Do good value for performance bikes have to be American?



J

Jo Stoller

Guest
After not having a bike for many many years, I am about to buy a new
one. It is for general riding in London, commuting and some long rides
e.g. in the Cotswolds. Almost all on road but perhaps some off road on
reasonable tracks. I am not bothered about suspension but would like
to have SPD type pedals with an option for normal shoes.

For £599 I was offered a Trek 7500 FX with non-suspension forks and
wheels that have more spokes than the website version (to suit city
roads), plus dual use pedals (suitable for spd and normal shoes) and a
rear luggage rack. The bike is shown on the manufacturer web page:
http://www.trekbike.co.uk/bikes/2004/city/fx/7500.php

A friend that has been bugging me to get a bike said he has that frame
and that it was good. He said I should take a look at the equivalent
Marin. I suppose he must mean the San Anselmo £595
http://www.marin.co.uk/marin-2004/bikedetail.php?ModNo=2456
or the Lucas Valley £599
http://www.marin.co.uk/marin-2004/bikedetail.php?ModNo=2460

I was an enthusiastic cyclist in my younger days and even entered a
couple of races. I have done a fair amount of cycling in recent times
(including African mountains and deserts) but only on borrowed or
hired bikes. Now that I have to make a purchase decision, I am now
astonished about how technology and the market has changed.

The bike shops are now dominated by bikes from American companies. In
addition to the Trek, I was also offered Cannondale and Specialized
but they were even worse from my point of view because they had big
markings boasting about the fact that they were American and/or made
there. I would like to be able to consider a non-US bike if possible
without compromising value for money.

I know that specification is not everything, so I will try riding the
options before buying. I am fairly comfortable with the idea of going
to a 'proper bike shop' to get good after sales tweaking but I want to
get the basic decision close to ideal.

What do you guys think of what I have been offered? Are they really
the best value, or is there another make (model suggestion would help
too) from another country that I should consider? Surely America
cannot have the entire market sewn up. If anyone has a good second
hand one I might consider it too.

Many thanks
 
D

dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers

Guest
If you want a good value bike - try

http://www.edinburgh-bicycle.co.uk/

Their own brand bikes get consistently good reviews as being exceptionally good
value for money.

Also consider Dawes bikes. The Discovery range is good value.

Cheers, helen s




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N

[Not Responding]

Guest
On 14 Jun 2004 13:25:30 -0700, [email protected] (Jo Stoller)
wrote:

>Are they really
>the best value, or is there another make (model suggestion would help
>too) from another country that I should consider?


My bikes (ie last bike(crashed) and last bike but one(stolen)) usually
come from Ridgeback who can be found at
http://www.ridgebackbikes.co.uk/.

They don't actually build frames in the UK but I don't think many
people do these days, with the exception of custom builds. They are,
however, refreshingly not Merkin.

I was happy with both Ridgebacks that I owned.
 
D

Doctor J. Frink

Guest
On 14 Jun 2004 20:41:50 GMT, dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers
<[email protected]> wrote:
>If you want a good value bike - try
>
>http://www.edinburgh-bicycle.co.uk/
>
>Their own brand bikes get consistently good reviews as being exceptionally
>good value for money.
>
>Also consider Dawes bikes. The Discovery range is good value.


Seconded. Just got a Discovery 201. Very happy with it compared to my
old Carrera Crossfire.

I'm not sure just how British their bikes are anymore, though.

Frink

--
Doctor J. Frink : 'Rampant Ribald Ringtail'
See his mind here : http://www.cmp.liv.ac.uk/frink/
Annoy his mind here : pjf at cmp dot liv dot ack dot ook
"No sir, I didn't like it!" - Mr Horse
 
S

Simonb

Guest
Doctor J. Frink wrote:

> I'm not sure just how British their bikes are anymore, though.


Confirmed by my LBS -- Fort (Czech Republic) makes the Dawes Audax frame.

But most US frames are made in TW anyway.
 
P

paul

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,=20
[email protected] says...
> The bike shops are now dominated by bikes from American companies. In
> addition to the Trek, I was also offered Cannondale and Specialized
> but they were even worse from my point of view because they had big
> markings boasting about the fact that they were American and/or made
> there. I would like to be able to consider a non-US bike if possible
> without compromising value for money.
> =20
>=20

cannondale do good frames, and both mine have been made in the usa, but=20
at your price point, you wont get good good componets on a 'dale frame.=20
Excelent basis for upgrades though. Most frames these days are however=20
manufacured in tiwan irrespective of the country of assembly and=20
trademark, the exception being custom frames, but again, not at your=20
price point. Oh and components wise, you'll probably end up with shimano=20
(the miccrosoft of the cycling world) and I *think* these are made in=20
japan. It's dificult to be patriotic, and almost imposible at around=20
=A3500.
--=20
..paul

If at first you don't succeed...
Skydiving is probably not the sport for you.
 
D

Doctor J. Frink

Guest
On Mon, 14 Jun 2004 21:56:43 +0000 (UTC), paul
<[email protected]> wrote:

>price point. Oh and components wise, you'll probably end up with shimano
>(the miccrosoft of the cycling world)


Is that comparison made on their market share, or the quality of their
products (or both)?

There's certainly nothing wrong with dominating a market if you're
producing good stuff, but not if you abuse the position to keep down
those that would.

Frink

--
Doctor J. Frink : 'Rampant Ribald Ringtail'
See his mind here : http://www.cmp.liv.ac.uk/frink/
Annoy his mind here : pjf at cmp dot liv dot ack dot ook
"No sir, I didn't like it!" - Mr Horse
 
S

Simon Brooke

Guest
in message <[email protected]>, Jo Stoller
('[email protected]') wrote:

> After not having a bike for many many years, I am about to buy a new
> one. It is for general riding in London, commuting and some long rides
> e.g. in the Cotswolds. Almost all on road but perhaps some off road on
> reasonable tracks. I am not bothered about suspension but would like
> to have SPD type pedals with an option for normal shoes.
>
> The bike shops are now dominated by bikes from American companies. In
> addition to the Trek, I was also offered Cannondale and Specialized
> but they were even worse from my point of view because they had big
> markings boasting about the fact that they were American and/or made
> there. I would like to be able to consider a non-US bike if possible
> without compromising value for money.


There are actually plenty of good non-US manufacturers, but, unless
you're prejudiced (and I know people who are) many of the big American
brands do offer good value for money. Of UK-built bikes in the sort of
robust hybrid category you're thinking of Dawes and Orange are names to
consider (but beware that the low-end models in each range have frames
made in Taiwan). If you're prepared to consider European as well,
Nicolai make bikes at least as good as the best of the big American
brands. And there are many others.

> What do you guys think of what I have been offered? Are they really
> the best value, or is there another make (model suggestion would help
> too) from another country that I should consider?


Best value for a robust but performant hybrid is probably the Edinburgh
Bicycle Co-op's Revolution Courier (frame made in Taiwan, I believe,
but to EBC's design).

--
[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
;; "If I were a Microsoft Public Relations person, I would probably
;; be sobbing on a desk right now" -- Rob Miller, editor, /.
 
S

Simon Brooke

Guest
in message <[email protected]>, Doctor J. Frink
('[email protected]') wrote:

> On Mon, 14 Jun 2004 21:56:43 +0000 (UTC), paul
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>price point. Oh and components wise, you'll probably end up with
>>shimano (the miccrosoft of the cycling world)

>
> Is that comparison made on their market share, or the quality of their
> products (or both)?


Nothing specially wrong with Shimano's products. On the whole they're
workmanlike, reliable, quite well made, and good value for money. So
wholly unlike Microsoft on those counts.

--
[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

'You cannot put "The Internet" into the Recycle Bin.'
 
S

Simonb

Guest
Simon Brooke wrote:

> (but beware that the low-end models in each range have
> frames made in Taiwan)


Why 'beware' of TW frames? They were pretty good quality last time I looked.
 
M

Mark South

Guest
"paul" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Oh and components wise, you'll probably end up with shimano
> (the miccrosoft of the cycling world) and I *think* these are
> made in japan.


Ony their higher end stuff is made in Japan, the bulk of the range comes from
Taiwan and the mainland.
--
"Mango sorbet is clearcut proof that we have progressed beyond the
bare needs of survival and have progressed to the transcendant."
- Marc Goodman in talk.bizarre
 
M

Michael MacClancy

Guest
On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 07:45:28 +0200, Mark South wrote:

> "paul" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>> Oh and components wise, you'll probably end up with shimano
>> (the miccrosoft of the cycling world) and I *think* these are
>> made in japan.

>
> Ony their higher end stuff is made in Japan, the bulk of the range comes from
> Taiwan and the mainland.


.... the mainland of what?
--
Michael MacClancy
Random putdown - "A modest little person, with much to be modest about."-
Winston Churchill
www.macclancy.demon.co.uk
www.macclancy.co.uk
 
M

Martin Wilson

Guest
On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 00:15:17 +0100, "Simonb"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Simon Brooke wrote:
>
>> (but beware that the low-end models in each range have
>> frames made in Taiwan)

>
>Why 'beware' of TW frames? They were pretty good quality last time I looked.
>
>


I find it very confusing to judge quality by nationality. Taiwan makes
both excellent and poor products. Many Taiwanese firms have opened
factories in china producing good quality products too but generally
mainland chinese companies produce poor quality cycle products.Taiwan
is distinct and seperate from mainland china in not only the fact its
an island but it has a japanese designed infrastructure, major
european influence and is a democracy. Malay-Polynesian people were
the main settlers on the island originally and add to this people of
chinese, japanese and european descent creates a unique type of people
and race completely different in culture to china.

The main concern of the taiwan industry seems to be competition from
even cheaper but lower quality mainland chinese products.

I doubt there can be any true british products anywhere near the
bottom end of pricing without sacrificing quality as Britain is so
expensive to manufacture in. I work for a swiss company (Baumanns)
manufacturing springs and pressings in the uk and the company also
owns chinese factories.UK labour costs are at least 4x more expensive
and Baumanns pay very well in china compared to native chinese
companies. Other costs compare even better in china's favour.

Its far cheaper to manufacture in the states and many american firms
actually manufacture in Mexico but still end up with 'Made in USA'
stickers on. I believe a 'Made in USA" should represent 75% usa made
content but in fact can be as low as 30%.

the best Britain can achieve really is design and development of bikes
that are manufactured elsewhere with top end models hand built in
Britain to exacting specifications. I suspect thats pretty much where
we are at.
 
P

Peter Clinch

Guest
Doctor J. Frink wrote:

[shimano]
> Is that comparison made on their market share, or the quality of their
> products (or both)?


Market Share. Some of their very low range stuff is made of cheese, but
costs less than cheese so that's forgivable. The high end stuff is very
good. Maybe not the best, but even if that is the case it's generally
not too far off.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
S

Simon Brooke

Guest
in message <40ce3185$0$58815[email protected]>, Simonb
('[email protected]') wrote:

> Simon Brooke wrote:
>
>> (but beware that the low-end models in each range have
>> frames made in Taiwan)

>
> Why 'beware' of TW frames? They were pretty good quality last time I
> looked.


Oh, sure, but the OP seemed to have a fetish about where things were
made.

--
[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
Ring of great evil
Small one casts it into flame
Bringing rise of Men ;; gonzoron
 
A

Ambrose Nankivell

Guest
In news:[email protected],
Michael MacClancy <[email protected]> typed:
> On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 07:45:28 +0200, Mark South wrote:
>
>> "paul" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>> news:[email protected]
>>> Oh and components wise, you'll probably end up with shimano
>>> (the miccrosoft of the cycling world) and I *think* these are
>>> made in japan.

>>
>> Ony their higher end stuff is made in Japan, the bulk of the range
>> comes from Taiwan and the mainland.

>
> ... the mainland of what?


Orkney, obviously. That's the only place I know called Mainland.

A
 
M

Mark South

Guest
"Michael MacClancy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 07:45:28 +0200, Mark South wrote:
>
> > "paul" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> > news:[email protected]
> >> Oh and components wise, you'll probably end up with shimano
> >> (the miccrosoft of the cycling world) and I *think* these are
> >> made in japan.

> >
> > Ony their higher end stuff is made in Japan, the bulk of the range comes

from
> > Taiwan and the mainland.

>
> ... the mainland of what?


Mainland China. It would have sounded dumb to write "from Taiwan and China."
since Taiwan is China.
--
"Do stairs, stairs, and more stairs,
wherever you can find them."
- Jim Roberts in rec.backcountry
 
A

Ambrose Nankivell

Guest
In news:[email protected],
Mark South <[email protected]> typed:
> "Michael MacClancy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>> On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 07:45:28 +0200, Mark South wrote:
>>
>>> "paul" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>>> news:[email protected]
>>>> Oh and components wise, you'll probably end up with shimano
>>>> (the miccrosoft of the cycling world) and I *think* these are
>>>> made in japan.
>>>
>>> Ony their higher end stuff is made in Japan, the bulk of the range
>>> comes from Taiwan and the mainland.

>>
>> ... the mainland of what?

>
> Mainland China. It would have sounded dumb to write "from Taiwan and
> China." since Taiwan is China.


Well, you don't have to take that line, as you're not trying to keep up good
diplomatic relations with Beijing.

A