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Old 08-13-18, 01:55 PM
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pamcinto
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Motobecane Whipshot Ti

I pulled the pin on my first Bikesdirect order.
(Motobecane Whipshot TI FORCE1 - sorry can`t post URLs)
(Apparently it won`t let me post pictures either. pretty stupid rules for new users here)

I took a few chances on this one:
  • I couldn't find any reviews on this model from bikesdirect as it's a new release.
  • I'm in Canada so the ordering process was a little tricky.
But at the end of the day, I was looking for a Titanium frame for my year-round commute and this seemed to be worth the effort after exploring all local bike shops extending a few provinces.

The buying process seemed enormously difficult at first glance. All worked out easier than originally thought. Here's the order of my operations:
  • The bike is shipped anywhere in the US, not Canada
  • It seemed I would have to pay with a credit card with a US billing address. This wasn't accessible for me.
  • They have a service they (bikesdirect) advertise for us Canadians (personal shopper service). This was enormously expensive, would have to ship to Florida (wrong way!) and they still wouldn't ship to Canada with a known brokerage fee (blank cheque in my experience)
  • Figured out that you can usually phone your credit card company and have a second address added to the account (shipment warehouse)
  • Wound up not needing it. Too much internet searching time.....I wound up phoning the accounting group there and they said they could process a Canadian card without any change in billing address over the phone.
  • Found a convenient shipping receiver called Montana Shipping.
  • Phoned, paid, and waited for the bike to arrive at the warehouse.
  • Drove across the border, picked up the bike (cost $6US for warehouse), drove back across the border.
  • Duties and Customs vary depending on what you are bringing back. I knew GST (5% sales tax) was a given. Duty could vary from 0-12% depending on how they classified the bike. Parts being duty-free, complete bike being 12%
  • Had a great border guard who was genuinely interested in the bike and bikesdirect and correctly classified it as a full complement of parts, but not a complete bike.
So now I have my bike. I was camping so I built it in the campsite with a stand and tool kit.


Pictures removed. Dumb rules.





In addition to the back half being assembled completely for me, the front half had been completely assembled and only the steerer was set at 90 degrees to fit in the box, the handlebar detached, and the seat post removed. Pretty easy job!
Despite the whipshot Ti not having carbon seatpost or handlebars, I had bought myself a BBB torque wrench for this job. I made sure to use it to set appropriate torque on the stem, handle bar and seatpost. The only tool I hadn't predicted I needed was a wrench to install the brake rotor on the front wheel. I had one luckily, but not one with torque control (40Nm is correct setting). This one I had to do by feel.


Pictures removed. Dumb rules.


Now to get everything tuned!

I had quite a struggle getting the rear derailleur (only one on this bike) tuned in. The derailleur was definitely in need of tuning here, I don't really believe it had been factory tuned at all. My skills doing this from almost scratch proved unsuccessful and even frustrating until I was able to get back into WiFi land and watch some videos. This one is awesome (How to Adjust a Rear Derailleur Limit Screws & Indexing by Park Tool )
Next I found some play in my headset. This was an easy fix. Again a great video (How To Tighten Your Headset | Road Bike Maintenance by Global Cycling Network)
Everything is rolling nicely now. I have both front and rear brakes rubbing slightly, and I will get those sorted out. This one looks pretty straight forward as well, but I will know tonight.
I took the bike out for a first commute to work this morning and everything worked like a charm (25% street, 25% gravel switchbacks, 50% bike path). I`m very happy with the fit. I was nervous about this as it is really a no-return policy for me. This tool was invaluable (Fit Calculator by Competitive Cyclist) A fair number of measurements and a three levels of fit (comfort-competitive).
I will be fixing brake rub and learning how to `bed-in`the brakes tonight. After that, I might figure out if there are any other tweaks to fit that are worth while such as stem length and saddle width.

This is a great bike. I will attach a finished picture soon and will see if I can`t weigh it reasonably as most folks like to know that.

Peter
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