Author Topic: Opinions on what are the best carbon frames to buy?  (Read 221 times)

Rigid_Bloke

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Opinions on what are the best carbon frames to buy?
« on: May 13, 2017, 09:48:35 AM »
So I was reading through a blog's comments discussing people's fear of Chinese carbon frames and how there are so many misconceptions out there, and I came across a comment I wanted to share. The dude pretty much nailed it, in my opinion.

"First, it's important to clearly delineate between counterfeit/knock-off frames and open mold frames. People often conflate the two but they're different things. There's nothing wrong with buying an open mold frame from a reputable seller. There are lots of well known distributors selling quality generic frames that are a genuine bargain for those who don't care about marketing hype. Secondly, it's worth noting that lots of brands sold in bike shops actually sell open mold and catalog frames as their own, even at relatively high prices. One particularly notable brand is QBP's Heller which sells open mold carbon mountain bikes. Masi, Fondreist, KHS etc, they all sell open mold stuff that's been painted and decaled with these famous brands. Thirdly, people complaining about bikes made in the "Far East" ought to look at where their frame is made. There's an extremely high probability that it was made in either Taiwan or China. Note for those new to bikes: with some extremely rare, very expensive exceptions (like Trek's or Cervelo's $10K+ halo bikes), brands don't actually make anything. Every brand subcontracts production to companies who specialize in making bikes. These manufacturers make bikes for lots of different brands and most often they're located in Taiwan. Frames are most often made in Taiwan not only because of relatively low labor costs but also because of economies of scale: carbon bikes are capital intensive but have low marginal costs. This means that molds and autoclaves are expensive but once you have them, pumping out frames is cheap. Also, Taiwan has been the center of world-wide bike production for fifty years, as a result Taiwan's where the supply chain, production knowledge and skilled workers are. Even brands like Colnago and Pinarello have their entire line-up produced in Taiwan. One farcical exception is the Colnago C60 which is produced in Taiwan in pieces, mailed to Italy where it's glued together and painted so that the brand can plaster a "made in Italy" sticker on it. Pinarello has no problem selling you a $6K+ frame that was popped out of a mold in Taiwan (draped in an Italian flag). Lastly, if you care about the origin of your frame buying a truly American made steel bike is easy, fun and often far less expensive than you'd think. This is also true in the UK."

Comment taken from here: http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/product-news/cheap-chinese-carbon-imports-are-they-worth-the-risk-173977

I think that is probably the most concise summary of the current bike market that I've ever read, but was hoping to get other's opinions? When does it make sense to buy name brand these days? What are the best carbon frames to buy in terms of value? Is it the cheap Chinese import frame or the long trusted name brand frame?

« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 09:54:20 AM by Rigid_Bloke »



tripleDot

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Re: Opinions on what are the best carbon frames to buy?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 12:13:44 AM »
If you hang around ChinerTown long enough, you'd probably know that that is the general opinion of most folks here.