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Tommaso? Motobecane? Any Opinions?(5 posts)

Tommaso? Motobecane? Any Opinions?dgangi
Sep 24, 2003 7:42 AM
Hello all -

I am in the market for a solid entry-level road bike ($1000 or so) and found a few brands that piqued my interest -- Tommaso and Motobecane to name a few.

I already searched through the threads on this board to find various opinions about Tommaso and Motobecane bikes. I read a lot of bad comments about these bikes, but most of the comments were just name-calling without any facts. If these bikes truly are bad, then I hope to discover that. But just calling these bikes bad because they aren't a Trek or another "name brand" isn't fair.

What I want to know is this: who makes the frames for these companies? Is it Kinesis? Or some other brand?

Many people suggested the following alternatives to these bikes as good entry level road bikes: KHS, Jamis, Fuji, Specialized. My only issue with this advice is that these brands also don't make their own frames, especially the "budget" models (<$1500). I know for a fact that almost all "name brands" re-brand frames at some level in their lineup. So what am I getting that is any better in a Jamis or KHS vs. a Tommaso or Motobecane?

And if any of you own a Tommaso or Motobecane bike, I would be interested in your comments about the bikes. I was looking at the Tommaso ACF1 - aluminum bike with carbon fiber seat stays and Shimano 105 components.

re: Tommaso? Motobecane? Any Opinions?tz
Sep 24, 2003 8:44 AM
I have bought a Sora-equipped Motobecane Super Mirage, and had no problems with it. I only replaced the saddle with a more comfortable Selle Italia and installed a pair of $20 Nashbar MTB clipless pedals.
However, I neither ride much (barely over 3k miles in two years), nor race. If I rode more or started racing, then, perhaps, some problems with the bike would show up. As of now, I believe I got a good value for $425.
Motobecane = Kinesis framesdgangi
Sep 24, 2003 3:48 PM
I just posted a message informing everybody that has storefronts in Arizona, Florida, and some other places. BikesDirect is one on-line reseller that carried the Motobecane lineup, and that is how I first learned about them. I posted my previous message about Tommaso and Motobecane because I was leery about brands on-line that you cannot touch and feel -- thought I might get taken with some crappy bike that "looks too good to be true".

I just visited the north Phoenix store and was very impressed with the store and the bikes. They had a lot of Motobecane road bikes in stock. The frames are top quality Kinesis frames (Kinesis is a company who make frames for Santa Cruz, Specialized, and many other high-end brands) - either 7005 aluminum or their own variant of aluminum called Kinesium (great metal). For what you pay for, you are getting a very good frame. I was expecting to see some kind of cheap-o no-name Asian knock-off, and that was not the case. Kinesis frames are top quality frames that every bike buy knows about.

The wheelsets were also top notch. Some of the better bikes had Velomax wheelsets that looked *really* cool, much cooler than the Mavic CF wheelsets that other brands equip their bikes with. I have a feeling these alone cost >$300 (I'm not an expert with road bikes, but I do know how expensive good MTB wheelsets cost).

On the downside, the Motobecane bikes come with some crappy parts -- the seat, stem, handlebars, and seatpost are all house-brand Motobecane crap ("M-Wings" brand). If I buy a Motobecane, the first thing I would do is swap out ALL of that for better quality parts (Ritchey, TTT, anything). Doing so would probably shave off some weight. And ALL Motobecane bikes come with this junk, even the $1400 model. At least the important moving parts (headset, crankset) are good brands like FSA.

So if you are in the market for a good bike at a good price, the Motobecane's seem like a great buy. You get a quality name-brand frame and a good drivetrain for the price. I am definitely not pitching Motobecane because I am related to the company -- just pleasantly surprised by what I saw. However, if you do consider a Motobecane road bike, make sure you budget for a new seat, post, stem, and bars when you are making your final decision.

What about Tommaso?rubendc19
Sep 24, 2003 6:17 PM
Do you buy shoes without trying them on first?TNRyder
Sep 24, 2003 7:35 PM
Not to knock the whole online purchase thing, but I am really careful about buying something where fit is important w/out being able to actually be sure that it fits. I would hate to drop $1000.00 and find out that I had purchased a bike that was too big, small, TT to long or short etc. Also, I want to actually ride the things. Some bikes can look great in a picture but ride like crap in person. (one persons ride like crap could be another persons ideal ride) Case in point.... I have two TREK MTNbikes. I love the way that they ride. When I started looking @ road bikes under $1000.00, the first thing that I looked at was TREK. I hated the way the bikes felt. The ride felt harsh to me compared to my 20yr old steel rd bike. I then tried many different brands until I found something that felt good to me. You can't do that with mail order or internet purchases. IMHO This is worth any extra that you might have to pay at the LBS.

Just remember, if your LBS sucks, don't shop there! They don't deserve your money. But do check out another shop in your area if at all possible.