Do you care where your bike is made? And do you care who makes it?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
AJS914
Posts: 2003
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Also, with technology and 3D printing I'd bet that lots of manufacturing leaves China and comes back to the home country. When robots can 3D print bike frames in the US there will be less of a reason to make them in China and the pay the shipping to bring them back home. They will just have printing factories sprinkled throughout the world.

darnellrm
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:06 pm
Location: NC, USA

by darnellrm

AJS914 wrote:The hard thing with carbon bicycle frames is that you can make one in your garage if you were so inclined.


It's much easier to make a steel frame. A torch, tape measure, hacksaw, file and and large measure of ingenuity and you can build frames with the best of them.

Try making all of the needed molds to make a carbon frame properly and develop optimal layup schedules...

antonioiglesius
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:08 pm

by antonioiglesius

Re: manufacturing coming back to US/Europe from Asia: sometimes I wonder if Asia's manufacturing tech is improving at a greater rate than US/Europe's. Being the primary manufacturers for a lot of things, they certainly do have the incentive to make things easier for themselves. For instance, Foxconn is automating their factories (https://www.theverge.com/2016/12/30/141 ... ufacturing). The last I heard they were planning to invest in manufacturing plants in the US (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... shiba-deal).

In the US, 3d printing seems to remain more of a hype than getting any closer to reality, particularly consumer 3d printing. There are breakthroughs, like CLIP, but overall things seem to be moving at a glacial pace. Perhaps that's just the way it is.

What bothers me the most is I don't seem to be able to readily find stats related to the manufacturing capabilities of the regions, e.g. US is X% better/worse in terms of manufacturing capability than region Y, nor region Y's manufacturing tech is increasing at rate Z% faster than the US'. I probably should sit and do a thorough Google search one day...

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TonyM
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by TonyM

To me the USA are definitely not good when they have to design or produce a high quality product (you better go for made in Germany or in Switzerland). Apple is an exception in terms of design (and they produce in Asia..)

BUT the US is so good in Marketing and they are great at selling things!

However it is good to have some good US brands in the cycling like Cannondale, Specialized etc....good to "push" our good old European brands.

MyM3Coupe
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:32 pm

by MyM3Coupe

Boshk wrote:For an exotic bike like Pinarello F10 . .

They are priced exotic (and fools buy them), but they are made in China. Exotic is like a Parlee Z-Zero or a Crumpton. IMO paying over $2,500 for any frame made in China is insane. Hell, you can buy a Time made in France having 100% quality control for less than an F8 Pino.

youngs_modulus
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Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:03 am
Location: Madison, WI USA

by youngs_modulus

darnellrm wrote:
AJS914 wrote:The hard thing with carbon bicycle frames is that you can make one in your garage if you were so inclined.


It's much easier to make a steel frame. A torch, tape measure, hacksaw, file and and large measure of ingenuity and you can build frames with the best of them.

Try making all of the needed molds to make a carbon frame properly and develop optimal layup schedules...


Funny you mention that. Damon Rinard, an occasional poster here, did just what you suggest and he documented it beautifully:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/howibuil.htm

(AJS914 may have been referring to Rinard specifically).

In the '80s and '90s, it was fashionable to dismiss carbon frames because they were "unrepairable." Well, they're only unrepairable if you don't know how to repair them. Similarly, it's only easier to make a steel frame if you already know how to use a torch and/or welder. Any privateer dirt-track (car) racer will be pretty comfortable fabricating a steel bike frame. But somebody who has patched a hole in his (or her!) fiberglass fishing boat already has the basic skills to build a carbon frame.

Many custom carbon builders essentially lash their frames together using pre-made tubes and carbon "twine," wetting the lashed bits with epoxy and then curing them. There's more to it than that, but you could absolutely build a carbon frame this way in your garage. The main challenge with prefab tubes (whether steel, carbon or bamboo) is making a workable jig.

darnellrm wrote:It's much easier to make a steel frame. A torch, tape measure, hacksaw, file and and large measure of ingenuity and you can build frames with the best of them.

Ingenuity is all that matters. The rest is just details.

youngs_modulus
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Location: Madison, WI USA

by youngs_modulus

AJS914 wrote:Also, with technology and 3D printing I'd bet that lots of manufacturing leaves China and comes back to the home country. When robots can 3D print bike frames in the US there will be less of a reason to make them in China and the pay the shipping to bring them back home. They will just have printing factories sprinkled throughout the world.


Nah. 3D printing is a workable way to make lots of things, but it's rarely the best way to make anything. You're right about one thing: robots will change carbon fiber bike frame production.

Fiber placement robots are a thing. They're too expensive right now to use for bicycle frames, but I promise you they're coming. Here's an example:

http://www.coriolis-composites.com/prod ... ocess.html

One big advantage of robots is that they're more consistent with fiber angles than humans are. Also, they don't forget steps in the laminate schedule. Even so, that doesn't mean that carbon frame manufacturing will necessarily come to the US in a big way. CNC machines exist in both Switzerland and mainland China, but CNC'd bike parts are considerably cheaper from China even when the quality is comparable. Robots will make it feasible to build lots of carbon frames in the US, but it's far from a slam-dunk.

PinaF8
Posts: 188
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:05 am

by PinaF8

MyM3Coupe wrote:
Boshk wrote:For an exotic bike like Pinarello F10 . .

They are priced exotic (and fools buy them), but they are made in China. Exotic is like a Parlee Z-Zero or a Crumpton. IMO paying over $2,500 for any frame made in China is insane. Hell, you can buy a Time made in France having 100% quality control for less than an F8 Pino.



I don't consider any bicycles exotic. Perhaps those fools are not worried about the price when making a purchase. However it is your opinion and others opinion so just respect their purchase and never judge. Have a nice day.
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53x12
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by 53x12

youngs_modulus wrote:
darnellrm wrote:
AJS914 wrote:The hard thing with carbon bicycle frames is that you can make one in your garage if you were so inclined.


It's much easier to make a steel frame. A torch, tape measure, hacksaw, file and and large measure of ingenuity and you can build frames with the best of them.

Try making all of the needed molds to make a carbon frame properly and develop optimal layup schedules...


Funny you mention that. Damon Rinard, an occasional poster here, did just what you suggest and he documented it beautifully:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/howibuil.htm

(AJS914 may have been referring to Rinard specifically).

In the '80s and '90s, it was fashionable to dismiss carbon frames because they were "unrepairable." Well, they're only unrepairable if you don't know how to repair them. Similarly, it's only easier to make a steel frame if you already know how to use a torch and/or welder. Any privateer dirt-track (car) racer will be pretty comfortable fabricating a steel bike frame. But somebody who has patched a hole in his (or her!) fiberglass fishing boat already has the basic skills to build a carbon frame.

Many custom carbon builders essentially lash their frames together using pre-made tubes and carbon "twine," wetting the lashed bits with epoxy and then curing them. There's more to it than that, but you could absolutely build a carbon frame this way in your garage. The main challenge with prefab tubes (whether steel, carbon or bamboo) is making a workable jig.

darnellrm wrote:It's much easier to make a steel frame. A torch, tape measure, hacksaw, file and and large measure of ingenuity and you can build frames with the best of them.

Ingenuity is all that matters. The rest is just details.



Simon Richardson (who checks out this forum) & GCN has also done that.

https://youtu.be/SrSILJiEk7A

https://youtu.be/Py1JxSvWqfY

https://youtu.be/6HDXX5NDKSg

https://youtu.be/A4wAeTk4wAU
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

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Lightweenie
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by Lightweenie

I think colster nailed the question. I fully agree with the analysis!

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dadoflam08
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by dadoflam08

MoPho wrote:
RyanH wrote:. As with cars, I'm sure origin of manufacturer means jack


In terms of reliability perhaps (though cars are far more complicated and not really comparable), but would you be willing to pay a premium for a Porsche or Ferrari if it was made in Taiwan?



.


No, but I am sure they would be more reliable and therefore worth more.
I would want a discount if they were made in the US (or Australia) though.

As for bikes - it is not important where they are made but how they are made. I have one semi-molded bike (my lugged BMC SLC01) the other 13 bikes are all 100% craftsman hand-built tube to tube frames.
Any future bikes will be from small scale custom builders who are passionate about their craft - Australian, Italian, USA, Japanese etc etc
Last edited by dadoflam08 on Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Abl3rider
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:34 am

by Abl3rider

For a steel frame I definitely prefer made in USA by a fine craftsperson. I have a Ted Wojcik MTB that I got in the 90's that is awesome and a Mountain Goat converted into my cross bike (with 1st gen. Campy Ergo)!

But for Carbon I like my Giant that I got a pro-deal on. At first when I found out my team sponsor was Giant I was not enthusiastic but I was wrong my TCR is amazing!



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WinterRider
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:46 pm

by WinterRider

What I care about is the quality of the product as I perceive it... we're all going to value bikes.. whatever.. differently. I do have a definite bias versus the communist countries-- mainly because that populace puts up with it.

The old CANNONDALES.. when Cdale meant a bike company.. are frames I always put back on the road when I happen into them. My first road bike was a CAD 1.. talk about stiffness... the steel fork on it helped w ride quality & my tire selection. I like to tell prospective buyers of my garage bikes about the time the guy stopped at a road construction site to pass time.. laying his Cdale down. Fella backed over it w a cat and damaged the track.. guy jumped on his Dale and road off none the worse for wear. :beerchug: I do like the USA made yet the product is paramount.

Love these Colnago I see posted here.. steel ones.. whew. Works of art. The Poprad made by Trek in Wisconsin got it done for me.. but if Italy or USA I really do not care. Today's mass produced road bikes w significant sticker numbers are mostly junk.. creaking this.. off center dropouts..et al. QC is RIP for the most part... sign of our times.

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mpulsiv
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by mpulsiv

It seems like the cost is the driving force. Heck, who doesn't like to save money nowadays? When you say "I don't care where it's made", well, try to care, to keep this sport alive. Is France, Italy, U.K. and Taiwan passionate about cycling? Hell yeah, they are! Well, about China? Oh, the country of copycats that make everything from airplanes to condoms? Do they really care about cycling? I wouldn't bet on it! I feel that they have saturated the market by crushing the completion to keep their cost as low as possible. In my humble opinion, at least try to support the economy of countries that are passionate about this sport.

According to statistics, people spend more money on something they are passionate about. Do you love yourself? Do you love everything about cycling? Then why do you want to be cheap bastard (no offense) about it?
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boots2000
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:28 pm

by boots2000

A buddy of mine just got a 2018 Trek Emonda- these are now made in Taiwan.

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