Motobecane/Windsor vs. Raleigh XXIX+G vs. Online vs. LBS- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Motobecane/Windsor vs. Raleigh XXIX+G vs. Online vs. LBS

    I am having trouble deciding which way to go.

    Current bike: Trek 4500 cheap front shock, aluminum hardtail year 2000
    Current upgrade desired: 29er with front shock, hardtail

    My local bike shop can get a KHS Tuscon, Gary Fisher Cobia, Raleigh XXIX+G and similar.

    For the money, the $750-$1000 range Motobecanes and Windsors seems to have better equipment and better colors (IMHO).

    I am assuming most of the frames are all coming from similar factories overseas nowadays and with a Specialized or Trek I am paying an upcharge for a name to cover advertising costs...yes, no, a little? Clue me in here.

    Local riders suggest the LBS, but I want to get the best bang for the buck and can figure out the maintenance myself aside from rim truing (which I would be billed for anyway at the LBS)

    Anyone have some concrete reasons not to go online to buy? The Motobecane Pro 29 looks pretty well equipped. Anything else I should consider in this range?

    Also see my other posy about bikesdirect being out of stock!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecazzx
    I am assuming most of the frames are all coming from similar factories overseas nowadays and with a Specialized or Trek I am paying an upcharge for a name to cover advertising costs...yes, no, a little? Clue me in here.
    Even if they are built in the same factory, it doesn't mean that they are built to the same spec, out of the same materials, with the same design, and to the same standards. You need to do more research before painting all manufacturers with the same wide brush
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

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    Not too long ago I was faced with the same decision. I chose a lesser equipped bike from a local shop, but if I were to do it all over again, I would buy the Moto and a nice frame from elsewhere (Niner, On-One, Misfit, etc.) Sounds like your not too worried about repairs and maintenance so you shouldn't have to worry about going online. The thing that kept me from buying online was the fact that I could actually ride one before buying, and the geometries of the Moto just didn't look good for me. I can't speak for the quality of the build or the materials on the Windsor/Motobecanes, and that is another thing worth considering as mentioned above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob
    Even if they are built in the same factory, it doesn't mean that they are built to the same spec, out of the same materials, with the same design, and to the same standards. You need to do more research before painting all manufacturers with the same wide brush

    Interesting points

    1 - materials should be stated as with other specs
    2 - design would be seen in the frame and the geo specs
    3 - 'standards' -- each frame builder has there own QC and standards - they do not vary that by brand ordering the frame. In addition, these standards vary little to none between similar factories. So, for example, if you see a Kinesis frame on a Jamis, Felt, Motobecane, or whatever brand - Kinesis has not changed their 'standards' from one order to the next.

    The reason brands push 'frame differences' even when there is little or none in place is marketing. After all, the brand name comes on the frame and most companies use the same components, so it only makes sense that the frame is the heart of marketing efforts.

  5. #5
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    second that

    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob
    Even if they are built in the same factory, it doesn't mean that they are built to the same spec, out of the same materials, with the same design, and to the same standards. You need to do more research before painting all manufacturers with the same wide brush
    I have a Motobecane Fantom29er. While quality is good, its built like a tank... maybe a little too much. It rides pretty hard. Then again, if you're coming from a Trek 4500, you are probably used to that already.

    Good geometry, handles well, kinda heavy, but that's okay... training weight! I don't think I'll ever crack it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecazzx
    Anyone have some concrete reasons not to go online to buy? The Motobecane Pro 29 looks pretty well equipped. Anything else I should consider in this range?

    Also see my other posy about bikesdirect being out of stock!
    If your buying for components, work on your bike yourself and have the thought of upgrading frames in mind for the future, go for online.

    If you want warranty, peice of mind, and less headaches buy locally.

    I bought a Windsor Cliff 29er Team when they shipped back in late April. I got a dozen rides and 160 miles or so out of it before the frame cracked. So at that point it's spend time and money to disassemle, pack and ship the bike to be considered for warranty or buy a better frame/bike like I should have.

  7. #7
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    zactly

    Quote Originally Posted by finny1999
    If your buying for components, work on your bike yourself and have the thought of upgrading frames in mind for the future, go for online.

    If you want warranty, peice of mind, and less headaches buy locally.

    I bought a Windsor Cliff 29er Team when they shipped back in late April. I got a dozen rides and 160 miles or so out of it before the frame cracked. So at that point it's spend time and money to disassemle, pack and ship the bike to be considered for warranty or buy a better frame/bike like I should have.
    I got mine because I wanted a working 29er geared bike. I loved my 29er singlespeed so much, I wanted big wheels everywhere.

    I got it because it was of decent quality and cheap. I knew I would basically be renting it for a year or so while I saved up for the frame I really wanted, so I didn't want to blow too much cash on it. IIRC, I paid $120 landed for the Motobecane, which is a steal IMO. I figure I can swap meet it or craigslist it for $70-80 or so. $40 for a year of riding is not too much cash to loose. I dismantled my Stumpjumper FSR-XC for parts and sold the frame and fork

    The replacement frame turned out to be a Titus RacerX29er frame, which shows up Monday.

    In my case, I do all my own work right down to wheel building. I only really go to the LBS for really specialized services, like facing and chasing the bottom bracket, and stuff like that. I'm pretty much a point and pay kinda guy there.

    Unless you really know your way around bikes, I would suggest just going to a good LBS. Problem is, there are a lot of bad LBSs out there who will do or say anything to get your fat cash. Ask around, and you'll probably find one or two names that always come up as good shops.

    For me, that is Wheels of Justice in Oakland, or Hank and Frank in Lafayette, CA. Just thought I would plug them.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 07-25-2009 at 01:19 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by finny1999
    So at that point it's spend time and money to disassemle, pack and ship the bike to be considered for warranty or buy a better frame/bike like I should have.
    I bought a moto, and considered what would happen if the frame cracked or something else broke.

    In the end, I figured that you can buy the bike and a new fame (or whatever replacement parts) and still save some serious money. That's worst case scenario. In reality, most people don't have a warranty claim and BikesDirect seems to handle legit claims fairly.

    Some people pay a lot for piece of mind.

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    There have been many threads on this very subject. I think I have read most of them. The general consensus is that most Bikes direct customers are very satisfied and the bikes are a great value. Do a search in the 29er forum on Bikes Direct and 29er and you will find lots of info.

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    [QUOTE=fireflock]I bought a moto, and considered what would happen if the frame cracked or something else broke. QUOTE]

    I considered that as well, didn't expect to have to be frame shopping so soon but it happens. I have the cash, knowledge and tools to resolve the situation and end up with a better bike and still save cash. Theres so extra downtime but atleast I have another bike.

    If this was my only bike and had a limited budget that peice of mind in warranty service and limited downtime of an LBS would be worthwile. That also depends on how good of a local bike shop you have...

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    Quote Originally Posted by finny1999
    If this was my only bike and had a limited budget that peice of mind in warranty service and limited downtime of an LBS would be worthwile. That also depends on how good of a local bike shop you have...
    It does depend on the shop, and probably the warranty rep or whatever brand you pick. I've seen guys wait a looooong time for a replacement frame and there was nothing the shop could do about it. Sometimes the frame wasn't available, or the only size available was wrong, or things just seemed to get lost. Most of them ended up with an upgraded frame in the end, but it can take a while.

    Pick your poison, I guess. I'd rather have the choice and some cash, but I can see why people like to have someone to they know to ask for help.

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    If you have a Performance nearby, get one of their 15% off coupons and buy a Fuji Tahoe Pro. Great bike, $850 after the discount.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonoranbiker
    If you have a Performance nearby, get one of their 15% off coupons and buy a Fuji Tahoe Pro. Great bike, $850 after the discount.
    Not a bad bike, it specs out slightly lower than the Moto - but that color is terrible. Looks like a rolling ear of corn.

    Also - Looks like it is $1149 and 15% off is not $850 total.

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    Aside from the BD vs. LBS debate, you need to decide whether you want steel or aluminum. To my knowledge, all BD 29ers (except for the Ti one) are alum. frames. you specifically mentioned the Raleigh XXIX+G, which is steel. that alone may make your decision easier.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecazzx
    Not a bad bike, it specs out slightly lower than the Moto - but that color is terrible. Looks like a rolling ear of corn.

    Also - Looks like it is $1149 and 15% off is not $850 total.
    Last time I checked it was on sale for $1000; 15% off of that is 850. Pricing is often different between the store and the website. Still work checking out.

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    Ok, I bought my Jamis Dakota for 1200 from my LBS, 200 more than the Cliff 29er team or the Fantom 29er Pro. Things happen such as my Reba came with a stripped brake mount that my LBS is replacing, in the mean time, he was able to use a longer screw and get me riding. how would a internet bike shop handle this? Would they pay someone to fix this for me or would I have to send the whole bike back? Would they send me a new fork? I think the answer is sending the whole bike back. I'm all for supporting the local bike shops.
    "Boldly they rode & well, into the jaws of death, into the mouth of hell, rode the 600"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecazzx
    I am having trouble deciding which way to go.

    Current bike: Trek 4500 cheap front shock, aluminum hardtail year 2000
    Current upgrade desired: 29er with front shock, hardtail

    My local bike shop can get a KHS Tuscon, Gary Fisher Cobia, Raleigh XXIX+G and similar.

    For the money, the $750-$1000 range Motobecanes and Windsors seems to have better equipment and better colors (IMHO).

    I am assuming most of the frames are all coming from similar factories overseas nowadays and with a Specialized or Trek I am paying an upcharge for a name to cover advertising costs...yes, no, a little? Clue me in here.

    Local riders suggest the LBS, but I want to get the best bang for the buck and can figure out the maintenance myself aside from rim truing (which I would be billed for anyway at the LBS)

    Anyone have some concrete reasons not to go online to buy? The Motobecane Pro 29 looks pretty well equipped. Anything else I should consider in this range?

    Also see my other posy about bikesdirect being out of stock!
    I ended up getting the Motobecane after some serious searching around.
    Fantom Pro SL 29er, brushed aluminum finish.
    I am very happy with the fit, finish, ride, purchase process and ship time.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecazzx
    I ended up getting the Motobecane after some serious searching around.
    Fantom Pro SL 29er, brushed aluminum finish.
    I am very happy with the fit, finish, ride, purchase process and ship time.
    IMO for your situation you got a great bike, from what I have seen the WIndsors are much heavier and lower quality than the Moto's (more inline with the price anyway). I do 99% of my on wrenching and built up a Moto Phantom 29 Frame I bought new from BD for like $110... I did not expect it to be the best but I was actually suprised at the quality of the frame. It is not the most forgiving frame but with the squared seat/chain stays it moved out well from what I remember. I rode it for a while built with decent stuff and then sold it to my brother in law who has been riding it since- no issues at all. That was just the frame- you have a complete bike that cost under a grand new with a $400 plus fork... let alone the rest of the build. Enjoy the bike-
    I Just wish I could ride more!


  19. #19
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    We just received a Motobecane Windsor Cyclo today, built it up. Build quality was good, nothing was 'funny', great set of parts. You can't even buy the parts (at dealer cost) to build a frame for what bikesdirect sells the bikes for. If the frame breaks and you have to buy another one, you're still money ahead. That said, I didn't see evidence of cheapness in the frame build at all. I think it's a great value if you're handy with the allen wrenches.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecazzx
    I am having trouble deciding which way to go.

    Current bike: Trek 4500 cheap front shock, aluminum hardtail year 2000
    Current upgrade desired: 29er with front shock, hardtail

    My local bike shop can get a KHS Tuscon, Gary Fisher Cobia, Raleigh XXIX+G and similar.

    For the money, the $750-$1000 range Motobecanes and Windsors seems to have better equipment and better colors (IMHO).

    I am assuming most of the frames are all coming from similar factories overseas nowadays and with a Specialized or Trek I am paying an upcharge for a name to cover advertising costs...yes, no, a little? Clue me in here.

    Local riders suggest the LBS, but I want to get the best bang for the buck and can figure out the maintenance myself aside from rim truing (which I would be billed for anyway at the LBS)

    Anyone have some concrete reasons not to go online to buy? The Motobecane Pro 29 looks pretty well equipped. Anything else I should consider in this range?

    Also see my other posy about bikesdirect being out of stock!

    Umm there are many MANY more benefits to buying from a LBS than just the work they do:

    first if you are NOT a bike mechanic you can expect to add AT LEAST 50 dollars to get everything adjusted even if you assemble the bike yourself. second, you have no warranty, and noone standing behind you to support you if/when your frame fails. third purchasing from a LBS introduces you to a whole network of people to ride with.

    The list goes on and on, I understand value, but as you progress in cycling, taking the first step with a local shop with pay out dividends later in life.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mward
    We just received a Motobecane Windsor Cyclo today, built it up. Build quality was good, nothing was 'funny', great set of parts. You can't even buy the parts (at dealer cost) to build a frame for what bikesdirect sells the bikes for. If the frame breaks and you have to buy another one, you're still money ahead. That said, I didn't see evidence of cheapness in the frame build at all. I think it's a great value if you're handy with the allen wrenches.
    I don't want this to come off the wrong way but a "Windsor" is not a "Motobecane" they are two completely different lines but both sold by Bikes Direct- It is like calling it a Specialized Trek or a Huffy Santa Cruz....From a side by side comparison the two frames are completely different, overall the Motobecane appears to be higher quality and lighter size for size, I am not bashing the Windsor they are just not one in the same.
    I Just wish I could ride more!


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    And what's not been brought yet is, it's yer BODY that's gonna til you which bike is the best for you, not yer head. Your body will tell you, soon as you throw a leg over it. This alone is why I bought cheaper bike from my LBS, 'cause it felt better than the other (more expensive) rides. I've got bikes hanging on my porch that looked great on paper, but didn't feel as great when I rode them. I will never buy without test riding again.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by amblake50
    Umm there are many MANY more benefits to buying from a LBS than just the work they do:
    You don't realize the benefits of buying from a LBS until you start having problems. While I saved money buying the Windsor, I ran into multiple problems. Wheel tension, hub noises, cracked frame, fork creeks and thats less than 200 miles into ownership. Unless you like spending your time on the phone or emailing and packing and shipping things LBS are worth the money.

    I now have a bike that sits in my garage and that I don't want to look at because i'm dusgusted with it. I was looking at road bikes and another mtn bike from BD but i'll pay what the LBS wants or just live with what I have.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by amblake50
    Umm there are many MANY more benefits to buying from a LBS than just the work they do:

    first if you are NOT a bike mechanic you can expect to add AT LEAST 50 dollars to get everything adjusted even if you assemble the bike yourself. second, you have no warranty, and noone standing behind you to support you if/when your frame fails. third purchasing from a LBS introduces you to a whole network of people to ride with.

    The list goes on and on, I understand value, but as you progress in cycling, taking the first step with a local shop with pay out dividends later in life.
    So.... $50 in labor vs. $400 price difference? That's an easy one.

    And a network of people to ride with? That's what your friends are for. Maybe its just me, but I don't sit at my LBS for hours on end to chat with the guys- most of the time the techs aren't out in the open anyways.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by knottshore
    I don't want this to come off the wrong way but a "Windsor" is not a "Motobecane" they are two completely different lines but both sold by Bikes Direct- It is like calling it a Specialized Trek or a Huffy Santa Cruz....From a side by side comparison the two frames are completely different, overall the Motobecane appears to be higher quality and lighter size for size, I am not bashing the Windsor they are just not one in the same.
    Just to be clear, Bikesdirect, Windsor, and Motobecane are all basically the same company. The may be registered as different companies (not sure whether they are or not), but for all intents and purposes, it is all one operation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by knottshore
    I don't want this to come off the wrong way but a "Windsor" is not a "Motobecane" they are two completely different lines but both sold by Bikes Direct
    The distinction isn't really important to me. All the bikes come out of the same factory. My comment was merely to inject a positive experience when dealing with a product that comes out of the Bikes Direct warehouse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Just to be clear, Bikesdirect, Windsor, and Motobecane are all basically the same company. The may be registered as different companies (not sure whether they are or not), but for all intents and purposes, it is all one operation.
    One operation agreed I did not realize that was up for debate, BD is the "company" or website or bike island .... that offers different brands- two of which are Motobecane and Windsor. Just like a LBS may offer Cannondale and specialized. I have seen and compared both the Windsor and Motopecate frames/bikes in person they are a completely different frame design.
    Never the less my point was not to create a point of contention but rather intended to help the OP make an informed decision. Being sold on the website does not mean they are the same, nor does being made in the same factory. Most of the big brand bikes that are made overseas are made in only a handfull of factorys - Giant along with others make a whole lot of frames and puts different names on them, and not all of the same design or quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by mward
    The distinction isn't really important to me. All the bikes come out of the same factory. My comment was merely to inject a positive experience when dealing with a product that comes out of the Bikes Direct warehouse..
    The distinction may be important to the OP since they may purchase one so the difference should be noted- I am glad you had a positive experience and it is great input for the op as well.
    I Just wish I could ride more!


  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by knottshore
    One operation agreed I did not realize that was up for debate, BD is the "company" or website or bike island .... that offers different brands- two of which are Motobecane and Windsor. Just like a LBS may offer Cannondale and specialized. I have seen and compared both the Windsor and Motopecate frames/bikes in person they are a completely different frame design.
    Never the less my point was not to create a point of contention but rather intended to help the OP make an informed decision. Being sold on the website does not mean they are the same, nor does being made in the same factory. Most of the big brand bikes that are made overseas are made in only a handfull of factorys - Giant along with others make a whole lot of frames and puts different names on them, and not all of the same design or quality.
    .
    No, it is NOT like an LBS carrying different brands. It's like an LBS building there own bikes and selling them, and randomly slapping different brand names on different models.

    Yes the windsors and Moto's are different frames, but most companies do offer more than one model of bike/frame. I think this is basically what you have said. The point is, whether it is important to you or not, is that these are NOT different companies selling bikes through BD. This is ONE company, which orders a variety of frames, and assigns different models to different "brands".

    Does it matter? IMO, only in the MSRP scam they run. They claim a certain MSRP (to show you what a bargain you are getting), and even give you a link to the "company" site, and low and behold, that really is the MSRP. But it is a completely arbitrary number. Bikes direct IS the manufacturer, so that is OBVIOUSLY not the Manufacturer Suggested retail price, unless the company suffers from some multiple personality disorder.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    No, it is NOT like an LBS carrying different brands. It's like an LBS building there own bikes and selling them, and randomly slapping different brand names on different models.

    Yes the windsors and Moto's are different frames, but most companies do offer more than one model of bike/frame. I think this is basically what you have said. The point is, whether it is important to you or not, is that these are NOT different companies selling bikes through BD. This is ONE company, which orders a variety of frames, and assigns different models to different "brands".

    Does it matter? IMO, only in the MSRP scam they run. They claim a certain MSRP (to show you what a bargain you are getting), and even give you a link to the "company" site, and low and behold, that really is the MSRP. But it is a completely arbitrary number. Bikes direct IS the manufacturer, so that is OBVIOUSLY not the Manufacturer Suggested retail price, unless the company suffers from some multiple personality disorder.
    I guess we are splitting hairs here but I think we are on the same page- And I agree with the silly mock website that shows MSRP's that are arbitrary. BD like a bike store offer's a few lines of bikes with each having different models (see the next paragraph). Who and where the stickers are put on are not relevant. My only point was there is a design difference between Motobecane and Windsor.

    My brand analogy was meant in a broad sense- If I am not mistaken your reference to Windsor and Motobecane being owned and built by one company then randomly slapped with stickers is not too different from ...for instance GF and Trek even if they are owned and made by the same parent company they are offered as different brands (though the line is blurring year by year... apb etc...). I don't think either one assigns brands by random and those that own/buy a Trek or GF do care which "sticker" is on it (along with possibly the frame design) even if it is the same company and sold at the same store. Same but Different? General analogy not infering anything about the quality or build of the mentioned brands... just the surface appearence-

    My original post to mward was to to clarify a statement that combined Motopecane and Windsor in to a single bike, a "Motobecane Windsor Cyclo". As I indicated they are two "lines both sold by bikes direct..." which is exactly the same as what you have offered.

    I apologize if I did not thoroughly explain myself- unfortunately written verbiage can only convey so much- Sorry to get so far off topic.
    I Just wish I could ride more!


  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by knottshore
    I guess we are splitting hairs here but I think we are on the same page- And I agree with the silly mock website that shows MSRP's that are arbitrary. BD like a bike store offer's a few lines of bikes with each having different models (see the next paragraph). Who and where the stickers are put on are not relevant. My only point was there is a design difference between Motobecane and Windsor.

    My brand analogy was meant in a broad sense- If I am not mistaken your reference to Windsor and Motobecane being owned and built by one company then randomly slapped with stickers is not too different from ...for instance GF and Trek even if they are owned and made by the same parent company they are offered as different brands (though the line is blurring year by year... apb etc...). I don't think either one assigns brands by random and those that own/buy a Trek or GF do care which "sticker" is on it (along with possibly the frame design) even if it is the same company and sold at the same store. Same but Different? General analogy not infering anything about the quality or build of the mentioned brands... just the surface appearence-

    My original post to mward was to to clarify a statement that combined Motopecane and Windsor in to a single bike, a "Motobecane Windsor Cyclo". As I indicated they are two "lines both sold by bikes direct..." which is exactly the same as what you have offered.

    I apologize if I did not thoroughly explain myself- unfortunately written verbiage can only convey so much- Sorry to get so far off topic.
    Ah, I think we are on the same page for the important points with regards to BD: It's not that big of a deal whether Moto and Windsor are the same or not.

    I did not catch the part about the Motobecane Windsor (as in brand:model). Your original post makes a lot more sense to me now. I agree.

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    That was a mistype on my part, I was doing a few things at once and reading other posts. It is a windsor. FWIW, we stripped all the parts and put them on a Surly Crosscheck, the frame is hanging in my workshop. I have a dealer account with a distributor and I couldn't deck out my cousin's surly in 105 and equiv parts for the price of the windsor so we just bought it and stripped it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mward
    That was a mistype on my part, I was doing a few things at once and reading other posts. It is a windsor. FWIW, we stripped all the parts and put them on a Surly Crosscheck, the frame is hanging in my workshop. I have a dealer account with a distributor and I couldn't deck out my cousin's surly in 105 and equiv parts for the price of the windsor so we just bought it and stripped it.
    You really have to be carefull on this forum... man it is getting brutal- I did not mean to call out your typo, as we all do it for sure, it is just that there is already enough mis-information out there to confuse anyone who is actually trying to follow this now meaningless thread.... I think there are alot of Windsor and Motos haning on a hook stripped of their parts- if you add up the parts cost it is hard to deny-
    I Just wish I could ride more!


  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3
    - I bought my Motobecane Fantom Pro SL from BD and had NO problem.
    - I bought my previous GT from my LBS with NO problem.

    I love my GT and my Motobecane but for the money, I would buy from BD again. In fact I'm looking to get another 29er but SS (Windsor Cliff 29.1 or DeadEye) from BD. I love minor wrenching my own bike so I don't mine online purchases. My Motobecane came almost perfect, no adjustment needed to the hydro brakes, gears shifted perfectly, wheels are true, only need to set the seat and bars to my liking and off I went.

    All these are my experiences with my bikes. If you had any past problems dealing with either one, you might be turn off by it.

  34. #34
    Charlie Brown on a bike
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    28
    I never would have thought of buying from Bikes Direct over a local shop before. Ive built bikes up several times before but was biased against chinese made frames. Now basically all bikes are made in China. My local shop Ive been loyal to for years just went belly up. The two shops left cater strictly to the cruiser and recumbant crowd. Now more than ever Bikes Direct is luring me with nice looking bikes with great components. Its like suddenly seeing a beautiful Kia when your ego tells you, you should only be seen in a Toyota.

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