Author Topic: Is this a good bike? does anyone have experience with motobecane or bikesdirect.  (Read 5990 times)

Jeremy E.

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I'm looking to buy a bike to commute to work, 12 miles on highway and 5 miles in city each way.  I'd also like to take my bike on some trails occasionally, so the front lockout shocks seem good(keep them locked on commute but use for trails). I don't need to haul anything, and I'd like to spend less than $500. There doesn't seem to be any good options on my local Craigslist. Does this seem good? Is there better recommendations? Is bikesdirect.com a reliable place to buy from? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me. Lastly, should I of posted this here or in reader recommendations, or somewhere else?
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/elite_trail_x4.htm
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 02:34:26 PM by Jeremy E. »

MrFrugalChicago

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The store is fine / legit. You get exactly what they advertise - a heavy made in China no name bike frame with decent branded components. Maybe 5-8 pounds heavier than a nice $1200 range name brand bike.

For commuting, who cares about 8 pounds. Heck, it gives you more exercise. If you wanted to enter a bike race, I would advice against it ;)

My only tip would be to not get a hybrid. They really are kind of crappy at everything. I got one as my first bike, but it is pretty terrible. What kind of surfaces do you commute on? If all or nearly all pavement, you will do way better on a road or cx bike (with slicks) vs a hybrid. If you need to carry a lot of weight, then I would mix up and do more of a touring type bike. Hybrids LOOK tempting to a new bike buyer as a do everything bike with a comfy seat, but really they suck at everything.

Jeremy E.

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The commute will include 1 small gravel road but mainly pavement, but there are trails near my house that are dirt/rocky, I occasionally borrow one of my friends bikes and we go ride and I have a blast.  It sounds like I should get 2 separate bikes for each task, but I'm not sure if the commuting will stick(17 miles each way sounds brutal to me, I'm kind of a lameo) and if I buy a commuter bike just for commuting it might just collect dust.

BayIslandSaver

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I started my biking on trails mainly, so had a mountain bike with knobby tires.

Later I had to commute by bike more, so I considered getting some slick tires for my mountain bike, but decided against it.
Even though the knobby tires are heavier and have more rolling resistance, they're good for when the road has tons of debris. rocks, etc.

Your call.  Personally I'm limited on space, so having a separate bike for various purposes is not feasible.

MrFrugalChicago

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Eh you don't have to buy multiple bikes yet. You could do something like a cx bike... for a long 17 mile commute, you would want slicks (tires without knobs). For light trail use, you throw on some fatter tires with knobs. Changing tires can be kind of time consuming, but changing wheels is fast (5 minutes).. so I would just buy 1 bike, and 2 sets of wheels.

17 mile per way commute is very doable. Will take you under an hour when you build up your leg muscles.

BayIslandSaver

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MrFrugalChicago

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Example bike:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/liberty_fb-xiv.htm#specs

"Wide Tires FIT with Room for up to 1.7" x 29er Tires"

So you could have a LOT of flexibility on what you do with it.

Fuzz

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Get two bikes. Start with a road bike for your commute. You could probably get a serviceable 10-speed for around $200 used in a metro area. On the other hand, that gravity commuter looks sweet, and at $500 is a great price.

Don't expect to ride the same bike on trails that you use for a 17 mile commute. That's like the difference between hiking boots and dress shoes--you could wear loafers hiking, but why bother. If you're really into riding trails, I'm a huge fan of a full suspension bike over a hard-tail.

I ride a motobecane cafe noir bike and it's a blast for the commute. I think you get a lot of performance for your buck, and I'm at the sweet spot where anything that costs more money wouldn't make me happier. Now my K2 mountain bike with a suntour fork...that could be improved.

Also, I'd check out a cheap bike + an electric conversion kit for your commute. Could totally turn it into something fun. 

Jeremy E.

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I think 2 sets of wheels sounds great, any idea what kind of price tag would I be looking at for another set of wheels? Also, that bike looks sweet, carbon forks are very appealing, but I don't think I would be comfortable on the trails without front suspension.

Jeremy E.

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An electric conversion kit sounds awesome, like a sleeker version of a moped.  Maybe I'll buy that gravity, eventually buy an electric conversion kit if I can't handle the commute. Buy a separate set of tires for it and just deal with the bumpiness on the trails.

Jeremy E.

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I decided against an electric conversion kit, Found out they are either very heavy or very expensive

MrFrugalChicago

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I decided against an electric conversion kit, Found out they are either very heavy or very expensive

That is not a bad decision. Your body is a fantastic engine if you exercise it.