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Anyone know anything about Marvel bikes?


AllTerrain
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Hi guys. New to this forum. I tried to find a “introduce yourself” thread, but didn’t notice anything, so if I missed the protocol here, I apologise. 
 

now back to my question, has anyone got any info or experience with Marvel bikes. I was in cycle lab yesterday for the first time in years, and saw their commuter/hybrid bikes for sale for less than 6k. I was immediately intrigued, because I am busy getting parts together to convert an old HT MTB frame into a flat bar commuter/gravel type bike for going to work and back and the odd road biased coffee shop rides. 

the big issue being my old frame (it’s a diamondback from the early 2000s) is a v-brake or disk frame, but it’s a 26inch. The old suntour fork it came with I gave away years ago, and the plan was always to go full rigid for this bike anyway, but I would need to still source a straight steerer road bike/rigid forks with disk mounts, if I wanted to run 650b gravel tires. If I stay with v-brakes, I would be limited to 26inch rims, which is not ideal for this type of bike. 700c on the 26inch frame would probably limit me to pretty narrow tires, if it even fits at all….

so, know if I were to buy the Marvel, that would make life a whole lot easier. It runs 700c wide tires, it has disk breaks all round (mechanical, but an easy upgrade with old avid juicy set I have lying around), and I wouldn’t need to source any other bits. To do the current build, I only have the frame and the set of disk breaks and a old handlebar so far, so I would need a drivetrain and wheels and a fork, which even using cheap used 8 or 9 speed stuff could still set me back a couple grand. So for just under R6k with the Marvel, I can have a commuter bike, with new everything, that’s already disk ready and running on 29inch rims. Seems like a lot less effort, but that price seems way too cheap. Are these frames any good? 
 

I’m only going to do sedate riding, hopping the odd pavement here and there, but nothing more. But on my best days I’m still 98kgs, and usually closer to 104kgs….so will the frame hold out? The rest of the components are all entry level stuff, but for a city bike, the tourney drive train is more than adequate, and parts can be upgraded with hand me downs from my other bikes as I upgrade…. But can I trust the frame.

I can’t really find any info on Marvel bikes online, and the salesman at cycle lab didn’t seem to know much either. But I’m sure he would have been a lot more eager to talk to me if I was asking about a brand new Bianchi Methanol……

here is the link on cyclelab site: https://www.cyclelab.com/product/marvel-cadent-hybrid-bike (says sold out, but there’s a bunch of them at the lynwood cyclelab, in blue, and for R5600.00

 

My other option is to look at the Scott Metrix 30. Which by all accounts seems to have the same frame as the allu scott road bikes, but with flat bars and a disk set up. That’s R15k, and for that I could by a lot of cheap second hand stuff to build up a commute bike, but this does look like a pretty decent offering…. Not sure the missus will entertain this idea though. I could sell her on the Marvel, seeing as it’s going to cost less than building up a commuter….. not sure how to convince her why I should buy the Scott though.

https://www.cyclelab.com/product/2020-scott-metrix-30-alumnium-road-bike

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AFAIK the Marvel brand was non labled bikes bought from the Far East long time ago by Chris Willemse Cycles, then branded as Marvel. Now there are more items than only bikes. You wont find anything online about Marvel as Marvel only exist inside CWC and CycleLab. 

 

They are budget bikes thought. Earlier years the bikes were solid bikes. I bought one many moons ago used in extensively, repainted and rebuild it. My dad still have that bike as an "around the block" cruiser. 

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Thanks for the input, that gives me some confidence in the frame, for my use case. 
 

at the price I don’t expect it not to be very entry level. But I don’t need it to be a high performance bike. Just want to save miles on my dual sus bikes when cruising around the neighbourhood…

components will slowly get upgraded over time, so as long as the frame isn’t gonna break in half the first time I bunnyhop off the pavement, I think I’m gonna give it a shot

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Posted (edited)

Not the kind of bike its going to make sense to upgrade components on. At sub-R4k the entire bike costs less than a SRAM GX Eagle cassette (GX Eagle is mid range or lower end of premium range). Use it until it no longer meets your needs or is totally 'moeg' and then upgrade the whole bike. We all started on what we could afford. But its listed as sold out anyway?

Edited by MudLark
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3 hours ago, MudLark said:

Not the kind of bike its going to make sense to upgrade components on. At sub-R4k the entire bike costs less than a SRAM GX Eagle cassette (GX Eagle is mid range or lower end of premium range). Use it until it no longer meets your needs or is totally 'moeg' and then upgrade the whole bike. We all started on what we could afford. But its listed as sold out anyway?

It does say a lot about the cost of the eagle…

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4 hours ago, MudLark said:

Not the kind of bike its going to make sense to upgrade components on. At sub-R4k the entire bike costs less than a SRAM GX Eagle cassette (GX Eagle is mid range or lower end of premium range). Use it until it no longer meets your needs or is totally 'moeg' and then upgrade the whole bike. We all started on what we could afford. But its listed as sold out anyway?

I think you misunderstood my post. This is definitely not a starter bike. I have multiple bikes. This bike will fit a very particular role in my collection. The idea was to build up a bike to fill this role from parts lying around as far as possible, but at the price these are going for, I can buy the whole bike for less than the cost of a handful of parts I still need to finish the build, and it wouldn’t be compromised in terms of wheel size selection, I can run proper nice 700C gravel or skinny XC tires from the outset.

your comment about upgrading not being worth it is one I fail to understand. Why Chuck away a perfectly good frame when the parts are tired, if I will be stopping down parts from my other bikes when I upgrade them, or if a used part bargain comes along. If the integrity of the frame is still good, then why not put in better components with time? The frame is just a couple of butted allu extrusions welded together, and is essentially not a “wear and tear” part, whilst all the other parts, the moving bits, are, and in essence are worth upgrading, and will make the bike better, regardless of whether there is an S-Works sticker or a No-Name sticker on the down tube.

I love bikes, but I love riding them, I couldn’t give a rats what the sticker on the frame says. So your comment about it not being “worth” upgrading really makes no sense to me. Granted the frame remains structurally sound….

 

oh, and they definately have stock in the Lynwood branch, regardless of what the website says. This was also mentioned in my original post. 
 

so far, the only person that has commented with first had experience, seems to confirm that the frame will be able to sustain commuter bike duties, so I will be getting myself one in the week. 

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2 hours ago, RocknRolla said:

It does say a lot about the cost of the eagle…

Bikes, as soon as you move beyond the absolute basic of the bike as a simple mode of transport have nothing to do with real value, and everything to do with image. It’s the same with cars, boats, private jets (I exclude mainstream air travel, as realistically aviation as a form of transport is probably the least pretentious of the lot, with notable exceptions).

But I think with bikes the snobbery is actually a lot worse than with cars and boats and planes. No matter how the industry tries to dress it up, bikes are very far from being “cutting edge” except in the minds of cyclists themselves. 
 

carbon fibre is long since no longer some dark art, metallurgy is also very well understood and studied, to me and you the material science is mind boggling, but to the people that work with it daily, it’s pretty mundane stuff. Most of the rest of the components are pretty easily mass produced, and the basic idea of a chain driven crank turning a sprocket is also not high tech. 

yes, to be able to be super light, but still super stiff and able to handle some pretty extreme forces, while lasting for a couple thousand kms means high quality materials need to be used, and manufactured to pretty tight tolerances, but it still all just vanity as soon as you start to move even just into the lower mid level of the market, and the extent of the vanity tax grows exponentially as you move up the range.

 

don’t get me wrong, I like a decent bike as much as the next guy, in fact, probably more than most, but I refuse to accept that there is any realistic value in a bike much beyond the R50k price point, even taking into consideration exchange rates etc etc. 

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14 hours ago, RocknRolla said:

It does say a lot about the cost of the eagle…

Depends upon your perspective. I used to think the same. But I have learnt through experience that the Eagle stuff actually does really last. 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, AllTerrain said:

I think you misunderstood my post. This is definitely not a starter bike. I have multiple bikes. This bike will fit a very particular role in my collection. The idea was to build up a bike to fill this role from parts lying around as far as possible, but at the price these are going for, I can buy the whole bike for less than the cost of a handful of parts I still need to finish the build, and it wouldn’t be compromised in terms of wheel size selection, I can run proper nice 700C gravel or skinny XC tires from the outset.

your comment about upgrading not being worth it is one I fail to understand. Why Chuck away a perfectly good frame when the parts are tired, if I will be stopping down parts from my other bikes when I upgrade them, or if a used part bargain comes along. If the integrity of the frame is still good, then why not put in better components with time? The frame is just a couple of butted allu extrusions welded together, and is essentially not a “wear and tear” part, whilst all the other parts, the moving bits, are, and in essence are worth upgrading, and will make the bike better, regardless of whether there is an S-Works sticker or a No-Name sticker on the down tube.

I love bikes, but I love riding them, I couldn’t give a rats what the sticker on the frame says. So your comment about it not being “worth” upgrading really makes no sense to me. Granted the frame remains structurally sound….

 

oh, and they definately have stock in the Lynwood branch, regardless of what the website says. This was also mentioned in my original post. 
 

so far, the only person that has commented with first had experience, seems to confirm that the frame will be able to sustain commuter bike duties, so I will be getting myself one in the week. 

Okay. Your call. I bought a cheap Trek MTB originally quite a few years back (also ally frame, hard tail) with exactly the same thing in mind. Then later when I started to get a bit more serious about things and bought a 'quality' Trek. I simply couldn't believe the difference between the bikes. For me, the 'upgrade the bits as you go along' principle simply never got anywhere even remotely close to what the better Trek bike gave me. But perhaps it will work for you. And yes, cycling is wildly over-commercialised. 

Edited by MudLark
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2 hours ago, MudLark said:

Okay. Your call. I bought a cheap Trek MTB originally quite a few years back (also ally frame, hard tail) with exactly the same thing in mind. Then later when I started to get a bit more serious about things and bought a 'quality' Trek. I simply couldn't believe the difference between the bikes. For me, the 'upgrade the bits as you go along' principle simply never got anywhere even remotely close to what the better Trek bike gave me. But perhaps it will work for you. And yes, cycling is wildly over-commercialised. 

I feel like your still misunderstanding what I am expecting from the bike. I am already very serious😎. This bike is not going to do anything serious. It’s going to allow me to save my serious bikes for the serious stuff, seriously. 
 

so, I am going to by it, and then immediately replace the perfectly fit for purpose cable discs, and put on some avid elixirs, which I am 100% certain will be an improvement. Will continue as time goes by to replace with hand me down parts from my other bikes, where possible, and if it’s absolutely rubbish I will come back and report here. If you don’t hear from me, assume it’s running well and I’m too busy enjoying my commute to worry about reporting back

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I have this marvel bike which i won with a spar competition . Its nothing special but feels better than the Raleigh ( game , makro ) bikes . Very basic with entry level shimano parts which felt ok at 1st but after getting a mtb with deore parts i must say the 2 feels worlds apart .

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, AllTerrain said:

I feel like your still misunderstanding what I am expecting from the bike. I am already very serious😎. This bike is not going to do anything serious. It’s going to allow me to save my serious bikes for the serious stuff, seriously
 

so, I am going to by it, and then immediately replace the perfectly fit for purpose cable discs, and put on some avid elixirs, which I am 100% certain will be an improvement. Will continue as time goes by to replace with hand me down parts from my other bikes, where possible, and if it’s absolutely rubbish I will come back and report here. If you don’t hear from me, assume it’s running well and I’m too busy enjoying my commute to worry about reporting back

I once had this same thought process .... I bought a cheapy from Makro.  

 

got home, checked the setup and realised the frame had more flex than a noodle !! :cursing:  Stand in front of the bike, front wheel between your knees, now wiggle the steering .... this thing TURNED sideways under the frame flex !!  Took it back the next day, showed them the flex ... got refunded without any fuss.

 

 

May I suggest you do similar to the CWC inhouse brand frame.  It may be "okay", or it may be a noodle .... doubt too many on this forum has first hand experience with this entry level bike.  (not meant to be nasty, just the hard reality when keeping an eye out for the typical Hubber ride)

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/5/2021 at 10:49 AM, AllTerrain said:

I feel like your still misunderstanding what I am expecting from the bike. I am already very serious😎. This bike is not going to do anything serious. It’s going to allow me to save my serious bikes for the serious stuff, seriously. 
 

so, I am going to by it, and then immediately replace the perfectly fit for purpose cable discs, and put on some avid elixirs, which I am 100% certain will be an improvement. Will continue as time goes by to replace with hand me down parts from my other bikes, where possible, and if it’s absolutely rubbish I will come back and report here. If you don’t hear from me, assume it’s running well and I’m too busy enjoying my commute to worry about reporting back

Did you end up buying it? Was it atleast decent for the price?

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