Trek vs Specialized vs others

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by pdt1793db, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. pdt1793db

    pdt1793db New Member

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    The other day I attended a road coarse race and as I watched the riders come by time and time again I began looking at what brand bikes they were all riding. I noticed alot of Specialized and various other brands. However I did not see very many Treks. Theses were Cat VI through Pro I races. My question is do pro riders other than Lance have a preferance against Trek? If so give me details I do own a Trek but am have no bias towards them as a company and am interested for sake of building knowledge to buy a furture bike. Thanks
     
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  2. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Pros don't typically choose their own bikes, their team sponsor contracts dictate what they will ride. For this reason professional endorsements are silly for many products.

    For the amateur racers, they might also have team sponsors (my team is sponsored by Specialized, and also by a local shop who carries mainly Specialized bikes and equipment) who either provide bikes or give preferred discounts on a particular brand of bike. They still have the opportunity to ride what they want (since they have to buy it themselves), but there's an incentive and possibly a sense of obligation to help support the team sponsors by using their equipment.

    So, what you're seeing could be affected by 1) rider preference, 2) possibly Specialized and other brands are doing more to sponsor/support amateur racing in the US, 3) possibly their dealers are doing more locally, 4) possibly there are more Specialized dealers than Trek dealers in your area, 5) something else entirely.

    Personally, I like my Specialized better than the Trek I had before it, and I think they are good bikes -- but my preferences are biased.
     
  3. genedan

    genedan New Member

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    Some pro riders actually ride their own bikes except with their sponsor's paint job over it. I don't know if this practice is still commonplace but it's easy to catch if you look closely.

    Trek makes fantastic bikes in my opinion. If you're wondering about racers' preference, the bling factor in comparison to the more exotic European brands (i.e., Pinarello, Colnago, Willier) is kind of low. Buying a Trek is kind of like buying a Ford or a Toyota in many people's opinion.

    But keep in mind that the income of the average amateur racer is over $100,000 USD (at least it is in Texas), so they can usually afford really fancy stuff and even some of the Cat 5 racers can be seen on $10,000 bikes.

    I ride a Gary Fisher which is pretty much the same thing as a Trek, and so far it's a good bike. I also have a Trek that I use to commute and it's about 8 years old and is almost as good as the day I bought it. Probably the only thing I don't like about them is looks. You'll get the "oh, that looks nice," but not the "damn, that is a smoking hot bike," kind of response...the important thing, however, is to let your legs do the talking.

    As for the prevalence of the bikes it really just depends on what bike companies sponsor the teams in your state. Over here in Texas, we do see a lot of Specialized and Trek because they sponsor teams here. Also Cervelo is really big here too. Surprisingly, Giant isn't very popular around here even though they seem to be pervasive worldwide.

    There's also a controversial practice in the bike industry where big companies will give discounts to bike shops if they exclusively sell a certain product. I know Shimano used to do this and it's one reason why they became so dominant in the U.S. An antitrust suit put a stop to this practice by Shimano and allowed SRAM to become active in the componentry market. I really wouldn't be surprised if this were still practiced clandestinely amongst the big brands, however...
     
  4. dickg99

    dickg99 New Member

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    I agree with the other posters that frame choice, at least professionally, is driven by sponsorship. Just look at the Tour of California...every team rides a different frame, but the components are often common. For us amateurs, my sense is the choice is driven by the manufacturer's marketing plus personal choices regarding looks and ride feel. In my view, Trek has caught up on the 'bling' factor in the last few years and they're technically quite good per the cycling magazine reviews, but they still don't have the 'cachet' of some brands. I ride a 2009 Madone 6.9, but I've never ridden a Look, Cervelo, Cannodale or Specialized, so I couldn't tell you if it was superior to the others or not...but online reviews from individuals are very positive.
     
  5. pdt1793db

    pdt1793db New Member

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    I do see alot of amature riders riding Trek but I didnt know if the pros or semi pro riders had some sort of knowledge that us common people did not. I have also noticed that online reviews and magazines tend to rate Trek competitively with the other major manufactures. Would you say online people bashing Trek is probable equal to the bashing that other companies get?
     
  6. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Common people that do their homework probably have as much knowledge as the pros. Those that also work on their own bikes probably have more.

    Again, consider who's writing the paychecks of the the people writing those magazine reviews. I've never seen a magazine review with the nuts to do anything but heap praise on the newest, most expensive thing that the major manufacturers put out there -- they aren't going to risk their advertising dollars for the sake of telling you the truth that none of that crap is going to make you noticeably faster on the road.

    My sense is that Trek gets more online bashing that other companies, but that's still beside the point. If you're getting in the market for a new bike, then go ride some different bikes in your price range. They all fit and feel (and let's be honest, look) a little different and more than likely one or two will stand out from the others for one reason or another -- focus on those. How you feel on the bike is 99% of everything that matters.
     
  7. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Who cares what bikes pro riders prefer? After all, it's not like you have to ride their bikes, and it's not like they always or ever ride the bikes they prefer.

    Do you buy underwear based on what underwear other people wear?

    You should buy bike based on:
    • How it fits.
    • How it feels when you ride it.
    • How excited you are about it.
    Factor in price and customer service as your needs dictate.
     
  8. dickg99

    dickg99 New Member

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    I think a lot of amateurs ride Trek because there are a lot of stores that carry Trek. Trek gets bashed as the 'Chevrolet' of bikes but not by Trek riders, just those who bought Look, Cervelo, Time, etc.. Since the Madone came out, in my humble opinion, it is the equal of any frame out there. Why not ask Lance, he rode one to seven Tour du France victories!
     
  9. pdt1793db

    pdt1793db New Member

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    Good point on the magazines I have also noticed that with other magazines that cover any specific topic they are very biased towards the new greatest thing. I dont so much care what other riders ride I'm fairly new to cycling and am trying to aquire information however I would like to not step in some of the pit falls that others have stepped in a was hoping to learn from their lessons. I am pleased with the bike I have a Trek 2.3 and I do feel like the bike fits me well. My curiosity was based more on an observation not that I had any desire to fit into the whos who of the bike community.
     
  10. new_rider

    new_rider New Member

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    The strange thing is, Trek still "makes" some darn good bikes. Sure, a lot of it is outsourced (manufactured by Giant?) overseas, but when you ride one, it's impressive. Spec is still very, very competitive as well. They typically have custom geometry for each size as well.

    They have certainly not settled into a bloated mediocrity like America's Big 3 automakers...

     
  11. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    What has manufacturer's location got to do with quality? Uhm, nothing. That's what.
     
  12. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Madone 5s and 6s are made in Waterloo, Wisconsin. 4s are made in Taiwan. Just a point of information.
     
  13. LDB

    LDB New Member

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    Yes, all those lead paint poisoned toys from China recently had nothing to do with location/quality issues. Now, that's not saying that location and quality are absolutely tied together at a specific level. They are not. It is saying that in some cases there is some correlation between location and quality.
     
  14. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    An argument that is off point. If you're going to use logic like that, then quality in the US can be bad. Just look at the US workers did on the Deep Horizon drilling platform. Look at the crummy American built bridge that collapsed on I-35W in Minnesota. Look at the crappy breeder reactor that was built in Hanford, Washington. See how useful, stupid, unrelated examples are?
     
  15. LDB

    LDB New Member

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    Quality in the U.S. sometimes is bad, further reinforcing the point that location does not determine quality but that in some cases location and quality are related.
     
  16. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    You keep insisting that. Do you have any proof whatsoever that location and quality are "related" in the production of bicycles? Do you have any proof that quality issues have any extent beyond a given factory and that there is a causal relationship, in that extent, that is at the heart of the quality relation? Note that just because you can derive a correlation doesn't mean that actual causal relationship actually exists. Correlation is a statistical value. If four restaurants in Skokie, Illinois are fined for health code violations, that doesn't mean that Skokie is the reason that there were 4 health code violations.

    Again, you insist that in some cases location and quality are related. Please provide proof that this is the case in terms of bicycles.
     
  17. LDB

    LDB New Member

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    Do I have specific evidence that quality issues in bicycles are related to a specific geographic location? No, no more than there is absolute evidence there has been zero incidence of quality issues in bicycles in specific geographic locations and for that matter any other specific manufactured product. I have not and am not saying that all product from any specific area is low quality. I am saying that it is possible at times for that to be the case.
     
  18. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    In 2009 there was a run of Roubaixs that had the rear brake bridge set too low, preventing the use of tires fatter than 23mm. In fact, some of the fatter 23s didn't clear.

    But would I let the country of origin dictate whose frame I'd ride? No, I think it's related more to the level of supervision by the brand and attention to detail by the manufacturer. Trek has been having problems with their OCLV forks so their TCT forks have been migrating up the product line. Interestingly, the forks on the Fisher Cronus have not been troublesome.

    And the Taiwanese frames by Scott, Felt, Giant, Cannondale, Specialized, and the Trek TCT frames, have been superb.
     
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