Are brand names important or are they not?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by silveraliaz, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. silveraliaz

    silveraliaz New Member

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    I am currently riding a 70s Fuji Regis. Though it worked fine, I found myself dreading to ride because of needing to carry it up and down 3 floors each time I ride. So I am considering an upgrade. I was comparing the big brands and most entry level roadies are around 700-900. But I found in a local REI that some diamond back bikes tend to have better components for the same price. I haven't had the chance to try out the big brand bikes yet, but I did get to try the diamondback Airen2 at the REI with 105s, which I quite enjoy more than I do with sora/claris bikes (off brand) at the store. Though I will surely try out the big brand bikes before making a decision, I would like to ask - are there reasons not to buy these not-as-hot brands for better spec at the same price? Resale value? damage prone? what should I consider and how will you choose if you were me? I am planning to ride this to work. It's a 45 mins ride each way. Thanks!
     
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  2. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    Here's a secret that your big brand names don't want you to know. Their frames are made at the same factories in Taiwan or Mainland China as no name or lesser name brands. Giant is the only big name that makes their own frames. They also make most of Trek's frames and all of Cannondale's frames. Kinesis is another big frame manufacturer. So is Merida which makes all of Specialized's frames. Of the two countries, Taiwan has a much better reputation for quality than their estranged cousins across the Formosa Strait. Diamondback is a good brand, and they've really improved both their product and their image over the last few years. Their Podium is a very, very good package for the price. Don't worry about re-sale value. Bikes depreciate faster than cars. New, an alloy frame with 105 might run anywhere from $1200 to $1600. Five years down the road you'll be lucky to get $500 for it.
     
  3. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    One of the hubs on my friends TREK frame cracked.
    He has had the bike for 5 years and brought the bike back to the shop where he bought the bike.

    The bike shop informed him that his frame has a lifetime guarantee and Trek will supply him with a replacement frame free of charge.

    Brands can be important.
     
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  4. Richard Dupp

    Richard Dupp New Member

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mpre53 .

    Giant is the only big name that makes their own frames. They also make most of Trek's frames and all of Cannondale's frames. Kinesis is another big frame manufacturer.

    Trek makes their higher end carbon frames in Waterloo, WI. Been there, seen that.
     
  5. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    false
    That why I said that Giant makes most of their frames. :wink: But I failed to include the disclaimer about the higher end Trek CF frames. :embarrassed: Up until recently, it was only the 6 and 7 series Madones. All of the Domanes, and the lesser Madones, were made by Giant. Now the higher end Emondas are also made in Waterloo.
     
  6. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Warranties are what's important. And it's a process and an attitude, not a piece of paper.
     
  7. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by Lim:
    "The bike shop informed him that his frame has a lifetime guarantee and Trek will supply him with a replacement frame free of charge."

    Better brands and better resellers are worth paying more for IMO. Even if you never need the catastrophic failure coverage, better service life and better performance by the product are usually found with the name brand and higher line components.

    Quote by OBC:
    "Warranties are what's important. And it's a process and an attitude, not a piece of paper."

    Truth. The people behind the product often make all the difference in the world. Again, this is not just for life's disasters encountered when buying both high-end AND low-line products.

    There are price points and quality levels after which performance gains or increases in durability become much more expensive or are unnecessary to an individual or just exceed a budget. A good bicycle shop with honest personnel can help advise you with the details.

    I agree with mpre53 regarding Diamonback. The Podium series is a very worthy choice (albeit not for a work commuter maybe!).
     
  8. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    And available with Athena EPS for under $6 grand. [​IMG]
     
  9. Owboduz

    Owboduz New Member

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    Where are all these $500 used bikes with 105 group sets and alloy frames!? I would have paid that and waked away with a smile when I was looking for a new bike... You can't even buy a 105 group set used for that price.
     
  10. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Yeah, my friend took delivery of the new Trek frame which he got under the lifetime frame guarantee.

    He's a Trek enthusiast anyhow, but Trek honouring their guarantee in this case is superb.
    My friend has made sure to tell everyone he knows about Trek's gesture and I guarantee that this has persuaded many of us to purchase Trek product in the future.

    If a manufacturer is prepared to give a lifetime guarantee, this should tell all prospective buyers all that they need to know about the product and the products quality.
     
  11. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Owboduz .


    Where are all these $500 used bikes with 105 group sets and alloy frames!?

    Their owners are riding them?

    Regarding Trek's "lifetime warranty," lifetime refers to the bike and its obsolescence cycle and useful lifetime, not the rider. So if you're thinking Trek might replace your old Y-foil with a Speed Concept, uh, think again.
     
  12. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    Where do you live? You can find brand new 5700 groups online for under $500 USD.
     
  13. Owboduz

    Owboduz New Member

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    I live in the UK. The best I've seen is merlin cycles for £299.99 ($513). Okay, so it's close to $500, and that price includes sales tax, so I guess it is possible to find a 105 groupset for under $500; take my earlier statement as a slight hyperbole.

    That said, I haven't seen used bikes with 105 groupsets popping up here for less than £450 ($770).
     
  14. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by OBC:
    "Regarding Trek's "lifetime warranty," lifetime refers to the bike and its obsolescence cycle and useful lifetime, not the rider. So if you're thinking Trek might replace your old Y-foil with a Speed Concept, uh, think again."

    Maybe Trek would replace the Y-Foils just to get them off the road and out of the public's eye?

    I don't know why...probably just because they are 'different'...but they seem to have some collector value and enjoy at least some small amount of popularity. I agree that getting one covered under warranty might be difficult.

    Remember Schwinn? Their warranty was written and honored like a holy document handed down from Odin, Himself. If it broke...you got a new one. No questions asked and the dealer got down on his knees and apologized for the problem and your inconvenience. Well, close! Maybe it was not service to that extreme, but I'm old enough to remember when a handshake and a promise meant exactly what was stated.

    Lifetime Warranty meant that as long as you lived and did not abuse the product, the manufacturer stood solidly behind what he shipped and sold. No Lawyerese translation required. The product was good to go as long as the original purchaser was still able to fog a mirror (disclaimer: valid sales receipt required!)

    Now...'customer service' is likely to mean 'Peggy', in India or East Wherethehellisthatstan explains that actually riding your bicycle on roads with potholes has just voided your warranty under the "Product Abuse" clause (see Paragraph 132; Section 14: Definition (e) for details).
     
  15. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    Yup, when you have "for the lifetime of the original purchaser" juxtaposed against the "normal wear and tear" exclusion, it leaves wriggle room for Trek.
     
  16. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Faster product cycles and more risk-prone technology changed things. What is the equivalent of a Softride in today's market? Every week I get to work on stuff that was touted as the next big thing and was out of production two years later--suspensions, shifters, aerodynamic this and that, composite frames. There are reasons a '70s Cinelli Corsa B is classic and a Gary Fisher Cake is just dated (and probably broken). One is that nobody makes rebuild kits for that old shock anymore.

    About the only way to destroy an old Chicago-made Schwinn was to run it over with your car. And those "lightweight" steel rims went out of true pretty easily, and no one I knew ever asked for new wheels. Our standards were a lot lower then.

    When I raced on steel bikes, we never asked about a warranty. After all, the technology was already thirty years old. A manufacturer's reputation was good enough, you could see the mitering, pinning, and brazing and know if it was good, and the company named on the headbadge and the people actually made it were one and the same. And if it broke it would be our own damned fault, and the local shop would straighten it the best he could, and after a few straightenings it would finally break and we'd say, I guess it's about time I retired that frame and bought a new one.

    Technology and markets are different now, and saying they don't make them like they used to, or they don't stand behind them like they used to,.only works as a recreational exercise.
     
  17. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Active Member

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    Brand names are not as important as they would like you to think. There's plenty of snobbery within cycling, something I discovered back in my high school days. Nevertheless, I've always trusted Shimano as one of the better component manufacturers out there. I always make sure to outfit all my bikes with Shimano parts if they don't already come equipped with these and have never regretted the decision. I still think Cannondale have some of the best frames but one doesn't need to spend so much for a decent riding experience.
     
  18. elvisish

    elvisish New Member

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    Very interesting to read that, I presumed they were all made on the cheap in China, etc. but interesting to see which ones are still made up to a higher standard.
     
  19. AlanManley

    AlanManley New Member

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    I actually had a conversation with a colleague today as I am looking at a Trek and he informed me that he had the same issue with his bike a couple of years ago with a bike that was 15 years old at the time.

    As they couldn't replace the frame like for like they replaced it with a modern equivalent. His was a midrange then so he got a midrange frame from their new range. 15 years later!

    Now that is customer service!
     
  20. GemmaRowlands

    GemmaRowlands Member

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    No, I don't think that brand names are important as such, however you do need to make sure that the products you're buying are top quality, as you don't want your safety to be compromised while you're cycling. Usually, though, as posters above have said, the bikes that you're riding will be made in exactly the same places, and literally the only difference will be the fact that they don't have a brand stamped on the side. Have a good test of anything that you're going to be riding before you buy it, and then you'll know that it is just as good on the road.
     
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