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what is the difference?(13 posts)

what is the difference?lemansteve
May 23, 2003 6:20 PM
I've been researching road bikes on the web lately. Ive found that USA made brands like Trek and Cannondale are significantly more expensive than some comparably equipped foreign made bikes. Is "made in the USA" worth the extra bucks? Is there something beyond hand made domestic assembly that I am not taking into account? In my case, bikesdirect.com has the Fuji Newest for $625. A similarly equipped Trek, Cannondale, or Specialized goes for about $200 more. In short: is more expensive always worth it when it comes to road bikes? Thanks!

Steve
I think frames made in the USA are better!the bull
May 23, 2003 6:28 PM
I have built several high end bikes and am more impresed with the bikes made here in the states.
The treads in the bottom braket look nicer.
The paint looks nicer.
The fasteners seem to be higher quality.
Not going to name names here but I am talking about the top U.S. made vs. the top Itallian made bikes.As far as stuff made in Tiawan I do not know.
Specialized & TREK(I think) actually make many bikes overseas...jtferraro
May 23, 2003 8:37 PM
I'm pretty sure all Specialized road bikes, except the S-Works, are made overseas. I believe the same is true w/TREK - OCLV's made here, while some aluminum bikes are made overseas. Of course, somebody may correct me if I'm wrong here...

-Jeff
Trek and overseas production....slide13
May 24, 2003 5:21 AM
The lower end Treks are made overseas to compete with everybody else. One you get about the $500 mark, just about everything is made in the US. The only road bike I'm not sure of is the low end Trek 1000. That might be made overseas, it might not. All the other road bikes are US made.
Trek and overseas production....Allen az
May 25, 2003 11:46 AM
Trek 1000 is made overseas. All other Trek road bikes are made in the USA.
re: what is the difference?Soter
May 24, 2003 3:09 AM
Heh, not much of value to add but when I demo'ed a trek 5200 on the NorthEast AIDSRide the Trek Demo guy told me Fuji stood for F*cked Up Japanese Import ;)!

I don't know if his joke reflects the quality of their bikes but usually you get what you pay for. Similar to running shoes you don't want to buy something just because its cheaper, chances are there's something wrong that you're missing.
FUJI holds its own around hereronniedee
May 24, 2003 7:32 AM
I bought my first roadbike a year ago. Now, looking back, I kind of wish I didn't get caught up worrying about whether the bike was US made or whether it cost a certain amount.

There are plenty of fast riders on Fuji's. Of course, Fuji sponsers the dominant race team in our area.

I ended up getting a US-made Klein. It's an awesome bike. Especially to be my first. But I could have gotten a foreign-made Fuji and probably wouldn't have regretted it a bit, while I would have saved about $300-400.

Unless you're a professional racer, I don't see anyway you could ride a cheap bike to the point it fails and needs to be replaced or repaired. I think quality would matter more from an aesthetic standpoint. Then you have to decide if the better paintjob, smoother welds, etc. are really worth he extra $$$. If you have the $$$, then spend it.

I know I've made a few assumptions in writing this post. Sorry if I was wrong about your experience in road riding. I'm relatively new myself to the road scene.

Remember bike fit is the single most important consideration when buying a roadbike. No matter how nice or expensive an ill-fiting bike is, you probably won't enjoy riding it very long. You should be able to get a professional fitting at a good LBS for $35-75. It may be worth it if you are going to drop a few hundred dollars on a bike that you've never ridden.

Good luck. Let us know what you decide to get.
re: what is the difference?Steve Bailey
May 24, 2003 8:30 AM
First, a thought on Fuji.

I don't know where the frames are made now, used to be Japan when all they made was steel, but nowaday's ?...

Still, I've owned 2 - a road Roubaix and a Mt. Professional. Both were fine bikes except for the machine built wheels.

I have a buddy who has a newer aluminum Roubaix, compact frame, all 105, Ritchey wheels. It is seemingly a nice bike - he likes it - and was a terrific deal at $650 for a 105 bike.

Thus I think you can do quote well with Fuji - Sheldon sell them after all, and Harris knows their products.

As to the cost of US bikes VS. Euro ?. I don't know, don't follow the pricing much but would say that the US manufacturers, both huge and small, have seemingly been driving the industry the last 10 or 15 years and I am of the opinion that most of the technological improvements - excepting drivetrain, come from US manufacturers, thus the higher cost due to developing all those high tech carbon and aluminum frames. 15 years ago, the vast majority of Euro bikes were steel, especially all those beautiful Italian Colnago's Basso's, etc... Now they've all jumped on the aluminum and carbon bandwagon pioneered by Klein, Trek and C-Dale. Too bad in a way...

My $.02

Steve B.
re: what is the difference?russw19
May 24, 2003 10:09 AM
Steve.. some of the claims you make in your last paragraph are wrong.

First off, TVT, a French company, was the first company to mass manufacture Carbon Frames. Long before Trek.
Also, Colnago developed the first carbon monocoque frame, even before the Kestrel 4000, and a good 12 years before the OCLV came out. Kestrel did mass produce the 4000, where as the Colnago was a one-off.

Vitus had been making Aluminium frames for 2 years before Cannondale was even established. Cannondale was welding their frames, but the honor of the first mass produced welded Al frame was actually a BMX bike.. Race Inc. and they were prone to failure at the welds... but still, Vitus was the big name in Aluminium long before people outside of Pennsylvainia knew about Cannondale's touring bikes (that's what they were first making... touring bikes)

Pinarello was the first company to use the Aluminium frame with a Carbon rear stay.

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great things to come out of the US in terms of innovation, but a lot of it was improvements on someone else's design more so than coming up with the design.

Just an FYI

Russ
re: what is the difference?xxl
May 24, 2003 3:31 PM
Not to put too fine a point on it, but wasn't Exxon's Graftek the first "mass-marketed" carbon fiber ride?
re: what is the difference?russw19
May 24, 2003 6:30 PM
May very well be true.... But it sure wasn't Trek.
re: what is the difference?orange_julius
May 25, 2003 5:34 PM
To add to some information here, LOOK takes credit
for some firsts in carbon technology.

See http://www.lookcycle.com/english/corporate/entreprise_std.htm

1986 : Look proposes the first carbon frame with which the American racer Greg Lemond won his first Tour de France.
1990 : Look continues to innovate with the first single piece carbon frame
simple economics. if no one supported the company you worked ...stik__boy
May 26, 2003 5:27 AM
for (whether it be their product or their services...) it would eventually have a major impact on your life. you would be looking for another job because somebody bought that fuji---- or whatever. was it cheaper? maybe. was it nicer? maybe. is cheaper and nicer ALWAYS better? no. you can order anything you want over the internet for cheaper than you can buy it from your LBS.... but can someone on the internet put that chain on for you? if you save yourself $5.00 and dont support that LBS he may not be there to put it on for you. and this is coming from a guy who's wife works for Trek, can buy stuff cheap, and still supports his LBS. (a trek dealer of course..) help keep american jobs. and oh yeah; buy TREK damn it!!!!! thanx for your support!!! 8)