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Discussion Starter #1
I am switching over to road biking after many years riding mountain so I have been doing research in terms of what I should buy. I have read many forums suggesting the use of LBS versus buying online and I have come to a point where I need external advice. Since I am pretty big, 6'4 245, the LBS suggested I go with a AL frame, I told them i didn't want to spend a ton of money and the guy suggested a few bikes in the 700-900 range. The bike that he was pushing on me was the scott 50 which he basically told me was a good frame with POS components. Needless to say I wasn't too impressed and it didn't really make me want to buy it. I then checked out a few more bikes like the Giant OCR1 but the price kept rising slowly and I don't want to spend too much money.


Through one of my searches I have come to the Motobecane Grand Sprint which seems to have excellent components. I have read both good and bad reviews on this bike but for $900 it seems like I am getting a much better bicycle than I would be getting at a LBS. I have also read all that stuff about shopping locally and supporting their business but frankly I want the best bang for my buck. Is there any reason why (besides not being able to test ride the bike) I should not purchase the Motobecane Grand Sprint?

Here is a link to the stats:
http://www.motobecane.com/MBUSAgrs07.html

Thanks
 

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If you aren't comfortable building the bike, and doing your own brake and derailure adjustments, stick to the LBS. Sounds like you don't have a great LBS to work with.

I bought the Motobecane Le Champion SL 2 months ago, and had a great experience with bikesdirect.com, and love the bike. I wish I'd bought some training tires right off and saved the diamante pro lights for races, cause their dead after 500 miles, but I should have known that, and you won't have that problem with the tires on the Grand Spirit.

You're not going to find more bike for less money. The best hardware in the world will feel like crap if it isn't properly set up. With that knowledge, you have a choice to make.
 

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I was planning on taking it in to another LBS to have them set it up. So I figure the setup cost will be less than the sales tax on another bike.

Thanks
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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You can run a search on Motobecane and Bikes Direct and follow the debate without it needing to be repeated here. No question that these are essentially no-name frames built up with decent specs to give decent bang for the buck. The most common gripe is that the bikes don't come well built up, and people wind up paying for the LBS to repair or rebuild.

The Giant OCR1 is an excellent bargain, IMO, among the major manufacturers. As to Motobecane, there are several other "internet only" discount no-name bikes (and I don't mean that pejoratively, so Motobecane fans relax) and you might want to compare all of them. Who knows, they could even be the same frame, just rebadged.

But if you are certain enough of your sizing that you can buy via the 'net, then why not consider the bang for the buck that can be had on the used market? Both the classifieds on this forum and certain bikes on eBay will be 1/3 to 1/2 off retail if you shop carefully.
 

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AL as opposed to what? 245's not that heavy...

I don't pay much attention to anything but steel, so I may be missing something here, but what's he recommending aluminum instead of? I weigh about what you do, down from 270, and I've never had a problem with a series of pretty low-end steel bikes over more than 10 years.. I have an Atlantis and Rambouillet now--also steel, but nicer--but before that I rode an old steel Allez, a Bridgestone and a Trek. I broke a lot of spokes, but never had a frame problem. Don't let them stick you with fewer than 32 spokes (I use 36 in the Atlantis, 32 on the Rambo)--StupidLite wheels don't work if you're over about 180.
Also, when I looked at Motobecanes, the biggest frame they could find for me was 62cm. That's almost certainly too small for you. Try to hold out until you can test-ride something in 64 or 65cm. The difference in comfort, at least for me, was really surprising.
 

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The wheels?

At your weight (I'm 250-260) I would be concerned about the wheels. You could always buy the bike, sell the wheels and buy some different wheels but that seems like quite a bit a hassle to save a few hundreds bucks.

I'm pretty sure that Bikesdirect would not even consider swapping wheels out for you. There are a few other online stores that might. Try GVH. I think the starting price maybe higher and it may even be an Ultegra 9 speed instead of 10 speed but I'm sure they would work with you on a wheel set and a set up that would meet your needs.

Don't pay much attention to Ultegra 9 vs 10 or even 105 vs Ultegra. Any of it will provide you many years of great service.


Also, as others have mentioned, used is the best value of all. IMO if you are knowledgeable enough to buy online from Bikesdirect you could also consider used.

Don't hesitate to pick out a used bike and post about it here before you buy.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice. I have been checking the used bikes, ie ebay, craigslist and this site, but coming across a used 62-64cm bike for $600-800 is tough. Especially on ebay since it seems like they are selling bikes from the mid 90's for $500. That is what drove me towards bikedirect. If there are other internet sites I am all ears, I just want something at a good value. The reason the guy at the lbs pushed AL on my for the frame was b/c he said steel would flex a little more. I have no idea if he is correct, I am pretty new at this. If I find something I will post it for a recomendation.
 

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I like the second one alot, except for the aerobars. Swapping all that TT stuff for a standard handlebar and shifters will cost you a little.
 

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As for other online stores, check out this forums list of partner stores (why not help keep this forum around?) http://www.roadbikereview.com/MERlistcrx.aspx

The others that made my short list were Flyte (www.flyte1.com), and Randall Scott (www.rscycle.com).

I considered used, and shopped for a while, and finally decided that for the amount of money I was spending I wanted to know the bike hadn't been abused. At the least, expect tune up costs, probably tires, on top of your purchase price. Not always true, but that's the assumption I'd go with.
 

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zobie said:
Thanks for the advice. I have been checking the used bikes, ie ebay, craigslist and this site, but coming across a used 62-64cm bike for $600-800 is tough. Especially on ebay since it seems like they are selling bikes from the mid 90's for $500. That is what drove me towards bikedirect. If there are other internet sites I am all ears, I just want something at a good value. The reason the guy at the lbs pushed AL on my for the frame was b/c he said steel would flex a little more. I have no idea if he is correct, I am pretty new at this. If I find something I will post it for a recomendation.
I am pretty much the same height and weight as you. I agree that it can be tough to find used bikes for your size on ebay and craigslist, especially if you want something fairly up to date. I have both a steel bike and an aluminum one. I don't find the steel frame flexy, but it is a tank and a lightweight steel frame may flex more. I don't know. My aluminum frame is pretty light and quite stiff and I don't find it at all uncomforatble or buzzy. As has been said time and again it is more about good design and construction than any particular material. Either steel or aluminum should be fine for you, IMO. I think that the Grand Sprint looks like a pretty nice bike and the price is great, but there are reasons to be cautious. Motobecane sizes are from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube, so a 62cm frame isn't as large as it might sound like. It may or may not fit you. I don't know how you are built, but the handlebars might not be wide enough for you. Most importantly, IMO, I wouldn't ride on 20 spoke front 24 spoke rear paired spoke wheels (not machine built ones, anyway). You would probably need to buy a pair of wheels, not such a bargain anymore. Maybe one of the other unbelievable price online places sells something with more sensible wheels? Maybe a bike from the LBS would be a better value overall even if it is less bike for the money?
 

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I have been looking at the 2006 Motobecane Le Champion SL also and based on all of the reasearch I've done, bikedirect.com and their products are legit.
Heading out to Trexlertown PA this Saturday for their Spring swap meet. If I can't find anything good there, then I'm going to pre-order the '06 Le Champ SL.
 
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