Stern bikes appeared on the domestic market relatively recently, but they have already managed to arouse serious interest on the part of connoisseurs of budget bikes. Who produces them and is it true that “Stern” is a brand of a large retail chain “Sportmaster”?
A relatively young brand has conquered the market thanks to a good price-performance ratio. Travel 20, Miulti and other models are selling briskly across the country and are finding more and more fans from among cyclists.
Stern brand description
On the shelves of the well-known sports retail chain “Sportmaster” more and more often appear bicycles Stern, which replaced the popular before Nordway. Despite the widespread opinion about the country of manufacture, it is not Russia at all. In fact, it is difficult to give an unambiguous answer to this question – who produces Stern bicycles?
In fact, the main store that sells bikes of this brand is “Sportmaster”. Even the official website of Stern bikes refers the potential buyer to “Sportmaster” stores. Now these bikes have gone beyond this retail network.
As for the manufacturer, the situation is as follows:
- components are produced in China;
- Assembly and sales take place in Russia.
It turns out that the main production is set up in the Celestial Empire, and that in Russia the products are fine-tuned and sent straight to the consumer. It is worth noting that this is a very clever marketing ploy, which allows for a significant reduction in the cost of the bike. The production process uses advanced technologies to improve the technical characteristics of the finished product:
- Installing double rims to increase strength.
- Making the frame a specific shape.
- Adjustment of the shock-absorbing fork depending on the peculiarities of the road.
And that’s not all – you can read more about the technology of assembling bicycles on the official website of the manufacturer.
Types of Stern bikes
The brand lineup is designed for a wide range of consumers. The range includes women’s and men’s models, bicycles for children and teenagers. But the main gradation is focused on the sphere of use of the bikes. There are two main categories:
- Mountain bikes. They, in turn, are divided into hardtails and two-pods. This is quite a suitable option for hiking and riding on small slopes. The main characteristics:
- 1 or 2 shock absorbers;
- sturdy frame;
- double rims;
- distinctive tread;
- 18 to 30 gears;
- Wheel diameter from 26 to 29 inches.
Mountain hardtails have a shock-absorbing fork at the front and a rigid rear. These are lightweight bikes that are not well suited for hard off-roading. Dual-suspension bikes have an extra rear shock that levels out the intense loads and increases handling on rough terrain.
- City bikes. This is the most extensive category of bicycles of the brand under discussion. This line includes folding and classic models, as well as bikes with a lightweight frame design. Most often, city models are distinguished by a wider range of equipment – there is everything you need for a comfortable ride in the city (fenders, lights, mudguards, luggage racks, seat bags, baskets, etc.). Distinctive features:
- massive frame;
- no speeds or a small number of modes;
- Large diameter rims (28-29 inches);
- rigid rigid fork;
- universal smooth tires.
A successful combination of features brings Stern city bikes to a leading position among other brands, because the cherry on the cake is an affordable price and easy maintenance bike.
Since we started talking about the leading positions on the market, it is worth saying a few words about the companies with which Stern’s Russian-Chinese products can compete. Choosing a product, the consumer, first of all, unconsciously focuses on a well-known name and attractive design. And only after that – the characteristics of the bike, the opinions of experienced cyclists and other criteria. That is why we decided to conduct a little monitoring and made a collective characteristic of the main competitors of the Stern brand:
- Atom. Quite a solid name for Russian products. The company’s products are oriented to a wide range of consumers. The range includes bikes in a variety of directions: BMX, new school, dirt, downhill, street, freeride, cross country and others. Among the true fans of cycling there is an opinion that the manufacturer has engaged in plagiarism – with pinpoint accuracy copies of models of other well-known companies. As for the quality of bicycles, it is at a high enough level.
- Forward. It is this brand that looks askance at Stern’s products, because with the appearance of Russian-Chinese products on the market Forward bicycles began to slowly lose its customers. The company’s products are focused mostly on leisurely walks in the park area – they are not suitable for extreme riding. Forward is unfairly compared to the so-called Ashan-bikes, and it is despite the fact that the quality of the first significantly higher than the Chinese products.
- Nordway. Another Russian manufacturer, to the products of which the real fans of cycling are very skeptical. Indeed, the bicycles of this brand are suitable more for amateur riding, and if you dig deeper, it turns out that all the cool features are nothing more than a marketing ploy.
- Stark. Russian-German products – the company produces recreational and children’s bicycles, budget models of two-pods, hardtails for beginners, as well as children’s models. A separate area – the production of bicycles for extreme riding.
- Stels. A Russian brand that enjoys well-deserved popularity. The range is quite extensive, but it is difficult to find a truly professional bike among all the variety.
In fact, all of the above brands are competitors of Stern. Almost the same characteristics and variety of models. The essential difference is the price to quality ratio. But there are other parameters that distinguish Stern bicycles from the products of other well-known brands.
The main differences from competitors
After analyzing the market and technical characteristics, it is possible to identify several essential parameters that distinguish Stern bicycles:
- Bright appearance and stylish design.
- Variable cross-section of the bicycle frame profile.
- The use of particularly strong baxial seatpost tubes.
- Hydromorphing – creating the desired configuration with the help of flexible metals (this technology is used to create the original shape of the bike frame).
- Batting – the technology involves changing the thickness of the frame in places where it is under the most strain.
From Stern you should not expect record-breaking endurance or high speed. The bikes are designed for recreational cyclists and beginners who are just beginning to learn the world of bicycles.
Pros and cons
Speaking about the merits of the bicycles under discussion, the following qualities can be noted:
- The use of innovative technology in the manufacture of frames. Batting, variable profile cross-section and hydromorphing combine to lighten the frame design and at the same time increase its strength.
- Availability of certain models with a locking shock-absorbing fork. This parameter allows you to increase the stiffness of the fork when riding on rough terrain.
- The use of different types of braking systems. There are models with hydraulic and mechanical brakes. In children’s bikes a foot system is provided.
- Clearly thought-out geometry of construction. Each Stern bicycle provides optimal handling. The company’s range also includes carbon monocoques – a very unexpected phenomenon for a budget brand.
- Excellent shock absorption. Rigid rigid rigids are for road models, and shock-absorbing forks are for mountain bikes.
- Availability of folding bikes. It is worth noting that today not every company can afford the production of bicycles with transforming frames.
- Original design. Another plus for the brand.
As for the disadvantages, it should be noted first of all the insufficient strength of some elements and the massiveness of the frames of steel. Experienced riders recommend replacing immediately after purchase:
It is worth recalling that the company has existed for a little more than 10 years, and most of the problems outlined are due to common errors in the launch of new models.
Recommendations for choice
Here it is necessary to be guided by the specifics of use:
- Extreme riding (off-road and difficult terrain rides). The bike must be with:
- hydraulic brakes on the front fork;
- rear suspension;
- 21-27 gears;
- Wheel diameter over 2 inches and a pronounced tread;
- a light but sturdy frame.
- Riding on roads with good pavement (regular sport bike). Choose a bike with:
- 15-30 gears and small pitch;
- narrow tires and non-aggressive tread;
- cushioning does not play a key role here, so you can ignore this parameter.
- Regular rides around town. A bike with:
- fixed speed;
- wings over the wheels;
- protective cover on the transmission;
- the maximum equipment;
- manual or foot brakes;
- pay attention to gender differences.
- Children’s and teenage bikes:
- For children under 6 years of age, it is better to buy three-wheeled models;
- on a child’s bike, it is desirable to install a special handle for pairing with an adult bike to provide additional control and safety;
- Teenager can buy an adult bike, but you should choose a model that matches the size of the child.
The range of Stern allows everyone to decide on a budget model not bad bicycle for everyday use.
Features of repair and maintenance of bicycles Stern
Despite their relatively young age, bicycles of Russian-Chinese production have already managed to prove themselves as quite reliable equipment. If you buy a bike from an official representative of the company Stern, you get a 10-year warranty on the frame and 24 months for additional components. Directly the manufacturer itself assures about 5 years of serviceable operation of its products.
At the moment, as such, there are no complaints about the conscientiousness of the brand. Having discovered the poor quality of this or that part, the buyer can replace it in the store where the bicycle Stern was bought. Of course, in the presence of documents confirming the fact of purchase.
Warranty repair and replacement are not subject to parts that are subject to wear in the first place – these are grips, tires, brake pads and bearings.
Potential owners of Stern bicycles should be warned that it is not worth relying on warranty repairs in 100% of cases. There are situations where this is not possible:
- The bike was operated in an untypical mode for a particular model (on a city bike through the mountains, for example).
- Self-assembly of the bike.
- Prolonged use of individual components and some parts.
- The presence of mechanical damage.
- The use of components of other brands.
- Untimely maintenance.
You can buy Stern bikes in Sportmaster stores. If the bike was purchased from an official representative, then there you can also find out the addresses and phone numbers of repair shops, where they perform repairs.
To summarize, it can be said that the Russian-Chinese products, quite possible, will soon become even more recognizable and popular. The company is young, but already now Stern bikes receive a lot of positive feedback. And indeed, the bikes cope with the tasks and meet the stated price.