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What's wrong with cookie cutter frames?

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What's wrong with cookie cutter frames?

Old 12-13-06, 02:59 PM
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IcySmooth52
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What's wrong with cookie cutter frames?

If your looking for a basic bike with good quality, what's wrong with a cookie cutter frame? As long as it fits, has quality controll and wont break with regular use (and as far as I know they dont break, least the good brands). Of course your not going to get the same preformance as a custom or made in the USA frame, but its not its a piece of crap. I'd like to know the actual definition of a cookie cutter frame as well actually. Obviously Giant falls under this catagorey, but what exactly else?

Last edited by IcySmooth52; 12-14-06 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 12-13-06, 03:06 PM
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Given the conditions you've specified, nothing is wrong with cookie cutter frames. One reason people critique such frames is quality control, another major one (in the road-bike world) is that such frames are designed around a racing model even though most people riding them won't be racing and don't need that sort of fit.
Another issue is number of available sizes. Frames with more incremental options have a better chance of fitting you well than frames with four options that will use widely varying stem and seatpost lengths to got a semi-proper fit.
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Old 12-13-06, 03:10 PM
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The most important piece of the equation is fit, and the frame doesn't have a whole lot to do with that if you get it close, assuming head tube angle is "normal."

A better frame can potentially be lighter and stiffer, or at least rigid in desirable areas and compliant in others. It really doesn't make much of a difference in performance though.

A good example of an inexpensive frame that would be fine to road race on would be any of the Nashbar units. So much other stuff comes into play in fast riding, that the equipment becomes a pretty small piece of the equation. Once you to a certain quality level, the improvements are very minor.
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Old 12-13-06, 03:21 PM
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Nashbar steel MTB $45!!

There isn't anything wrong with a cheap frame as long as it doesn't break-QC. Nashbar has their steel MTB frame on sale for $45. Of course, it isn't as nice as their $285 853 MTB frame, but it is certainly adequate.Their cheap aluminum MRB frame-about $100 I think- is lighter than the 853 frame(not as lively, I guess, but...).
Luck,
Charlie
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Old 12-13-06, 03:51 PM
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If by "cookie cutter" you mean K-Mart/Wal-Mart bikes, there is plenty wrong. If you mean Trek, Cannondale, Fuji, Specialized and similar makers, there is absolutely nothing wrong and plenty right.
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Old 12-13-06, 04:02 PM
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Nothing wrong at all. Build it up with some quality components, add some personal touches to make it your own.
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Old 12-13-06, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by IcySmooth52
Of course your not going to get the same preformance as ... made in the USA frame, but its not its a piece of crap.
what the hell makes you think a 'made in usa' frame would be so good?
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Old 12-13-06, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by odl21
what the hell makes you think a 'made in usa' frame would be so good?
Nobody could stay in business manufacturing crappy frames in the US these days. Manufacturing is too expensive. Even top-notch frame builders like Ibis die here.
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Old 12-13-06, 04:59 PM
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so they can charge more and still make crappy frames. what makes you think americans are the most discerning buyers?
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Old 12-13-06, 05:50 PM
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Cannondale is a good example of what I was trying to say, and disproves "they can charge more and still make crappy frames." Cannondale makes excelent frames and dont overcharge.
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Old 12-13-06, 07:05 PM
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Not sure about your point of view on this but modern manufacturing technology has allowed building a quality bike frame almost anywhere. Difference in price comes down to materials, local labor costs, and components on a finished bike. Most C-dales still USA made as most Trek. But look at the entry level Trek bikes "made in China".
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Old 12-13-06, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by IcySmooth52
Cannondale is a good example of what I was trying to say, and disproves "they can charge more and still make crappy frames." Cannondale makes excelent frames and dont overcharge.
+troll
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Old 12-14-06, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by odl21
so they can charge more and still make crappy frames. what makes you think americans are the most discerning buyers?
this is a lot more troll like. why does this kind of thread always result in "you're an unpatriotic ninny", "you're racist against the taiwanese, who make better frames than the pope", "you fight like a dairy farmer", "how appropriate, you fight like a cow".
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Old 12-14-06, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by acorn_user
this is a lot more troll like. why does this kind of thread always result in "you're an unpatriotic ninny", "you're racist against the taiwanese, who make better frames than the pope", "you fight like a dairy farmer", "how appropriate, you fight like a cow".
operator is usually brusque in his responses, and is quick to call people trolls, but whether or not the OP intended his post for troll purposes, it can have that effect (esp. if it were in the Road Cycling forum).
The original post was somewhat vague, didn't make it clear what was being asked, specifically in terms of what groups were being compared. So even if the OP isn't (intending to be) a troll, the initial post could have been much better put-together.

The good thing is that posts in the mechanics forum are usually pretty articulate. IcySmooth52 didn't strike me as trolling so much as tossing off a thought that wasn't carefully crafted. And I assume (s)he can do better at this. But people's responses have mostly made this a viable discussion.

Last edited by TallRider; 12-14-06 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 12-14-06, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by oilman_15106
Not sure about your point of view on this but modern manufacturing technology has allowed building a quality bike frame almost anywhere. Difference in price comes down to materials, local labor costs, and components on a finished bike. Most C-dales still USA made as most Trek. But look at the entry level Trek bikes "made in China".
Last Trek Marketdroid I talked to said only OCLV frames are made in the US still. I could be wrong, (Last I heard all Fuels were made here too,) But that's what I was told.

That said, I'm riding a Raleigh 2006 Competition frame. Suprisingly nice for the price, and the unique construction definately makes people go 'huh?' Plus which it's a great frame for non-racing riding (Despite what the name would imply.) And the overall build quality definately impressed me...

US manufacturers can make crap and quality, Taiwanese manufacturers can make crap and quality, Chinese manufacturers can make crap or quality. It's all about how much the bike company is willing to spend on the frames. Remember, Huffys were made in the USA and we don't see anyone pining for them.
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Old 12-14-06, 03:11 PM
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no, I wasnt trolling. Its a forum, it was a topic for discussion. Some people read into things too much when there's nothing there besides whats stated. (It's quite amusing to see people point fingers though).

Back to the discussion. I think it was a genious idea to make compact frames with Al. For cookies cutter bikes, it increases it's rigidness and what makes Al frames fail is low elasticity. When a frame is more rigid, it dosent flex as much and should last longer than a less rigid bike of the same material and quality.
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Old 12-14-06, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by IcySmooth52

Back to the discussion. I think it was a genious idea to make compact frames with Al. For cookies cutter bikes, it increases it's rigidness and what makes Al frames fail is low elasticity. When a frame is more rigid, it dosent flex as much and should last longer than a less rigid bike of the same material and quality.
Pfft all that just to negate the cons of using AL? I'll take steel thanks.
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Old 12-14-06, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by IcySmooth52
When a frame is more rigid, it dosent flex as much and should last longer than a less rigid bike of the same material and quality.
True, a more rigid aluminum frame doesn't flex as much as a less rigid aluminum frame.
And because aluminum doesn't have a fatigue strength (i.e., any and all flexion of the metal weakens the metal, which is why aluminum is never used for springs) aluminum frames have to be built very stiff so they don't flex, otherwise they'll die.

Generally speaking, a more rigid frame won't necessarily last longer than a less rigid bike of the same material and quality (and I'm not sure what quality refers to here - quality of welding? weight? etc.)

A steel frame can be designed to be more flexible in some areas, because steel does have fatigue strength and provided stress stays below certain levels the metallurgical structure remains unaltered.

A more rigid steel frame of the same weight as a less rigid steel frame isn't necessarily more durable. Assuming that both frames are well-designed so that the steel isn't flexed beyond its fatigue strength, the main difference with regards to durability is that the more rigid frame will be built of oversized tubing, and for the oversized steel tubing to be as light as a normal-diameter steel tube, it has to be thinner-walled and is in danger of bending.

Look, I'm not against aluminum. I have an aluminum road bike (and two steel road bikes). Aluminum can be lighter than steel frames at pretty much any price point, and its stiffness can make the frame more responsive for power transfer. But that was a pretty limited discussion of stiffness and frames.
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Old 12-14-06, 04:58 PM
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Also: I'd be interested to have a definition of exactly what you mean by "cookie cutter." Are you referring to the country in which it's produced? Whether it's produced mainly by machine instead of man? whether Santa's elves have a role?
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Old 12-14-06, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by IcySmooth52
no, I wasnt trolling.
I believe you. I found out what a genuine troll is like a day or two ago in another thread.

Last edited by well biked; 12-14-06 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 12-14-06, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by timcupery
Also: I'd be interested to have a definition of exactly what you mean by "cookie cutter." Are you referring to the country in which it's produced? Whether it's produced mainly by machine instead of man? whether Santa's elves have a role?
Yeah i think a definition is in order. To me cookie cutter means most of the taiwan etc. frames. So what's wrong with them? NOthing to most people. The snobbish might find a problem with them, but they also haven't offered to buy me anything different. So i just ride the cookie frames.
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Old 12-14-06, 05:21 PM
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To me, the term "cookie cutter frame" implies you're talking about true mass produced bikes, of which you'll see a bunch out on the road or trail on a Saturday morning. Something like the latest Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc. All the major brands will have an offering at each price point. I'd probably consider the mid-range models to be the most "cookie cutter" of all, because they'll look pretty much like the higher end bikes, and lots of people will want one. If one is after a bike that expresses individuality, obviously this type of bike will not be appealing. But if one simply wants a lot of bang for the buck, you can't beat them. Years and years of bicycle "evolution" and a highly competitive market make for great value in "cookie cutter" bikes-

edit: I was really talking more about whole bikes than just frames in my above post. As for the frames, I think the main objective is to make a frame as light or lighter than the next brands' at a certain price point. Aesthetics is where the shortfall will be. But if a light frame is the objective, it's pretty impressive what's out there in the way of "cookie cutter frames" for the money. I would think that with carbon seatstays and forks as common as they are for improved ride quality, some of the frames don't ride too badly either. Can't say from personal experience, though-

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Old 12-14-06, 06:10 PM
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Mass produced? 99% of bikes/frames out there are mass produced. 99% of the pros ride on mass produced frames. I don't see a problem or a point.

They only real reasons that justify a custom frame are:
1. What you want isn't currently mass-produced
2. You have fit issues so you can't get a mass produced bike to fit properly (very rarely does this happen)

just my own opinion..
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Old 12-14-06, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by operator
Pfft all that just to negate the cons of using AL? I'll take steel thanks.
Maybe he's trying to say aluminum is only good for making cookie cutters (my wife uses those) in which case I would have to agree.
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Old 12-14-06, 06:44 PM
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Please! My wife makes awesome sugar cookies and she only uses Reynolds 531 cookie cutters. She's Old School.....
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