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  1. #1
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    Never thought I would live long enough to see...

    This: Went into the Trek Store at luchtime. Almost every road, mt. and comfort bike under $1000 had a "Made in China" lable proudly displayed on the headtube. When I asked the sales person about it, I was given some canned talk about how they are really just built there to USA specifications and if your interested in a bike built stateside here is a nice $3000 one. But he did note that the 3k bike had imported components also.

    Sad.

  2. #2
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    This is true for almost every brand of bike, except for Cannondale. And if you buy a Made in the USA Cannondale, you will get lower quality Made in China components on it than what you get on other bikes, because their frames cost more to make. That is, if you buy a $599 Trek, it will have better components than a $599 Cannondale because Cannondale has to make up for the extra cost of the frame by cheapening components to hit that price point.

    Frankly the Made in China frames are pretty good. A lot of stuff made in China is good. If a company makes the investment to build a high quality factory and train their assembly people, the quality can be very good. One of my other hobbies is astronomy. 10-15 years ago the telescopes coming out of China were 3rd rate. Now they can be excellent. These require high precision manufacturing. Much harder to do right than making an aluminum frame for a sub-$1000 bicycle.

    I've mentioned before that I have had a couple of occasions to speak with Trek engineers, as they are headquartered nearby. In one of those talks I asked about their Chinese aluminum frames. The guy told me that they were very pleased with the quality they were getting. If anything, it is now better than from their old USA plants. And the same for the paint jobs.

  3. #3
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    This is true for almost every brand of bike, except for Cannondale.
    - and Merlin, Serotta, Seven, etc...

    - are SRAM components made in the U.S.A.? (don't think so, but would like a pointer or two)...

  4. #4
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    Here in the UK- I doubt that unless you go to a Custom Frame maker- You can get a frame that is made in Europe- let alone the UK. Mind you- I have no objection to the quality- price or lightness of my Giant frame from last year. Incidentally- I thought most of the Frames are made in Taiwan. Only a technicality as it is part of China- but there is a difference.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  5. #5
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    China has become the world power in bicycles like Japan is for consumer electronics. The bicycle factories there are new, effecient and they now build for virtually every manufacturer. I have been told that many high end carbon fiber frames are now made in China because they have the best facilities. Much of the Look lineup is fabricated in China. Like it or not, this is the new world economy. Cheap labor is no longer the driving force for many of these products. Investment in the technology to absorbe an entire market is the name of the game.

  6. #6
    Gravity hunter dminor's Avatar
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    China is the new Taiwan. Most of the Taiwan-based bike makers and OEMs have started outsourcing some of their manufacturing capacity to the mainland. Some of them own the mainland facilities; some don't. As maddmax indicated, cheaper labor force - - and probably more lax environmental controls on industry - - are driving the move.

  7. #7
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    This is true for almost every brand of bike, except for Cannondale.
    Seems to be- check this site out...

    http://allanti.com/page.cfm?PageID=328

  8. #8
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linux_author
    - and Merlin, Serotta, Seven, etc...
    Those companies offer sub-$1000 complete bikes?
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  9. #9
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Actually I said that cheap labor may not be the driving force although that is the favored myth in this country. Many areas of the Pacific rim are willing to invest large sums of money in modern manufacturing facilities that would put an awful lot of our "merican" companies to shame.

    Environmental costs or lack thereof may still play a part, but investment and equipment is a huge part. You may have noticed if you read my bio that I am employed in the design and prototype portion of the laser business. Care to guess what the nationality of my companies largest customer is?

    No judgements here, its like the weather. It just is.

    I have heard a rumor that Cannondale is having high end carbon frames made in China. (one or the other)

  10. #10
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    The comments above ring true to me. Flat paned HDTV require huge investments. I hear billions. None are in the USA that I know of.
    Anyone knows better?

  11. #11
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I don't think any TVs, of any type, are made in the USA. Very few consumer electronics are. Even a lot of high-end audiophile equipment is now manufactured in Asia, with nameplates of American companies that have long histories in this country. Most of these are designed in the USA. HDTVs are largely designed by Japanese and Korean engineers.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  12. #12
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBLover
    Seems to be- check this site out...

    http://allanti.com/page.cfm?PageID=328

    Nice article.

    It looks like the center of bike manufacturing in the USA is right here in Wisconsin, with Trek OCLV carbon frames, Gary Fisher full-suspension frames, and Waterford being made here. While a number of custom bike builders are located in other states, I would bet the combined production of these Trek and Fisher frames would dwarf their production numbers.

    Although there would be a lot of Cannondale frames made somewhere in the USA. At least for now. I would be surprised if they continue to make aluminum frames here for very many more years. Hard to be price competitive.

    My 2001 Trek 7600 aluminum frame was built in Wisconsin.

    No mention was made of Rivendell in the article, that was a surprising omission.
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 02-21-07 at 08:14 PM.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    I don't think any TVs, of any type, are made in the USA. Very few consumer electronics are. Even a lot of high-end audiophile equipment is now manufactured in Asia, with nameplates of American companies that have long histories in this country. Most of these are designed in the USA. HDTVs are largely designed by Japanese and Korean engineers.
    Sony rear projection LCD and SXRD sets are manufactured in Mt. Pleasant Pennsylvania.

  14. #14
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyb
    Sony rear projection LCD and SXRD sets are manufactured in Mt. Pleasant Pennsylvania.
    Didn't know this. Just verified it.

    It is interesting to watch Asian companies move more of their production to the USA. Just like Honda, Toyota, and other car manufacturers are doing.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    Didn't know this. Just verified it.

    It is interesting to watch Asian companies move more of their production to the USA. Just like Honda, Toyota, and other car manufacturers are doing.
    The biggest reason for these sets being manufactured in the United States is, we are the only nation that purchases any quantity of them. Quite a few flat panels are being produced in Mexico as well.

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    You're about 15 years late getting indignant about this--millions of jobs have gone to foreign countries since the '90s. I just read a story the other day about x-rays and other diagnostic tests being sent to doctors outside the US for interpretation, and about people going to India and other Asian countries for surgery. The physicians there are competent to do the work, and it reduces the cost by two-thirds or so. I just had my gall bladder removed, and naturally I wanted the best doctors I could find and I realize I'm paying for knowledge and expertise, not labor. Still, it was close to $15,000 for 45 minutes in the OR plus a couple of hours in recovery. That's pretty hard to justify.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyb
    Sony rear projection LCD and SXRD sets are manufactured in Mt. Pleasant Pennsylvania.
    OK, you sound definitive. I do not want to spread bad info.
    Question: Are you sure that the flat panels are made in the USA? I hear such a plant cost $1.5 Billion.
    Are you sure that they not just assemble?
    Toyota assembles and makes some parts in the USA but much of their machine tools come from Japan. Try to find a USA owned machine tool company. That is the business I am in.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    OK, you sound definitive. I do not want to spread bad info.
    Question: Are you sure that the flat panels are made in the USA? I hear such a plant cost $1.5 Billion.
    Are you sure that they not just assemble?
    Toyota assembles and makes some parts in the USA but much of their machine tools come from Japan. Try to find a USA owned machine tool company. That is the business I am in.
    Re read my post. I said rear projection, not flat panel or direct view. Some direct views are being assembled in Mexico; where the parts originate from I have no idea. Sony is the business that I am in.

  19. #19
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    The list of HDTVs that I found that are made in Pennsylvania are all rear-projection units. Can't say that this is a definitive list, but I didn't see any flat panel sets, either LCD or plasma.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    The list of HDTVs that I found that are made in Pennsylvania are all rear-projection units. Can't say that this is a definitive list, but I didn't see any flat panel sets, either LCD or plasma.
    You also are correct, I stated that Rear Projection LCD, not Direct View LCD were manufactured in Pa. Sony doesn't produce Plasma.

  21. #21
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    We're way off topic. Moderator! Move this to Foo!
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    We're way off topic. Moderator! Move this to Foo!
    No Diegos in the TV biz?

  23. #23
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyb
    Sony doesn't produce Plasma.
    That's right, I forgot that in the moment that I typed my response. They are quite adamant about supporting LCD.

    So all of these "green blob-ridden" Sony rear projection sets are made in PA, eh?
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  24. #24
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    We're way off topic. Moderator! Move this to Foo!

    There goes DG again, bucking for his blue star!
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    That's right, I forgot that in the moment that I typed my response. They are quite adamant about supporting LCD.

    So all of these "green blob-ridden" Sony rear projection sets are made in PA, eh?
    First generation Xbr1 problem. That has been solved with the new generation Xbr2 and A2000 SXRD'S.

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