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U.S.A made bikes

Old 05-24-19, 06:06 PM
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gnappi
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U.S.A made bikes

I have three U.S made bikes, a Schwinn 564 "Paramount" from the 80's, all stock, a Cannondale Criterium 600 stock except the wheels, and a Cannondale F300 soon to be used for backwater trail fishing.

I am enamored of older maybe not the highest performance bikes, but I'm not and never have been one to enjoy the benefits of a few of pounds loss in bike weight that I can gain easily during lunch at Chick-Fil-A :-)

So, I have never bought or had need for a bike made overseas, and I'm more than a bit surprised how many bikers look down on some of these beautiful machines, and value them so little.

As it it, it's likely my heirs will deal with that at a garage sale after I'm gone. Till then my older made in the U.S.A bikes get plenty of attention from other riders maybe even more than more modern bikes.

Reading these forums it seems as if I'm quite the exception to the rule of bike ownership.
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Old 05-24-19, 06:43 PM
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USA is great, but for older road, the Italians were master builders and the French are respected as well, the Japanese are detailed and made good bikes. There is just so much more more history to road so its not like other things.

With that said there are great U.S. builders. Bikes built in low volume and hand made are more sought after. I own some nice Italians but my
made in the USA Klein is my favorite.
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Old 05-24-19, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gnappi View Post
.

Reading these forums it seems as if I'm quite the exception to the rule of bike ownership.
There is a rule to bike ownership???
I ride what I like and what fits me. Nationality has nothing to do with it.
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Old 05-24-19, 10:43 PM
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I have several USA bikes, several Italian, a couple of British, some Japanese and a Taiwan and I love them each but I will not have ever a China (Chicom) bicycle if in any way I can avoid it.
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Old 05-25-19, 04:35 AM
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This is my only US made bike but, as you can see, I'm a fan. I did the lug lining myself a few days ago. The fenders are brass Honjo/Simworks that I've had on for the last year or so and I opted to polish the grooves for a bit of style without losing the awesome patina they're developing.




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Old 05-25-19, 04:44 AM
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Far from an expert, and I cannot say about the Paramount. A lot of Schwinn bike frames around then were built by Panasonic in Japan. Have owned and ridden several Japanese bikes, Raleigh and Schwinn of the era. Any bike which fits you and you enjoy is a good bike, at least to you. While I would love to have a shot at a vintage Italian have not had a chance (except my vintage Italian wife &#128516.
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Old 05-25-19, 04:48 AM
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Try hanging in C&V. Lots of love for old Schwinns and Cannondales! MUSA ti, steel and aluminum. Also Taiwan steel and aluminum, no complaints.

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Old 05-25-19, 05:12 AM
  #8  
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I have 4 USA made bikes. 3 modern titanium (steel, aluminum and carbon bikes bow in the presence of these) and a Burley steel tandem.

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Old 05-25-19, 05:42 AM
  #9  
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Lots of interesting bikes from all over. I'd like to buy more current USA stuff (not just bikes), bu the economics are very tough in many product categories. I was saddened when Cannondale abandoned manufacturing in Pennsylvania but really, how can you blame them when virtually every other component of the bike other than the frame comes from outside the USA? Businesses exist to make a profit and publicly owned companies are beholden to their shareholders to maximize profit, often at the expense of communities and workers in their home country. Custom bikes made in the USA are readily available and their are some manufacturers of high end and specialty components here as well. I don't think you could build a completely USA bike without resorting to vintage components. USA tubes and tires? USA derailleurs? At this point, I am content to buy bikes and components made in at least semi-democratic countries with at least some respect for the environment. However, since so much bicycle stuff comes from less than democratic and less than environmentally responsible countries (i.e. China, Vietnam as two examples) this isn't always easy. The USA is far from perfect but how we spend money is one way we can vote everyday.
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Old 05-25-19, 05:59 AM
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I have a 1987 Cannondale road bike built in Bedford, PA. I was glad to be able to buy a bike FRAME that was made in my own state. However, I realized that most of the components were Japanese, and Italian. I had no problem with that, as other countries buy our stuff too, Today, I can not buy a new USA made Cannondale bike, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new Cannondale made in Taiwan, or an Italian bike, or a bike from any other country.
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Old 05-25-19, 05:59 AM
  #11  
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I've been riding my 1982 Trek 720 and 1984 Cannondale ST 400 a lot lately. Plus I have a 1978 Trek TX 900 in the build queue.
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Old 05-25-19, 06:01 AM
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I'm not wedded to USA built bikes anymore than USA cars and motorcycles, if such things exist. My buttons get pushed by social/political issues like when TREK dumped LeMond over his criticism of Armstrong and his drugging. Have never owned a TREK and never will.
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Old 05-25-19, 06:13 AM
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Every new bike I've purchased this millennium (and a few years before) has an American made frame.
Co-Motion, Calfee, Tallerico, Macalu. I also appreciate older steel road bikes (70s&80s) - decided they should all be Euro with tubulars.

If I choose to buy new again, it will be a frame from an American craftsman in the PNW. Mike DeSalvo? Another Co-Mo? Curtlo? I like to pick my colors. Knowing the person who made the frame pleases me.

It's a big cycling world. Buy what you like.



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Old 05-25-19, 07:07 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Pilot321 View Post
I have a 1987 Cannondale road bike built in Bedford, PA. I was glad to be able to buy a bike FRAME that was made in my own state.
Camped just down the road from here during my 2013 tour across PA. Logged about 10,000 miles on my USA-made Cannondale back in '99-'00. Still have the bike in my basement, but it's not serviceable. Also have a M300 that I won in a photo contest. My current road bike was designed and built in Philly, twelve miles from my house. I also have an IF from Massachusetts and a Bike Friday from Oregon,

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Old 05-25-19, 07:10 AM
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Well.....

The only "USA" bike I own is an old Trek 850, but I suspect when you look at the components, most of the OP's bikes weren't manufactured in the US either.

FWIW, I'd like very much to have a US built frame Paramount, but if it came down to really spending the money, I'd go with vintage Italian over a Schwinn.
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Old 05-25-19, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Camped just down the road from here during my 2013 tour across PA. Logged about 10,000 miles on my USA-made Cannondale back in '99-'00. Still have the bike in my basement, but it's not serviceable. Also have a M300 that I won in a photo contest. My current road bike was designed and built in Philly, twelve miles from my house. I also have an IF from Massachusetts and a Bike Friday from Oregon,

That's their design center, correct? From what I hear there are a few really good custom bike makers in Philly.
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Old 05-25-19, 07:16 AM
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Is this thread about US made bikes or US made frames?
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Old 05-25-19, 07:21 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Pilot321 View Post
That's their design center, correct? From what I hear there are a few really good custom bike makers in Philly.
Don't know. It's in Bedford. I have always assumed it's where they actually made bikes back in the day.

Bilenky, Firth & Wilson (started by a former Bilenky employee) and Engin are the only three I am aware of that are actually in the city. Spectrum is a ways out of town, and I just saw that Kellog & Co. are retiring and closing shop:

https://www.spectrum-cycles.com/imag...etirement1.pdf

Havnoonian, in Media, is also still building frames.

I got an Engin four years ago.

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Old 05-25-19, 07:44 AM
  #19  
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The good thing about older bike frames made in factories owned by the brand in the same country is you often could get a handle on the quality of that product for each price point but nowadays with major brands being mainly importers who change factories quite often to get the best price or avoid additional tariffs it's hard to link a brand with quality.

I enjoy wandering around bike shops looking at the current bikes on offer and I often look at the weld beading to see how consistent it is and see how well they have been painted etc. Sometimes you get bikes of the same brand and they definitely look like the frames are coming out of completely different factories. Dropout designs change and other factors, sometimes within the same year range sometimes between the yearly ranges it has changed. I know Halfords in the UK which is the largest retailer of bikes in the UK have a lot of their own brands and you can clearly see they are changing manufacturers all the time and the same is true of many big international brands.

I remember in the past jokingly Cannondale were called Crack'n'fail frames as there was a lot of issues with some of their very lightweight frames breaking, I think they were the US made frames but I could be wrong, then they went to Taiwan I think, a year or so back some of their frames were definitely coming out of fuji-ta in mainland China (they actually advertise the fact they make them on one of their videos) but today it could be Cambodia or Bangladesh I honestly don't know but its clear Dorel is driven to always find the cheapest factories. There is nothing wrong with any of these frames I'm sure but there seemed something special about Cannondale having their own factory in the past rather than being a brand slap on a frame from the far east.

Just about every bike has at least one component on it that would be made in China today, even high end bikes. However I would love to be proved wrong on that.
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Old 05-25-19, 07:51 AM
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I love bikes from the USA, but when it comes to ride quality, my 77 Trek TX900 isn’t even in the same league, as my Bianchi, or Asian Paramount.
Tim
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Old 05-25-19, 10:13 AM
  #21  
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Honestly, there needs to be some clarity on USA Made. The frame and fork are just a piece of the puzzle, the components, parts wise, make up the bulk of the bicycle.

For clarity sakes, none of the bikes mentioned so far in this thread are "USA Made", the frame and fork yes, but not the bicycle as a whole. The last Made in the USA bike I owned was a Schwinn Corvette with a 2 speed kickback Bendix hub. Schwinn 3 or more speed bikes used at least one foreign hub on them.

I build my own frames with 100% USA sourced tubes, lugs, filler, flux, torch, tanks and gas. The parts are all foreign sourced. The frame is made in the USA, but the bicycle truly is an internationally build. Assembly done in USA, of course.
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Old 05-25-19, 10:49 AM
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I was in Oregon in the 70's when I made my own frame and fork,
but the tube set, BB shell & dropouts were Italian

the lugs, & brake posts from France, and the fork crown from Spain..

I now own 2 Bike Fridays.. and in the 90s built a cargo-touring bike , also in Oregon..



There are many people hand building bikes in steel, carbon, Titanium and aluminum ..





...
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Old 05-25-19, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Honestly, there needs to be some clarity on USA Made. The frame and fork are just a piece of the puzzle, the components, parts wise, make up the bulk of the bicycle.

For clarity sakes, none of the bikes mentioned so far in this thread are "USA Made", the frame and fork yes, but not the bicycle as a whole. The last Made in the USA bike I owned was a Schwinn Corvette with a 2 speed kickback Bendix hub. Schwinn 3 or more speed bikes used at least one foreign hub on them.

I build my own frames with 100% USA sourced tubes, lugs, filler, flux, torch, tanks and gas. The parts are all foreign sourced. The frame is made in the USA, but the bicycle truly is an internationally build. Assembly done in USA, of course.
Just curious, when you say you use USA sourced tubes, are these made with USA sourced steel or alloy?

There are a number of ways everyone could bucket this question:
1. Percentage by weight of the complete bike's parts and frame, allocated to each country of manufacturing
2. Percentage by weight of where the raw materials came from that made the parts/frame that made the bike
3. Percentage of bike by country for where the home country is of each corporation that makes the various parts/frame for the complete bike
4. what this thread seems to be about; percentage of bike by country where it was assembled
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Old 05-25-19, 10:57 AM
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Always thought it pretty obvious, wherever the frame was built, is the country of origin. Although I think it’s important, generally don’t consider where the raw materials, or components come from. The Frame, and the way it is constructed, and by who, what, or where, is the most important, and the defining nature of a bike.
Tim
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Old 05-25-19, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Always thought it pretty obvious, wherever the frame was built, is the country of origin. Although I think itís important, generally donít consider where the raw materials, or components come from. The Frame, and the way it is constructed, and by who, what, or where, is the most important, and the defining nature of a bike.
Tim
I don't find the provenance of anything really that important. I would say the most important factor that you listed is the 'way it is constructed.' In other words the quality. From just riding or looking at a bike (aside from the 'made in xxx' sticker(s) that may exist), I really couldn't tell you who or where it was made, nor could I claim that these things 'define the nature' of said bike. By weight, the frame is generally about 1/6 of a bike?
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