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Motobecane cafe bikes

Old 12-03-21, 03:52 AM
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Singlespeed420
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Motobecane cafe bikes

So what do you guys think of those MotoBecane Cafe bikes from bikes direct.com. They are similarly specced to say like Trek FX 7.2 or 7.3 at a reasonable price. I can't tell if it's a good deal or not LOL, my friend was looking at them and asked for advice but I'm not sure. Anyone ever own one of these? Good/bad experiences?


https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/hybrid-bikes/hybrid-bikes-cafe-21.htm
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Old 12-03-21, 06:10 AM
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I did a cross-country charity tour with a fleet of $500 BikesDirect bikes, and kept mine and did a bunch more miles (ans some upgrades from the parts bin.) An former poster, Inpd, did 10- or 20,000 miles on a similar bike.

BD has cheap but decent frames--nothing cutting edge, but nothing in any way cheezy or inadequate. The parts spec---you can see for yourself. A lot of FSA cranks, Shimano derailleurs (or SRAM,) Tektro or other brakes .... Bontrager cockpits, last I looked .....

I generally describe them as a solid, sound, normal bike form a couple years ago. A few seasons behind in terms of all the upgrades, which a lot of people argue are manufactured just to create the illusion of new, advanced product anyway.

For people who do not plan to race and realize that when you buy this year's low-mid-range Trek or Spec you are basically getting three-years'-ago tech anyway ..... I think BD is an excellent option. The frames are generally good enough that you won't be wasting money if you make judicious upgrades over time---I wouldn't do Thompson and Zipp .... but lower-cost upgrades as things wear out. The sort of bike which encourages you to buy stuff when you see amazing deals on EBay knowing you will use it someday .... or to combine with a couple good used bikes with older or worn-out parts. I haven't checked in several months, but it used to be the best way to get most of an Ultegra group was to buy a BD bike so equipped, and strip it .... use the rest as a spare bike or sell it to recoup a little cash.

Really solid bikes. No flashy name on the downtube, and no flashy price tag, either.

Yo have to assemble the bikes, and I would recommend checking the wheels .... never sure how well the assembler checked them .... we found that throwing them on a truing stand and setting uniform tension was all that was needed. You have to adjust the brakes and shifters .... most people can handle that with the help of YouTube. We got a bunch of teens, many who had never ridden, to do the assembly. They read the instructions and put the bikes together with no further help needed.

If your friends isn't going to obsess over whether FSA shifts as well as Shimano rings, or worry that people won't think he is "cool" because the bike comes from a discount shop ..... I recommend them.
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Old 12-03-21, 06:38 AM
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I have owned several and have set up several BD bikes. Never the Cafe specifically. In all cases the bikes were money well spent. The less expensive models are more prone to wheels being out of true. I have a hunch that the frame builder doesn't build for BD specifically. They likely come from the same factories that produce "name" brands. I say that to say that the frames are probably like other frames in the price point. The parts that hang on the frames are just like the parts that hang on other frame brands.
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Old 12-03-21, 07:51 AM
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No experience with those models specifically, but my experience with BD bikes and from what I gather from folks I know (in real life, not the internet) who have owned them….

They are fine, you just need to go over the build and make sure things like the headset and cup and cone bearings are not over/under tightened (more often the former).

Like someone above said, nothing cutting edge, just catalog frames that are often a few years behind the times.

They tend to cheap out on some of the less obvious things like the wheels. Fancy derailleurs seem to impress people more than good hubs or wheel build quality, so that is where they focus on the bikes.

TL-DR; They are a decent value and will be fine IF you have someone skilled go over the bike when you get it, and if you can so your own wrenching.
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Old 12-03-21, 07:58 AM
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Lots of BF threads on Bikes Direct bikes. As said, the general consensus is they are solid units spec'd as well or just below name brands at a lower price.
Some skills and tools required to assemble and adjust, but not beyond the capabilities of a home DIY mechanic. Some have a LBS assemble & adjust depending on cost.
No reason to not consider them if you feel you have the chops to assemble and adjust. Haven't heard any major issues with warranty or shipping/damage problems being addressed by BD
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Old 12-03-21, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Singlespeed420 View Post
So what do you guys think of those MotoBecane Cafe bikes from bikes direct.com. They are similarly specced to say like Trek FX 7.2 or 7.3 at a reasonable price. I can't tell if it's a good deal or not LOL, my friend was looking at them and asked for advice but I'm not sure. Anyone ever own one of these? Good/bad experiences?
https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...es-cafe-21.htm
It isnt a good deal, but it isnt a bad deal.
That looks like a Trek FX1, which is their entry level hybrid. Its actually basically spec'd exactly the same as an FX1- rim brakes, freewheel instead of freehub, aluminum frame with steel fork, 3x7 entry level shifting. The BD bike actually has a lower spec'd rear deraiileur and shifters, for what its worth. The BD bike has an alloy handlebar instead of low end steel though, but thats nothing to really care about at this level.
The Trek costs $550. https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b.../fx-1/p/32769/
$500 for the BD bike isnt bad, but its definitely not some screaming deal.
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Old 12-03-21, 08:41 PM
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Bikes Direct bought old names to give their brand some sort of prestige overall they are cheap bikes that they claim are on sale to get you even more. On occasion they have some more decently spec'd bikes that a lot of people buy for the groupset and sell the frame or scrap it The one bike they sell that we recommend a lot is the Pound Sign: KiloTT which is a single speed/fixed gear bike and decent-ish steel frame and reasonably reliable (but it is a single speed so...)

$800 for that bike is completely ridiculous and even the idea that they would fake sale it from that price is pretty ridiculous. It is not a Wally Mart bike but it isn't huge steps up from that. Genuine Shimano doesn't mean much aside from they used the lowest quality Shimano stuff and thought it was worth promoting heavily because they need a selling point. Certainly the price is average for the quality but not a bike I would want to ride often.

For less than $800 you could get the Sirrus X 2.0 from Specialized which is streets ahead in terms of bikes, it may not be a great bike overall but is a lot better than tourney and freewheels and just generic stuff plus most people spend their time in the middle chainring so this eliminates the faff of a front derailleur and multi chainring bikes (which in the case of the BD bike would be non-replaceable without replacing the whole crank) and gives you a little more range at the back. Plus you get hydraulic disc brakes and a lifetime warranty on the frame and fork (assuming you register your bike for free within 90 days of purchase)
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Old 12-03-21, 11:39 PM
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@veganbikes .... sorry but that is crap. If you don't think BD bikes are a huge step up from big-box bikes, you know nothing about bikes.

Also .... BD bikes cover the range from old 7-speed to the latest 11-speed. As for pricing ..... try to get the same bike for less and if you can, it is a better bargain. Great. Up until Covid hit, BD had better prices for equivalent bikes. I don't shop for bikes lately, and I am not sure whether you can buy any bikes for any price, let alone advertised prices (we have all seen MSRP and then dealer-added surcharges.)

I assume anyone smart enough to bother engaging on BF is smart enough to examine all the options and pick the ones which suit him/her best. I suggest checking out BD for people who want more substance and less style.
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Old 12-03-21, 11:47 PM
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Agree with above. It's similar to the Trek FX 1 and for $60 more (MSRP), I would go with the Trek from a local vendor
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Old 12-04-21, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
@veganbikes .... sorry but that is crap. If you don't think BD bikes are a huge step up from big-box bikes, you know nothing about bikes.

Also .... BD bikes cover the range from old 7-speed to the latest 11-speed. As for pricing ..... try to get the same bike for less and if you can, it is a better bargain. Great. Up until Covid hit, BD had better prices for equivalent bikes. I don't shop for bikes lately, and I am not sure whether you can buy any bikes for any price, let alone advertised prices (we have all seen MSRP and then dealer-added surcharges.)

I assume anyone smart enough to bother engaging on BF is smart enough to examine all the options and pick the ones which suit him/her best. I suggest checking out BD for people who want more substance and less style.
I was talking about this bike in particular not BD bikes in general. I would re-read what I wrote it might help explain or clarify at least. If you are saying a freewheelin' tourney equipped bike is huge steps up from Wally-Mart you know nothing about bikes to quote you back. It is small steps and if someone held a gun to my head and said Huffy or Fauxtobecane cafe yada yada I would pick the Fauxtobecane of course.
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Old 12-04-21, 10:28 PM
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as mentioned already, BD bicycles may not be the latest whizbang tech, but it'll be far better than any BSO. The "warranty" is debatable should you need to try & use it six months down the road for a legit claim.

I've owned a few BD bicycles. Even a CF framed bicycle from BD. I may be posting as a ghost from the carbon exploding during a curving downhill bombing effort while riding no-hands & with crocs on platforms.
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Old 12-04-21, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I was talking about this bike in particular not BD bikes in general. I would re-read what I wrote it might help explain or clarify at least. If you are saying a freewheelin' tourney equipped bike is huge steps up from Wally-Mart you know nothing about bikes to quote you back. It is small steps and if someone held a gun to my head and said Huffy or Fauxtobecane cafe yada yada I would pick the Fauxtobecane of course.
1- it costs $500. You continually claim it costs $800, but that is incorrect.
2- you can rip on the bike all you want, but I already documented how it is nearly identical in spec to a Trek FX1. Same 7speed freewheel entry level drivetrain and more. The Motobecane has a nicer handlebar and is $50 cheaper.
The Trek FX1 is a huge selling bike, in rim and disc brake.
basically, what's your point that it's barely above a big box offering? If that's correct(it isn't), so what? Trek also offers the same bike abs that's clearly a shop brand.
I work on dozens of FX1 bikes each year and while they are very much entry level, they handle abuse very well and are a quality product for the cost. I would expect this Motobecane to be the same, since it's basically the same bike.
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Old 12-05-21, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
1- it costs $500. You continually claim it costs $800, but that is incorrect.
2- you can rip on the bike all you want, but I already documented how it is nearly identical in spec to a Trek FX1. Same 7speed freewheel entry level drivetrain and more. The Motobecane has a nicer handlebar and is $50 cheaper.
The Trek FX1 is a huge selling bike, in rim and disc brake.
basically, what's your point that it's barely above a big box offering? If that's correct(it isn't), so what? Trek also offers the same bike abs that's clearly a shop brand.
I work on dozens of FX1 bikes each year and while they are very much entry level, they handle abuse very well and are a quality product for the cost. I would expect this Motobecane to be the same, since it's basically the same bike.
They claim on their website it is "on sale from $800" that is what I was making it out to be. The Trek bike isn't of that much quality either, it is an offering that is above a box store yes but not by a hugely significant amount of course at least Trek has warranties and support behind their bike that would make it a few notches more.
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Old 12-06-21, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
They claim on their website it is "on sale from $800" that is what I was making it out to be.
That's just nonsense marketing by BD, they do it for pretty much every one of their bikes. The real price is $500 or whatever, it was never $800.
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Old 12-06-21, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
They claim on their website it is "on sale from $800" that is what I was making it out to be. The Trek bike isn't of that much quality either, it is an offering that is above a box store yes but not by a hugely significant amount of course at least Trek has warranties and support behind their bike that would make it a few notches more.
MSRP - no one pays MSRP

​​​​​​We have just gotten in very few of these available now - compare to other Cafe Type bikes selling for around $800. We negotiated a special discount on this small shipment and saved you over half off MSRP of $799
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Old 12-06-21, 07:36 AM
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Yes, BD’s “MSRP” is always complete nonsense. Especially considering BD itself is the ‘“M” in the MSRP.

OK, fine. Get over it. Just compare them to other bike that cost what they are actually charging.

The BD bike in question - and the FX it is being compared to - are a clear step above a BSO. They are real bikes - albeit low end ones.
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Old 12-06-21, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
They claim on their website it is "on sale from $800" that is what I was making it out to be. The Trek bike isn't of that much quality either, it is an offering that is above a box store yes but not by a hugely significant amount of course at least Trek has warranties and support behind their bike that would make it a few notches more.
Dude, your earlier rant missed the mark. Just accept it and move on. The bike is clearly above big box offerings as the largest bike shop brand in the US offers an identical bike at a higher cost. They are entry level bikes- they wont be super high quality at the price since they are...entry level.

The initial question was if its a good deal or not. You answered by ranting once again about how Motobecane is the name of a brand from decades ago and how a $300 more expensive bike is nicer.
We get it- Motobecane was once a French brand made bikes and a company bought the US name. The Silca name is US owned now, Diamondback is owned by some private equity company, Cannondale is owned by a Dutch holdings company, Raleigh USA is owned by a different Dutch holdings company , Nishiki is owned by the same holdings company as Raleigh USA, etc etc etc.
Every time Silca is mentioned, do you rant about how Silca is no longer the Italian brand it once was and is now just a brand located in the US and doing all sorts of different things from the historic Silca?
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Old 12-06-21, 12:25 PM
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yeah .... I agree with veganbikes that the BD bike and the cheap Trek are pretty much equivalent .... usually BD bikes are cheaper than the competition but in this case they are pretty close

But nobody would say the Trek is no better than a big-box bike .... so .......

Anyway, I buy bikes based on equipment, not decals .... so two similarly equipped bikes at a similar price point ... I'd buy whichever one looked better.
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Old 12-06-21, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
yeah .... I agree with veganbikes that the BD bike and the cheap Trek are pretty much equivalent .... usually BD bikes are cheaper than the competition but in this case they are pretty close

But nobody would say the Trek is no better than a big-box bike .... so .......

Anyway, I buy bikes based on equipment, not decals .... so two similarly equipped bikes at a similar price point ... I'd buy whichever one looked better.
I'd say that is the way I'd conduct business in the past. Nowadays, I factor in CS/Warranty for a composite made frame too. BD lacks in that respect.
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Old 12-06-21, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
I'd say that is the way I'd conduct business in the past. Nowadays, I factor in CS/Warranty for a composite made frame too. BD lacks in that respect.
You do you- everyone has a different priority list when it comes to purchases.
I have never purchased a frame based on a warranty and never avoided a frame based on lack of warranty...but I also dont ride carbon frames.
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Old 12-06-21, 03:32 PM
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I've had my eye on the Mercier Kilo GX T16 since the pandemic started, but it hasn't been in stock for years now, I guess. This thread does help with what to expect if I ever get to go that route.
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Old 12-06-21, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Dude, your earlier rant missed the mark. Just accept it and move on. The bike is clearly above big box offerings as the largest bike shop brand in the US offers an identical bike at a higher cost. They are entry level bikes- they wont be super high quality at the price since they are...entry level.

The initial question was if its a good deal or not. You answered by ranting once again about how Motobecane is the name of a brand from decades ago and how a $300 more expensive bike is nicer.
We get it- Motobecane was once a French brand made bikes and a company bought the US name. The Silca name is US owned now, Diamondback is owned by some private equity company, Cannondale is owned by a Dutch holdings company, Raleigh USA is owned by a different Dutch holdings company , Nishiki is owned by the same holdings company as Raleigh USA, etc etc etc.
Every time Silca is mentioned, do you rant about how Silca is no longer the Italian brand it once was and is now just a brand located in the US and doing all sorts of different things from the historic Silca?
I have said it was above big box stores just not that much. It is whatever.

Some companies still have the same heritage or at least have been together the entire time doing similar things, what the name Motobecane is at this point was just bought as a name not as a company. Granted yes Silca is in a similar boat but they are generally making decent quality stuff along the same vein and still offering rebuild parts for the old stuff. Josh Poertner was a Silca fan-boy for a while from various interviews I read back in the day when they came out. It wasn't just hey we need to make fake sale bikes but we need a name it was hey I really love this brand a lot and want to continue it.

Nishiki has long gone down the toilet aren't they basically a house brand for tricky Dick's sporting goods? Diamondback has their foot in both worlds but I think they are owned by Alta in the US same as Raleigh USA which is no longer the Raleigh of Nottingham and Alta may not be as ideal. PON owns Dorel which owns Cannondale so that is a little messy but in the end they still make a lot of the same stuff it seems like and no more crackandfail at least not as bad...
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Old 12-06-21, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
yeah .... I agree with veganbikes that the BD bike and the cheap Trek are pretty much equivalent .... usually BD bikes are cheaper than the competition but in this case they are pretty close

But nobody would say the Trek is no better than a big-box bike .... so .......

Anyway, I buy bikes based on equipment, not decals .... so two similarly equipped bikes at a similar price point ... I'd buy whichever one looked better.
Just to be fair I didn't say they were no different. Better but not be leaps and bounds.
Agreed on buying pretty bikes.
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Old 12-06-21, 09:34 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I have said it was above big box stores just not that much. It is whatever.

Some companies still have the same heritage or at least have been together the entire time doing similar things, what the name Motobecane is at this point was just bought as a name not as a company. Granted yes Silca is in a similar boat but they are generally making decent quality stuff along the same vein and still offering rebuild parts for the old stuff. Josh Poertner was a Silca fan-boy for a while from various interviews I read back in the day when they came out. It wasn't just hey we need to make fake sale bikes but we need a name it was hey I really love this brand a lot and want to continue it.

Nishiki has long gone down the toilet aren't they basically a house brand for tricky Dick's sporting goods? Diamondback has their foot in both worlds but I think they are owned by Alta in the US same as Raleigh USA which is no longer the Raleigh of Nottingham and Alta may not be as ideal. PON owns Dorel which owns Cannondale so that is a little messy but in the end they still make a lot of the same stuff it seems like and no more crackandfail at least not as bad...
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That was a lot of effort to try to justify and differentiate your scorn for one brand from your lack of scorn for many other brands in the same general position.
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Old 12-06-21, 09:40 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
.
That was a lot of effort to try to justify and differentiate your scorn for one brand from your lack of scorn for many other brands in the same general position.
At least you used the Simpsons for the GIF so I will accept it. Wrong as it might be.
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