Author Topic: Please help me decide !  (Read 1054 times)

urga

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Please help me decide !
« on: January 20, 2017, 12:20:35 PM »
Hi
I'm new to the forum so forgive me if I am asking a stupid question
I am in the market for a new gravel  and 29plus bike frames. I can see identical frames to the ones I like for sale online via some chinese websites. These look too good to be true, so I've looked about for advice into what constitutes a good frame. Initially I've just assumed that I would be going direct to the manufactures that the bike companies use, thus I would forego the premium prices for the sake of a paint job and decals. I then came across this article, http://www.velonews.com/not-all-frames-are-created-equal-a-look-deep-inside-the-carbon-in-counterfeit-bikes , and it made me stop in my tracks. Is there truth in this ?Are these frames all potentionally dangerous,or is this just the bike industry scaremongering to protect it's profits ?
Hope someone can shed some light on this for me
Regards
Dave



tripleDot

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Re: Please help me decide !
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2017, 12:26:08 AM »
Welcome!   ;D

There is truth to the phrase "Not all frames are created equal."  And that phrase is true to Chinese, American, European, etc. frames... no exception.  Having said that, let's explore the Chinese carbon fibre frames that you are interested with.  I'm not gonna pretend that these are risk free but there are indeed some of these companies/reseller who do strive to put quality in both their products and services.  It is just a matter of finding them. 

I'm personally not that qualified to drop any name as a definitive go to brand/company.  I don't have an extensive experience with any but have deal with XM Carbon Speed (CS for short) once (this).  As far as that deal with CS is concerned, I am happy with the service and quality of product.  But I only had that bike for a few months only (3-4months).  There is, however, a good number of folks here who had deal with this company, and it was their experiences and frame feature/s that led me to deal with CS.  But do note that CS isn't the only Chinese company that have desireable reputation here.  In addition to this forum, you can also (as I did) check out reviews on YouTube.  You'd pretty much come up with 4-5 brands/companies that are reliable to spend your money with.  Whichever you pick to deal with would probably be determined by the specific frame you want.

I do actually have an HT CF XC that's from Taiwan.  Unfortunately, I don't know what company as I got really cheap from another guy (locally, he got shipped the wrong size, original price was pretty within what most would get around here, I just got a huge discount and was assured of the 2 year warranty).  Not a year of use yet but I've done a good number of trails and a few 200-300km rides on it and it showed no signs of defects or quality issues.  That said, my only suggestion is avoid those really low price tags (unless it's a special case like mine).  I mean we all got our frames cheap here but there are prices out there that are just uncomfortably low.  Some intelligent judgement call is required.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 12:38:51 AM by tripleDot »

SportingGoods

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Re: Please help me decide !
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 03:27:03 AM »
I would say that there are 3 levels of quality when it comes to Chiners (Chinese vendors):
- Low level: product quality is questionable. Those are the "unknown" vendors, found on ebay, aliexpress, usually with product that are too good to be true. You can make great deals or loose your money.
- Medium level: product quality is good, problem can still happen (true for big brands too), but don't expect any support in case of problem. This is the vast majority of "known" vendors.
- High level: product quality is good, problem can still happen (true for big brands too), but they will support you to fix any problem (might cost you some shipping though). There is a short list of vendors in this category.

I have bought my first 2 frames from low/medium level vendor (flyxii/xgoods) and I got lucky to get good quality products and no problem. But it was risky. Then I got my wheels and 3rd frames from a high level vendor (CarbonSpeed, sponsor of this forum) and found top level logistic support when needed. This is my only option now (but I'm sure there are other high level vendors). The higher the level, the more you pay (still a lot less then buying a brand product).

Note that I still use these 3 frames, very happy with all of them.

urga

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Re: Please help me decide !
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 03:38:17 PM »
Thanks for the information !
Think I'll give the gravel bike frame from CS a try. Is it also worth getting them painted by CS ?

tybiker25

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Re: Please help me decide !
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 06:30:13 PM »
Thanks for the information !
Think I'll give the gravel bike frame from CS a try. Is it also worth getting them painted by CS ?

I've gotten two frames painted by CS. I like how they look with the paint. They can do a simple, single color paint or more complicated. But the complexity and the masking required can raise the cost more. I think of the paint as an extra layer of scratch/ding protection. If it's just in the paint, it's not affecting the structure carbon composite layers.

Patrick C.

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Re: Please help me decide !
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 08:07:27 PM »
I had my frame painted by Peter at XmiPlay (before he started CS), and after 2 years am very satisfied with it.  It added $75 for a single color, all over paint job.  The paint has held up well, though I did notice that it is chipping right around the drive side, lower edge of the bottom bracket.  I assume this is due to flexing or poor prep on the metal- the paint has only chipped where it was on the metal BB insert, it stops right at the carbon.  I didn't notice it until I removed the crank ( chipped area is almost completely covered by the chainring). 

I would do it again, and most likely will when I get frames for the kids.  I considered trying painting with Plastidip as well- this gives you the option to peel it off if you want to change colors, but with zero painting experience I haven't decided to try it yet.