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  1. #1
    dwt
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    Chinese carbon: why I buy direct

    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    Being made in the same factory doesn't make them the same. It's the guy that spends months designing the frame that counts. Aren't Ferrari and Fiat made in the same factory now? Clearly there is still a difference in those vehicles. Again, a bicycle factory has the capacity to make whatever frame the engineers from Trek, Specialized, Giant etc. have programed their machines to make. It is silly to think that all frames from one factory are equal.
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    dwt
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    It is equally silly to pay a premium for a brand name. The compression shirt sold by Walmart for $10 is the same as Under Armour or Nike at quadruple the price. The only difference is the logo.

    Certainly a bicycle frame is more complicated than a shirt. The trick is to find one that is the rough equivalent of one that says "Specialized" or "Scott" or whatever and similarly get it for 1/4 the price. They are out there. I have three, two road and one mountain, all more than 3 years old. Still working, still light. Since I am not out there either to win races or to pose, what the hell do I care if my knock off frames are not perfectly the same as the brand name? And if any of them break at this point what the hell do I care about a warranty? I just buy another for $400 or so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    And if any of them break at this point what the hell do I care about a warranty? I just buy another for $400 or so.
    You might care if the break is catastrophic in nature and causes you injury

    Buying knocks offs is no different than stealing from the company that designed that particular frame.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

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    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    You might care if the break is catastrophic in nature and causes you injury

    Buying knocks offs is no different than stealing from the company that designed that particular frame.


    Yes! Excellent points. The reality is that some people will never care if it is stealing or not, as long as they get theirs it doesn't matter.

  6. #6
    dwt
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    There is a world of difference between a flat out counterfeit, or a patent violation,or a copyright violation - all of which are indeed theft - and the Chinese carbon frames I own.

    The Chinese frame may be a rough imitation of a brand name - or it may be original - , but so long as it is not a complete counterfeit or patent/copyright violation, it is fair game in the market.

    If a cheap ass consumer like me wants to buy one, and assumes the risk of quality , what's the problem?

    I can either believe that Specialized or Scott or whoever has unique designs, using this carbon weave in the toptube and downtube, and that weave in the chain and seat stays, and the frames are thoroughly tested for quality control, and therefore worth the huge premium for the brand name - or I can figure the unpainted generic chinese frame is close enough in all respects to the brand names at 1/4 the price, and take the risk.

    I would not fall for a $500 "Specialized" counterfeit; and would not stoop to buying a total rip off of some company's work product. In between, it's my money and my body.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Yes! Excellent points. The reality is that some people will never care if it is stealing or not, as long as they get theirs it doesn't matter.




    /\ This x eleventy billion. Some people just seem to be able to justify anything as long as it falls in their favor.

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    If youre not racing and posing why bother with carbon in the first place? Ill take my $1000 aluminum bike over a knock off carbon piece any day of the week.
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    I don't agree with the OP at all. However, if companies decide to do business in China, they set themselves up for counterfeiting. I imagine it's like pilfering, they chaulk it up as a part of doing business in China.

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    Great, one more "is the same as" thread.

    I like cheap frames and components as much (if not more) than the next guy. But if I buy a no-name frame and like the way it rides, that's enough for me.

    Why do you have to make the "is the same as" claim? First, you don't really know it is the same. You think because it looks the same and may come from the same factory, it must be the same. That's just not necessarily true. There may be differences that are not obvious, or it may be the same. I honestly don't know, but what I do know is that you really don't know either.

    Second, if you don't think the big names have anything special to offer, why do you need to justify your no-name purchase by claiming it's the "same as" or "it's made in the same factory as"? Why not just post about the merits of your frame?
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post





    Ahhhhhh, aspirations of mediocrity.

  12. #12
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville View Post
    Great, one more "is the same as" thread.

    I like cheap frames and components as much (if not more) than the next guy. But if I buy a no-name frame and like the way it rides, that's enough for me.

    Why do you have to make the "is the same as" claim? First, you don't really know it is the same. You think because it looks the same and may come from the same factory, it must be the same. That's just not necessarily true. There may be differences that are not obvious, or it may be the same. I honestly don't know, but what I do know is that you really don't know either.

    Second, if you don't think the big names have anything special to offer, why do you need to justify your no-name purchase by claiming it's the "same as" or "it's made in the same factory as"? Why not just post about the merits of your frame?

    Thanks for your inacurate and off the wall summary of the posts.

    Re-read the thread and try again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Thanks for your inacurate and off the wall summary of the posts.

    Re-read the thread and try again.
    I did read your posts and the link article before posting. Your first post had a link to an article saying most of these frames come for the same factory, and your post said that's the reason you buy these no-name carbon frames. So I don't see how anyone could interpret that at anythong other than that because the frames from the big names are made there, that your no-name frame is somehow the same. If not, please try to explain the point you were making with your 1st post.

    Your second post started out by saying "compression shirt sold by Walmart for $10 is the same as Under Armour or Nike at quadruple the price" (something else you're guessing at). and then proceeded to acknowledge that the bike frames may not be exact, but still had to make the comparisons to the big brands. Again, what is your point here?

    Is there no way for you to describe your frame without mentioning the big names?

    Several years ago I purchased an RST F1RST fork when RST was trying to get into the higher-end fork business. They were clearing them out and at that price I figured they were worth a shot. I recall back then how there were posts talking about how RST used to make forks for some of the big names. That had nothing to do with the RST fork that was being sold but apparently some people (like you) need to use these bogus comparisons to feel good about their purchase. It was an OK fork for the money and I was happy with the purchase, but it was not the same as (or even similar to) the higher end forks I have form the big names, and anyone that thought they were getting an equivelent product were simply deluding themselves.

    Then there was the never ending thread on those bikes Target was selling that were "the same as" the big brand bikes. And they also made that conculusion because they claimed they were made at the same factory and looked similar. Your post is "the same as" that thread. You clearly have some type of brand envy going on and need to justify your purchase by believing your bike is the same as one that cost much more. Can you not just justify your pruchase on how you like the frame you got?

    I've been a tool guy for over 30 years. I have tools from big name companies and I have cheap tools from places like Harbor Freight. My cheap tools serve the purpose I intended to use them for, but in no way do I think that these cheap tools are as good as SnapOn or Craftsman, etc.
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    To bad the new Craftsman stuff is getting as bad as the harbor freight stuff. And craftsman toolboxs are getting up into the tool truck price region. I dont forsee craftsman doing much in the near future. Personally, I like my Matco stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    Buying knocks offs is no different than stealing from the company that designed that particular frame.
    Are you actually sure about that? I doubt that a bike manufacturer can patent a specific geometry, material choice or production method.

    1) Lets say you have a Trek that you really like and it gets stolen. Rather than buying a new one, you decide to fire up the old welder, bend some tubing and build a bike yourself. Knowing that your old Trek were a great ride you choose to use the same geometry for your home made bike. Does that make you a thief? Do Trek own that particular geometry so that you can't use it too?

    2) Another line of thought. Lets say that you fancy designing a bike from scratch. You bend tubes and weld for years until you finally end up with your perfect bike. By coincidence the geometry happens to be exactly the same as a Santa Cruz model, does that make you a thief? Does Santa Cruz own the rights to that particular geometry?

    3) You're an aspiring bike builder. You buy some bikes and take them apart to look for clever solutions to incorporate in your own bikes. After hacking a bunch of frames to pieces it turns out that Kona does something really clever with the thickness of the tubing, using thicker tubes in some areas of the frame and thinner tube in others. Does learning from that and using similar choices on your bikes make you a thief? Does Kona own the rights to make a thick head tube and a lighter down tube?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperSlow35th View Post
    To bad the new Craftsman stuff is getting as bad as the harbor freight stuff. And craftsman toolboxs are getting up into the tool truck price region. I dont forsee craftsman doing much in the near future. Personally, I like my Matco stuff.
    Uh oh, did I just move this thread off topic? Maybe not a bad thing
    I think the Craftsman hand tools (mechanic tools) are still pretty good quality. The power tools are pretty much typical of the standard department store stuff with brand names (Skill, B&D, etc), nothing special but still pretty good.
    A lot of the harbor freight stuff is really low end though. But for specialty tools that you use so infrequently that you couldn't justify buying the higher quality version, so your choice is to either not have that tool or try to get buy with a lower quality one, I've done OK taking a chance on the HF stuff (though sometimes you get complete crap that doesn't even work).
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

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    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    Are you actually sure about that? I doubt that a bike manufacturer can patent a specific geometry, material choice or production method.
    Ask Trek about G2 geometry.
    1) Lets say you have a Trek that you really like and it gets stolen. Rather than buying a new one, you decide to fire up the old welder, bend some tubing and build a bike yourself. Knowing that your old Trek were a great ride you choose to use the same geometry for your home made bike. Does that make you a thief? Do Trek own that particular geometry so that you can't use it too? See above.

    2) Another line of thought. Lets say that you fancy designing a bike from scratch. You bend tubes and weld for years until you finally end up with your perfect bike. By coincidence the geometry happens to be exactly the same as a Santa Cruz model, does that make you a thief? Does Santa Cruz own the rights to that particular geometry?
    Did they file for a patent?
    3) You're an aspiring bike builder. You buy some bikes and take them apart to look for clever solutions to incorporate in your own bikes. After hacking a bunch of frames to pieces it turns out that Kona does something really clever with the thickness of the tubing, using thicker tubes in some areas of the frame and thinner tube in others. Does learning from that and using similar choices on your bikes make you a thief? Does Kona own the rights to make a thick head tube and a lighter down tube?
    Again, did they file for a patent? Simply copying someone else's designs does in fact equate to theft. You can can call it what you want to but theft of intellectual property is in fact theft. You may choose to argue the letter of the law, but at the very core of it theft is theft and wrong is wrong. The fact that so many people seem to condone this is why we as a whole are winning the race to the bottom, settling for the lowest common denominator.

  18. #18
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    Great article. I read it the other day and it just brought to light what most of us already knew.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    You might care if the break is catastrophic in nature and causes you injury

    Buying knocks offs is no different than stealing from the company that designed that particular frame.
    true, but look at all the companies using chinese generic crap for their own profit. Boyd is huuuge on road bike review, and he's using 20 dollar chinese bitex hubs on thousand dollar wheel builds. Grammo does the same damn thing. There are hundred of companies popping up that take the chinese carbon, toss a cool sticker on, brand it as their own, and give it a 10x markup!

    I paid less than 300$ for my chinese carbon frame. I've beaten the **** out of it, and it just won't die. I want it to break so I can build something else up, but it keeps truckin. Kinda sucks! It's been through one tough mtn race season, few cx races, and endless local rides. I should note that it isn't my "goto" bike, it's a race/backup bike










    Plus, the 12 cents the 10yr old boy/girl made to make my bike, it gunna feed them for a day or two. So I'm saving children from hunger too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    It is equally silly to pay a premium for a brand name. The compression shirt sold by Walmart for $10 is the same as Under Armour or Nike at quadruple the price. The only difference is the logo.

    Certainly a bicycle frame is more complicated than a shirt. The trick is to find one that is the rough equivalent of one that says "Specialized" or "Scott" or whatever and similarly get it for 1/4 the price. They are out there. I have three, two road and one mountain, all more than 3 years old. Still working, still light. Since I am not out there either to win races or to pose, what the hell do I care if my knock off frames are not perfectly the same as the brand name? And if any of them break at this point what the hell do I care about a warranty? I just buy another for $400 or so.
    And this is true but when you pay for the name you also pay for a warranty as well as quality control. The bikes selling direct (or anything) from the factory often are often seconds and may not have the same quality bolts as they are not subject to the inspection from said Brand name. You may also be buying the same exact bike of course, maybe some brand ordered X amount of bikes originally and purchased a smaller amount and the factory is trying to unload them.
    But if saving 400 dollars and taking the risk is worth it to you I strongly encourage you to do so its entirely possible you will hvae good luck, I have so far with other items doing the same.


    =Brewality]
    Buying knocks offs is no different than stealing from the company that designed that particular frame
    False you are not stealing anything, what you are doing is being a savvy business person at this point and going for the cheapest supplier (which really is what your kona ect did) and eliminating extra expense. If anyone is being ripped off it is those that are working in the factory for pennies while your big name cycle gobbles up the profits, so what you are supporting in many ways is slavery.

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    Never any shortage of people to purchase the cheapest possibble crap and then trumpet what a great deal it was and how anyone that bought anything better is a sucker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by floydlippencott View Post
    Never any shortage of people to purchase the cheapest possibble crap and then trumpet what a great deal it was and how anyone that bought anything better is a sucker.
    Yep. I'm a broke college student with a passion for cycling. Same reason I goto ebay/pricepoint/jenson/chainreaction/wiggle/performance bike to buy an xtr chain for $30, when the lbs wants $100+.

    You're more than welcome to spend way more than me on stuff. But I'm not gunna join you

    Truth is, if I walked into an lbs and wanted a carbon race hardtail frame...I realistically would have had to shell out well over a grand. Probably closer to 2 grand. I saved alot. I can't wait til it breaks though

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    Wal-Mart Syndrome. That is all.

  23. #23
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    So does this mean I can get a carbon Pivot 5.7 knock-off for $400??? Where! Where's the link? What about a carbon Stumpy FSR 29er EVO frame for $500??? Where!

    j/k...
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  24. #24
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville View Post
    I did read your posts and the link article before posting. Your first post had a link to an article saying most of these frames come for the same factory, and your post said that's the reason you buy these no-name carbon frames. So I don't see how anyone could interpret that at anythong other than that because the frames from the big names are made there, that your no-name frame is somehow the same. If not, please try to explain the point you were making with your 1st post.

    Your second post started out by saying "compression shirt sold by Walmart for $10 is the same as Under Armour or Nike at quadruple the price" (something else you're guessing at). and then proceeded to acknowledge that the bike frames may not be exact, but still had to make the comparisons to the big brands. Again, what is your point here?

    Is there no way for you to describe your frame without mentioning the big names?

    Several years ago I purchased an RST F1RST fork when RST was trying to get into the higher-end fork business. They were clearing them out and at that price I figured they were worth a shot. I recall back then how there were posts talking about how RST used to make forks for some of the big names. That had nothing to do with the RST fork that was being sold but apparently some people (like you) need to use these bogus comparisons to feel good about their purchase. It was an OK fork for the money and I was happy with the purchase, but it was not the same as (or even similar to) the higher end forks I have form the big names, and anyone that thought they were getting an equivelent product were simply deluding themselves.

    Then there was the never ending thread on those bikes Target was selling that were "the same as" the big brand bikes. And they also made that conculusion because they claimed they were made at the same factory and looked similar. Your post is "the same as" that thread. You clearly have some type of brand envy going on and need to justify your purchase by believing your bike is the same as one that cost much more. Can you not just justify your pruchase on how you like the frame you got?

    I've been a tool guy for over 30 years. I have tools from big name companies and I have cheap tools from places like Harbor Freight. My cheap tools serve the purpose I intended to use them for, but in no way do I think that these cheap tools are as good as SnapOn or Craftsman, etc.

    I said "rough equivalent" and "imitation." Never said "same as" nor do I believe they are. I believe they are an inexpensive product made from carbon fiber in some factory in china that makes a ton of carbon fiber products including bike frames (and kayak paddles). The frames are light and perform just fine. If you think I'm going to get into some poseur b.s. about they way they "feel" you're out of luck. They are bike frames. They work. They haven't broken. They are what they are, and I frankly have no clue if they are "the same as" or "as good as" a brand name. I doubt I'm a decent enough cyclist off-road or on road to notice, anyway. But I do notice my checkbook balance, and it looks a lot heavier than it would otherwise for a "similar" product.

    Tools are purchased for the task. If I were Cat 1, I would probably purchase the best bike available (hopefully it would be given to me). Same if I were a carpenter or a mechanic. As a homeowner, DeWalt, Harbor Freight, and Ryobi work fine for my needs. Why would I buy Snap On, or need it?

    Finally, anybody who pays $40-60 for a Nike or Under Armour compression shirt is wasting money, IMO. The Walmart, I wager, IS THE SAME AS. Made I China from the exact same material. Just no swoosh.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Tools are purchased for the task. If I were Cat 1, I would probably purchase the best bike available (hopefully it would be given to me). Same if I were a carpenter or a mechanic. As a homeowner, DeWalt, Harbor Freight, and Ryobi work fine for my needs. Why would I buy Snap On, or need it?

    Finally, anybody who pays $40-60 for a Nike or Under Armour compression shirt is wasting money, IMO. The Walmart, I wager, IS THE SAME AS. Made I China from the exact same material. Just no swoosh.




    See, I'm psychic and stuff.

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