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United States v. The World(18 posts)

United States v. The WorldFranchise
Jan 27, 2004 4:51 AM

I have just come up with an interesting observation. For some reason, maybe an infatuation for all Italian Bikes, or admiration for some of their works(Pinarello Prince, Colnago CT-1, Pegoretti personal favorites), I always thought they had an edge over US based companies such as Cannondale, Specialized, Trek, etc. I know these companies may farm out some of their work overseas, but I still consider them to be American Bikes. With my bias, I went with a friend to a bike shop(not my lbs) to check out a new bike for him. I was mainly there for fit advice, if any was needed, as well as another perspective.

Anyway, imagine my surprise when I took a Specialized E5 bike out, and it rode better than the DeRosa Merak('03 - full aluminum) I was trying to get my friend to buy. I took both on about 20 minute rides, but I could not believe the nice ride the Specialized provided(saddle, wheels, and grouppos were the same as well as general size - DeRosa 52cm Sloping - Specialized E5 - 56cm). I'm still in disbelief. Although I know it is absurd to think that just because a bike is Italian, it may ride better, but maybe I was attracted to the brands for the sake of history or admiration. What the heck was I thinking? I definitely underestimated some companies and was so stupid in doing so.

In any case, I believe I have learned a valuable lesson. If anyone is interested, I ordered that Specialized frameset. Here's to American engineering and design!
now, if you had tried Colnago.... nm 8-Pcyclopathic
Jan 27, 2004 5:19 AM
The grass is always greener across the fence (or the ocean).orange_julius
Jan 27, 2004 6:04 AM
American bikes such as Cannondale, Trek and Specialized
are popular in Europe, including Italy, thanks to their
sponsorship of popular teams that generate a lot of press.

Over in the US, people are lusting over that Colnago
C40 and the "Italian heritage" while in Italy, they are
drooling over the Cannondale CAAD7 and "American
engineering" ;-).

Notice that when you go to Cannondale's website, you are
asked to choose between "Europe" and "USA and the rest of
the world".
Good call!Franchise
Jan 27, 2004 6:24 AM
Good call. Thanks for the insite. I never knew that the American Bikes carried such panache in Europe.
Interesting little story.KG 361
Jan 27, 2004 6:37 AM
This past summer my family visted some relatives in France. (My wife's sister and family). He was looking for a newer bike and we went to a bike shop in Antibes (southern France). Guess what he drooled over? A C-dale! As I was lusting overthe Looks in the showroom, he was negotiating over the Dale. Oddly enough, it could habve turned out that me, living in PA, have a bike from France, and Raphael, living in France, would have a bike made in PA. Go figure. Guess the real lesson here is to get what you like the best and don't be fooled by reputation. FWIW-my lbs says that the bikes with absolutely the worst initial quality are Colnagos.
When two parties covet each others' items...orange_julius
Jan 27, 2004 7:28 AM
we have trade! Assuming that both parties are civilized,
of course :-).

Cheers to free trade!
I, too, am a convertPaulCL
Jan 27, 2004 7:39 AM
I road a Colnago for years. Loved it until the titanium cracked and I was without a warranty.

The big difference between American made bikes and European bikes is warranty. Colnagos, Pinn's, Derosa's, etc...have, at best, a two year warranty. OK, Trialtir(the importer) may add on a year or two - but I'm talking factory warranty. US made bikes very often come with lifetime (Litespeed, Merlin, Aegis...) or 25 year (Calfee) warranties on their products. Have a frame crack on you with a $2000 bill looking you in the face then tell me where you'll buy the next frame.....


P.S. I now ride an Aegis Victory frame. Lifetime warranty -Yeah Baby!! Sweet ride too.
I know what you meanFranchise
Jan 27, 2004 10:27 AM
I completely understand the warranty issue. I have a Pinarello and a Colnago, both of which no longer are covered by their warranty. I would shed many a tear if the frames would fail.
Speaking of Pinarello Warrantiesmerckxman
Jan 27, 2004 10:58 AM
Note: read warranty carefully. On the aluminum/carbon bikes the aluminum is 2 years, the carbon parts 1 year!
re: United States v. The WorldHeron Todd
Jan 27, 2004 9:23 AM
>For some reason, maybe an infatuation for all Italian Bikes, or admiration for some of their works(Pinarello Prince, Colnago CT-1, Pegoretti personal favorites), I always thought they had an edge over US based companies such as Cannondale, Specialized, Trek, etc. I know these companies may farm out some of their work overseas, but I still consider them to be American Bikes.

Many of famed Italian brands also have production in Asia. Italy has fairly lax laws when it comes to labeling country of origin. You might be surprised to see which brands and models are built in Asia.

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
very true...hackmechanic
Jan 27, 2004 11:06 AM
Though of his list of dream bikes it should be pointed out that none are made in Asia (unless blatent lying is occuring) Pinarello swears in writing that every bike they sell is handmade in Italy (though without a doubt the carbon seatstays on the Prince are Asian.) Pegoretti makes every single bike in house. And the CT-1 is made in Eastern Europe. There are lots of other "Italian" bikes that are made in Asia though.

Regardless of where the bike is made, there are still design criteria that will define the bike. You can make a crappy bike just as quickly on a Henry James jig as you can a work of art. If an "Italian" bike is made in Asia in the same factory as an "American" bike but with better materials and a greater range of sizes to ensure fit (or vice versa) then one bike will still be better than the other.

Doesn't the Specialized (American) use Columbus tubes (Italian) made in Asia?
To the starving man, rotting meat tastes like filet mignon. nmUncle Tim
Jan 27, 2004 11:00 AM
UK and beyondboneman
Jan 27, 2004 1:38 PM
I've been in England now for 5 years and its true what they say. Around the London area, the bikes you see the most are Trek and Cannondale. Their marketing is superb and there's a certain cachet about having something that's built (or marketed) from 'over there.' It boggles my mind. Even going down into Nice, Cannondale remains an incredibly popular bike among the Look's, Vituses and assorted Pinarello's and Colnago's. In Spain, it's been primarily Orbea in the North and Colnago's all around.

I can't say the same about Italy although I've traveled mostly on business in the Northern cities. Only nutters are allowed to ride on the streets of say Milano or Torino. Bologna was much more user friendly and it was Colnago's or builders I'd not seen before.

In truth, I've never ridden a Trek or Cannondale but I'm mighty interested in a CAAD7 or 8? or whatever Saeco was riding in the 2003 season..
UK and beyondFranchise
Jan 28, 2004 4:25 AM
Thanks for the reply. I've traveled abroad, but only during the winter months. As such, I didn't see many cyclists. It really is something that "boggles the mind." I've heard excellent things about Orbea's, but I don't have a local retailer. I've also heard great things about the CAAD 7. A teammate of mine recently put his Vortex on ebay because he was riding his new Cannondale so much.
re: United States v. The WorldMShaw
Jan 27, 2004 5:31 PM
I really love my S-works E5! One of the best riding bikes I've ever had. Almost as nice as my SL Battaglin... Now if I only had that puppy back, I'd be happy as a pig in mud.

It rides nice, it is reasonably light, and semi-affordable. If you get last year's colors like I did, they're a steal!

re: United States v. The WorldFranchise
Jan 28, 2004 4:27 AM
I completely agree about the E5. I got the satin silver finish for 2004. I wanted last year's frameset in red, but the bike shope couldn't find one. So, I decided to order a new one. The price was very nice. The retail price on a new S-Works E5 frameset is about $1000.00 I paid much less, though. For that price, it was a bargain.
ebay: $400 plus shipping for frame/fork! nmMShaw
Jan 28, 2004 10:37 AM
ebay: $400 plus shipping for frame/fork! nmFranchise
Jan 28, 2004 3:58 PM
Wow! You got an even better bargain. I may have to check it out and see if anyone is selling a 56!