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Old 08-15-08, 09:19 AM   #1
tzusing
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Made in china/taiwan

I'm interested in knowing why some people have a problem with their bike products being made in non European/ American countries(throw japan in there too).
I have seen people freak out when they find out that their 6000 dollar carbon fiber Italian branded bike was made and assembled in Taiwan. Look if the performance of the frame is up to par and the factory operates under legitimate conditions. What is there to be so pissed about?
Correct me if i am wrong. But i think this is essentially some sort of masked/hidden racism rearing its head.
This idea that Taiwanese and Chinese are incompetent and unable to produce products good enough for the "first world".
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Old 08-15-08, 09:25 AM   #2
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I am not sure if it is masked racism but perhaps a real belief that the quality-control in some of those countries is not up to North American/European standards.

Would you let your child play with a Thomas the Tank Engine toy built in China?
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Old 08-15-08, 09:31 AM   #3
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I'm interested in knowing why some people have a problem with their bike products being made in non European/ American countries(throw japan in there too).
I have seen people freak out when they find out that their 6000 dollar carbon fiber Italian branded bike was made and assembled in Taiwan. Look if the performance of the frame is up to par and the factory operates under legitimate conditions. What is there to be so pissed about?
Correct me if i am wrong. But i think this is essentially some sort of masked/hidden racism rearing its head.
This idea that Taiwanese and Chinese are incompetent and unable to produce products good enough for the "first world".
I don't see this very much here (excepting the PRC and the idiots who don't know the difference between PRC and Taiwan). There are plenty of people who want a made in the USA bike, but I think this is more about promoting U.S. jobs/manufacturing than racism.

Could you link some examples?
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Old 08-15-08, 09:36 AM   #4
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I'm sure China/Taiwan can produce good quality products as well as cheap. Too bad they're mostly known for the cheap stuff because they have super low wage workers who obviously don't put quality first.

If China can produce 26 Olympic gold medals vs US's 14 (by aug 15 noon eastern time), I'm willing to say they can work just as hard if they wanted to. That said, if you're buying a bicycle frame, they probably have some competent workers manufacturing it and I wouldn't worry. It's with that cheap rubik's cube and ralph lauren knockoff that i'd be concerned with quality.
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Old 08-15-08, 09:37 AM   #5
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I see nothing wrong with riding bikes made in Taiwan and do think that they put out a quality product. I would also venture to say that most, if not all, of this board rides at least one bike made in Taiwan. I think that a lot of the looking down on Taiwanese bikes is that in addition to supplying bike shops with quality bikes, they also supply walmart with crap.
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Old 08-15-08, 09:44 AM   #6
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If China can produce 26 Olympic gold medals vs US's 14 (by aug 15 noon eastern time), I'm willing to say they can work just as hard if they wanted to. That said, if you're buying a bicycle frame, they probably have some competent workers manufacturing it and I wouldn't worry. It's with that cheap rubik's cube and ralph lauren knockoff that i'd be concerned with quality.
How do you know your Pinarello is real then? Or your Trek, for that matter?

There were fake Ferraris found in mainland China, why wouldn't they knock-off bicycles?
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Old 08-15-08, 10:13 AM   #7
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I'm sure China/Taiwan can produce good quality products as well as cheap. Too bad they're mostly known for the cheap stuff because they have super low wage workers who obviously don't put quality first.

If China can produce 26 Olympic gold medals vs US's 14 (by aug 15 noon eastern time), I'm willing to say they can work just as hard if they wanted to. That said, if you're buying a bicycle frame, they probably have some competent workers manufacturing it and I wouldn't worry. It's with that cheap rubik's cube and ralph lauren knockoff that i'd be concerned with quality.
OT response:

Counting gold medals tells us nothing.

Among other things, in per capita gold medals both the PRC and the U.S. are wussy.

China has 1 gold medal for every 50,000,000 people. The U.S. has 1 gold for every 21,000,000 people. Australia, on the other hand, has 1 gold medal for every 5,000,000.
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Old 08-15-08, 10:18 AM   #8
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How do you know your Pinarello is real then? Or your Trek, for that matter?

There were fake Ferraris found in mainland China, why wouldn't they knock-off bicycles?
This does happen. Not sure why certain brands seem susceptible to this, but there have been well publicized problems with this with Colnago and Specialized.
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Old 08-15-08, 01:01 PM   #9
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I am not sure if it is masked racism but perhaps a real belief that the quality-control in some of those countries is not up to North American/European standards.

Would you let your child play with a Thomas the Tank Engine toy built in China?
I think what A LOT of people fail to realize is that. The quality of the product has everything to do with how much "big name italian brand" is willing to pay for the high end specs. And how high they set the specs.

A product's quality has as much to do with the factory managers/workers as it does the brand name buying from them.

it just urks me when people mention walmart but don't mention or know anything about the fact that ipods/iphones and now even bmw's are made in china.
And it cracks me up how so many "big name bike brand" make so much profit from chinese labor but always try to hide the fact that the bike is made in china. And when it does it always goes something like. "designed in the US. made in china" or some **** like that. always making sure the consumer knows the product has something to do with Europe or the US. while hiding the actual country of production. lame.
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Old 08-15-08, 01:08 PM   #10
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it just urks me when people mention walmart but don't mention or know anything about the fact that ipods/iphones and now even bmw's are made in china.
When someone buys a BMW they expect a quality vehicle that was Made in Germany with workers in good conditions, smart workers, and a German product.

If I had the money to buy a Look frame, I would rather buy one made in Italy vs one in Taiwan.
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Old 08-15-08, 01:18 PM   #11
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If I had the money to buy a Look frame, I would rather buy one made in Italy vs one in Taiwan.
why?
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Old 08-15-08, 01:24 PM   #12
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Because I would rather have a quality italian product made in good conditions.
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Old 08-15-08, 01:26 PM   #13
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If China can produce 26 Olympic gold medals vs US's 14 (by aug 15 noon eastern time), I'm willing to say they can work just as hard if they wanted to.
Im sure QC would improve dramatically if they forced their childeren into labor camps at age 3 like their olympic hopefuls are. Luckily, the factory workers have a reprieve until about 8.
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Old 08-15-08, 01:27 PM   #14
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how is that different from a Quality Taiwanese product made in good conditions? I mean seriously are bikes being made is sweat shops?
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Old 08-15-08, 01:33 PM   #15
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I think a lot of people have a pretty unsophisticated knowledge of manufacturing and economics. In general, most manufacturing has shifted from the U.S. and Europe to Asia. The reason: lower cost of living and fewer unions = low labor costs. The advantage to the consumer (us) is that savings from lower labor costs often result in lower prices (or higher grade materials or greater return for shareholder's investment).

Quality control is a totally separate issue. Taiwanese or Chinese workers are just as capable of producing high quality products as their American and European counterparts. To think otherwise is prejudiced.

Like most industries, the bike industry shifted most of its manufacturing to Asia in the last 20 years. The bike factories that remain in the U.S. and Europe tend to be boutique, specialty brands. Of course their product will be higher quality than the large-scale operations in Asia. That's their market niche. The bike will also cost two or three or four times more.

I've never seen any evidence to indicate that comparably speced bikes made in the U.S./Europe and Asia have significant quality differences. I have seen plenty of evidence to suggest that bikes made in Asia have better value.
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Old 08-15-08, 01:33 PM   #16
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Look, in the 1950s, anything labeled "Made in Japan" was considered around the world to be junk, particularly if it was electronics or cars. In the 1960s to the 1980s, "Made in Taiwan" became the new "Made in" junk, then in the 1990s, "Made in China" became the low-cost, low-quality manufacturing label.

Would you buy Japanese electronics or cars today? Sure, they are considered some of the best in the world. Just as "Made in China" electronics probably will be the best in the world 10 years from now. Regardless, this history lesson is very recent history. Meaning people hang on to stereotypes (particularly with consumer goods) that they grew up with.

So, yes there is still a stigma attached to "Made in China/Taiwan" bikes, because it was only 20 years ago that anything coming out of there was considered low-quality junk. Does it reflect reality? Not really, since most bikes are made there now, whether they are Wal-Mart bikes or Bianchis. In the end, does it really matter?
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Old 08-15-08, 01:39 PM   #17
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I am not sure if it is masked racism but perhaps a real belief that the quality-control in some of those countries is not up to North American/European standards.

Would you let your child play with a Thomas the Tank Engine toy built in China?
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When someone buys a BMW they expect a quality vehicle that was Made in Germany with workers in good conditions, smart workers, and a German product.

If I had the money to buy a Look frame, I would rather buy one made in Italy vs one in Taiwan.
this is exactly what i'm talking about.
i stated on the first post of this topic that if the chinese/taiwanese factory conditions are legitimate and the product is of the caliber and passes the same qc. What difference does it make that it is made in europe vs asia.
and if it does make a difference... at this point it is related to nationalism and race.

and i wish people would just admit that.
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Old 08-15-08, 01:53 PM   #18
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giants gtech facility in Taiwan is so advanced that they get weapon inspection tests to make sure they were not building light weight carbon parts for missile warheads.

just food for thought.
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Old 08-15-08, 01:54 PM   #19
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I'm interested in knowing why some people have a problem with their bike products being made in non European/ American countries(throw japan in there too).
I have seen people freak out when they find out that their 6000 dollar carbon fiber Italian branded bike was made and assembled in Taiwan. Look if the performance of the frame is up to par and the factory operates under legitimate conditions. What is there to be so pissed about?
Correct me if i am wrong. But i think this is essentially some sort of masked/hidden racism rearing its head.
This idea that Taiwanese and Chinese are incompetent and unable to produce products good enough for the "first world".
It's not racism per say, although I think that does end up being a byproduct sometimes. It's the implication of a cheaply made product. Lets face it, China doesn't have the same regulatory procedures for manufacturing that the US/EU might have. That's why so many manufacturers set up shop there. As a result, quality suffers. It's not to say that Chinese people can't make good stuff, or don't make quality products right now. It's that the conditions for that to happen, for the most part, are not there. But if the majority of bikes were being produced in South America, or Africa, we'd be hearing talk of how people don't want cheap Brazilian or Kenya frames. People talk about cheap Mexican goods all the time. Although I'm not Mexican, what i think of first when they say that is **** working conditions, NAFTA, and people getting paid pennies on the dollar. Not that they're lazy, stupid, whatever else pejoratives people use to stereotype Mexicans. This is my logical response to all this.

That being said, it still hurts to hear people talk about Asian made goods all the same. I'm Chinese, and it stings when people talk about "cheap Chinese steel" because it sure sounds like they're talking about me to an extent. Sometimes, like in the case of the auto industry circa 70's-80's, that's what it turns into. But the dynamic here feels different. At least, I like to think it is.
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Old 08-15-08, 01:57 PM   #20
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Yep, I always remember in Back to the Future when Marty had to explain to Doc that the best stuff is made in Japan.



China has a marketing problem but it is well-earned. Poisoned pet food, carinogenic Barbies, lead-lined McDonald's toys, fake Nikes, underage gymnasts with fake i.d's, the list goes on. Simply put, there are no laws and no accountability put into place by the government, so companies can do whatever the fark they want.

In the 2008 Chinese earthquake, 7000 schools collapsed, killing thousands of children. It is widely speculated that the government officials in charge of zoning, in collusion with building contractors, allowed the schools to built with shoddy, sub-standard materials. This is the type of corruption you are dealing with in China----un-scrupled, massive, widespread and deep.

If the Chinese government cannot guarantee the safety of their own children while they are at school, what the hell makes you think they will have any quality assurance on a bike-frame that is being sent off overseas?
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Old 08-15-08, 02:03 PM   #21
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But the interesting point here Erichsia is that... taiwan and china to a certain extent are able to make these high end products and have been.
What i find interesting is when a person buys an italian branded bike. loves it. But is unhappy when he finds out 2 months later that it was actually made in taiwan/china. At this point it has nothing to do with the quality/build of the bike. But the country of where the factory is located.
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Old 08-15-08, 02:13 PM   #22
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Yep, I always remember in Back to the Future when Marty had to explain to Doc that the best stuff is made in Japan.



China has a marketing problem but it is well-earned. Poisoned pet food, carinogenic Barbies, lead-lined McDonald's toys, fake Nikes, underage gymnasts with fake i.d's, the list goes on. Simply put, there are no laws and no accountability put into place by the government, so companies can do whatever the fark they want.

In the 2008 Chinese earthquake, 7000 schools collapsed, killing thousands of children. It is widely speculated that the government officials in charge of zoning, in collusion with building contractors, allowed the schools to built with shoddy, sub-standard materials. This is the type of corruption you are dealing with in China----un-scrupled, massive, widespread and deep.

If the Chinese government cannot guarantee the safety of their own children while they are at school, what the hell makes you think they will have any quality assurance on a bike-frame that is being sent off overseas?
eh?

Does the US government come into US factories to do quality control?

i don't know what your point is.

Btw how is your Taiwan made GTB treating you?
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Old 08-15-08, 02:20 PM   #23
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why? because people make racist, generalizations and are pretty stupid.

These generalizations carry over from decades and decades of china/japan/taiwan/asia in general making inferior quality products to U.S. and European made. The 80s, 90s, and now 21st century is the time, and the tables have turned or are turning.

And also, when people buy an Italian bike, I think they expect it to be Italian. But, these old-minded people have to realize that we're a global economy - global companies exist in the free market by cutting costs (asia, where labor's cheap, etc etc).

I have like 3 friends who are so anti-asian with their italian/other country bikes..then they get into their audi/vw's which are made in mexico, use their iphones which are made in china etc etc.

they're also the same people who would complain about paying a premium for US-made products - but of course, they encourage "american-made"
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Old 08-15-08, 02:47 PM   #24
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But the interesting point here Erichsia is that... taiwan and china to a certain extent are able to make these high end products and have been.
What i find interesting is when a person buys an italian branded bike. loves it. But is unhappy when he finds out 2 months later that it was actually made in taiwan/china. At this point it has nothing to do with the quality/build of the bike. But the country of where the factory is located.
Yes, I'll give you that. That is true, and it is bull****. But like you said, only to a certain extent are these products able to be manufactured at a higher standard. Just not to the overall extent as if it were produced in the US or parts of Europe though. I don't know, If the dollar continues it's slide, I can see manufacturing moving back to the US, and then we'd see a real test of how well things are made in America. But until then, you have to admit that the overall conditions for making quality anything in China are just not there yet. The standard is just lower. Not on everything, but overall. There are a million reasons for this, none of them racial. But while the quality of the high-end bike made in China or Taiwan could/would be just as good as if it were to be made in America, the stigma attached to Chinese made goods is well earned. While it may not be right, I know I've had that reaction before. And I can't fault someone for having the same reactions I might have under different circumstances. I'm sorry, I've got a lot of thoughts on all this stuff that would make for crappy reading on a forum. And I don't have the energy right now to go into the past two hundred years of Chinese history and how it plays into what goes on today. PM me on this & I'll give you a better response.
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Old 08-15-08, 02:54 PM   #25
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why?
I know you didn't ask me, but, because Italy isn't a totalitarian dictatorship. I'm not perfect, but I try to support the businesses that prop up these abhorrent regimes as little as possible.
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