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Introduction to Bicycle Makers

There are many brands of bicycles. They can be grouped into several categories according to quality: budget consumer, mid-range, serious, and high-end. Even within these levels there are ranges of quality. However, we want to keep it as simple as possible because you also need to consider the type of bike you need. So below is a table summarizing the most popular bicycle makers with their most popular bike styles and niche.

The overall reason for outlining what is available for bicycling today, is to bring an industry that has been focused on recreation for so many decades together with an upcoming urban consumer of bicycles that are looking for alternatives to burning fuels to accomplish their daily chores. Here is an industry speech by the president of Trek Bicycles, John Burke, who hits the nail on the head. His company leads a bike industry that has exhausted its marketing and product capabilities for increased sales. He realizes that their are some major problems with the way we live today, and believes that the bicycle industry has a valuable solution. He recognizes four major areas of concern in today's society. Those are:

  1. Obesity
  2. Traffic Congestion
  3. Urbanization
  4. Environment and Pollution

He says all of these problems are actually opportunities for the bicycle industry. However, the industry needs to support and participate in activism and lobbying to make our cities more bike friendly. The tape lasts about 23 minutes. But, if you only listen to the four reasons for change, you'll have compelling argument to make the switch.

Most Popular Bicycle Brands

The list is arranged by popularity.

Bicycle Maker Bicycle Types Main Price Range Company Info Quality
Trek Road,
Mountain,
Town
Excels in Multiple Categories $400-$12,000 Currently the most popular bicycle brand. Makes bikes in every category, including children's. Trek is the bike of choice for many pro riders in mountain and road categories. Mid-range, Serious, and High-end
Schwinn Leisure,
Family
Cruiser $60 - $2,500 Makes bikes in most categories, but specializes in leisure cycles for family recreation. A Brand of Pacific Cycle who is owned by Dorel Industries. Low to Mid-range. Can be bought from big box retailers.
Specialized Road,
Mountain,
Commuter,
Kids
Mountain $400-$12,000 Claims first mass produced mountain bike. Has expanded into all the other categories including road, racing, hybrid, touring, and electric assist bicycles. Mid-range, Serious, and High-end
GT Mountain,
Road,
BMX
Mountain $150 - $4,000 GT Bicycles is the nation's leading supplier of dirt-track racing, or bicycle motocross "BMX," bicycles and one of the nation's biggest sellers of adult mountain bikes, as well as over 4,500 different parts and accessories. Headquartered in Santa Ana, California, the company designs, manufactures, and markets 143 mid- to premium-priced bicycle models. A Brand of Pacific Cycle who is owned by Dorel Industries. Low to Mid-range.
Mongoose BMX,
Downhill,
Free ride,
All Mountain,
Hardtail,
Dirt Jump,
Commuter
BMX $80 - $2,300 A spin-off of BMX Products, focuses on mountain, downhill, and free-style riding. It is now a brand of Pacific Cycle who is owned by Dorel Industries. Low to Mid-range.
Raleigh Road,
Mountain,
Performance Hybrid,
Hybrid,
Comfort,
Cruiser,
Women
Road, Hybrid $130 - $1,500 With a long history originating in Great Britain, Raleigh has long been considered a USA company. Raleigh's most popoular bike is road. However, they now produce bicycles in just about every category. Low to Mid-range.
Diamondback Full Suspension,
Moutain Hardtail,
Road,
Performance Hybrid,
Hybrid,
Dual Sport,
Comfort,
Cruiser,
Women's,
Youth,
BMX
Full Suspension, Moutain Hardtail $120 - $1,500 A division of Raleigh, Diamondback's emphasis has been mountain bikes. But now makes a full range of cycles in just about every category. Low to Mid-range.
Electra Cruiser,
Comfort,
Hybrid
Cruiser Bicycles $200 - $300 Company focused on cruiser bikes when they found in 1993 that there was a void in the supply, pent pent up demand. Electra bikes stress comport rather than speed. Low.
Fuji Road,
Mountain,
Comfort
Road $200 - $5,000 Fuji mainly focused on road bikes. It had many famous models and was at one time the most popular bicycle brand. However, changes in market demand forced the company to produce other types of bicycles, such as mountain bikes. The market shift devastated the original company, which was later bought out by Advanced Sport, an American company that was later purchased by a Taiwan investor. The Fuji brand name still exists today with many models in the road, comfort, and mountain categories. Low to Mid-range.
Bianchi Road,
Racing,
Comfort,
Track,
Mountain,
Comfort/Cruiser
Racing $200 - $12,000 An Italian Company with exclusive division in the USA. Excels at road and race bicycles. Mid-range, Serious, and High-end
Huffy Children's bikes,
Scooters,
Women's bikes,
Comfort,
Cruiser,
Tricycles
Child $35 - $200 Low end consumer brand of marginal quality. Mostly children's bicycles. Low end, found in big box retailers (Target, Walmart)
Scott Sports Mountain,
Road,
Hybrid,
Women's,
Junior's,
Mountain Frames,
Road Frames,
Clothing
Mountain $300 - $6,000 Focus mainly on Mountain bikes and ski equipment, but also makes road, hybrid, and women's bicycles. Tries to stay ahead with cutting edge technology such as lightest weight bike frames. Low to Mid-range.
Cannondale Road,
Mountain,
Recreation/Urban,
Women's,
Headshok Forks
Mountain $500 - $10,000
(Most priced in $1,500 - $2,500 range.)
Cannondale pioneered light weight Bicycle frames using Aluminium and Carbon. Cannondale brand is also owned by Dorel Industries, which primarily manufactures bicycles in Taiwan and China. Mid to High-End
Jamis Mountain Full Suspension and Hardtail,
Road/Triathlon,
Street/Commuting,
Bike Path/Comfort,
Femme (Women's),
Youth
Comfort/Cruiser $200 - $9,000 Jamis started in Florida as a beach cruiser bicycle producer. Later, they expanded into road racing and mountain bikes. Won 2003 "Best All Mountain Bike" and "Bike of the Year" from Mountain Biking magazine. Low, Mid, and High Range
Sun Bicycles Adult Trike,
Bike Path,
Comfort,
Cruiser,
Industrial,
Juvenile,
Recumbent,
Tandem,
Trailers,
Unicycles
Tricycles, Recumbent Under $200 for kids bike. Up to $2,000 for recumbent tricycle. Carved a niche selling alternative bicycles, tricycles, recumbent, and trailers. Low to mid range
Next Children's,
Family
Children's Up to $200 Focus on low cost children's bicycles sold at mass market retailers such as Walmart. Low end, found at big box retailers
Gary Fisher Mountain, Road, Commuter Mountain $500 - $6,000 The Gary Fisher line ("Gary Fisher Collection") of bicycles is a brand owned and manufactured by Trek Bicycles. The brand honours and is managed by famous mountain bike developer and rider, Gary Fisher. Mid to high end.
Red Line BMX Race,
Freestyle,
Cyclocross,
MTB,
Commute,
Fitness
BMX Up to $600 Redline company has a long history being associated with BMX racing. Later expanded into mountain bikes. Now has bicycle offerings on commute and fitness classes, as well. Mid range for BMX
Kona Dual Suspension,
Hardtail,
Mountain,
MTB,
29er,
Cyclocross,
Road,
Women's,
Kid's
Mountain $400 - $6,400 The Hawaii landmark named Washington/Vancouver company primarily focuses on mountain bikes and all its variants. However, also offers bicycles in other categories such as Road, Women's, and Kid's. Kona Company contributes greatly to the Bikes for Africa program. Low to High
Iron Horse Mountain Mountain $70 - $2,600 Currently, only new bicycles are sold in Europe. However, used ones can be found in classified ads and auction sites in the USA. Low to mid range.
Rocky Mountain Mountain,
Road,
Women's
Mountain $1,600 - $5,700 Mountain bikes are Rocky Mountain Bicycles' main concentration. They focus on producing bikes for seven sub-disciplines of mountain biking. To this end they sell 29 different mountain bike models and 9 frames Mid to High
Litespeed Frames,
Road,
Mountain,
Women's,
Tandem,
Custom
Frames $2,000 - $38,000 Litespeed company specializes in light weight Titanium frame assemblies using the latest welding techniques. They mostly sell bicycle frames to other brands, who then put their own names on the bikes. They do, however, offer Road, Mountain, and Women's bikes with the Litespeed name. Mid-range, Serious, and High-end
Marin Mountain (Full Suspension and Hardtail),
Road,
Cyclocross,
Street,
Path,
Kids
Mountain $200 - $4,500 San Francisco Bay Area bike maker primarily focuses on creating mountain bikes that can handle the rigours of the Tamapias Hill in the North Bay. Recently has expanded to offer bicycles in most popular categories. Low to mid range.
Terry Precision Cycling Performance,
Fitness,
Hybrid,
Custom
Bikes, clothing, and saddles for Women $35-$6000 Started by former Xerox mechanical engineer. Company specializes in bicycles and Clothing for women, but has grown to make offerings for everyone. Prides customer satisfaction. Mid-range, Serious
Haro Bikes BMX,
MTB/Asphalt
BMX $200-$700 Southern California company specializes in small BMX bikes for stunt riding. Has expanded into mountain and road bikes with BMX theme. Above Walmart brands to mid range
Lamond Road Racing Bikes,
Stationary Bikes
Stationary Bikes $300-$1000 Company started by famous racer Greg Lamond. Specialized in road racing bicycles. Currently sells stationary bikes and coaching services. Although, Lamond no longer makes road bicycles, they can still be found in secondary marketplace. Mid-range
Surly Bikes Mountain,
Trail,
Bicycle Messenger,
Single-Speed,
Long-Tail,
Frames,
Bicycle Trailers
Bicycle Frames $800-$2000 Company started started by friends interested in single gear bicycles. Company offers frames and bicycles in severn different categories: cyclocross, fixed-gear, touring, 29er hardtail, utility, road, and all terrain. Their all terrain bike is unique, in that it has fork and rear triangle wide enough to accept four inch wide tires, which allows rolling over a wider range of "soft" surfaces. Also, offer a long tail utility bicycle that has a 400 pound load capacity, intended to replace your car for around town trips. Mid-range

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