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Among the "195 best new bikes" ... Motobecane?(61 posts)

Among the "195 best new bikes" ... Motobecane?Elefantino
Feb 27, 2002 7:19 PM
Among those bikes lauded in this month's Bicycling buyer's guide is the $1,750 Motobecane Team Champion. Kinesium frame and carbon fork. Dura-Ace.

I know, I know ... no Bicycling cracks. (I can't ride. I'm, well, desperate.)

But ... at what point do we stop laughing about Motobecane? I remember back in the late '80s, when Trek was not the most respected name in the bicycle business. (OK, so it still isn't the most respected name in the bicycle business, but you know what I mean.)

You've got to admit, well under two large for a DA bike is, well, intriguing. It shows that Motobecane is at least trying.

FWIW,
Mike
>$2000merckx56
Feb 27, 2002 7:35 PM
I am building a Look AC353 (foco) steel bike with a HSC3 all carbon fork with D/A and it will come out under two G's. Got the frame and fork for $450 from Boyer Sports in Cali and the D/A stuff from Abici for $908. That included Deda Magic bar and stem combo and a King headset. Syncros carbon post $69. Flite saddle $45 on ebay. New K's from parker international for $475. That totals $1947. If you count tires, tubes, tape, etc., it would be about $2050. What you you rather ride? BTW-When the hell are you getting paid for your wreck? Get well! I've out a small "e" on my helmet in your honor!
the small "e"Elefantino
Feb 28, 2002 8:27 AM
Wow! What a tribute. Thanks for the thought.

No word yet on the wreck, other than the new car coming in mid-April. Settlement won't happen for months.

Thanks
Mike
WrongTruth
Feb 28, 2002 10:35 AM
Merckx56, You are a total idiot for doing this comparison. If you add the time you actually spent on searching for all those parts, PLUS the time you spent in the past getting familiar with all the parts, sizes, prices and generally to make yourself good at hunting down good deals, you'd come out spending a lot more than $1940. What's the retail of the Look frame and the fork? Probably around $1100, maybe more. I once bought a like new Serotta Concourse ti with Chorus group for $950, now I can also be a cute ass and attack every manufacturer's pricing as a ripoff.
idiot?merckx56
Feb 28, 2002 2:19 PM
the internet with a cable modem is a powerful thing. my job allows me the opportunity to stay on the internet all day, so the time wasn't a concern. it's called being a value conscious consumer, dickhead. i wasn't trying to be a smart ass, i was just trying to point out the fact that if a bit of research is done, a much better bicycle can be had for the money. the look frames were never sold in the u.s and the retail in europe was in fact $1200 with the fork. that's not the point, the fact that i found it for $450 was the point. i have been in the bike business for 14 years and really don't have to look very far to find deals. if you want to walk into a shop and plunk down $2500 for an over-priced, mainstream bicycle, have at it! the fact that you paid $950 for a serotta w/campy is your problem. i think you paid too much! i wasn't "trying to make myself look good", just point out some facts.
i hope you and all of the others truly enjoy your motobecanes. i'm sure they will serve you well.
i have been in the bike business for 14 yearsjs
Feb 28, 2002 4:01 PM
what do you do? this is the first I hear of it
i have been in the bike business for 14 yearsmerckx56
Feb 28, 2002 6:02 PM
started pushing a broom as a junior and eventually managed a couple of shops over the last 7 years. quit to find a "real" job about a year ago, but still get all of the industry mags and still have more contacts in the industry than a person really should!
btw- have the sack to put your real screen name next time!! (nm)merckx56
Feb 28, 2002 2:20 PM
why the attack?gtx
Feb 28, 2002 8:12 PM
Merckx56 was just pointing out that you can get a lot for your money if you take the time to look around a bit. That's why you post on this board--to get info. Buying used like your Serotta is another option, too. No need to get nasty.
at least somebody got it! thanks! (nm)merckx56
Mar 1, 2002 6:42 AM
re: Among the "195 best new bikes" ... Motobecane?weiwentg
Feb 27, 2002 7:42 PM
yes, I'd seen that too. if it's featured in Bicycling ...
I realize a lot of my recent posts have contained the word 'Giant', but let's look at this year's TCR 1. $1800 for full Ultegra plus a bloody AWESOME frame. is that hard to believe? a little. let's look at Motorbecane's Team Champion. $1750 for full DA plus an unknown-quality frame. is that hard to believe? yes ... but not impossible.
the question is, of course, how good is the frame? I'd really really like to know ... hopefully someone will ride it and review it. of course, I don't know how good the rims are ... the hubs are DA, but I wasn't impressed with the Alex rims that came originally on my old bike.
I suppose we'll see ... at that price, a lot of people are going to buy them, and if they're good, they'll stay in business. of course, people will bash them, likely even worse than they'll bash Airborne.
btw, get well soon.
small, med or large?tarwheel
Feb 28, 2002 5:31 AM
I've got nothing against Giants, and they apparently are a great value for the money, but I think a lot of people would have a hard time getting a decent fit on frames that only come in small, medium and large. The compact frame design is a matter of taste, but I really think their sizing leaves a lot to be desired. That said, I know two people with Giant compacts and they love their bikes.
in my case, smallweiwentg
Feb 28, 2002 8:36 AM
I fit more or less perfectly. I just got frame/fork + handlebars + stem; not a full bike. the stem was, coincidentally, the right size. my Thomson seatpost is certainly long enough.
my friend is 5'11", and he's getting a medium. his stem is going to be 130mm, but he did find the fit acceptable - although he did say the TCR looked a little small. he's at the upper end of the Medium and the lower end of the Large... in the end, he chose to get the M.
but if you find yourself at the upper end of the size limit for the Large, then yes, you'll have problems.
would you pay $400 for that frame and fork?gtx
Feb 27, 2002 7:55 PM
I know I wouldn't. A full DA build kit--everything except the frame and fork go for about $1400--less if you shop around. And at under $2000, I'd put my emphasis on the frame and skimp on the parts a bit.
Intriguing quandry arisesCrankist
Feb 27, 2002 8:21 PM
if the frame does indeed turn out to be crap: when the drivetrain eventually wears out,
do you replace it with Sora?
Maybe We're Being Given Better Value?joeg26er
Feb 27, 2002 9:00 PM
I find it odd that no one thinks that maybe all the other companies are Overcharging us and have been doing so for years?

I emailed Motobecane for the facts on the frame and they told me that they are able to give such a great deal because "their philosophy is to offer the best value possible". And that they have very streamlined manufacture, distribution and corporate structure and "pass those savings on to the consumer so that more people may have a better riding experience than what they would normally be able to afford."

I asked them to tell me about the frame and they said:
"The Le Champion and the Le Champion Team are meticulously TIG welded by hand by skilled craftspeople. The 2.7 pound frames are constructed from specially shaped and butted Kinesium for optimal ride characteristics of comfort and power response.

Kinesium is a super high-strength 6000 series aluminum alloy. A 2.7lb Kinesium frame lasts +250,000 cycles where a typical 3.25 lb 6061 OR 7005 frame" lasts only 150,000 cycles.
Kinesium is 28% stronger than conventional 6061 and 14% stronger than our competitor's high strength 6000."

That doesn't sound like a "cheap frame" to me.

I think we have gotten too used to paying inflated prices to support corporate fat cat salaries and their fancy offices, boats and cars.
Maybe We're Being Given Better Value?gtx
Feb 27, 2002 9:07 PM
Hey, maybe it's a great bike. Who knows? But why take a chance? If you like AL, GVH has some good deals on C'dale CAAD 3 and 4 frames--known to be decent quality frames. He could build you a bike with DA for the same money. If you didn't end up liking the C'dale frame, I'm sure you could sell it pretty easily and swap the parts to something else. But good luck selling an AL Motobecane frame. Personally, for that money, I'd buy a hand built steel frame and build it up with Chorus.
I Have Broken Cannondale Frames...joeg26er
Feb 27, 2002 9:46 PM
Cannondale frame quality is very questionable.

They are made of 6061 Alcoa aluminum and they no longer have a lifetime warranty.

This is no surprise - I have broken two Cannondale frames and I weigh 130 pounds.
C-daleJekyll
Feb 27, 2002 10:16 PM
I guess everyone's experience varies. I've owned 8 C-Dales starting in the early beer can days of the mid to late eighties. I've never broken one but I do know people who have and had them replaced by C-Dale without much ado. I've personally broken a Specialized and a Raleigh. I also have seen many other brands of frames broken in the local bike shops I tend to frolic around in.
So far as the warranty goes - the only frames that they do not warranty for life are downhill frames (I can't say I blame them). All others still have a lifetime warranty (at least in the states - maybe different elsewhere). http://www.cannondale.com/policies/bike_warr_policy.html
warrantyjoeg26er
Feb 27, 2002 10:47 PM
Hmm...
Well, I stand corrected, the last time I checked they only had a 2-3 year warranty - I could have sworn I saw that last year on the website. I distinctly remember being surprised that they dropped their lifetime warranty.

Well, found something else out:
http://www.cannondale.com/policies/int_sales_policy.html
NO INTERNET SALES on c-dales - GVH is violating this and thus no warranty would apply...interesting...

Quote: "Finally, as authorized Cannondale retailers are not permitted to sell our bikes via the Internet or mail order, those bikes that are offered through these channels are often second hand, or compromised in some way. Save yourself a headache and support your authorized Cannondale bicycle retailer!"

Seems like a Cannondale frame from GVH is NOT a good idea...
Besides, it is made of a weaker aluminum than the Kinesium Motobecane Team.
Revenge of the Motospammerscyclaholic
Feb 27, 2002 10:58 PM
Inadvertantly, you have touched off a chord with all three of the people who have bought recent made in Taiwan Motobecanes. There isn't enough satisfaction in just swollowing all of the marketing hype, they have to go farther and actually promote this brand of bicycle. What are they? Salespeople? It's all very strange.

They have to even go so far as to set up this false fight with Cannondales' products saying stuff like "I broke 3 of their frames". Please. Enough already.
arghweiwentg
Feb 28, 2002 4:27 AM
cyclaholic, you truly sound like a bitter old goat. stop flaming Motobecane users. if they want to brag about their bikes, what the hell is the difference between me raving about my TCR, or someone else raving about his Airborne, or his Specialized, or his Colnago, Seven, Serotta, whatever???
get a life already!!!!!
Don't worry...cyclaholic
Feb 28, 2002 7:53 AM
Everybody in the known universe ought to know by now that you have a TCR. Congratulations!
cyclaholicNubian
Feb 28, 2002 10:47 AM
It's against the rules to post naked pics of your girlfriend. nmcyclaholic
Feb 28, 2002 7:19 PM
Just the Facts...and tin foil hatsjoeg26er
Feb 28, 2002 5:40 AM
Geez - cyclaholic
Whenever someone tells lies about me I take it real personal.

So,

You are some kind of paranoid delusional.

Paranoid: you seem to believe that someone who talks about Motobecane is a spammer. (Puh-leaze)

Delusional: you allege I said I broke "three frames".
The fact is (and you can go look for yourself) I said I broke TWO frames and that is a FACT.

So, cyclaholic, unless you have some facts to present or something useful to contribute to this discussion, please go sit in the corner quietly.

Oh, don't forget to put on your tin foil hat, it will keep the voices down.
please explain weakerJekyll
Feb 27, 2002 11:04 PM
Is it "weaker" in technical terms like density, elongation, fatigue limit, hardness, stiffness, shear strength, tensile strength, or toughness or are you going to delve into the engineering of the two frames and how particular materials are applied to their individual designs making one inherently "weaker" than the other. Maybe its the way the two materials are welded or finished?
Or, maybe its how the particular materials relate to the combination of material, design and construction factors as this relates to frame longevity, comfort and power transfer?
Or, maybe this is as "weak" as your warranty and personal use info and you're just spewing from your posterior?
please explain weaker - I can explain that easilyjackbike
Feb 27, 2002 11:31 PM
the Cannondale fatigue cycle life is 150,000 cycles and the Kinesium is 250,000 - how's that? oh yea, and the tensile strenght is higher on Kinesium. BUT SO WHAT! if they both have a lifetime warranty, then either company will replace a frame that fails - so who cares. Quality looks good on both; quality looks good on other bikes that use Kinesis frames - some Made in USA - some made in Taiwan - The real question is ride and value. Anyone who has not riden a Kinesium frame should not comment on it. Anyone who has not riden a Cannondale should not comment on it. What I like about Motobecane is they are honest; at least they say Kinesis builds their frames. Tons of companies use Kinesis frames; many even buy their USA made frames and then paint and decal them here and advertise as their 'special design'. Or buy the Taiwan frames ship them here paint them and then mark them "made in USA". Ride and Value - thats the question
Motospammers on the Loose...with the Factscyclaholic
Feb 28, 2002 7:50 AM
Accepting some number provided by a marketing firm, Motospammers are trumpeting the fact that their favorite bargain basement bicycle is of better quality than a Cannondale. In a previous post, one writer, claimed the Moto frame (which he called "Kenesium" at the time) was better than C-dale CAAD5 frames. I don't know why, he just did it.

Without a deeper understanding of metallurgy, it is ridiculous for this group of spammers to claim any aluminum frame to be "weaker" than another. What do they know about welding? Can these guys really discern the difference between a great tig weld and a decent one?

One of the Motospammers, for whatever reason, made clear misstatements concerning C-dales's warranty. Again, more futile effort to pursuade others that their bargain basement bike offers superior quality to the brand of bike they maligned.

I don't have to promote the bike brands that I have in my basement. I don't have to tell newbies what to buy. All I ever offer in the form of advice is to tell newbies to get the best quality product they can afford so that their riding experience can be as good as it can be.

On the other side of the coin, some buyers of bargain basement bicycles go so far as to promote a particular brand, practically advertising it in every post. It's gone way past getting old.

Newbies, remember this: "you get what you pay for" applies to bikes, too.
what is your definition of spam? (nm)salmonwheel
Feb 28, 2002 9:29 AM
what name are you calling Elefantino ? and why?richard d
Feb 28, 2002 9:30 AM
I do not understand you calling Elefantino a spammer ~ is it against the rules here to mention brands or have a favorite brand or an independent opinion? I really just dont get it. This is my first post; but I read stuff here a lot and everyone seems to have an opinion and thats what makes it good. (but with some of the flaming that goes on I am affraid to mention that I love my old Fuji)-- would be better I think if the name calling came to a stop - just MY feeling
Welcome to the board, Richard!Elefantino
Feb 28, 2002 9:42 AM
All allies are appreciated, even if I don't think in this case I was being called a "spammer." (Even if I was, big deal. I've been called worse.)

Feel free to chime in anytime wi ...

WAIT A MINUTE. YOU RIDE A FUJI???!!!

HOW DID THIS GUY GET IN HERE!!!!

FWIW, tongue firmly in cheek,
Mike
Spam! Spam! Spam!scottfree
Feb 28, 2002 9:56 AM
If simply mentioning a good price on a bike is spam, then what do you call the relentless recommendation on this board to 'call Gary' at GVH everytime someone's looking for a cheap bike?

Gary may be wonderful; the damn Motobecane may be wonderful. Either or both may be frauds, for all I know. But why is one spam and the other isn't?
it is simple - here's the rulegeorge
Feb 28, 2002 10:06 AM
If someone suggests a bike that is better than yours - they are a spammer. If someone suggests a retailer you do not like - they are a spammer. If a poster mentions a bike you do not know anything about - they are a spammer. If someone mixs up a bunch of meat you can not identify -- wait wrong term -- Either way; I agree it will be a lot more pleasant to read the board without all the name calling
You also have to realizeMel Erickson
Feb 28, 2002 3:32 PM
that Cyclaholic is a contrarian who likes to rile things up. You need a thick hide on these boards. Besides, it's all just electrons anyway.
Elephantino is no spammercyclaholic
Feb 28, 2002 7:16 PM
For the record, I think Elephantino makes pretty good posts, including the one that started this thread. He quite inadvertantly touched off the Motospammers who, for at least the past couple of weeks, make these inane comparisions between their favorite brand of bike and another more popular brand.
I Have Broken Cannondale Frames...C-mond
Feb 28, 2002 8:40 AM
right on-----

I broke one too and i am 135

I will not deny the fact that i am a hammer but geez that is

RIDICULOUS
I Have Broken Cannondale Frames...SnowBlind
Feb 28, 2002 2:10 PM
Holy Cow...
what would have happened if I rode one at 225?
Confetti?!?!
maybe its a marketing dealmike on 2
Feb 28, 2002 5:07 AM
since Motobecane is making a new push in the USA; maybe they are pricing some key bikes at super low prices to get attention. That would seem like good marketing; they could do it for a year or two and then increase prices like other companies have. Good deal for those that buy now; but probably prices will go up later. does that make sense?
Makes sense to meCrankist
Feb 28, 2002 6:07 AM
Although we will probably not see a bunch of these frames on E-bay (w/ the parts slapped onto
a more trusted frame).
Mike
You dissing my Motobecane?pmf1
Feb 28, 2002 5:26 AM
I still fondly remember my Super Mirage. Rode it for several years, then it sat unused until a girlfriend of mine took it up to lawschool where it promptly got stolen. Wish I had kept it. It would have made a great fixed gear bike.

Wasn't a pro team recently riding Motobecanes?
nope- MBKnm
Feb 28, 2002 7:01 AM
You dissing my Motobecane?MikeC
Feb 28, 2002 10:44 AM
I had a Super Mirage around 1980 or so, and remember it fondly. It was not one of the faster-handling or lighter bikes I ever had, but I used it for centuries and it was darn comfortable!
Motobecane made some cool bikes...cyclaholic
Feb 28, 2002 7:22 PM
I can't remember when they stopped making them in France. I bet yours was a real Motobecane. Very cool. I'd love to have one of the old made in France bikes. True gems.
Motobecane made some cool bikes...MikeC
Mar 1, 2002 5:42 AM
You're right. It was French lugged steel, not Oriental tig-welded aluminum.
Weighed a ton toopmf1
Mar 1, 2002 8:53 AM
By today's standards, mine sure was a heavy bike. I remember when I got it. It seemed so light and fats. Amazing that it wasn't so ling ago.
I must be missing something ...scottfree
Feb 28, 2002 6:14 AM
Why in the WORLD do both sides of this 'issue' (how did Motobecane become an 'issue' anyway?) get so jacked up? What is the true nature of the dispute here?

People seem to be taking great offense over the bikes, pro and con, and for the life of me I can't get my mind around the problem. It's almost Kafkaesque.
Am I missing something?DaveL
Feb 28, 2002 6:20 AM
How can this possibly be a bad deal? It is impossible to screw up an al frame like this one. Carbon forks, full DA. Lifetime warranty. Reasonable price. Looks like a good deal to me, maybe I'm just overlooking some catch. Maybe it's just the name-brand thing...I did not realize that was so ingrained.
You are so rightMel Erickson
Feb 28, 2002 9:20 AM
Even if you distrust the frame enough to chuck it and put the parts on a frame of your choice it's still a good deal. It is a name brand thing with some. Back in my college days Motobecane was a pretty respected brand. They made some bad business decisions and lost much of their reputation. They're attempting a come back, and a pretty good effort in my opinion. They certainly knew the bike business (both technically and from a business standpoint) and I would not find it hard to fathom they could regain their edge. Why is it so hard to believe they could build a good bike at a good price.
Am I missing something?I'll never tell
Feb 28, 2002 9:41 PM
I had a Moto in the 70's, no it was a Gitane, no a Fuji, no a Zues. Anyway It rode like only steel can, no it was made from steel cans. Or was it Alum. cans? I can't remember. Can I get another beer? Oh, it was made from beer cans?!? But it was a beaut, or was it a mound? Oh, Oh, it did climb like a goat on crack. No I climbed like a goat on crack? Or did I climb a goat while on crack??? I just want to go home. But I can't get there from hear. Say what!!!
FYI: US - Taiwan salary difference.TZ
Feb 28, 2002 9:26 AM
It all boils down to labor costs. Process of welding aluminum is not THAT complicated. It had been improved over the years quality- and cost-wise. Therefore it is possible to have good frames made on Formosa Island by well-trained welders, who don't have to get US salaries. Throw in the brand name surcharge and there is the price difference!!!
I can't comment on geometry of Motobecane frames. I just want to suggest that it is possible to have a cheap frame of decent quality.
Each one of you has a piece of brand-name clothing. Guess where it had been made...
FYI: US - Taiwan salary difference.HENRY K
Feb 28, 2002 6:45 PM
NO FOREIGN BUILT FRAMES FOR ME. HAD KLEIN AND LITESPEEDS FOR YEARS, WEIGH 215, NO CRACKS, NO BREAKS, NO FOREIGN WAGES. NOT MUCH THAT I CAN DO ON THE COMPONENTS BUT I TRY TO SUPPORT GOD OLD AMERICAN WORKERS ANYTIME I CAN.
You had better find another board...cyclaholic
Feb 28, 2002 7:25 PM
If you don't get "bang for the buck", then you are a hindrence to the health of the global economy. Shame on you.
must be deal of the year - my LBS sold outgeorge
Feb 28, 2002 9:58 AM
my local dealer sold out the first few he got and then pre-sold all Motobecane would allocate him in May. Said he is trying to get more for June. Maybe other companies will take note of this and lower their prices some.
re: Among the "195 best new bikes" ... Motobecane?wsexson
Feb 28, 2002 11:47 AM
There was an interesting post on the Bicycling mag forums. It seems that the motobecane.com domain is owned by the same person as the bikesdirect.com domain and the Cycle Spectrum chain of stores. I am not suggesting this is a bad thing, but I think it is interesting.

I decided to buy a Motobecane Le Champion as my first road bike from bikesdirect.com, and so far I am fairly happy with it. If there is anything wrong with it, I don't know enough to figure out what it is.

I wouldn't recommend buying your first road bike sight unseen from a web site to most people, but I like shopping that way. If I make a mistake that way, I am willing to live with it.
that bike is too small for youmapson
Feb 28, 2002 12:14 PM
if you would have gotten it at a real store you probably would have gotten a more appropriate size
that bike is too small for youwsexson
Feb 28, 2002 7:37 PM
Yes, it is a little too small. I would rather have a bike a little small than deal with idiots at a "real" store. Retail sucks.
its got nice looking paint atleastishmael
Feb 28, 2002 1:52 PM
and ill bet it runs great even if it doesnt say moots...too bad its not compact geometry, i refuse to go back...must keep with the future in all bicycle purchases...
Different Animalgrzy
Feb 28, 2002 3:35 PM
Trek started at the bottom and worked their way up and built a name and a reputation. With Moto it's just the opposite - try to use a nostalgic name foist off crap on the unsuspecting public. Hey some people like Yugos also. That's it - Motobecane is now the Yugo of the bike world. I hear that Sears makes good bikes also. Of course we could be totally wrong and just trying to justify why we've all spent far too much money on our own rides when we could've had it all for well under $2,000. Is it true that one of the choices for finish is galvanized? ;-)

Ultimatley if one can't tell the difference between a good frame and a POS then it doesn't really matter.
Different Animalcyclaholic
Feb 28, 2002 7:33 PM
That's really why this is so sad. When I was a kid, I rode with buddies who had those very cool Motobecanes. I was so jealous of them because I was the one on the POS. Every now and again, you'll still see a hardcore roadie on one of them. I love to see them.

Now, it's just the name of a once celebrated French bicycle manufacturer on a blah aluminum frame. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
<snort>weiwentg
Feb 28, 2002 8:11 PM
how do YOU know it's a 'blah' frame, cyclaholic? have you rode one yet?