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  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    This other part is harder to quantify unless you're up close studying the frame - do the fibers sort of mirror-image each other exactly across the bisection?

    ...And you know, it doesn't really matter. You should ride what you're confident on. Let's say your Nonbranded Uber Light Frame is perfectly safe no matter what weight / level of aggression you are... if you don't subjectively trust it, then you'll be thinking about it while riding, as opposed to riding.

    The Fibers were Parallel on both sides of the seam on the one I seen.

    And I agree with ya about riding what you're confident with. I'll most likely just stick with my Big Fat Fatty Moonlander, because I do love it, but I'm like most of you, there is always something cool that comes along that you want to try.....always in search of the end bike, if you will. A Carrot on a stick adventure!
    Climbing Builds Character

  2. #152
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    So, all butthurt and bickering aside,

    where can I buy a chinese carbon fatbike?

    I am solidly in the category of a Borealis being way out of my reach (at least until about 10 years from now)

  3. #153
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    Maybe you meant boards ie Cobra factory.
    While many brands were built at this factory, they did
    Have their own molds and layups



    UOTE=keyhavenpotterer;10853861]I think you may have misunderstood my point, not sure but think so.

    It's actually the Chinese factory that makes all the investment, has all the technical skills to design, test and manufacture the high tec carbon frame. They make both the expensive frame for the boutique fat bike house and the medium price frame and the low cost direct frame. They make frames for all the markets so they can achieve the volume they need and the average price they need to survive.

    Piracy has nothing to do with this business model. Nothing what so ever.

    Some years back I was a windsurfer. There was only one factory in the whole world that made windsurfing sails. Every brand went there, had them design and make what they wanted and sold the sail at the price they could achieve. That one factory had all the skills to achieve what was needed.

    Brian[/QUOTE]

  4. #154
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    I wonder who is actually doing all the heavy lifting. I am not fully convinced that it isn't the chinese company going to 907 etc. with a frame and asking them if they would like their name on it.

  5. #155
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    According to what I heard, late January into February is when they will have frames available. I will post if I get an email (I asked Peter to let me know).

    I have no idea about any contractual constructs, but I know that this company is making their own (i.e. non-private) molds for these bikes. They have been doing this for a long time with other hardtail frames, presumably without any litigation, and yes I know copyright laws are notoriously lax in China.

    From what I have read, I believe this company is operating on the up and up with regards to copyrights. Just because they are within the law does not mean it is an ethical choice, you will have to make that decision on your own.

    I believe most "regular" bike companies are heavily involved in the development of the frame with geometry etc, I think only retailers like Minnesota and Bikes Direct would sell a "pre-developed" bike, but that's pure speculation on my part.

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raidthefridgeguy View Post
    I wonder who is actually doing all the heavy lifting. I am not fully convinced that it isn't the chinese company going to 907 etc. with a frame and asking them if they would like their name on it.
    And it just happened to have the same geo numbers and seatpost size of their current alloy bikes? I knew the that they were working on the frame back in Feb and even had pricing about determined.
    I proudly ride for these guys.

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  7. #157
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    Post 24 in this thread explains the whole mold ownership thing very well: Lamere cycles carbon fatbike

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jisch View Post
    Post 24 in this thread explains the whole mold ownership thing very well: Lamere cycles carbon fatbike
    What it doesn't explain is why they changed their wording and removed the geo chart that mirrored that of the Borealis. Sorry just seems kinda funny they change things after people notice something fishy. Heck they even changed the frame weight by 25g as to make it look not so obvious. Then there is the chance I am totally off with all of this if so I apologize.

  9. #159
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    Oh, I meant that they explained the different kinds of mold and the restrictions on each, I didn't mean the company explanation for what they did.

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  10. #160
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    Chinese Carbon fatty

    Why not buy a legit alum or steel frame for about the same price as the ripoff Chinese carbon? The bike will be just as fun and you won't have to wonder if you are a terrible person...

  11. #161
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    ReXTless,
    I just laughed out loud! I don't know anything about who's ripping off who, but it is interesting to learn more about overseas sourced carbon products.

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReXTless View Post
    Why not buy a legit alum or steel frame for about the same price as the ripoff Chinese carbon? The bike will be just as fun and you won't have to wonder if you are a terrible person...
    What if I bought an aluminum frame and a carbon, so I could be a half good person? Obviously I don't need two bikes, but for fun, and so the companies that are making them don't starve?

  13. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReXTless View Post
    Why not buy a legit alum or steel frame for about the same price as the ripoff Chinese carbon? The bike will be just as fun and you won't have to wonder if you are a terrible person...
    I don't have to wonder, I am a terrible person .. even with my american made frame.

  14. #164
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    I'd buy NZ made carbon but our bikes are only made of wool.

  15. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by OFFcourse View Post
    I'd buy NZ made carbon but our bikes are only made of wool.
    Nothing rides like wool.

  16. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmooveP View Post
    Nothing rides like wool.
    I only ride Alpaca. What can I say, I'm an elitist.

  17. #167
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    Cashmere, b!tches!
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  18. #168
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    Tight or loose weave?

  19. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by OFFcourse View Post
    Tight or loose weave?
    Loose, with a silk lining.... are we talking bikes or underpants? I can't remember

  20. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastBanana View Post
    Loose, with a silk lining.... are we talking bikes or underpants? I can't remember
    Hopefully bikes. Otherwise, it can only lead to a discussion of carbon fiber underwear.

  21. #171
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    Chinese Carbon fatty

    Is it morally wrong to buy Chinese Carbon Fiber Underwear?

    ....hmmm I wonder where your current underwear were made? Or what about the device you are reading this with?

    :hide:



    .mobile

  22. #172
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    Carbon fat bike wheels are the real breakthrough here. 907, Fatback, Salsa all make alloy frames that are slightly heavier than carbon frames. The real savings are in the rims. Look at the weight difference between the 13 Alloy Beargrease and the 14 Carbon bear grease… I don't recall the exact number, but I think it's less than 200 grams.

    Wheels are where it's at.

    More carbon fat bike wheels please.

  23. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSTONGE View Post
    Carbon fat bike wheels are the real breakthrough here. 907, Fatback, Salsa all make alloy frames that are slightly heavier than carbon frames. The real savings are in the rims. Look at the weight difference between the 13 Alloy Beargrease and the 14 Carbon bear grease… I don't recall the exact number, but I think it's less than 200 grams.

    Wheels are where it's at.

    More carbon fat bike wheels please.
    Any savings in rotational mass is a WIN.

  24. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddslacker View Post
    Any savings in rotational mass is a WIN.
    Agree, and if you've watched the Borealis tubeless setup video it looks like a grand slam!

    With (2) rims costing the same as a carbon frame but saving approximately 2 lbs of rotating mass the choice seems obvious.

  25. #175
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    DSTONGE, maddslacker, and mtuck1,
    I couldn't agree more with you guys. While a carbon frame rides nice and is a bit lighter, the real WIN is definitely lighter wheels. I'm definitely watching the "carbon rim competition" that is just starting!

  26. #176
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    After ruminating about this way too much, I'm thinking I'm going to put a carbon fork, rims, stem and bars on my FB4. I think that's a way to lose some weight at a reasonable cost, I need to calculate that.

  27. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    Lemme axe a question:

    Selling cheap carbon on ebay- is this simply a back-door route around a contract? I was thinking about this last night as I was trying to understand the whole idea. Because the more I think about it, the less sense it makes.

    Figure, if you've got a $450 carbon frame to sell, even if you double the price, you've got a market dominating product, just on cost. And that goes for all segments of the bike industry, road, cross, MTB, 29er, Fat, whatever. So why not just sell them on the open market and OWN the entire market? I mean, you're a chinese/taiwanese bike manufacturer. ALL THE PARTS are made right there in your back yard. You could Bikes Direct the whole thing online, cut out the middleman and dominate the market. How many fatties did BD sell? All of them. They sold all the fatties they made.

    But this is not what the ebay carbon guys are doing. They're selling frames one at a time on the least efficient marketplace I can think of, one that's charging them a butt-load of fees just for the privilege of using their own proprietary payment system.

    We've already established that the chinese frame makers are pretty smart businessmen. So why would they do this? it makes zero sense. Ebay makes zero sense for them. It's an expensive way to sell frames. There's zero chance of promoting your sales or your product.

    The only way it makes sense is if you have a non-compete with the people you make the frames for. If you aren't allowed to sell competing frames in the same markets, ebay seems like a way around that.

    Seriously, trying to wrap my head around the idea of "we make a top quality product at the best price in the world" and "we only sell it on ebay, a marketplace most known these days as the world's largest flea market..."
    "we make a top quality product at the best price in the world" doesn't matter much if no one knows about the product. Or if people don't really trust that it is a "top quality product'.

    What you're trying to wrap your head around is marketing. Companies invest a ton of money into marketing. In fact, they usually spend much much more on marketing than R&D. They do it because marketing has a high ROI.

    The sellers of cheap chinese carbon are working off of a business model that doesn't invest in or spend marketing dollars. Their customers must find them! And trust them blindly. Theirs is a very different customer base than 9:zero:7 or Borealis or Salsa.

  28. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmooveP View Post
    Hopefully bikes. Otherwise, it can only lead to a discussion of carbon fiber underwear.
    Wait, your bike frame has a silk lining? Must ride smooth! Where can I get?
    Denver Broncos: 101-3 since 1975 when scoring 30+ at home.

    C.J. Anderson career YPC = 5.67

  29. #179
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    In my opinion, it isn't the moral high ground to refuse to buy products from people in poor countries based upon the justification that they have a different opinion on of idea ownership. In fact, I view our patent system as doing more harm than good. Other countries aren't doing something they consider bad. Instead, they have a different moral code that views their own standards as superior.

    To me, the most altruistic position would be to buy products from companies that result in the highest net good on the planet. Should we enrich a few people in a wealthy nation or help bring a larger number of people out of poverty in a poor nation? It seems morally more justifiable to enrich many rather than a few.

    The situation would be different if these were massive corporations that move work around constantly to wherever destitute workers will work for nearly nothing. Yet I don't think that is the case here. Most of these "chinese carbon" companies (that actually have real names) are small organizations built with local management and labor that all work in the same building. This model is what is bringing hundreds of millions of chinese into the middle class.

    I bought Light Bicycle rims because of this and I wouldn't hesitate to buy a carbon fat bike from a similar company. But just to make it clear, Light Bicycles manufactures their own design. And yet people still just generically refer to them as "chinese" and and accuse them of all kinds of things. To me, that reeks of unreasoned xenophobia.

    There is valid criticism to be made. But if it starts with non-specific criticism of "chinese", chances are that it is not well reasoned.

    In other words, the moral high ground is not that clear cut.

  30. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooSteep View Post
    "we make a top quality product at the best price in the world" doesn't matter much if no one knows about the product. Or if people don't really trust that it is a "top quality product'.

    What you're trying to wrap your head around is marketing. Companies invest a ton of money into marketing. In fact, they usually spend much much more on marketing than R&D. They do it because marketing has a high ROI.

    The sellers of cheap chinese carbon are working off of a business model that doesn't invest in or spend marketing dollars. Their customers must find them! And trust them blindly. Theirs is a very different customer base than 9:zero:7 or Borealis or Salsa.
    I work in advertising and marketing. I get marketing.

    What I don't get, is if you have a great product at a world beating price, why you don't sell it on the open market where you can sell thousands, instead of through back channels on ebay where you can sell hundreds at best.

    The chinese understand marketing as well as anyone else- HTC is a chinese company and they ain't selling the HTC one on ebay.

    I'd argue that their market is the exact same as 907 or borealis or anyone elses- by only selling on ebay, you are pretty much guaranteeing that the only people who buy your product are serious enthusiasts who are confident in their ability to build a bike up from scratch (which seriously eliminates 90% of the market) and are willing to take a chance on an unknown brand (lowering the number of customers even further)

    Only reason I can see to do it is to get around a contract or taxes.

  31. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfiler View Post
    In my opinion, it isn't the moral high ground to refuse to buy products from people in poor countries based upon the justification that they have a different opinion on of idea ownership. In fact, I view our patent system as doing more harm than good. Other countries aren't doing something they consider bad. Instead, they have a different moral code that views their own standards as superior.

    To me, the most altruistic position would be to buy products from companies that result in the highest net good on the planet. Should we enrich a few people in a wealthy nation or help bring a larger number of people out of poverty in a poor nation? It seems morally more justifiable to enrich many rather than a few.

    The situation would be different if these were massive corporations that move work around constantly to wherever destitute workers will work for nearly nothing. Yet I don't think that is the case here. Most of these "chinese carbon" companies (that actually have real names) are small organizations built with local management and labor that all work in the same building. This model is what is bringing hundreds of millions of chinese into the middle class.

    I bought Light Bicycle rims because of this and I wouldn't hesitate to buy a carbon fat bike from a similar company. But just to make it clear, Light Bicycles manufactures their own design. And yet people still just generically refer to them as "chinese" and and accuse them of all kinds of things. To me, that reeks of unreasoned xenophobia.

    There is valid criticism to be made. But if it starts with non-specific criticism of "chinese", chances are that it is not well reasoned.

    In other words, the moral high ground is not that clear cut.
    The unreasoned xenophobia sucks. But so does the theft of intellectual property. YOu can argue that IP laws are actually bad for creativity in general pretty successfully, but then again, it sucks when someone rips off your design.

    There's a little bitty bike shop here in town that designed a really cool hub, patented that hub design and then licensed that hub design to cane creek. It was a pretty ideal set up- little bitty bike shop didn't have the bucks to manufacture it themselves, cane creek needed a better idea and bought one. While it's great to talk about the greater good of the planet or whatever, I don't see how someone ripping off the design and not paying the creator of that design for their work is good for anyone. But it did mean that the shop got to sponsor a team, etc. Those dollars didn't go to a few wealthy people, they went to a couple middle class guys in one shop, and those dollars went from them into our local economy.

  32. #182
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    Chinese Carbon fatty

    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    The unreasoned xenophobia sucks. But so does the theft of intellectual property. YOu can argue that IP laws are actually bad for creativity in general pretty successfully, but then again, it sucks when someone rips off your design.

    There's a little bitty bike shop here in town that designed a really cool hub, patented that hub design and then licensed that hub design to cane creek. It was a pretty ideal set up- little bitty bike shop didn't have the bucks to manufacture it themselves, cane creek needed a better idea and bought one. While it's great to talk about the greater good of the planet or whatever, I don't see how someone ripping off the design and not paying the creator of that design for their work is good for anyone. But it did mean that the shop got to sponsor a team, etc. Those dollars didn't go to a few wealthy people, they went to a couple middle class guys in one shop, and those dollars went from them into our local economy.
    +1

    Well said.

  33. #183
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    Everyone seems to be missing the big fat elephant in the room which is the fact that when you spend $490 on a carbon frame you get exactly that - a $490 carbon frame.

    There is no magic formula. The only way to make a cheap carbon frame is to use cheap carbon fibre and to get to the stiffness and strength you would expect from a carbon frame, much more resin needs to be used, so the weight savings and 'feel' that a good quality carbon frame will give you are lost.

    Higher grade carbon fibre require less resin and that's how they can be made lighter. Manufacturers can of course use the same moulds for different qualities of carbon fibre so the finished article with have the same appearance but the ride can be like night and day.

    I tend to go with the saying that 'you get what you pay for' and let's not forget 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is'.

  34. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfiler View Post
    In my opinion, it isn't the moral high ground to refuse to buy products from people in poor countries based upon the justification that they have a different opinion on of idea ownership. In fact, I view our patent system as doing more harm than good. Other countries aren't doing something they consider bad. Instead, they have a different moral code that views their own standards as superior.

    To me, the most altruistic position would be to buy products from companies that result in the highest net good on the planet. Should we enrich a few people in a wealthy nation or help bring a larger number of people out of poverty in a poor nation? It seems morally more justifiable to enrich many rather than a few.

    The situation would be different if these were massive corporations that move work around constantly to wherever destitute workers will work for nearly nothing. Yet I don't think that is the case here. Most of these "chinese carbon" companies (that actually have real names) are small organizations built with local management and labor that all work in the same building. This model is what is bringing hundreds of millions of chinese into the middle class.

    I bought Light Bicycle rims because of this and I wouldn't hesitate to buy a carbon fat bike from a similar company. But just to make it clear, Light Bicycles manufactures their own design. And yet people still just generically refer to them as "chinese" and and accuse them of all kinds of things. To me, that reeks of unreasoned xenophobia.

    There is valid criticism to be made. But if it starts with non-specific criticism of "chinese", chances are that it is not well reasoned.

    In other words, the moral high ground is not that clear cut.
    Good points. I believe in spreading the wealth around when possible, but I'm less inclined to send money overseas when half my friends and family are un- or underemployed.

    An interesting discussion would be whether buying Chinese goods rewards/enables the human rights, IP abuse, and environmental issues, or whether we're helping them raise their standards to the point where these things will diminish. Their standard of living is rising fast. I wonder how long they can remain the cheap place to get things made.

  35. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by HBC View Post
    Everyone seems to be missing the big fat elephant in the room which is the fact that when you spend $490 on a carbon frame you get exactly that - a $490 carbon frame.

    There is no magic formula. The only way to make a cheap carbon frame is to use cheap carbon fibre and to get to the stiffness and strength you would expect from a carbon frame, much more resin needs to be used, so the weight savings and 'feel' that a good quality carbon frame will give you are lost.

    Higher grade carbon fibre require less resin and that's how they can be made lighter. Manufacturers can of course use the same moulds for different qualities of carbon fibre so the finished article with have the same appearance but the ride can be like night and day.

    I tend to go with the saying that 'you get what you pay for' and let's not forget 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is'.
    You and I see eye to eye with respect to your closing statement, about products in general.

    Otherwise disagreed. If you're referring to ultra high modulus carbon, the smoothest of the smooth that requires the least epoxy to bind it... that stuff is so brittle, wouldn't it be foolish to make an entire bike frame with it? Parts of a frame need to bend.

    Intermediate modulus is dirt cheap. I get mine for < $20 a pound prepreg, factory direct from Zoltek - here in the US! You really think the Chinese are getting ripped off by Toray?

    You're not wrong about ride quality and the wonder of what's going on inside, sight unseen. But that has more to do with frame member shape, optimal compaction, repeatability. In other words, molds!

    You're referring to a small variation of the cheapest component of carbon fabrication, the carbon itself. While a Chinese frame not be my thing, I think they understand the 80/20 principle as well as anyone, and, given their proficiency in making frames for almost everyone, can certainly make some objectively-well-made frames for direct marketing. Maybe it's not a $3,000 frame. But what if a $500 frame sans middle man is a good frame?

    I'm playing devil's advocate. I wouldn't buy one of these. I don't *know* how the workers covering bladders in China are being compensated. I hope well, relative to their situation at large. If I *knew* well, I'd buy one. It is at this point I realize I'm repeating arguments already made by others in this thread.

    The elephant has been and still is whether people who have invested R&D and tooling dollars are getting a return on their investment. It's not even an elephant - it is the backbone of this debate.

    I think people realize what they're getting when buying one of these - and it, the physical object - it's not bad. Again, devil's advocate...
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  36. #186
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    I wish I know for sure, but I bet the people making the frames are making the same amount of money regardless of whose frame they are making. I think the majority of the cost differential is in marketing, insurance and profit margins.

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  37. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    You and I see eye to eye with respect to your closing statement, about products in general.

    Otherwise disagreed. If you're referring to ultra high modulus carbon, the smoothest of the smooth that requires the least epoxy to bind it... that stuff is so brittle, wouldn't it be foolish to make an entire bike frame with it? Parts of a frame need to bend.

    Intermediate modulus is dirt cheap. I get mine for < $20 a pound prepreg, factory direct from Zoltek - here in the US! You really think the Chinese are getting ripped off by Toray?

    You're not wrong about ride quality and the wonder of what's going on inside, sight unseen. But that has more to do with frame member shape, optimal compaction, repeatability. In other words, molds!

    You're referring to a small variation of the cheapest component of carbon fabrication, the carbon itself. While a Chinese frame not be my thing, I think they understand the 80/20 principle as well as anyone, and, given their proficiency in making frames for almost everyone, can certainly make some objectively-well-made frames for direct marketing. Maybe it's not a $3,000 frame. But what if a $500 frame sans middle man is a good frame?

    I'm playing devil's advocate. I wouldn't buy one of these. I don't *know* how the workers covering bladders in China are being compensated. I hope well, relative to their situation at large. If I *knew* well, I'd buy one. It is at this point I realize I'm repeating arguments already made by others in this thread.

    The elephant has been and still is whether people who have invested R&D and tooling dollars are getting a return on their investment. It's not even an elephant - it is the backbone of this debate.

    I think people realize what they're getting when buying one of these - and it, the physical object - it's not bad. Again, devil's advocate...
    Good post. Too many people equate $ with quality. They ignore the marketing costs and profit margin that create much of the markup on "name brand" frames.

    Just because an item is cheaper, doesn't necessarily mean it is of lower quality. It may be, but to assume that it is without full knowledge of the product is a mistake.

  38. #188
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    Chinese Carbon fatty

    I'm not foolish enough to be suckered by clever marketing (as he types this post from his iPhone) but at the same time, you have to give some credit to the big brands who promise you the latest, lightest, fastest etc etc Carbon frames.

    Yes, they spend a huge amount on marketing but the R+D costs, mold costs, destruction testing costs for legal certification are also a huge part of the price tag.

    I've seen and ridden a lot of carbon bikes of varying values and you can definitely tell the difference between a low spec carbon and a high spec carbon. Maybe it's just coincidence that the low spec frames just happen to be cheaper but in my experience, they don't ride any different and weigh no less than a good alloy one. Oh and you don't spend the majority of your time riding worrying whether it's going to fall apart.

    I'm not saying that this company are producing poor frames but if they can sell you a frame for $490 that'll ride as well a a $1500-2000 frame then if be very, very surprised.

    If anyone buys one then please honestly let us know how you get on.

  39. #189
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    If you go over to the 29er forum you'll see a thread with 250 pages of experiences with this company's bikes. I've seen a few comments on failures, but VERY few and overall the comments seem to be good. I haven't looked at that thread in a few weeks, maybe there's more dirt there now.

    There is a small LBS around here that sells CF bikes, he basically buys the cheap Chinese frames and builds them up with whatever parts customers want. He has zero inventory, he just places orders when people order from him. He sells more than just the CF hardtails, but that is a significant part of his business - "his" bikes are very reasonable as he's buying the parts as a bike shop and doesn't have much overhead. I wonder how he deals with the warranty thing.

  40. #190
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    subscribed. We've all heard the crap about not supporting the Chinese cahbon stuff, give me a break, the argument is old and tired. I wanted cahbon rims, so my LBS is smart enough to already have a supplier that they buy from, an sell the rims for 200 bucks a pop so guess what I did? I supported my local bike shop instead of ordering from light-bicycle. local shops have the opportunity to get on the cheap cahbon train, or lose out. The big companies will be just fine...
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  41. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by HBC View Post
    Yes, they spend a huge amount on marketing but the R+D costs, mold costs, destruction testing costs for legal certification are also a huge part of the price tag.
    Destruction testing is done to non-proprietary standards and there is very minimal marginal cost associated with doing the testing. There is upfront cost associated with test equipment, but the equipment that is used is all very basic, honestly. We are not testing semiconductor devices here, just simple mechanical trusses. In the case of factories who build frames, they are doing the testing in house for the most part.

    Mold costs are also not as expensive as you might think, particularly when they're being done on the margin for someone who is in this composites business. Same with R&D. We are romanticizing the R&D process-- these are simple composite structures with low requirements compared to other industries.

    The reality is that the materials cost for carbon is much, much lower than other frame materials and the mold manufacturing costs are quite reasonable as well. The amount of R&D money and expertise for a bicycle frame are greatly exaggerated by the marketing departments of major brands.

    The difference between a $5000 carbon frame and a $250 one is largely the marketing and perceived value by the customer.

    Quote Originally Posted by HBC View Post
    I've seen and ridden a lot of carbon bikes of varying values and you can definitely tell the difference between a low spec carbon and a high spec carbon. Maybe it's just coincidence that the low spec frames just happen to be cheaper but in my experience, they don't ride any different and weigh no less than a good alloy one. Oh and you don't spend the majority of your time riding worrying whether it's going to fall apart.
    Please show me a good double-blind test where you (or anyone else) has correctly identified the "better" frame as the more expensive one. These differences are in your head, I'd imagine.

    Quote Originally Posted by HBC View Post
    I'm not saying that this company are producing poor frames but if they can sell you a frame for $490 that'll ride as well a a $1500-2000 frame then if be very, very surprised.

    If anyone buys one then please honestly let us know how you get on.
    There's heaps of people with great experiences with frames made by these companies in road and mtb styles. Thinking that a producing a fatbike would be any different is a little foolish.

    I am always intrigued when people talk about manufacturers in Asia "ripping off" the design of bikes. There is almost no protected intellectual property associated with these bikes. Almost every bicycle made today is a "copy" of the millions that came before it, whether that's in geometry, manner of construction, etc. There is quite simply very little that's novel in this industry, which is why the biggest price differentiator is in marketing and brand.

  42. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clydesdale Clint View Post

    Mold costs are also not as expensive as you might think, particularly when they're being done on the margin for someone who is in this composites business. Same with R&D. We are romanticizing the R&D process-- these are simple composite structures with low requirements compared to other industries.


    The difference between a $5000 carbon frame and a $250 one is largely the marketing and perceived value by the customer.
    It's much more than marketing. Don't forget the cost of paint, decals, shipping, liability insurance, warranty, and markups by bike company, distributor, and retailer. In addition to R&D and marketing, bike companies also maintain a staff of sales, customer service and other overhead personnel, along with rent, utilities and every other cost of supporting a business with a physical presence. Oh, and if you're Specialized, you have a team of lawyers to pay for .

  43. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmooveP View Post
    It's much more than marketing. Don't forget the cost of paint, decals, shipping, liability insurance, warranty, and markups by bike company, distributor, and retailer. In addition to R&D and marketing, bike companies also maintain a staff of sales, customer service and other overhead personnel, along with rent, utilities and every other cost of supporting a business with a physical presence. Oh, and if you're Specialized, you have a team of lawyers to pay for .
    To be fair, some of those "italian" frames must be painted with freaking diamond dust.

  44. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmooveP View Post
    It's much more than marketing. Don't forget the cost of paint, decals, shipping, liability insurance, warranty, and markups by bike company, distributor, and retailer. In addition to R&D and marketing, bike companies also maintain a staff of sales, customer service and other overhead personnel, along with rent, utilities and every other cost of supporting a business with a physical presence. Oh, and if you're Specialized, you have a team of lawyers to pay for .
    Completely agree. There's a whole chain here of things that are adding markup AND some value to the consumer. But the difference between the $500 direct from manufacturer frame and the $5000 frame are largely things that do not influence the performance of the frame. (paint, decals, shipping, liability insurance, warranty, and markups by bike company, distributor, and retailer)

    If I don't want to pay for a sales force, because I know what I want as a consumer (geo, sizing), I don't care about someone's logo, don't want to pay markups to a distributor, retailer, and bike brand, then the $500 direct bike makes sense.

    I ran a manufacturing and food manufacturing plant where we sold the same products under a brand's label, under our own label, and a generic version. It was all the same product.... exactomundo. The private labeled brand sold for more than the house label and for far more than the generic label. The product and its quality were the same, but the service/support/cache were different, and served different groups of consumers.

    Smart buyers can get a good deal on a great product if they know where these situations exist. It's the exact same situation here.

    The BIG deal with a bike frame is that a catastrophic failure can impact your health. So, inspection and testing and warranty should have a lot of value to the consumer. There are enough horror stories about big name manufacturers not providing much value here, however, that these services are somewhat devalued.

    I really like the story of the guy at Nud | manufacturing of open mold carbon fiber bicycle frames .

    You get an open mold and he tells you you're paying for stateside QC, a good mfg relationship, a warranty, and some minor paintwork. The $450 eBay or direct bike gets $400 worth of markup for that stuff. Specialized will sell you the same product, but adds $1600 of markup throughout the chain because they have a brand presence and additional channel partners to support. You get a sales guy at a LBS and dealer reps and less risk that they're out of business next month, etc etc.

    Which price point you want to be at ($400, $850, $2050) depends on to what degree you value all that stuff. Add in the fact that some people on these forums add perceived value to a "naked" or un-branded bike and the factory-direct bikes have an even larger appeal. Doesn't make any of these bikes or transactions "bad".

    People who buy the local grocery store's ice cream instead of Ben and Jerry's aren't behaving badly. Same with consumers of generic beer...

  45. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clydesdale Clint View Post
    People who buy the local grocery store's ice cream instead of Ben and Jerry's aren't behaving badly. Same with consumers of generic beer...
    I agree with everything you said except this part. There's no substitute for good ice cream or beer.

  46. #196
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    I haven't read through this long thread yet so sorry if someone has already said this, but it is my understanding that the feel of a cheap Chinese carbon frame is dead compared with some expensive carbon frames that may still be manufactured in China or Taiwan or Japan to tighter specifications. It takes time and skill and technology to lay up a frame properly. So you might get lighter weight but not as good a ride. There may be exceptions of course.

    And some seem completely happy with their Chinese carbon 29ers.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

  47. #197
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    So......

    Are we ordering some Chinese Carbon Fat frames or what?
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  48. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmooveP View Post
    I agree with everything you said except this part. There's no substitute for good ice cream or beer.
    Bull. Publix brand ice cream is great. Beer, however, youre right

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  49. #199
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    Chinese Carbon fatty

    Quote Originally Posted by modifier View Post
    I haven't read through this long thread yet so sorry if someone has already said this, but it is my understanding that the feel of a cheap Chinese carbon frame is dead compared with some expensive carbon frames that may still be manufactured in China or Taiwan or Japan to tighter specifications. It takes time and skill and technology to lay up a frame properly. So you might get lighter weight but not as good a ride. There may be exceptions of course.

    And some seem completely happy with their Chinese carbon 29ers.
    It's just perceived that way just like how Ben & Jerry's ice cream would taste better knowing that it's Ben & Jerry's.

  50. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by alshead View Post
    So......

    Are we ordering some Chinese Carbon Fat frames or what?
    Have to wait until Jan/Feb as far as I have heard.

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