Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Has technology & made in China=name brand obsolete?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Has technology & made in China=name brand obsolete?

Old 09-29-11, 04:22 AM
  #1  
thehammerdog
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
thehammerdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NWNJ
Posts: 3,499

Bikes: Road bike is a Carbon Bianchi C2C & Grandis (1980's), Gary Fisher Mt Bike, Trek Tandem & Mongoose SS MTB circa 1992.

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 594 Post(s)
Liked 258 Times in 169 Posts
Has technology & made in China=name brand obsolete?

Given that the same people who make the Big high end stuff for the big boys most likely make the cheaper knock off stuff. Does it really matter anymore, outside of the very new super high end pro level stuff, who's name is on it? I 've seen wheels made of carbon for a fraction of what the big boys get for similar weight products.
Frames same thing......
Why not buy the e-bay stuff.. Most brands/companys today are just registered in the USA with a mailing address and all manufactuing and research done in china.
Your thoughts
thehammerdog is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 04:31 AM
  #2  
Braden1550
Senior Member
 
Braden1550's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 550

Bikes: I hate bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quality schwag=Taiwan. This is well known.
As for what you're paying for?
Othewrwise, check this link out. It's an article written with Raoul Luecher of Luechertecknik..a bloke who knows a fair bit about composites and particularly bikes.
Braden1550 is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 04:36 AM
  #3  
Snydermann
Lotus Monomaniac
 
Snydermann's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,046
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Just like many things today, bikes, in my opinion, have lost their soul. A Colnago made in Taiwan is not a Colnago. It's a good thing Ernesto is still alive or he'd be rolling over in his grave.

Back when bikes were steel they were made by craftsman, or at least made by machines operated by craftsman. Steel, cutting, assembly and the heat of brazing with a torch.

Now bikes are glopped into a mold and stamped out like so much else trivial today, and the lemmings continue to buy them.
Snydermann is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 04:43 AM
  #4  
pdedes
ka maté ka maté ka ora
 
pdedes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: wessex
Posts: 4,423

Bikes: breezer venturi - red novo bosberg - red, pedal force cg1 - red, neuvation f-100 - da, devinci phantom - xt, miele piste - miche/campy, bianchi reparto corse sbx, concorde squadra tsx - da, miele team issue sl - ultegra

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
my business imports brands and sells open mold commercial refrigeration units from china. branding is becoming less important because the major brands are lowering their standards to meet the new pricing reality that customers expect. and big brand warranty service is regressing in response to the decline in quality.
pdedes is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 04:44 AM
  #5  
thehammerdog
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
thehammerdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NWNJ
Posts: 3,499

Bikes: Road bike is a Carbon Bianchi C2C & Grandis (1980's), Gary Fisher Mt Bike, Trek Tandem & Mongoose SS MTB circa 1992.

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 594 Post(s)
Liked 258 Times in 169 Posts
cool site....He seems to make my point. If all else is equal which indeed it often is, a non branded frame when made by company X who also makes the Name brand frame is as good, just cheaper and less Blingy....wheels as well....quality has always been an issue but My Full Carbon "made in Itlay" sticker said so Bianchi frame cracked after 6 months....it was replaced for free but cost me $100 to have it stripped and rebuilt....no named frames do not warranty...so I guess thats the gig
thehammerdog is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 04:57 AM
  #6  
Braden1550
Senior Member
 
Braden1550's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 550

Bikes: I hate bikes.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Snydermann View Post
Colnago made in Taiwan is not a Colnago. It's a good thing Ernesto is still alive or he'd be rolling over in his grave.
I hope nobody tells him his bikes are made in Taiwan by Giant then.
No, I'm not kidding. Were you?

FWIW, and it's been said before, to claim something is "Made in Italy" (Fatta in Italia?) you only need to do a certain percentage of the work..e.g. paint and bolt stuff on.

My Dogma frame was made in Taiwan and hand finished in Italy. Still an amazing bike!
Braden1550 is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 05:02 AM
  #7  
ThinLine
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,946

Bikes: Pedal Force RS2, Canyon, Basso, Tommaso, Rock Racing, Schwinn, SWOBO, Trek

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Lowering of standards is directly related to lower quality, inferior products, mass produced junk which China is the king at.
Taiwan is much more quality oriented and better than China.

Even Germany with brands like Focus and Canyon have succumbed to China.

It is a Shame indeed
ThinLine is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 05:17 AM
  #8  
rollin
Sua Ku
 
rollin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hot as hell, Singapore
Posts: 5,705

Bikes: Trek 5200, BMC SLC01, BMC SSX, Specialized FSR, Holdsworth Criterium

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I pay the right brand for RnD, back up, customer service, warranty, quality control, sponsoring the sport I love etc. May seem intangible but to me this is all worth paying for.

I'm sure there are open mold frames that are unbranded and good but I wouldn't want to bet my front teeth on that.

By the way the idea that all of China makes inferior product and all of Taiwan makes a quality product is a little blinkered.
rollin is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 07:07 AM
  #9  
Bacciagalupe
Professional Fuss-Budget
 
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,470
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
With the exception of the high-end stuff, bikes are commodities, and have been for a long time.

What distinguishes one from another will be things like fit, warranty service, branding, aesthetics, trust in the manufacturer. If you're looking at a $2500 CF bike, it doesn't matter whose name is on it, as long as they are reputable.

I personally would avoid the eBay stuff, but I also don't think it will explode at the slightest provocation.


Originally Posted by Snydermann View Post
Just like many things today, bikes, in my opinion, have lost their soul....
Bikes don't have souls. They are hunks of metal and rubber that can get you from point A to point B.

I see no particular reason why an Italian factory worker has "more soul" than a Taiwanese worker, and any manufacturer that wants to make more than 10 bikes a year is going to need to automate parts of the process.

Feel free to appreciate fine craftsmanship, but if that's what you're into, it's still around and easy to find.
Bacciagalupe is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 07:12 AM
  #10  
hhnngg1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I've seen that article before. While the points sounds reasonable, he pretty much gives no hard data whatsoever to justify any of his claims and fears.

I could write the exact same article commenting on how dangerous your car is because it has parts sourced from Asia that you have NO idea what the process/manufacturing was.

Far, far more compelling is hard data on injuries and frame failures on generic carbon frames from Asia vs major bike manufacturers (likely from the same place.) Unfortunately he doesn't give them, but it doesn't take a skilled searcher to see that on the bike forums, where you pretty much hear about users griping like crazy on any bike failure, there definitely are not a rash of failures with generic carbon frames, especially compared to standard manufacturers.

Makes most of what he says completely negated, despite the 'solid sounding' reasoning behind it. I run into this all the time at work - arguments that sound rationally very plausible, but when you actually look at the most important numbers, it doesn't pan out to be any more than fearmongering.

(As an aside, physicians in ERs and other places would be quick to pick up on any rash of injuries caused by generic CF frames and would issue an early health alert regarding them if such a problem existed. It would be an easy hi-profile publication that would greatly raise your professional reputation. Alas, this increased incidence of CF failures is a total myth.)

Last edited by hhnngg1; 09-29-11 at 07:24 AM.
hhnngg1 is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 08:27 AM
  #11  
Bob Dopolina 
Mr. Dopolina
 
Bob Dopolina's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 10,193

Bikes: KUUPAS, Simpson VR

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 136 Post(s)
Liked 110 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
Given that the same people who make the Big high end stuff for the big boys most likely make the cheaper knock off stuff. Does it really matter anymore, outside of the very new super high end pro level stuff, who's name is on it? I 've seen wheels made of carbon for a fraction of what the big boys get for similar weight products.
Incorrect.

Just because it comes from the same factory doesn't mean it is the same thing with a different sticker. Does GM only make 1 car?

Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
Frames same thing......
Why not buy the e-bay stuff.. Most brands/companys today are just registered in the USA with a mailing address and all manufactuing
and research done in china.
Your thoughts
Incorrect.

China does not do R&D. That is done by the brand. China makes stuff to order.
__________________
BDop Cycling Company Ltd.: bdopcycling.com, facebook, instagram



Bob Dopolina is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 08:33 AM
  #12  
pallen
Descends like a rock
 
pallen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 4,030

Bikes: Scott Foil, Surly Pacer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
exactly. The physical manufacturing is only one step in the process of making a bike. Bad manufacturing can ruin a good design, but good manufacturing wont help a bad design. Where the negative "Chinese" element comes in for me is when you have a factory that just rips off other peoples designs. You cant really know for sure the knock-offs are manufactured to the same quality specifications as the real deal spec'd by a company that designed the part.
pallen is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 08:37 AM
  #13  
patentcad
Peloton Shelter Dog
 
patentcad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Chester, NY
Posts: 90,508

Bikes: 2017 Scott Foil, 2016 Scott Addict SL, 2018 Santa Cruz Blur CC MTB

Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1137 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 18 Posts
Uh huh.
__________________
https://www.cotsiscad.com
patentcad is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 08:42 AM
  #14  
tagaproject6
Senior Member
 
tagaproject6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 8,551

Bikes: Wilier Izoard XP (Record);Cinelli Xperience (Force);Specialized Allez (Rival);Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (Centaur); Colnago AC-R Disc;Colnago V1r Limited Edition;De Rosa King 3 Limited(Force 22);DeRosa Merak(Red):Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Hydro(Di2)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 549 Post(s)
Liked 273 Times in 141 Posts
:

tagaproject6 is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 08:48 AM
  #15  
Bob Dopolina 
Mr. Dopolina
 
Bob Dopolina's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 10,193

Bikes: KUUPAS, Simpson VR

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 136 Post(s)
Liked 110 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by pallen View Post
exactly. The physical manufacturing is only one step in the process of making a bike. Bad manufacturing can ruin a good design, but good manufacturing wont help a bad design. Where the negative "Chinese" element comes in for me is when you have a factory that just rips off other peoples designs. You cant really know for sure the knock-offs are manufactured to the same quality specifications as the real deal spec'd by a company that designed the part.
Well, if company A can make what appears to be the same product as company B by stealing their 'designs' and do it for less than half the price I would scratch my head and wonder how this was possible.

Is company B running at massive margins and company A is willing to make next to nothing for their products?

No...this is the bike industry. No-one is making massive margins.

Has company A developed some new, innovative way of producing the same product for less than half the price?

No..they have copied or stolen all of their processes from their 'strategic partners'. They don't do R&D, they just copy and paste.

Well how can company A do it for so much less? Is it MUCH lower labour?

Not as low as you think and wages are rising VERY quickly as are energy cost and other fixed costs.

Then how can company A pull of this miracle of manufacturing? Could it be a difference in material, the fact that no product gets left behind, no R&D and limited liability?

Golly...you may be on to something there.
__________________
BDop Cycling Company Ltd.: bdopcycling.com, facebook, instagram



Bob Dopolina is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 08:52 AM
  #16  
billyb0b115
Senior Member
 
billyb0b115's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: NW Houston
Posts: 95

Bikes: Specialized Secteur Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i've always thought the same thing, but my cousin gets on my ass for not buy high end stuff (being that i'm on a budge) and says i'll regret it once it fails on me...

Great article brad
billyb0b115 is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 08:53 AM
  #17  
Trucker Dan
Senior Member
 
Trucker Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 734
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As long as people care about fashion and what others think they will buy the latest bling bike. I'll admit that I'm guilty of this.
Trucker Dan is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 08:57 AM
  #18  
RacerOne
Hills hurt.. Couches kill
 
RacerOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Brazil, IN
Posts: 3,370

Bikes: 1991 Specialized Sirrus Triple, 2010 Trek Madone 6.5 Project One, 2012 Cannondale Caad10, 2013 Trek Crockett

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I guess what I'd like to see, instead of a bunch of speculation and scare tactics of "you just don't know" would be somebody taking these frames and tearing them apart to see what they're made of. Until somebody does that, all the discussion in the world is pretty much useless.
RacerOne is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 09:20 AM
  #19  
ThinLine
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,946

Bikes: Pedal Force RS2, Canyon, Basso, Tommaso, Rock Racing, Schwinn, SWOBO, Trek

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
And why doesn't Japan manufacture bikes? Or Germany? I have been asked this a few times, to which I answer; It would cost double or triple the price.
Why? Because you are paying for competent skilled craftsman who know exactly what their doing.

I have a 1990 Schwinn KOM S9 MTB, top-o-line for its day and it was made entirely in Japan and it shows.
You do get what you pay for.
ThinLine is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 09:23 AM
  #20  
Phantoj
Certifiable Bike "Expert"
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,647
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Did name brand really matter when it was all just Reynolds 531 anyway?
Phantoj is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 09:23 AM
  #21  
hhnngg1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by ThinLine View Post
And why doesn't Japan manufacture bikes? Or Germany? I have been asked this a few times, to which I answer; It would cost double or triple the price.
Why? Because you are paying for competent skilled craftsman who know exactly what their doing.

I have a 1990 Schwinn KOM S9 MTB, top-o-line for its day and it was made entirely in Japan and it shows.
You do get what you pay for.
Yup, that 1990 bike is so good that pros would prefer it over current-gen CF bikes because it was 'handmade' in Japan. Right.....
hhnngg1 is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 09:31 AM
  #22  
pallen
Descends like a rock
 
pallen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 4,030

Bikes: Scott Foil, Surly Pacer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
Well, if company A can make what appears to be the same product as company B by stealing their 'designs' and do it for less than half the price I would scratch my head and wonder how this was possible.

Is company B running at massive margins and company A is willing to make next to nothing for their products?

No...this is the bike industry. No-one is making massive margins.

Has company A developed some new, innovative way of producing the same product for less than half the price?

No..they have copied or stolen all of their processes from their 'strategic partners'. They don't do R&D, they just copy and paste.

Well how can company A do it for so much less? Is it MUCH lower labour?

Not as low as you think and wages are rising VERY quickly as are energy cost and other fixed costs.

Then how can company A pull of this miracle of manufacturing? Could it be a difference in material, the fact that no product gets left behind, no R&D and limited liability?

Golly...you may be on to something there.
There's a few factors.
1. No R&D means much lower overhead costs to recoup.
2. Cutting corners - if you talk to anyone who has worked with Chinese manufacturing they will tell you about how they are constantly trying to cut corners, substitute materials and do things cheaper. You have to constantly inspect and watch them like a hawk. Take out the party constantly holding the manufacturing company to the agreed standard and guess what happens to quality.

Sure, you may end up with a product that is still "good enough", or you may not...
pallen is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 09:46 AM
  #23  
hhnngg1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
While these comments about Chinese manufacturing I do agree with and there are definitely egregious cases of bad manufacturing, I do think that it's different when it comes to CF frame bikes.

- You can't just 'swap out' stuff for carbon that easily. It takes a billion dollarish factory to crank out the frames from the molds. There are zero 'basement builders' in the CF business. If we were talking steel bikes, there would be a far greater margin for cheap substitutions, but CF has a very high barrier to entry, sufficiently that the carbon bike factories are pretty much in China + Taiwan, and that's it. That alone gives you a fairly respectable level of quality.

- Forces required to destroy a carbon frame outside of a crash are extremely rare, if not nonexistent. If cycling involved regular hi-speed collisions that tested the full integrity of the frame day in and out, you'd see a LOT more problems. Truth is, you're rarely involved in anything more than a spill, and if you do wipe out at speeds higher than 15mph and especially if you collide with something, there is NO CF bike manufacturer that will say that the frame failed due to their CF failure and not your user error (and thus will not honor a warrantee in a crash situation.) I think this is the single biggest point people ignore about generic CF frames - we don't subjective them to extremely high forces compared to aviation and other CF applications.

- There are remakably few (less than rare) 'spontaneous catastrophic failures' of these generic frames. In over 4 years of living on multiple forums, I can't think of a single vendor that was singled out as having CF frames that were 'dangerous' or 'faulty' that required mass avoidance. People tried to make BD that enemy, but they've pretty much been silenced in the past 2 years with the quality of the products coming out from there. If anything, generic CF frames are now becoming even more widely accepted - companies like Pedal Force pretty much sell generic CF frames - while they offer more of an identity if anything goes wrong, it's a 99.9999% chance that they'll never need to worry about frame failures given the reasons above.
hhnngg1 is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 09:48 AM
  #24  
sced
South Carolina Ed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Greer, SC
Posts: 3,709

Bikes: Holdsworth Super Mistral Fastback, Macario Pro, Ciocc San Cristobal, Viner Nemo, Cyfac Le Mythique, Giant TCR, Tommasso Mondial, Cyfac Etoile

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
Liked 121 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by Phantoj View Post
Did name brand really matter when it was all just Reynolds 531 anyway?
Or Columbus? Not very much. It's always been a matter of fashion and being fashionable.
sced is offline  
Old 09-29-11, 09:55 AM
  #25  
cleon
Recently Addicted
 
cleon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Front Range, CO
Posts: 521

Bikes: M1 w/105

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Why are bikes different than any other manufactured product in the world. Resistance is futile...
cleon is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.