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  1. #1
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    Motobecane Elite Trail 29er Adventure Hybrid Review

    Please don't hate or accuse me of being a shill. I cut this review. ASK QUESTIONS IF I SAID SOMETHING UNCLEAR. I don't want to be responsible for your buyer's remorse. Oh yeah, it would be nice if you could add to my rep by clicking the thumbs up icon at the bottom of my post. If you have any SPECIFIC questions, go ahead and PM me. Thanks for reading this rather long review:


    I've been looking around these forums and I noticed something. There aren't many reviews about A) BikesDirect bikes, B) Lower end bikes, C) Dual sport bikes. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, but that was my experience. I'll keep editing this review.

    SHIPPING:
    Not much. Ordered it on a Sunday, it got delivered in 6 business days. The box was undamaged. I had to sign to receive the package. There was a moderate amount of packaging; just enough to protect the bike. Yay for UPS.

    ASSEMBLY:
    Pretty easy. Putting it together takes about 30 minutes, but adjusting will take a couple of weekdays as it did for me. The wheels came true and tensioned. Everything but the pedals and seatpost was greased. The disk rotors were slightly bent. The front wheel would make this tinkling sound when it rotated. I couldn't tell what is was. I opened up the wheel and saw that the punched out eyelet for the Schrader valve was stuck between the walls of the rims! It took some shaking and poking, but it popped out. Front and rear derailleurs obviously needed adjusting, as did the brakes. Some bolts came loose, so those needed tightening. Comes with front and rear reflectors. BEWARE: the factory installed bolts are INHUMANELY TIGHT! Loctited, in fact.

    LOOK:
    On the website, this looks like a model bike. It isn't, but it's definitely good looking. It has a simplistic, matte black paint job and simple is nice, in my opinion. The 28" wheels don't look as out-of-proportion as I expected them to be.Although the slimmer, 1.5" tires do seem a little odd in comparison with the rest of the bike. After comparing it with my beautiful new stem, I declare the headset top cap to be officially ugly! I think it would be worth it to spend 6 bucks on a Thomson cap or 12 on a Chris king color cap.

    FEEL:
    The geometry is nice and upright. I'm 5' 6" with 31" inseam and the 15.5" fit is fine. The seatpost is really short. It works for now, but I'm going to get a 350mm soon. The seat is VERY hard. It hurts after a little while. The crankset feels a little flimsy, but I've never actually seen it flex, so it might be in my head. The grips are a bit tacky, and that's a good thing because dry, slippery grips cause blisters. EDIT: Sweat will cause these grips to become exceedingly slippery, which is why I wear gloves. I expected the 700c wheels to be clumsy, but they're not. At least, not on flat trails and pavement. I don't believe 29ers are used for technical trails, and there's likely a reason behind it. I can't really pop a wheelie on this, whereas on my $120 Wally 24" FS, I could hold it for upto 2 seconds.

    I was hoping that this would be a true hybrid, but it's not. It's just as heavy as any 29er MTB in its range minus the weight of the tires. Expect a weight of around 28 pounds (I'm estimating, and that's only for the 15.5"). The lockout fork can be ultra stiff, or it can be pretty forgiving. EDIT: After a few more miles, I feel that the EF51's are uncomfortable. The thumb lever is set really far towards you, so you have to stretch your thumb like crazy! This makes it really hard to shift to bigger chain-rings and sprockets. Almost impossible while standing. Also, the FD shifter is REALLY tight (hard to push). It'll feel weird if you have never used triggers. Use mechanical advantage to your, well, advantage, by pushing your thumb against the outermost part of the lever.

    DRIVETRAIN:
    The front derailleur is Acera and RD is Alivio. I was having some problems with the RD rubbing against the largest cog. An hour of adjusting fixed that problem. Kinda. There's like a hair's width between the chain and sprocket. I seriously doubt that this derailleur would fit a 34t cog. It barely clears my 32t cog. I'll contact BD if this happens again. Shifters are trigger shifters. Crisp and accurate. They give you tactile and audible feedback, which is good for blind shifting. An 8 speed cassette is a nice upgrade from the 7 speed freewheel I had before. I'm not a fan of integrated units, but it's cheaper in the short run. If you want to upgrade either the shifters or levers, you'll have to replace both ($30 for Alivios off of amazon, $20 for Avid Speed Dial 7). The shifting is silent and smooth. Under LIGHT pressure, the derailleurs still come through. The cassette isn't Shimano, and neither is the chain. I would replace them with Hyperglide parts if I could. When you are abusing the front derailleur by shifting to the extreme (Ex: 1x8 or 3x1), it makes a noise rather than silently destroying itself. That's nice.

    SAFETY:
    Albeit the fact that this is a low end bike, it seems to take abuse pretty well. It doesn't feels like it's going to snap when I go down a couple stairs. I don't think it could handle much more, though. I wouldn't put this to the test and risk long-term damage. The brakes are bottom of the barrel Tektro Novela's, which are ubiquitous when it comes to low end MTB's. Many people complain that they squeal. For me, they are amazing in both power (Only the rear brake, which locks up almost immediately) and decibel count. This is most likely because of the warm climate where I live. I can't lock the front brake, and that's my only complaint. (Actually, the front brake is pretty useless) EDIT: I got my discs wet for the first time today, and they howled like banshees. No joke. It was the most blood-curdling sound I've heard come from something other than multimedia. And that was only from the passing by of a rogue sprinkler. If you live in a rainy climate I recommend just not using your brakes. Even V brakes or pretty high end brakes will squeak a little when wet.

    The tires are rather grippy for their width and handled the flat, dry dirt trail pretty well. I ran over some glass by accident once, and that didn't puncture my tires, but that could have just been luck. (My first flat: Over one of those darn spiky seed casings) The 28" wheels are huge and roll over many things, so you won't be coming to many jolting stops. EDIT: Suntour (The company who make the NVX fork) says it's safe to run over things while locked out, but BD says to keep the suspension on as much as possible. A sharp impact to the Mechanical LO will break it, rendering it unusable.

    VALUE:
    Every BikesDirect bike is going to be a good value, especially when it comes to components. You may not be able to show off your graphics. You may not be able to show off your "brand name" bike. But I doubt that's worth 100's of bones. But if you simply MUST be able to brag, you can spend around $600 and get a similarly spec'd bike at a local bike shop. EDIT: I stand corrected (by myself): Trek frames are custom made and offer unique geometry for better handling and feel. Not even the most high end BD bike will give you that "custom geometry", because it requires several people conducting tests and studies and lots of planning to build a custom frame. Something that BD will never have. [end edit]For the $350 I dropped on this bike, I'm more than satisfied, and I couldn't care less about the brand name. By the way: if you are concerned about the frame quality, it may ease your worries to know that one company makes frames for the big boys and Motobecane: Kinesis, Taiwan. For the money I saved (~650 - 350 = 300), I can get all the upgrades I need (below).

    I know you have heard this before, but if you can afford it, get the 399 Elite Adventure for $50 more. you get a better rear derailer (Deore), better front derailer (Alivio), better shifters (Alivio standalone), Separate brake levers (which you can upgrade to the Speed dial 7s), a 9 speed drive train, and a better crankset. Just a thought.

    VERDICT:
    Overall, a good MTB for lighter trails. You shouldn't be using HT's for anything too hardcore anyways, no matter the price (AFAIK). Destroyed my Moto... The frame is pretty much as tough as any other AL frame out there (again, AFAIK). Thinner tires are the only reason BD is calling this a "hybrid." I might have been better off with a flat bar road bike the Mercier Galaxy Tour, but I like having the assurance that my bike can handle most anything I can. I was looking for a commuter that could be used on trails with my legit HT MTB buddies. Cyclocross bikes are the closest thing to that and those are pricey. The cheapest one is the Gravity Liberty CX and it's $399 for rather low-end parts. Don't expect this to feel "hybrid-y" because it won't. It'll just feel like a slightly more responsive 29er HT MTB. But if that's what you want, and then this bike is perfect. If you want a heavy commuter that can take trails, get a fb roadie or a cyclocross. I like this bike. It looks like it can take abuse, and that's important to me.Mountain Bikes - 29er Multi Speed - Dawes Haymaker 2900 If you want a true 29er with a 100mm travel fork, 2.25" wide tires and *slightly lesser* components for 50 more then you're cool with the Dawes 2900.
    BTW: BD isn't falsely advertising. This does truly compare to the Trek DS series, and similar (actually slightly lower) specs cost $670 + tax.8.3 DS - Trek Bicycle So final rating? ****/*****. Took off two stars for not being as light as I'd like it to be, flimsy-feeling crank, too short of a seatpost, counter-intuitive shifters, sub-par brakes, pretty bad housing and cables and no kickstand (which is ULTRA minor). But I had to give it one star back for sheer value!

    OTHER:
    If you bend your derailleur hanger, which isn't covered by warranty, you will need to drop $21 on a new one from the BikesDirect site. Get the 400HT-700HT roundstay hanger. Name brand components are warranted for 1 year. Home-brand components are warranted for 5 years. The frame is warranted for 10 years. Compared to other "big boys", this is OK, but not good. I'm not sure how readily BikesDirect/ Motobecane will honor the warranty, but I hope and think I'll never have to use it. EDIT: I've been pestering Matt from BD with some questions and he's responded promptly and in-detail (detailed-ly?). to Bikes Direct for great CS!
    Last edited by sauprankul; 10-06-2012 at 10:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    Motobecane Elite Trail OBSCURE SPECS: (For 15.5") BD doesn't feel it is necessary to post these kind of things.

    Seatpost diameter: 27.2mm
    Seatpost length: 300mm
    Seat rail diameter: 7mm
    Seat tube diameter: 31.8mm
    Stem length: 90mm x 10 degree rise
    Tire size: 700c x 40mm or 28 x 1 5/8
    Rim width: (not 100 % sure) 17mm
    Rec. Kickstand length: 305mm
    Steerer diameter: 1 1/8 (I think it is not tapered)
    Handlebar Length: ~625mm
    Handlebar clamp: 25.4mm
    Pedal style: Cage (Not platform)
    Fork travel: 75mm
    Disk brake mounts: IS 54mm (Not post mount 74mm)
    Pedal Axle Diameter: 9/16"
    Handlebar rise: 40mm
    Will post more soon.
    EDIT: other than the fork and brakes, I would not recommend upgrading the stock parts. They are surprisingly light and sturdy.

    Things to check upon arrival:

    Grease: Check headset bearings, wheel hub bearings, and if you feel like it (I didn't) BB bearings.
    Brakes: Are the disk brake rotors HORRIBLY bent (as in there is a visible bend)? You should call (or email, rather) BD. If only slightly bent (not really visible to the naked eye from 3-4 feet away), then it is normal and fixable.
    Wheels: Give the wheels a spin, with your bike upside down. Keep your eyes on the rim. Look for up and down bob, or side to side wobble. Your wheels may need truing.
    RD Hanger: Make sure this isn't bent.
    Chainrings: Are these SEVERLY bent? Same rule as rotors.
    Derailers: Are all bolts nice and tight? Is the front mech clamped on EXACTLY parallel to the chain? Is it at a good height? The RD isn't so much a problem.
    Frame damage: Doing any MTBing w/ a dented frame is dangerous. If there is a scratch, it's up to you if you want to talk w/ BD.
    Cable routing: Depending on how long your housings were cut, you may choose to reroute the cables. I switched my RD and FD cable routing. There's less tension on the housings now.
    Will post more if I think of any.

    INTENDED UPGRADES:
    I'll have these within 4 or 5 years.
    Rockshox Reba: The NVX sucks so I'll be on the lookout for a used Reba fork. The lower stuff isn't worth upgrading to.

    Avid BB7: Absolute must-have before I do any Cat 3 racing. Yes I plan to do that. Soon. I'll probably only upgrade the front ones but all the good deals are on f+r.

    Kenda Karma 29 x 1.9": This is a must have for real XC riding. Wider tires. I don't think I'll get this until my Happy Mediums are 3/4 worn out. BTW: These SHOULD FIT on 17mm rims. A lot of people have gone past 2.0 and still had good experiences. But don't come and sue me later.
    After a quick google max tire width on 17mm rim - Google Search
    I concluded that a 29 by 1.95 tire WILL work. I know, call me capricious but BD did say that 17mm rims are too narrow. Some forums on mtbr say otherwise and speak of going wider. I think it might be worth the risk to just get wider tires when these wear out. The forums say that such a wide tire will cause squirming if you're heavier, but 130 isn't really heavy IMHO. So I'll be taking rims off my list of upgrades.


    Race Face Ride XC seat post The 30.9 x 375mm post is up, if anybody wants it.

    You might have read this earlier, but I'd like to shout out to the nice people at JensonUSA for shipping everything ASAP. When they sent the wrong sized seat post, they fixed it by just sending me a better, new one. They let me keep the bad one. ^^^. I would recommend JensonUSA for your bike stuff for their great CS and shipping time.
    Last edited by sauprankul; 10-06-2012 at 10:35 PM.

  3. #3
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    OK. Here are the pics. I added the rack, net and lights. Check out the proportions for the 15.5".

    No, I didn't take it back apart. i just forgot to upload this one.










    As you can see in this picture, the RD is sandwiching the chain between the sprocket and the top pulley.


    Last edited by sauprankul; 09-27-2012 at 10:23 PM.

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    Nice looking ride! I love the Matte Black.

    I went with a Fantom Comp 26" and had to go gloss black - would have preferred Matte. Other than that I love my new ride

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    Great Review!

    Thank you for the solid review!

    I am considering this bike and you helped solidify my choice.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbbeaver View Post
    Thank you for the solid review!

    I am considering this bike and you helped solidify my choice.

    Thanks!
    No. Thank you! No seriously though, the only reason I wrote this review was to help others and I'm glad I succeeded!

  7. #7
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    Just some follow up questions...

    I read some of the upgrades you were considering doing. Can you elaborate on them and why? & where to get them.(I am a lay man)

    I am considering the 23". I am 6 foot and 240 lbs with a 30 inch inseam. I have a XL torso and I like big bikes. Any concerns?

    When I buy a bike I will take it to a shop and have it fitted and gone thru. Any suggestions on what sort of work/setup I should request?

    I am 90% on the road and 10% smooth trails. I ride 30 to 50 miles at a time. Once a week or more. Any concerns?

    I like flat bar and I dig the disc brakes. I also like the styling and of course the price!

    Thanks again for your help!!!
    Last edited by bbbeaver; 09-12-2012 at 11:29 PM. Reason: more info

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    "I like flat bar and I dig the disc brakes." Hmmm... Just remember that this isn't a true hybrid. It's just like any other MTB of its price level, which come w/ disk brakes and flat bars standard.

    I'm not sure how it'll play out on the other end of the size spectrum. I'm 5'6" with ~31" inseam. I wear a 32. I think I should have gone for the 17.5", but I can't be sure. I would seriously recommend going to a local bike shop and getting your size checked. It could be free, and ask them which size 29er would fit you, because those size slightly differently. My legs (as you might have guessed) are rather long and out of proportion, so I need a longer seat tube. But you may not need one. Either way, seat tube length shouldn't be considered (too much) when buying a bike because you can always just change it out.

    The Novelas are a pain to adjust, and they have a very hollow, weak braking feel. If you live in a cold area, then you will have even worse results. The BB7's are widely considered the top of the line when it comes to Mechanical (cable-actuated) brakes. I'm OK with Tektro's for the rear because I use my rear to control speed, not stop. Which is why I'll only be investing in one BB7, for the front.

    The cables and housings will have to wait. Those are not too shabby for my needs. But pros will feel some resistance. $ is tight.

    But if you're gonna be doing a lot of road riding, invest in some slicker tires. Michelin City Reflective Strip Tire > Components > Tires and Tubes > Tires | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop You can also go thinner. These are 17mm rims. EDIT: Again, don't take my word for this, ask your LBS.
    See this chart for how thin you can go. It says 700x25c, but I would keep it a little thicker due to the the size and weight of the bike. Tire Sizing Systems

    When you first get the bike, don't have the guy assemble it. Do it yourself. Then, let the pro do the tuning IF you are not comfortable working on your own bike. But it's a nice skill to have.
    When you put it together, make sure that the brakes aren't rubbing. Then, spin the wheel. If you think it's too slow, you can have the guy repack, or "overhaul" the hubs. If you notice that the rim isn't perfectly circular, then have him true the wheels.
    Lastly, have him do the derailleurs, but I recommend doing that yourself, as those can need some regular maintenance.
    And, if you hear a grinding noise every time you pull the brake levers, then have him clean the cables out.
    Of course, you could ask him to give it a "general tune up."

    Best of luck,
    sauprankul
    Last edited by sauprankul; 09-24-2012 at 08:11 AM.

  9. #9
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    I pulled the trigger. I purchased the 21".

    I noticed the derailleur in your pic is different then the one being sold on BD right now.
    I assume its because this is the 2013 model. Any thoughts?

    I also just reread this thread and read your edits! About the brakes...I am almost 2 times your weight...I hope I dont crush the frame!!

    Are the BB7s the brakes that were "terrible" or the Tektro??

    I will be taking it in to my LBS had have them put it together, tweek it, and size it for me.

    Ohh...and then whats this about it NOT being a 29er?? How should that concern me?

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    Congratulations!

    21" sounds right if you're average proportion.

    Derailer (I hate spelling it the French way): Nope: Mine is the 2013 model. Just checked BD. You might have gotten the SRAM X4 version. In which case, you wont have to deal with integrated shifters! Good for you.

    The brakes: I'm only speculating. It could be that they rub all the time, and I only notice it rubbing at certain times. But you will definitely have some hard time stopping.
    P.S. Spin Doctor Tech Tip – Breaking In Disc Brakes « The Performance Bicycle Blog will help you not ruin you brakes. Do this before your first ride.

    The Novelas are stock w/ the bike. They are the most low end brakes that I have heard of. The BB7s are THE BEST in the mech brake world, or at least, so I'm told. I haven't had the honor of using 'em, but 2.5 stars and 5 stars are quite different in my opinion. (Amazon)

    EDIT: 28 vs 29. Who cares? You only lose out on 3 inches of circumference. So, it don't matter. Besides, if you're not satisfied, just slap on a 29 x 1.9" tire. You MIGHT feel some squirming with this configuration though (you're almost double my weight). So, I suggest a)getting a 1.7-8" tire or b)getting new rims/wheels.

    Overall, don't worry. For lighter trails, this bike is fine. the frame will take some abuse (but the fork actually flexed quite a bit a couple times). The BB7's are a needed upgrade, so that should be on the top of your list.

    Don't fret, you've made a good purchase. Have fun.
    - sauprankul
    Last edited by sauprankul; 10-06-2012 at 10:42 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sauprankul View Post
    The Novelas are a pain to adjust, and they have a very hollow, weak braking feel. If you live in a cold area, then you will have even worse results. The BB7's are widely considered the top of the line when it comes to Mechanical (cable-actuated) brakes. I'm OK with Tektro's for the rear because I use my rear to control speed, not stop. Which is why I'll only be investing in one BB7, for the front.
    Great review! As for the brakes, I think thats the issue with all mechanical disc brakes. I have mechanical disc on my Trek Fx and they are 'OK' but not amazing. I have to constantly adjust them. On the other hand, my new Moto Fantom Comp came with hydraulic brakes (Avid) and they are amazing! Im 280lbs and flying downhill on a trail, I have to make sure I dont apply too much pressure if in a panic becasue they WILL lock out on me with little lever pressure. The front and back brake are very strong and its nice to know that the stopping power is there if needed.

    At least you have the hardware in place if you want to add hydraulic brakes.

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    @magohn I wish I could get hydros. But I doubt I'll be getting them anytime soon. I really don't need that much stopping power on light trails and on the road. Besides, one good hydro costs more than two BB7s. I'd rather have two decent brakes than one respectable brake and one cruddy one.
    @bbbeaver Can you post a review + pics here? It would be appreciated.
    Last edited by sauprankul; 09-19-2012 at 08:20 AM.

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    Thanks for the review. I actually just made an account just to thank U! I've been lurking on different sites trying to find reviews on these no-name bikes from BD.

    Since I spent 90% on the road and 10% on gravel trails, I think I won't get this bike, better off getting one of their Mercier hybrid road bikes rather than this mountain bike hybrid as I desire something light weight.

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    @webdoctors Thanks! As I said, this bike isn't for everyone, but it's great for me because I (hate to admit it) abuse my bike a lot. A fully rigid mtb would have snapped at the welds for me, let alone a road bike. Edit,: I'm afraid that the weak link in this bike is the fork. It's not so bad that I fear riding around the block, but I definitely will not be trying bunny hops on this thing. The fork wobbles WAY too much. EDIT: Sorry guys. Torqued the headset bolt a bit more and seems to have reduced the problem a little. Still would prefer a Rock Shox.
    Last edited by sauprankul; 10-02-2012 at 05:13 PM.

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    I'll probably get the 2013 Mercier Galaxy Tour, based on the weights page on BD, it should be around 22 lbs (bikesdirect.com/weights.htm).

    I used to have a mountain bike that I put thin tires on, but it was stolen recently, so I'd like something light that I can carry up 3 flights of stairs into my apartment so I don't have to constantly worry about theft.

  16. #16
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    Nice bike, pictures and detailed review!

    Can anyone comment on the pros and cons of Elite Trail vs Elite Trail X4?

    Note: Asking from a newbie who doesn't have experience nor preference between the different components. The 2 bikes are of same price, and folks on this thread either already gone through the decision or is currently considering the options. Thanks!
    Last edited by lfc.reds; 09-25-2012 at 05:36 PM.

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    Shimano has better quality when it comes to low end. Performance might be the same between the X4 and Alivio, but a lot of reviews online tell me that the X4 is cheaply made. It won't last as long as the metal Alivio. The Alivio is more expensive than the X4. Go figure. EDIT: several people on this forum disagree with me. So I guess the x4 is not a bad deal.

    BUT, the X4 version comes with dedicated shifters and brake levers, as opposed to the EF 51 integrated unit. So, you won't have to replace both if one breaks on the X4, but you will on the Shimano. The Shimano unit seems to be well made. Can't be sure about the Tektro and SRAM stuff. Edit: again, several people say that the X4s hold up fine.

    Pretty colors! SRAM comes in silver, gloss black, matte black and white. The forks are matched to the frame (white, silver, matte and gloss black!). Shimano in Black, Blue. Forks are both gloss black. Also, I think that while Shimanos tend to be be very industrial in look, SRAM stuff tends to be very stylish.

    Take your pick.
    Last edited by sauprankul; 09-26-2012 at 10:07 PM.

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    @bbbeaver and whoever else purchased this bike. Where are da reviews?! I want to see some conflicting opinions.

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    Motobecane Elite Trail 2.0

    OK guys. Got all the add-ons. Here's the list of what has changed from stock:
    1) Stem (Longer, cooler)
    2) Handlebar (Wider, stronger, possibly lighter)
    3) Seatpost (Longer, stronger)
    4) Water bottle cage (Add-on)
    5) Rack (Add-on)
    6) Lights (Add-on)
    7) No F/R reflectors (Won't fit)
    8) Decals (Slick Race Face decal added)
    9) Kickstand (Add-on)
    10) Colored top cap (Silver sharpie, now has a 'raw metal' look.)











    Handling feels different, like the bike is more willing to turn. That's a good thing. Posture is way better. Looks are greatly improved. Convenience added.

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    I am getting the bike fitted this week.

    I purchased a new front brake, lights, new pedals, a trip computer, and bottle holder for the bike.

    I plan on a 30 and 50 mile ride this month so reviews to come...

    Here are some pics...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Motobecane Elite Trail Review-imag0590.jpg  

    Motobecane Elite Trail Review-imag0591.jpg  

    Motobecane Elite Trail Review-imag0592.jpg  

    Motobecane Elite Trail Review-imag0593.jpg  


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    Dang bro. I'm jelly. You got a much better looking bike with much better looking components! Plus you have more than 2 square meters of space to work on! Unlike me, who had to work in a stuffed, messy 1 car garage. Anyway, cool and Congrats! (Oh yeah, good luck adjusting the brakes.)
    Speaking of which, can you list specifically what add ons you bought in your review?
    P.S: I recommend buying a red permanent marker and coloring your top cap. It'll be worth the few cents and 5 mins.
    PS: Ask the lbs to make sure your fd is clamped correctly and that your chainrings aren't bent. I just realized i had those problems.
    Last edited by sauprankul; 10-04-2012 at 05:27 PM.

  22. #22
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    Appreciate the info, have been seriously considering one of these for my wife. Look forward to updates as you put more miles on these bikes.

  23. #23
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    before Motobecane was French

    hello du Limousin in France

  24. #24
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    @KIKI Here in America we speak in complete sentences. :P not really. If you were warning us not to be expecting french quality with the bikes labeled MOTOBECANE USA, then you were late. We all fully realize that these are hollow brand names that build generic bikes in Taiwan and just ship them here for you to assemble right?
    EDIT: Speaking of which, I don't like to pronounce this the French way (pattern?). I don't pronounce Motobecane as Mutubicaan or w/e. (No offense to the French) I pronounce it as just plain Motobecane. ("Moto" as in "motocross" and "becane" as in "became") That's because Motobecane IS NOT A FRENCH COMPANY anymore. It's American. Just clearing it up.
    Last edited by sauprankul; 10-04-2012 at 11:02 PM.

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    Congrates!

    Those red rims look way way better than I expected.

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    BOF BOF
    USA is not a country like the others, you are not the world champions of everything, all country take money and prestige with everybody
    Your bicycle MOTOBECANE are beautiful, you take the same letters

    l'important c'est le dialogue, la compréhension, le respect, le vélo,
    I'm happy to see your forum

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    Remember when I said I though the frame was flexing, causing brake rub?(how naive) Nope. I just had to tighten my QR skewers a little more. Now, there's still a bit of play, but ride is better, no rub(!) and brakes feel slightly meatier. Still, 15mms would have been better.
    Last edited by sauprankul; 10-27-2012 at 06:43 PM.

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    Thanks for taking the time to put this review together.

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    Hi everybody, somebody wanted to see what kind of riding I do, so I took a couple pictures.


    Lots of steep climbs and descents. Dry, dusty dirt. Some small rocks and pebbles. I never felt I needed more braking power, but that may be because I was dragging some. Also, I ran out of driving traction very quickly on the steep climbs and had to get off the bike a couple times. (Wheelspin) I know what you're thinking: bad technique. Maybe. I was leaning back as far as I safely could. I kept my cadence constant. I don't know what else I had to do. I got my 4th flat(>1 hole per instance) since I've had this bike, and I think it's time to do something about it. Slime, tubeless, thicker tube, or tire strip?

    EDIT: Here's another park I went to. Lots of tight, slopey, slanty, rocky, dusty singletrack. The rocks were about the size of Nerf footballs (but they weren't loose and half of each rock was under the trail).

    I actually had my first (and only) crash here. There was a long and enticing slope. At the end of it was a sharp turn, and I almost made it, but for some reason, my front tire was attracted to a ditch by the trail.... needless to say,

    Here's a picture of what it looked like. It got steeper and narrower than this, though.

    Note that I took off the light after the crash.
    Today, I can safely say that the brakes are insufficient, even for me. I had to pull as hard as I could to just control my speed.
    And I take back what I said about the seat. After playing with the angle, it seems to cradle my bones perfectly. But I don't use it much. So, maybe it's not so good for longer (seated) rides.
    Last edited by sauprankul; 11-04-2012 at 05:05 PM.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sauprankul View Post
    Hi everybody, somebody wanted to see what kind of riding I do, so I took a couple pictures.


    ....ran out of driving traction very quickly on the steep climbs and had to get off the bike a couple times. (Wheelspin) I know what you're thinking: bad technique. .....
    skinny tires don't help at all if technique is off.... nice looking ride! If the holes in your tubes are on the rim side of the tube, you need to make sure there are no high spots jabbing the tube. I had to add a second rim strip on my roadie....
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfGumby View Post
    skinny tires don't help at all if technique is off....
    So, what you mean is, with good technique, I can use slim tires. And since I don't have good technique, I should run wider tires. Is that right?

    What do you think is wrong with my technique? What do you do when taking steep climbs?
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sauprankul View Post
    So, what you mean is, with good technique, I can use slim tires. And since I don't have good technique, I should run wider tires. Is that right?

    What do you think is wrong with my technique? What do you do when taking steep climbs?
    I meant nothing hidden. I merely made a comment on what you said. I commented on technique because you questioned your technique yourself.

    I stay seated (usually) and it sounds like you do too. I use the granny gear and its friend (1st or 2nd gear) and spin up the hill. Climbing is a balance between a lot of factors, as I am still learning. Does the rider hammer up the climbs or fluidly spin up the climbs? Tires, tire width, tire tread, gear selection, crank arm length, momentum, pedal selection (clipped in or not clipped in), rider position, rider power, bike geometry, weather and trail makeup all come into play.

    From my days of building street rods, skinny tires have much less surface on the ground, hence, easier to break loose than a wider tire, all things equal. In general this is true with a mountain bike.

    It sounds/looks like you ride a fair bit of loose gravely stuff too. Wheels spin out on that stuff almost as bad as the wet leaves and sand I play in from time to time here.

    I am still learning the game here my friend and have been told, and learned that a guy will have to get off the bike from time to time no matter what.

    Again, nice ride you have there...
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfGumby View Post
    I meant nothing hidden. I merely made a comment on what you said. I commented on technique because you questioned your technique yourself.

    I stay seated (usually) and it sounds like you do too. I use the granny gear and its friend (1st or 2nd gear) and spin up the hill. Climbing is a balance between a lot of factors, as I am still learning. Does the rider hammer up the climbs or fluidly spin up the climbs? Tires, tire width, tire tread, gear selection, crank arm length, momentum, pedal selection (clipped in or not clipped in), rider position, rider power, bike geometry, weather and trail makeup all come into play.

    From my days of building street rods, skinny tires have much less surface on the ground, hence, easier to break loose than a wider tire, all things equal. In general this is true with a mountain bike.

    It sounds/looks like you ride a fair bit of loose gravely stuff too.
    I never meant that you meant something hidden. I was just clarifying.

    I am pretty new to offroad (I'm afraid to call it mountain biking) biking myself, and seriously was asking for pointers, which you supplied. thx
    You're right about gravelly/dusty stuff being slippery, but it gives you a very fair warning before losing you and there's a large threshold. Wet stuff, not so much. So I'm quite far from the mud/slime right now.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sauprankul View Post
    I never meant that you meant something hidden. I was just clarifying.

    I am pretty new to offroad (I'm afraid to call it mountain biking) biking myself, and seriously was asking for pointers, which you supplied. thx
    You're right about gravelly/dusty stuff being slippery, but it gives you a very fair warning before losing you and there's a large threshold. Wet stuff, not so much. So I'm quite far from the mud/slime right now.
    I am also watching every thread about any Motobecane bike right now as I will be upgrading my Mountain Bike soon and probably a full suspension...I am very interested in the opinions of the guys (qand gals) who ride them.

    And I hear ya on the "Mountain Biking" thing...around here people who are trying to be funny say, "What Mountain?".....as there are none... I prefer to call it trail riding, or off roading but then folks think ATV or dirt bike...
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

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    If you're going to be going FS, I wouldn't recommended going with a cheaper bike because the coil shocks don't seem good (Kind shock?). But if you have to, you have to. Hardtails aren't too bad either, but I don't know what kind of riding you do.

    If you're otw about BD, don't be. The people who want a slick bike with good handling will wanna go LBS. But those who just want good components for less money, BD is the way to go. Don't expect the BD bike to feel or handle too well.

    If you're afraid of the customer service, you have good reason. Email only is pretty sketchy, but that's why BD is so cheap. They responded to me pretty swiftly, but I don't know how they'll react when the chips are down.

    I don't know if trail riding is right either. I think that's closer to AM than XC. I dunno.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

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    Sorry guys but I recently stumbled upon something that I wish I had seen before. I think I am having a SLIGHT case of buyers remorse. Between this, the 400ht and Airborne skyhawk, I feel like I got less than I would have liked. Maybe the 29er Advantage is helping, but I don't think I would have minded a 26".

    Airborne bicycles is a company that makes cheap bikes as well, only more "legit". They don't use off the shelf frames, so the ride quality is supposed to be better. Also, while BD emphasizes drive train specs, Airborne emphasizes fork, frame, wheels and brakes. The skyhawk is 350 with XCM fork(Better than XCT and DEF better than NVX), Auriga hydros (!), Alex wheels, and an X4 RD/Shifters. But the crank set and front mech are pretty bad. I would have bought this had I known about it because it is better where, IMO, it matters most. Not to mention it looks SLICK.

    Airborne Bicycles. Cross Country 26&29"

    I don't think I would recommend the Elite to anyone because it isn't a very good mtn and it is a pretty bad roadie. The Skyhawk seems better for me and so does the 400ht.

    If you MUST have a 700c mtb w/ narrow rims and tires, a cruddy fork, and a scale tipping weight(For a road bike), go for this. Otherwise just get a dedicated mtb or CX bike.

    But it isn't a TERRIBLE bike. It functions. But if you can get your hands on a 400 or skyhawk, go for that instead.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sauprankul View Post
    Sorry guys but I recently stumbled upon something that I wish I had seen before. I think I am having a SLIGHT case of buyers remorse. Between this, the 400ht and Airborne skyhawk, I feel like I got less than I would have liked. Maybe the 29er Advantage is helping, but I don't think I would have minded a 26".

    Airborne bicycles is a company that makes cheap bikes as well, only more "legit". They don't use off the shelf frames, so the ride quality is supposed to be better. Also, while BD emphasizes drive train specs, Airborne emphasizes fork, frame, wheels and brakes. The skyhawk is 350 with XCM fork(Better than XCT and DEF better than NVX), Auriga hydros (!), Alex wheels, and an X4 RD/Shifters. But the crank set and front mech are pretty bad. I would have bought this had I known about it because it is better where, IMO, it matters most. Not to mention it looks SLICK.

    Airborne Bicycles. Cross Country 26&29"



    I don't think I would recommend the Elite to anyone because it isn't a very good mtn and it is a pretty bad roadie. The Skyhawk seems better for me and so does the 400ht.

    If you MUST have a 700c mtb w/ narrow rims and tires, a cruddy fork, and a scale tipping weight(For a road bike), go for this. Otherwise just get a dedicated mtb or CX bike.

    But it isn't a TERRIBLE bike. It functions. But if you can get your hands on a 400 or skyhawk, go for that instead.
    Airborne seems to have some pretty good stuff! I am definitely going for a true All Mountain type bike.

    And I am still a ways off from buying another mtn bike and there is still a pretty good chance it will be a giant Trance if I go full suspension. And right across the river is a Trek dealer and I am also considering the Fuel, probably a Fuel 6 due to clydes reporting the rear shock performs better on the 6 than the 7 or above.

    And I have always been a fan of supporting the local bike shop.

    If I stay on a hardtail it will have to be a 29'er but I am really, and I mean really liking the idea of a 650b! And since I am still a huge fan of steel frames, the Jamis Dragon is the front runner if I stay hardtail...gotta travel a bit to get one though.
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfGumby View Post
    I am definitely going for a true All Mountain type bike.

    And I have always been a fan of supporting the local bike shop.

    If I stay on a hardtail it will have to be a 29'er but I am really, and I mean really liking the idea of a 650b!
    29ers are for xped riders only (which you prolly are), IMHO, because the avg recreational rider won't be able to distinguish the difference very well. Well, at least I can't. 29ers are meant to hold a more stable line, whereas 26" bikes are supposed to be whippable. I wouldn't go 29er for AM, because you need to be able to control your bike very sharply. A sluggish 29er isn't going to cut it. I was able to do all sorts of crazy things on my 24" FS, but squat on the Elite. Admittedly, the 24" FS was a pogo stick on wheels. IDK if that was the reason.

    Good job about the LBS. If you can afford it, go local! (I can't)

    I don't think even a long travel HT is going to do well on AM, let alone an XC rig. You will need FS to go AM. Kind shock, apparently, is a big-ish brand, so the coil shocks don't seem too bad. (But in the Trance's price range, you'll only get air shocks.) If you really want an HT, (which you don't) BD has a 130mm Tora on a 26".

    Never tried a 650b, but you probably might want to hold off on it unless you have the $$$. The selection for 650b componentry (rims/tires/tubes) is rather low. But you can always convert your 29er and sometimes, even 26" to 650b if you'd like. 650bs, as someone said, is the jack of all trades, but master of none. You won't get the full advantage of either size, and I'm telling you from experience (Elite, I'm looking at you), COMPROMISE NEVER WORKS. Hybrids suck and 650b is a type of hybrid. But I'm not one to talk. You may wish to try a 27.5 before purchasing one, just to be sure.

    Oh BTW, bikesdirect doesn't have DHFRAM (pronounced diaphragm, I made it up) bikes. It only has XC bikes (AFAIK), where only somewhat steep climbs and descents are made, with minimal obstacles. So be prepared to feel weird when riding a Fantom AM.
    Last edited by sauprankul; 11-04-2012 at 05:06 PM.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sauprankul View Post
    29ers are for xped riders only (which you prolly are), IMHO, because the avg recreational rider won't be able to distinguish the difference very well. Well, at least I can't. 29ers are meant to hold a more stable line, whereas 26" bikes are supposed to be whippable. I wouldn't go 29er for AM, because you need to be able to control your bike very sharply. I sluggish 29er isn't going to cut it.
    I don't know, I really think that beginner riders benefit from 29inch wheels. They do roll nicer and over obstacles better. For most beginner riders, getting over roots and rocks is difficult for them so anything that makes it easier, and keeps them riding, is a good thing.

    Also I think just about anyone can notice the difference in wheel size if you go out and do a test ride with similar-equipped bikes with 26 and 29 wheels.

    Once you get used to the handling of a 29er it really feels no different than a 26. When I made the switch a few years back it only took me 2-3 weeks of riding before I forgot what wheel size I was riding and was tossing the bike around like a 26er.

    29ers aren't sluggish if done correctly, IMHO.

    Jeremy
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sauprankul View Post
    29ers are for xped riders only (which you prolly are), IMHO, because the avg recreational rider won't be able to distinguish the difference very well. Well, at least I can't. 29ers are meant to hold a more stable line, whereas 26" bikes are supposed to be whippable. .


    Most riders I have seen try both could tell a difference and newbs do especially well on bigger wheels ime. YMMV.

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    Hmmm... How big are you guys? I'm 130(hoping to reduce a little) and weak so maybe that affects how the bike feels for me. Maybe it only feels sluggish because of MY limitations, rather than the wheel size. I have ridden 26" hts, but not similarly equipped ones.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

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    I am at least 6 months to a year out on adding a new bike to my stable. And I fully intend to hang on to my 26" hard tail! A guy can never have too many choices....

    I am going to ride a lot of bikes before I decide where I will end up. I pretty much feel that with my size and my leg power I can whip any bike around as long as the geometry of the frame suits me.

    If I get another hard tail it will be 650 or 29er, no question. If I go full suspension it could go anyway, but will most likely be a 26'er or a 650b. At least that's how it stands now.

    I have to ride a full suspension or 3 on trails to see what I think. I had a Giant Trance a few years ago and just flat out did not like the feel of the rear suspension. It was a PITA setting up the bike for my weight and riding style and I hated, and I mean hated, the squishy feel and pedal bob when climbing under any power at all.

    It was a tough enough choice as I otherwise really liked the bike. But I missed my hard tail.

    If in all my test riding I cannot see a solid reason reason to upgrade/add another bike I will just keep slugging along on my 26er hard tail and upgrade this or that and replace what I wear out...
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sauprankul View Post
    Hmmm... How big are you guys? I'm 130(hoping to reduce a little) and weak so maybe that affects how the bike feels for me. Maybe it only feels sluggish because of MY limitations, rather than the wheel size. I have ridden 26" hts, but not similarly equipped ones.
    Picture a Buffalo riding a bike....

    I'm 5'11 and weight about 280. But that is going down slowly. I am rather muscular too (56/58 inch chest 17 inch neck) I ride my roadie a lot and mountain bike as often as time allows. I am pushing 1600 miles for the year on my road bike and mountain bike combined. I can leg press about 400 pounds at the moment but used to be able to max out the machine @ 500 the only place I am not fit is the spare tire around my waist...
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

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    Daaaaaaang...... I think I see the problem here (w/ me). You should have no problem w/ sluggishness on a 29er.
    EDIT: I also read somewhere that 29er are meant for people around 6' in height. They offer more "natural" geometry for tall people. I'm pretty short @ 5' 6.5", so I think the 29er Advantage may not be for me. A 26" bike will probably be more comfortable (not to mention whippable) to me than a 29er. My next bike will definitely be a 26" bike, unless I suddenly shoot up to 5' 10" (not).
    EDIT again: Are 29ers just tall people bikes?
    Apparently not. I may get another 29er, but only after extensive test riding.
    Last edited by sauprankul; 11-06-2012 at 05:16 PM.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

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    OBSCURE SPECS con'td: There's an edit limit (?)
    Crankset model: SR Suntour CW9 XCC T202 PB for Road, Street, Trekking / Commuting. NOT MTBing!!! Value of this is $32, a little less than that of an Acera crankset.
    Crank length: 170mm (175 for larger sizes)
    BB model: BB10 XCT SQS 122C CBT This should be OK for "cross country only"
    BB specs: 68(w) x 122(l)
    Tube Valve: Schrader w/ removable core
    Max disk diameter: 160mm which is disappointing. Kudos to SR st for same day reply.
    Crank gearing: 28/38/48 again not meant for mtbing.
    Cassette gearing: 11-32
    Last edited by sauprankul; 11-27-2012 at 10:18 PM.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

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    And the spec you've a all been waiting for:
    THE WEIGHT!
    wait for it....
    31.3 lbs. Yep.
    That's with stock pedals, water bottle cage, bigger, wider bars, longer stem, longer burlier seat post, kick stand and Avenue 5x as thick Thorn resistant tubes.
    So take off about 1.5 lbs to get to stock and its about 29.8 lbs. Yep. Its a freaking feather guys. I bet I could "give those Roadies a good scare" huh. Dual sport bike my butt.
    Maybe my scale is off? I measured about 8 times and most of them were in the 31 range. Some were more, one was less.
    EDIT: SR suntour added new info to their website:
    SR SUNTOUR Cycling
    Apparently 180mm is the max disk diameter. I don't know if I should listen to the rep or the website. I may ask again.
    Last edited by sauprankul; 12-03-2012 at 11:00 PM.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

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    Purchased a Motobecane Elite Trial, Dec 2012. Had the LBS assemble it and test it. They discovered it does not shift gears without the chain jumping so they had it on the rack for two hours and could not figure out why, they brought in an outside mechanic who said his best guess was the rear derailer as it was twisted or tweaked. If not then it had to be the gears themselves, they will replace the SRAM with a shimono rear derailer at my request, hoping this fixes it. Also parts were missing, emailed Bikes direct, they replied two days later, requesting a photo of the parts I had. Based on these experiences I would not recommend to others that they purchase from this company. One is hoping that there are better choices out there.
    Last edited by theswedish; 12-06-2012 at 12:20 PM.

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    You have a second rate LBS.
    Sorry I said it so harshly, but its true. If they can't figure out why your bike can't shift, then they have no knowledge about how a derailer works. Even the most damaged, bent up derailer would still move when pulled on.

    Further, they are going to replace a SRAM rear derailer with a Shimano? SRAM (pronounced shram) is a reputable company and their rear derailers are NOT compatible with Shimano shifters and vice versa.

    Post some pics of your bike and tell me what parts are missing, exactly.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

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    Thank you for your post. I chose the LBS based on reviews on Google, Yelp and bike forums, it is by no means the closest, however it is highly spoken of by the local bike community. Parts missing are front and rear reflector, quick release, pedals and if the bike comes with it, assembly instructions, there was included a plastic bag saying there were small parts inside, but it was empty on arrival.

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    Ok. All the things that you mentioned are in a separate box, in the big box. They do not come attached to he bike. The box is pretty small, about the size of a harry potter novel. Check the big box again and if it isn't there (which it may not), then you're gonna have to talk with BD.

    Assembly instructions are not included.
    It's pronounced "so pro and cool."
    It was an impulse decision.

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