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  1. #1
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    House brand components

    Cr@p or what? You know why they do it (to save $$), but I only have one pair of Bontrager wheels that didn't crack and break on me in about a years time. Other parts like bars and stems and seatposts I can't get to excited about anyway, but cranks, brakes, gimme Shimano.

    I wonder if it's better to just buy a frame and put my own choice of components on it. We looked at my son's Madone, and found cheaper grades of cables, cassette, and chain as well. Probably headset too, but we didn't check that.
    Last edited by mfdemicco; 03-30-2018 at 06:48 AM.

  2. #2
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    To be fair, Trek isn't the only brand that does this. This is how bike makers control costs. They put shiny expensive components where they show and slip cheaper components where you either aren't likely to notice or where cost savings will be the most.

    Bontrager wheels are mediocre at best. I really thought they solved the spoke hole cracking problem when they abandoned that stupid paired spoke design. Apparently not. I really have to wonder why Trek doesn't use an entry level Shimano wheelset like RS-11 or RS-21. Not exciting, but cheap, durable and at 1850g, not terrible in the weight department. And for a higher level bike, Ultegra WH-RS500s weigh in at around 1650g and are a great bang for the buck. If I, Mr. Consumer can buy these for under $300, it's only a guess Trek could bulk buy these for quite a bit less. So I don't quite understand what's up with that.

    Bars, stems, seatposts and water bottle holders are some things Trek actually does quite well. Nothing wrong with these.

    Cables, cassette and chain are wear items, so I wouldn't make a bike buying decision based on those.

    But a real WTF as far as I'm concerned is as inexpensive as cables are and how important they are to good quality shifting, why would Trek sub cheap cables on a high end bike? Seriously, they put cheap galvanized cables on expensive bikes! Good stainless steel cables aren't that expensive, they're PRICELESS! Did some bean counter at Trek corporate headquarters get a big bonus for this decision?? Yeeeesh!
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  3. #3
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    The vast majority of brands are just that - brands. They outsource the manufacturing to someone else. This isn't necessarily bad. Theoretically, that manufacturer has more experience making stuff. The brand's job is to ensure the design and engineering (also outsourced more and more) is done well. And, they're supposed to ensure the quality is on part with their brand's standards.

    You really have to research the parts you buy. There is a lot of private labeling (made exclusively for that company/brand) and white labeling (made for several companies/brands) in all manufacturing... the bike industry too.

    My Cannondale Hollowgram wheels are great. But Cannondale didn't make them. Stan's did. Well, the rims anyway. The hubs were soured from another manufacturer. So first, I had to research who was making those wheels for Cannondale... then research the Stan's wheels, e.g. reading reviews, etc.

    You can't stop when you figure out who makes a wheel (for example) for a bike company... because that bike company could have multiple manufacturers making different wheels for them.

  4. #4
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    Just semantics but your beef is with "stock" components not "house brand". Bontrager, Giant, Cannondale, Most, they all have some decent stuff. Shimano, Mavic, Whatever all make some really cheap stuff that gets sold on bikes.

    You get what you pay for generally speaking. Most models, Madone being no exception, have different levels. At the high end you usually don't see these cheaper substitutions but the lower priced models are lower priced for a reason and that in part is lower end components. Sure buying a frame and your own stuff will get you better quality but you'll pay more accordingly. Actually more than accordingly unless your get some good sales because you don't have the buying power to drive bulk prices down like a big bike company can.

  5. #5
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    Not all of it is bad. Cannondale has levels to theirs, I really like their C1 bars and stem.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Just semantics but your beef is with "stock" components not "house brand". Bontrager, Giant, Cannondale, Most, they all have some decent stuff. Shimano, Mavic, Whatever all make some really cheap stuff that gets sold on bikes.

    You get what you pay for generally speaking. Most models, Madone being no exception, have different levels. At the high end you usually don't see these cheaper substitutions but the lower priced models are lower priced for a reason and that in part is lower end components. Sure buying a frame and your own stuff will get you better quality but you'll pay more accordingly. Actually more than accordingly unless your get some good sales because you don't have the buying power to drive bulk prices down like a big bike company can.
    No, I was talking about house brand components (wheels, pedals, cranks, etc.), not accessories (shoes, helmets, etc.) Also, IMO, even the expensive house brand components suck.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    No, I was talking about house brand components (wheels, pedals, cranks, etc.), not accessories (shoes, helmets, etc.) Also, IMO, even the expensive house brand components suck.
    You obviously have never tried Cannondale's C1 components. They are durable but some of the lightest stuff out there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by terbennett View Post
    You obviously have never tried Cannondale's C1 components. They are durable but some of the lightest stuff out there.
    No, but I remember that Coda stuff...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    No, but I remember that Coda stuff...
    Coda? That stuff hasn't been on Cannondale bikes since before Y2K.

    And I can vouch that their C3 stems, bars and seatposts are pretty good.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  10. #10
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    I rode Trek paired wheels for years, what a sexy set of wheels, they finally needed to be re-spoked and I didn't.
    BANNED

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    I rode Trek paired wheels for years, what a sexy set of wheels, they finally needed to be re-spoked and I didn't.
    Too bad they were notorious for spoke hole cracks. My rear wheel developed cracks at 4K miles - or I should say I discovered them at 4K miles.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Coda? That stuff hasn't been on Cannondale bikes since before Y2K.

    And I can vouch that their C3 stems, bars and seatposts are pretty good.
    Yep. Cannondale used to be a US company before they went bankrupt and were bought by Dorel. Not really interested in their bikes or components anymore.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Coda? That stuff hasn't been on Cannondale bikes since before Y2K.

    And I can vouch that their C3 stems, bars and seatposts are pretty good.
    I still use Coda SPD pedals (titanium spindle, really nice) and Coda grips on my MTB. Of course, it's a mid-1990s ride.

  14. #14
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    There is always a flagship housebrand product that is light and good quality, placed on their highest end bike range, kind of like Chevy's Corvette. Everything else is heavy garbage. I have a Trek stem laying around that's 600 grams!
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  15. #15
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    600g?!
    Pics on a scale please, that sounds unbelievable. Is it made of lead???

  16. #16
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    I want to agree, but I can't. Cannondale's series starts with the entry level C3, mid-level C2, and top end C1. Really good stuff. The C3 might be the entry level of the line, but it's still good stuff. Knowing this, I am willing to bet that there are other manufacturers are making good, entry-level, in house components too.
    Last edited by terbennett; 04-30-2018 at 06:35 AM.

  17. #17
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    +1... I agree 100%.

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