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 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #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>
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    <div class=”th _lyb _YQd”>Video for repair Novatec D202SB-X12MM-S4S-10/11s<span class=”vdur _dwc”>? 1:57</span></div>
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    <div class=”f kv _SWb”><cite class=”_Rm”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsPafeWMJjg</cite></div&gt;
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    #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?

    #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).

    #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.

    #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.

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