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  1. #1
    Drive the Bicycle.
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    Rating Bicycle Brands

    --- Is there a website or a publication that lists the various brand names of bicycles and rates them according to their quality?
    "The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man's metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well." Ivan Illich ('Energy and Equity')1974

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    Senior Member DiegoFrogs's Avatar
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    Don't most "brands" produce a variety of qualities at different prices? Ford manufactured both the Edsel and the Viper...

    And then compound that with the problem that not all "marques" were actually made by the same people. I'm pretty sure Peugeot's were made by different people in both France and (mostly) Canada with only a license to use the name.

    You have to analyze them on a case-by-case basis.

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    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77Univega
    --- Is there a website or a publication that lists the various brand names of bicycles and rates them according to their quality?
    http://www.roadbikereview.com/defaultcrx.aspx
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  4. #4
    Drive the Bicycle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs
    You have to analyze them on a case-by-case basis.
    ---Yes, I am looking for the experts who have already analyzed them on a case-by-case basis and published their findings. Specifically, I wonder where the (now discontinued) Univega brand's reputation stacks up with other road bikes.
    "The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man's metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well." Ivan Illich ('Energy and Equity')1974

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Ford made Viper? Why did they put Dodge on it!(maybe you ment the other snake---the cobra)---sam

  6. #6
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77Univega
    --- Is there a website or a publication that lists the various brand names of bicycles and rates them according to their quality?
    Sheldon Brown has a lot of articles on old bicycle brands:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/oldbikes/index.html

    And another page on Japanese bike brands:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/japan.html

    And another on French bikes and the various brands of them:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/velos.html
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  7. #7
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    WHEN are you talking about?

    In 1975, Schwinn, Motobecane, Gitane, Mercier, Peugeot, Fuji, Colnago, Raleigh and Bianchi were the brands that dominated the road bike market in the USA.

    In 2005, at the Tour de France, riders will be riding on Trek, Giant, Specialized, Time, Look, Cervelo, Ridley, Colnago, Orbea, Pinarello, Opera, Cannondale, Bianchi, BMC, Scott, and others.

    Only a couple of brands that were among the "first rank" of road bikes back in 1975 are still favored by Pro riders thirty years later: Colnago, Bianchi...did I miss any others?

    If you are talking about "how good is the bike", the fact is, most bikes sold at a given price point are very similar in quality. In 1987, a $500 road bike from ANY major brand used high quality double butted steel tubing for the frame, and had a Shimano 105 drivetrain, or used equivilent level components from Sun Tour, or Campy. They had light alloy wheels, and weighed 22 or 23 pounds.

    The REAL difference in those $500 bikes was styling, color, fit, and MOST important: the quality of the dealer assembly and set-up, and the quality of warranty service provided after the sale.

    Pro riders get their bikes and their service for "free". "Joe Average" must pay for his bike and pay for repairs and service. So, for "Joe", it is important to buy from companies with a reputation for delivering reliable bikes, assembled and set-up by a first rate dealer's network, and that back their warranties with meaningful service.

    Brands that come to mind in 2005 for high quality products and high quality warranty service in the USA are: Trek, Cannondale, and Specialized and Giant.

    Brands that have repeatedly changed distributers and that are struggling to achieve the quality of dealer network and factory support that they had thirty years ago include Motobecane, Raleigh and Fuji.

    The Fuji company is a mystery. Fuji has built some of the best bikes in the world in every price range, and in every style for the past four decades. But, they have failed to maintain a meaningful presence among the Pro peloton and they have failed to build and maintain an extensive, high quality dealer network in the USA.
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 05-27-05 at 10:54 AM.

  8. #8
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    The Fuji company is a mystery. Fuji has built some of the best bikes in the world in every price range, and in every style for the past four decades. But, they have failed to maintain a meaningful presence among the Pro peloton and they have failed to build and maintain an extensive, high quality dealer network in the USA.
    Just a thought here... when you're a subsudiary of a company that is successful and makes most of its money off other products - well maybe the corporate commitment to doing everything they can to market their bikes just isn't there.

    What I do know - I LOVE my old Fuji. Will love it even more when I can get everything perfrectly adjusted.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  9. #9
    Senior Member DiegoFrogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77Univega
    ---Yes, I am looking for the experts who have already analyzed them on a case-by-case basis and published their findings. Specifically, I wonder where the (now discontinued) Univega brand's reputation stacks up with other road bikes.

    My Bad: I thought you were just looking for meaningless generalities about manufacturers. I've never owned a Univega... It seems to me they were reliable and budget minded. I'm sure they've gotten a TON of undergraduate and graduate students to class on time over the years. They're definitely one of the marques that I keep my eyes open for when I spot a heap of trash.

  10. #10
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAZorro
    Just a thought here... when you're a subsudiary of a company that is successful and makes most of its money off other products - well maybe the corporate commitment to doing everything they can to market their bikes just isn't there.

    What I do know - I LOVE my old Fuji. Will love it even more when I can get everything perfrectly adjusted.
    What is Fuji a subsidiary of? Sheldon Brown says they're independent of other Japanese companies named Fuji. He likens the name Fuji to "Ace" in English as far as brand names go...
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  11. #11
    The Recycled Cycler markwebb's Avatar
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    Two sources I use a lot: Sheldon Brown and this site: http://www.classicrendezvous.com/

  12. #12
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    What is Fuji a subsidiary of? Sheldon Brown says they're independent of other Japanese companies named Fuji. He likens the name Fuji to "Ace" in English as far as brand names go...
    Well, I learned something today. If they were in the US, there's be lawsuits over use of the name. Maybe someone else can explain the little mystery. All I know is, mass-produced machine of the bike-boom era or not, it is one pretty bike, and it rides like a dream. Hopefully I'll have something else really nice to compare it to before the summer is through.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  13. #13
    No Money and No Sense sillygolem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre View Post
    What is Fuji a subsidiary of? Sheldon Brown says they're independent of other Japanese companies named Fuji. He likens the name Fuji to "Ace" in English as far as brand names go...
    Fuji went bankrupt in the late '90's and after a few ownership changes is now held by Taiwan's Ideal bicycle. I -think- they own the whole brand; originally just the U.S. distribution rights were sold off.

  14. #14
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    I compare dozens of bicycles for ride quality and construction quality in MY "TEN SPEEDS". Not sure if that is what you're after but at least there are comparisons of quite a few vintage bicycles there. Check out different countries to learn more about specific bikes I have owned, built, tested and, in some cases, kept and ridden.

    Hope this is a help.

  15. #15
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    Cinelli is the best. F***k the rest.

    Sorry, just joking. I think you'll find when you get into the upper end of fine bicycles they begin to get very similar. The parts are the same, and the frames may have subtle differences, but really, they're all in the ballpark.

    For me, I prefer 531 and Campagnolo, but I have been deviating lately because that gets boring.
    Last edited by dbakl; 11-15-10 at 08:10 PM.

  16. #16
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77Univega View Post
    ---Yes, I am looking for the experts who have already analyzed them on a case-by-case basis and published their findings. Specifically, I wonder where the (now discontinued) Univega brand's reputation stacks up with other road bikes.
    No better or worse than an almost endless list of vintage Japanese bikes out there. Like many bike companies, Univega's product line went from so-so entry level bikes to really good bikes, and everything in between. I have had several Univegas, I have two right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    Cinelli is the best. F***k the rest.
    That's what I thought when i bought my first Cinelli, albeit a 1984 model. It was a toss between it and a De Rosa at the time. I still have it, but have four De Rosa's and a couple of Merckx's, too. I won't sell any of them, but I ride the De Rosa's most often.

  18. #18
    OCD Moderator cb400bill's Avatar
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    FYI, you guys are replying to a 5 year old thread.
    Last edited by cb400bill; 11-16-10 at 09:23 AM.
    Laterally stiff yet vertically compliant.

    Viscount Aerospace Pro Trek 770 Cannondale Synapse

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
    That's what I thought when i bought my first Cinelli, albeit a 1984 model. It was a toss between it and a De Rosa at the time. I still have it, but have four De Rosa's and a couple of Merckx's, too. I won't sell any of them, but I ride the De Rosa's most often.
    Never had a DeRosa, But I've had a 63, 67, 69, 75 and 84 Cinelli and the 84 is the only one I chose to keep (though the 75 was pretty nice).

    Honestly, lots of great bikes out there. Collect them all!

  20. #20
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Euro/Brit bike frames are generally much lower quality brazing, threading and facing compared to US/Japan. US and Japanese frames have much better quality compared to any vintage Euro/Brit bike (esp brazing and lug appearence). Old Euro/Brit bikes have crappy Euro components (esp the French stuff), US and Japanese vintage bikes have Japanese components.

    There's a reason all the Euro/Brit bikes aren't exported to the US much past 1980, they sucked and nobody wanted to pay a premium for junk. I worked at an LBS during this time, Simplex, Stronglite, TA and Huret products were stone-aged compared to Shimano/SunTour.

    Same thing with tubing, late 70's early 80's Columbus/Renyolds/Vitus tubing had no QC, tubes were all over the map on thickness, Tange and Isiwata were light years ahead in QC.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Quality is relative to the time it was built, overall conditions in the industry at that time and the bike owner's intended use.
    It's kinda senseless to put together such a list because of this.

    Chombi

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs View Post
    Don't most "brands" produce a variety of qualities at different prices? Ford manufactured both the Edsel and the Viper...

    And then compound that with the problem that not all "marques" were actually made by the same people. I'm pretty sure Peugeot's were made by different people in both France and (mostly) Canada with only a license to use the name.


    You have to analyze them on a case-by-case basis.

    Uh... the Edsel was a technological marvel and very well made for it's time. Ford "FE" engines that are still in use today are based on the engine developed for the Edsel... and the Viper is a Dodge, not a Ford.
    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    it's 'leaving the scene of an accident' because no state government has passed a law against 'leaving the scene of an on-purpose'.

  23. #23
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fasteryoufool View Post
    Uh... the Edsel was a technological marvel and very well made for it's time.
    Not saying the Edsel wasn't on par with everything else of the time, but what is your evidence that it was a "technological marvel" and/or better made than average?
    Geoff
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  24. #24
    Grillparzer Grillparzer's Avatar
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    ...what is your evidence that it was a "technological marvel" and/or better made than average?
    The Edsel offered several innovative features, among which were its "rolling dome" speedometer and its Push-button Teletouch transmission shifting system in the center of the steering wheel. Other Edsel design innovations included ergonomically designed controls for the driver and self-adjusting brakes (often claimed as a first for the industry, even though Studebaker had pioneered them earlier in the decade).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edsel
    The Edsel was mostly a failure of marketing and planning for Ford rather then design or build quality. They built a car with a funny looking grill that competed directly with their other models.
    People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him.

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