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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:46 pm 
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showdown wrote:
I'm also not necessarily convinced that these companies would sell rejects... I'm not sure any company would risk selling a rejected product... perhaps I'll be called naive but until I see some empirical evidence of this practice methinks it best to not toss around allegations...


Since I graduated in 97 I have worked in R&D of companies that produce consumer electronics. During my work I have tested and evaluated tons of OEM manufactured electronics and belive me. There are so much junk produced that you would not belive it.. Just last week we did some EMC (How much noise a product emit) testing of a new product. This product inluded a power adapter, bought (cheaply no doubt) from a chinese factory that make these for a living. The adapters had the approvals, but they blew through the noise limits set by the standard! And there is no way they could have passed approval.
Now would a consumer ever notice - No it requires a spectrum analyzer to see the problem. The Power adapter works fine on its own, but may utterly destroy the performance of electronics in its vicinity! So now we have to battle the factory to get the quality in order. If they don't comply we will find another supplier... What do you think will happen with all those adapters they should deliver to us??? We won't buy em because they do not live up to the specifications we gave them.
I will bet you that they will sell them cheap to someone else (They are standard mini usb adapters)

showdown wrote:
On a side note- my team was sponsored by Trek a few years ago when they introduced the Madone. We ultimately had to send back all of the frames due to failing carbon BB's and resin cracks that when shown to a former aerospace engineer who formerly worked for Trek and now works for another major cycling company declared with certainty that the issues we were seeing were a result of poor production and should not have met quality control. It was his belief the in an effort to meet the overwhelming demand for the hot hot hot Madone, Trek rushed the production process and lowered the bar for quality control... This all coming from a person who worked on the Madone design team. So there's that...


Yes flaw's happen even for the best of companies (Remember the Mercedes A series that tilted when doing slalom?) but Trek would do what it takes to fix it! Most likely the problem was at the factory they used. Maybe that factory is Hong Fu today? And trek dumped them?
I have been responsible for dumping subcontractors that could not deliver the promised quality!

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Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:46 pm 


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:17 pm 
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ISO 9000 manufacturing standards usually require permanent marking and/or destroying of non-conforming (defective) products. That's how my company does it. I wouldn't doubt that there are "knock offs" by other companies, but I doubt any reputable company allows their defective products to be sold through other channels or under a simple change of brand label.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:19 pm 
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Most of these cheap frames are from trading companies. The trading company places an order the same as anyone else and then sells to consumers. And all the factories have open mould designs that they only make up when they get firm orders.

So it's not necessarily rejects or "stock over-runs" that are being sold to the consumer market. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean anything for quality. Determining who is good to buy from is the difficulty.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:19 pm 
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Posts: 98
Location: North Carolina
danoontje wrote:
Recently bought this frameset...USD450,- and one of those famous USD50,- paintjobs http://www.gotobike.com.cn/gs_detail.as ... vid=500027

Hopefully I wont break my neck riding it.. :? (good thing we don't have hills in Holland)
I'll post some pics when it arrives, in a week or 7.

regards, Roger



Roger,

Can't wait to see this frame! I strongly considered it for a build before, in the end, picking up a very inexpensive Kestrel on Ebay. I sometimes wish I had gone for this frame and worked on a c. 13 lb build.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:50 pm 
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Posts: 2194
Location: Alto, NM
bones wrote:
I thought that places like PedalForce are just buying from the same agents that post on eBay. Then, they put on their own housebrand label. How is that different from any Fred buying from the same eBay agents and then riding without a sticker on their downtube?


I bought a Pedal Force and it was flawless. My Dengfu direct frame was not... cloudy spots under the clearcoat, slight dimples next to the water bottle bosses, crown race too tight, rear dropouts required filing, etc. At the very least if you deal with an established company they will do their own QC and provide a warranty.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:20 am 
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Location: Wherever there's a mountain beckoning to be climbed
showdown wrote:
... In my inquiries into rims I was informed that many of the depths I wanted were out of stock and that they could be produced for me witha lead time of about 30 days... That would indicate to me that this isn't necessarily reject stock or overrun but part of a small quantity of product they're producing on their own specifically to sell on the market...

And that may be. But while I'm not saying or implying it is the case, it is possible that they were out of stock of rejected rims of certain depths, and were waiting for rejects to become available. Even then, it may be that not all rejects meet their standards, as they could have a laxer QC than the brand name buyer, but tighter than "0".


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:52 am 
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Posts: 375
Location: Australia
Thanks for that TB. I might drop PX an email. 185lbs... pffft... you're a weenie. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:35 am 
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Posts: 38
Location: Helmond, Netherlands
quote Musiker: Since I graduated in 97 I have worked in R&D of companies that produce consumer electronics. During my work I have tested and evaluated tons of OEM manufactured electronics and belive me. There are so much junk produced that you would not belive it.. Just last week we did some EMC (How much noise a product emit) testing of a new product. This product inluded a power adapter, bought (cheaply no doubt) from a chinese factory that make these for a living. The adapters had the approvals, but they blew through the noise limits set by the standard! And there is no way they could have passed approval.
Now would a consumer ever notice - No it requires a spectrum analyzer to see the problem. The Power adapter works fine on its own, but may utterly destroy the performance of electronics in its vicinity! So now we have to battle the factory to get the quality in order. If they don't comply we will find another supplier... What do you think will happen with all those adapters they should deliver to us??? We won't buy em because they do not live up to the specifications we gave them.
I will bet you that they will sell them cheap to someone else (They are standard mini usb adapters)

showdown wrote:
On a side note- my team was sponsored by Trek a few years ago when they introduced the Madone. We ultimately had to send back all of the frames due to failing carbon BB's and resin cracks that when shown to a former aerospace engineer who formerly worked for Trek and now works for another major cycling company declared with certainty that the issues we were seeing were a result of poor production and should not have met quality control. It was his belief the in an effort to meet the overwhelming demand for the hot hot hot Madone, Trek rushed the production process and lowered the bar for quality control... This all coming from a person who worked on the Madone design team. So there's that...


quote Musiker: Yes flaw's happen even for the best of companies (Remember the Mercedes A series that tilted when doing slalom?) but Trek would do what it takes to fix it! Most likely the problem was at the factory they used. Maybe that factory is Hong Fu today? And trek dumped them?
I have been responsible for dumping subcontractors that could not deliver the promised quality![/quote]


Ok, your talking consumer electronics, power adapters and Mercedesses.... for crying out loud, it's bikeframes were talking. A whole lot less technics then the things you're talking about.
Some people over here talk about bikes likes it's rocketscience and you'll have to fly to the moon on a bike..

In my opinion, when I have USD3000. and the frame I bought sells at USD450. and it brakes in half..I still have USD2450. left for a nice bikeframe with a brand on the downtube..and otherwise I'll put some nice wheels on it.
(please don't mind my english :? )


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:47 am 
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@danoontje: I also figured that a cheap frame could be ok (And some are most likely fine, but which?!?). Thus I bought the Neo. However after using it this season. I am no longer of that opinion. I do not want to worry that my frame breaks when I go 70+ km/h down a mountain - So yeah I now compare it with other technical products - Thus I have come to believe that designing a good frame require calculations on stress and forces - This goes particulary for Carbon because it can be made to behave in so many ways - Where metal are less complex and more defined by the shapes its made into. And I imagine that it gets even more important when we are talking light frames - Just shaving up material can save a lot of weight, but might destroy the safety.. I felt that was the case with my Neo Exile frame. Did not feel safe when riding at higher speeds (40km/h+).

After calculations and prototype builds I would expect some tests to verify that the calculations made during the design phase holds op to the protoype.

So in many ways I would expect that the development of a bike frame resembles any other product development. Some companies cut corners in order to lower price.... And not all companies need to care about if the final customer comes back and buys more!

BR
Henrik

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:02 pm 
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Quote:
I felt that was the case with my Neo Exile frame. Did not feel safe when riding at higher speeds (40km/h+).

musiker: I am a little confused. When I read your review of the NEO frame, it seemed like it was really pretty positive and the main thing you didn't like about it was that the headtube area did not seem stiff enough. Is that correct ? It seems like a big jump to go from "not stiff enough" to worrying that it is a danger because it might fail. Is there really anything that makes you think it is defective, or are you just not confident because it doesn't seem "stiff" ?

FWIW: My LOOK would shimmy so bad at high speed if I took my hands off the bars that I thought it would explode if I let it go. Naturally, I just kept my hands on the bars on all descents. I accepted that as the price for a superlight (at the time) frame. My PedalForce QS3 is like it is on monorails, and I have hit 96 kmh on descents :D


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:36 pm 
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There are things about the Neo I liked right till the end:
- The weight
- The look
- The stiffness in the rear was plenty good for me. Frame jumped forward when I accelerated.
- Climbing in the seat was a pleasure.
- Riding solo with 30-35km/h was a pleasure, was pretty comfy even on long rides

But I got more and more insecure about how it handled, when I was out riding fast (races and groups) - That's what made me decide to get a new frame.
Its not easy for me to describe the issue. But when I made the slightest shift in weight (Eg let go with one hand, while having some weight on the other hand) at higher speeds (for me thats 40+km/h) I had to compensate a lot to avoid being all over the road.
The feeling was kind a of wobbling - Like the whole frame was made of spagetti - I checked and double checked that everything was mounted correctly and tight. The fork was the standard Neo fork, and that most likely plays a part in how it handled, but I did not feel like spending $500 on a an EDGE fork, and maybe not be satisfied after that..Standing still I could flex the frame very easily, not just the fork. I have tried the same with both my Parlee and a Willier Montirolo and both seems much more stiff.

When I get out on my Parlee (Waiting on a BB30 crank), I will return and sum up how that feels compared to the Neo.. And try to be honest about it! Hope it feels better and more secure, or else I will look like a bigger fool than I pretend to be :lol:
Regards
Henrik
Ps. I weigh 62kgs

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:42 pm 
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Well, when I look at a NEO frame, it has the feature I was talking about earlier: The chainstays look like they are formed separately and then bonded on to the back of the BB shell area. Not "monolithic" construction.
Probably OK for low-cost and light weight, but not so good for longitudinal stiffness of the frame.
Image

Is yours like that ?
Compare to the construction of a PedalForce QS3
Image


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:50 pm 
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Formerly known as PezTech
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Location: Phoenix Arizona
showdown wrote:
@PezTech...

While I think your assessment of the production process of CF bikes and components is fairly accurate, perhaps it reflects a norm that once was true.
;)



Fair enough, but if it's out of date it's by less than 7 days.

I had conversations about production, capacity and what will happen this year and next we 4 top producers and several customers last week at interbike and finished up one this morning at 5am...


I have no idea who you are so I cant comment on your speculation, but I'm not frequently guessing at what I talk about...

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:09 pm 
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Posts: 629
Location: NKC, MO
@musiker - I assume you realize the Parlee Z5 frame is produced in Asia ... right? Yes I know your arguments about company accountability and all of that but at the end of the day the Z5 is Parlee's (correct me if I am wrong) first frame not produced in house. I give full credit to Parlee for acknowledging country of origin and not branding it made in USA simply because the majority of value is added in this country.

Speaking of the NEO, it seems Patrick at NEO Cycles listened to the riders' feedback and incorporated them into the Exile Plus frameset. He applied additional material on the Plus at the expense of weight (cool by me), added the tapered head tube / steerer (cooler by me), and continues to communicate with me about the frameset, build progress, and my mending following a run in with a Toyota Camry (coolest by me). The addition of a BB30 is icing on the cake.

Again, I have no qualms with the argument that not all companies or deals are he same. Further, each buyer should conduct own research prior to buying. I had several months of communicating with Patrick prior to purchasing the frameset.

I may be off the mark, but it sounds like I shared a similar experience with my Kuota Kebel as you with your NEO Exile. I experienced a wobble, and after that, I never felt comfortable on the bike regardless. I then sold it. Trust is hard to earn; doubt takes .005 seconds or less and lasts a long time.

I truly hope the Parlee fulfills your cycling needs and brings you much enjoyment.

@Rick - I do not understand your comment about bonding of the rear triangle to the front; it is not uncommon. Please elaborate and not let us less knowledgeable fill in the gaps with our stupid fears.

@Pez - any opinion of the Z5 being Asian made versus in-house?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:17 pm 
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Quote:
@Rick - I do not understand your comment about bonding of the rear triangle to the front; it is not uncommon. Please elaborate and not let us less knowledgeable fill in the gaps with our stupid fears.

With reference to the photos above:
If you look at where the chainstays attach to the bottom bracket, on bikes such as the NEO in the picture, the frame "necks down" behind the BB. It looks as if the chainstays stays were formed by one loop of material, and then bonded to the BB. They are narrow at the top and curving inward. It is not "uncommon". The Planet-X bikes are that way also, and probably some more.

But if you now compare to the PedalForce (and is also similar on Scott Addict, etc) you see that the chainstays remain full width to the bottom bracket and there is no change in contour behind the bottom bracket. The rear triangle looks like it was "built in" at the time of the main triangle was formed, rather than "added on" after the main triangle was formed.

I notice that on some of the Hong Fu frames they show both types of construction.
I am not saying one is good and one is bad, or that either is unacceptable. But it seems pretty obvious which one would be naturally expected to be stiffer and stronger.


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Posted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:17 pm 


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