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Old 05-01-08, 06:32 PM   #1
ShadowGray
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Bike brand rankings?

What are the general bike brand rankings?

I know cannondale and trek are high up... where do schwinn and jamis fall in? Which is better, schwinn or jamis?

What other brands are out there?

I know huffy's like at the bottom.
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Old 05-01-08, 06:35 PM   #2
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Walmart sells Schwinn... nuf said.

Used to ride a Schwinn until i got the trek a few years back. thou the schwinn did sit for 10 years unmaintained in a basement.. so it needs an oiling/cleaning/lubing... and a replacement of break cables. Just tested them last weekend with a squeeze and blew the plastic housing of the cables apart!
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Old 05-01-08, 06:37 PM   #3
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What are the general bike brand rankings?

I know cannondale and trek are high up... where do schwinn and jamis fall in? Which is better, schwinn or jamis?

What other brands are out there?

I know huffy's like at the bottom.
Within all those brands there are models at many price points and quality levels. Except at the highest and the lowest end of the scale, the frames from different companies are often contracted out to the same factories in Asia and they have the same components.

You will be much better off comparing levels of components, finding the level you want, and then trying that level bike from a number of brands to see which one fits you best and looks best.

EDIT: BTW, even Huffy put their name on some very very nice bikes.

Last edited by huerro; 05-01-08 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 05-01-08, 06:44 PM   #4
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Within all those brands there are models at many price points and quality levels. Except at the highest and the lowest end of the scale, the frames from different companies are often contracted out to the same factories in Asia and they have the same components.

You will be much better off comparing levels of components, finding the level you want, and then trying that level bike from a number of brands to see which one fits you best and looks best.
This is excellent advice.
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Old 05-01-08, 07:09 PM   #5
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Seriously, all bike brands that appear in Local Bike Shops (LBS) are similar in quality at the same price point. Anything that appears in Walmart will be of lesser quality, even if it has the same brand as stuff you see in bike shops (Schwinn has its Walmart line and its LBS line).

You really, really need to stop agonizing about which bike to buy and just buy a cheap, functioning bike. And ride it and have fun. And eventually you'll figure out what bike you really want.
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Old 05-01-08, 07:36 PM   #6
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My favorite brand is:

"Overpriced, sterling-quality bike that was bought on impulse, ridden twice and then hung in the garage and then sold for a song on Craigs list ten years later"

They make good stuff.
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Old 05-01-08, 08:11 PM   #7
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My favorite brand is:

"Overpriced, sterling-quality bike that was bought on impulse, ridden twice and then hung in the garage and then sold for a song on Craigs list ten years later"

They make good stuff.
quite possibly the best post on bike purchasing I have ever read. My favorite bike is an old Fuji Supreme I got for $10 at a garage sale. Still had the little nubs on the tire when I got it. My cervelo and Giant hang on the wall neglected because I would rather ride the Fuji.
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Old 05-01-08, 09:17 PM   #8
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My favorite brand is:

"Overpriced, sterling-quality bike that was bought on impulse, ridden twice and then hung in the garage and then sold for a song on Craigs list ten years later"

They make good stuff.
Sadly, that brand has no distribution channels really here in the city...
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Old 05-02-08, 11:50 AM   #9
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The bike manufacturers generally make only the frame. They buy the components from Shimano, Campy, Mavic and others.

Some manufacturers make a really basic frame so it is inexpensive and hang better than usual components on it for its price point. Other manufacturers make sophisticated frames that are costly so at the price point, you take a component hit. Often the same manufacturer will offer two models offering both of the above mentioned approaches.

The thing is that competition is very tough in the bike business. The LBS will not carry bad bikes. They don't have to. Bikes with similar components and similar frames (like low end carbon fiber race bike) are very similar.
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Old 05-02-08, 12:08 PM   #10
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Brands smans. It's all about the frame and the other components
quality that matter most. Learn those first to find a good to great bike.

Start with a lugged steel frame and build from there.
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Old 05-02-08, 12:16 PM   #11
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Did a thread on this a while back:
Road Bike Hierarchy
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Old 05-02-08, 03:02 PM   #12
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aren't they color-coded for quality?



celeste green bikes looking most like the kmart logo are entry level.
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Old 05-02-08, 04:25 PM   #13
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This thread is kind of silly. There are hundreds of bike brands and each one makes a range of bikes. There are also quite a few different categories of bike with many different subcategories (mountain bike, road bike, cyclocross bike, single speed 29er mountain bike, trials bike, BMX bike...) There is just no way to accurately rank them.

My favorite bike brands are Surly, Niner, and Salsa. I have no interest in most of what the big manufacturers make, so to me these three brands rank higher than Trek, Specialized, and Cannondale. But like I said, there are way too many variables. A much better question (and still somewhat contentious) would be "what is the best bike model for a given bike category and price range".
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Old 05-02-08, 04:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ShadowGray View Post
What are the general bike brand rankings?

I know cannondale and trek are high up... where do schwinn and jamis fall in? Which is better, schwinn or jamis?

What other brands are out there?

I know huffy's like at the bottom.
I'm thinking that it might be wiser to get out your flute BEFORE you open the basket of snakes.
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Old 05-02-08, 04:41 PM   #15
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I really like Jamis bikes. They have nice road, touring, mountain, city, and comfort bikes. They are comfortable, responsive, well-made, and reasonably priced. They have alot of steel bikes, which I value.
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Old 05-02-08, 04:56 PM   #16
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also depends on the intent of use of the bike. it's hard to compare a banshee and a ridley. one makes mountain, the other road.

i hope i'm not shot down by too many for this...

but i would say the BEST bike you can get is a custom-made frame specifically for you made outta your material of choice.
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Old 05-02-08, 07:32 PM   #17
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Would a better question be:

"What brands should I look at and are there any I should avoid?"

Before joining these forums (being away from bikes for 15 years) there are names here that I wouldn't have recognized and thus would not have known to be good quality. If you dedicate some time to reading the forums you'll start to glean which are good and which aren't. Even the "good" ones have their lovers and haters so over time you'll learn which are "quality" but have their fanboys and haters.

I'm personally a Trek fan, not because of Lance, but because I'm a Wisconsinite and lived in a town where they had a manufacturing plant years back for accessories. Ironically, I dont' own one anymore, having gotten rid of mine for a Specialized MTB and a Giant Hybrid. Someday I'll go roadie and who knows what I'll buy after the test-rides.
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Old 05-02-08, 07:35 PM   #18
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just stay away from campy...go shimano =)
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Old 05-02-08, 07:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Walmart sells Schwinn... nuf said.

Used to ride a Schwinn until i got the trek a few years back. thou the schwinn did sit for 10 years unmaintained in a basement.. so it needs an oiling/cleaning/lubing... and a replacement of break cables. Just tested them last weekend with a squeeze and blew the plastic housing of the cables apart!
There are Schwinns and then there are Schwinns. Try looking up the WalMart, Target, et al., Schwinns on the Schwinn website...you probably won't find most of those models. It's kinda like they don't want to admit to building them.
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Old 05-03-08, 09:01 AM   #20
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This thread is kind of silly. There are hundreds of bike brands and each one makes a range of bikes. There are also quite a few different categories of bike with many different subcategories (mountain bike, road bike, cyclocross bike, single speed 29er mountain bike, trials bike, BMX bike...) There is just no way to accurately rank them.
If your bike gets stolen and you want an insurance company to replace it (rather than just give you some cash) , then does the brand matter? If you can't get an exact replacement, would you want a similar model from the same brand? Would you want a model from a similar type of brand, eg a Specialized for a Trek or a Cannondale. Would you care if you got a Shimano 105-equipped Schwinn to replace your stolen 105-equipped Cervelo?
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Old 05-03-08, 09:41 AM   #21
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You will be much better off comparing levels of components, finding the level you want, and then trying that level bike from a number of brands to see which one fits you best and looks best.
That's what I think too. I have some bicycle brand preferences but they really aren't based on anything objective.
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Old 05-03-08, 10:02 AM   #22
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Would a better question be:

"What brands should I look at and are there any I should avoid?"
That's a fair question. When I give advice to friends who are beginners, or who are at least not bike-crazed like I am, I suggest brands like: Specialized, Giant, Kona, Trek, Gary Fisher. I do not rank the brands in any order. I suggest those particular brands because they are brands I personally would spend my own money on, and because there are good, local dealers who carry them.

Then I pass on my thoughts about the different local dealers. For example, one particular LBS seems to have more going on in the way of commuter bikes. Another tends towards high-end mountain bikes. Another has a very enthusiastic bike mechanic whom I happen to enjoy talking to.

In the "avoid" department, I caution friends on buying department-store bikes. I won't come out and say "don't buy them". But I will suggest that simpler is better. A $200 recreational Schwinn is a safer department-store buy than a $52.99 full-suspension mountain-bike. I have plenty of personal anecdotes to pass on that give friends a flavor of what to expect from cheap bikes. Mostly though, I focus on the positive, and on pointing beginners towards the local dealers.
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Old 05-03-08, 03:10 PM   #23
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Not to hijack this, but I've been lurking for a while and am a total noob to the arena of quality bikes. I have been doing quite a bit of research and checking my LBSs. I was looking at a Raleigh Venture 4.0, but I very rarely see anyone even mention the brand among Trek, Giant, et al. Why is that? I know it has a smaller share of the market, but seems to have a quality product. Am I over analyzing things?
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Old 05-03-08, 04:17 PM   #24
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I really like Jamis bikes. They have nice road, touring, mountain, city, and comfort bikes. They are comfortable, responsive, well-made, and reasonably priced. They have alot of steel bikes, which I value.
When you compare Jamis bikes to other brands in the same price range, you will often find better quality components on the Jamis. Very good value. It's also a small company, if that has meaning to you.
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Old 05-04-08, 06:52 AM   #25
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Not to hijack this, but I've been lurking for a while and am a total noob to the arena of quality bikes. I have been doing quite a bit of research and checking my LBSs. I was looking at a Raleigh Venture 4.0, but I very rarely see anyone even mention the brand among Trek, Giant, et al. Why is that? I know it has a smaller share of the market, but seems to have a quality product. Am I over analyzing things?
Yes, you are over-analysing, especially for the type of bike your looking at. Raleigh's are a good brand. I owned the Giant equivalent of the Venture (the Cypress) and had some mechanical issues with it, so brand name doesn't guarantee anything.
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