Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

There are more expensive marks like "Trek", "Cannondale", "Specialized" and cheaper ones like "Merida", "Norco" and many others.
What are the benefits of the expensive ones, if say the components like frame material, derailleurs, brakes, BB, cassettes, rims, tires are the same?

share|improve this question

closed as too broad by Benzo, Batman, freiheit Mar 19 '14 at 22:25

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

As with anything, better quality is usually more expensive. And of course, you may also pay extra for "flash". Often it is hard to judge whether you're paying extra for quality or meaningless flash, but generally Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, REI's Novara, and a few other US brands are reliably good quality. – Daniel R Hicks Mar 9 '14 at 13:01
There are also some non-US brands which are of good quality. The "big three" brands are Giant, Trek and Specialized, all who make good bicycles. Though, theres a wide range of bicycles they produce. – Batman Mar 10 '14 at 18:14
@Batman I always thought, that Cannondale is the greatest... What about KTM bikes (the are Austrian)? Can someone say a thing about them? – Alexander Mar 10 '14 at 20:48
I know KTM makes great motorcycles. Don't know anything about bicycles. Cannondale makes some good bicycles, for sure, but the greatest? That's subject to a great deal of opinion and the type of bicycle you're looking for among other things. [Giant is Taiwanese.] – Batman Mar 10 '14 at 22:44

You're paying some amount for the branding of the bike, as well as the bike shop to carry the branding and advertising it and supporting the bike after you buy it. A lot of components can be the same - for example, tons of major brand and non-major brand run complete Shimano 105 drivetrains and various other parts (they may have slight model number changes for OEM versions versus retail versions, but essentially the same stuff).

However, there can be some engineering differences though in the parts which are intrinsically the manufacturer's. This is typically the frame+fork - just because you make two frames which look kinda alike out of the same material doesn't mean that they are the same quality frames, or as well engineered as each other for lightness/strength/stability/etc. [Though I'm not saying that smaller branded products are necessarily worse-ly engineered. ]

Also, typically, the major brand stuff looks a lot nicer with better resale value if you're into that sort of thing.

It is worth saying that while some places (e.g. BikesDirect) advertise a lot of their frames as "compare to (name brand) at (much higher price)", there are trade-offs in what you get. The frame, for example, may have less nice joins, be a bit heavier, use a lower grade of metal, etc. , so its not exactly the same thing (in some cases, good enough, in other cases, a poor imitation). A lot of people often play the argument that all these bikes are made in similar factories in Taiwan or whatever, but they aren't (usually) coming from the same molds, and a factory can produce a decent spectrum of qualities and types of bikes. [Another thing to note is that places like BD don't have the overhead of a retail shop where you may get a bike fit or having to hire people to stand in line and what not]

(Unlike in the car world, I don't believe that bicycles are often badge engineered anymore (Schwinn had a bunch in the 70s and 80s for the non-made in USA stuff). But you can get some good bikes from some brands which are cheaper than others.)

As for the price difference, a lot is knowing when to buy - if you buy at the right point in time, the price difference is a lot smaller than usual.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for wide answer. – Alexander Mar 9 '14 at 3:10

If the components really are the same (and I think you'll find that's unusual if there is a large price difference) then odds are the cheaper bike is probably a better value. The more expensive bike may have other qualities that are superior, but those differences probably won't be big enough to overcome the price differential. I'd say that for the average cyclist it rarely makes sense to buy the more expensive name brand if a bike with nearly identical components can be had for less. But there's the rub -- they rarely are nearly identical unless they're also fairly close in price.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.