Brands like Giant, Merida, even Scott, are hugely popular in many parts of the world, yet are seen as poor cousins on USA based discussions.
It used to be it was exceedingly rare to see a Cannondale or Santa Cruz or even Yeti around. Now they are relatively common. Though they are all very expensive bikes so it’s hard not to make other links there.
When I was stationed in southern Italy there was an on post bike shop that sold Bianchi. Every. Single. Person. had a celeste bianchi with the entire celeste kit to go with it including water bottles. I wanted a bianchi too, so I bought one but the dark grey color. Now, I regret not getting the celeste. I just didn’t want to be one more with the same bike, I wanted to be different!
Speaking for XC mtb, Scott dealers don’t exist in the midwest USA so pretty much no one rides them. Seems like Scott must have no interest in the market here which is odd given how popular XC is. Lots of Trek and Specialized in the midwest.
I wonder if it’s chicken, or egg. i.e. LBS/Distributors don’t bring in Scott much because Americans in general don’t buy them. Preferring to buy USA brands.
Nothing wrong with that of course, especially when they provide pretty good alternatives.
Like here, there’s no “advantage” to buying a Trek. They aren’t cheaper than a Giant, or Scott, or Merida, or several other brands. Looking at US pricing I imagine it works out better too for some of the boutique brands on terms of price comparison.
I can really only speak for the XC scene, but here in Utah I see lots of Trek, Santa Cruz, Specialized, and Scott.
I believe Merida is not sold in the US. There are a few Giant shops in my area, but I don’t see many people on them when I’m out riding… but it might be just that bikes like the Blur and the Supercaliber catch my eye whereas the Anthem doesn’t.