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  1. #1
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    Taiwan to build high-end Colnagos?

    http://news.cens.com/php/getnews.php...15.htm&daily=1

    Taiwan's leading bicycle maker Giant Manufacturing Co., Ltd. has won a contract order for carbon-fiber racing bicycles from Colnago of Italy, the so-called Ferrari in the bicycle industry.

    Giant is scheduled to begin shipment of high-end carbon-fiber bicycles to Colnago in the second half, marking the entry of Taiwan bicycle industry's into the top of the market pyramid.

    Giant has long reportedly planned to forge comprehensive cooperation ties with Colnago by acquiring a 51 percent controlling stake in the Italian maker of high-end bikes. Hsu Li-chun, special assistant at Giant's administration department, denied the stake-acquisition reports but admitted that his company has won orders from Colnago. Giant and Colnago are expected to develop broader cooperation ties in the future based on each other's requirements, Hsu said.

  2. #2
    Senior Member timwat's Avatar
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    Do I read the table in the article correctly...that Giant and Ideal Bike of Taiwan provide CF frames to Trek, Specialized and Fuji already?

    I thought all Trek CF frames were US origin.

  3. #3
    What's your Fetish, eh? veneer's Avatar
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    nah... giant's been providing CF bikes to trek, specialized and other for a while now. i've been trying to get a unbadged trek from giant.. but no luck yet. perhaps one of these days when i less luggage and i'll bring one back.
    wooohooo... isn't great to be in Sunny California???

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    Can't they make anything in the Western countries anymore? Or is this just more of the outsource everything to the people who will work for nothing? I think this will take away a lot of the class from Colnago. I could understand low-end frames being made in Tiwan, but I don't think Colnago has any low cost frames. I find this prospect disgusting. I might as well buy something from Supergo, one of those Scattante frames, or however they spell them.

  5. #5
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Its because they know what they are doing with carbon fiber, and my understanding is its quite expensive to set up a factory capable of producing CF frames. Even Cannondale outsources their carbon frames.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  6. #6
    What's your Fetish, eh? veneer's Avatar
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    yeah perhaps you should buy a scattante frame.. they're pretty good, especially for the value and the price. besides.. hardly any alu. frames are made in Taiwan anymore. only the cf frames are still being done in taiwan. everything else has been outsourced to china.

    besides.. u shouldn't sterotype that all the frames made in taiwan are low end. afterall.. Team T-Mobile is riding on Giant and it's made in Taiwan, so I don't think it's low end.

    Companies like Trek, Specialized or even Colnago finds way to reduce their overhead and manufacturing cost. by having Giant build their CF frames, they are actually going to be able to make more money off of you. that's why for me in the end.. as much as i like a trek CF bike or a specialized CF bike.. i'll just get one from giant when the time comes. not because i'm from Taiwan.. but because i know the quality of Giant. plus.. know the VP of their manufacturing doesn't hurt either..
    wooohooo... isn't great to be in Sunny California???

  7. #7
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    A huge part of the frame is the DESIGN... Giant/Generic Asian Framebuilder X isn't DESIGNING the frame, spec'ing the materials, etc... thats all done by the manufacturer that gets to put their label on the frame. There is a HUGE difference between my Stumpjumper, a Giant XTC and a Kona Kula even though they were likely made in the same or neighboring plants. The quality on all three is outstanding but the design principles, geometry, ride and handling are all quite different. As for quality, my Taiwan hand built Specialized has outlasted some of my friends US made bikes... any country is capable of producing crap.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  8. #8
    What's your Fetish, eh? veneer's Avatar
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    ^^ true that...
    wooohooo... isn't great to be in Sunny California???

  9. #9
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    Well, if Colnago is going to make their bikes in Tiwan instead of Italy, Colnago should lower the price. What are Colnago owners going to say, something like, "I just got the latest thing from Tiwan." Why pay $3,000 to $6,000, or more, for that? And the Tiwanese are building many factories in China. So, Colnago could soon be a Chinese bike. Then what? Colnagos on sale at Wal-Mart?

  10. #10
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    50 bucks says the quality actually goes up (along with their profit margins.)
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by trayer350
    Can't they make anything in the Western countries anymore? Or is this just more of the outsource everything to the people who will work for nothing? I think this will take away a lot of the class from Colnago. I could understand low-end frames being made in Tiwan, but I don't think Colnago has any low cost frames. I find this prospect disgusting. I might as well buy something from Supergo, one of those Scattante frames, or however they spell them.
    yeah going from a country with a gdp/cap of 27,000USD to 25,000USD is definitely outsourcing to rice patty farmers. those gosh darn sweat shop workers! the US should protect them from china so they can keep making x-mart bikes for us with those oh-so-looooow wages!

    cia world factbook

  12. #12
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldboy02
    yeah going from a country with a gdp/cap of 27,000USD to 25,000USD is definitely outsourcing to rice patty farmers. those gosh darn sweat shop workers! the US should protect them from china so they can keep making x-mart bikes for us with those oh-so-looooow wages!

    cia world factbook
    Pity the 20% of the population that owns 80% of the wealth all work in bike factories
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  13. #13
    Senior Citizen Discount fixedfiend's Avatar
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    I seriously can't see the production being the same. Italians are fanatical about quality and production and stop at nothing at producing the finest materials whether that means losing their shirts in the process.

    It's cultural and It includes everything "made in Italy". Would you pay extra for a package of pasta made in Mexico with an Italian label? I can't see Taiwanese manufacturers doing the same. No offense to the Taiwanese, it's just that the manufacturing plants in Italy are definitely not like the manufacturing plants in Taiwain.

    As a Colnago owner myself, I have to say it's dark day for them to have to give into economic pressures of overhead and production costs. I guess it's just a matter of time before Ferraris get outsourced to Japan too

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixedfiend
    As a Colnago owner myself, I have to say it's dark day for them to have to give into economic pressures of overhead and production costs. I guess it's just a matter of time before Ferraris get outsourced to Japan too
    I have zero knowledge about the reliability of Taiwanese bike frames, but am currently in the market for one. But, you should re think using Japan there. Were the Japanese to build Ferrari's I am pretty sure they would have better overall fit and finish, and reliability than they currently do. I am certainly not knocking European brands, but (especially in both the automotive and motorcycle world) you can get a Japanese product that: A) Performs better B) Has a higher build quality C) Has better reliability D) Less frequent maintenance intervals E) costs on the average of 4-5k less (at least for motorcycles).

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    Senior Citizen Discount fixedfiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goannaman
    Were the Japanese to build Ferrari's I am pretty sure they would have better overall fit and finish, and reliability than they currently do. I am certainly not knocking European brands, but (especially in both the automotive and motorcycle world) you can get a Japanese product that: A) Performs better B) Has a higher build quality C) Has better reliability D) Less frequent maintenance intervals E) costs on the average of 4-5k less (at least for motorcycles).
    The performance is still an issue but...
    Yes, you're right, they probably would and your brand new Ferrari would be built in the same plant that builds Hondas.

  16. #16
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    The folks commenting about quality control and industry are just spouting stupid western eurocentric bias...

    Italy is not more industralized than Taiwan. The GDP per capita between Italy and Taiwan is below 2,000 dollars a year. Taiwan has poverty rate below 1%.

    Taiwan isn't a third-world country - the reason why Taiwanese computer industries like ASUS, TECH, etc have dominated the market isn't because they have cheap labour. They maintain higher profit margins because they can maintain higher quality of production with less failed yields than anyone else. Quality control in semiconductor industry is even more imporant and difficult than the bike industry. You're talking about one dust particle ruining an entire waffer.

    So get off the high horses about "italian" craftsmenship. Italians aren't any more artistic, hardworking, capable than anyone else. A high school graduate in Italy is the same as a high school graduate in USA or Taiwan.

    Sheese... no one would trust a computer motherboard made in Italy, but they have no problems posting online using a Taiwanese product, connecting to servers operated by Taiwanese components, while advocating the superior quality control of "Italian goods." When's the last time an Italian car was known for reliability? Colnagos are nice frames - but their high cost have little to do with technological advnatage. They're still using lugs. Lugs = glue the frame together after fabricating them in individual pieces. Hardly difficult. You and I could do it with the right equipment - nothing more than a press that'll hold the wet frame in place while the glue sets.

    You won't find the lightest frames built with the newest technologies at Colnago. On a Colnago superlight that's scarely below 1000grams... you'll have a weight restriction that makes it off limits to most riders. While the competition elsewhere are making sub 1000 grams where 200lbs can ride as a day to day road frame.

    Colnago's aren't bad - but they're not "HIGH QC" "Innovation" etc... Giant has much higher profits - if they spend only 3% of their budget on R&D, they still have Colnago beat on just R&D budget even if Colnago spends 50% (which they don't). Giant has their own composite fibre fabrication facility. Starting with the spools of fibre, fabricated into the sheets they want for their purposes. I don't see how that's "low tech cheap poor labor". Merida - which produces magnesium tubing from a facility of their own and also builds the frames for Specialized is also a Taiwanese company. No one seems to mind.

    FSA? Taiwanese company - no one seems to find any "low tech" or quality missing. Taiwan is an industrial powerhouse - esp considering it has only 23 million people. Cheap labor isn't why it is successful in the industries it is good at. High concentration of education, finance and government encourgement in investment in the high-tech industry in the past 30 years have done that. More people in Taiwan by % go to university and get an university education than in Italy or the United States.

    Hey - I'm from Taiwan and English is my second language. I don't think it is exactly a third-world state when the education system does a better job teaching a second language than some countries do for their first...
    Last edited by ShinyBaldy; 07-27-05 at 05:21 AM.
    "The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  17. #17
    Senior Citizen Discount fixedfiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Cousins
    So they should expect the bext from the Taiwanese staff then?

    Are you implying that Taiwanese people are somehow inherantly less fanatical about quality? Aren't you just playing into the hands of the Colnago marketing rubbish?

    I wasn't reffering just to Colnagos. Why does the world pay more for anything "made in Italy"? Does the entire country of Italy have a wizard marketing genius that comes up with hype for everything they make?

    Again, I'm not trying to offend anyone with a Taiwanese made bicycle, I'm just stating my opinions and observations.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixedfiend
    I seriously can't see the production being the same. Italians are fanatical about quality and production and stop at nothing at producing the finest materials whether that means losing their shirts in the process. (
    Such as fine Italian products like Fiat? The Panda didn't even have door handles. Most countries make a range of products from wonderful to terrible. Italy is no exception.


  19. #19
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    The only think that is made in Italy on my bike is my SLR saddle. That shows you how much I care about Italian made. Hmmm.....yeah, Italian motherboard?????

  20. #20
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    Trek's all-carbon frames are made in Wisconsin, in a facility that has been working double and triple shifts.

    There is a "Made in USA" decal on Trek's all carbon frames. That sticker is NOT on the carbon frames from Giant and Specialized (there is NO Taiwan or China sticker on most "high end" Giant and Specialized bikes...employees at bike stores remove them to prevent customers from knowing where the bikes are made).

    Who continues to spread the lies about Trek's carbon frames being made in Asia? Well, follow the money. The only people who benefit from that lie are the people who import and sell "knock-off" carbon bikes from Asia.

    Low end bikes from Trek ARE made in Asia. Trek discovered that entry level bikes can be purchased in Asia for about the price Trek would pay just for the components and materials. It is impossible for Trek to build a solid entry-level mountain bike for $300 when Trek would pay suppliers almost $300 for the materials and the parts.

    But, if someone tries to tell you that Lance Armstrong won the Tour on a Chinese bike, they are lying...and probably trying THEIR brand of Chinese bike.
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 07-27-05 at 06:26 AM.

  21. #21
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    People brought in a lot of stereotypes, even with people who claim to appreciate anything Italian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Cousins
    Because Italy has a well-known history in the arts and engineering which is no longer relevant. Smart people go for quality/price, not 'elan'. Smart people buy according to what is happening now, not what happened 500 or 50 years ago.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by veneer
    nah... giant's been providing CF bikes to trek, specialized and other for a while now. i've been trying to get a unbadged trek from giant.. but no luck yet. perhaps one of these days when i less luggage and i'll bring one back.
    It is a LIE that Trek's carbon frames are made by Giant. What is your relationship to Giant and to Giant employees? What is motivating you to attempt to damage Trek's reputation by falsely giving Giant credit for Trek's best products?

    Lance's Trek was built in Wisconsin, USA, by Americans. Sorry, Giant. Lying won't change the facts. The best bike in the TdF for the past seven years was made in America.
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 07-27-05 at 12:17 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixedfiend
    The performance is still an issue but...
    Yes, you're right, they probably would and your brand new Ferrari would be built in the same plant that builds Hondas.
    Performance would only be an issue if you mean it would perform better for less money. Current example from the sportbike market:
    Suzuki GSX-r 1000 160 ish rear wheel horsepower 10,999
    Ducati 999 130ish rwhp 14,999.

    The Ducati also weighs more than the Suzuki. Want to get closer in performance. Buy the 999r for 29,999. Add a race exhaust for 3,500. You will get it to the mid- high 140's rwhp wise, but the Suzuki still out performs it.

    I don't mean to play down the allure of owning an Italian sportscar, but don't pretend that the Italians can by some god given gift, make something that is superior to something made in Asia.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    It is a LIE that Trek's carbon frames are made by Giant. What is your relationship to Giant and to Giant employees? What is motivating you to attempt to damage Trek's reputation while falsing giving Giant credit for Trek's best products?

    THIS is what is second-rate about companies such as Giant: if they can't build a bike good enough to be used by Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France, their "friends" spread lies about the company that DID build that bike. And, Lance's bike was built in Wisconsin, USA, by Americans.

    ah - now you're claiming that Giant is a second-rate company that have people tell lies?

    Ah - ok. Have you spoken to a Trek rep lately? The mud in frame of out competitor thing has been used in the past.
    "The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  25. #25
    SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07 Walter's Avatar
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    I'll stay away from the CF origin debate as I really don't care where "plastic" bikes are built anyways. They'll all delaminate or something the other in 10 years or so anyways and I'll still be riding my Columbus SL vintage and my "modern" Reynolds 853 frame with a smile.

    Oh the joys of retro-grouching

    Regarding the motorcycles. I rode rice-burners and enjoyed them. However, Japanese inline 4 cylinders are a bit boring even if capable of tremendous performance. My last ride was a VFR 750. That was a cool bike, country of origin nonwithstanding. The Suzook-Duck comparison above should note that the Duck is a V-twin compared to a 4 and the Duck sounds right.




    “Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
    Edna St. Vincent Millay

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