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Any problems with Taiwan made frames??(21 posts)

Any problems with Taiwan made frames??Maverick
Dec 19, 2001 5:24 AM
just need to know if anyone has had any personal experience(owners or not) regarding quality of frames made in Taiwan. as far as i know, frames made in Taiwan are cheaper, however i sometimes doubt the quality of the frames.
what about Giant TCR?? the frames are reasonably priced but are they of good quality?? i've seen TCRs breaking into two, however they were involved crashes (e.g heading straight into a car etc)
Seriously lacking in snob appeal and style points - nmdzrider
Dec 19, 2001 5:46 AM
re: Any problems with Taiwan made frames??Indiana Rider
Dec 19, 2001 6:22 AM
This is my second Giant, This one is a TCR and my brother is on his second also. Niether of us has had a problem with breaking the frame. ( I am 6' 225)
none yetslow-ron
Dec 19, 2001 6:30 AM
for budget reasons i decided to build a winter/beater bike made from a "cheap" taiwanese titanium builder. can't remember manufacturer name because the bike doesn't even have stickers. only have 3 rides or 100 miles on the frame but i've been amazed at the quaility of the ride. 3.5 lb frame with strait gage tubes & no tapers but rides excellent. the weld quaility is cosmetically very good. I'm starting to think the bike is more comfy than my Colnago which would lead me to believe that either Colnago is over priced or I got a great deal on this bike. i'd go for it if you're getting a good deal.
Thank youTaiwan Joe
Dec 19, 2001 8:07 AM
Thank you very much for buying and riding fine bicycle frame created and engineered on our small but bustling island. It is good to see that American consumers now appreicate value of good product at low price.

We are practical people here. Why would bicycle rider ever need sticker on frame? What does sticker do anyhow? It does nothing! Silly sticker serve no function. People from Taiwan know this.

Some mean people say our workers not make much money and lack good benefits for their work. Some say that "Made in USA" sticker very important. That is a lot of things that a cow will extricate. First, do you hear our workers complaining of pay problems on internet? No way are you hearing this. This is proof that our workers paid good. Besides, you are getting great value in bike frame when it comes from our humble little island. And you still have good job so you know that we no threat to strong American economy.

Now, when it comes to quality I am going to tell you some things. We better than anybody. Only fool would pay many thousands of dollar for Euro bike like Colnago when our bicycles are better. Sure they have lovely stickers, what what good is sticker when all you want is to ride a bike. Foolish people are spending lots of monies on stickers. We in Taiwan are giggling very greatly when we know this.
Thank youMaverick
Dec 19, 2001 8:16 AM
does years of experience in building frames matter when it comes to pricing??
i still like stickersslow-ron
Dec 19, 2001 8:35 AM
The best frame for head-on crashes with carsElefantino
Dec 19, 2001 6:48 AM
I've got a Giant OCR 1 and have had no problems.

And I would suggest that any frame — Colnago, Litespeed, Trek, Cannondale — would break in two when involved in a head-on with a car.

Perhaps the most durable frame would be an old Schwinn Varsity, circa 1970. The frame alone weighed about 10 pounds, the bike weighed about 40. It could take out an SUV.
Schwinn is the ticketAndante
Dec 19, 2001 7:53 AM
Years ago I smashed my schwinn headfirst into a Saab 900. I trashed the Saab's hood, driver's door, power mirror, windshield, and even dented the roof. My bike needed a new front wheel and fork, nothing else. That was in the pre-SUV days, but I would have felt confident taking on one of those too. My friends refer to this as my SAAB story. (True, though)
modern Schwinn's are all made in TiawanTig
Dec 19, 2001 8:13 AM
When Schwinn was, well, Schwinn, they were all made here in the US. I don't know when they moved production to Tiawan, but when I worked at a shop in '90 that sold them, they were all made there. Only the Waterfords were made in the US by that time. I never saw any serious quality problems, but I bet you could tell the difference from them and a Waterford if someone were to remove the decals.
modern Schwinn's are all made in TiawanMaverick
Dec 19, 2001 8:19 AM
so what kind of difference would you expect if the decals are removed?? paintworks etc??
more uniform welds, better paint...Tig
Dec 19, 2001 9:43 AM
Those are the two visual differences. The attention to detail is the main generalized difference. Frame alignment was rarely off though. The average rider would never know the difference. Building up bikes, you start to notice the smaller, less noticable things. Since Waterfords always had higher quality tubing, the frames were lighter and they rode a little better as well.
My take on Taiwanese frames...TJeanloz
Dec 19, 2001 8:23 AM
There's this natural bias in the industry to prefer bikes made in Italy to those made anywhere else, particularly the far east. However, in terms of quality control, I think the Taiwanese are way ahead, and here's why:

If a welder in Italy (we'll use Bianchi for arguments sake) muffs a weld, and the bike is just a tiny bit off, they say "it's just a tiny bit off, and we lose a whole frame if we toss it away, so we'll bend it a little here and a little there and make it better, but not right." A recent real world example is that Bianchi built an entire run of XL Boron frames and neglected to braze the cable stop on the chainstay. We went to build one, and called Bianchi, who told us of their goof (and that they hoped nobody would notice) and to use a clamp-on stop. Now, in the days of indexing, clamp-on stops just don't do the job well enough, so we sent the frame back for warranty and got the customer a correct one. Bianchi figured it was cheaper to try to pass the bad frames as good enough than it was to throw them all out.

Now, the converse: Taiwanese frames are built by various manufacturers to engineering spec. If Hoddakka builds a run of frames without the stops, Bianchi says: "we wanted it with stops, we're not going to pay you for those." So the manufacturer has NO benefit to trying to pass frames that are less than up to spec. As a result, I think QC in Taiwan is much better than it is elsewhere.
Problems with Colnago(s)Maverick
Dec 19, 2001 8:46 AM
guess what, i went over to my LBS several months back and my mechanic showed me some major flaws on the Colnago Dream Plus. he was fixing the rear wheels and noticed that the chainstays were not properly aligned, in fact after mounting the wheels, its so obvious that there's an huge offset when you look clearly from the back.
i don't know how on earth did Colnago managed to bypass such major problems on the Dream Plus frames. btw those frames are not cheap either..
the frame was later send back to Colnago, they (Colnago) made modification on the chainstay (owner says it's the exact same frame) and repainted it
it was even worse in the 80sgtx
Dec 19, 2001 9:26 AM
why a lot of people started looking at US builders.
Problems with Colnago(s)TCR01
Dec 19, 2001 12:32 PM
Colnago's have a rep for having poor headtubes as well. I have seen 2 Colnago frames with headtubes that were so ovalized that they could not even be face milled and have a headset installed. Ask any seasoned mechanic who has experience building Colnago's. The QC has always been poor.
re: Any problems with Taiwan made frames??CT1 Guy
Dec 19, 2001 12:32 PM
About 80% of world cycle production is made in Taiwan - including some big ticket frames by suppossedly top-line Italian & US builders. Many bikes have "designed in the USA" - where do you think they were built? I would hazard a guess and say that 99% of all frames less than $1000 are made in Taiwan - or certainly outside of Western Europe & USA. Wise-up guys!
re: Any problems with Taiwan made frames??Bart S.
Dec 19, 2001 4:05 PM
My Bianchi Volpe frame was made in Taiwan. Never had the slightest problem in over 1500 miles.

Welding is not black magic - what counts is quality control and the integrity of the builder.
re: Any problems with Taiwan made frames??Dutchy
Dec 19, 2001 4:20 PM
I have owned several bikes that have been made in Taiwan (Giant, Shogun, Balance, Wheeler) and have
had absolutely no problems at all. I also have a Cannaondale CAAD3 that has been excellent also.
The thing I don't get is people carrying on about hand-made frames etc. These frames are only
as good a the guy making it. If he's just left his wife and spent a night on the town, drinking his sorrows away
would you want him welding your bike? Bikes made in Taiwan are mass produced,
so from what I understand they are welded by machine on a conveyor belt, then assembled by humans
from that point on, machines don't have bad days, they will weld all day long to the tolerance the
manufacturer requires. This would have to make for a better product, as far a Quality Control goes.

Dec 20, 2001 2:27 AM
Your glib assumptions regarding supposed human frailty doesn't even come close to the truth about welding bicycle frames. Yes, there are good welders and bad welders, but there are as many good machine setters as there are bad ones. While I have every respect for robot-welded frames, and here we refer to TIG-welding aluminium, any competent welder can beat a machine hands down. He is looking at the weld develop as he passes the electrode, and can adjust the penetration based on his observations. No machine can do this - so human welds achieving acceptable penetration are far less a matter of luck than machine welds. If you look at the welds you can observe the differences - a GOOD TIG artisan can finish a run and it looks as though the welds have been smoothed - small rounded ridging as opposed to the customary sharp ridging coming from robot welds. Guess which has the better join? Guess which has less stress risers present? Guess which is less likely to break?
You ever seen a machine weld a lugged steel frame?
Crap!Taiwan Joe
Dec 20, 2001 3:30 PM
You made some kind of outrageous claim there.

Our robots in Taiwan are good. They are damn good! When they touch the bicycle frame metal with their fire torches, the result is perfect job every time. Machines never have bad day. They never get mad at boss. They just make damn good welds all day and night at our factory in Taiwan.

So all of you smart bicycle customer need to know that machine welder much better than any worker. Why take a chance that your welder had a bad experience with wife and now your bike has bad weld? That thing can break and next thing you know, you die on road.

Thank you for knowing that made in Taiwan bike have great quality. We will keep using robot welder to make sure you get really good deal for your money.