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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I suppose I'll start off with the introduction that my name is Craig...and I'm not a "shill." I'm the weekend manager at a location of 24-Hour Fitness here in the Austin area.

I came to the decision that I was going to start biking to work a couple weeks ago and began researching. I'm not really the bike-guy that most of you are. The last time I changed gears the paddles for that were either front and center on my old 10-speed as a kid or on the stem of my cheapo mountain bike in college. So I'm not going to be as savvy as most of you are, I'm sure.

I put in an email to BikesDirect a couple Fridays ago asking for an honest comparison between the Cyclocross and the Windsor Knight in the morning. I had not gotten a reply by Saturday. Me being the impatient guy I am (they're closed weekends from what I can read on their website -- so that was my issue, not theirs), I did lots of searches here and brought myself as up to speed as I could.

And what a mixed bag I got. Accusations of bad customer service, testimonials of good service/product, tales of flimsy shipping boxes, a bunch of soap opera nonsense (I particularly enjoyed reading about the guy who cursed at them through email then wondered by BD told him they didn't want his business), and of course the "shill" remarks. I decided to take a leap of faith and place my order on Saturday.

The bad:

  • Chief complaint was that the bike arrived with some scratches on the upper frame in the paint. :( Not huge ex-girlfriend-caught-you-cheating-and-keyed-your-car scratches, but still noticable. What struck me as odd was that this was under one of many protective pieces of cardboard that had been taped into place on the bike inside of the packaging. So it looks like the factory itself screwed up on that one. While I wasn't happy with this, the thing is going to be beat on routinely getting to and from work every day. It's not like I'm putting it in a show for the judges. I'm hoping Mike might be able to send me some touch-up paint for that, as my package did not include any as other posts in here suggest
  • I did not receive an email or any confirmation/tracking number for my order until I sent Mike a PM on here. He handled things promptly, gave me feedback on the bike choice, and got me all the information. I'm not sure who would have a personal beef with him if that's the way he handles his customers. He did really well by me.
  • The frame-welds -- me being a car-performance guy (I was originally directed to BikesDirect by this thread I posted on a car-board I moderate), I had to chuckle at the thickness of the bead on these welds. It looks like something you might see in a high school auto-shop class. Not a big deal at all, the bike is still light and sturdy. I figure if I get into this enough, I'll probably just upgrade to a carbon fiber frame anyway (another reason I'm not pitching a fit over the scratches on the frame).

The Good

  • The thing performs well. The high-grade components on the bike have triggered comments from several of our personal trainers in the gym who are also cyclists. They say it's a really nice bike, and they know a helluva lot more than me. I've also had members ask me about it, and have probably given out BD's info to at least 15 people in the past week who were really interested. It doesn't hurt that the Windsor is just a good-lookin' bike.
  • Ease of assembly -- I armed myself with a lot of knowledge in preparation for this bike. As it turned out, the wheels didn't even need to be trued and it was cake getting it all together.
  • The packaging/shipping -- Unlike other people, my packaging was A-ok from UPS. It had a couple crescent holes that were designed into the box to make it easier to carry and load. And other than the frame scratches (which, again, were probably from the factory since they were under protective flaps). It also got to me fast here in Texas. Shipped on Monday and I got it on Wednesday, I believe.

I've got a lot to learn, but I hope this post helps some other people that are considering this option. As a testimonial, I bike about 15 miles round-trip to work and back 6 days out of the week. The only discomfort I've experienced from that is my butt getting a bit sore, but I picked up some of those butt-pad shorts that you bicycle guys love so much today so we'll see if that helps.

I will try to borrow my girlfriend's digital camera or see if my broken one will behave for a couple of shots sometime this week and update the thread appropriately. In summary, I had a pretty good experience with BikesDirect and the Windsor. I hope this helps.


· Registered
534 Posts
Similar experience

Another reason that your butt might be feelin' it is that the seats on the bikes are really narrow and not terribly comfortable. In the threads, you'll see that's a fairly common complaint. I was riding 11 mi to and from every day on my old bike w/no pain, and the new seat made my butt hurt over the same distance.

I'm still in the process of tweaking a FCrossPro to get the fit exactly right; I put a steerer extender on it, which helped a lot but I think the stem's still too long. May need to swap that out. Bikes direct blows hot and cold on that one; there are lots of posts where they voluntarily swap stems, but they wouldn't do it with me. :cryin:

All in all, though, I really do like the bike. It's lighter and quicker than any bike that I've ever had, and when I finally do get everything set up exactly right, I have no doubts that I'll be thrilled with it. I haven't ridden it enough to have an informed opinion yet, but I know a lot less about bikes than a lot of the other folks who post around here.

· Registered
9 Posts
whats up tigger

yea i also ordered myself a windsor knight about two weeks ago.
delivery took about 5 days, which is fairly quick considering that i reside in CA.
when it arrived i found that my wheels were not trued (which was expected), and that there was a few fat scratches on the top tube of the frame. picture included.
View attachment 133590

i was very excited to start riding, but in the end decided that if i was going to pay $899 for something that is supposed to be new, it better arrive new.
so a few emails later and a new one is on its way. lets just hope this one comes unscratched.

what do you think of the bike. still loving it?
i'll post some pictures when my new one arrives.

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