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Bicycling's $10,000 question > Merlin vs Motobecane ?(10 posts)

Bicycling's $10,000 question > Merlin vs Motobecane ?blueavid
Feb 22, 2003 2:14 PM
I just got my latest Bicycling - same as always; not much interesting. But there is a test comparing the Merlin Cielo ($10,000) to the Motobecane Century Pro ($1900).

It seems lately that the magazines love Motobecane - of course the Cielo is great; but for the difference they seem to like the Century Pro. in fact they say "the Motobecane delivers the good with enough money left for a trip for two to the Giro d'Itala"


it brings up interesting questions for sure
1 - has anyone else riden both these bikes side by side?
2 - is any bike really worth $10,000?
3 - cann't me & my wife go to the Giro for less than $8100?
4 - is this Moto the best deal under $2000 today?
Is any bike really worth $1900?Humma Hah
Feb 22, 2003 2:33 PM
Of course, in this forum the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" But in a WalMart sporting goods section, the 99 out of 100 shoppers looking at bikes would faint dead away at the thought of paying nearly two grand for a bike.

For some buyers, having the only $10,000 bike in the ride is exclusive enough to make everyone else look like a Walmart shopper. And if they've got the kind of money that they don't mind laying it out for a bike, well, as long as they get what they're after, great!

Meanwhile, I'll be back in my garage tinkering with the small '70's-vintage fleet of bikes my wife and I adore.

In terms of technical merit, no off-the-shelf bike is worth squat to someone who NEEDS a custom fit, and the custom-built frame market tends to hover in the $4000-5000 range for the nicer mounts. For that buyer, the comparison is meaningless. But for someone who can ride a frame bought off the LBS floor, once a decent level of quality is reached, there can't be more than about a 2% difference in how good a bike is from a technical perspective, and I'll include nicer bikes built 30 years ago in that comparison!
Bicycling's $10,000 question - maybe unfair - but to who?vegastime
Feb 22, 2003 2:34 PM
this is a strange comparision. I admit I have not seen it; but how can you compare a bike that is 5 times as much money to another bike? I do not know who this is unfair to - but it can not be a fair comparision.
I have not seen the Merlin; but the hydro formed frame on the Motobecane does look great - never rode one - but frame looks as good as most high dollar frames

anyway, I think it would make more sense to compare two bikes that are $2000 each

last - question number 3 - you and your wife can fly to italy for about $1200 round trip {of course, when you get there you may want to stay in a hotel, to eat, to travel, and worse - she may want to shop)
Neither...Fez
Feb 22, 2003 9:58 PM
I am neither cheap nor extravagant. I would pass on both bikes. I think I could never enjoy riding a $10,000 bike - I'd probably be too worried about it. And I'm just not a fan of the Motobecane. Great value, but just not for me.

Alternatively, I think I would get some nice frameset (like a Seven Axiom) that fit me like a glove and outfit it with DA or Chorus. Even a bike that nice would be less than $5,000.

I'm sure I could find a cheaper but equally well fitting bike with similar components in the $3,000-$4,000 range.
re: Bicycling's $10,000 question > Merlin vs Motobecane ?cyclopathic
Feb 23, 2003 1:31 AM
as I understand the point was to show that for most recreational riders and amateur racers don't need to spend 10 grand to get a decent bike. Even div 1 pros (think domestiques) ride/compete on cheaper bikes. They could have picked up several dozens other bikes which would fill the ticket. I am guessing the reason they picked up Motobecane because they got it for free not because it is the best deal.

Now answers to your questions
1 - no. it is unlikely anyone did.
2 - depends on how much you're making.
3 - yes. for 8100 you can do it twice.
4 - no. look for answer above
Do Not Be SILLY - think about itsaraspeed
Feb 23, 2003 6:51 AM
every magazine is given bikes to test by every manufacturer - I am sure they return them after they are tested - but Manufacturers want to be tested and written about - it is cheap and powerful advertising. Certainly Trek or Specialized would have loved to have their bikes compared to a $10,000 Merlin

My guess - Motobecane was picked due to outstanding value at list price - $1900 with rear carbon, carbon fork, full Ultegra, and Velomax wheels is very competitive.
Plus Bicycling likes the 'alternative' brands - so Motobecane, Jamis, Santa Cruz, Felt, get good coverage

But for sure - the Motobecane was not picked due to being the ONLY company that would provide a bike - that is plain Silly
re: Do Not Be SILLY - think about itcyclopathic
Feb 23, 2003 7:49 AM
you're right other mfg give their bikes for testing. But Mercier/Motobecane a new company w/o substantial dealer network and mostly internet sales employ more aggressive marketing/bribing.

With respect to "outstanding value" there're tons of Kinesis bikes around like Scante from Supergo which would be cheaper, have similar parts and ride as good if not better. Heck I can build Kinesis Ti bike with rear carbon 500-700$ cheaper then Century Pro MSRP, does it testify value?
REALLY? please post factssaraspeed
Feb 23, 2003 9:36 AM
really - I would like to know how to build a Ti bike with carbon rear stays, carbon fork, VeloMax wheels, Full Ultegra and a lifetime warranty for $1200 - that would be a great deal - and I would be interested in upgrading my current ride
outstanding value?gtx
Feb 23, 2003 12:23 PM
You could get a custom steel frame from someone like Curtlo or Teesdale with a DA/Ultegra mix and hand-built wheels for the same price as this mass-produced AL Taiwanese frame with Ultegra. Or you build up a ti frame from tst with the same parts for about the same money or less. IMO, that would be a much better way to spend $1900.

http://www.tetcycles.com

http://www.titaniumsports.com/road.html
Where did they come up with a price of $10,000 for the Cielo?LactateIntolerant
Feb 23, 2003 7:35 AM
I seem to recall seeing them in the Excel catalog for ~$6500.