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Old 09-15-08, 02:40 PM   #1
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With so many new 50+ riders.........

It may be time to revisit who makes bicycles and components as well as where they are made. The world is not the same as when we were growing up. Quality does not always mean "Made in America". For that matter, what does "Made in America" mean.

Here is a good article to start with. There are others and they make for some interesting reading on the present and future of global manufacturing.

http://allanti.com/page.cfm?PageID=328%22y

It's titled "Where was my bike made?"
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Old 09-15-08, 05:54 PM   #2
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Very interesting. Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-15-08, 06:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting. To complement that article, here is an article from 2002 that describes how the product design / contracting / manufacturing / assembly process works. In other words, if an American brand wants to design a new bike to be made in Taiwan w/Japanese components, how does that get done?

Though the article is now 6 years old, I found it really interesting when I saw it posted on BF earlier this year:

http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadin...s/bikebiz.html
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Old 09-15-08, 06:08 PM   #4
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Thanks, I'll read this after the football game.
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Old 09-15-08, 06:09 PM   #5
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No surprises there . . . bottom line: cheaper labor/higher profit margin.

The two bicycles we currently own/ride are fully built in the USA (including the tubing). Most components are made outside of US, except for Chris King hubs and headset on tandem and CK headset and Topolino wheels on single bike.
The bikes are custom built carbon fiber (Zona brand), tandem and single.
Known the builder personally, for decades, and watched him build the bikes in his one-man shop.
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Old 09-15-08, 06:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
Thanks for posting. To complement that article, here is an article from 2002 that describes how the product design / contracting / manufacturing / assembly process works. In other words, if an American brand wants to design a new bike to be made in Taiwan w/Japanese components, how does that get done?

Though the article is now 6 years old, I found it really interesting when I saw it posted on BF earlier this year:

http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadin...s/bikebiz.html
Thankyou.........that was another article I had read and was going to post here, but I was having a hard time remembering where it was.

This article is good reading for anyone who's company is doing business on the Pacific Rim.
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Old 09-15-08, 07:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting. I guess you could say I decided to skip the middle man and buy from the OEM, my new (leftover) 06' Giant OCR-C3.

I wish I could say it was made in the USA.
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Old 09-15-08, 07:23 PM   #8
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The bad thing is we are having everything built over seas, what are the Amercan people going to do for employment when all we have left is service related industries. Our cities that were based in manufacturing have filed bankruptcy and one of the larger cities in possibly going to disappear because of the loss of the manufacturing jobs. I used to work for that city in the police department, When I left in 1995 the city had 2500 police officers. The last I spoke to friends that I worked with they are down to 700 officers and the city government is negotiating with the state to disolve the city and turn the area over to the state.
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Old 09-15-08, 07:24 PM   #9
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No surprises there . . . bottom line: cheaper labor/higher profit margin.

The two bicycles we currently own/ride are fully built in the USA (including the tubing). Most components are made outside of US, except for Chris King hubs and headset on tandem and CK headset and Topolino wheels on single bike.
The bikes are custom built carbon fiber (Zona brand), tandem and single.
Known the builder personally, for decades, and watched him build the bikes in his one-man shop.
The original reasons that this type of manufacturing went to the Pacific Rim definately included cheaper and higher profit, but...............................As with many of these industries, they stay on top because they are investing more money and time in being better at it than we are. If we had spent this kind of money and gotten this kind of government support, "Made in America" would still have some teeth in it. Televisions, Automobiles, Integrated Circuits, Camera's, Exercise Equipment etc, all high tech, all top rated purchases. Other commodities such as clothing, shoes, baby formula are still in the cheaper labor/higher profit margin.........for now.
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Old 09-15-08, 07:44 PM   #10
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Thanks for the link, maxx
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Old 09-15-08, 07:51 PM   #11
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Four missing brands, right off the top, are GT, KHS, Rivendell and Independent Fabrication.

Not that they're huge, but they deserve a mention!

Rick / OCRR

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Old 09-15-08, 08:12 PM   #12
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I searched the article for which brands are or have been made by Giant. They include:

Bianchi
Colnago
Fuji
Giant (duh)
Schwinn
Scott
Specialized
Trek

I suspect this is not a comprehensive list.
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Old 09-15-08, 08:35 PM   #13
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Are there more over 50 cyclists? I haven't seen the numbers change around here.

This is a very strong country. China will have troubles. Transportation costs for goods will go up. We have lots of manufacturing here in east Tennessee. The problem now is finding suitable places for other businesses. I expect that we'll turn back to making things. And to making our culture less focused on possession quantity. Will take a while. But growing numbers of people are thinking about it.

Look at manufactured homes. I imagine that within 15 years they'll be selected based on site orientation to allow solar gain in the winter and better non-AC cooling in the summer, with electric flash water heaters, etc. No reason they can't be done that way now! And they're made here. The heaters are, too. Most of the trucks that haul them.

The China made thing is the WalMart thing, which may go away a bit. With transportation costing more, I'm noticing more "Dollar General" stores - and they're getting a wider selection. Hmm. We lost our "downtown" grocery years ago. But it's creeping back in.

Economics are such that I can just about set up a violin manufacturing business here and compete for the intermediate market. Once the Chinese implode a bit . . . .

The remaining threat from Chinese firms is direct selling to consumers here. By bidding on eBay I can sometimes score products for resale at less than my wholesale cost from a middleman. Ho ho ho.

Have to wonder where it will go.

So where are all these 50 plusers? I ran into one group of newbie retirees, but that's it! The others I know are the standard 1960/70 riders like me. Maybe new to 50s, but not new riders.
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Old 09-15-08, 09:13 PM   #14
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There are bound to be a lot of new 50+'ers, we're hitting the peak of the Baby Boom. 1957 had 4.3M births, 1958 another 4.2M. There were 4.2-4.3M births a year from 1956 through 1961.

By the time all of the Boomers turn 50 by the end of 2014, the 50+ population segment is going to be huge.

1957 stll holds the record for most births in the USA in a year. This despite today's population being far higher.
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Old 09-15-08, 09:20 PM   #15
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reading through the posts i can see where this thread could go way off topic into labor and economics.... my mind reels at the possibilities. but, instead i will say.....

interesting stuff.

be well,

jim
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Old 09-15-08, 09:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
There are bound to be a lot of new 50+'ers, we're hitting the peak of the Baby Boom. 1957 had 4.3M births, 1958 another 4.2M. There were 4.2-4.3M births a year from 1956 through 1961.

By the time all of the Boomers turn 50 by the end of 2014, the 50+ population segment is going to be huge.

1957 stll holds the record for most births in the USA in a year. This despite today's population being far higher.
cool. i didn't know 1957 held the record. and i was born on jan 1st of '57. woo-hoo. i will try to control my excitement lest it lead to an incontinent moment.

be well,

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Old 09-16-08, 12:55 AM   #17
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Have several bikes and Over the years have had many. My Cannondale MT is made in the USA- The Bianchi is made in Italy- Boreas is a small manufacturer in Denmark. One thing I have noticed is that these bikes ride well- very well in fact. I also have a Giant TCR-C and that rides well- and in comparison to the others- was cheaper.
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Old 09-16-08, 04:34 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandovoodoo View Post
Are there more over 50 cyclists? I haven't seen the numbers change around here.
The title says "new", not "more".

With so many people turning 50 every day, all of them that are cyclists are new 50+ cyclists. Add whatever number of 50+ people that take up cycling and you get a few more.
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Old 09-16-08, 04:41 AM   #19
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Every week I see new names posting here. I think it's great. It promotes new viewpoints and other sources of information, anicdotes and personal stories. Because of this, every now and again we can repost some of the basic sources of information that are of interest, especially if we can get updates and current info.

Unfortunately, every week I notice that there are names that don't post here anymore. I miss them for the opposit of the above reasons....
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Old 09-16-08, 08:52 AM   #20
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Thanks maddmaxx and BengeBoy for links to such intriguing pieces.

Where's it made?
http://allanti.com/page.cfm?PageID=328%22y

How does it get made in Asia?
http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadin...s/bikebiz.html
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Old 09-16-08, 08:54 AM   #21
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Well...I've posted here occasionally, and I was born in '55. I started riding (again) in 2006 on an X-Mart Schwinn, upgraded this spring to a Trek hybrid. I don't know if all that qualifies me as a "new" 50+ rider or not.

I recently purchased my first road bike, a Salsa Casseroll. My bike was designed by Salsa in Bloomington Minnesota, the steel frame was welded together in Taiwan and the Shimano (Japan) 105 components and Cane Creek (US) headset were installed in Minnesota. According to that article, the Salsa probably gets a "Made in America" sticker.

I'm really only mentioning this, 'cause my bike doesn't appear on that list
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Old 09-16-08, 06:02 PM   #22
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made in america

my ride is a 1981 Nishiki Custom Sport. ok yeah i know made in japan. but i ride it in america to and from my american job and i was made in america. (according to my parents and they would know) does this help?
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Old 09-16-08, 06:23 PM   #23
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There is nothing wrong with not made in America and there is nothing wrong with made in China. There is something wrong with buying poor quality components - it will ultimately spoil the enjoyment of a new rider, many trips to the shop for adjustments and repairs. Brakes break at the most inconvienent time, derailures chuck chains or skip just when you need them the most and frequent readjustments are no fun.
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Old 09-18-08, 07:58 PM   #24
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[QUOTE=mandovoodoo;7476951]

"... China will have troubles...."

My better 2/3 rented a really interesting documentary from Netflix - "Manufactured Landscapes" which was really incredibly thought-provoking. Really stunning images of China...


"Look at manufactured homes. I imagine that within 15 years they'll be selected based on site orientation to allow solar gain in the winter and better non-AC cooling in the summer, with electric flash water heaters, etc. No reason they can't be done that way now!..."

I'd buy one. Right now. If I only had the requisite $800K. Got any links?

Hmm... There has got to be more in the over 50 bracket coming up... maybe they're all too tired from day trading...
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Old 09-18-08, 08:14 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandovoodoo View Post


Economics are such that I can just about set up a violin manufacturing business here and compete for the intermediate market. Once the Chinese implode a bit . . . .

The remaining threat from Chinese firms is direct selling to consumers here. By bidding on eBay I can sometimes score products for resale at less than my wholesale cost from a middleman. Ho ho ho.

.
It's not just a Walmart thing! It's an American thing! Mrs. Road Fan just bought a few dozen guitars for school, Washburns (old Chicago company), and they are made in China. It's not a better situation at the LGS (Local Guitar Studio), where there are a load of fine classics all the way up to Ramirez, but a much bigger load of Chinese entry-level acoustics. Not that I thought she'd find Martins ...

Sorry all, off topic again!

What I think will happen at least in cars and heavy materials like steel, is that the USA will work very hard on efficiency and quality, while the Chinese and some other companies will see inflation boost their operating costs as the standard of living increases. When the standards of living reach parity with the US and Europe, the US and Europe will be the cost and quality leaders again.

In cars, whether this will happen under the banners of Ford, GM, and Chrysler is another question, but what's really the diff for the US (for example) if the work can be done here and the jobs are here?

I also think the growth of carbon use in large military systems will continue to challenge the availablilty of raw material for bikes. Titanium and CrMo might make a resurgence.
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