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Which bike to buy???(14 posts)

Which bike to buy???aarontoy
Feb 7, 2003 11:37 AM
Hi everyone. I'm hoping some of you roadies out there can help me in my decision on buying a new bike. I've narrowed it down to 2 bikes. The FUJI TEAM W/ ULTEGRA @ 16.8 LB or the MOTOBECANE GRAND SPRINT with Ultegra (can't seem to find any weight listing for the Sprint). The link to both bikes is :

I'm not someone who really cares about name. I just want a good, quality bike. I ride an older Miyata right now and want to move up to a decent, mid-level bike. Want something lighter and more technologically modern than the Miyata. Does anyone have any info or opinions on either of these brands? The research I've done seems to indicate I can get more bang for my buck by sticking with these brands than say a TREK, SPECIALIZED, BIANCHI or other top brand. Any insight would be most helpful. Thanks. -Aaron
Feb 7, 2003 12:14 PM
The main factor is whether you have a better fit on one bike compared to the other. I would suggest going to ( and looking at the geometry of the Fuji in the size you are considering and then doing the same thing with the Motobecane ( Then, which of these two most closely matches your Miyata...given that you are comfortable on the Miyata. If both bikes are similar, then it may simply come down to which paint job you like. My wife has a fuji team from 2000 and she really enjoys it. Her Fuji seems well-built. I have no experience with the Motobecane.
I checked geometries and...aarontoy
Feb 7, 2003 12:36 PM
They are exactly the same on the Fuji v.s. Motobecane, except for the Fuji having .35" more in standover height. Unfortunately, there are no local dealers for either manufacturer in my area (Monterey, CA). My experience with the Miyata is that I think the fit is ok, but has never really felt *dialed in* to me. I was thinking for the most part, once one goes up to a certain class of bike, the differences become smaller and less noticable. Diminishing returns. Is this the case? Can the average rider really tell a difference between Dura Ace vs. Ultegra?
re: Which bike to buy???No_sprint
Feb 7, 2003 12:52 PM
If it were me, I'd go Fuji for only one reason. I have no experience whatsoever with Motobecane.

I recommend you go get fitted from someone who really knows what they're doing. I'm sure there are local racing oriented teams in your area that can recommend a fitter. You could also get a fit assessment on your current bike and then compare what you're getting with what you got. If not that, give Craig at Calfee a call. It'd be worth the drive to Santa Cruz. I don't know what he'd charge. He's a full bore professional.

Ultegra works just fine. It's good enough even for a serious racer. If you've got the money and you want to shave grams, go DA if you'd like.
Another SPAM?Fez
Feb 7, 2003 12:55 PM
Is this another post where someone posts 2 bikesdirect bikes and tells us how great the bikes are and asks us to choose?

In the past these posts have been labeled as SPAM which was disguised as a legit purchase question.

It is also important to note that in the past, bikesdirect took orders for bikes they did not get yet and would deliver weeks or months later. Best to do a search and find out what others' experiences were.
Not SPAM!aarontoy
Feb 7, 2003 1:36 PM
I'm a legit poster and the only reason i listed the URL's is because I figured viewers might want to see the bike specs before replying to my post. I understand that Spam sucks in any forum and that's the risk taken in having an open forum, however, this forum has been the best tool I've found for learning about making good, sound decisions related to cycling. Believe me, I've been scouring the web looking for reviews but and have come up with little to show. I figured what better place to ask then a forum of dedicated cyclists who are passionate about the sport. While I shouldn't feel this way, I'm actually kinda insulted that my innocent post asking for guidance was viewed as a SPAM. Sheesh! Maybe all the cliches about roadies being more hi-strung and anal than dirt riders are true...
Not SPAM!Fez
Feb 7, 2003 2:47 PM
I think you sound hi strung.

I'm just saying that this was brought up in the past as spam. Do a search to find out the skinny on bikesdirect, fuji and motobecane. And I also said that the delivery times were long because they often "presell" these bikes - i.e. they don't have possession of them at the time they take your order.

Good luck.
some bad newsSpoiler
Feb 7, 2003 2:49 PM

config "Who else got burned by bikesdirect today?" 9/12/02 9:48pm

Wheel problems and shipping problems may offset the savings.
Just be aware of what you're getting into.
What I needed to hear on! Thanks!aarontoy
Feb 7, 2003 3:04 PM
This is exactly what I was hoping to find in addition to getting insight on the 2 bikes. I will definitely avoid and buy the bike elsewhere. THANK YOU!
some bad newsSpoiler
Feb 7, 2003 2:51 PM
daroy28 "No luck with Motobecane Bikes" 9/13/02 9:47am

config "Who else got burned by bikesdirect today?" 9/12/02 9:48pm

Wheel problems and shipping problems may offset the savings.
Just be aware of what you're getting into.
I'd lean toward the Fuji.djg
Feb 7, 2003 2:14 PM
Fuji has been around for a long time and has a longstanding reputation for offering good value for money. That's not to say that this is the ideal bike for you (or for anyone else), but if you're flying a little blind here it's good to have some sort of reputation (it's not much information, but it's better than nothing). Motobecane is largely an unknown quantity--somebody bought the US marketing rights to an old French bike brand/marque. The sticker may be familiar but the design does not come from the familiar company and the assembly comes from someplace else entirely. That doesn't make it bad, but it makes it, IMO, more of an unknown (and hence more of a risk).

Also, I notice that the Fuji seems to be kitted out with better known parts. The Ritchey stuff is not the latest nor the greatest, but it has been around and is mostly fine, in my experience. The Motobecane seems to have--apart from the Ultegra group--mostly no-name kit.

Are there really no dealers anywhere you can plausibly get to? Maybe up towards the bay area? Fuji is pretty widely distributed, and I'd think you could find one to look at and test ride without going too far afield.

Possible Hidden Costs ordering from the site you posted, and supposing that you are getting what is basically the right size frame (and let me say that I know nothing about the site or the level of service they offer):

1) Assembly: do you know the state of assembly and adjustment these bikes arrive in? Putting a bike together is not rocket science, but if you don't have the experience or the tools you might be forced to seek, and pay for, outside help.

2) Related: who builds the wheels? If not properly built, you might have a headache/rebuild on your hands. Again, not rocket science but . . . (Maybe the Ritchey wheels on the Fuji are factory wheels?)

3) Any idea whether you'll like the kit? It might seem trivial, but a shop will probably swap out a saddle, stem, and/or bars to make you comfy. You can do it yourself, or you might not need to, but it's worth knowing in advance what extras you might need to complete the bargain. You know, 50 bucks here, 75 bucks there . . .

Good luck.
Good points...aarontoy
Feb 7, 2003 2:51 PM
I was leaning toward the Fuji and you have helped me more in that direction. I'm pretty new to road riding. I come from the dirt and am a decent wrench on mtb's. Have a park stand with all the tools, etc. I'd have no problem doing the basic 10% assembly left to do when the box comes. I checked the dealer list and the nearest one to me is 50 miles away in the San Jose area. There's actually one in Santa Cruz, about 30 miles away but I called him and he said he has no Fuji *road* bikes but will get one of each model within a month. I was planning on driving to San Jo but wanted to see what you all thought about Fuji bikes in general before investing (or wasting) a 100 mile round trip. I don't know a lot about the site other than a lot of people buy from them because of price but that while customer service may pretty non-existent, most buyers from them seem to be satisfied. The guy who thinks I'm a spammer suggested that the company takes orders on bikes not in their inventory but I looked at their site and it plainly discloses that fact (advance orders with a $100 deposit.) The place is selling the bike for basically $900 off list. Even, a partner store to this site is a couple hundred more. I may even buy the bike thru them since they are partnered with this site. My main interest in seeking advice from this forum, however, was to help me in deciding which bike to go with regardless of the place I order from. This is my first major road bike purchase and wanted to make a sound decision and your post really presented the facts in black and white. I appreciate you and everyone else who's taken the time to help me out. -Aaron
re: Which bike to buy???Govol
Feb 7, 2003 6:40 PM
I'm sure you have done your homework on these two bikes, but if your looking for a light loaded bike in this price range you might try the Ultegra Douglas from Colorado Cyclist.

The only reason I suggest this is because a friend of mine recently bought one and brought it to my house so I could help assemble it. There was very little assembly, and from what I could tell the bike was made very well.

The bike seemed to ride well, but it was somewhat small for me so I can't comment on the ride too much. I can just say it felt solid.

Great specs Super Wheels
Support Your local Bike Shop.cguck8
Feb 7, 2003 11:50 PM