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  1. #1
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    Mike from Bikes Direct actually listens to suggestions

    Tonight I was checking out BikesDirect.com just for the heck of it - sometimes, I just like to browse the site to see what the specials are...not that I need any MORE bikes.

    Last February, I sent Mike a PM, suggesting that he should do two things:

    1. Offer more low end mountain bikes in an 18" frame for those of us who think the 17" frame is a little too small.

    2. Start selling "dual sport" style mountain bikes, similar to the Giant Roam I had previously purchased, which is kind of a cross between a hybrid and a mountain bike.

    Mike got back to me saying that I was right and that he should add some 18" frames for lower end bikes and that he would look into getting some dual sport style bikes for the 2012 year models.

    Tonight, when browsing the site, I noticed that the Motobecane 300 - 500HT series now comes in an 18" frame! I also noticed that Bikers Direct now offers a bike called the Motobecane "Elite Adventure", which is a dual sport style bike!

    All I have to say is that I'm really happy that someone not only listened to my suggestions, but took steps to implement what I had suggested. So, while I don't NEED another mountain bike (I currently own a Schwinn full suspension, Motobecane Fantom Cyclocross, and Leader hardtail), I'm going to place another order from Bikes Direct and either get the Elite Adventure, or one of the 18" Motobecane HT models for some of my long distance street rides. Anyway, just thought I'd spread the word, and Mike, if you are reading this, THANKS FOR LISTENING, and I hope you are quite profitable as a result!
    Last edited by getagrip; 02-01-2012 at 10:59 PM.

  2. #2
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    Just picked up a Motobecane Elite Adventure in a 17.5" frame! Last year, I ended up selling my 19" Roam for almost $200 less than I paid for it, partly because it was a tad too big. The Elite Adventure should fit better and has better components, so it kind of makes up for selling the Roam at a much lower price than what I paid for it.

    I figured I'd go with the Elite Adventure because its pretty much a 29er with skinnier tires for a different off road riding experience (I don't currently own a 29er), but also because it will be a nice change of pace from my cyclocross for road rides. Now I have a full arsenal of different kinds of bikes capable of going off road! Should make for a very fun Spring and Summer, and keep rides interesting! Anyway, couldn't contain my enthusiasm so I had to share!
    Last edited by getagrip; 02-02-2012 at 12:19 AM.

  3. #3
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    Just noticed something:

    For those with lower budgets, there is also the Elite Sport and Elite Trail. I ended up going with the $399 model, but these two other models sell for $299 and $349, respectively. Being the cheapskate i am, I might have gone with the $349 model had I noticed it at first, but I guess I'll take the upgraded drivetrain at the higher cost without too much kicking and screaming! LOL

  4. #4
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    I am seriously considering the Elite Adventure. I rode a Trek utopia and a Trek dualsport 8.3. How do these compare? It seems like you guys realy like the motos. This will be my first bike purchase since 2003 so I am nervous. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  5. #5
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    They are going to be very similar, except the Motobecane is going to have better parts. In fact, the Elite Trail for $349 has better Specs than the Trek 8.3:

    Save up to 60% off new Hybrid Bicycles | Adventure Hybrid 29er Bikes Elite Adventure Sport Trail

    The Treks will have better frames and will probably handle better as well - I think the Trek 8.3 is rebranded Gary Fisher model, which were known to have awesome handling frames. Motobecane isn't known for having great frames - Bikes Direct bikes typically have good parts for the price on average frames.

    If you can't do your own adjustments (derailleur and brakes) and do not have a friend who can do them for you cheap, you might be better off going with the local bike store. Basically, at a LBS, you pay more for a better frame, good service...and lesser components.

    If your main goal is to save money, Bikes Direct is a great way to go, especially considering the quality components you get for the price. If you prefer good service and for the LBS to make adjustments for a year or two (and in some cases lifetime), your LBS is a better way to go...IF you can afford it!

    By the way, the Utopia appears to be the better of the two Trek bikes, and the specs are pretty much right there with the Elite Adventure. Only problem is you have to pay more...

  6. #6
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    Thanks getagrip. i have no problem adjusting my components. I've been wrenching on my bike for years. I would like to give my LBS some business since the owner is a great guy and runs a nice shop but at this price point its tough not to want to get it. I'm not going to be doing anything technical with this, just riding to get in shape and to cary my son in a bike seat. (Topeak babyseat II) if my current bike had rear braze-ons to install the rack I would not be buying a new bike. Test drove a Giant Roam 1 as well and that one seems really close to the Elite Adventure. So many decisions...thanks again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmolina34 View Post
    Thanks getagrip. i have no problem adjusting my components. I've been wrenching on my bike for years. I would like to give my LBS some business since the owner is a great guy and runs a nice shop but at this price point its tough not to want to get it. I'm not going to be doing anything technical with this, just riding to get in shape and to cary my son in a bike seat. (Topeak babyseat II) if my current bike had rear braze-ons to install the rack I would not be buying a new bike. Test drove a Giant Roam 1 as well and that one seems really close to the Elite Adventure. So many decisions...thanks again.
    Glad I could help out. I used to have a Giant Roam - it was that bike that got me to PM Mike and suggest that Bikes Direct carry a similar model. Let us know how it turns out!

  8. #8
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    Just received my Elite Adventure the other day, and wanted to write a quick review of what I think about it just in case others are on the fence about this bike and are considering a local bike store purchase instead. This is the third bike I've ordered from Bikes Direct, and I'm happy with their service and overall quality of their bikes. I also own a Motobecane Fantom Cyclocross CX3 and purchased a Windsor Cliff 4500 last year.

    Honestly, there was not anything special that stood out about the Elite Adventure. Just kind of a big, clunky, plain looking bike. It has a decent ride and all - very similar to my old Giant Roam 1, but even though the components on the Elite Adventure are better, I still liked my Roam better in terms of the frame geometry and the way it handled. I guess you could say that the Roam felt a little more nimble, and the differences in the frame design are obvious. While the Roam I owned had a 19" frame, the 17.5" Elite Adventure frame is huge in comparison, but was still a little bit lighter than the Roam. If you do get the Elite Adventure, pay special attention to the sizing chart as these bikes are HUGE.

    So my verdict of the Elite Adventure is to go for it if you want to save some money over similar bikes at the local bike store, because not only are you going to save money, you will be getting a bike with better components. Its a pretty rare thing to find a Deore and Alivio equipped bike store bikes for only $400, and this is what the Elite Adventure is equipped with. On the other hand, as I mentioned previously in this thread, you are most likely going to get a much better frame by going with the local bike store. While the Roam and the Elite Adventure were similar, there was a noticeable difference between how the bikes felt, and I have to give the edge to the Roam.

    Having said this, if you can afford $180 more than you would pay for the Elite Adventure, you can get a Motobecane Fantom Cross CX3 Cyclocross, which in my opinion, is a much nicer bike. You can tell the difference in quality just by looking at the seatpost, stem, and cables. Yes, I know, they are way different kinds of bikes, but to me, the difference in quality is obvious, especially when you compare the two frames. A beginner rider isn't going to notice much of a difference at first glance, but a more advanced rider will. The Fantom Cross will be much faster on the road than the Elite Adventure, and can still handle some singletrack riding if the trail is fairly smooth and not too technical. Honestly, I have more fun on the the singletrack trails riding my Cyclocross than I do on my mountain bike, and the extra chainring in the front of the CX3 makes climbing a breeze.

    However, even though I don't know the offroad capabilities of the Elite Adventure, I'd say it will be a big improvement over a cyclocross when riding more technical trails because of the front suspension, and the frame looks really "beefy", so it looks like it should hold up just fine off road, at least if the trail isn't too rugged. The Elite Adventure frame looks similar to some Motobecane 29er frames, but I'd recommend checking with Bikes Direct to see what the differences are, and to find out about the off road limitations of the Elite Adventure. In my opinion, the main limitation is the Suntour fork, because its not the greatest fork for offroad riding, but still beats a rigid. Also, for more rugged trails, tires would have to be upgraded - I like the Kenda "Happy Medium" tires the Elite Adventure comes with, but they will only work for light offroad trails. The good news is that the frame has plenty of clearance for beefier tires.

    Its very odd how your riding preferences change as you gain experience. The Elite Adventure would have been a great bike for me a year ago, just like my Windsor was, but I've moved on to bigger and better things. I guess you could say I got spoiled by the higher quality of my Motobecane Cyclocross and custom built Leader hardtail mountain bike (the latter of which, admittedly, has some parts I borrowed from my Windsor LOL). So, nothing against Bikes Direct or the Elite Adventure, and I'm sure I'll order again from Bikes Direct in the future, but it won't be on a bike for selling less than $600, as I think the quality starts to jump significantly as you approach or exceed the $600 price barrier with Bikes Direct.
    Last edited by getagrip; 02-11-2012 at 10:17 AM.

  9. #9
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    I’m giving serious consideration to the Elite Adventure as my choice for a fully rigid drop bar 29er adventure bike. It seems perfect for my needs. Tall frame in 23” size should reduce the slope of the seatpost, giving it a more monstercross look; it will fit my chosen tire for the purpose - Geax Evolution 29x1.9; and I like the slacker angles and longer wheel base for my intended purpose, low price point with a cheapy hybrid level sus fork that I don’t mind throwing in the parts bin to make room for one of my Soul Cycles Dillinger rigid forks bought at end of season blemish sale at give-away prices. Upgrade basic parts as they wear out – already got a pair of large rotor BB7s I got at fire sale prices. Throw on a Ragley Luxy Dirt Drop Bar and I just think it’d make a fantastic all around adventure 29er drop bar bike.

    Swapping out the whole front end for a rigid drop bar conversion….hmmmmmm


    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    All I have to say is that I'm really happy that someone not only listened to my suggestions, but took steps to implement what I had suggested.
    I’m glad he listened to you too. It’s exactly what I’ve been wanting to see added to the BD lineup, well pretty close anyway.

    And this is how you thank Mike for filling a much needed market segment that you asked for.
    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    there was not anything special that stood out about the Elite Adventure. Just kind of a big, clunky, plain looking bike.
    a disingenuous insult and put down…

    You have buyer’s remorse and want to blame a poor purchasing decision on someone besides yourself. What you really wanted was a 29er, either that or a monster cross.

    You would have been much better off eating the shipping cost and sending the bike back rather than trashing the bike on a public forum with a bunch of strawman complaints that really have very little to do with the bike that you chose to purchase.
    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    So, while I don't NEED another mountain bike (I currently own a Schwinn full suspension, Motobecane Fantom Cyclocross, and Leader hardtail), I'm going to place another order from Bikes Direct and either get the Elite Adventure, or one of the 18" Motobecane HT……….. Last year, I ended up selling my 19" Roam for almost $200 less than I paid for it, partly because it was a tad too big. The Elite Adventure should fit better and has better components, so it kind of makes up for selling the Roam at a much lower price than what I paid for it.

    I figured I'd go with the Elite Adventure because its pretty much a 29er with skinnier tires for a different off road riding experience (I don't currently own a 29er), but also because it will be a nice change of pace from my cyclocross for road rides.
    And since you had been kicking yourself for selling the Roam for a loss(welcome to the used market – what’s new?), you thought you could make up for it with a less expensive replacement. You wanted your Roam back…but really; you wanted a 29er and settled for a hybrid with “skinnier tires.” You chose to go with an online source known for low prices, a source that created a product line based on your own request. You really should have included a caveat in that request that you were going to publicly wine and complain if the geometry wasn’t an exact clone of the Giant Roam that you were kicking yourself for selling for less than you paid and wanted to replace for significantly lower cost.

    Be honest with yourself and the forum. A hybrid is not what you really wanted.
    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    Its very odd how your riding preferences change as you gain experience. The Elite Adventure would have been a great bike for me a year ago, just like my Windsor was, but I've moved on to bigger and better things.
    and just like you would have with the Giant Roam

    It’s very likely that you would be dissatisfied with the Roam at this point. Since you’ve sold the Roam, you’ve had roughly 4 other 26” wheeled mountain bikes and a cyclocross bike. Presumably, you’d hardly remember how the Roam actually rode, and even if so – your preference has since changed.
    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    While the Roam and the Elite Adventure were similar, there was a noticeable difference between how the bikes felt, and I have to give the edge to the Roam…. I guess you could say that the Roam felt a little more nimble, and the differences in the frame design are obvious.
    Weren’t the differences obvious to you before you made the purchase? The Elite Adventure has a longer wheel base, slightly slacker head tube angle, and a half inch longer chain stays than does the Roam so, of course, the Roam should be a bit more “nimble’ and responsive. You should’ve seen that going in; I think you likely did.

    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    you are most likely going to get a much better frame by going with the local bike store.
    What constitutes a better frame to you, better welds, higher quality tubing, different geometry?

    It’s disingenuous to start comparing to a completely different type of bike (cyclocross) and higher price point with the “dual sport” hybrid that you ultimately chose to buy and now complain about.

    And why did you decide against going to a local bike store? And what exactly is your definition of a better frame?
    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    Having said this, if you can afford $180 more than you would pay for the Elite Adventure, you can get a Motobecane Fantom Cross CX3 Cyclocross, which in my opinion, is a much nicer bike. You can tell the difference in quality just by looking at the seatpost, stem, and cables. Yes, I know, they are way different kinds of bikes, but to me, the difference in quality is obvious, especially when you compare the two frames…. Honestly, I have more fun on the the singletrack trails riding my Cyclocross than I do on my mountain bike
    lesser quality seatpost, stem, and cables at a $180 lower price point??? Really?? Seems like a reasonable place to cut cost to me…

    And please do tell us about the obvious quality difference comparing the frames of 2 completely different types of bikes at different price points. From what I could tell by the pics, the welds look of similar quality.

    And talk about wishy washy doublespeak.
    Quote Originally Posted by getagrip View Post
    figured I'd go with the Elite Adventure because its pretty much a 29er with skinnier tires…….but also because it will be a nice change of pace from my cyclocross...
    You wanted a change from the cyclocross bike and then in your complaining compare the bike to your cyclocross bike, that you like the cyclocross better. You like riding singletrack trails better on your cyclocross than on your mountain bike. Yet you chose a hybrid type of bike with frame geometry resembling that of a 29er mountain bike and complain that it’s not enough like the cyclocross bike that you wanted a change from. And you are even further dissatisfied that the bike you chose to buy was not an exact clone in geometry as the Giant Roam(closer to mountain bike geometry) that you were kicking yourself for selling for less than what you paid, yet it’s not close enough to a cyclocross either.

    Honestly, I think you just have a bit of buyers remorse from buying a different type of bike than you really wanted in the first place. You would be better off either sending the bike back and getting a 29er, or keep it and get a pair of Geax Evolution tires for it; they will get you closer to that 29er feel that your looking for.

    And please stop comparing it to a cyclocross; they are completely different.

    Seems to me that you're just looking for excuses to not like the bike. The public complaining is just wrong. Your reasoning is dishonest, with yourself, the forum, and with Bikes Direct.

    In my opinion, Mike knocked it out of the park with the Elite Hybrid Adventure 29er line. I prefer the longer wheel base and slacker head angle for what I would be using the bike for.

  10. #10
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    *cough* shill post *cough*

    Or better yet, when shills fight.


















    "I love the bike. It's my meditation. I think I'm bike-sexual." -Robin Williams

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412 View Post
    *cough* shill post *cough*
    Or better yet, when shills fight.
    Typical elitist BD hater d-u-c-h-ebag post.

    Or better yet, when Dbags have no life and put down budget oriented consumers.

    Find a life, gramps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hundun View Post
    Typical elitist BD hater d-u-c-h-ebag post.

    Or better yet, when Dbags have no life and put down budget oriented consumers.

    Find a life, gramps.
    Actually, Atilla the Hundun, I own a BD bike, the Bullseye. My first SS and I really like it. Great value for the price. Got me into SSing. I'm a budget-minded shopper myself who has been affected by the tough economy the last few years.

    And, I have a life. That's why I don't write 7 paragraph posts with quotes about someone's opinion on a bike.

    Finally, I did use a in my post. Didn't you notice?
    "I love the bike. It's my meditation. I think I'm bike-sexual." -Robin Williams

  13. #13
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    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I gave mine. An honest one. Truthfully, I didn't pay hardly any attention at all to the size of the bike when I ordered, and didn't look at the geometry of the bike closely at all. I should have ordered the 15.5", and have thought about swapping out the frame for a smaller 29er frame, or a smaller hybrid frame, but the 17.5" frame is not going to work for me. That's why I said pay special attention to the size of the bike if you decide to order an Elite Adventure...

    The reason I compared it to the Roam was because another mtbr member was considering buying a Roam. Just in case you missed that part, please scroll up above and read what he had to say in this thread. Specifically, he was trying to decide between the Roam and the Elite Adventure. Since I have purchased both bikes, I wanted to point out the positives and negatives of each bike, and in my opinion, the Roam handled better and is a lot smaller, which is something he may have wanted to know when making his purchase.

    My review wasn't about buyer's remorse, it was about giving someone an honest opinion. I really do think the cyclocross is a better all around bike and a little more versitle for someone who does a lot of road riding. In my review, I attempted to point out the positives and negatives of the Elite Adventure, as well as when a cyclocross would be better than the Elite Adventure, and when the Elite Adventure would be better than a cyclocross. Sure, they are different types of bikes, but one potential buyer might decide that a cyclocross would be better suited for the type of riding they do, while another rider may decide that the Elite Adventure would be better for the type of riding they do.

    Yes, I made an impulse purchase and ordered a bike I didn't really need, and ordered the wrong size while I was at it. My purchase wasn't about missing my Roam. It was about saying thanks to Mike for listening to my suggestions. My review was not a shill either. I do not work for Bikes Direct, just as I have not worked for Trek, Giant, Leader, Schwinn, or Barracuda, all of which I've given reviews for or made recommendations about specific models I've purchased or test ridden.

    I'd think Mike would want people to give honest reviews of his products, rather than glowing reviews of everything they like while not mentioning a thing they didn't like. In fact, I think that is one of the reasons why Bikes Direct has taken off so much in the last couple of years, because saying something negative about Bikes Direct products gives the reviewer credibility, and you see that a lot here at mtbr.

    Here is the funny thing about all of this, especially about the somewhat hateful response I got: this forum is about giving opinions and advise to others who are faced with the same purchasing decisions. That's how it started out, as a review site, although there is obviously much more to mtbr now. After reading my review, some people will go out and buy an Elite Adventure, while others will purchase a Roam. Others will purchase a cyclocross, and thanks to the hate, others will purchase a 29er, and perhaps others will purchase something entirely different. That's all good. That's what mtbr is all about. Helping others. Hopefully, that is what was accomplished with the creation of this post.

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    that is good feedback.

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    This is my first nice bike(college student)... I ordered the elite adventure in 17.5 (I'm about 5'10"). Really excited about it I tried out some crosstrails and DS's today and felt like this was the type of bike I wanted. For me I was looking to keep the price down and still get a sweet bike that will last me. I feel good about the purchase, I just wish I could've test rode it. Will mostly be riding around town and occasionly some trails. Anyways I'm pretty stoked that most of you experienced guys have good things to say about these bikes!

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    I am looking to pick up a BikesDirect 29er HT when they refill some of there stock in late April. Any suggestions for a sub $700 bike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by epg0 View Post
    I am looking to pick up a BikesDirect 29er HT when they refill some of there stock in late April. Any suggestions for a sub $700 bike?
    If they have them back in stock, the Gravity 29Point2. A little more aggressive geometry and decent component level for the price

    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point2 29er Mountain Bikes
    "I love the bike. It's my meditation. I think I'm bike-sexual." -Robin Williams

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    good to know

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    Quote Originally Posted by smc333 View Post
    This is my first nice bike(college student)... I ordered the elite adventure in 17.5 (I'm about 5'10"). Really excited about it I tried out some crosstrails and DS's today and felt like this was the type of bike I wanted. For me I was looking to keep the price down and still get a sweet bike that will last me. I feel good about the purchase, I just wish I could've test rode it. Will mostly be riding around town and occasionly some trails. Anyways I'm pretty stoked that most of you experienced guys have good things to say about these bikes!
    I am glad you had a good experience. I never did end up pulling the trigger on this bike. I just fixed up my old one a bit to get back in shape and if I feel I need something better I will invest in something later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmolina34 View Post
    I am glad you had a good experience. I never did end up pulling the trigger on this bike. I just fixed up my old one a bit to get back in shape and if I feel I need something better I will invest in something later.
    Well actually my order got refunded. But luckily for me I found a 2011 sirrus comp used and picked it up for 380. I'm really happy with it so far.

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    Hi getagrip,

    Very informative, truly appreciate your honest review. It was in-depth & I enjoyed reading it.

    I was looking at a Giant Roam, $$$ is tight, I am considering the Adventure Hybrid 29er.

    How tall are you? I am 5' 8 1/2", (30" inseam) and from what I see on the sizing chart it looks as if the standard 17.5 will be too high with a stand over height of 779mm, a little over 30 1/2".

    You've owned the Elite Trail for a few months now, can you give more feedback on it? I ride mostly paved surfaces, and packed dirt/gravel. I like a comfortable bike ride, but I also want a bit of speed out of it.

    A road bike is not really suitable for the rough roads I ride on, so I am considering the hybrid.

    Anything more you care to share about this bike, or even another recommendation, I would like to hear it.


    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by katztek View Post
    Hi getagrip,

    Very informative, truly appreciate your honest review. It was in-depth & I enjoyed reading it.

    I was looking at a Giant Roam, $$$ is tight, I am considering the Adventure Hybrid 29er.

    How tall are you? I am 5' 8 1/2", (30" inseam) and from what I see on the sizing chart it looks as if the standard 17.5 will be too high with a stand over height of 779mm, a little over 30 1/2".

    You've owned the Elite Trail for a few months now, can you give more feedback on it? I ride mostly paved surfaces, and packed dirt/gravel. I like a comfortable bike ride, but I also want a bit of speed out of it.

    A road bike is not really suitable for the rough roads I ride on, so I am considering the hybrid.

    Anything more you care to share about this bike, or even another recommendation, I would like to hear it.


    Thanks!
    Well...I sold the Elite Adventure for exactly what I paid for it shortly after I purchased it, so outside of the parking lot test rides I did, I didn't have any other riding experience with it. The overall frame quality was solid. Good welds. Good components. I liked the tires, and the Alivio shifters are very nice on the model I had. The people I sold it to really liked it. I don't think you would have any issues with it.

    For sizing, I'm 5'7.5" tall, and probably could have gotten the 15.5". I'd say that the 15.5" would probably be borderline for you - if you were taking it off road frequently, I'd say that would be the size you want, but since you are 5'8.5" tall, you could probably get away with the 17.5 inch if you are riding primarily on roads or gravel. Its hard to say how comfortable it will be because you will be leaning further forward because of the longer top tube.

    For speed, I can't say a whole lot about that. One thing I noticed about my Roam was that it wasn't much faster than my mountain bike at all - maybe a mile and a half faster at best, so my guess is that the Adventure models would be pretty close to the Roam. Honestly, if you like speed, though, and have the extra money, a cyclocross is the way to go. They are very fast on gravel, and even faster on the road. It took me about a month or so to adjust to my cyclocross bike when I first got it because of the drop bars, but I grew to really love it after I got used to it. And yes, I got a Motobecane cyclocross...in fact, I've now purchased two Motobecane cyclocross bikes! You can read my review and see pictures of both of my bikes here:

    2012 Motobecane Fantom Cross CX

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    I'm kind of shying away from a cyclocross because of the rough roads that I ride, plus I think I would prefer to have a front suspension...and disc brakes. The Gravity Zilla looks sweet w/ discs - no front susp. though, although I see you could swap one in.

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    Looking at buying from them so good to know they actually listen and care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squibley2 View Post
    Looking at buying from them so good to know they actually listen and care.
    Yep. Definately a good company to work with.

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