The Chainlink

Does anyone have experience w this site?


Bikes Direct


I've never ordered anything from them. It looks too good to be true. I've read plenty of reviews online, it seems like a mixed bag, but many of the negative reviews seem to come from people who get a partially built up bike, don't know how to build it themselves, build it up, fuck it up, then get angry about it.


I'm a 29er n00b looking for a cheapish setup to start off with. I'm looking to get a cheaper setup, then trade up to a better frame. The real deal w this website seems to be getting good components for cheap.


Has anyone here ever actually ordered anything from them?

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What are you looking for? 

"I'm a 29er n00b looking for a cheapish setup to start off with. I'm looking to get a cheaper setup, then trade up to a better frame. The real deal w this website seems to be getting good components for cheap."


Something with gears, w a frame I would not feel bad ditching in a year or so, to go w something better. I guess though I'm equally interested in peoples' experiences w the site, if dudes' bikes are solid, etc. I should also quantify cheap, being $500-700.

Poptart said:

What are you looking for? 

Something like this link for example?

I've heard plenty of people were happy with their bikes. They do have the "cheapest" bikes around, what you're not paying for is the marketing, R&D, bike shop margins etc. Shameless plug, I have a SS 29er for sale, might not be what you're looking for, but it's a ton of fun.

"Some assembly required"


I've heard about bikes direct for years. Your issue will be the assembly of the bike. Some of it you're meant to do, the unpacking and such. Some of it will be misassembly on their part.

Thanks, Kevin C.

I say go for it. I bought a Kestrel from them 2 years ago and have been happy with the bike and the build. You can't expect LBS build quality but you can always bring it in to a shop and pay them for the labor to properly check and lube parts. That way you save $$$ while also helping out the LBS too. Just be sure to buy local when you start building your rig up :)

Earlier this year I had a similar plan. I got a sweet Niner frame from a local person via Craig's.  After pricing out the parts to build it up (expensive!) I stumbled onto the Buy a Bikes Direct Bike and Strip the Components approach. The problem I ran into was, while it seemed like a great idea, when I tried to actually get a bike from BD, they were sold out of everything but the smallest frames. I'm guessing that now that the MTB season is winding down in much of the country, their inventory issues may be less of a problem.

(You may wonder why I cared what size I was getting if I was just gonna strip the components. As sort of a MTB noob, I figured I'd try the bike as is in case it was good enough, and then sell the Niner frame or keep it for a later project. If anyone is interested, I could be convinced to sell it probably.)

I ended up buying a Diamondback Overdrive from REI for $399 + tax = $439. I did try to get something similar from my LBS, but the best they could do was a way more beautiful, but non-disc brake GT Karakorum for $200 more. That is a lot for a bike I've only managed to actually use once this season.   



I recently bought the Mercier Kilo WT5 (5 is for internal 5 speed hub) from BikesDirect. I'm very happy with it. As noted by John W., assembly was minimal. My only complaint (and I knew this going in) is the size of the cranks. I don't get why such short cranks (165) are put on a larger (59cm) frame.

The worst thing was the condition of the box it came in. It had been horribly ripped and patched up with tape. I can't believe that BikesDirect would ship it like that, so the damage must have been done by UPS. But the bike itself was ok.

Bikes Direct has some killer deals that very few bike shops can match in pricing. 


That being said there are quite a few things that can be wrong even with new bikes. Typically on a new bike: brakes/shifting need adjustments, wheels need true, and nuts and bolts need to get tightened down.


If you know how to go over a bike and have the tools needed, then you already know what you are getting into and know what to expect. 


If you have never gone over a bike from front to back I would recommend that you take a bike into your local shop and have them build it up for you. You might get some looks from the sales floor but most will be happy to set it up for you. Expect to pay around $50-100.(I just moved to chicago so I'm not sure what local shops charge)  As someone that has spent some time working at bike shops, I have seen some really unsafe bikes come out of a box. All bikes out of the box need work, even if you are paying thousands of dollars. You can also expect with any new bike you are going to need another tune up within ~1 month. 


Good luck on the 29er as it was said before they are a ton of fun. 



I also have a Mericer Kilo TT Pro in my stable and once owned a Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno (single speed cyclocross that was stolen).  I have been pleased with my purchases and got great bang for the buck.


 I have also done upgrades on the Kilo TT (tires after I beat the crap out of the stock Kenda Kevlars, saddle, bars) but it is a solid bike for 399 out the door.  If you have a basic knowledge of assembly and a tool set you can put it together in about 30 minutes or so.


 I don't know if I would buy a high end bike on the web, because I want to have a LBS to go to for work, questions, and to support the shops.  But don't be afraid of Bikes Direct.


LarryN, what do you think of the Kilo WT5?  I almost bought one of those a year ago, but I wasn't sure about the geometry.  Does it have a short wheelbase like the Kilo TT Pro?


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