Who makes your bike and is it important

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Aquila
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Joined: 19 Jan 2019, 11:02am

Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby Aquila » 20 Feb 2019, 1:32pm

With nearly every manufacturers frames being built in Taiwan in the same factories, Does it really matter what make of bike we choose? Or is it more important to choose components and geometry over brand names?

I ask because there is often a big difference in price for similarly spec'd bike's and is the extra for the big brand name justified?

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby reohn2 » 20 Feb 2019, 1:57pm

Initially I look for the geometry,which includes wheel size,to suit my needs,material it's made from(I prefer steel),brazeons,maker,colour in that order.
I prefer to buy a frameset and build to my personal spec though 4 years ago I did buy a complete bike(Genesis Longitude)but that was because it was mostly specced as I wanted had £100 reduction and was on interest free credit :)
There are IMO some makes though good bikes are grossly over priced for what you're getting for your money,Thorn and Surly to name two.
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pwa
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Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby pwa » 20 Feb 2019, 2:08pm

Taiwanese frames can be very good and usually represent good value, but even from Taiwan the quality varies. You should look for well-thoughtoutness. So, for example, Thorn and Spa are very particular about frame geometry, fittings and so forth, so regardless of where the frames are made they will have the thinking of the retailer embedded.

scottg
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Joined: 10 Jan 2008, 8:44pm
Location: Highland Heights Kentucky,, USA

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby scottg » 20 Feb 2019, 2:28pm

Aquila wrote:I ask because there is often a big difference in price for similarly spec'd bike's and is the extra for the big brand name justified?


Taiwan frames can be all over the place, depends on the price, but more importantly how closely
the brand knows the particular factory and does the brand have their own person checking up on the factory.
Some factories deliver lovely prototypes and 1st batch frames, then the spec starts drifting, if you aren't
watching. The joys of the multi thousand mile supply chain. Things were simpler when frames were built
in the shed out back.

nb. Surlys are Taiwan with extra stops in the US for design and x-shipment, doesn't help the price at all.
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reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby reohn2 » 20 Feb 2019, 2:33pm

I forgot to mention that it doesn't bother me that a frameset is made in Taiwan as the Taiwanese are the leading bicycle frame makers in the world,though as PWA mentions quality can vary.Though of the five or six Taiwanese framesets I've owned I haven't had a bad one,on the contrary the workmanship on the Taiwanese framesets I have owned has been first rate.
All of which brings me to warranty I do look at that too when buying and five years is mostly the best you get these day,gone are the warranties for life.
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foxyrider
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Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby foxyrider » 20 Feb 2019, 9:27pm

Of my current fleet of bikes only two were bought as complete machines, however before one hit the rode it was almost completely rebuilt to my own spec and the other did maybe 500km before being completely rebuilt with a complete groupset upgrade. So effectively all my bikes are 'me' builds.

Where the frame was built is neither here nor there, the three steel bikes are UK builds, one custom, two off the peg, the carbon and Al machines have Taiwanese frames as you might expect even if there is a French, a German and a UK 'maker' there.

What matters most to me is the suitability of the bikes for what I want, i'm not averse to buying a bike and dumping the fitted parts. In favour of what I want - the CX bike for example arrived with a Tiagra/FSA mix of parts, I never rode that bike, the drivetrain was changed to Campag, even the handlebars and saddle were dumped before I rode it. It's now a spec that the mfr has never built but it's what I want.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

landsurfer
Posts: 5307
Joined: 27 Oct 2012, 9:13pm

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby landsurfer » 20 Feb 2019, 9:39pm

foxyrider wrote:Of my current fleet of bikes only two were bought as complete machines, however before one hit the rode it was almost completely rebuilt to my own spec and the other did maybe 500km before being completely rebuilt with a complete groupset upgrade. So effectively all my bikes are 'me' builds.


Your a bike manufactures dream ...... :lol:
Buy a bike then junk the components .... really ??
Be More Mike.
The Road Goes On Forever

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foxyrider
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Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby foxyrider » 20 Feb 2019, 9:45pm

landsurfer wrote:
foxyrider wrote:Of my current fleet of bikes only two were bought as complete machines, however before one hit the rode it was almost completely rebuilt to my own spec and the other did maybe 500km before being completely rebuilt with a complete groupset upgrade. So effectively all my bikes are 'me' builds.


Your a bike manufactures dream ...... :lol:
Buy a bike then junk the components .... really ??


Well some bits get sold on or given away, a few might go in the spares box. The FSA/Tiagra stuff was mostly sold, the only OE stuff left on that bike is the seat clamp and headset, I even replaced the OE mudguards. The bike still isn't exactly light but it lost over 4kg to put it at 10.5kg unladen, my heaviest steed :D
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

whoof
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Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby whoof » 20 Feb 2019, 10:19pm

scottg wrote:
Aquila wrote:I ask because there is often a big difference in price for similarly spec'd bike's and is the extra for the big brand name justified?




nb. Surlys are Taiwan with extra stops in the US for design and x-shipment, doesn't help the price at all.

A pound being currently about 1.26 dollars when it was as high as 1.46 dollars in January 2016 doesn't help a great deal either.

thelawnet
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Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby thelawnet » 21 Feb 2019, 12:31am

I was recently looking at some Taiwanese frames:

http://www.mosso.com.tw/products.php?fu ... c_parent=2

However they seem to sell 16 variants on the same geometry.

Unfortunately there's a not a good choice of frames on sale in Indonesia (rims can be a bit of a problem too - drivetrain is easy presumably as they are more portable).

I would say it matters quite a lot, if your Taiwanese frame is not the sort of geometry you are looking for. On the other hand it probably matters much less if the geometry is right and the only choice is 'Trek' or 'Unnamed brand'.

Marcus Aurelius
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Joined: 1 Feb 2018, 10:20am

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 21 Feb 2019, 2:40am

At the lower end of the price range I don’t think it matters much. Same old same old with different stickers. The high end stuff is not that though. So it depends exactly which part of the range you’re at, as to how much it matters.

landsurfer
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Joined: 27 Oct 2012, 9:13pm

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby landsurfer » 21 Feb 2019, 7:09am

foxyrider wrote:
Well some bits get sold on or given away, a few might go in the spares box. The FSA/Tiagra stuff was mostly sold, the only OE stuff left on that bike is the seat clamp and headset, I even replaced the OE mudguards. The bike still isn't exactly light but it lost over 4kg to put it at 10.5kg unladen, my heaviest steed :D


In retrospec, i have just looked at my Jamis Aurora ....My daily ride.
Bought from Evans in Sheffield this time last year ....
The frame, brakes and seat post are all thats left from the full touring bike i bought !!
:D
Be More Mike.
The Road Goes On Forever

Racingt
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Joined: 23 Oct 2015, 6:45am

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby Racingt » 22 Feb 2019, 6:33am

Suitability for purpose is the main concern for me. I’ve had three UK custom builds, only one (Roberts) still remains in my garage, The choice of frame material appears irrelevant to comfort now, as the design of my latest aluminium bike matches the comfort of the Roberts. I would question, if you have had 5 Taiwanese frames, why not buy just once and buy well?

Hobbs1951
Posts: 480
Joined: 15 Apr 2014, 10:48am

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby Hobbs1951 » 22 Feb 2019, 8:22am

Not familiar with modern touring bicycles; I have three, all vintage (and owned for a long time - two from new); Philbrook, Roberts and an Allin. See no reason to buy new/modern.

John.

pwa
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Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Who makes your bike and is it important

Postby pwa » 22 Feb 2019, 8:36am

Thorn have long made a virtue out of sourcing their frames in Taiwan. They talk about it in their blurb. They claim that the people who weld their frames together are very good at it, perhaps better than anyone else, because they are where the frame construction industry now is. And by asking them to focus on accuracy rather than speed of production you get as good a job as you would anywhere. Thorn's current version of their Audax frame has the medium reach (57mm) brakes maxed out in a way that most brands don't, because they are sure enough in the accuracy of their frame makers that they don't have to leave much margin for error. Well, that is what they say.

Reasons to buy a UK made frame and forks instead:
Supporting local jobs. A good reason.
Wanting a bespoke frame. If you want that, you want it.
Nostalgic attachment to the notion of a UK workshop product.