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new biker(10 posts)

new bikerkm
Sep 28, 2001 7:16 PM
hello,
i've gotten into road cycling over the summer and am trying to improve my efficiency/strength. also wondering if the motobecane mirage bicycle i bought is any good -- it cost me $325, whereas many of the bikes i'm seeing online are upwards of $1000. there is a specs sheet at http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mirage.htm. the tubes have already given out -- i'm ordering some that i hope will last longer. any help is welcome. thanks very much

km
re: new bikerCT1 Guy
Sep 29, 2001 12:59 AM
get some air in them tires - buy a decent pump!!!
re: new bikerRusty McNasty
Sep 29, 2001 5:49 AM
Motobecanes of today are NOT the same as the old ones. Even back in the 1970's, a lot of motobecane bikes were crap. The best ones were built by Vitus, and badged as motobecane.
The motobecanes built today are, for the most part, cheap chinese-made junk. I looked at the specs on this, and still think that is the case for yours. $325 for an entire bike? Most of us pay more than that for just a wheelset!
Still, it looks like you got what you paid for (not a lot), and I wouldn't be surprised that the whole bike will be ready for the scrap pile in about 1 year.
Don't spend much upgrading this bike-it isn't worth it. save your money for something decent, then you can use this one for riding in the rain.
re: new bikerPiP
Sep 29, 2001 8:02 AM
It is true, your bike is not much good. But that doesnt mean that you should negelect it. RIDE, I say, RIDE and if you really like it, buy a better bike. It is getting cold now, so keep this one til spring and if you still love road riding, buy something better (price estimate $1200-$1700 range) and then you will love riding even more b/c you will have a dream bike. Good Luck!
Consider It a Learning ExperienceRich Clark
Sep 29, 2001 10:06 AM
The bike is probably no worse than any of the entry-level steel bikes I rode tens of thousands of miles on in the 60's and 70's. And it has more gears.

But it's certainly below entry-level now. I wouldn't spend any money on upgrading it. The manufacturer actually had to get somewhat creative to bring in any kind of road bike at that price point. Downtube shifters. Department-store hybrid crankset.

You're most likely to have problems with the wheels. Really cheap machine-built wheels are likely to be prone to spoke-breaking due to lack of stress-relieving and to inadequate tensioning. The only cure for that is to have them gone over by a good wheelbuilder, if it isn't too late>

Tubes "giving out" makes me suspicious of the rim tape. Tubes don't just "give out." They get abraded (by spoke nipples or something on the inside of the tire or rim rubbing on them) or they get pinched or they get punctured. You need to ascertain what caused the original tube failure, because it will keep happening.

The biggest problem with buying your first road bike online (if that's what you did) is the liklihood that it doesn't really fit. You may have gotten the right size frame in terms of stand-over height, but how did you determine the correct top-tube lenght, the best stem extension, the amount of handlebar drop? Who did your fitting?

So enjoy your rides. The worst bike is better than no bike and the worst ride is better than no ride, if it doesn't kill you. Use this bike to get some hands-on experience with what's working and what's not, experience you can apply when you go to buy something a little higher up the scale.

It's possible to buy a road bike effectively online but *only* if you have already established the geometry that fits you. Otherwise, it's just a craps shoot.

RichC
And it is kinda ugly!jtolleson
Sep 29, 2001 11:16 AM
Sorry. Not to add negative nay-saying to the posts above.

Anything that gets you riding is fantastic, and an entry level steel frame will give you the comfort to log some great training miles. So, I applaud your commitment to road riding, keep it up!!

Is it "any good?" Well, it is probably worth about what you paid, so if you didn't get gouged for shipping it'll give you a good season or two of service. If you aren't a super heavy rider, I wouldn't worry about the wheelset for the time being. The hard thing about those downtube shifters is that they are truly bygone technology and you'll be lucky to get $100 bucks for this bike selling it used when you want to upgrade.

I'd also concur that when the time comes, not to invest any $$ in swapping components on this frame. Either make it your beater/rain bike and buy something new, or try to get a few bucks selling it. Those $1000 bikes you see can often be had for $700 late season, and then you get the relationship with your local LBS.

Finally, tubes don't really "wear out." You didn't describe the puncture/tear/defect, but it is probably something in the rim or tire, as mentioned above. And buying beefier (read: heavier) puncture-resistent tubes is not the solution... resolving the source of the damage is. And keep those tires FULLY inflated to a minimum of 100 psi.
re: new bikerkm
Sep 29, 2001 3:39 PM
thanks for the replies. the tubes: i went over some rough road, then the tires went flat. my first attempt at patching didn't go too well, and i ended up making the slits too large to patch. if it helps -- there were two slits in each tube, on one about 1 cm apart and on the other about halfway around laterally.
i didn't expect a whole lot in the first place from this bicycle, and thus didn't really feel the need to get fit. it's a 56 cm, and i'm about 5'9 or 5'10. just used an online calculator -- i'm probably not really fit exactly to the bike. i've made maybe a $400 investment in biking, a bike & a few accessories, to see if i get into it. i'm going to go on a few club rides. a bit of extra weight on the bike will help me get stronger, so i don't really worry about that. thanks again for the input.
Pinch FlatRich Clark
Sep 29, 2001 4:25 PM
That's a "snake bite," usually caused by the tube getting caught between the tire and the rim, commonly caused by underinflation.

You want to keep those puppies inflated at or near their max rating.

As for the fit, just please keep in mind that if you start to hurt it may not be cycling in general that's painful, but rather the way you (don't) fit that particular bike. Don't let it put you off cycling.

RichC
re: BravoAkirasho
Sep 29, 2001 4:30 PM
... I hope you continue cycling, but you've got the essence of the spirit already.

Oftimes, we become a bit distracted by the high tech, high dollar side of cycling... I'm guilty as well.

But, the most important aspect of any bicycle is that it allows you to participate in our sport (though even I preach the paramount gospel of "fit"... I've seen great fitting zootness bikes hanging as wall art). I still have two of my earlier attempts at cycling... one of which does not fit... the other of which, I invested a bit more effort (but taught me a lot of basic wrenching skills) into than it was worth, yet without them, I might have never grown to appreciate many of the nuances of cycling.

Do go on some club rides... Ride the hell outta that Motobecane, and when the mood strikes you, you'll be ready...

We abide.

Remain In Light.
I think this is neat!nee Spoke Wrench
Sep 30, 2001 6:17 AM
I personally get a little tired of "what bike should I buy" questions. I think that guys, like yourself, who are actually out riding tend to ask a better class of question.
I think that the answers you get are a bit more down to earth and useable too.

Ride your Mirage, have some fun with it and use it up. When you're ready to buy your next bike you'll be a lot smarter about what you need and want.