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  1. #1
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    Common manufacturers

    Since there are limited numbers of manufactures (mostly in both Chinas) is there a reference chart somewhere that indicates what manufacturer manufactures what frame for a marketing company (i.e TREK, Specialized,et al). I know, for example that Kinesis Industry (Taiwan) makes frames for various companies including TREK. I believe that Giant makes frames. I believe (but this is why I am asking) that the same frames are used by the different marketing companies. Example, the Kestrel frame looks very similar to TREK. Basically, I am looking for a cross reference so that I can get a bike of the "same" quality (frame and main components) without having to pay the marketing and advertising price. Example would be that TREK seems to have the biggest expense of marketing so it would be reasonable that in order to achieve the same or similar profit margin as another company, they would have to charge more.
    The reference I am seeking would be {this is a made up example** that the Kestrel Talon SL frame is mfg by X and the same frame can be found on TREK Madone 5.9 and that the geometry is the same or indicate the difference(s).

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I bet there are people who know that stuff, but it sounds like a lot of info for a chart that really wouldn't be of much interest. Who would produce such a chart? Most manufacturers probably want to keep that stuff somewhat quiet, that means the factories will comply. Hearing stories about a few brands is one thing, but having the whole thing laid out is asking a lot. There are also a ton of producers out there for bike stuff, the trade shows are massive, when you go to the trade shows you will see stuff that manufacturers claim is German made, or whatever, that comes from China spread out across the hall.

    Another thing is that the fact that two similar looking frames are made at the same factory does not mean they are the same quality. There can be a wide range of differences. For instance one line could consist of all the seconds, or be built on similar jigs with same labour, but have different grades of material. The commercial bike industry is not my thing, but I do know of similar examples in tooling, where the same company is making an "identical" product but the quality is all over the place depending on the price point the customer wants to hit. The really big companies that have mile long paint lines are going to be producing huge amounts of product so it almost presuposes a lot of different grades.

    Normally a company that has a huge marketing expense, and moves a lot of product, will get different pricing, so it isn't a forgone conclusion they are overcharging due to marketing costs. I know this one company that is well known for it's heavily marketed knives. They sell for around 60-200 dollars, and they bring them in by the container load. Someone who worked their told me the average price is 4 bucks. So imagine someone else has half the marketing budget, and pays 50% more for the knives, 6 bucks, it is still a miniscule part of the cost of the product we are buying. On a similar vein, there was a discussion on this board about Asian frames, and someone mentioned that the average tubing set over there in butted chromo costs 10 bucks. About 10x what I pay. The 4 dollar and 10 dollar prices seem unreal, but that was before we got a really good dollar store (Canadian dollars in my case). They have stuff for sale for 1 dollar that I just can't believe.

    Hope someone does have your list

  3. #3
    The Lo of CurtLo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    . . . someone mentioned that the average tubing set over there in butted chromo costs 10 bucks. About 10x what I pay.
    PP, clue me in on where you are buying tube sets for $1. I'd like to get in on that action.

    (I assume that you meant to say "About 1/10th of what I pay" or "I pay 10x that much." )

  4. #4
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Anyone who's ever gone to the Taipei bike show could probably answer most questions as to 'who makes who'.

    However, I just see it as fairly pointless act of being a smarmy pants in the vain of "Oooh, aren't I clever, I know Maxway makes Surlys" or something to that effect.

    Having said that, what I think would have a good reason is a list or thread outing companies that are anti-design and simply 'badge engineer' - that involves just buying 'stock' frames from a manufacturer and just sticking your own 'badge' on them (along with a dozen other companies doing exactly the same thing).

    However, knowing 'who makes what' is really pointless. For example, there are three major carbon manufacturers in Taiwan and China that make the vast majority of high-end (relative) carbon frames, but what does knowing who they are actually bring to the table?
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine View Post
    Anyone who's ever gone to the Taipei bike show could probably answer most questions as to 'who makes who'.

    However, I just see it as fairly pointless act of being a smarmy pants in the vain of "Oooh, aren't I clever, I know Maxway makes Surlys" or something to that effect.

    Having said that, what I think would have a good reason is a list or thread outing companies that are anti-design and simply 'badge engineer' - that involves just buying 'stock' frames from a manufacturer and just sticking your own 'badge' on them (along with a dozen other companies doing exactly the same thing).

    However, knowing 'who makes what' is really pointless. For example, there are three major carbon manufacturers in Taiwan and China that make the vast majority of high-end (relative) carbon frames, but what does knowing who they are actually bring to the table?
    Sorry that the ordinal post was not as accurate as you desire. Manufacturing is one part and the
    "badge engineers" [as you term then] is the other. PLUS minor changes of designs making the frame essentially the same should be outed. BUT have to start with who manufactures what for each bike marketer. Then have an overlay of the geometry to see what, if any, major or minor changes have been made.

  6. #6
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkc51246 View Post
    Since there are limited numbers of manufactures (mostly in both Chinas) is there a reference chart somewhere that indicates what manufacturer manufactures what frame for a marketing company (i.e TREK~~~~~~@~@~#~#~%%^^%~%^~$#~~~~~~~~~
    Please, it's enough to figure who may have built (similarly to) X, Y or Zed when you speak of classic cruisers. Schwinn, Snyder/Harris, Huffy...eventually you just by the brand and frame type with the features you like or you add them.

    I think it's the same for you guys.

    Over and over I point out the countless numbers of similar tube radios with different names on them made in one anonymous plant or another "Plant A", "Plant B"...if it weren't for those sets then we might not have left the Great Depression feeling as happy and they fueled the boom in station numbers that made us the greatest radio nation on Earth. Mind you they were the first to be manufactured overseas eventually because they were store branded and stores go for the lowest price and best profit margins more than others.

    Don't think about it, learn to spot quality and profit from your knowledge.

  7. #7
    Worker Ant maddog17's Avatar
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    1998 Ted Wojcik road

  8. #8
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    thank you maddog. now if could see geometry overlays everyone could see who the copycats are, partial copy cats, and innovators.

  9. #9
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Overlay the geometry of every bike made in SE Asia? Have fun with that.
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  10. #10
    Randomhead
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    I'm not sure how much innovation there is in geometry. It's tough for production designers to fit as many people as possible, but there are limits to what makes sense. This is particularly true for road bikes.

  11. #11
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkc51246 View Post
    thank you maddog. now if could see geometry overlays everyone could see who the copycats are, partial copy cats, and innovators.

    How are you going to do that? If, for example, 3 companies have similar geometries, how do you know who is copying who? And even if the geometries are very similar, how do you even know copying is going on in the first place? Sounds like a lot of pure speculation and generalizations going on.

    You also stated that minor differences between similar frames should be outed? Why? These differences are called features. Some features might appeal more to one customer. Some other features might appeal to another customer.
    Livestrong. The personal fundmaker of Lance Armstrong. The company who are in business to not donate to cancer research, but only to inform people that cancer is bad.

    Armstrong. The man without integrity, no care for the sport, and no problem with testing positive for EPO and making donations to cover it up.

    01101010101010001010

  12. #12
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Is there somewhere where you can vote for the dumbest threads ever?
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  13. #13
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    It's not dumb. We wonder about this stuff. You don't have to. What's in a name? Sometimes a lot. Sometimes very little. That's what we're trying to uncover.

    maddog17, that allanti page has some inaccuracies and deficiencies, though I recognize a lot of it as good information, and I trust some of it, too. But I wonder, ya know?
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  14. #14
    Worker Ant maddog17's Avatar
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    i dont think it's a bad idea to know where your carbon frame is being made. maybe knowing will make some feel more at ease, maybe not. but like Peter pointed out, even though your frame is made in the same factory as say a Colnago doesn't really mean that it isn't the same quality. i've read here and on other sites about the Pedal Force frames being pretty nice. i've also read that some of those cheapie frames on Ebay aren't. this is where the "factory second" part comes into play. "factory second" may not be the proper term to use, i don't want to imply that all of these frames may be "seconds" but on some of them the finished product isn't as perfect. for me personally it doesn't matter who or where the frames built. we all know that most are being built in Asia and as long as the companies at least acknowledge that i'm ok with it. don't tell me that it's built in Italy when it isn't. for me, if i'm going to pay $2000 or more for a frame, i'd rather get a Parlee or Crumpton or a Serotta. at least i know where it's built and that there won't be similar frames offered that are of lesser quality.
    1998 Ted Wojcik road

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