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What the Specialized store seller told me (Is this true)?

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What the Specialized store seller told me (Is this true)?

Old 09-23-12, 07:29 AM
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BlackPaw
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What the Specialized store seller told me (Is this true)?

I stopped by the Specialized store on my way back home, wanted to see the entry level bikes for my purchase next year, and had an interesting conversation with the store seller.

Don't how the conversation ended in such topics - and I will write some of it here as it was basically something new to me, something I didn't expected.

"...they make new model of the same bike every year..."
"... the bikes especially entry level bikes like the Allez don't last very long and the equipment wears down rather easily - in 2-3 years time depending on how much ride"
"...they (bike manufacturers) go for lightweight design like, aluminum chain for example but you have to change it every 500-1000km..."

Then I asked him what about the Italian bikes like Bianchi, Cinelli etc - "I know people that still ride them today, bikes that are 20 or more years old"

"... those were different times, I for example rode a Colnago (i think he said colnago not sure though), weighed 15 kg + and still to present day with proper maintenance - the ride feels almost as same as it was new. the italian manufacturers focused on quality and they made one bike for example Pinarello 1980 model and the next model would be 5-10 years later. today every new years new bike comes out, they are made in taiwan or china (which he said isn't much of difference) because of cheap manual labour. Cannondale tried a few years ago to stay hardcore true - bikes only made in USA - but the prices were twice as much as the others. And they too had to go for taiwan."

He also mentioned that even Shimano components are made there with exception to Dura Ace, XT etc etc..

I was quite puzzled by this conversation we had, I was expecting that bike manufacturing was better and better (he said that even Specialized - didn't garantee for the bikes more than 3-4 years, they supposedly said the bikes are meant to be replaced - every 2-3 years because of component wear, damage etc etc..), and if this is true than I don't think it is ?

What are your opinions?
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Old 09-23-12, 07:35 AM
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Poppycock!! Sure there are some wear items but no reason an entry level bike can't last a good long time with proper care and maintenance. Heck, my Lemond lived a hard live before I got it and is my winter/rain ride. Yet is still is a fine machine mechanically and works just as well as either my 2009 or 2011 bike. And it's a 2000 year model, 12 years old!
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Old 09-23-12, 07:43 AM
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Sounds like an alarmist to me.
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Old 09-23-12, 07:50 AM
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"lightweight design" and "entry level bikes" are two different categories that he is mentioning.

The components on a bike can and do wear out, and you just replace them as needed, it's no big deal. High-end is not necessarily more durable than mid-range stuff, as a lot of the extra month is going for lighter weight, not indestructibility.

It sounds like the only thing good he had to say was about heavy vintage Italian bikes. Which is well and good, except that's not the modern bike market, and if everyone tried to ride them, there would be 50 time as much demand as supply.
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Old 09-23-12, 08:01 AM
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Generally speaking, true.

I have one bike from the '70s which I commute on, 5 or 6 from the '80s, (Japan). They are essentially stock but for the upgrades I elected to make, I see no end to their useful life. I also have a $3000+ carbon Roubaix. I would be surprised if it's good for ten years, less for the wheelset, less for the brifters.


The biggies can't survive if their bikes were to last a lifetime.
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Old 09-23-12, 08:05 AM
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Chains definitely wear out faster than in years past.

Light, cheap, stong: pick any two.
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Old 09-23-12, 08:07 AM
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I have ~4500 miles on my 2010 Allez Sport (Tiagra/Sora mix). I just replaced the original chain yesterday. It still rides just fine and I wouldn't say I take pristine care of it. Lots of wet/grimy commuting miles. I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 09-23-12, 09:09 AM
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subtle troll is subtle
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Old 09-23-12, 09:14 AM
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Since you asked...the whole conversation was rubbish. Sweeping stereotypes with no veracity.
You can ride a brand new Specialized Allez with 105 for 30K miles...probably longer with ordinary chain and cassette replacements...no different than any $10K bike. Lower level bikes from name brand companies have great durability...the difference is mostly weight, stiffness and ride quality. In fact, lower end bikes represent the best value in performance and durability relative to dollar.
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Old 09-23-12, 09:15 AM
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Not sure you are trolling.

Most of what you say he said is wrong or maybe hiding half-truths.

For example, the 5 or 6 speed chains from the 1970's or 1980's could easily last 10,000 miles while the narrow 10 and 11 speed chains will only last 3000 miles.

The old fashioned downtube shifters would essentially last forever while newer integrated brake lever/shifters may only last 3 years of heavy use.

But the overall tone of your posting is either blatantly wrong, half-truths, and/or troll.
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Old 09-23-12, 09:19 AM
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Since you asked...the whole conversation was rubbish. Sweeping stereotypes with no veracity.
You can ride a brand new Specialized Allez with 105 for 30K miles...probably longer with ordinary chain and cassette replacements...no different than any $10K bike. Lower level bikes from name brand companies have great durability...the difference is mostly weight, stiffness and ride quality. In fact, lower end bikes represent the best value in performance and durability relative to dollar.
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Old 09-23-12, 12:23 PM
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I would run far away from that shop and never return...
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Old 09-23-12, 12:39 PM
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That store seller is an idiot, and if he isn't, then he's a crappy salesperson.

He basically trashed the brand his store was supposed to sell, tried to sell you on bikes that his shop doesn't carry, then made cracks at Taiwan, and guess what, he's wrong about everything. Either find a manager and complain, or never return to that LBS.

"Entry-level bikes don't last very long." My entry-level r200 just entered year #12 and it's working...okay (need to replace the wheels, but that's no fault of the bike). A bike is like any other machine, including your body: take good care of it, and it'll last. Any salesperson who doesn't mention this deserves to be shot with a Remington loaded with a box of Nerds.

Specialized has a limited lifetime warranty: the warranty is good so long as you are the original owner. This is a huge selling point for Specialized, and any salesperson who doesn't know this deserves to be shot again.

"Aluminum chains." Last time I checked, most chains were made out of steel, then plated in something like nickel.

The Taiwanese. Bike manufacturers don't go there primarily for the cheap labor, but because Taiwan has a huge aluminum and carbon manufacturing infrastructure that you'd either have to be a fool or an elitist (or both) to ignore. A lot of resentment about Taiwanese-made parts is based on the spillover from American resentment of the Chinese (for what reason, I can't tell: lost jobs, lost manufacturing plants, fake handbags and watches, something about the deficit and the unwillingness of China to re-evaluated the value of yuan, we're all slanty-eyed bastards who can't be trusted with anything but hocking fake goods on honest consumers, take your pick); this resentment is unfounded, as the Taiwanese dislike the Chinese nearly as much as Americans dislike the Chinese. A salesperson - no, human being - who can make the distinction between the two should be quick to point out the differences between the level of quality between the products of the two countries. Now because of differences between the two nations, Taiwan and China will be very different in many cases, but for the most part, Taiwanese-manufactured goods are, well...good.

Last edited by AK404; 09-23-12 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 09-23-12, 12:40 PM
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Garbage. Bike I bought 8 yrs ago as good as new. Get quality though, cheap is cheap and is cheap for a reason.
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Old 09-23-12, 12:41 PM
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That guy sounds like a low-end clerk type, who's knowledge of bikes comes from a forum! ... wait...

Anyhow, a low end bike will last just fine, with regular maintenance, just like a high-end bike. The bikes you find that will most likely need new components quickly are big-box store-bought bikes. I know this because I read it in a forum!
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Old 09-23-12, 01:38 PM
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Nah, don't believe him...for one, Taiwan is way better than China in quality. I bought a Tomasso Agg....from RS cycles, vanilla wanna be big name from taiwan w/ carbon fiber frame and put over 5k miles on it. Just replaced cables and BB, still good for another 5k.
Some of what he said is the exception not the rule.
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Old 09-23-12, 05:57 PM
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He told you that a chain would only last 300-600 miles? And you believed him?

You did say 500-1000 km, right?

300 miles is less than 2 weeks for me.
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Old 09-23-12, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by AK404 View Post
American resentment of the Chinese (for what reason, I can't tell: lost jobs, lost manufacturing plants, fake handbags and watches, something about the deficit and the unwillingness of China to re-evaluated the value of yuan, we're all slanty-eyed bastards who can't be trusted with anything but hocking fake goods on honest consumers, take your pick)
That looks an awful lot like an attempt to dismiss a variety of legitimate concerns about China as racism. Classy.
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Old 09-23-12, 06:40 PM
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Time to find a new bike shop.
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Old 09-23-12, 06:56 PM
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While all of you are defending your flashy new bikes from 5 years ago.

this guy has a really good point. the components on most entry level bikes, along with the frames arent made with longevity in mind. Its one thing for a bunch of bike nerds to defend bikes that they maintain vigorously. but when you look at the life of wheels/ cassettes/ chains/ shifting gear/ on newer low end bikes. It is not that superb. I have an old unknown steel frame with campy and shimano that still shifts amazing, same with an 90s trek that I have. Its only about 5 years younger then me. (no maintenance) As for my new giant with (sora) and carbon jamis with gasp (ultegra), I am constantly changing cables/chains/ adjusting. readjusting.

All im saying is that yes. there is a decline in manufacturing quality.
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Old 09-23-12, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BlackPaw View Post
"...they (bike manufacturers) go for lightweight design like, aluminum chain for example but you have to change it every 500-1000km..."
Aluminum chain? BS meter just hit 11.
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Old 09-23-12, 07:20 PM
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did i just get trolled?
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Old 09-23-12, 08:30 PM
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so why are you looking for an entry level bike?
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Old 09-23-12, 08:39 PM
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Oh look another china vs. Taiwan vs. USA thread.
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Old 09-23-12, 09:10 PM
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there are many elements of truth it what he said.

up until the mid 90s the industry standard for frames was steel. while the lower and some mid end bikes were produced on more or less of a manufacturers line (some even by robots), performance and higher end bikes were all handmade by expert craftsmen who were well paid and unionized.

then by the early to mid nineties, due to advancements in technology, aluminum came to dominate the scene. aluminum was significant for several reasons. 1) it is extremely easy to manufacture compared to steel. 2) you dont need skilled workers to manufacture an aluminum frame and thus costs to produce it is cut significantly. and 3) aluminum is also generally lighter compared to a steel frame in the same price range.

since 2000 or so, carbon tech advancement has also rapidly revolutionized the industry and has now become the standard for high end to mid high end bicycles. not as cheap as aluminum to produce, but carbon offers a lot of benefits that other materials dont (weight savings, road dampening, tube mailability to increase aero properties).

the problem with all this is simple: aluminum and carbon does not last as well as steel. aluminum has a finite life cycle. every time you ride it the material creates micro stress fractures eventually leading to its ultimate demise. aluminum is also not very strong and easily dents compared to steel. Carbon on the other hand unlike other materials, can catastrophically fail without any signs of fatigue (where steel and aluminum would probably just bend). though carbon tech is rapidly advancing, there still are concerns over epoxy failure etc over time. and carbon can also not take force loads in directions it was not designed for.

a steel frameset, if manufactured and cared for properly, will last forever. well atleast longer than you will.

in short, each material has its strengths and weaknesses. depends what youre looking for.

edit- forgot to add. chains have become more disposable so to speak because of the invention of more gears. more gears necessitate a smaller chain which means it will wear out faster. modern sti shifters have more parts to brake compared to old downtube shisters. etc etc. so this is not a result of decline in quality, just the result of the evolution of technology.

Last edited by zazenzach; 09-23-12 at 09:19 PM.
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