Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2010 Motobecane Fantom Team Mountain Bike: Initial Purchase Decision & Order



Frame: TripleActive 4B, 3"/4"/5" Adjustable Travel - Four Bar Rocker Arm. Gussetted SL 7005 Aluminum (Disc Brake Equipped) SuperSmooth Sealed Cartridge Bearings at critical pivots, replaceable rear derailleur hanger

Fork/Rear Shock: FREE FACTORY UPGRADE BARMOUNTED POPLOC REMOTE
RockShox REBA Team with BlackBox MotionControl Damping
Advanced ROCKSHOX Monarch 4.2 + advanced Floodgate damping

Crankset: FSA Carbon Pro Team Issue or SL-K Light carbon crankset (no choice) with Integrated spindle 22/32/44T

Bottom Bracket: FSA MegaEXO External Bearing System

Pedals: n/a

Front Derailleur: Shimano XTR FD-M970

Rear Derailleur: Shimano XTR RD-M972 Top-Normal Shadow with Carbon pulley cage

Shifters: Shimano XTR RapidFire Plus 27 speed SL-M970 with push-pull release (Double Action)

Cassette/Freewheel: Shimano CS6500 HyperGlide cassette 9 speed 12-27T

Chain: KMC super narrow X9 speed

Hubs: Black Anodized Vuelta XRP Team Edition, Precison Bearing with QRs

Spokes: Stainless steel black finish with alloy nipples

Rims: Vuleta XRP Team SuperLite Disc, doublewall aluminum/eyelets

Tires: Kenda Klimax Lite 26 x 1.95 Kevlar bead, presta valve tubes

Brakes: Avid Elixir CR Carbon, 160mm rotor 6 bolt IS mount (standard)

Brake Levers: Avid Elixir Carbon

Headset: FSA Orbit XL II cartridge bearing for threadless

Handlebar: Ritchey WCS Triple butted TRX50 aluminum 31.8mm

Stem: Ritchey WCS 4Axis aluminum

Tape/Grip: Ritchey WCS Hex foam

Saddle: Ritchey Streem Hollow CrMo rails or Skye Turbo saddle Crn/Ti rails (No Choice)

Seat Post: Ritchey WCS Aluminum 31.6x350mm

Seat Post Clamp: Super Light Polished Aluminum

Sizes: Small/42c fits up to 5'8", Medium/47c fits up to 6', Large/52c fits 6'1" and taller

Colors:
Brushed Aluminum with ClearCoat Detailed Images

I finally managed to get Rohit seriously interested in mountain biking. So far, he has been riding my KHS A-Lite 1000, my first mountain bike. The KHS is a hard tail, with bottom of the line components, and "grip shift" shifters...

On a budget and with a strong desire to get quality components on his ride, Rohit started shopping around for the best deal. Knowing absolutely nothing about mountain bikes, made me his source for information and advice. Naturally, I directed him to the oracle (google.com) to get all of his questions answered.

The first idea I had was to point Rohit to bikesdirect.com I, myself had just recently learned about the site and as a matter of fact ordered a Kestrel Road bike from them a few days ago, however, that story is for another post :)

We took a look at bikesdirect.com and found the 2010 Motobecane Fantom Team Mountain Bike for sale at $1899 after taxes and shipping (ie, free shipping and no sales tax).

Our first step was to part out the bike to see if it was worth the advertised price, assuming the frame was not good and we might have to buy another one eventually. Our estimate quickly escalated past the advertised price of $1899 so we knew we were at least getting the parts at a good price.

Our next step was to consult friends to see if they thought the bike was a good investment. After speaking with one avid mountain biker, whose name shall remain confidential :), his strong advice was that the frame of the bike was the most important thing and that Rohit should not buy the Motobecane, however, he did note that although he didn't think the price was spectacular, he didn't think it was overpriced either... quite the critic!

Anyways, we ditched his poor biased advice, and decided to read some reviews on random forums. After reading many of them, from different sites, it became apparent to me that I could not figure out which ones I could trust and which ones were being posted by bikesdirect.com employees or anyone else that may benefit from increased Motobecane sales. This fact alone is what has inspired me to write about my experience with BikesDirect.com so that others, seeing the great deal on the site, could read this article and get a first-hand review from an honest person about what it's really like to deal with the company, and how good the bikes really are.

Just a little more about my background and what makes me qualified to ride such a review; I started out riding on my KHS A-Lite in 2002 and then upgraded to the Santa Cruz Blur LT in 2007 and have been riding it since. I have a lot of friends who ride from all skill ranges and I actually bought my wife a Blur as well. So you could say I am not the most experienced or knowledgeable, but most likely that is the average consumer at bikesdirect.com

After reading the reviews we decided to go to a local bike shop to check out their offerings. I was actually picking up my Blur after some maintenance was performed on it and I spoke with the mechanic briefly about the Motobecane we were considering purchasing. The mechanic said right away that the Motobecane would be fine and would serve our needs just adequately. He did, however, mention that bikes like the Motobecane are considered "parts hangers," because all the parts are so good, but the frame is pretty generic. Well Rohit and I figured that we probably didn't care too much about that (generic frame), and in the worse case Rohit could always get a new frame to hang those nice parts on :)

We went ahead to try out some other bikes at the store like the StumpJumper and the Superlight. We decided in the end that the generic frame with top end parts was better than an "ok" frame with low end parts.. so we went home and ordered the Motobecane in size small.

Days before the bike shopping, I had been emailing bikes direct.com with random questions about if 2.35 tires would fit the Motobecane Fantom Team and the response was usually received with 24 hours (towards the end of the 24 hour period). I received a call from Bikes Direct the day after placing my order (just a few hours ago they called) and a sales person confirmed with me that I had ordered the correct size bike and they wanted to confirm my billing address, since it was different from the shipping address.

So far at this point we have decided to upgrade the stock 1.95 Kenda Klimax tires to 2.35 Kenda DTC Nevegal tires. We also received a tracking # from UPS this morning for the bike, so when the bike arrives I will post again on the progress. Until then, we are excited to see what happens next, and anticipate a good quality bike from bikesdirect.com

Contributors