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  1. #1
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    How much are the Motobecane bikes really worth ?

    I have two questions:

    1) Lets assume these bikes were offered at LBS, with the same level of support/warranty as Bikesdirect. THEN how much more expensive than BD would they be ? In terms of %.

    2)Now lets assume the LBS offers motobecane quality bikes with Trek like warranty
    and usual LBS service etc. Then how much more expensive than BD would they be ?

    Basically, I want to break down the price of bikes into the physical bike, and the warranty/service.

  2. #2
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    Sort of an answer

    Quote Originally Posted by wearetheborg
    I have two questions:

    1) Lets assume these bikes were offered at LBS, with the same level of support/warranty as Bikesdirect. THEN how much more expensive than BD would they be ? In terms of %.

    2)Now lets assume the LBS offers motobecane quality bikes with Trek like warranty
    and usual LBS service etc. Then how much more expensive than BD would they be ?

    Basically, I want to break down the price of bikes into the physical bike, and the warranty/service.
    #1 This question is bogus because all you would be doing is picking up a bike in a box and paying a cashier for it. So basically it would be a warehouse with a couple people to ring you up and maybe answer a question or two. I doubt it would cost anymore than it does now.

    #2 This question is easier to answer. Lets look at two bikes...the Moto Fantom 29 Pro and the Gary Fisher Cobia (a 29er made by Trek).

    They are fairly similar bikes. The Moto has a better parts spec overall, but they have the same fork and somewhat similar frames (Fisher frame is probably a little better and lighter). The Moto runs $795 from Bikes Direct with the minimal support that you receive from buying a bike online. The Gary Fisher runs $1200 at your LBS which includes all the dealer support, free assembly, free tune-ups (anywhere from one to lifetime), and Trek's lifetime warranty.

    So, you pay an extra $400 for a lesser equipped bike BUT with full LBS support. To someone like me who works on all his own (and most of his friends) bikes...I'll take the $400 and take my chances. For someone who prefers the security of LBS support and getting free tuneups then it may be worth the extra $400

  3. #3
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    Somethings value (worth) is determined by supply and demand. People want name brand bikes to impress their friends, so a name brand is worth money. Additionally the major bike companies do a lot of R&D to develop their frames, so they are probably a little better than a Motobecane frame. That is not to say that the Motobecane frames are bad, they are good, but they just aren't cutting edge technology wise. Also keep in mind that many of the Motobecanes use older components rather than the latest and greatest. For example they are still using the old 28.5mm SID and the older XTR and XT components. Most major manufacturers spec 2009 components for 2009 bikes, rather than 2008 components on 2009 bikes like Motobecane does.

    So I would guess you would pay more if they were in regular bike stores, but they still could not be priced anywhere near what a Trek or Cannondale are because people would never choose a Motobecane over a Trek or Cannondale if the prices were equal.

    The higher end XTR bikes are a great deal though, just price out the components seperately and you will see why some people buy these bikes to use as build kits for higher end frames and then just sell the frame on ebay.
    2012 On One Whippet 650b
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  4. #4
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    So the motobecanes are approx 33% cheaper than equivalent level LBS bikes; not like 50-60% cheaper as claimed by BD.

    I assume the 1200 you said was a median price. So, some stores would be selling it for less at some sale periods. Lets assume a 10% variation, so the price would be $1080+tax = ~$1150. For someone like me, I'd probably go for the LBS deal. Anyone know when LBS stores have bikes on sale/closeout ? I dont mind buying last years model.

  5. #5
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    You got the idea

    Quote Originally Posted by wearetheborg
    So the motobecanes are approx 33% cheaper than equivalent level LBS bikes; not like 50-60% cheaper as claimed by BD.
    Pretty much correct

    33% to 37% is also about the average new bike mark-up at an LBS (I worked in them for 8 years) so that is what your paying for. Manufacturers like Trek, Specialized, Giant set a range that their bikes can be sold at during most of the year. They do allow for some sales and of course once the next year models show up, they can mark them down further. But given all the service a LBS provides, they use up that 33% pretty quick. So that is why even last years models are only marked down about 10%. The reality is that a LBS makes its money on service, parts, and accessories. This is why it is flat stupid for an LBS to turn their nose up at a customer riding a "Internet order" bike who comes in for service. They can earn a customer and make money by providing friendly service. Any LBS that turns their nose up to customers riding "Internet order" bikes or even department store bikes deserves to go out of business.

  6. #6
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    I guess most bikes are good deal. and yes you are saving about 30%-40%

  7. #7
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    I have a LBS that carries Motobecane and was the same price as BD and I also have lifetime service on the bike. Mine, which is a 2007 Elite DS, had all 2007 parts on it. The pedals were useless and the bars were the heaviest I have ever seen but that is all I have changed other than my seat, and I have never had any reason to use the service as nothing has ever been wrong with the bike. I ride 14 miles a day round trip to work and ride off road on the weekends and 2-3 mornings a week before work. Also someone compared to Gary Fisher but before you think namebrand is better check that forum about all the broken frames. I will keep my Motobecane.

  8. #8
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    The first bike I bought in a long time was a ~2000 Motobecane road bike used from a guy in Nashville, TN. He bought it from a LBS. I have heard on the forums that Motobecane is a BD brand. Granted my bike was purchased new 8 years ago, but it appears that the bikes are sold through other channels? It would be interesting to see who else can get these locally.

    To answer the original poster:
    1) I think the answer to this would be somewhere between BD prices and those for a similarly equipped name brand. I don't think anyone is offended by the statement that Motobecane is a no-name brand. People do not pay a premium to own a MB over a Trek. I think that is, to an extent, the point. With that said, I would have to believe that the LBS would have to mark up the bike 15% or so to cover the store and employee costs that are greatly reduced with the internet warehouse business model that BD has. The extra 15% beyond that would be for assembly, service, and warranty work. With that said, It1zwb96's experience contradicts my estimation. I think he found the perfect scenario for the bargain hunter.

    2) mtnbiker72 answered that very well.

  9. #9
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    I'm wondering if 1zwb96 (from Texas according to his profile) purchased his bike from Cycle Spectrum...a chain of bike shops in Arizona, Texas, and Florida (11 total).

    They are owned by none other than the same owners of BikesDirect.com. Nothing wrong with that of course, but that would explain the fact that an LBS is selling Motobecanes, Merciers, etc.

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    The name of the shop from memory is Cumberland Transit in Nashville. I live several hours from there, so I have not been there myself. From their website they don't appear to have them now... maybe this was an effort by BD to get the MB brand in front of the public. No big deal to me. I bought both of mine used and to say I got a deal on them would be a gross understatement. So far the only thing I can say is that bikes that are a lot more expensive do ride better. Go figure.

    My biggest beef with them is the weight issue. I noticed that since the last time I was on their website the bike weights have all but disappeared. Certainly seemed from customer reported weights that they were exaggerating, and then beign very coy about it when a customer got a heavy bike. I wish they would just be honest about it. Its not like people should expect a xt FS that weighs 25# for $1000. Some may, but most will realize that is just not going to happen.

  11. #11
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    I had compared motobecane to ironhorse on another forum, and Mike had graciously said that both were roughly the same:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=452707

    The advantage with performance bike is that they offer free lifetime tuneups (but bikes are priced just a wee bit higher). So, thats another alternative for people who are looking to have (and pay for) service on their bikes.

    But the options in performance bikes are quite limited.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wearetheborg
    So the motobecanes are approx 33% cheaper than equivalent level LBS bikes; not like 50-60% cheaper as claimed by BD.
    I do not know - I tried to buy, or assemble from parts a light titanium hardtail, and all I could come up with was above $4000K. Fly Ti was $2100, - $1850 after I sold crankset and replaced it with shorter SLX from Ebay - compensated for extra weight with bolt-on skewers and aluminum granny.

    So in my case it was at least 50% cheaper then any other option I could find. For the money saved I am assembling myself a new burly trail bike.

  13. #13
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    I think that Moto and Ironhorse may be similar in the sense that Ironhorse is now going to be sold exclusively by Randall Scott (another on-line store) and... that they offer exceptional value for your money.
    I would have to stop there though since Moto doesn't offer a full suspension bike w/ arguably the best rear suspension (DW-Link) and I don't believe they have the extensive and successful DH wins in so many races w/ Sam Hill.
    I own an IH MKIII and it is simply an incredible bike. I don't believe Moto makes anything comparable to it. That being said. Ironhorse doesn't have a road bike comparable to any of the Motos either nor a 29er like the one I have on order which I will be receiving next week!
    Last edited by jagsr71; 10-05-2008 at 10:16 AM.

  14. #14
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    The savings must depend on the bike. 30%? Go look at the Fly Ti and tell me how anyone will sell you that bike for 30% more than what BD does ... good luck. The shock and crank will set you back over a grand, out of the gate. I can't imagine buying a Fly Ti from an equivalent dealer for no less than 2x the cost. As far as the other bikes, no idea.

    Granted I know it costs less to buy a complete bike than the individual parts, but I priced all the Fly Ti parts in a spreadsheet out of curiosity, selecting reasonably discounted parts. It was over $3,000 in parts before the frame and wheels even came in to play.

    Filippo

  15. #15
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    This is a little off topic, but is Bikesdirect.com a reliable place to buy a bike?

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    So far. Absolutely YES. Call and talk to Karla. I placed my order on the phone w/ her and her level of customer service was outstanding. Received shipment within 1 week.

  17. #17
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    Just a little FYI on the side

    Iron Horse will no longer have the licensing rights to the DW-Link after March 2009...this shouldn't affect the 2009 product but rumor has it for 2010, they have obtained licensing rights to Elsworth's ICT suspension design.

    I agree that the DW-Link bikes ride really nice, I had a first and second generation DW-Link Hollowpoint. However, when the first frame failed after 6 months, it took Iron Horse over 4 months to get me a new frame.

  18. #18
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    Yep. Definitely right about customer service being hit and miss w/ Iron Horse. They really could be a lot more on top of this as a company. I've had friends that have had their frame replaced right away and just the opposite too. It seems inconsistent with them. You'll get a ton of quality components along w/ the DW-Link for an amazing price but if you're really rough on the frame w/ extreme punishment (although they can take it) it can be a bit of a gamble.
    Last edited by jagsr71; 10-21-2008 at 09:36 PM.

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