The pictures above represent the same bike, but different brands. The top one is the Raleigh Lahar and the bottom one is the Woodstock 505. If the labels and stickers were taken off the bikes, do you think you would have different opinions about them? For example, I prefer to have Starbucks than Diedrich coffee. If I were to do a blind fold test on the coffee’s I’d be able to tell the difference.
I do remember a while ago after riding the LA Bike Tour with Moe and a few friends. We were all talking about components on bikes while eating at Denny’s. Some of the guys said that they don’t beleive having an Acera rear derailluer would be that different from XTR. The debate went back and forth and some said yes it would and others said no.
Personally, I can tell when I’m using an Alivio or Acera (entry level parts) opposed to using a Deore and LX parts (mid-grade parts).
So with that in mind, if the stickers and logos were taken of the components and frames, would you be able to tell what brand you’re using or did the bike companies do such a great job of branding that they convinced us the no matter what we do, we’ll only like their brand.