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Different Bike Brands Sharing The Same Frames

Old 05-30-15, 09:01 PM
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Different Bike Brands Sharing The Same Frames

I got to thinking the other day, which is always a bad thing, and wondered how many bike frames among the various brands of bikes are actually identical? Surely all bike frames aren't designed exclusively for a certain bike/bike company as manufacturing costs would be too high, especially for the lesser known brands or brands that don't have as much sales potential as the big boys. There must be some frames among the various companies that are identical with only different brands and paint jobs to differentiate them in the marketplace.

Does anyone know of different bikes that share the same frames? Obviously most of them share the same components.
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Old 05-30-15, 09:40 PM
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i'll bet most of the large frameset manufacturers offer their clients (the small bicycle manufacturers) enough options to easily customize their clients framesets to the point where they are not identical. and then most of the larger ones demand some, if not all, of the design specifications to come from their designers.

i think some of the recently purchased 'old school' brand named bikes, like motobecane. dawes, mercier, and windsor, use some of the same frames... although i won't put of much of a defense if someone challenges that statement.
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Old 05-30-15, 11:43 PM
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A few years ago I had enough spare parts to build up a bike, but needed a frame. After shopping around a bit I settled on Performance's Scattante Aluminum road frame (with a "made in Taiwan" sticker on it) - which btw, rides very nicely for a $200.00 frame and fork. Along the way I was riding the bike paths in Madison County, IL and a cyclist passes me on a Motobecane. What caught my attention was that its frame seemed identical - same teardrop shaped downtube, seat and chain stays the same diameter and bent the same angles in the same places, etc. Don't tell me that those two frames didn't come off the same production line in the same factory.
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Old 05-31-15, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tcarl
Don't tell me that those two frames didn't come off the same production line in the same factory.
They probably did.

With carbon it's a bit harder to tell because although two frames might look the same on the outside there is an almost infinite number of possibilities of arranging the layers of carbon fiber below. But on balance they might just be the same - there are a lot of bad ways - and fewer acceptable ways.
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Old 05-31-15, 03:16 AM
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My wife bought a steel Gios Ampio at a large bike shop. Looking around the shop I found that there were several "Italian" (made in Taiwan) bikes which had the same frame; De Rosa, Bianchi, and Cinelli. All bikes were the same price with the same components, they were just different colors with different decals.
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Old 05-31-15, 08:28 AM
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Since these days a very high percentage of bike frames are welded up in China or Taiwan, I would be willing to bet that many brands actually have the same frame.

Besides, with a certain spec, what would be different? Would there be a rep from a certain company be in the factory to give a frame a hug and a kiss make it special for that company?

IMO it comes down to what you dont know wont hurt you. I have tho always wondered what a generic frame from China actually cost the bike manuf here. Does anyone know.
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Old 05-31-15, 09:38 AM
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Very few factories make multiple brands under contract then ship them across the sea to Importer's warehouses .

Giant & Merida are examples of those who did that, before also beginning to set up distribution-dealer networks of their own..
so now they do Both..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-31-15 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 05-31-15, 09:49 AM
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No doubt that some of the 3rd-tier (Store brands; Bikesdirect; etc.) brands use the same generic frames that the second-tier(Fuji; Diamondback; etc.) manufacturers use..... My old Bikesdirect was definitely just a rebadged Fuji.
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Old 05-31-15, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Very few factories make multiple brands under contract then ship them across the sea to Importer's warehouses .

Giant & Merida are examples of those who did that, before also beginning to set up distribution-dealer networks of their own..
so now they do Both..
+1

Years ago when selling the Japanese or Taiwan Schwinn Approved bikes, we would just tell the customer that they came from the same builder as X, Y, Z brands but with a better warranty.

Very few frame manufacturing facilities have the capability to take raw CF and weave the clothe used in frame construction or be able to make their own resins. Giant has that ability in addition to having a substantial R&D component.
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Old 05-31-15, 10:12 AM
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I have a Motobecane mountain bike from Bikesdirect that the aluminium frame appears to be identical to the aluminium frame of Cannondale mountain bikes but for the cable routing. One of the reasons I bought the Motobecane. $200 less with slightly better components with a choice in color, while I had not choice of color for the Cannondale at the time. Was a no-brainer. It's been an excellent bike.

QT
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Old 05-31-15, 01:36 PM
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Where some well known brands get their frames made: https://www.bicycleretailer.com/sites...ry_10_1_11.pdf
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Old 05-31-15, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Stucky
My old Bikesdirect was definitely just a rebadged Fuji.
Not a surprise...Fujis occasionally come up for sale on the BD website, usually a last year's clearance model. In fact, there's one on the website right now.
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Old 05-31-15, 02:56 PM
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Thanks for the responses. I find this an interesting topic as it seems there are only a few things that set different bikes apart, especially when they use the same components.
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