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Thread: After sizing up specialized's prices.....MOTOBECANE it is!

  1. #1
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    Default After sizing up specialized's prices.....MOTOBECANE it is!

    I am a specialized fan, but seeing their prices now compared to when I bought mine, NOPE! I found bikes direct and I'm going to be ordering a yaffle of bikes from them. 2 fat bikes, 2 FS MTB, a triathalon bike, and hopfully a couple of bikes for my boy if they have 24"rs.

  2. #2
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    Be cautious and don't just get lured in my promises of high level components for low MSRP. Motobecane bikes can be, and often are super sketchy. I've scene more than a few fail. One was a carbon fiber frame the broke in half at the top tube revealing the inner layers of the carbon layup, which were made not of carbon, but of....wait for it....rice paper. Good luck with that one.

    Another local here ordered a titanium MB with the rear wheel so far off center the tire rubbed right out of the box. Another friend of mine has owned our local shop for 40 years and he showed me a MB tri bike which must have had a quarter pound of blasting media rattling around in the frame. Sealed in there for good, btw.

    Then there are the $5 stems, $10 seats, mystery brand rims, hubs, and spokes. But, they know that people will see XTR and $XXXX price tags and think, "WHAT A VALUE."

    Trust me, you get exactly what you pay for. Exactly what you pay for.
    Bicycles rule.

  3. #3
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    One last thing. They have been routinely busted for putting fabricated magazine review quotes on their web pages, and I see they're at it again. I'm not saying Bikes Direct are complete charlatans, but they fool a lot of people. Again, don't think you're getting anything other than exactly what you're paying for. You can't take a $700 throw two XTR derailleurs on it, call it and "XTR bike," and then say, "Compare to Specialized, Trek, Cannondale at $6,000."

    The better solution. Don't get sucked into MB. Wait for sales, sales always happen, I guarantee you. Then buy a proper bike, with proper support behind it, for 15-25% below MSRP.

    Much smarter investiment.
    Bicycles rule.

  4. #4
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    I am not going xtr grade bikes. If you can find me specialized for 25% off please tell me! the dealers here go MSRP or walk. they have no competition.

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    Oh, I have been talking to many owners of them and they really enjoy their MB's.....I have read some are crappy but there are some (the ones I am looking at), seem to have good "INDEPENDANT" reviews...people who own them. not magazine reviews or reviews on their site.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojackJKU View Post
    I am not going xtr grade bikes. If you can find me specialized for 25% off please tell me! the dealers here go MSRP or walk. they have no competition.
    Sale bikes are pretty easy to find, but keep in mind it's july, the meat of the selling season. New models start arriving in a few months. I spent much of my life working in bike shops. Never, ever, did I work in a shop that didn't have bikes to blow out at end of season.

    But my claim stands. Price these bikes out part by part, including all of the cheap crap they bolt to them, and they are not deals. And don't get hung on my XTR comment. The same pricing slight of hand they do at the XTR level extends all the way down the range. Bikes Direct was designed to get suckers to think their bikes are a bargain. You've been suckered, my friend.
    Bicycles rule.

  7. #7
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    Find a smaller shop, they will likely have a few left overs( last year) for a nice discount, or do as recommended above and wait till snow flakes threaten to fall.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christophe Noel View Post
    Sale bikes are pretty easy to find, but keep in mind it's july, the meat of the selling season. New models start arriving in a few months. I spent much of my life working in bike shops. Never, ever, did I work in a shop that didn't have bikes to blow out at end of season.

    But my claim stands. Price these bikes out part by part, including all of the cheap crap they bolt to them, and they are not deals. And don't get hung on my XTR comment. The same pricing slight of hand they do at the XTR level extends all the way down the range. Bikes Direct was designed to get suckers to think their bikes are a bargain. You've been suckered, my friend.
    well, no I haven't. I never bought one yet. but I know the "cheap parts" they are bolting on to them have WTB, Ritchey etc onto them. plus rockshock shocks and forks. I don't know if they changed...but there are no NON branded items on the bikes I have been looking at.

  9. #9
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    There is truth in seeing past the name on the downtube. You are paying for a name so you can get good deals by not buying from the major brands. One thing to know is the brand Motobecane is owned by bikesdirect.com (along with Mercier, another famous French cycling brand). So part of the saving comes from distribution (or lack there-of to local shops) and being a house brand they skip at least one level of markup.

    Also, the fact is there aren't actually that many factories in Asia that make most bike frames and some components. A majority stake of Specialized is owned by Merida in Taiwan, which one of the larger OEM for other brands along with Kinesis, Giant, Ideal, etc. AFAIK Motobecane bikes are made by Kinesis in Taiwan.

    Coming from the same factory does *not* mean it is automatically the same bike. An OEM will make as good or poor of a bike as they are paid to do. The contracting company has a target price, performance, quality specification. If that price doesn't allow higher end material or sufficient QC it's no sweat off the OEM's nose since it's not their name on the warranty. Santa Cruz bikes, which are high quality, are also made by Kinesis (at one time in Portland but Santa Cruz frames are made overseas now). No one seriously familiar with the bike industry will claim a Motobecane is the same final product as a Santa Cruz. The quality of the frames are different but the total package is on the shop floor is completely different leagues.

    It's also true that a 2nd tier brand has different cost and profit requirements so you can get a bike that costs something less than a major brand while being just as good or better. But it's also just as true that a brand like Specialized has a heavy burden in the reputation of its name. That's all it really has since most companies don't own much physical production capacity so their value is in marketing. Motobecane is just a name and bikesdirect.com will find other well known cycling brands if Motobecane is ruined. It's the same case with Schwinn, GT, Diamondback, Bianchi, Fuji. Just names owned by investment groups.

    Personally, I agree with Christophe about Motobecane. They have slipped significantly in quality. Doesn't mean I wouldn't buy one or recommend them to someone who had a budget because some models are in fact high value. OTOH Specialized makes both high and low end bikes and their low end bikes aren't the same quality either. So the "You get what you pay for" statement is about as universally true as anything. A $700 Motobecane is probably going to be about as bad/good any other $700 bike out there regardless of the name on it. The main reason I'd stick with Specialized (as an example, I wouldn't support Specialized for other reasons) is after sale and warranty support. That's what you're paying for, having someone to call if you have a problem.
    Last edited by DaveInDenver; 07-04-2017 at 01:31 PM.
    '08 Tacoma, some bicycles

  10. #10
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    We have several ExPo members with extensive experience in bicycle manufacturing in Asia and at home, but I doubt they will chime in, and I think they probably shouldn't. However, we've had these discussions in depth. If a brand wants to ask a manufacturer to produce a junk frame worth a few bucks right next to a fancy frame with high brand value, they'll gladly do it. Exactly as Dave said above.

    It wasn't that long ago when I worked in a bike shop and Bikes Direct bikes were simply awful. For a while people would buy one of their upper end bikes for the parts kits, then lob the frame in a dumpster out back as that's about the value they carried.

    As Dave also said, and I wholly agree, there's no reason for any of us to say you should or shouldn't buy a Bikes Direct bike, but it would be erroneous to think they are the exceptional value they work so hard to pretend to be. Their website is splashed with flashy discount numbers as it's the ONLY way they have to drive business. Break down the bikes by component, and you'll find they're not the deals they appear to be, particularly when you fold in the fact the frames are not just basic, they're sometimes super sketchy.

    Bikes Direct has done well selling to a very targeted market. Those are the buyers just savvy enough to know how to shop for parts specs and think they know how to compare one XT bike to the next. To the spec hunter, they look like values. Trickery. That's all it is.
    Bicycles rule.

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