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Where is the quality?

alan_shermanalan_sherman Posts: 1,153
edited April 2008 in Campaign
Are we dissapearing up our own backsides? Where is the quality in the cycing industry these days? In the last couple of years I have experienced a few things:

1) I have refused 4 (four) £2000 bikes from a well known bike chain due to scratches.

2) I had some work done on my bike in a respected, family run bike shop - only for them to put a massive scratch in the top tube.

3) was looking at getting a top of the range helmet from one of the large american brands - the clear coat over the carbon bits has bubbles - and it seems this is not an isolated case. Poor quality of finish for a £100+ helmet

4) Shimano ultegra levers with crazing in the anodizing after a season of normal use. Agains £130ish of equipment - poor quality.



Is it me or is the industry being, well, a bit censored ? I'm sick of it. It is time for a change. Less marketing bollocks and more quality thanks very much.

Posts

  • Eat My DustEat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    Alan, you think that's bad?

    I took my beloved Ambrosio Carbon Celsius to my LBS for a service. They gave it back to me in 2 pieces and a carrier bag, telling me that they didn't know how to put it back together AND they had the cheek to try and charge me for the "work" that had been done!
  • OffTheBackAdamOffTheBackAdam Posts: 1,914
    It doesn't stop at the cycling industry.
    We're all so keen to get a "bargain", buy the cheapest possible item and play hell when prices go up, so manufacturers, to stay in business, have to reduce their costs. This means a thinner layer of anodising, outsourcing to 3rd world countries, using lower quality materials, pushing the volumes produced/processed in a day up, skimp on packaging so it results in poorly finished products, staff who care not about what they produce, lack of trained mechanics in the UK (If it breaks, just replace it with a new part/completely) and your scratched bike.
    Same with food, we won't pay for quality, so your sausages are mostly cereal and water, your bacon is brought in from Holland & pumped full of water and your chicken's from Thailand (Because they'll eat the bits we won't touch).
    Remember that you are an Englishman and thus have won first prize in the lottery of life.
  • graham_ggraham_g Posts: 652
    I agree, you have to pay for quality. Unfortunately the majority don't want to so we get lower quality but at lower prices.
    I'm personally astounded that so many day to day items, foodstuffs, clothes, bikes etc. all either cost the same or even less than 15 odd years ago. We've been spoiled by the deflation of consumer goods to the extent that people will still say 'how much?!' at items they probably paid more than double for in real terms 10+ years ago.

    Clothes is a biggie. When I first started getting a clothes allowance at 11 years old, you had to spend £30+ on a pair of jeans to get something good quality that would last. Levi's were about £40 at the time. This was 18 years ago when the average salary was £13,760, it's now more than double that but I don't see the need to spend £60-80 to get good quality (well made, not designer) jeans that don't fall apart in a couple of years.
  • gavintcgavintc Posts: 3,009
    Alan, you think that's bad?

    I took my beloved Ambrosio Carbon Celsius to my LBS for a service. They gave it back to me in 2 pieces and a carrier bag, telling me that they didn't know how to put it back together AND they had the cheek to try and charge me for the "work" that had been done!

    I think this one tops it all. I presume the gaffer tape was not strong enough.
  • I don't think its just that cheap = low quality. There is plenty of expensive stuff out there that is junk as well.

    I posted about the Shimano chain that I broke due to my own mistake and replaced with a KMC. The KMC is a good chain but the gold TiN coating is a cheap gimmick. Really its rubbish, it does not even cover the whole chain just the parts you can see and where it contacts something else it wears off.

    I think the helmet someone else posted about must be the Giro Atmos. Not a bad helmet, certainly not cheap despite it must cost all of 50p for a Asian child to manufacture. However the carbon frame again looks roughly made, like a cheap gimmick. And the foam pads that wear out in one year cost £5 for replacements.

    Rapha kit. Not all that good really. My fixed jersey started to get holes in the back and shoulders after a week. It looks like its been eaten by moths now. The soft shell jacket that is not even shower proof after a year.

    Lightspeed frames that crack at the head tube.

    Break pads that wear away wheel rims.

    Fizik Arione saddles that break in half after a year.

    Edit - iPods/iPhones where you cannot change the battery and it fails after a number of cycles.

    Some of these things are design flaws but overall I don't think its about making stuff that lasts its about charging a lot of money for censored that breaks so you have to buy it again. Which means working 25 hours a day until you are 102.
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,421
    gavintc wrote:
    Alan, you think that's bad?

    I took my beloved Ambrosio Carbon Celsius to my LBS for a service. They gave it back to me in 2 pieces and a carrier bag, telling me that they didn't know how to put it back together AND they had the cheek to try and charge me for the "work" that had been done!

    I think this one tops it all. I presume the gaffer tape was not strong enough.

    I had worse done to a watch which only went in to have the battery replaced. After several minutes of hammering coming from the sealed off workshop area, I was handed the assorted bits of a watch in a bag...and asked for the 3 quid cost of the battery they had opened :lol:
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