BD needs to clean up their act. Those kinds of issues can be very difficult for newbies to find and fix. worse case they just live with it. Sloppy attention to detail can make $1500 ride worse than a $400 one.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top