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I'm trying to find what kind of brand/make my bike is so I can find more information about it. It might help me determine if I should buy a new bike.

All I can tell from looking around my bike are the words 'Challenger' and 'Resistance'. It's a hand-me-down mountain bike, I haven't got a manual or receipt for the bike so I suspect there must be some way of finding out otherwise.

I've searched for 'Challenger Resistance' on the web and the best result I received was from an auction on eBay of an identical bike. Here's what my bike looks like:

enter image description here

I'd like to know how to identify bikes. I think that would be more valuable then If someone told me what brand I have.

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Check out the bottom of the frame, near the bottom bracket. Should be a serial number there. –  Vorac Apr 23 '13 at 6:28

7 Answers 7

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The usual method of identifying a bike is what you've done.

The brand and model are usually part of the decals on the frame.

My bike, for example, says Scott on the downtube, and CR1 Pro on the toptube near the headset.

It is Swiss made, and the model stands for comfort road 1, and Pro tells you what parts were on it originally.

If there are no decals, an experienced mechanic or shop owner can usually identify most common frames.

Your bike is very basic, at best, and most people would not consider it safe for use on off road trails. I would recommend looking for a shop quality mountain bike. You will enjoy riding more, and that is what it's all about. Feel free to ask if you need more information.

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About your last paragraph, I use this bike mainly on gravel/pavement cycle paths. I've never had any problems with it, which is why I use it. I am considering buying a new bike though. –  Ambo100 Jul 21 '11 at 17:07
    
I suggested a new bike because I've been where you are. My first non-kid bike that i bought, was a bike very similar to what you have there. It lasted me only a few months, but I was trying to ride it offroad. In the process of that I hooked up with some guys who worked at a local bike shop, and one of them loaned be an old spare bike he had replaced. That bike wasn't good enough for him to be willing to ride it anymore, but it was light years better than what I had. I'm not telling you what bike is best for you. That's between you, your wallet, and your LBS. I am saying if that's the only... –  zenbike Jul 21 '11 at 17:39
    
...bike you've ridden, you don't know what you're missing. I don't want to come off as condescending. We all start somewhere. But I consider myself a bit of a cycling missionary, and you will be more likely to ride more, and enjoy it more with a better quality machine supporting you. That's all. And FTR, if you hadn't mentioned looking at a new bike in your post, I probably wouldn't have said as much as I did about that. –  zenbike Jul 21 '11 at 17:42
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I think the major reason a lot of people don't ride is that their bike is terribly uncomfortable, doesn't work well, or is just plain terrible. Getting a better bike is aways a good investment, it doesn't even have to be one that's particularly expensive. –  Neil Fein Jul 21 '11 at 19:54
    
Absolutely agreed, @Neil Fein. –  zenbike Jul 22 '11 at 4:53

The basic problem is that an assembly line in China is spewing forth bicycles of the same design, then, at the end of the line, one gets Brand A decals, the next gets Brand B, the third Brand C. Some of the brands will be "no-name" brands, some will be "house" brands for your larger department stores, and some will be recognizable bike brands - "Raleigh", "Schwinn", et al.

Unfortunately, the quality, fit, and finish of the bike is unique to that assembly line (and the particular model being built), and the factory next door is producing an entirely different bike, of different quality, as will this factory a month from now. So the quality of this bike is no indication of the quality (or fit) of a different bike bearing the same "maker's" badge.

Your more reputable distributors and rebadgers will take some effort to assure that the bikes meet some minimal quality standards, but it's not like buying a more expensive "brand" bike where the brand people have overseen (to at least a minimal degree) the design and construction of the bike.

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I used to have this bike, in fact it was my first, My dad bought it at a local bicycle store . It read challenger and was blue and yellow, it looks exactly like yours, same frame, same forks and I can tell same dimensions, I knew it inside out .

It was made by Raleigh, was called concept diabolo.

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An excellent resource is Bikepedia.com, they have listings for a wide range of bikes.It is very useful when looking at used bike ads as they may list stock components and suggested retail price new.The newer the bike is the more information they seem to have.It is useful when looking at used bikes to determine age by what years components were offered and with what colors.This helps with questions like I bought it in 2007 but Ithink it's 2005.

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Bicycles of this type are churned out by the many thousands and simply "branded" to various distributors. They are invariably very cheaply made; often with all-steel components and the lowest-possible level of brakes,shifters, and other components.

They are as alike as peas in a pod otherwise. Other than doing the normal sort of maintenance, lubing the chain, keeping fasteners tight... There's very little that needs to be done to them, and if some major part fails they are simply not worth repairing. Around the university where I work, you see bikes identical to yours branded as "Pacific", "Next", "Magna", and various others.

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Based on this picture, it looks like it was most likely purchased at a department store.

I am not sure how knowing the brand will help you decide whether or not you will get a new bike. IMO the main criteria for determining this would be function and comfort.

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I thought I might be able to frame size and target age range. –  Ambo100 Jul 21 '11 at 17:12
    
The actual named frame size is not important. Rather the dimensions of the frame are what matters. One company might call your bike a 17" model and a frame with the same top tube, stand over etc by another company is considered an 18"! Hope that makes sense! If you are happy with the fit, record the measurements and should you decide to get a new frame seek one out that mirrors those measurements. Most cyclists know their own measurements. As far as age goes...it really does not matter unless it is constantly breaking down. I am hearing you are itching to get a new rig!! –  GuyZee Jul 21 '11 at 17:43
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You can determine the approximate frame size by finding a "diamond frame" bike which has approximately the same critical dimensions, particularly the distance from head tube to seat tube (measured horizontally, extending the seat tube along an imaginary line if necessary to do this). Then measure that bike from the top of the seat tube to the center point of the crank (though some measure to different points, giving a variability of +/- 2" or so). (There may be a table on the internet somewhere of typical dimensions for a given frame size, but I didn't find one with a quick Google.) –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 21 '11 at 19:00

That is a 'Bicycle Shaped Object' with any-old name plastered on the frame. It is 'off-brand'.

Years ago it was possible to identify bikes by the quality of the welds, shapes of the lugs, shapes of the dropouts and choice of components. However, with 'Bicycle Shaped Objects' this is sadly not possible.

There are probably countless variants of this exact same item with different labels on at your local supermarket, in Halfords and other places that should not really be in the bicycle business.

I would not worry too much about the brand, just enjoy riding!

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I'm fairly sure we bought this bike from Halfords, like the rest of ours. How could you tell? –  Ambo100 Jul 21 '11 at 17:09

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