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  1. #1
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    Companies Frame Quality - Opinions!

    First post, so to start sorry if this is in the wrong forum section. Wasn't sure where to put it.

    So I have been doing some research into bikes as I'm looking at purchasing one next year. I've tried to demo some but unfortunately not a lot of demo's going on here (Edmonton) and they seem to be done for the year in the area (Alberta).

    Some bikes I've been considering;

    2018 Rocky Mountain Altitude C70 / C90 - got to demo but it was short and didnt know the trails well

    Pivot Mach 5.5 - Also demo'd and absolutely loved it! Not so much the price ha ha.

    Evil Calling / Insurgent - Haven't ridden but they seem like people like them.

    I haven't really spent any time on 29'ners unfortunately but if I dig them maybe a Rocky Mountain Instinct or Devinci Troy.

    Anyway one day I followed the rabbit down the rabbit hole and watched this video ( ) on where companies basically get there frames made and from who. So it got me to thinking what are the qualities of the frames from these companies. The video asks loosely interview's Pivot. What I liked was the transparency of the company and basically their pursuit to create the best bikes possible. They seem like they were really invested in quality control. So I tried finding more information on this topic but couldn't.

    For example I "heard" that Evil bikes aren't as strict with their allowable tolerances within their frame manufacturing. So does anyone have any info, experience, insight, about this and other companies, ie - Rocky Mountain, Pivot, Evil, etc. All these bikes are expensive so itd just be nice to know that I'm getting the best possible quality, customer service, etc from the purchase.

    Thanks guys, excited to read your opinions.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Curveball's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Well, Devinci makes their alloy bikes in Canada. I'd expect some good quality there. I think the TV show "How Its Made" did a segment on Devinci.

    Guerilla Gravity makes all of their frames by hand in the USA. Direct experience shows them to be extremely high quality.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Lone Rager's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    IMO, the best bet is to find a bike with the features you want from a recognized reputable brand and buy it through a good LBS that can help you and be your advocate with the manufacturer should problems arise.
    Do the math.

  4. #4
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    Reputation: l'oiseau's Avatar
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    May 2015
    Instead of relying on the bike shop, buy from a brand who is willing to deal with YOU when something goes wrong.

    I've only ever dealt with one, and it was Transition. They were very good and wanted me to keep riding their bikes.

    As far a Pivot, they may be very good about their manufacturing "engineering" but they were also on video, I wouldn't expect them to say or portray anything negative about themselves.

    Now this may sound ridiculous, but end users really shouldn't be concerned about "quality". That is to say if man A has 0.01 and man B has 0.05 tolerance, but whether or not they meet their tolerances and they are sufficient to make the bike function properly. That is to say, taking a random sample and just riding it, could you, or would ever tell a difference? End users need to be concerned about performance, durability, serviceability and how the company deals with their customers. KISS, don't overthink it.
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2009
    Evil customer service has some issues. I hear good things about Guerrilla Gravity.

  6. #6
    Professional Crastinator
    Reputation: Fleas's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    I haven't owned "a lot" of bikes, but they all eventually broke. Pretty much, any mainstream bike mfr. has to put out a decent product or they will be gone. You'd be unlikely to be able to sort them by "quality". As a former bike shop bike builder, fit/comfort and handling will more effectively distinguish a bicycle.

    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  7. #7
    Rabid Lana fan
    Reputation: net wurker's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    I can also vouch for dealing directly with Transition. Great company.
    rOCktoberfest 2015 pt I here
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  8. #8
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    Jun 2017
    I had the same question and the closest thing to reliable data I've found is this test:

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    “Pfffffft, pfff, pfffffft .....” For two weeks, the computer-controlled pneumatic cylinders in the EFBe laboratory did their hard work, hissing, and giving frames the beating of their lives. The best of the best survived two days of this, without failing. Three lightweight frames endured without visible signs of damage. After 200,000 cycles which visibly flexed even the stiffest frames, the computer shut down the testing for the Cannondale, Trek and Principia frames, according to plan.

    This is a sensational result, considering the lightweight tubes and enormous test loads. Even Manfred Otto found the result surprising: “These are the lightest frames which have ever wandered onto the EFBE test stand, but also the most durable.” The Time carbon frame failed the test by only a little, with a broken chainstay after 182,000 cycles. The second-lightest frame in the test, the low-priced Schmolke titanium frame, made in Russia, exceeded all expectations at 160,000 cycles. Klein’s Quantum Race failed more quickly: the down tube broke after 132,000 cycles. Next was the Merlin Team Road titanium showpiece, struck down at a relatively low 106,000 cycles – the greatest disappointment, considering its price. The last among the light frames was the Stevens RPR4, which, however, was also the least expensive.

    Steel was in crisis: The De Rosa SLX broke after only 57,000 cycles, only half as many as Brügelmann’s Barellia frame with the same tube set. Interestingly, they both broke in the same characteristic way, just above the lower head-tube lug – a type of failure, by the way, which TOUR’s testers had already seen in on bicycles in use. The Fondriest frame, very light for a steel frame, did not last through the first testing cycle, and, like the much heavier Nishiki frame, broke after only 80,000 cycles.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2013
    One of the reasons I mostly buy Trek is I find their after sales service extremely good as I've had a few out of warranty repairs without even asking for them. I've not broken a frame but their warranties for those seem to be good as well.

    2014 Trek Fuel Ex 8
    2015 Trek Farley 6
    2016 Trek Stache 7

  10. #10
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    Reputation: veloborealis's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    +1 for Trek. I know many riders view them as plain vanilla, but as an avid recreational rider I find their bikes to be fun to ride, reliable, and do everything I ask of them. Recent experience warrantying a carbon frame (cracked bb due to a very hard pedal strike) showcased their excellent customer service. Trek and my LBS have earned my loyalty.
    Veni vidi velo!

  11. #11
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    Reputation: scottzg's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by net wurker View Post
    I can also vouch for dealing directly with Transition. Great company.
    Me too. I've had to deal with their warranty a couple times, unfortunately (I am pretty destructive, this doesn't reflect on transition at all) but i've been nothing but thrilled with their warranty service. They warrantied a chainstay i broke outside of the warranty period where it cracked in a machined portion- my hack riding was to blame and i only hoped to get a discounted replacement. They're good people and i'll look to them first next time. I also really really like their bikes.

    I've seen friends buy what i'd consider horribly constructed frames... but then the company has backed it up with their warranty. Like, that sucks, but it's tough to blame them? So i'm disinclined to name names.

    Santa Cruz has a really good reputation for building sturdy bikes. For me, if the geo is good and they're using a threaded BB and have a good reputation for supporting the rider with warranty or crash replacement... i'm happy. I haven't really seen anyone get shafted by a bike manu in the last 6-7 years, and the threaded BB is a good litmus test for where their priorities lie.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

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