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  1. #1
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    Buying a Bike - Couple ?'s

    Well I've been researching bikes for the last couple months and this being my first serious bike, I want to make a good decision. My price range is 7-800 dollars and from what I have seen I have seen, my best option is a Giant Rainier.

    Now before I go into my questions I want to tell you about my style when it comes to sports. Im the type who learns quickly, and likes to "push it" to a certain extent. I want a fairly inexpensive bike as the prices I quoted above, but at the same time a bike that i can grow into and be happy with for a while as my skill improves.

    So I came here to ask you guys if a Rainier would in fact be the best bike for me. Does this bike allow for decent size impacts and fairly rough trails? My firends rides single track trails all the time, so would this bike perform well on them?

    Keep in mind im 19 and am currently in a tight financial situation which explains my interest in this bike. Therefore, I could start with thithe Rainier and upgrade it later on with higher end shimano.

    thanks for any input!

  2. #2
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    If you have that money congrats.
    Go for it. Thats great bike.

    i bougth the basic giant Boulder SE for 300us dollars and i love it.

    So if you will get Rainier, its mutch better

  3. #3
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    I seem to recall the Rainier as looking very good value for money, it's not available over here so I don't have direct experience of it. I'm quite happy with my fairly low-end Giant (not available, your side of the pond), and have slowly upgraded bits, because the frame is nice but my intial budget wasn't large. Bear in mind though that the Rainier is a XC frame, it's not a 'Freeride' frame so don't expect it to cope with large jumps or drops - it'll be robust but it's not designed for serious abuse.

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  4. #4
    Bash US - We'll Bash You
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    Well, I wouldn't spend that much money on a chinese bike, but people do everyday.

    At that price point there is only one mainstream company still making all of their frames in the US and that is Cannondale. All lower end Trek frames aren't US made - only the high end models - and Kleins and Fishers are Treks with a different name for the most part. Specialized and GT are chinese as well. I would opt for a bottom of the line Cdale over a chinese Giant any day.

    Its your cash, do as you please.
    Last edited by martin; 05-08-02 at 02:22 PM.

  5. #5
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Originally posted by martin
    At that price point there is only one mainstream company still making all of their frames in the US and that is Cannondale.
    Which Raleighs are made in the U.S. and which are made in China?
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  6. #6
    suitcase of courage VegasCyclist's Avatar
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    Originally posted by martin
    Well, I wouldn't spend that much money on a chinese bike, but people do everyday.

    At that price point there is only one mainstream company still making all of their frames in the US and that is Cannondale. All lower end Trek frames aren't US made - only the high end models - and Kleins and Fishers are Treks with a different name for the most part. Specialized and GT are chinese as well. I would opt for a bottom of the line Cdale over a chinese Giant any day.

    Its your cash, do as you please.
    Shimano is a Japanese company, so no matter what bike you buy it will have components which are not from the US. Just because a bike comes from another country does not mean it's crap.
    -VegasCyclist
    "Daddy made whiskey and he made it well.... cost two dollars and it burned like hell...."
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  7. #7
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    thanks for the input. As far as the parts being chinese, i could care less. I drive a toyota celica, toyota being one of the most reliable cars on the road.

    And if you guys read this, is their any bike out there for approximately the same price as the giant that could take some more abuse but at the same time be xc capable? Perhaps a jamis eureka, which got reviewed as a good huckster in bicylce magasine. Know anything about that bike?

  8. #8
    suitcase of courage VegasCyclist's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if you ever checked but mtbreview has reviews on bikes and such.
    -VegasCyclist
    "Daddy made whiskey and he made it well.... cost two dollars and it burned like hell...."
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  9. #9
    Bash US - We'll Bash You
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    My comments were not a bash against foreign content. They were comments specifically targeted to Chinese frame production.

    Yes, I own a Toyota as well. In case you didn't know, that is a Japanese company, not Chinese.

    I have also owned two Chinese framed bicycles. My old Mongoose from 10 years back was an example. Not a bad bike, but, I'm glad it got ripped off. Second example was a Schwinn I picked up about 5 years ago. Not bad, but not great either. It is gone, too.

    There is a huge difference between Japanese and Chinese parts. The quality control on Chinese components leaves much to be desired. If you ever shopped for machine tools and tried out a Chinese made milling machine or lathe, you know what I mean. As for frames, it takes more than a good hacksaw to build a quality frame. Given the location and cost constraints, most Chinese metal fabricators/manufacturers use Chinese machine tools to do those types of operations .

    As for Raleigh, ask them. Given Raleigh's English heritage, I have always steered clear of them anyway. The Brits never have made a reliable car so I wouldn't consider a bike to be within their capabilities either...just kidding...I know they have a manufacturing facility in the USA. It was my turn to bash the euros. God knows we deal with enough US bashing from them on a continuous basis.


    Giantismic, since you don't care where the parts are made, just go over to Walmart and get a bike. Clem and Jethro will take real good care of ya.

  10. #10
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    thanks martin for instulting my intelligence. I am very aware that toyota is a Japanese car. As a matter of fact, when i read my post after i posted it, i realized my error and predicted I would get a reply like yours =)

    Does china even manufacture cars? I thought all they made was the cheap toys in the drug store dollar isle.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by martin
    Well, I wouldn't spend that much money on a chinese bike, but people do everyday.
    If you dont mind, I'd like to hear why you wouldn't spend that much money on a chinese bike. Your comment seems to be a little harsh, don't you think?

    WHen saying chinese, are you refering to both China based-and Taiwan based-companies?

    Funko

  12. #12
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Bike production is pretty much like car production. Many "Japanese" cars are made in the UK with parts produced all over the world. Shimano has factories all over the world, not just in Japan - you might be buying a part from a Japanese company, but it could be produced in one of a number of countries. The vast majority of bike frames produced for the US and European market are made in Taiwan, and increasingly shocks etc. Generally to a high standard. As far as I'm aware it's labour costs, and mass production rather than using poor quality tools that enables them to dominate the market. Yes Taiwan produces cheap and cheerful rubbish as well as well manufactured products , but then so do most if not all countries.

    Unless you have strong political feelings with regards to buying a bike that contains parts made in certain countries I wouldn't worry about where it comes from - it would not be sensible business practice for Giant, Trek, Specialized etc. to get a reputation for using poor quality frames - quality control is generally pretty good.

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  13. #13
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    I agree with Richard. The bikes produced in Taiwan are generally of high quality, or Giant, Raleigh, Dawes etc. wouldn't shift production there (labour costs are a major factor of course). These are companies with excellent reputations.

    I dislike Shimano components not because they are bad, (they are superb parts) but because of the way they market so as to effect global domination of their niche, like McDonalds or Starbucks.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

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  14. #14
    Bash US - We'll Bash You
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    As I said before, it is your cash. Do whatever you damned well please. If it hurts some of your feelings that not everyone is in love with Taiwan/Chinese metal and machine tool products I suggest you get a thicker skin.

    One of the sad realities of Taiwan production is their reliance on raw materials from mainland China. Regardless of the political horse droppings you hear on the nightly news, Taiwan is still very much reliant on the PRC for most of their industrial consumables. Much of the metal used in those bikes comes from mainland China. My preference is US or european sourced metals for use in a product like a bicycle where catastrophic failure could mean immediate death. At least with a car you have protective features other than the metal shell to protect you.

    I have spent some time in Taiwan in the past few years professionally, so I am not averse to everything they do there. If you are familiar with TSMC you know what I mean.

    Richard, I have spent many years in the automotive industry. I am very familiar with the various sourcing options used in materials AND labor.

    As I said before Giantismic, its your cash do as you please. You asked for an opinion and you got one.

    Actually it sounds as though you were just seeking a pat on the back for having made such a brilliant selection on a bike.

    OK, I'll make you happy. Giantismic, you have made the most brilliant bike selection in the world!

    Now is everyone happy?

  15. #15
    huh? JaredMcDonley's Avatar
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    As far as I go, I know that you are just to close-minded to realize that America is not the only place that can make a good frame. I live in America and I know that we have some guy that doesn't know his a$$ from a but weld. You b!tch about the Chinese and all I have to say is that you maybe just have some deep-rooted hate that I think you are just spilling out and you are no even listening to yourself as you come of as a dumb, ignorant, person who only like American made stuff. You are making us all dumber when we listen to you.

    Look around a ford (American) made car will not out last a Jap or euro made car. I think that the price on a American made bike (that is near the price of a chiness made bike) has a lesser quality than some of the other made in other places. Sure you say that the frame and all is better made in America, who can you support your stamens?? I know I can back what ever I say!

    The last thing I have to say is that you don't have to be a jerk about it. (State what you have to say in a way that is not stereotypical! don't be a damn close-minded American that only knows of the world around him because his friend told him that info)

    Jared
    Last edited by JaredMcDonley; 05-09-02 at 01:46 PM.
    Liking what you do is Happiness; Doing what you like is Freedom.

  16. #16
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by martin
    I have spent many years in the automotive industry.
    There are people who believe the American auto industry is Evil, with a capital E, the way other people believe that the tobacco industry is Evil and still others believe that the PRC is Evil.

    There are people who believe that the best way Americans can expedite the advent of a better life for the Chinese is to support that country's conversion to capitalism. Personal wealth has a way of making people protective of their human rights.

    And there are people who believe that simplistic points of view are almost always wrong.

    RichC

  17. #17
    Bash US - We'll Bash You
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    And Rich, what do you believe?

  18. #18
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Well, since I work at a shop that sell Cannondales and there are 3 Cannondale bikes in my garage, I can say that Cannondales makes great bike w/o a doubt.

    But, you pay the price for it! The old, "You get what you pay for!" statement comes to mind.

    The biggest problem I see here is that Giantismic is looking for a decent bike for around $750-$800. Well, MSRP on a F400 is around $900. So, that puts C'dales out of the question anyways.

    Also, he's a 19 year old kid/young man, who doesn't want or need the BEST, just something to get started.

    If I were to compare side by side the Rainier and the F400, hands down I'd choose the Rainier for this type of rider.

    Now, IMO, Giantismic,
    Does this bike allow for decent size impacts and fairly rough trails? My firends rides single track trails all the time, so would this bike perform well on them?
    from your description, and knowing how a 19 year old is going to be more abusive, I would recommend more of a "Freeride" bike.

    The Rainier is aimed more for XC use and some entry level racing. It'll hold up well for rough trails, but if you start hitting big drops, you're going to outride the bike!

    If you're thinking XC type or even racing, the Rainier is a great choice! (Regardless where it's made!)

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  19. #19
    Bash US - We'll Bash You
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    a2,
    Locally, the Cannondale Terra is at $699.00 so that would be within his range.

    As for Giants, there are two levels of bikes that they make. There are the Taiwanese bikes which are not bad and then the Chinese mainland bikes which are pretty cheaply made.

    I was at the LBS this morning who is a Giant dealer and talked with him about their stuff. He sells mostly cruiser styles for use at the beach. His personal bike preference is his Cannondale(he isn't a dealer for them) which he has had for many years. We looked over some of the Taiwanese bikes and their quality was substantially higher than the Chinese mainland models. Of course there was a difference in price as well.

    Whatever you purchase count on taking a massive loss if you decide to sell it because even the Litespeeds, etc lose a lot of value as used beasts. That being the case, make it something you can live with for a long time and that will hold up.
    Last edited by martin; 05-10-02 at 10:55 AM.

  20. #20
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    seems as though i've stumbled across a world political debate of some sort.
    one of the reasons i mountainbilke is to have something else to think about.
    i do my riding on a 19" Giant Rainier, mostly XC/trail riding. i love my bike. i have made a few mopdifications to it, (but then i modified my '68 dodge dart witha 440, so i'm just like that.). i changed the bars and stem. the stem had a warning sticker that said" not recomended for agressive off-road use", so i got an Easton stem and Easton handlebars. i don't know where they are made but i heard nothing but good things about them(i hope that doesn't change now! ). i am 6'1" tall and wiegh 220lbs/100kilos, and i wouild not say i am overly agressive but i ride hard enough that the warning on the stem worried me, hence the change. i will probably get better cranks and derailleurs (probably XT(cranks and derailleurs), or XTR(derailluers, not cranks) if i can afford them)because i've heard they work better and that sounds good to me. i can already "feel" the weaknessess of the stock "Deore" parts so i "need" new derailleurs.
    blah,blah, blah...
    i am very happy with my Giant Rainier. i paid $650(US) for it and i like it and that's really all that matters to me.
    it's funny watching you guys argue though, thanks for the entertainment. i mean this in the nicest and most sincere way.

  21. #21
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    Would I be right saying that a specialized A1 comp FS would be a better bike for me in that its more of an all around bike able to take some good hits and abuse.

    The reason I ask is because I dont want a freeride bike because I dont plan to be taking and 10 foot drops anytime soon. However, I want my bike to be able to handle a 3-4 foot drop.

    Im 6-2, 175 if that helps you give me a better answer.

  22. #22
    CSG
    CSG is offline
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    I'm new here and a 51 year old recreational rider (but I've been riding all my life). I recently replaced my old late '80's K2 MTB with an REI Novara Ponderosa hardtail. It runs right at $695 and, I feel, for the money represents a great value.

    My riding is in Idaho both in the hills south of where I live and Boise (where we have a weekend home). I like riding the farm roads, trails, and paved bike trails.

    Depending on the REI near you, I think they can be viewed as an LBS. As a member, you'll get about 10% back on your purchases each year in the form of a dividend. REI also has a great return/customer satisfaction policy. While every location is different, the Boise store has some good techs working in their bike shop. Also, these folks don't get paid on commission and listen to what *you* want, not what they want you to buy.

    While they limit their bike models to their own Novara brand and K2, I found it the best place for me after looking around at a few bike shops.

  23. #23
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CSG
    Depending on the REI near you, I think they can be viewed as an LBS.
    That's really true. Based on anecdotal evidence, there's a huge amount of variability in the capabilities of REI bike departments. Some of them do function on a bike-shop level; some of them seem to have really bad reps.

    Novara bikes can be exceptional values, however, particularly in the touring and "trekking" categories. Their frames are their own designs, manufactured in Taiwan and comparable to Giant and Specialized and other frames that probably come from the same factories. And they generally use nothing but name-brand parts throughout, resulting in bikes that tend to be higher-specced than the competition at a given price.

    This is especially true if you find what you want at one of their sales, especially the Labor Day Sale. I bought my Randonee touring bike at this sale a couple of years ago, and I've still never seen a comparable new steel touring bike for under $500 as this one was. (Tiagra drivetrain with Sora levers, Mavic wheels, Ritchey build kit.)

    But it's also possible to leave an REI store with a bike that's not well prepared and that's inexpertly fitted. It depends on the store. And staff turnover tends to be more rapid in these sorts of places, making it difficult to establish a long-term personal relationship with your bike shop.

    RichC

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