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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was concerned that the Specialized that I was looking at was below the equipment or quality that I should expect for $500

So I ask for reccommendations

Some posters said Ibex, some Iron Horse, some Motobecane, Forge, Specialized, Trek -- what are you to do?

I wrote several emails and found out the Ibex was made in China, that the Iron Horse was made in China, that bikes from Target were made in China, and that Specialized, Giant, and Trek were too unless you went over $700 or $1000 in some brands.

I decided to drive to Houston and see all kinds of bikes up close. I ended up buying a Motobecane with Rock Shox and Shimano Deore/LX and Tektro disc brakes that was made in Taiwan for $449 from a dealer who just got new ones in.

I looked at welds on about 100 bikes in 5 shops and to sporting goods stores. I could tell the difference for sure. Some bikes from China the welds looked real bad; some looked OK. But every bike made in Taiwan had excellent welds.

In addition, all the shop guys I talked to said exactly the same thing. Companies bring their cheap stuff from china and their nice stuff from taiwan. I had already had a couple of companies confirm this by e-mail.

Seems like a good indicator of quality; as all companies do the same thing -- top grade to middle from Taiwan. Middle down to cheap from China. Kind of bothered me that some dealers made me ask and one was evasive in his answer {until i demanded details}

Anyway, I think there are great quality hardtails out there under $500, if you shop.
 

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Your question makes no sense

taikuodo said:
How did you know the Ibex welds were bad if you can't see them in person unless you live in Georgia near the warehouse?
This question is strange.

I do understand that there is a group of posters on this forum that promote Ibex no matter what. I have no idea why; although I might venture to guess..

However, please look at what the OP said and then what you ask. It makes no sense.

OP never said Ibex welds from China were bad. What he said was out of lots of bikes he looked at there was a pattern. Welds from China that he saw were poor to OK, in his opinion. Welds OP saw on bikes from Taiwan were excellent, based on his judgement. He never said he saw an Ibex. Just that he found out the model he was looking at was from China.

I notice you did not attack OP on any other brand he sited; so I could jump to the conclusion you are part of the group that likes Ibex without regard to reason. However, I am not one to jump to conclusions.

If you start responding using little faces instead of words; then I may be forced to think otherwise. :D :nono: :madman:
 

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deepetexas said:
In addition, all the shop guys I talked to said exactly the same thing. Companies bring their cheap stuff from china and their nice stuff from taiwan. I had already had a couple of companies confirm this by e-mail.
The same holds true for road bike frames generally. I have an $800 Raleigh with aluminum frame from Kinesis (Taiwan) with welds that I'd expect to see only on >$1,000 custom built frames. Here's a pic:

 

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drlogic said:
This question is strange.

I do understand that there is a group of posters on this forum that promote Ibex no matter what. I have no idea why; although I might venture to guess..

However, please look at what the OP said and then what you ask. It makes no sense.

OP never said Ibex welds from China were bad. What he said was out of lots of bikes he looked at there was a pattern. Welds from China that he saw were poor to OK, in his opinion. Welds OP saw on bikes from Taiwan were excellent, based on his judgement. He never said he saw an Ibex. Just that he found out the model he was looking at was from China.

I notice you did not attack OP on any other brand he sited; so I could jump to the conclusion you are part of the group that likes Ibex without regard to reason. However, I am not one to jump to conclusions.

If you start responding using little faces instead of words; then I may be forced to think otherwise. :D :nono: :madman:
Haha, lol.

Anyways, as bad as some people think Ibex Zealots are, it's just as bad to stereotype somebody as one of them just because of what they said (ex: what Taik said). Good thing you didn't jump to conc. because I know for a fact that he doesn't have an Ibex.

Anywho, I think the main point Taikuodo was trying to say is that saying Middle - Good = Taiwan/non-China and Middle-Worse = China as a stereotype is going to offend some people.

I've seen some pics of the Ibexs' and pretty much all of them looked great; so either:

a) Ok/Great welds can come from China
b) I'm thinking not 100% of Ibexs' come from China? IIRC some dude posted saying that all/some Ibex bikes were from Taiwan.

P.S. I say it might offend people because if somebody just bought a $1000 bike made in China he's going to feel bad that people think China bikes are crap => flame ;p

Oh, and :thumbsup: :nono: :cornut: :band: :band: :band:
 

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Welcome to the forums

drlogic said:
This question is strange.

I do understand that there is a group of posters on this forum that promote Ibex no matter what. I have no idea why; although I might venture to guess..

However, please look at what the OP said and then what you ask. It makes no sense.

OP never said Ibex welds from China were bad. What he said was out of lots of bikes he looked at there was a pattern. Welds from China that he saw were poor to OK, in his opinion. Welds OP saw on bikes from Taiwan were excellent, based on his judgement. He never said he saw an Ibex. Just that he found out the model he was looking at was from China.

I notice you did not attack OP on any other brand he sited; so I could jump to the conclusion you are part of the group that likes Ibex without regard to reason. However, I am not one to jump to conclusions.

If you start responding using little faces instead of words; then I may be forced to think otherwise. :D :nono: :madman:
So you decide to pipe up now and this is your first post. Just as strange as taikuodo's post. FWIW, I found taikuodo's post interesting, too. The OP said nothing about Ibex welds, just generalized statements about the quality of welds of frames made in China. Perhaps the OP's assertion that some Ibex farmes are made in China confused takuodo. In any event, I think the OP's observation to be pretty true, and an observation that's also made by some of the frame manufacturers that post here.

In any event, I'm glad deeptexas got his bike. Congrats, and we lok forward to hearing more and seeing some pics!

Bob
 

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MrKalentine said:
...a) Ok/Great welds can come from China.
Yes, China is capable of manufacturing just about anything as good as anybody else. The problem is twofold, though. First is consistency. Many Chinese factories have been somewhat uneven in the quality they turn out, but that is improving. It has commonly been held that factories in China that are owned and operated by Taiwanese firms, though with Chinese labor, tend to turn out the most consistent quality. The other factory is one of product level. China turns out the vast majority of low-end department store type bicycles sold in the US. Even the lower end of the LBS level bikes are mostly considered high-end for China. The higher-end bikes will be of the best quality, both by design and by virtue of the fact that the factories are expected to pay closer attention to QC (quality control) on those.

MrKalentine said:
...b) I'm thinking not 100% of Ibexs' come from China? IIRC some dude posted saying that all/some Ibex bikes were from Taiwan.
Of IBEX's 2007 models, only the IBEX Alpine line (entry to mid-level hardtails) are assembled in China. And, the batch of them that just hit our warehouse will likely be the last of our Chinese production. All other IBEX models are built in Taiwan. We had to move some production to China for 2006 (Alpines and Ignitions) and 2007 (Alpines only) due to limitations in production capacity in our factory in Taiwan and continuing growth of IBEX sales. With Taiwan production expansion now completed, all IBEX bikes will come from Taiwan for the foreseeable future. It should be noted, however, that the IBEX bikes that were assembled in China used the same frames that they had when those models were produced in our Taiwan facility (all Alpines prior to 2006 and all Ignitions except 2006 were Taiwan made) and the China assembly factory we used was one that is owned and closely run by a group of Taiwanese firms that are all also involved in bicycle production in Taiwan.

Thanks & regards,
Jack A.
IBEX Bicycles
 

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ibexbikes said:
Yes, China is capable of manufacturing just about anything as good as anybody else. The problem is twofold, though. First is consistency. Many Chinese factories have been somewhat uneven in the quality they turn out, but that is improving. It has commonly been held that factories in China that are owned and operated by Taiwanese firms, though with Chinese labor, tend to turn out the most consistent quality. The other factory is one of product level. China turns out the vast majority of low-end department store type bicycles sold in the US. Even the lower end of the LBS level bikes are mostly considered high-end for China. The higher-end bikes will be of the best quality, both by design and by virtue of the fact that the factories are expected to pay closer attention to QC (quality control) on those.

Of IBEX's 2007 models, only the IBEX Alpine line (entry to mid-level hardtails) are assembled in China. And, the batch of them that just hit our warehouse will likely be the last of our Chinese production. All other IBEX models are built in Taiwan. We had to move some production to China for 2006 (Alpines and Ignitions) and 2007 (Alpines only) due to limitations in production capacity in our factory in Taiwan and continuing growth of IBEX sales. With Taiwan production expansion now completed, all IBEX bikes will come from Taiwan for the foreseeable future. It should be noted, however, that the IBEX bikes that were assembled in China used the same frames that they had when those models were produced in our Taiwan facility (all Alpines prior to 2006 and all Ignitions except 2006 were Taiwan made) and the China assembly factory we used was one that is owned and closely run by a group of Taiwanese firms that are all also involved in bicycle production in Taiwan.

Thanks & regards,
Jack A.
IBEX Bicycles
Great info,

Personally I don't see what the big deal is, China, Taiwan, USA, Cananada, Europe... you get what you pay for that's the bottom line. If a company makes crappy products then customers would complain.

The question I still have lingering in my mind is if it says handmade in the USA on the bike does it mean it's really all made here? Or does the bike come in parts and the final assembly done here? For some reason I still can't believe Trek still makes aluminum bike frames in the US.
 

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It depends

Becane73 said:
The question I still have lingering in my mind is if it says handmade in the USA on the bike does it mean it's really all made here? Or does the bike come in parts and the final assembly done here? For some reason I still can't believe Trek still makes aluminum bike frames in the US.
It's a real gray area and one that's incredibly hard to get a straight answer on. My understanding is that only minimal US assembly of parts is needed to stamp it "Made in USA". As for Trek, all I can say is that when I watched the Trek documentary on Made in America hosted by John Ratzenberger, it was clear that their carbon frames are indeed made here, and much of the finish work is hand done.

Bob
 

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Call_me_Clyde said:
It's a real gray area and one that's incredibly hard to get a straight answer on. My understanding is that only minimal US assembly of parts is needed to stamp it "Made in USA". As for Trek, all I can say is that when I watched the Trek documentary on Made in America hosted by John Ratzenberger, it was clear that their carbon frames are indeed made here, and much of the finish work is hand done.

Bob
Yea, I'm pretty sure they make their carbon fiber bikes here because Trek provides a lot of information regarding their carbon making process, but when it comes to their aluminum frames it seems like smoke and mirrors. They hardly provide any information except what's stamped on the frame. (Although, when I wrote to them they did tell me All of their hardtail frames are made overseas.) They mention their full suspension frame being welded here, but I'm not entirely clear as to their process. I would think it would be cheaper for them to have their Alloy FS frames made overseas as well and have the final assembly done here. Not sure if that's the case.
 

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deepetexas said:
I was concerned that the Specialized that I was looking at was below the equipment or quality that I should expect for $500

So I ask for reccommendations

Some posters said Ibex, some Iron Horse, some Motobecane, Forge, Specialized, Trek -- what are you to do?

I wrote several emails and found out the Ibex was made in China, that the Iron Horse was made in China, that bikes from Target were made in China, and that Specialized, Giant, and Trek were too unless you went over $700 or $1000 in some brands.

I decided to drive to Houston and see all kinds of bikes up close. I ended up buying a Motobecane with Rock Shox and Shimano Deore/LX and Tektro disc brakes that was made in Taiwan for $449 from a dealer who just got new ones in.

I looked at welds on about 100 bikes in 5 shops and to sporting goods stores. I could tell the difference for sure. Some bikes from China the welds looked real bad; some looked OK. But every bike made in Taiwan had excellent welds.

In addition, all the shop guys I talked to said exactly the same thing. Companies bring their cheap stuff from china and their nice stuff from taiwan. I had already had a couple of companies confirm this by e-mail.

Seems like a good indicator of quality; as all companies do the same thing -- top grade to middle from Taiwan. Middle down to cheap from China. Kind of bothered me that some dealers made me ask and one was evasive in his answer {until i demanded details}

Anyway, I think there are great quality hardtails out there under $500, if you shop.
so you went to cycle spectrum in houston then .... which one?
 

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Call_me_Clyde said:
It's a real gray area...
"Gray Area" is a good way to put it. We had a Trek in here a couple of years ago for R&D that had an "Assembled in USA" decal. That one obviously was "made" overseas, but had some of the final assembly done here. I was told at the time that only Treks with frames built in the US would carry a "Made in USA" label. I do not know if they are still following that same labeling protocol or not.

The issue becomes further complicated by the origin of components. As most of you well know, other than perhaps frames and some suspension bits, there are very few US made components commonly found on any quality bikes (maybe a few stamped out mass-merchant bikes... not sure, though I doubt it with China being so strong in this category now). So, there is an issue of content as well as assembly. Even those few bikes with frames manufactured in the USA will have the majority of their components sourced from overseas.

You can further extrapolate that a bike marked "Made in Taiwan" or "Made in China" may actually have a good portion of its' individual parts that are made somewhere else. For example, take Shimano where high-end parts still come from Japan (and some lower-end items come from Malaysia)... or many other parts made in China that find their way on to US or Taiwan assembled bikes (or vice versa). The FTC has made it clear on some other higher profile products, like automobiles, that both assembly and content must be at least 90% US in origin to carry a blanket "Made in USA" label. I cannot easily find any guidelines regarding this on bicycles, per se, but that may simply be because there have been few major challenges.

And then there comes the factor of consumer perception. From the many decades of Schwinn being fully made in the USA there is a common perception among less "bike-savvy" consumers that they still are. This is based strictly on historical evidence and public psyche regardless of what the oft unread label on the box may say (...the same may be said of Trek or Murray or Huffy or many others with similar situations, for that matter). You can also see the the possible propagation of misapplied assumptions in names such as Pacific USA, Scott USA, American Standard and others.

The bottom line is, you can assume that a "Made in" label referring to a complete bike will primarily indicate the country where the bike is assembled while individual components may emanate from a variety of sources. Personally, I would let the reputation of the brand and the spec's of the individual bike speak for the quality level, not the "country of origin".

Best regards,
Jack A.
IBEX Bicycles
 

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This is so true

Becane73 said:
I think bike manufacturers in general don't like to devuldge their secrets because there's actually very little seperating one brand from another though they would like buyers to think otherwise.
I live in Taiwan and look at HT frames on their auction site constantly. They are all so similar, geometry may vary slightly, names you've never heard of, but basicaly all the same.
 

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I don't think that you could simply stick a "made in" label to any bike these days (save for Wal-Mart bikes). It needs to be itemized to let the consumer see whats what, and not manufacturers to decide that if the assembly or frame was done in the US then they will slap a "Made in the USA" sticker on it.

Ideally I would want it to look something like this (going by my Trek 5900):
Assembly: USA
Frame & Fork: USA
Groupset: Japan
Wheels: USA assembly (not sure about the origin of its components)
Saddle: Italy
Tires & Tubes: Germany
Handlebar: USA
Stem: Italy?
Pedals: Japan


An educated consumer could then draw his own conclusion regarding bike's origin.
 

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In a perfect world, yes

Vetallist said:
I don't think that you could simply stick a "made in" label to any bike these days (save for Wal-Mart bikes). It needs to be itemized to let the consumer see whats what, and not manufacturers to decide that if the assembly or frame was done in the US then they will slap a "Made in the USA" sticker on it.

Ideally I would want it to look something like this (going by my Trek 5900):
Assembly: USA
Frame & Fork: USA
Groupset: Japan
Wheels: USA assembly (not sure about the origin of its components)
Saddle: Italy
Tires & Tubes: Germany
Handlebar: USA
Stem: Italy?
Pedals: Japan

An educated consumer could then draw his own conclusion regarding bike's origin.
I think the idea is great, but will probably never happen for a number of reasons. Can you imagine the size of the decal and associated cost ?? :rolleyes:

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here is my new bike

I might have spent too much time shopping; but I am certain I got the best deal I could find. I did not see a bike with specs equal to the Motobecane plus the fact that I appreciate that it is from Taiwan instead of China. I see some do not care about where a bike is made; but given the choice - this is what I found to be the best deal under $500

https://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u201/deepetexas/MOTOBECANE700HT.jpg

https://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u201/deepetexas/MOTOWELD.jpg

and Yes the store I got it at is Cycle Spectrum; the store is on Hiway 1960; I didnt know there were others. I stayed on the north side of Houston.
 

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deepetexas said:
I might have spent too much time shopping; but I am certain I got the best deal I could find. I did not see a bike with specs equal to the Motobecane plus the fact that I appreciate that it is from Taiwan instead of China. I see some do not care about where a bike is made; but given the choice - this is what I found to be the best deal under $500

https://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u201/deepetexas/MOTOBECANE700HT.jpg

https://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u201/deepetexas/MOTOWELD.jpg

and Yes the store I got it at is Cycle Spectrum; the store is on Hiway 1960; I didnt know there were others. I stayed on the north side of Houston.
Looks like they changed the frame from the one I had. Still a nice bike.

https://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/becane73/DSC03128.jpg

https://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/becane73/Picture134.jpg
 
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