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good non-name brands(13 posts)

good non-name brandsup_hiller
May 1, 2002 8:00 AM
Hi. Yet another MTBer-looking-for-a-roadie-post. I have been searching and researching for a couple of months now. I have decided that I want a decent frameset and wheels and 105 or the Campy equivalent (what is this, BTW - Centaur?) components. Frame material will have to be aluminum or steel due to cost (probably aluminum in the interest of weight). Also, I will want to buy used.

And I need to find a good deal on such a bike. So, here's my question: What are some manufacturers that get overlooked b/c they may not carry the prestige of the major Italians and others? Trek makes good bikes, but everybody knows Trek, and consequently they sell well even as used bikes. Are there any that often slip through the cracks? Giant, perhaps? Specialized? Everyone knows they make good mountain bikes, and I have no reason to doubt the quality of their road bikes, but from my experience neither brand shows up on Ebay all that much. What's the scoop on Fuji?

I probably will not race on the road, but I realize that there is a good chance I will ride on the road quite a bit. So I want a bike that will perform well for a long time and many miles, but the name on the downtube means nothing to me. I might even prefer an uncool name for the kick I'll get whenever I manage to drop somebody on a $3000 bike.

Thanks in advance for any help.
re: good non-name brandscomedy-tragedy
May 1, 2002 8:11 AM
Here's one guaranteed to start a flame war.

Check out the Airborne titanium stable.

Great titanium frames at some pretty reasonable prices. Light, smooth and really fun to ride.
re: good non-name brandsIcefrk13
May 1, 2002 8:15 AM
Check out ... I have a Viner (actually it is hand-made Itallian Al frame) w/full ultegra and it was 1200 new. I love the bike.
re: good non-name brandsDINOSAUR
May 1, 2002 8:37 AM
Ditto on GVH Bikes. He has Basso and KHS Flite frames for $475, Scapin $550, Viner $550, Basso Gap for $425..lots of choices..
re: good non-name brandsLC
May 1, 2002 8:35 AM
Check out SuperGo they have a house brand Scattanti or something like that. Also Fuji, KHS, Janus, and all those made in Tiawan bikes are not bad either.
re: good non-name brandsKEN2
May 1, 2002 8:36 AM
Any of those brands you mention, Giant, Specialized, Fuji, have fine bikes in their lineup. The biggest problem with buying a road bike on ebay is fit. You probably can't check it out and if it's your first road bike you don't know what measurements to look for anyway. Practically anyone on this board will tell you the three most important things about buying a new (or used) road bike are fit, fit, and fit.

A visit to your LBS and a decent fitting would at least get you close, if you can record the salient measurements and get same from any used bike you're considering. You want to know at least your proper frame size and top tube length (usually in centimeters), and how those are measured (center-to-center, etc.), and compare the measurements to what you're looking to buy. Be aware that most road bikes come in more size increments than is typical in the mountain bike world.
re: good non-name brandsup_hiller
May 1, 2002 8:59 AM
thanks again to all who replied.

regarding fit, I am almost certain I will need a 56cm regardless of the manufacturer. i am very medium-sized: 5'10" with 31-ish inseam.

I have looked at both airborne and scattante. however, i think i would rather go with a sure-thing quality aluminum frame (e.g. Fuji, Giant, et al) rather than take what i would consider a calulated risk on budget Ti. plus, we all know that in general used bikes are a screaming deal compared to new, and most are in perfect working order. it's a little difficult to find a used airborne or scattante. this is not the case with the larger producers.

more help would of course be appreciated, so if anyone else has anything to add feel free to chime in!
re: good non-name brandsIcefrk13
May 1, 2002 9:05 AM
I am your same height and inseam and I am a solid 54cm. And use a 170mm crank.
re: good non-name brandsJoshua
May 1, 2002 9:05 AM
Felt makes a great bike and only a few people know about them right now. Felt is very well known in the TT and Triathlon circles. This is the first year that they have produced road bikes. A friend of mine picked up the F75 model it is an aluminum frame with tiagra/105/house brand components for 750.00. I picked up the f65 for 950.00 with a full 105 gruppo/mavic wheels/conti tires/italia flite gel saddle. Any ways very comfy and fun to ride. Check them out
re: if you won't racecyclopathic
May 1, 2002 10:34 AM
you'd probably be better off with steel. Much more forgiving plush ride for long training miles

Even cheap 400$ entry level steel bikes won't weight much ~22-23lbs, Shimano equipped is usually cheaper. Check closeouts, sometimes you can get a great deal at LBS for 2-3year old Bianchi, LeMond, etc.. also to your no-name brand list add KHS and Mercier good luck
re: good non-name brandsscottfree
May 1, 2002 10:51 AM
Univega, Raleigh.
A name that you know from the Dirt...Gregory Taylor
May 1, 2002 10:55 AM
Take a look at some of the road bikes that Dean is making. They have two steel frames that are very nice (DISCLAIMER: I've ordered one, so I may be prejudiced here).

If you go to their website, they have some of their 2001 stock on blow-out under "Specials" -- the discount is significant enough to be considered a viable alternative to buying used.

In terms of bang-for-the-buck, the Fuji "Team Issue" framesets are hard to beat. Stay away from any framesets that have been raced hard, however.
re: good non-name brandsSoultrain
May 1, 2002 10:33 PM
It's my opinion that you could do better for yourself by buying a bike on closeout from someplace like supergo or your local bike shop. You won't really save that much buying used unless you are very lucky. It seems to me that used road bikes, probably due to their long wearing nature, maintain their resale value better than most things, like cars,mtn bikes, etc. all the brands mentioned are decent. I don't have a fuji but have heard excellant things from friends that own them. Hope this helped.