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Steel China

Old 08-01-13, 01:45 AM
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Steel China

No not porcelain.

I know about chinese factories making carbon frames and forks and there is plenty of info regarding these on the interwebs, and it's possible to order them, and they are 5x cheaper than brand name frames and forks, though they have their downsides too and QC is not the best...

What about lugged steel frames? Road geometry? Aluminium frames?

Carbon is probably cheap to produce, since most of the molds and factories are indeed in China, and process is totally automatic, unlike steel frame welding.

There must be some source of steel and al frames somewhere, probably not of MX Leader quality, but still...

Anybody have any clues? Infos? Comments?
Just for the sake of discussion, I hope it's not a taboo topic, since I read the topic regarding italian framebuilders that use taiwanese lugs, it made me think one step further regarding frames and their sourcing..
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Old 08-01-13, 05:59 PM
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Here is one China based steel/alloy frame maker.

https://colossicycling.com
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Old 08-01-13, 06:22 PM
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I have a steel Huffy cruiser that was made in China... some of the worst welding EVER!

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Old 08-01-13, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by JonnyHK
Here is one China based steel/alloy frame maker.

https://colossicycling.com

Might as well buy a Soma for those cost.

https://www.gridcitybikeshop.com/inde...d/colossi.html
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Old 08-01-13, 07:07 PM
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I was going to remember the Great Leap Forward, during which Mao had everyone scour the country and turn in all their metal so the country could make planes, tanks as well as machinery, but I won't go there.

China has come a LONG way in manufacturing prowess, especially in the last ten years. In fact, I'm convinced if Mao hadn't been such a dunce and wasted 30 years, not to mention the country's best and brightest, China would be ahead of us today in many areas.

But not yet.

Of course, that doesn't answer your question.
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Old 08-01-13, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll
Might as well buy a Soma for those cost.

https://www.gridcitybikeshop.com/inde...d/colossi.html

But their custom and specialty stuff is great value.
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Old 08-01-13, 07:30 PM
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I have seen a lot of welded mystery alloy frames come out of China recently they seem to have low quality welds and the metal is soft fairly easy to actual sctratch the fram not just the paint.
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Old 08-01-13, 08:02 PM
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Getting anything from the PROC is a huge risk. The prototypes are usually awesome, and sometimes the first production runs are marginally acceptable, but what happens in the long run is that the quality takes a big dive. There is no thought given to long term business partnerships, and the management teams responsible on that side of the pond don't really care. They made money on you, and if you're not happy, why should they care? They aren't held accountable (especially Party members with connections), and there's always another sucker.

The "made in China" sticker means somebody cut corners, or used substandard materials, or thought 20% reject rates were perfectly fine. Sometimes it's a combination.

Sorry to any PROC nationals that might be offended, but it needs to be said. Eventually the gravy train's gonna end. It's starting to happen now. There are no native PROC-based companies that anyone looks to as symbols of quality, and that means the line for marginal, Wal-Mart style crap ends as soon as the RMB floats to where it should have been to begin with.
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Old 08-01-13, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll
Might as well buy a Soma for those cost.
My Soma Smoothie is actually made in Taiwan, which is, well... sort of Chinese... albeit not from the mainland.

I've had a few Taiwanese bikes, namely my '93 Trek 820, my '03 Fuji League, and my '09 Soma Smoothie.

The Trek is an excellent commuter, and rides like a big lazy tomcat; nothing special, but it's comfy, gets the job done, and I haven't a single complaint about it.

The League (like several of the nicer Fujis from that period) was actually subcontracted to Toyo and made in Taipei, at the same facility that made Rivendell's Taiwanese frames, the Hillborne & Hilsen. It was a bit of a looker, very well made (TIG-welded), and rode (& cornered) beautifully, with a slightly witchy edge that kept it lively. I sold it to a friend when her bike got stolen a couple of years ago, and I really miss riding it, even though it was a size too small for me.

And I absolutely love my Soma. It tracks like it's on rails and it's a great everyday ride; it leaves little to be desired, even after + 50miles.


Originally Posted by rootboy
I was going to remember the Great Leap Forward, during which Mao had everyone scour the country and turn in all their metal so the country could make planes, tanks as well as machinery, but I won't go there.
TOO %*@#ing funny!! As far as MAINLAND steel bikes go... the only one I can immediately think of is the notorious Flying Pigeon, which definitely has a 'love-it-or-leave it' kind of rep.

Another friend of mine had one of those Chinese-made Motobecans- a 'Vent Noir' (Ha. Ha. Ha... I scoff at the use of such an esteemed name for such a mediocre bike); he totally hated it and ultimately preferred his old Schwinn SS; he actually rejoiced when it got stolen. Two weeks later, someone stole his Schwinn and he had to leg it to work for the next three months.

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Old 08-02-13, 09:55 AM
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The Maxway factory in Taiwan makes lugged steel frames that are pretty nice. Kazane, Alien, BikesDirect Mercier, and Viking lugged frames were all made by Maxway.
https://www.maxway.com.tw/product.html

Rikulau Bicycles in Taiwan makes some very ornate lugged frames from stainless steel, and Slide Away also makes chromed, ornate lugged frames:


www.facebook.com/slideawaybikes
www.rikulau.com
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Old 08-02-13, 10:03 AM
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I think Taiwan's reputation for making good-quality lugged or welded frames is pretty solid.

Mainland China's... well... https://www.flying-pigeon.eu/
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Old 08-02-13, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by DIMcyclist
TOO %*@#ing funny!!

HA. yeah, it would be funny, if it wasn't so sad. Another brilliant idea Mao had, which my Chinese in-laws remember well, was the campaign to rid the fields of sparrows. Because, ostensibly, they were eating the crops. Well, everyone got out there in good, patriotic spirit, and killed millions of birds. The result? No sparrows to eats all the insects and they had plagues and infestations that wiped out crops, leading to more privation than the sparrows ever caused. Mao was no rocket scientist. And he set his country back decades.

As for the nice bikes shown here from Taiwan, well, we all know Taiwan isn't China. They were largely immune from these mainland shenanigans and thus, developed proper manufacturing techniques way before China has.

BTW, the "steel" they created in their back yard furnaces and forges was crap. It was mostly pots and pans and cast iron. Couldn't be used to make anything.
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Old 08-02-13, 10:28 AM
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Sorry to derail this thread with a semi rant on China. It's just that every time the subject of Chinese manufacturing comes up, I remember stuff I saw when I lived there for a few years, atrociously made high rises, etc., and can't help harkening back to some of the stories my aged in-laws tell me about the bad old days. Curl your hair type stories. Worse.
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Old 08-02-13, 11:01 AM
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Well what politician is a rocket sceinist! When do they ever understand the details of what makes things work?

I worked for a company whose Director of Quality asked his Reliability Engineer if a Reliabilty Engineer could be hired in China as the company was outsourcing. The reply was that China doesn't have enough experience to understand what quality is or manage it effectively, much less reliability. Much of the progress in the last 10 years is from expereinced manufacturing Americans who moved overthere to instruct as they no longer had jobs in the US.

The root of the problems is in the culture. There is no respect for Intellectual Property and they all are working for the good of the whole, not the individual. Sort of a Communist perspective that took root. IMHO, that is what differentiates the Taiwanese from the Mainland Chinese as demonstrated in the products.

There is hope for some American companies. A good example is Buck knives who outsourced to China while staying in CA. The owner then moved the company to Idaho and brought nearly all the products back to the US without significant price changes. The motivation for change was that their customers expressed the dislike of seeing "Made in China" on the blade. IMHO this can only happen with privately held companies who can be strategic and not be driven by Wall Streets short term gain performance requirment. Related to individual freedom topic.

Sorry for spew.
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Old 08-02-13, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Do people buy these in EU? wow.

Originally Posted by rootboy
it would be funny, if it wasn't so sad.
This.

Last edited by CenturionIM; 08-02-13 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 08-02-13, 11:13 AM
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About two weeks ago, I made a deal. Part of what I got was this Trek Crossrip which was made in China. The workmanship seems just fine to me and the bike is great to ride around my summer cottage...

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Old 08-02-13, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426
The root of the problems is in the culture. There is no respect for Intellectual Property and they all are working for the good of the whole, not the individual. Sort of a Communist perspective that took root.
Sorry for spew.

Some very good points, SJX, but I'll disagree just a bit with this sentiment. While true, it has changed a lot in recent years. One of our best friends in Beijing turned himself from a lowly factory worker making pump parts in to millionaire in the publishing business, and he puts out some very high quality products. Some outstandingly beautiful books. A very unassuming, genuine fellow who is interested in quality.
But he is not the norm I don't think.

There is a catch though. Now that they celebrate "the Individual" in China, or at least his efforts to make money under Deng's reforms, it opened up a whole new can of worms. Individuals "celebrating" themselves, making money at any cost, no matter the consequences for the consumer.
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Old 08-02-13, 11:50 AM
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I would say half of the aluminum and carbon bikes made in the world come from China. Taiwan generally makes the higher end stuff and seems to specialize in steel. Chinese factories are set up for huge volume while in Taiwan they do smaller production runs (think soma, surly, salsa, singular etc..).. I think Origin 8 frames are made in China (i had one, wouldn't recommend it). At least some are. I will stick to Taiwan, there develop the processes there and pass on the mass production to china. Schwinn's were made in china as far back as the early 1980s.
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Old 08-02-13, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by DIMcyclist
And I absolutely love my Soma. It tracks like it's on rails and it's a great everyday ride; it leaves little to be desired, even after + 50miles.
+1 I can't believe how much I'm liking my '13 Smoothie. I bought just the frame and have built it up with pretty nice parts (Ritchey Pro carbon fork, Ti stem and seatpost, White hubs to Kinlin rims, nice tires, Veloce 10s, etc) with the thought that someday when I had more cash I could just replace the frame with something from Seven or Serotta or the like. But, while that might shave a few grams from the total weight I'm not sure it could ride much better. And it fits great; I'm just really happy with it.
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Old 08-02-13, 12:06 PM
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I'm a buy American kinda guy. Our american framebuilders need your support, when you aren't buying vintage.
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Old 08-02-13, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd
+1 I can't believe how much I'm liking my '13 Smoothie. I bought just the frame and have built it up with pretty nice parts (Ritchey Pro carbon fork, Ti stem and seatpost, White hubs to Kinlin rims, nice tires, Veloce 10s, etc) with the thought that someday when I had more cash I could just replace the frame with something from Seven or Serotta or the like. But, while that might shave a few grams from the total weight I'm not sure it could ride much better. And it fits great; I'm just really happy with it.
Niiiice! I've built mine up with a 105 (5500) 8sp triple; Thomson/ King/ Nitto/ Fizik everything else; hand-built DT Swiss (rim)/ 105 (hub) wheelset. It's a terrific hill-climber.


Originally Posted by rootboy
HA. yeah, it would be funny, if it wasn't so sad.
yeah... The Maoist famines were easily the worst case of government mismanagement (read: accidental genocide) in all of human history...

How many died? The PRC officially says 25 million, but outside estimates place the actual number between 85 & 125 million? Comparatively, that's anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of the U.S. population at that time. Stalin's best efforts can't compare to The Great Steersman's offhanded misdirection.

Personally, I'm hoping that things there will gradually improve as people relaize they can be more than masses and statistics, human tools; that they can have better lives.


Originally Posted by Wildwood
I'm a buy American kinda guy. Our american framebuilders need your support, when you aren't buying vintage.
Well- there IS a place in everyone's life for a Vanilla. Or a Seven. Or a Waterford... Or a Serotta.... or...

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Old 08-02-13, 02:02 PM
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May be too late for Serotta, just read that they had been purchased and laying off 40% of their staff, and may not reopen...hope the closing is temporary and that they can reorganize and reopen.

https://www.timesunion.com/business/a...al-4700263.php
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Old 08-02-13, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JonnyHK
Here is one China based steel/alloy frame maker.

https://colossicycling.com
I think those Colossi Mondial Road frames look pretty nice, but if I was going to spend $750 before shipping on a frame, I could get a pretty nice vintage one and that'd probably be my first choice instead. Still, I think it'd be cool to give it a ride.
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Old 08-02-13, 02:38 PM
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1)Recently the Chinese sickened(poisoned) 250,000 Chinese babies
selling INTENTIONALLY adulterated Baby Formula
They put melamine in it-a high nitrogen CONTENT industrial byproduct- IT made it appear that the formula was higher protein than it was
since the test for proteins was actually just a crude nitrogen assay.Protein-casein milk protein is expensive,melamine is dirt cheap-but toxic
Yeah 250,000 babies hospitalized-kidney stones-maybe kidney failure- far more were actually poisoned-but didn't get noticeably ill

2)Few years earlier they pulled the same stunt with pet food-melamine-most sold over seas-same story-sick and dead pets

3)few years earlier they sold ethylene glycol as glycerine-it ended up in cough syrup in south america-and toothpaste here-usa
yeah killed 100 plus in south america

4)In ~2007 they EXECUTED the head of their FDA- for something he did-some drug adulteration scandal

5) few months ago-video went viral-showed some toddler in china being hit by truck-and just left in the gutter while 16 people walked by-ignoring the baby-

Quality Control ??? For a bike frame ??? ha,ha
Oddest thing because chinese I meet in the USA- nicest folks-so happy to NOT be in china I guess-but nice people??
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Old 08-02-13, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
There is a catch though. Now that they celebrate "the Individual" in China, or at least his efforts to make money under Deng's reforms, it opened up a whole new can of worms. Individuals "celebrating" themselves, making money at any cost, no matter the consequences for the consumer.
THIS. It's actually capitalism run amok. Think the Industrial Age in the US (child labor, deplorable working conditions, substandard wages, etc.). I am very much of the conservative persuasion, but I harbor no illusions about what is driving the corner-cutting and profiteering in China (answer: greed).
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