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Bicycle-Fi!

post #1 of 3451
Thread Starter 
I've been riding bicycles now for almost fifty years and have been some kind of bicycle tech geek for almost forty years; bicycles work much better when you understand and appreciate them. I've had both road bikes and ATBs. My current rides are eleven year old Cannondale F700 and Fuji Roubaix triple with Shimano 105 gruppo; they are the best and most suitable bikes for my purposes I have ever owned. For a variety of reasons, I am coming off of a nine or ten year riding hiatus. Getting a couple of hours a week in riding and am happy to see skills and strength/endurance coming back. It's great to be riding in the northwoods Spring again; bicycles are faster than mosquitoes and black flies!

A question to open things up: anybody have actual ownership/riding experience (no secondhand opinions, please) on the Motobecane Tawainese road bikes available from bikesDirect.com? The Century Pro has caught my eye and now threatens my wallet.

So, Welcome to Bicycle-Fi. And you thought Head-Fi was hard on your wallet!
post #2 of 3451
I bought a Windsor Knight with the Ultegra group from Bikes Direct. It has been a great ride with no issues at all. I have read many positive reviews of the Motobecane. The real key with a road bike as you well know is fit. If you know what works and can be assured that the Bike Direct offering fits the bill I have not found a better source. I am sure if you are an elite racer there may be issues but I just like to ride and for me the Knight was a great buy.
post #3 of 3451
Thread Starter 
Of course, John, I had to go look at the Windsor Knight's specs; nice bike! I sure have enjoyed my Roubaix's 105 triple; makes me feel like I can climb a tree! The idea with the Century Pro was to leave it more for the street and slide some 700x28c or 32c on the Fuji for some of the new Northwoods bike trails. The Minoqua/St. Germain/Boulder Junction area of Wisconsin has always had great riding, but the new asphalt bike trails are really neat. Keep the Cannondale for offroad masochism.
post #4 of 3451
I have a beautiful red Felt that I love. I ride with my dad about twice a month and it's a very enjoyable experience. I don't know the model number off the top of my head, but I'll try and find it and edit.
post #5 of 3451
Here in the Chicago suburbs we are getting more paved trails all the time as pressure from citizens mounts. I am on our cities bike commission and one of my objectives is to push for bike paths and routes that link cities together. We are close to having a link with neighboring communities that will result in a roughly 25 mile stretch of paths that use utility right of ways and parks. It is a lot more pleasant to ride on paths around here without the fear of some idiot on a cell phone running you off the street. As the price of gas goes up and the weather is nice we see more and more people on the road riding. I envy you living up North where the riding is definitely more scenic.
post #6 of 3451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Pa View Post
I've been riding bicycles now for almost fifty years and have been some kind of bicycle tech geek for almost forty years; bicycles work much better when you understand and appreciate them...I am coming off of a nine or ten year riding hiatus. Getting a couple of hours a week in riding and am happy to see skills and strength/endurance coming back.

So, Welcome to Bicycle-Fi. And you thought Head-Fi was hard on your wallet!
Pa,
This sound so familiar almost fits my current situation to a T, and you're only a couple of years older. I have four road bikes, all hand built (sans frame) by moi including the wheels, so yes I have an intimate appreciation. But like you I have not ridden them in earnest for a number of years. Now I'm commuting about 60+ miles a week.

Getting to your Motobecane Q. Back 10-15 years ago when money was tight I mail-ordered a lot, and since I have seen the local bike shops shuttered. Now life is...well.. good, we have disposable (less restricted) funds, so I would encourage you to reacquaint yourself with your local bike shop (if they're worth a sh!t), see what they have, see what fits. I also concur that bike-fit is essential, our knees and backs ain't what they use to be.

Personally I would not buy a Taiwanese Motobecane out of principal, Motobecane is/was French, I wouldn't buy a Chinese/Taiwanese Bianchi, Schwinn, DeRosa, Cinelli...either, IMHOO (in my highly opinionated opinion).

Indeed welcome to Bicycle-fi, sorry about your taint.

Terry
post #7 of 3451
I have a Lance bike (Trek 5400), my wife has a custom made Serotta (titanium) which is wonderful, and my best friend has a Lite Speed. There are some awsome american made bicycles out there. I got my Trek at a great price when new models where coming in
post #8 of 3451
Since others are describing their bikes, I may as well chime in.

My bike is a modded Peugeot PX-10 - sandblasted, repainted, drilled holes for water-bottle mounts, filed off rough edges, added brake cable guides with epoxy. The hang-on gear is a mix of American, French, and Japanese stuff [only the frame itself is original], including a TA triple crank and Huret Duopar derailleurs actuated by Suntour indexed bar-ends - it works! The wheels are custom-built on sealed-bearing hubs, and heavy-duty rims. The tires [700C] are so fat that the rear must be deflated prior to removal from the frame.

The ride is soft and comfortable, but the bike rolls so easily that I have actually COASTED past a jogger on a gentle upgrade.

Laz
post #9 of 3451
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin74 View Post
Pa,
I would encourage you to reacquaint yourself with your local bike shop (if they're worth a sh!t), see what they have, see what fits. I also concur that bike-fit is essential, our knees and backs ain't what they use to be.
Funny you should mention it, because I was in three of my old bike shop haunts on Friday for a little touch-and-feel. Unfortunately, I had forgotten what young bike salesmen were like. One dude had me pigeonholed onto some Specialized that did not fit any of my stated requirements and then rapidly lost interest as soon as I had the audacity to point that out. Another quoted me three prices on a bike in the course of fifteen minutes, each succeeding price higher than the last. I had forgotten how my local bike shops seem to feel entitled to me business and how nonobtrusive the service could get. Besides, I aint got no tats or piercings, so I must be some kind of straight freak. Right?

My local bike shops are what got me started wrenching on bikes. I had to fix the shifter on my old Raleigh three speed because my dad didn't know how and he wasn't going to pay some bike shop for something "that the kid broke" (parts did not fail when I was a kid, kids broke them). I already knew one end of a tool from the other when I was a kid, read some manuals and looked at some exploded diagrams, and saw (*gasp*) this aint rocket science. If you understand the mechanisms and the materials they are made of and take some time and are careful, bikes are a lot of fun to work on. My first Bianchi responded well to regular maintenance and TLC. Taught me a lot. So I've got my Park workstand and tools and some books and manuals and I'm not beholden to my local bike shops twenty-year-old wrench monkey. Do-it-yourselfer to the core.

John: nice to hear about the Chicagoland bike trail progress. I haven't been back in more than fifteen years. To think I used to drive and ride all over the place both day and night. Glad I did it way back then. My pal up in Skokie says the same things about local ditzed out drivers on their cellphones. The other day up here, I saw a kid riding a stunt bike no hands while yakking on his bluetooth earset, all on a city street. YIKES!
post #10 of 3451
I'm not much of a bike geek, but my dad is a huge one. He has spent thousands on upgrading his mountain bike, and much more on his road bike. I'm not sure what he's got anymore, but I think the family is going on a bike ride tomorrow for Father's Day if weather is good, and I'll find out what he's got then. And I'll post it on here.
post #11 of 3451
Lol BMX all the way!!
been a while since last cycled and dug my old GT hardtail out the shed to go to work about month ago only to realise why i got into BMX and not mountain biking lol!!
i cannot go a mountain bike and look like bambi skating on sheet ice after too many hits on the crack pipe!
if only my knees were what they were lol
post #12 of 3451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Short View Post
Since others are describing their bikes, I may as well chime in.

My bike is a modded Peugeot PX-10 - sandblasted, repainted, drilled holes for water-bottle mounts, filed off rough edges, added brake cable guides with epoxy. The hang-on gear is a mix of American, French, and Japanese stuff [only the frame itself is original], including a TA triple crank and Huret Duopar derailleurs actuated by Suntour indexed bar-ends - it works! The wheels are custom-built on sealed-bearing hubs, and heavy-duty rims. The tires [700C] are so fat that the rear must be deflated prior to removal from the frame.

The ride is soft and comfortable, but the bike rolls so easily that I have actually COASTED past a jogger on a gentle upgrade.

Laz
Laz, you remind me of Retro-Bike Guru Grant Peterson, bike designer and producer. Grant never bought into index shifting, because it limited the combination of equipment. He just wanted the most functional high quality components for his bikes, he was the master of fitting his bikes with NOS (new old stock) found in surplus warehouses. Not unusual to find Suntour shifter to Mavic dérailleurs on his bikes, all friction or course. He was also a proponent of 27 to 32 mm wide tires...and wool jerseys. *itch-itch*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Pa
Funny you should mention it, because I was in three of my old bike shop haunts on Friday for a little touch-and-feel. Unfortunately, I had forgotten what young bike salesmen were like. One dude had me pigeonholed onto some Specialized that did not fit any of my stated requirements and then rapidly lost interest as soon as I had the audacity to point that out. Another quoted me three prices on a bike in the course of fifteen minutes, each succeeding price higher than the last. I had forgotten how my local bike shops seem to feel entitled to me business and how nonobtrusive the service could get. Besides, I aint got no tats or piercings, so I must be some kind of straight freak. Right?
Pa, sorry but it looks like your local shop ain't worth a sh!t. My local shop has a few gray beards still hanging around and the crew can even advise me on sew-ups, no pretension just (older) guys who like to ride. The proprietor trained with Lemond in the early days.
post #13 of 3451
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Short View Post
My bike is a modded Peugeot PX-10 - sandblasted, repainted, drilled holes for water-bottle mounts, filed off rough edges, added brake cable guides with epoxy. The hang-on gear is a mix of American, French, and Japanese stuff [only the frame itself is original], including a TA triple crank and Huret Duopar derailleurs actuated by Suntour indexed bar-ends - it works! The wheels are custom-built on sealed-bearing hubs, and heavy-duty rims. The tires [700C] are so fat that the rear must be deflated prior to removal from the frame.
Sounds like a great bike, Laz. Lots of character!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin74 View Post
Pa, sorry but it looks like your local shop ain't worth a sh!t. My local shop has a few gray beards still hanging around and the crew can even advise me on sew-ups, no pretension just (older) guys who like to ride. The proprietor trained with Lemond in the early days.
Now I'm jealous. Guess I just have to keep looking.
post #14 of 3451
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin74 View Post
Pa,
..........Getting to your Motobecane Q. Back 10-15 years ago when money was tight I mail-ordered a lot, and since I have seen the local bike shops shuttered. Now life is...well.. good, we have disposable (less restricted) funds, so I would encourage you to reacquaint yourself with your local bike shop (if they're worth a sh!t), see what they have, see what fits. I also concur that bike-fit is essential, our knees and backs ain't what they use to be...................

Terry
We have a local bike shop that opened recently and it appears to be a breath of fresh air. The owners are a man and his wife who are catering to a wide range of enthusiasts from little kids to seasoned road riders. They enjoy rebuilding older bikes and have done a number of very nice one speed conversions. The other drawing card is that they will rent you space to work on your bike for a few dollars an hour. Tools and stand are all available. If the work is over your head the owner will help you for if I remember correctly $20 or so an hour. They also always have a pot of coffee on and a small area with chairs for reading. I really hope they make it and I give them my business whenever I need something.
post #15 of 3451
Quote:
Originally Posted by john_jcb View Post
We have a local bike shop that opened recently and it appears to be a breath of fresh air. The owners are a man and his wife who are catering to a wide range of enthusiasts from little kids to seasoned road riders. They enjoy rebuilding older bikes and have done a number of very nice one speed conversions. The other drawing card is that they will rent you space to work on your bike for a few dollars an hour. Tools and stand are all available. If the work is over your head the owner will help you for if I remember correctly $20 or so an hour. They also always have a pot of coffee on and a small area with chairs for reading. I really hope they make it and I give them my business whenever I need something.
That place sounds good, what's it called?
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