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Thread: MEC bikes

  1. #26
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    First post, newbie here. Long time lurker. Hello.
    I'm mostly touring on an xc bike, old beaten iron horse, modified for the road with some semi-slick tires, rack, the whole works. I had my bike maintained at LBS for years but mostly out of necessity and not preference. I simply didn't like the attitude and the quality of the repairs. The last time I took my bike to my LBS, the didn't properly re-assemble the rear hub and while going down the hill my wheel began to wobble. I walked my bike home. It was then that I decided to take the bike to MEC as I live fairly close. Best experience ever, the time they take to explain stuff to you, show you the problems, recommend parts and guarantee it. Simple, down to earth, no bs, as it should be. Now, my friend wants to get into touring with me and we did check out the MEC bikes. Bikes that were in stock at the LBS to reach similar equipment and purpose were close to or beyond 2K - these quotes came with the usual arrogance, while the bikes at MEC up to 1.5K with possibility to swap parts for reasonable prices. LBS can order the Surly LHT for about 1400, a legend in the touring community. Prices aside, the MEC folks make you feel welcome and stand behind their products, the service is fantastic and that is a very important factor for an old fart like me. As far as quality goes, all the major manufacturers make great bikes. I haven't heard any complaints about MEC bikes either. It ain't rocket science. And if it craps out, you've got MECs warranty with no attitude. Hard to beat.

  2. #27
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    I come from the perspective that the frame is the most important component, so when someone stated a 2900$ mec bike as a deal, I dropped my jaw. Lets address the issue as it is, mec caters to it's members and also the urban population, this is low-mid level merchandise and frankly if you are really serious about road cycling, you'd look elsewhere for variety and selection in the tools specific to your goals. Otherwise if you are a feel good go lucky kinda person Mec is fine if you don't mind paying a large premium for a smile while they take your money. For those who are starting out, sure, why not, but if you already have great knowledge in road cycling, mec won't make a compelling case to you. It's just not their specialty but a lateral offshoot of their business. They may have some decent mechanics but so may LBS'. There are tons of shitty mechanics out there too at LBS and MECs and Sportschek's of the world. Personally I think Mec brings a lot of good outdoor merchandise to the community, at acceptable prices. I just don't think they are your go to place for hardware as specific as road bikes.

  3. #28
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    ok well the drivetrain (aside from the cranks and bottom bracket) is all ultegra and it comes with the ksyrium wheelset so those are pretty good components at least for what I'd be looking for. Just those put the price around $2200. I have no knowledge about frames tho.. it's made in Taiwan but what isn't these days. Anyways if the components were $2200 it would leave $700 for the frame and I was more or less just looking for information on the frame. What makes it good, what makes it bad, and is it worth that $700?

  4. #29
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    Definitely the frame can make or break a bike's overall quality. I doubt that MEC frames have a lot of technology in them. Yes a lot of frames are made overseas now, but it's the design that matters, and all the R&D. Imagine putting Ultegra and Ksyriums on a Canadian Tire road bike frame. These days, the shaping of the tubes, the size of the weld areas, the materials, and the geometry are what set good frames from bad ones. There are carbon frames that suck, there are steel frames that are a dream. You can't really tell rom a quick test ride either, so without some quality reviews or rider feedback to read, you'd be taking a gamble buying one.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclusaddictus View Post
    Definitely the frame can make or break a bike's overall quality. I doubt that MEC frames have a lot of technology in them. Yes a lot of frames are made overseas now, but it's the design that matters, and all the R&D. Imagine putting Ultegra and Ksyriums on a Canadian Tire road bike frame. These days, the shaping of the tubes, the size of the weld areas, the materials, and the geometry are what set good frames from bad ones. There are carbon frames that suck, there are steel frames that are a dream. You can't really tell rom a quick test ride either, so without some quality reviews or rider feedback to read, you'd be taking a gamble buying one.
    its too late in the evening to begin explaining the intricacies of why the frame is the most important consideration, so cyclusaddictus' succinct reply will have to do.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneGear View Post
    its too late in the evening to begin explaining the intricacies of why the frame is the most important consideration, so cyclusaddictus' succinct reply will have to do.
    so what's wrong with the MEC frames?

  7. #32
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    I'm looking at buying a National MEC touring bike. For its price it is hard to beat when comparing to other touring bikes in terms of frame/components. I plan on changing out the wheels and the 30 chain ring to a 27.

    Thoughts? Anybody ride this?

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrubberer View Post
    Ok so its more than a year later but I was trying to help a friend who is wanting to buy a road bike find the best bike for his money.

    Hard to find fault with there new MEC road bike the Etape has a T-700 Toray frameset with the latest design features like BB30 and oversized headsets. Built up with Full 6700 gruppo (Except for the FSA energy crank). Easton Stem & Bar. Ksyrium Elite Wheelset. All that for $2900.

    My similarly equipped WIlier Gran Turismo (Which I love) came stock with very close spec to this except doesn't have the BB30 and had Fulcrum Racing5 wheels when I bought it. Those wheels are the equivalent of Ksyrium Equipe wheels. Cost $3699.

    Havent ridden the MEC bike to see what the ride quality is like. It may be brutally stiff or even go to the other extreme but at $800 cheaper than my similarly specced Italian wonder bike and a wheelset thats worth $250 more its hard to find fault in its value for the money spent on it! oh and 16.1 lbs is pretty respectable.

    I'm happy I spent more on my bike including upgrading the wheels. I got a frame that is a perfect fit for me and the type of riding I do. But for a person looking for their first medium price range road bike the MEC Etape looks to be more than fair value for the price. And if it fits you and after a test ride you found its ride quality were ok then I would suggest it is a good deal.
    I agree the Etape spec wise looks like a fairly respectable buy (for Canada, you can find betters deals in the states) I actually went into the Edmonton store and had a look at it
    the only fault I could find without taking it for a test ride was the clear coat finish really was not very good.
    Current Rides
    2006 Lemond Versailles, mix of Ultegra and 105
    2012 Litespeed L1 Dura Ace

  9. #34
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    There is a review of the MEC Etape at Canadian Cycling Magazine, August 2011 issue.

    I read somewhere that MEC CF frames are manufactured by Giant. I wouldnt be afraid of low quality, a lot of known brands outsource their production to Taiwan and are starting to move to China, most of these deals are "secret" as the bikes are produced on 3rd party factories. It's like Foxconn making the iPhones. But as the article states, store-brand stigma might keep some people off.

    Rumours on the internet also affirm that Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, etc bikes are fully or partially made by Giant.

  10. #35
    My other bike has knobbys
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    I don't think it would be Giant...the Giant reps I've talked to all stand firm that Giant does its own thing and won't let anyone else produce for them and won't produce for anyone else. I do believe a lot of the big name bikes come out of the same CF shops in Taiwan...there are 2-3 "big" CF shops that do a lot of the CF frames for many, many of the big name brands, but AFAIK Giant isn't in that mix.
    So 6 times wasn't enough and I'm going back again:my participant page for the 2015 Alberta Ride to Conquer Cancer.

    12 Cervelo S2, 09 Knolly Delirium T, ?? Mercury Road Bike, signed '06 Gary Fisher Cake 2DLX

  11. #36
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    This is from ebicycles.com, not sure if it's a reliable source:

    Giant has literally become a giant of a company. They produce over five million bicycles a year and have dubbed themselves the "world's largest bicycle manufacturer". It's most likely true because half the time you’re riding one of their bikes without knowing it as they also manufacture bikes for brands like Trek, Specialized, Schwinn and Bianchi. Most cyclists trust Giant for reliability and quality.

    Giant Bicycles was established in 1972 as OEM and a manufacturer for other bicycle companies. But in 1986 they established their own brand and by 1998 were producing over two million bikes and in 2002 over four million. They later expanded into big biking nations like the Netherlands, USA, Canada, Australia and China; manufacture items like pumps, apparel and luggage (2002 in the United Kingdom) and established a European company in the Netherlands (1996).
    Anyways, I don't know if there are made by Giant or not, but they are probable made on the same factory as another better known, reputable brand, even though the quality could not be the same.

    I can't insert links yet, but anybody can read the review at Canadian Cycling Magazine on their website.

  12. #37
    My other bike has knobbys
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    Could be the local reps were blowing sunshine... if Giant does make them, it could be a good thing (if they are actually decent bikes in and of themselves) or not (if they are low end knock offs of other things coming off the line already).
    So 6 times wasn't enough and I'm going back again:my participant page for the 2015 Alberta Ride to Conquer Cancer.

    12 Cervelo S2, 09 Knolly Delirium T, ?? Mercury Road Bike, signed '06 Gary Fisher Cake 2DLX

  13. #38
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    Glad to find this thread. I was wondering the same thing about why MEC would start selling rebranded bikes. All this discussion about what components are included for what price seems to miss the main point. If MEC is an altruistic coop that only exists to be amazing and everything, why do they rebrand white-labelled frames "MEC" rather than selling primary manufacturer frames for less than any LBS? Personally I think the answer is that they are out to make money and are no longer really a coop.

    That "we don't profit" statement on the previous page is completely untrue. I have been a MEC member for over 20 years and they have never given any shares back that mean anything--it's all just paperwork so they can remain a coop entity legally. MEC sells brand products for MSRP, never less. If they were out to help the community of active outdoors people, they would be constantly looking for great ways to get products into our hands for as little money as possible--like a coop.

    I remember MEC when it was a ratty little shop on Front St. in Toronto. They had great deals on top grade backpacks and sleeping bags. Then they went crazy in the 90s and built these mega stores with climbing walls in them with huge real estate costs etc. They turned the corner and stopped helping the community and started furthering themselves. Selling "MEC" bikes is just the continuation of the same pattern.

    Enough of my ranting. I'm obviously a bit peeved at what MEC has become. Someone should start a coop that carries outdoors gear. That would be awesome.

  14. #39
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    I see no problem with rebranded bike, there are more of them out there than you think. Many of the bikes we ride come from the same few factories with the exact same specifications on the consumer bikes. The higher end bikes also can come from the same factory but have a higher spec and are built to that degree.
    When I bought my carbon rims "Gigantix" the fellow said they were made by the same people that made ZIPP, if did not believe until he showed my pictures of his tour with the ZIPP, Reynolds, Easton, Gigantix wheels all ready stickered for packing in the factory.
    He said frames are the same.

    MEC to me has better prices on many things or are as competitive as other shops, the Garmin 510 I have been shopping for is the best price at MEC.

    As for helping the community I think your way off, two weeks ago I went to the MEC paddle fest and got to try out a bunch of boards, kayaks and listen to some demos. I have also run with the group which the store organizes, I have done a rock climbing demo, I have also seen some presentations by some amazing people and have not paid a dime.

    The Ghost bikes are well reviewed and the other bikes are a pretty decent spec and value. Yes they are not a true bike shop but if I loved one of the bikes I would buy it in a heart beat no problem.

    Personally I like what MEC has become, the staff are amazing, warranty is amazing, prices are competitive, products are extensive and not lacking, and the stores are consistent so I know I get the same service Canada wide.

    My share was $4.50 this year, could not care less as I saved 10 times that on items I bought.

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