Thursday, March 5, 2009

Strange Bike

Recently a rather odd bike came into the shop. Odd for two reasons... first because it bore the name of a famous automobile line... Lamborghini! Now that's actually not so odd.. there have been plenty of other cases where a name famous for some other sort of product is applied to a bicycle, in hopes of imparting some of the cachet of that brand on the bike, I guess. In rare cases, like a "Smith & Wesson" bike we had in some time ago, or the "Maserati" racing bikes of the 70s, they're actually good quality bikes that the owner of both the bike and the brand could be proud of.

This bike, however, and most other such bikes, basically rely on the name to cast a sense of value and exclusivity onto an otherwise pretty mundane bike. This one isn't a BAD bike... it's just a mass-produced bike from China with low end parts that wouldn't be out of place on some bikes from mass merchants, aka "big box stores", or perhaps a sporting goods shop like Dick's or Sports Authority. It's just a little weird to see the name of a very high end Italian automaker on such a bike.

While working on the bike, I noticed something even stranger. Take a look at the decal on the chain stay there in the photo. If you click on the photo to see it full size, you can see it says "Powered by Shimano". Now that in and of itself isn't that unusual... many bikes, especially lower end ones, are emblazoned with decals that bear the name of a famous component maker, and arguably Shimano is the most widely known these days, so it makes sense that the bike maker would do some "name dropping".

What makes this one strange, is that I looked over the whole bike, thoroughly, and found the derailleurs were made by SRAM, the hubs by Quando, the brakes by ProMax, the cranks by SR SunTour... but not a single part from Shimano! Very odd. I've honestly never seen this before... always before if the bike proudly proclaimed something like "Powered by... " there's been at least SOME part made by that maker. Maybe it was a simple mixup at the factory. Maybe they had a bunch of leftover decals. Maybe the specifications changed after the graphics package was designed and printed. Whatever the reason, it's just kind of bizarre. And I have to wonder how Shimano would feel about it!

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