Anyone buy a bike from Bikes Direct?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Anyone buy a bike from Bikes Direct?

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This topic contains 41 replies, has 32 voices, and was last updated by  budgetbiker 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #207342

    I’ve reviewed a couple of Bikes Direct bikes over the years (the Night Train fat bike and titanium Fly Team 29) and they were both really solid bikes. But I’m curious to hear from folks who have purchased bikes from BikesDirect.com to hear what the long-term verdict is on these bikes. Bikes Direct prices are certainly tough to beat, but is there a tradeoff?

    I¬†purchased a bike from Bikes Direct about a year ago for my brother (a singlespeed mountain bike) but I don’t think he’s ridden it enough to comment on durability. ūüôĀ

  • #207344

    I bought a Moto single speed 29er in 2010 and loved it.  The singletrack bug bit and I upgraded to a Motobecane Fantom 6by6 Pro dually about 3 years ago. I am still shredding on it.  Some of the components have been upgraded to fit my style/preferences, but the bike has taken me on every local trail with nary a fuss!  The value was unbeatable.

  • #207366

    So I know Jeff likes his BD bikes, and other users have had positive experiences. ¬†I have experiences with the more economy models, and thought I would share some of my concerns. I bought a Motobecane Fantom Sport 29er as my first hardtail ($400), rode it for a hundred miles and broke the rear derailleur and the crankset because of trail wear. ¬†I fixed it and sold it for $450. ¬†I thought I just got an unlucky bike so I bought a Motobecane 529HT 29er and the crankset stripped out on the stock pedals (which lasted all of 10 miles) and then the derailleur hanger broke, the FD broke, and the RD requiring constant tuning. I am still trying to sell this and will not be breaking even, again. The paint job also scratches easily and the frame is much too heavy — I can go faster on my fat bike!

    I was going to buy the Bullseye Monster Fatbike but ended up going with an SE F@R for $575 (compare to $500 for the monster) and this bike has survived 400 brutal miles without a single repair. ¬†I don’t think I would have gotten that with a Bullseye Monster.

    I know BD has some great prices, and I understand their business model and do believe in it. But the company has limitations, and I’m speaking for¬†the lower-end bike models:

    – They are ordering their frames from the same Chinese factory as the lower-end competition (in Hebei, I believe–you can find their frames on Alibaba), note SE bikes, Fuji bikes, etc.

    РThey are speccing their bikes with some non-branded parts produced en-masse in China without dedicated design or no longer used by the big brands. And as a side comment, it is impossibly hard to compare specs on their website.

    РAs a web designer myself, I know that they can afford improvements to their website given their sales volume.  Their website needs help!

    – You won’t catch a “closeout deal” or “lower than normal” price because everything is always “60% off” or the price is already “too low to show”.

    – Models are rarely upgraded from year to year (a 2017 529HT is no different than a 2015 529HT).

    – Pretty much this is a part-slapping-onto-frame operation, and you get what you ask for.

    So if you really want a ripoff¬†deal on a bike, get a used one from Pinkbike, Craigslist, or shop for those deals harder on eBay and Amazon–they are out there, just be patient! I don’t mean to rant about BD, I’m just saying that you get what you pay for and if you don’t mind an off-brand bike with a frame imported from the cheapest alibaba supplier with random¬†parts slapped on, then BD is for you. ¬†If not, I would reconsider.

  • #207390

    sissypants, I can definitely see what you’re saying about the “economy” models from Bikes Direct. I personally wouldn’t buy any bike with¬†drivetrain parts¬†that don’t¬†say¬†Shimano or¬†SRAM (or Box).

  • #207401

    I came off the Trail a few weeks back and right behind me was a guy riding a fat bike. I stopped and talked to him because I was really interested at the time in fat bikes to the point I thought I was ready to buy one. He showed me his. It was a Motobecane but I dont remember the exact model. I do remember it had a 26″ titanium frame, I believe 4″ tires and had put on some carbon wheels. He owned a few other bikes, i.e. Yeti, Trek, etc. and absolutely LOVED it. In fact, he said it was his go-to bike above all the others. For what that’s worth….

  • #207431

    I have been bikepacking, riding singletrack ¬†and sometimes ¬†racing my titanium Fly Team 29er (x0 package) since I bought it in 2012 and only front wheel was replaced once. I don’t count replacing worn out drivetrain parts or brake pads – that happens on every bike.

    So, in my case it was money well spent.

    I bought one used Motobecane (entry level hardtail) as a gift and that one serving new owner with no problems as well.

    I agree that their website could be better.

  • #207453

    I have purchased several bikes from BD. ¬†I have had no issues. I was able to buy bikes for my wife, five kids and brother in law for much less money than I would have spent on equivalent bikes. I rolled the dice on the first one, but bought the rest fairly confident. You get what the specifications define and where they do not name a brand, it will be a cheapo component. I’m heavy (though getting lighter) and everything has held up. ¬†I did some upgrades on my bike. My comparison shopping showed me that I might find a better used bike, but when you have a big family of short people it’s hard to¬†find a better deal. It is not the 60% off stupid deal they say it is (that is cheesy), but it is probably 20%-30% less than what you’d pay for a similar bike. You should know how to check torques and lubrication, know how to fix things and turn a wrench. You should learn to do that anyway because mountain biking breaks things.

    I can understand why a lot of people on Singletracks might have reservations. ¬†If you are seriously racing, worry about every ounce, or put on 1000’s of miles a year, I can’t say if it is the place for you. ¬†If you are a guy who is happy to put some miles in, lose a few pounds, and get outdoors after dealing with work and family commitments, it is a good resource. I love riding my bike in the woods. I’m sure I would really like a better bike, but it doesn’t¬†make me like riding my bike less.

  • #207478

    I bought my son one from BD,, but then we have a BD Local Shop here.

  • #207533

    I have been researching this place intensely for about two weeks now. I have not found anything disparaging about bikesdirect or Motobecane ¬† ¬†In fact, I’ve only come across very positive reviews. ¬†I’m not saying that bad reviews aren’t ¬†out there I just haven’t been able to find any. ¬† ¬†The very few comments I saw about problems they followed up saying that the BD customer service was excellent in taking care of them. I am planning on getting the HAL6 with SRAM Eagle Components.

  • #207588

    I bought a $400 bike from bikesdiret and love it. ¬†I’ve upgraded it since then quite a bit, but most people don’t need to spend $5000 on a bike. You can ride just fine for a decent price. Don’t be a price snob. Do what works for you.

     

  • #207726

    I bought the FSX 27.5 “Gravity” full suspension model in August. ¬†($449 USD)

    I’ve got about 400 miles on it so far, this is what’s broke:

    1. Headset is shot, need a new one.   Too loose or it binds, no happy medium.

    2. Front cranks bent. ( sun tour ).  I straightened them with a spanner.

    3. Mech Disc Brakes, they are a pain.  Constant adjustments and sometimes it starts squealing during a ride.

    4. Pogo Stick rear shock. ¬†I replaced it with a DNM that was .5″ longer. ¬†Works great.

    5. Both original tubes have been replaced, high desert and cactus.

    But for my first mountain bike at age 45, I’m happy with it. ¬†It’s been crashed pretty damn hard so far, and it gets 90% off road or single/dual track trips, ¬†very little asphalt or pavement. ¬†It is kinda heavy, but I don’t care for just exercise and fun activities.

    Since it’s winter, I haven’t had a lot of miles on the new shock yet. ¬†Waiting for a little better weather to try that out.

    http://bikeshopwarehouse.com/cgi-bin/BSW_STOR20.cgi?Action=Details&ProdID=567

    If I were to do it again…..

    I would get the one with the tapered 1.125->1.5″ head tube. ¬† Better fork shock upgrade options in future. ¬† I’d also get one with a wider seat post diameter, at least 30mm, 27.6 is too hard to find a decent dropper post. ¬†If I decided to upgrade the bike, I might just order the frame from them and get a new fork, rebuild the whole bike.

    I’d rate it 7/10.

    I think I’ll put those mechanical dual caliper brakes on the rear, since that’s the one that squeals the most when you are just trying to bleed off a little speed. ¬†Full braking it’s fine, but just trying to loose a little speed, makes a hell of a noise.

     

     

     

     

     

  • #208033

    I thought about it, and ended up going with my LBS. The owner gave me a good deal on last year’s Specialized Fuse, and he gave it to me on a handshake because I wouldn’t have the money for a month and didn’t want to miss the deal. The LBS holds an important position in our local bike culture that no internet retailer could replace – It’s a little like walking into Cheers. Even if I’d had to pay more, I would have felt that it was worthwhile.

  • #208036

    Bought a used bullseye monster fat bike that was barely ridden.  Loved the bike, but I did have to change out the heavy tires and tubes.  Have since upgraded to a salsa blackborow, but getting the cheaper entry bike was what convinced me to get into fat biking.  Have heard mostly good reviews about bikes direct service.

  • #219059

    I recently purchased a 400 HT from BD. ¬†I am pleased with it so far . I believe it is worth more than what i spent on it. But there is ALOT to be said for dealing with your LBS, sometimes the trade off isn’t worth it.

     

  • #223114

    Well, I recently purchased one of the most expensive bikes that BD offers: 2017 HAL Boost Team – its a 27.5 Boost with 2.8 Tires and SRAM Eagle/Shimano XT components. I love the specs; its a beautiful piece of machinery, and received it less than a month ago. I must say that I love the value, and could speak to the upgrade able components possibly at the end of the post. Lets talk about the issue for a moment, as it has opened my eyes to potential challenges when not purchasing from a local face:

    I am having a difficulty with the frame, and it is turning into an “experience” to get it¬†reconciled. Initially, the description said that it came with ISCG-05 mounts around the pressed bearing bottom bracket, which it did not. I contacted Customer Service, and they said that it was a description “mistake” and took it off from the website description:

    ‚ÄúHello again, It appears the ISCG-05 mount is not on the bikes and is a typo from the factory. We are in the process of updating the listings.¬† Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with. Best regards‚ÄĚ
    <table style=”height: 189px;” width=”1052″>
    <tbody>
    <tr>
    <td width=”113″>Frame</td>
    <td>BOOST Axle Spacing 29 / 27.5+ SUSP. MTB ALLOY(6061)¬†WHEEL TRAVEL: Up to 140mm.¬† B.B. SHELL: BB92 ALUMINUM 41x92MM W/ISCG-05 ( KNUCKLE BOX MADE BY CNC ) Hydroformed Butted and Geometric Multishaped Aluminum tubes,1 set H2O Bosses (Small has no bosses), Four Bar Rocker Arm with HAL Linkage. Gusseted SL 6061 Aluminum (Disc Brake Equipped) Super Smooth Sealed Cartridge Bearings at critical pivots, Dropouts: ALUMINUM VERTICAL W/ALUMINUM REPLACEABLE HANGER W/POST DISK MOUNT. O.L.N:148MM, (Riders are reporting there is Room for 27×3.5″ and some 29×2.8 tires, not all tires will fit) HEADTUBE 1-1/8″/1.5″ ( 44/56mm ) L: 38/43/48/52M=100/120/130/140mm</td>
    </tr>
    </tbody>
    </table>
    Not a deal breaker, however anyone running a 1x drive train that costs what an SRAM Eagle runs, had better figure out some kind of bashguard configuration that works with a pressed bearing BB – Good luck on that one. Cost for the return shipping on parts ordered was not covered by BD based on the ‚Äútypo‚ÄĚ.

    That was an issue, but my on-going problem is that essentially, the frame at the bottom tube is crackling. Understanding that there are many things that could cause “noises”, I have repacked the head tube bearings, greased the spacers, torque-wrenched the stem and bars and still am getting the crackling when putting pressure on the frame, then crackling again when lifting (almost like it creaks going down, then coming back up). I had it at the LBS for a couple hours, and we narrowed it down to something in the frame bottom tube – you could feel the vibration and everything.

    I have been in contact with customer service which is all via email, and can say that they have been responsive communication wise. Here is the response that I received this morning:

    Hello,¬†I will be glad to help.¬†Unfortunately¬†noise is not a defect that affects function. Is there a function issue?¬†Second- noise can be caused by numerous things and without the bike in front of me I’m not sure what the cause can be based on the video you sent.¬†Also- check chainrings for tightness, wrap all threaded interfaces with teflon tape and torque to spec.¬†Use anti-seize on all flat interfaces.¬†Use some carbon grip paste on the seatpost tube.¬†Make sure cranks, pedals and chainring bolts are all properly tightened.¬†If your able to track down the exact cause please let me know and we can go from there.¬†Best regards

    Mind you, this is a brand new bike that has never been ridden on a trail, only professionally set-up, and ridden in the parking lot to make sure everything jived. You should be the judge to determine if this is acceptable to you and your potential experience or not. The reps suggestions, while sound, are not something the average Joe that just threw down $3k on a bike should have to do out of the box ‚Äď literally, in my opinion. There is a lot of time and cost involved in those actions, none of which lend to the initial excitement value of the SUBSTANTIAL purchase of your new ride. The jury is still out for me, as I love the bike, but am annoyed by the clicking coming from the frame after spending hours to track it down, and the expense of having it professionally set-up and diagnosed.

    As a side note, if anyone has experienced this before please comment with suggestions for getting the fix (short of replacing a potentially faulty frame). The bike shop had experienced this one time previously on a Salsa frame. Kinesis who manufactures for Trek, Santa Cruz and others made the frame. I will attach the link of the exact frame that is on the HAL Boost. http://www.kinesis.com.tw/s/2/product-501693/I8610-2017-27-5-inch-Plus-Suspension.html

    As far as what should be upgraded to really bring this bike to the standard of the components: the seat post, handle bars & grips, and seat are base model stuff ‚Äď good to get you going, but certainly would budget for others to improve your experience. As mentioned earlier, the bash guard option should be a serious consideration for someone typically riding this machine to the function it is spec‚Äôd for. It does come with an HDM for chain guide.

    Pro-active suggestions on the creaking would be much appreciated as well as the ISCG-05 mount ‚Äď Cheers!

     

  • #223312

    I purchased my first non-BMX bike from Bikes Direct about three weeks ago. It is a Gravity Bullseye Monster, fat-tire bike. Being my first type of MTB bike, I’m not to familiar with all the pieces and lingo, but can tell you it does have Shimano SRAM Shifters and Tektro Brakes. The tires that came with it a VEE Mission Command, which don’t seem that cheap either.

    I so far have about 100 miles on the bike and am loving it so far, and have no complaints about the bike or Bikes Direct.

  • #229470

    I purchased the 2018 Motobecane Cafe Expert today. This is my first purchase with them. I will have someone at a local bike shop inspect it with me upon arrival and complete the assembly.  If you would like a follow up email in the future about my order let me know.

  • #229476

    I have the H427 from Bikesdirect…i ride 4-5 times a week on it and its been great to me.I have upgraded a few parts but not out of necessity out of “want”. That being said I am becoming a crusader for the support of our local bike stores everywhere. The guy in the store near me has been so great to me I feel guilt pangs every time i go there and his inventory is pound for pound and dollar for dollar as good as the deals at bikedirect

     

    D

     

  • #229504

    Still riding my Ti Motobecane fat bike strong and loving it.  The bike is solid. It has handled everything I’ve put in its path. I have upgraded parts here and there throughout the years just like I do for any other bike.   Customer service is great: Had to replace a derailleur hanger I busted off on a log ride.    I highly recommend their Ti fat bikes.  My other S-Works bikes usually sit collecting dust now.

  • #230585

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I recently ordered the 529HT from bikesdirect. ¬†Placed the order on a Thursday evening, fedex was looking for the house on Saturday afternoon!</p>
    My first time assembling a bike, took longer than anticipated.  Only had to fine tune the front derailer, brakes needed no bleeding.

    Actually got the wrong color of frame, factory put white frame in orange box.  Not a big issue, but BD credited me some for it.

    Good quality components,  but feel that the handlebars could be better.

    Had it over a month, been on some trails, took a few good spills,  all is still great.

    Want to get a different stem and bars,  maybe better tires when these wear out.

  • #230882

    A friend just bought a Gravity Basecamp for his son, I helped assemble it and everything about it seems beyond the price point except the handlebars and stem, which feel cheap. Unfortunately it’s going to be a Christmas present so I wasn’t allowed to take it for a rip through the woods after we put it together (although I’m gonna hit the kid up for a test ride after Christmas!).

     

    Ivan

     

  • #231198

    Yes I ordered from Bikes Direct, the “Night Train Fat Bike.” The Novatec rear hub free wheel broke in less than 200 miles. Spins forward and backwards. So I u-tubed it and low and behold junk. However, I was not expecting Crank Brother’s for that price. The other scary thing is you wonder if their legit, waiting wondering if your bikes gonna show cause they have already taken your money. You won’t have the support of your local bike shop but how good is that? Most correspondence is emailing back and forth no face to face. I found it interesting that the warranty resolution was to replace it with someone else’s hub. I’m at a place in my life where saving a few bucks does’nt matter to me probably spend the extra money and have the dealer deal with it if you can find a dealer that’s worth a hoot. High turn over and lack of concern for quality of work and personal integrity is a little lean everywhere. But if you don’t mind doing some or a lot of your own work I’m enjoying the Night Train once I get it going. You will need more than one bike to ride you will be ok.
    <h3 class=”r”> hub bearing/freewheel warranty resolution – YouTube</h3>
    <div class=”s”>
    <div>
    <div class=”th _lyb _YQd”>Video for repair Novatec D202SB-X12MM-S4S-10/11s<span class=”vdur _dwc”>?¬†1:57</span></div>
    </div>
    <div>
    <div class=”f kv _SWb”><cite class=”_Rm”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsPafeWMJjg</cite></div&gt;
    </div>
    </div>

  • #231378

    I too have had positive experience. BD was my portal to getting back into the sport almost ten years ago, as well as getting into 29ers with the single speed rigid Outcast 29 and then the Fantom 29. The Fantom was a budget way to have spare bike for when I travel to Las Vegas, and I recently upgraded about $500 worth to go tubeless, Manitou Marvel 120mm fork, KS Lever dropper (an awesome and affordable option for 27.2 seat tubes) and new stem/bars. It rides great and feels pretty darn modern compared to my 2016 bikes. Plus that particular bike was a bit ahead of the curve coming stock with WTB FX28 wheelset which runs 23mm internal, allowing for 2.4 Maxxis Ardent. Not a perfect pairing exactly but allowing for a generous amount of rubber nonetheless and totally workable. I’ve since moved onto to Chain Reaction/ Vitus as a retailer/brand of choice (which I just posted about) due to their way more modern approach keeping up with bike trends. Seems like BD has laid back with respect to modernizing and keeping with the somewhat euro-lead evolutions to geometry and riding styles.

  • #234956

    I bought a motobecane about 6-7 years ago. I still have and use it as a back up. I recommend this company as a good option to anyone just getting into cycling. No point in spending $5K on a bike if it’s just a passing hobby. My bike cost $600. They only problem was I needed to take it to a shop to get it fine tuned. If I remember the bike came partially assembled. The derailleur will need adjustments, that’s all.

  • #234963

    Bikes Direct reaches a price point in the same way that any other brand does.  You build a decent frame, hang a few nice drivetrain parts on it, and then drive the price down by substituting cheaper parts for the stem, bars, saddle, seatpost hubs, spokes, and rims.  Trek/Bontrager and Specialized/Body Geometry do this with their in-house components.  Bikes direct just does it to a more extreme degree where you end up with a Titanium/XT build with junk wheels.  Once you have to replace the wheels, the savings is not worth it.

    That said, I have built 2 commuter bikes from 2nd hand cro-moly Bikes Direct frames and the workmanship of the frames were excellent and rode great.  Just factor into your budget that you may want to replace some parts of the bike right away.

  • #235070

    I am glad to hear that BD is receiving mostly positive reviews. I am a complete newb to biking so I wanted to see if you guys would help me out.

    I am going to be buying a bike in the next couple weeks. I’m not 100% decide on BD and will be checking on my local shops as well. I think the problem will be for what I want there isn’t going to be anything at a local shop in my price range.

    I think I want a full suspension 29er and I need to spend about $1,000 + or – a little. I will be riding a mix of trails and road, mostly for exercise and definitely nothing crazy. I was the full suspension for comfort on trails and gravel. I also want to buy “more” bike than I need so that I can grow into more challenging trails and rides without having to upgrade right away. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Also, here are two bikes that are in my price range. I guess my question is, being a complete novice is it worth spending an extra $500 on the more expensive bike?

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/fsx_29one.htm

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/29er-mountain-bikes/fantom-ds2729-comp-xvi.htm

    What kind of questions should I be asking myself to decide?

    • #235574

      Very often you will find people saying that Bikes Direct (motobecane) are cheap because the cockpit and wheel components are “junk”.¬† BD lists all the component specifications. If the bike you are considering comes with Richie or WTB components then no worries; those are excellent brands that work well. I have over 100 rides and 1200+ miles on my Hal 6 Team 12, on lots of rocky single track, with zero failures. (I’m 200lbs, go fast and fly high off jumps) At BD I DO recommend spending (roughly) 800+ on road bikes, 1000+ on hardtail MTB and $1500+ on double squish MTB.¬† You end up with bikes costing half or less than the competition, with nothing but topline (or near) components and performance.¬† No matter how much you spend at BD, a comparison of components alwsys shows very significant savings over boutique brsnded bikes.

  • #235083

     I guess my question is, being a complete novice is it worth spending an extra $500 on the more expensive bike?

    Adam: what this really comes down to is the quality of the components and the “upgradeability” of the bike.¬† Others may be more knowledgeable about the value differences between the specific components the bikes.¬† And if you really take to the sport, you will in all likelihood be looking to upgrade certain components.

    Given that price is a key factor if I were you I would also consider the following:

    https://www.diamondback.com/recoil-comp-22997

    A couple of other things to consider:

    • I think there’s an argument to be made that you could get a much more capable hardtail (i.e. no rear suspension) in the same price range.
    • Take a look at used bikes in your area.¬† You can probably find a very capable used bike in your area which you can demo and have checked out by your LBS
  • #235084

    You’d be money and quality ahead getting a hardtail with much better components. You could always find a deal on a previous model year or used quality fs frame later down the road. Even bikes direct can’t get you a “good” full suspension bike for a grand, it really doesn’t exist.

    • #235094

      BBelfield, something like this? http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/29point3-29er-mtb.htm

       

  • #235163

    Check these out. All of them a lot of bike for the money with modern geometry.¬† The last one is even boost standard front and rear. I have a Nukeproof and can attest to the quality. My friend just getting into riding bought the Vitus I linked and it’s worked out great.

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/ragley-marley-2-0-hardtail-bike-2017/rp-prod145978

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/vitus-sentier-29-hardtail-bike-deore-2017/rp-prod146543

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/nukeproof-scout-290-sport-bike-2018/rp-prod159433

  • #235217
  • #235236

    https://www.diamondback.com/sale-bikes/mountain/recoil-comp-29
    https://www.diamondback.com/sale-bikes/overdrive-comp-27-5

    Anyone mind to give me their input on these two bikes?

    If given a choice between just these two options I would personally go with the hardtail based on the info you provided.

    I will be riding a mix of trails and road, mostly for exercise and definitely nothing crazy. I was the full suspension for comfort on trails and gravel

    A rear shock is not necessary for how you intend to ride and I would argue could actually take away from your ride.¬† ¬†(I’m also a fan of a 1x drivetrain).¬† You really don’t need the rear shock unless/until you get to a point where you want to tackle some technical terrain at greater speed in which case you’d probably be looking for more overall bike anyway.

  • #235327

    I bought a 2012 Motobecane Fantom trail DS 26″ second hand about a year ago. The drive train (sram x9/x7 3×10) is solid as a rock. I have never owned a bike that shifts so consistently day in and day out. The Wheels are still true and the stock spec tires (Panaracer Fire xc) are still holding up well also. The rear hub has me concerned about longevity but I just bought a freehub tool so I can disassemble it and clean it out.

    The fork (Rockshox XC30TK) doesn’t like my aggressive riding style too much and the left side seal just gave up the ghost after my last ride.

    The rear shock (KS coil shock with adjustable rebound and Lockout) is pretty much crap. The lockout does work but the damping leaves one wondering just how bad those DNM air shocks from Amazon are. The selection of 6.5″ aftermarket shocks is pretty limited. Ebay has a few here and there but they seem to be less and less common.¬† So replacement parts and upgrades may be difficult in the future.

    Other than that, I have no other problems to report. The bike is solid and can take a beating (I am 5’10, 235lbs and I enjoy getting my tires off the ground.)

    • #235328

      For the same price, I agree that a hardtail will be much better. It will be much easier and cheaper to maintain, and you will never have to upgrade the rear shock and pivots. You are much better off with a quality front suspension fork.¬† I found that cheap “pogo stick” minimally damped forks really kill a bike’s capability.

      A good fork with adjustable CTD damping (or adjustable platform damping) makes a humongous difference. In my opinion, it completely transforms the bike. This type of damping eliminates most pedaling bob (makes the bike much more efficient), the ride much more controllable (it quickly recovers from medium to bigger hits), and much more comfortable for those longer rides (quickly adjust to full open  damping while riding when the trail gets rough, and quickly back to semi-lockout for comfort and efficiency when it smooths out).

  • #235719

    I purchased a carbon road bike with Ultegra and 105 components three years ago and have been very pleased.  No problems after about 3,500 miles of riding.  Cost was $1,500.  The purchase and shipping processes went smoothly.  I will be in the market for a new MTB and/or gravel bike in the next year and I will seriously consider Bikes Direct..

  • #235720

    https://www.diamondback.com/sale-bikes/mountain/recoil-comp-29
    https://www.diamondback.com/sale-bikes/overdrive-comp-27-5

    Anyone mind to give me their input on these two bikes?

    If given a choice between just these two options I would personally go with the hardtail based on the info you provided.

    I will be riding a mix of trails and road, mostly for exercise and definitely nothing crazy. I was the full suspension for comfort on trails and gravel

    A rear shock is not necessary for how you intend to ride and I would argue could actually take away from your ride.   (I’m also a fan of a 1x drivetrain).  You really don’t need the rear shock unless/until you get to a point where you want to tackle some technical terrain at greater speed in which case you’d probably be looking for more overall bike anyway.

    ^^^This. Don’t eff around with a cheap full-suspension bike. An inexpensive hard tail will take you wherever you desire. I have four bikes and have been riding mtn bikes for over thirty years. Three of my bikes are heavy steel single speed hard tails (I probably have issues). I love my trophy truck full suspension bike, but a solid hard tail is and could be the only bike you’d ever need.

  • #235971

    Update, I could have killed myself riding my Motobecane 529HT. The quick release cap stripped out during a ride and my fork landed on my wheel, sending me OTB instantaneously. It was so fast I didn’t even reflexively put out my arms. I landed on my head and went in for an x-ray, no fractures thankfully but I am in a lot of pain and blaming it on this stupid cheap bike.

    Buy something that won’t break. Or build it yourself, so you know you can trust every part.

    • #235979

      Dude, that sucks, I hope you’re ok! So the bolt just stripped out, or did it somehow work its way loose and unscrew? And how did the axle manage to slide out, or did it shear off?

      I seem to recall reading that bikes with quick release axles aren’t allowed to be sold in some states (New Jersey?) due to safety concerns. I guess this isn’t as much of an issue with thru axles.

    • #236079

      Everything was properly tightened before the ride and I didn’t notice any looseness during the ride. The skewer looks slightly stripped, but I wasn’t able to refind the cap, I’d bet that it stripped out a bit too. I don’t know how this can happen when it’s supposed to be immobile. Anyways, this skewer is super-cheap, there are much better skewer setups out there. It was put on a $400 bike and I was riding it like it was $4000, but still.

  • #236080

    Anyways, this skewer is super-cheap, there are much better skewer setups out there. It was put on a $400 bike and I was riding it like it was $4000, but still.

    I’ve reviewed a couple bikes from Bikes Direct (the Motobecane Night Train and Fly Team titanium,) both of which sell for $1000+. IMO, these bikes offer a great value for the $$.

    The only bike I have purchased from Bikes Direct was a $300 singlespeed, and honestly I was pretty disappointed with the quality. My conclusion is that once you get below a certain price, there’s no such thing as a decent mountain bike from anyone, BD included. Think about it this way: the department stores that sell $400 mountain bikes have WAY more volume than BD, plus they don’t have the same overhead as a local bike shop. I found the $300 BD bike I purchased to be similar to what I would have expected to find at Walmart for $199… or less. The bike doesn’t even have gears!

  • #236087

    Well said, I feel ya!¬† I get the impression though that a better job on the frames would make BD a much more amazing place.¬† Frames are heavy and old-school geo. Specs are great and all at the price points, that’s for sure.

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