How does Motobecane do it?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How does Motobecane do it?

    Looking to buy a new mountain bike. Right now i'm on an old Gary Fisher Tassajara that's getting a bit small. I'm looking to upgrade to a nice new XC bike. (Looking to spend about $800, absolutely no more than $1k. Really want a 29er, any recomendations are greatly appreciated)

    Looking around at some bikes online, and Motobecane has pretty much every major brand name (Cannondale, Specialized, Trek, Gary Fisher etc) beat as far as price for the amount of bike you get is concerned. I'm having a hard time finding USED bikes that are spec'd as good as the Motobecanes for a similar price.

    What i'm wondering is this: How can Motobecane possibly make any kind of profit by selling bikes so cheap? Is there some reason that Motobecane doesn't charge something more along the lines of bigger name brands like specialized or Gary Fisher? Is there any downside to purchasing a Motobecane other than the fact that It only comes 90% assembled(I'm pretty handy doing work on my current bike so that shouldn't be an issue) and doesn't have brand recognition like a Gary Fisher or Specialized? Basically what i'm asking is: What's the catch???

  2. #2
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    They can sell at the prices they do because they cut corners on the marketing, advertising, and customer service. There's no expensive store and gang of employees to maintain.

    Read the bikesdirect.com warrantee policies carefully. If you happen to have a major problem, it offten requires you to return the entire bike. I've seen every issue get resolved around here, but it does take a bit more time than pushing your bike into a shop.


    I have two bikes from BD, and not a single issue... I'll buy my next bike from them too.

    I highly reccomend the Fantom 29 line, the 29 pro goes for $800, ( I have one of these). and the 29 Pro SL comes in at $1,000.
    "Fear not the ob-stackles in your path"

  3. #3
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    Cut Out The Middle Man

    The LBS dealer profits is your savings.

  4. #4
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    My riding buddy replaced his 2002 Specialized Stumpjumper with a 2010 Moto Pro SL 29er and he's very happy with it. I ride a 2010 Fly Team Titanium and also happy with it. Don't worry about BD, they still make profit, a 1000 bike probably cost them over half of that to acquire. I would recommend their bikes to friends, in fact I did, that's how my buddy got his.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info guys. I have been looking at the Fantom 29 Pro SL. I think it looks like an excellent bike. Actually about to head off to a couple LBS's to see if they have any 29ers I can look at and see what size frame they recommend.

    After doing a bit more research, I feel like there are a few bikers out there who just really don't like Motobecane (hence the reason that some people remove the decals). Although maybe their just sore that your $1k bike is better than their $2k bike from another brand?

    Many of the components on the Fantom 29 Pro SL have very high ratings as does the overall bike itself. It looks like probably the best deal around.

    Also, in the "Purchase & Support info 4 Motobecane bicycles" sticky thread, it mentions that there are a couple of local bike shops in Houston (i'm less than 2 hours away) that actually sell Motobecanes. Even if I order online from BD, can I still take the bike in to them in case something goes very wrong? Do these LBS's sell Motobecanes as cheaply as you can get them from BD? Does anyone know what BD policy (or where I can find it?) is in case I have to ship the bike back to them (do I pay shipping etc) if there is a major issue with the bike?

    And lame...Just looked at their shipping map and it appears that since I'm in Texas I have to pay sales tax

  6. #6
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    Also, been reading that many people have had problems with the Avid Hydraulic Disc Brakes on many of the bikes (horrible squealing noises and vibratons etc). Is there a quick/simple/easy fix for this? Do all the bikes do this or just a very small percentage? Have you guys had any trouble with this on your Motobecane bikes?

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't worry too much about that brake problem - yes you may have to chase it a bit, it took a few tries to silent the Avids on my Specialized. This is not a Motobecane problem. Its annoying to a degree, but not impossible to fix. The absolute worst case you take the Elixirs off the bike, sell them and put on another brand - you'll still come out ahead.

    John

  8. #8
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    The Fantom 29 Pro SL is a great bike and would be the best deal for under $1k. The fork, drive train, and brakes are almost worth the cost of the entire bike. You're simply not going to find a better deal at an LBS. The only downsides versus an LBS bike are:
    • Some assembly required, which requires some tools
    • Tuning required (deraillers, brakes, wheel truing - sometimes)
    • Warranty service - you need to ship the bike to BD on your dime for frame failures. I had a seatpost fail and they just sent me a new (and upgraded!) one.
    • No free tune-ups
    • No cool points for big name brand (I actually count that as a cool point)
    • Phone and email support are not immediate, and usually take 1-2 business days to get a resolution.


    Most of those don't apply to me, so if they don't apply to you either then just grab that Fantom Pro SL 29er...it's a killer bike with plenty of happy riders. I have the Windsor Cliff Pro 29er ($700) which is a couple steps below in terms of components, and it eats up the climbs, descents, and tight/technical stuff. Very durable, and except for the 100% crap stock seatpost which was replaced, it's a solid and fast bike. I'm sure the Fantom will be even better based on the reviews here and elsewhere on the web.

    EDIT: And on the brakes, be SURE to center them correctly AND bed them in. The bedding procedure is described in the Avid installation manual (came with my bike).
    Last edited by TwoHeadsBrewing; 06-22-2010 at 10:49 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by teh_pwnzr

    Also, in the "Purchase & Support info 4 Motobecane bicycles" sticky thread, it mentions that there are a couple of local bike shops in Houston (i'm less than 2 hours away) that actually sell Motobecanes. Even if I order online from BD, can I still take the bike in to them in case something goes very wrong? Do these LBS's sell Motobecanes as cheaply as you can get them from BD? Does anyone know what BD policy (or where I can find it?) is in case I have to ship the bike back to them (do I pay shipping etc) if there is a major issue with the bike?

    And lame...Just looked at their shipping map and it appears that since I'm in Texas I have to pay sales tax
    I can’t imagine a bike shop turning down any business. Cycle Spectrum maybe independently owned however, It would stand to reason that if they sold a brand or model and you walk into a shop with that brand. They should be willing to help you out with a warrantee issue.
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  10. #10
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    Yeah, I'm going to contact Cycle Spectrum tomorrow and see if they have any 17" Fantom 29 Pro SL's on hand, and if they do, and are priced as low as they are online, I may just drive over to Houston sometime in the next week or so and buy it at the shop so that I have guaranteed warranty service if the frame or other parts were to fail in some way or other. (Plus I don't have to assemble it myself, which wouldn't be a problem anyways, but...)

    Also, the guy at the bike shop today was absolutely horrified that I even mentioned Motobecane lol. Said that what you pay that extra 2x price on other bikes is the frame and a warranty. Not sure I trust him at all though. Seems to me that Motobecane frames are decent enough, and if I can get a warranty by buying the bike at a (not so local) bike shop then seems like a win-win for me. Only thing I lose on is the brand name (but I could care less what "real" mountain bikers think about what I ride, especially when I beat them on the trail with my "inferior bike" lol).

  11. #11
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    Motobecane is not some generic name they just through on the side of a frame…and just because it was brought back from the brink doesn’t make it less important. Because, even with the name changing hands that name “Motobecane” has been gracing the frames of bicycles for over 80 years. Motobecane USA has been around for an estimated 30 years.

    No mater who owns the rights to it…That is one fact no one can take away.

    You also do get a warranty when you order online…it’s just, service is not a quick as walking into a shop. However, never the less, if you have a problem it will get fixed.

    Whatever you decide, you don't lose
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  12. #12
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    Sorry for double posting, but not really sure why my previous post was posted in the middle of the thread and not at the end...Forum is setup differently from what i'm used to.

    Yeah, I'm going to contact Cycle Spectrum tomorrow and see if they have any 17" Fantom 29 Pro SL's on hand, and if they do, and are priced as low as they are online, I may just drive over to Houston sometime in the next week or so and buy it at the shop so that I have guaranteed warranty service if the frame or other parts were to fail in some way or other. (Plus I don't have to assemble it myself, which wouldn't be a problem anyways, but...)

    Also, the guy at the bike shop today was absolutely horrified that I even mentioned Motobecane lol. Said that what you pay that extra 2x price on other bikes is the frame and a warranty. Not sure I trust him at all though. Seems to me that Motobecane frames are decent enough, and if I can get a warranty by buying the bike at a (not so local) bike shop then seems like a win-win for me. Only thing I lose on is the brand name (but I could care less what "real" mountain bikers think about what I ride, especially when I beat them on the trail with my "inferior bike" lol).

  13. #13
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    Give this thread a read. If you have questions or concerns I suggest you send bikesdirect a PM. Mike is very responsive. BD gets slammed on here quite a bit but they definitely fill a niche and provide a great value.

    BTW when the time comes, I'm getting around the sales tax by having my bike shipped to my mothers house in OK. Its a very short drive. I go there every month to check in on her anyway. The tax savings for me will pay for the trip.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=627691

    I sent bikesdirect a PM about pricing policy between stores. Turns out that CS and BD are pretty independent and not an extension of one another. Explains the pricing issue I have been concerned about. Guess I'll be assembling it myself when and if the time comes.

    Now lets see....which one?

  14. #14
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    Motobecane saves money mainly because they do not sponsor a race team, advertise, etc. They also tend to buy last years components for cheap. For example the Reba fork on my bike does not officially exist. That does not mean its a bad fork, my guess is that Reba sold all their leftover stock to Motobecane when they changed model years. If anyone can confirm this let me know.

    Unfortunately I am one of the bikers who has had a lot of issues with the Elixir CR brakes. Pad squeal, vibrations, etc. As others have said this is not Motobecanes fault, rather Avid's. If you look around plenty of people have the same problems on name brand bikes. I fixed some of the issues with organic pads, and fish weights of all things (which I found on a forum post). They still squeal, but its better then when I first bought the bike. Again if you look at the brakes forum tons of people have brake issues even on fishers and other bike brands.

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