Manufacturer Shenanigans

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by tonyzackery, Jun 30, 2010.

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  1. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Ok. This entry could have easily been tossed in the Rant section, but it definitely addressed equipment first and foremost...

    I'm going to toss this out there, but manufacturer's today are all but guaranteeing that I won't be being buying latest technology in the coming years. These strictly cash-grab marketing schemes of different sized bottom bracket (BB30, BB86, and now Look has BB65) and the flaring crown steerers of carbon forks (11/8" to 11/4" or 11/2" or 13/8", etc...,) with their accompanying varying size head tube upper and lower bearings is getting ridiculous, IMO. In fact, Look's 695 super-bike marries you their proprietary crankset with no possibility of divorce.

    Okay, so they want to reduce the parts interchangeability so you buy more proprietary parts at higher costs. I fully understand it's all about the dollars - and always will be, but they need to disguise this silliness better, IMO. A couple years ago I got rid of a C'dale System6 frame/fork even before building it up after thinking about the BB30 and tapered head tube/fork steerer issue.

    BIKE MANUFACTURERS - STICK TO ONE SIZE PLEASE. I'm okay with going from 1" to 11/8" constant diameter steerers/headtubes; I'm okay with 26.0mm to 31.8mm handlebars, but this variable diameter stuff is ridiculous as is the numerous BB systems currently coming into play.

    Off my soapbox for a moment:D...
     
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  2. CdnRider

    CdnRider New Member

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    Don't even get me started! Makes it a huge pain in the ass when trying to build a bike the way you want!!!

    Worst are seatposts!! My god. The different sizes available.......ridiculous!

    Total pain in butt... Like you said. A lot of it has to do with $$$$
     
  3. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, this is the future of the industry. It allows some manufacturers to force their customers to upgrade only within their brand, all the while feeding the stiffness is king frenzy.

    I was fine with the move to 1 1/8" steerers. After all, that's what mountain bikes used, and it made sense for manufacturers to cut some costs by limiting the number of fork standards to which they had to build.

    The BB thing is out of control. Shimano is pushing BB86 hard. BB30 is floating around out there, and not all of the BB30 bikes out there are built to identical BB30 standards. Trek is pimping its BB90 standard and cutting the options its customers have in cranksets. As mentioned, Look has gone whole hog and built its own BB standard for which only one crankset it comatible, Look's crankset. And now, Cervelo is hot and bothered about its new bb standard,
    bbright.

    I don't see how the trend will be stopped. As long as manufacturers keep saying this (fill in blank standard is lighter and stiffer, people will keep buying. Lighter and stiffer means cash to the marketing boys and girls.
     
  4. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Let's just hope these bicycle manufacturers don't try to get carried away like the auto manufacturers...
     
  5. tafi

    tafi Member

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    All the consumer has to do is to wise up and not buy it! It's pretty simple really.

    A tapered head tube or some insanely large BB isn't going to make anyone faster. In fact the only thing it does is make after sales costs higher. It can't be good for shops either who now have to stock 5 or so different headset bearing sizes, when previously 2 would have sufficed.

    Unfortunately most consumers either swallow marketing booklets whole or are complete sheep, and blind themselves to the fact that bikes are being made less and less simple for very little (if any) gain.

    We live in an age where major public projects live and die on the basis of cost-benefit analyses and serviceability, and yet we, as consumers, cannot apply the same same logic to some of the most basic personal decisions.

    Can we really blame the manufactures (not just of bikes but of almost anything really) for taking advantage of a populace which doesn't want to learn?
     
  6. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    LOOK 695 ? First Ride - BikeRadar

    Gotta admit though, Look's doin' some pretty nice things with this new 695. It's mega expensive and out of my price range, but a seriously drool-worthy piece of bike porn nonetheless...
     
  7. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I'm not impressed by the aesthetics of the 695, anyway. Frankly, I think my 595 looks better, but maybe I'm biased.
     
  8. BikingBrian

    BikingBrian New Member

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    Exactly. That's why I still use a square taper bb and crankset.
    (Besides which, they're dirt cheap now:D)
     
  9. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    VeloNews.com - Tour de France tech: BMC's latest road bike, the impec

    BMC's just got it plain wrong with their new super-bike.

    Those lug looking things - they call them some stupid, marketing 101-jibberish term - that join the frame members look absolutely ridiculous and belong in some kid's erector set. Integrated look? Not even close! Talk about taking 3 steps backwards in design!

    Yeah, these proprietary seatpost designs are getting out-of-hand too. Betcha' won't find a rock-solid Thomson to fit in that hole...and that's truly a shame...
     
  10. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    "Lighter and stiffer", the 2011 bike maker mantra...and a carbon astabula crank-dum.
     
  11. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    That's right you simply don't buy products from manufactures that force you into their world.

    There will always be manufactures of bikes that won't make your life hell when a part breaks, howbeit most of these manufactures will only make steel bikes which is no problem for me since I like steel the best anyways, but I know most of you don't care about steel. Steel bikes like Mercian (I own one) the bikes Rivendell sells, you get the picture.

    But all of this proprietary parts business WILL NOT GO AWAY, it will only get worse, thus it's up to the consumer to dictate to the manufactures what we want. We can do this two ways, one is to e-mail them and tell them you don't want this stuff and you won't buy their products if they do; and two don't buy their products.

    Unfortunately as humans, we want the most exotic, fastest, lightest bike we can buy and that mentality may lose out to finding more and more proprietary bikes on the market. And proprietary bikes, as with computers etc, when they break you will be forced to either buy their outrageously expensive parts or find out that the part is no longer made and you will have to scrounge E-Bay and pay high prices for used parts, or be have to throw the bike in the trash.

    It's up to you all to steer the direction of industry, I've already steered myself way from the direction their trying to steer us, but I can't do it alone.
     
  12. xxtimber

    xxtimber New Member

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    Sure a single year's new "shenanigans" don't do much for performance, but...what 10 year's worth of small improvements? Every little improvement adds up to advance the modern road bike. As consumers we benefit when bike companies strive to improve their product even through small, seemingly insubstantial, gains. They add up.:D
     
  13. GT Fanatic

    GT Fanatic New Member

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    In the end, it won't matter who does what. People who swear by Cannondale will always buy Cannondale, no matter what the compatibility is with aftermarket sources. The same goes for Trek, Giant, Fuji, etc. There are a lot of very brand-loyal people out there, and to them, it's just not going to matter.

    As an example, BB30 may be great, but there's a lot of marketing pull behind it as well. What did the pros use before BB30? The alternatives worked fine. As fast as technology in bicycles is improving, I wouldn't be surprised to see something that surpasses BB30 within the next 5 years.

    There are plenty of people out there who haven't had any problems with cranking it out on bikes equipped with outer bearings...

    As to regards in weight vs. strength, eventually things are going to get so light that the strength of a product is negatively effected. There's only so light something can actually get before it's going to happen.
     
  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    BB30 will probably be surpassed within 2 years!

    There's an old NASCAR saying: "The car that wins on Sunday is sold on Monday." There is no difference in the bicycle world either. When Lance won all those tours carbon Treks flew out showrooms so fast they couldn't keep enough on inventory. A lot of this is steered by us. And how much "improvements" have there been in 10 years? Now much I'm afraid; weights are still the same, as is the mechanics involved; if anything the bicycle industry is worse now in the sense of quality then 10 years ago because a large segment of the manufacturing process went to China.
     
  15. GT Fanatic

    GT Fanatic New Member

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    "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday." Those days are gone, Froze. All of those NASCARs are the same fiberglass mold wrapped in different graphics. There are no Camrys, Impalas, Chargers, etc.

    IMO, the materials used in bikes today are as good as ever; components have been modified with better parts, with the economy the way it is, manufacturers are taking quality seriously again, and technologies from more expensive bikes are finding their ways into cheaper models.

    As for the industry being worse in quality, how does China come into play? There's no difference between "Chinese aluminum" or "American aluminum" or "Taiwanese aluminum." The materials are still coming from the same sources. These bikes are probably just assembled in different locations in the world. The parts are still the same.

    I have a bike made in Taiwan. My wife's was made in China. Each of them have ridden the same trails and withstood the same abuse. They have continued to hold up and prove reliable and sturdy. The only difference between our two bikes are the levels of componentry.
     
  16. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    The auto days are gone, true, thats why I included the word "OLD" in the statement "...OLD saying...". But that saying lives on in cycling.

    And no, China made carbon fiber frames have not held up as good as American or European carbon fiber. And even the made in China aluminum frames have more problems then the American and European counterparts. But to each their own.
     
  17. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    What evidence do you have that Chinese bikes haven't held up as well as Euro or American bikes? Where is there a correlation between country of manufacture and quality?

    Wait! This just in............Trek has an ongoing issue with CF fork steerers in some its American made bikes. No! That can't be! There 'merican bikes! Sure, Trek is doing the word parsing dance about the issue, but it's not an issue that a lot of other bikes have had....even those made in the Far East or specifically, China.

    The fact is, once again you have zero facts to support claims that you make as factual claims.
     
  18. GT Fanatic

    GT Fanatic New Member

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    OMFG, it's a miracle. I'm forced to agree with you, Alienator.

    There are a lot of Chinese-made products these days, and YES, while I would love to purchase American, some of today's best bikes are made overseas. It can be argued that Taiwan produces the best bicycles on the market. All that's required to stamp "Made in Country X" on a frame is that 60% of the bicycle is ASSEMBLED in that particular country.
     
  19. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Can't help but pile on here - what, with such an easy target and all...

    Hmmm, you got Cannondale moving/moved production where? You got Specialized produced where? You got Cervelo produced where? In 2011, you'll have Trek carbon frames (except 6 series) produced where? Bianchi produced where? Giant is produced where? And on, and on, and on...

    These manufacturers must be banking on the meteoric rise in future sales due to frames produced in Asia prematurely breaking down and owners having to purchase new ones at a greater frequency than if they continued production in the US or Europe...yeah, that's it - gotta be it - no other reasonable explanation exists...:D
     
  20. GT Fanatic

    GT Fanatic New Member

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    As Froze would say, "To each his own." :D
     
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