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  1. #1
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    BD gravity 29 point 4 first impressions

    Hi, I couldnt' find much info on these bikes before my purchase, so here's my observations from my build this morning

    Everything came perfectly intact, no problems with the build whatsoever! I'm very impressed with how the bikes direct bikes come nearly perfect right out of the box. I ordered a windsort knight a few months ago for a friend, and it too was perfect out of the box. I've worked at a dozen bike shops and I've built many many bikes, and out of the box, the two bikes I've bought have been surprisingly easy to build.

    Before buying this bike I spoke with several previous employers about getting a similar bike from giant, specialized, trek etc. none of the companies had a ten speed bike with a comparable fork for a comparable wholesale price. A friend at one shop told me I could get what I was looking for if I waited a little bit for a 2012 model. Clearly the big bike companies with annual product releases have trouble competing with the rolling product release that bikes direct employs.

    I also like knowing that boxes and boxes of catalogs weren't printed to help market the bike I bought.

    Compared to shopping at a physical bike shop, I like that I know exactly how much I'm paying when I make my choice, there's no calculations required for tax or shipping, etc.

    And now.....the bike
    17.5" frame is about perfect as far as reach for a 5'8.5" guy, maybe a little short with a 90mm stem.

    Standover has my crotch just touching the top tube with stock 2.1 tires. I presume they suggest choosing a model with 2" of clearance because of liability concerns. The 15.5 would have left me with maybe 1.5" of clearance, but the bike would have been way too small to be comfortable on long rides (I prefer to be somewhat stretched out, as it keeps my lower back happy)

    The Recon fork much to my surprise has an airspring. the website said nothing about this, so it is a pleasant surprise, though i originally thought I was choosing a bike with coil springs, as I want everything to last forever with relatively little maintenance. I'm content with the tradeoff and surprised the bikesdirect site wasn't more specific about which recon comes on the 29.4. perhaps they vary? I'm muscular and about 200lbs, so i'm pleased not to have to worry about upgrading to a stiffer spring. I just used my trusty topeak road morph g tire pump(the only mini-pump of a dozen or so I've owned that's ever met(or exceeded) my expectations) and put 130psi in the fork, a stiff setting for a ~200lb rider.

    the lockout on the fork just feels like a much stiffer spring--with modest compression I can use at least an inch of travel.

    The paintjob looks fantastic. I haven't tried removing the logos yet, but hopefully some acetone will leave the underlying attractive grey color intact. anybody have experience removing the logos from the gravity brand frames?

    Handlebars are rather narrow.

    there's very little grease on various bolts on the bike, and not much in the headset. Every manufacturer's bikes I've built tend to have precisely this same problem.

    the fsa cranks appear to be designed to be used with pedal washers, but none were included. This is basically my only complaint, and its quite minimal and possibly not even relevant.

    rims are drilled for schraeder, tubes are schraeder. The wheels seem to be the only place these bikes skimp, but no surprises. I expect to start breaking the off-brand spokes after a few rides as usually happens with off-brand spokes.

    overall I'm very pleased. I'll try to get some pictures soon.
    Last edited by PretendGentleman; 05-25-2011 at 06:37 AM.

  2. #2
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    see if you can throw a review up in the review section too:

    http://www.mtbr.com/reviewscrx.aspx

    makes us a better and more comprehensive resource!
    Try this: HTFU

  3. #3
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    just noticed that there doesn't seem to be a Gravity Bike section. I will pass that on.
    Try this: HTFU

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher
    just noticed that there doesn't seem to be a Gravity Bike section. I will pass that on.
    Gravity is a BD brand (interesting first post by the OP ), the Motobecane forum tends to cover all of the brands such as Moto, Windsor, Dawes, and now Gravity.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    ... (interesting first post by the OP ),...
    That's what I was thinking. Mods should move this to the BD bin aka Moto forum before flames start blazing.

  6. #6
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    I spent a big part of today looking at the 29ers on BD.com. I had settled on the Gravity point 4, but the 19" were all sold out by the time i ordered.

    If the Point 5 was $100 less, I would get one of those instead. I really like the looks of the Point 4's finish, actually.

    it is good to hear reality-based reviews of these bikes. Without actual ride reports to compare to, it is hard to know if it is a deal or not.

    I am really considering a Rocky Mountain VertexSE, but if I can save a grand for the same spec, that's a bargain. Of course the Rocky has a 7005 aluminum frame and will end up lighter and potentially stiffer. All for the low, low price.... :-|

  7. #7
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    Concur. The piece where he compares the value of the frame to giant, trek, and specialized reads like something from a press release. And the bit about grease on the bolts....odd.
    Vecsus

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  8. #8
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    Freakin awesome first post, you should write advertising type.

  9. #9
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    yup, I like the bike.

    Just got back from a ride and everything worked well. The biggest difference about the 29er I noticed was the tendency to stand up from the centrifugal force. I had two sticks poking out of trees scratch me while riding in in tight singletrack on a ride I do frequently, so I think to move the bike around under me I needed to move further side to side than with my 26", i.e. compensating for the increased momentum of the wheel.



    regarding the grease on the bolts, greasing metal on metal contact points is a good way of keeping them from seizing. Anti-seize works even better when the metal is not bearings. A properly assembled bicycle should have all of those metal on metal contact points greased or treated with something e.g. anti-seize, but all manufacturers miss some spots, often many spots

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the review. I think some of these guys are a little sensitive to anything positive said about a mail-order bike. They must own stock in a LBS...

    Enjoy the ride make sure to post back if you have any issues or points of interest to help others out. And once there is a Gravity bikes section in the review area please post it up to help others as was mentioned.

    Oh and got any pics?

  11. #11
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    I set up my new gravity 29 point 4 as tubeless last night, and everything worked out incredibly well.

    I used gorilla tape to wrap the rim and secure the presta valve stem I cut out of an old tube in the rim. I left as much rubber as I could but it wasn't much because I didn't want the rubber around the stem to protrude from beneath the tape or get involved with the tire's bead interfacing with the rim.

    then I put the tire on and sudsed it up with soapy water and added a couple of ounces of slime in the tire by using a tire lever to pull the bead away from the rim.

    Then I blew it up with an aircompressor, though the fit was so good, I think I could have been successful with a floor pump, maybe a hand pump.

    Then i spent some time sloshing the tires around to distribute the slime so it could start working on micro holes pre-existing in the tire.

    overnight there's no noticeable loss of pressure.

    This was my first tubeless setup, and I am amazed. I am using tubeless because I get too many flat tires from blackberry thorns that are abundant on the trails I ride. I will not be running low pressure, but something around 40 or 45psi because I don't like the feeling of squishy tires when I pump through depressions or jump various bumps on the trail or on the way to the trail. I have a background in bmx and dirt jumping, which has a significant influence on my riding. The wheels feel a bit lighter, but this depends on how much slime is put inside. However 29" tubes are heavy and it seems a lot of slime would have to be used to equal the weight of the omitted tube.

    So for anybody who is contemplating a ghetto-tubeless setup with WTB speed disc AM 29" rims and WTB Prowler SL race tires is almost sure to have an easy time getting it to work!

    Also, be warned that if you pump the tires over 60psi, they might blow off the rim. I didn't realize the pump I was borrowing had a pressure gauge that was way off, and when I aimed for 50psi, I must have hit something more like 65 and the tire blew off with a deafening boom. The bead was seated properly. its interesting that the tire blows off the rim at a lower pressure without a tube inside than with a tube inside. Interestingly, the force of the air escaping blew the reflector off the rim and the pump off the valve, breaking the tip of the valve off inside the pump. not to mention slime went everywhere . I started over and no problems at ~40 psi and bunny-hopping and jumping curbs. I do most of my riding on our town's rather extensive network of DIY trails, so reflectors are nice to have because I often have a couple miles of road riding to get home.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PretendGentleman View Post
    Also, be warned that if you pump the tires over 60psi, they might blow off the rim. I didn't realize the pump I was borrowing had a pressure gauge that was way off, and when I aimed for 50psi, I must have hit something more like 65 and the tire blew off with a deafening boom. The bead was seated properly. its interesting that the tire blows off the rim at a lower pressure without a tube inside than with a tube inside. Interestingly, the force of the air escaping blew the reflector off the rim and the pump off the valve, breaking the tip of the valve off inside the pump. not to mention slime went everywhere . I started over and no problems at ~40 psi and bunny-hopping and jumping curbs.

    This tire is probably shot, search out converting tubeless and you will see that generally when you blow off the rim it ruins the tires bead and the tire will be much more apt to pop the bead off at any pressures. This can lead to dangerous blowoffs in corners.

    I do recommend replacing that tire.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    Gravity is a BD brand (interesting first post by the OP ), the Motobecane forum tends to cover all of the brands such as Moto, Windsor, Dawes, and now Gravity.


    Things seem a little questionable.

    First he states he has worked in a dozen shops.

    Then claims he used a tire pump to inflate fork?
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecsus View Post
    Concur. The piece where he compares the value of the frame to giant, trek, and specialized reads like something from a press release. And the bit about grease on the bolts....odd.
    That's because it IS a press release.

  15. #15
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    Yeah reusing a tire that has been blown off of a rim is not something that someone experience in a dozen shops would do. IMHO this whole thread smells.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    This tire is probably shot, search out converting tubeless and you will see that generally when you blow off the rim it ruins the tires bead and the tire will be much more apt to pop the bead off at any pressures. This can lead to dangerous blowoffs in corners.

    I do recommend replacing that tire.
    That's good advice, and I'll keep it in mind. I'm a grad student on on a limited budget, so I'll stick with the tire and keep my fingers crossed.

    and for all the conspiracy theorists out there, i'm not affiliated with bikesdirect other than as a customer who has been pleased with two purchases from the company.

    I made the first post because I use google to find about potential purchases, but I found nothing about the bike I ended up purchasing, so the next person who googles for this bike will at least get to read what my experience has been. For the same reason I also posted about my experience with the particular rim/tire combination for conversion to tubeless.

    I'm mostly worked in shops that focus on bmx bikes, road bikes and commuters. Most bike shop mechanics spend a lot more time working on shitty old bikes than fancy new ones. A few shops do get a lot of high end new stuff to work on, but that's a small segment of the market for bike repairs. People with nice bikes are less likely to bring them in for repair, becuase nice bikes don't need many repairs. So I've had only limited experience with tubeless and I haven't overhauled a fork in ten years. I've bled hydraulic systems, but never replaced a hose or rebuilt a caliper. There's also a tendency to let the head mechanic work on the nicest bikes. Now I haven't given you enough information for you to have any idea how many hours I've worked in bike shops; I've never been a head mechanic but I do know a great deal about a very wide range of bicycles and how to fix them.

    Why not use a tire pump to inflate the airspring on my fork if I can easily achieve the pressure needed? I don't own a shock pump because I've never had an air sprung fork before, so why spend more money when it seems I don't need to? I can imagine that there might be chemicals in my tire pump that will degrade the seals on my airspring, though I dobut it. If you have reliable information showing that my tire pump will damage my airspring's internals, please share it with me.

    Those who are smug about bicycle components, where you buy your stuff, what people choose to ride and how many posts they've made to online forums are almost always hiding behind their own insecurities. You'll probably find yourself a lot happier if you drop the pretentious bullcrap, ride your bike more, and accept that you can't change the fact that you've got inadequate genitalia.

    And for those who've refrained from developing bikes direct related conspiracy theories or at least not posted their weak suspicions, thanks!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
    That's because it IS a press release.
    please get serious
    a 'press release' would imply something we issued - which this clearly is not

    and what would be the point? as most see our 29ers sell out before we can get more

    situation with Gravity 29ers is clear; there are lots out there being riden by cyslists
    many of the owners will post their experience
    I expect almost all, if not all, to say that these bikes ride like other bikes that cost twice as much
    and in a few years everyone will see that they are also exactly as durable

  18. #18
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    There he is.

    Well, looks like this thread is already half way in the recycling bin, along with that "existential nature of BD" thread.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesdirect View Post
    please get serious
    a 'press release' would imply something we issued - which this clearly is not

    and what would be the point? as most see our 29ers sell out before we can get more

    situation with Gravity 29ers is clear; there are lots out there being riden by cyslists
    many of the owners will post their experience
    I expect almost all, if not all, to say that these bikes ride like other bikes that cost twice as much
    and in a few years everyone will see that they are also exactly as durable
    Ok, i think we all know that it's called viral marketing, not a press release.

    So you're saying, for the record, that BD has absolutely nothing to do with these repetitive cookie cutter posts of "reviews" that are only for BD bikes, usually posted by people with only 1 or 2 previous posts, that seem to come out every few days?

    These reviews are all almost identical, and you can't find a review like them for any other bike. We never see a person with a Giant or Specialized or Trek or Pivot or RIP that has ever written one of these almost identical review listing each part, talking about how AMAZING the bike is, oh, except they had to pump up the tires, or adjust the handlebar, or twist the pedals or something ridiculous. And Bikes Direct in no way has anything to do with this? Rigggght.

    PretendPerson indeed.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PretendGentleman View Post
    Why not use a tire pump to inflate the airspring on my fork if I can easily achieve the pressure needed? I don't own a shock pump because I've never had an air sprung fork before, so why spend more money when it seems I don't need to? I can imagine that there might be chemicals in my tire pump that will degrade the seals on my airspring, though I dobut it. If you have reliable information showing that my tire pump will damage my airspring's internals, please share it with me.
    Actually yes, you can damage your fork with your tire pump. Look at the volume of your tires, and now at the volume of your air cartridge (if you don't feel like taking your fork apart, it's tiny.) Tire pumps are designed for a much larger volume and put out way more air per stroke than a shock pump, making it easy to over pressurize them. Not to mention that shock pumps have pressure release valves as well, which is really handy.

    PS: on the whole dislike of BD thing, I don't like them because they don't attempt to further technology or improve the bike industry. What do you think their R&D budget is? Extremely low, I would guess. This is another reason why the big brands cost a little more- they're creating new technology and doing good things. As well, a lot of company support trail building efforts, sponsor teams, etc.

  21. #21
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    Awesome freakin thread. Too bad I'll be out in the mountains for three days at the Virginia IMBA festival. Hate to miss the drama. I bet I don't see a single bikesdirect product among the ~300 riders out there.

    I especially like where the dude says that the centrifugal force of the 29er wheels make him stand up more.
    Vecsus

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
    Ok, i think we all know that it's called viral marketing, not a press release.

    So you're saying, for the record, that BD has absolutely nothing to do with these repetitive cookie cutter posts of "reviews" that are only for BD bikes, usually posted by people with only 1 or 2 previous posts, that seem to come out every few days?

    These reviews are all almost identical, and you can't find a review like them for any other bike. We never see a person with a Giant or Specialized or Trek or Pivot or RIP that has ever written one of these almost identical review listing each part, talking about how AMAZING the bike is, oh, except they had to pump up the tires, or adjust the handlebar, or twist the pedals or something ridiculous. And Bikes Direct in no way has anything to do with this? Rigggght.

    PretendPerson indeed.

    Yes - BD did not do this post or any post like it
    years ago [like 5 or 6] one employee did some shill posts on RBR - once I found out it was stopped - he never posted on BF or MTBR

    what we did was sell bikes; some of which go to new MTBR members that want to post about them - you should give these cyclists a break

    You can beleive what you want; but reasonable readers will understand what is going on here
    Haters have to hate

    And think about it; it would be insane for one of my employees to come on here and do a post like this as they know if I found out they would be terminated -

    PLUS have you noticed these bikes sell out before I can get more?

    My hope is the OP comes on and posts a picture of his bike; his dog; and his brith certificate - so you will know what you feel you need to know - but I can not force him to do that -- I can just thank him for his purchase; hope he safely enjoys his bike; and wish that he not evaluate all MTBR members based on comments like yours

  23. #23
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    mike from BD subscribes to the philosophy that there is no such thing as bad press - especially when it's free. I believe Mike when he says these posts are not his doing. Doesn't change the fact that a good number of them are designed to promote Bikesdirect products. I also suspect that more than a few are started by BD haters just to generate drama.

    And Mike, selling out of a product doesn't necessarily vouch for its quality. Millions of walmart and kmart bikes are sold every year and they still suck. If you really believed your products are on par with the mainstream brands you wouldn't need to compare your stuff to their on every one of your models. I don't see Pricepoint doing that on their website with their Sette bikes. Let the product speak for itself and stop trying to force comparisons.
    Last edited by Vecsus; 05-26-2011 at 06:48 PM.
    Vecsus

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesdirect View Post
    Yes - BD did not do this post or any post like it
    years ago [like 5 or 6] one employee did some shill posts on RBR - once I found out it was stopped - he never posted on BF or MTBR

    what we did was sell bikes; some of which go to new MTBR members that want to post about them - you should give these cyclists a break

    You can beleive what you want; but reasonable readers will understand what is going on here
    Haters have to hate

    And think about it; it would be insane for one of my employees to come on here and do a post like this as they know if I found out they would be terminated -

    PLUS have you noticed these bikes sell out before I can get more?

    My hope is the OP comes on and posts a picture of his bike; his dog; and his brith certificate - so you will know what you feel you need to know - but I can not force him to do that -- I can just thank him for his purchase; hope he safely enjoys his bike; and wish that he not evaluate all MTBR members based on comments like yours
    My comments are meant to help newbs know the difference between a real review and a fake cookie cutter one for BD, so don't try to say I am bad for helping other people. I also did not ask if one of your employees made this post, i asked if BD in ANY WAY has something to do with them. I see what you are doing, avoiding the real question.

    You make some decent bikes, why not just come on here and post info about them as an honorable form of marketing, not a dishonest and viral one.

    Btw, your shill above states that one of the reasons to buy a BD bike is because you don't run out of them like lbs's do, so you might want to stop bragging about selling out of them in the same thread.

    A guy who has worked in 12 bike shops buying a bike from BD rather than a reputable shop with a good BBB rating from a friend who could get him a much better bike for the same price? Sure, right. And then mr. 12 bike shops tries to blow up a fork with a floor pump? Lol.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecsus View Post
    mike from BD subscribes to the philosophy that there is no such thing as bad press - especially when it's free. I believe Mike when he says these posts are not his doing. Doesn't change the fact that a good number of them are designed to promote Bikesdirect products. I also suspect that more than a few are started by BD haters just to generate drama.
    You think people who hate BD start ookie cutter praise threads? Do you tell everyone how wonderful your ex is in bed as a way to get people to nit want to date them? This makes no sense.

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