Please Tell Me About This Bike

If you use the little search window at the top of the cyclingforums home page, type key words like "motobecane" and "bikesdirect" you will find at least a dozen threads discussing the pros and cons of ordering a bike from these folks.

Other than that, it's pretty much your standard aluminum-framed, carbon-forked, Claris-equipped entry level road bike. Bike shops sell bikes like this for $600-750, but those will have more up-to-date touchpoints--saddles and handlebars--and better finish, and they come fully assembled and tuned by dealer. If you're unsure about your bike assembly and tuning skills, expect to pay around $69 for a shop to finish your work up to $85-120 for complete assembly out of the box.
I'm not a fan of aluminum bikes, I had a Scandium bike which is suppose to be stronger than plain aluminum and it cracked at the top of the headtube and the company wouldn't replace the frame because (the final outcome to a much longer story) the damage was due to wear and tear even though I only put on about 5,000 miles on the bike. Aluminium has a finite life, the average seems to be around 25,000 miles give or take 10,000 miles depending on rider weight and strength, terrain, and whether or not it's being raced.

But if you're looking for a low cost bike to last several years than that bike should do that. Bikes Direct has a pretty good reputation, like anything you get what you pay for regardless if at a mail order place or at an LBS.

I would probably consider an aluminum bike with a more beefier frame like a cross bike such as this:

By long distance I'm assuming you mean touring? of so for long distance trips that bike you're considering won't work, it has no provisions for racks or fenders, if touring is in your mind than see this steel frame bike: If you are more thinking that a long distance ride is a 100 miles and not touring then a steel frame like this one would be better choice for comfort: This touring bike is actually the best touring bike rated for under $1,000 tied with the Fuji Tourer, so it's not a shabby bike.

Assembling a bike out of a box is no big deal, you can watch videos on You Tube how to do it or you can order the CD and tool kit from Bikes Direct, however if you're not real up on doing final adjustments and want to make sure it's assembled correctly and everything is adjusted correctly than for less than $60 an LBS can do that for you. Most of the difficult stuff is already assembled, you just put the seat with the attached seat post into the seat tube, place the handle bars onto the stem clamp, put the pedals on, put the wheels on, some companies may require you to install the brake calipers which is just inserting the caliper rod into the hole in the fork and frame and putting the nut on. Bikes Direct tends to be a bit fast about making sure things are checked out before sending it out the door so an LBS to do a final check is worth the expense and peace of mind.

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