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Identifying Bike Manufacturers

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Identifying Bike Manufacturers

Old 06-25-19, 09:49 PM
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Identifying Bike Manufacturers

Hello, recently I've been interested in buying a new bike, and even though it won't be the first bike I've ever bought, it would be my first at least semi-educated purchase of a non-department store cheap bike. I'm most likely looking at a flat bar hybrid/gravel bike in the $500-$1000 USD range. With that said, I've been going through the different manufacturers and have somewhat of an idea of what's what and who's who, but I have to admit that it'd be nice to have some help.

I do have another thread about buying advice for a new bike, but I thought this might need it's own thread.

I do understand that for the most part, most of the bikes from any large manufacturer in any given range are more similar than not. But there does seem to be some manufacturers who just seem to be more geared towards the pro racer rather than the everyday rider, some online brands that seem too cheap to buy, and some that don't seem to be as available here on the west coast of North America as they might be elsewhere.

What I'd like to know is are there any advantages to going with any company over another? Which companies offer better value and which ones you're paying more for the name? Which companies cater more towards certain crowds? Which ones have better customer service etc.?

Anyway, if anyone wants to briefly break down or explain any of these companies that would be great.

I've made a list below of all the main ones I've come across time and time again, but I know there are many more. It seems that Trek, Giant, Specialized, Cannondale and maybe Scott seem to be the biggest players in the market at least in North America. Also, I'm leaving out the Walmart level brands(Schwinn, Raleigh, Mongoose etc.).

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Old 06-26-19, 06:52 AM
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Its unfortunate you view Raleigh as a Walmart brand since it isnt, and also since its a brand I would recommend at your pricepoint. Raleigh and Diamondback are owned by the same parent company and are excellent value for the money. At your pricepoint, there is real value to be had from those brands vs the retail store brands.
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Old 06-26-19, 07:02 AM
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"I'm most likely looking at a flat bar hybrid/gravel bike in the $500-$1000 USD range. "

My advice would be to not overanalyze the purchase. If you want a hybrid type bike, avoid the front suspension models, as they add unnecessary weight. Look for a wider tire instead.

I'd be surprised to find that there are any advantages generally among the brands you've listed. Maybe a larger dealer network, should you have a problem after purchase? That can be discovered by googling that brand's retailers in your locale.

In terms of quality or features at that price, they'll all be equivalent. Bikesdirect.com has the Motobecane Mulekick Express COMP at the $800 point, delivered to your door. Aluminum frame and carbon fork, SRAM hydraulic disc brakes, SRAM Apex 1 x 11, 40C tubeless tires. Perfect for what you've described. Can you find a better deal anywhere else? I'd be surprised to find out.
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Old 06-26-19, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Journey20 View Post
What I'd like to know is are there any advantages to going with any company over another? Which companies offer better value and which ones you're paying more for the name? Which companies cater more towards certain crowds? Which ones have better customer service etc.?

Anyway, if anyone wants to briefly break down or explain any of these companies that would be great.
Personally, I wouldn't focus on the "company," because in the end, they are all similar in that the bikes use all the same OEM components.

Are any really better in terms of warranty and customer service? I can't say, but I do believe most of that will come from the shop you buy from so I think it is important to find a good shop you feel can offer the best service.

Most of the companies mentioned have full line offerings but some are more focused on segments (like mostly road, or gravel or mountain...)

Start by finding the style of bike you want at the price point you seek from one company. Then find the similar models from the other companies. You will probably find a +/- 20% range of pricing. The more expensive ones may be "All Ultegra" and the lesser priced ones may be "mostly Ultegra" (for example). That will kind of allow you to sort it out.

When I was shopping for a carbon Ultegra road bike, my observations:
BMC, Cannondale and Specialized tended to be the more expensive, but offered the all Ultegra set.
Trek, Giant, Scott all offer great values, with mostly Ultegra.
Canyon had the lower price, but not supported by the LBS (mail-order, you assemble it)

Good luck with your quest.
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Old 06-26-19, 08:20 AM
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At the price range you are seeking, all bikes are made by contract manufacturers in Asia. Treks and Specializeds and Scotts will be pumped out by the thousand on the same assembly line. The bigger companies order larger production runs and can possibly spec some more unique features, while smaller players order bike designs out of catalogues. However, on the road, if properly assembled and fitted to the rider, there will be little difference.
If you find a bike that fits better or is more comfortable to ride than the others, get that one. If they all feel the same (which is likely), choose based on how the bike looks, or how much you like dealing with the shop that sells them, or by price, or whatever seems to matter to you... then pull the trigger and get a new bike, hen ride the hell out of it.
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Old 06-26-19, 10:00 AM
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You may also want to look at the REI Co-op adventure bikes.
I also will say that Raleigh is not a Walmart bike. They are sold in LBS's all over the country, but are also available on Amazon.
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Old 06-26-19, 10:51 AM
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many brands concentrated in few factories

Giant and Merida are an OEM factory, making a lot if additional brands other than their own marque..

Salsa and Surly are brands Maxway Ltd TW , is the contract manufacturer for those

and a lot more steel framed bikes for other importers ..

Raleigh USA is another pac rim import, Bianchi USA also.

Budget? you got about $2k to spend on a bike or want to only spend $400 [YGWYPF]

So, which ones can you physically test ride ?


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Old 06-26-19, 10:54 AM
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Old 06-26-19, 03:10 PM
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They are all the same. Do you want to ride off road more than on? If it's a 50/50 thing yes get a drop bar not flat bar.

However if you primarily think of hitting trails on weekends frequently, just get an MTB. The right tool for the right job.

Of course a gravel bike can do some off road, but it can't do a lot of trails as good as a pure mtb.

Learn your parts and such...do some reading...take it all with a grain of salt, but educate yourself enough and find a used bike. People lose interest in cycling, get injured, or just need money and don't ride. The market of quality opens up to a degree not found in just buying a brand new bike.
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Old 06-28-19, 05:07 PM
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I would advise you to visit several different bike shops and factor in your comfort level of that shop. As you said in your post, the bikes in each price range will be pretty similar in terms of performance and specs.

This being said, I would try and find a bike that comes equipped with disc brakes and thru axels.
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Old 06-28-19, 05:30 PM
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