View Poll Results: Do you care if your bike/frame is USA made?

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  • Yes, absolutely!

    53 35.10%
  • Only if it doesn't cost more than 25% of a foreign made bike/frame.

    22 14.57%
  • It doesn't really matter to me.

    44 29.14%
  • Why buy American when I can buy foreign for almost 25% less?

    7 4.64%
  • Hell no!

    25 16.56%
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  1. #1
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    Do you care if your bike/frame is USA made?

    Just a generic poll... Do you care if your bike/frame is USA made?

  2. #2
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    Hi, new guy. I finally joined this forum, but wanted to say that I prefer to support US made products as long as the price isn't ridiculous in comparison

  3. #3
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    Bicycles are a global product, you can't put together a full US made bicycle and US made frames are all small companies so their boutique companies now. The fact is, most US companies are not capable of making a US production frame to the same quality level as a Taiwan frame for a competitive price. I saw this first hand when I was a warranty manager that dealt with Specialized, Trek (and all Trek made bikes), and Cannondale. Trek came the closest but honestly I saw more alignment and weld issues on US made Trek aluminum frames than with Taiwan made Specialized frames. Cannondale couldn't sell at a competitive price and they didn't get the name Crack-n-fail back then without reason.

  4. #4
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    Are any frames, other than very expensive models, made in the US?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    Bicycles are a global product, you can't put together a full US made bicycle and US made frames are all small companies so their boutique companies now. The fact is, most US companies are not capable of making a US production frame to the same quality level as a Taiwan frame for a competitive price. I saw this first hand when I was a warranty manager that dealt with Specialized, Trek (and all Trek made bikes), and Cannondale. Trek came the closest but honestly I saw more alignment and weld issues on US made Trek aluminum frames than with Taiwan made Specialized frames. Cannondale couldn't sell at a competitive price and they didn't get the name Crack-n-fail back then without reason.
    Personally, I believe it is hard for anyone to mess up welds no matter where they are from if they have been doing it long enough. I SERIOUSLY doubt your statements are unbiased but that is not the purpose of the poll. In retro spec a person could ask whether or not you would rather pay $2000 for a frame that cost $100 to make in a communist country with very poor work safety standards and supressed living conditions or in a democratic society by someone who could be your neighbor that costs $800 to build? OR you could ask would you rather pay $1900 for the brand name or $1200? It seems like a lot of people in the industry want to defend only paying workers $1.50/hr to build their product. Not looking for any "No, you cant's". If enough people ask for USA made it will happen... but again, this is just a basic poll.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlouder
    Are any frames, other than very expensive models, made in the US?
    Ventana frames seem reasonible...

  7. #7
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    I try very hard to buy as much as I can from american producers in my life. Simply because a service only economy isn't going to sustain this country.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA
    Personally, I believe it is hard for anyone to mess up welds no matter where they are from if they have been doing it long enough. I SERIOUSLY doubt your statements are unbiased but that is not the purpose of the poll. In retro spec a person could ask whether or not you would rather pay $2000 for a frame that cost $100 to make in a communist country with very poor work safety standards and supressed living conditions or in a democratic society by someone who could be your neighbor that costs $800 to build? OR you could ask would you rather pay $1900 for the brand name or $1200? It seems like a lot of people in the industry want to defend only paying workers $1.50/hr to build their product. Not looking for any "No, you cant's". If enough people ask for USA made it will happen... but again, this is just a basic poll.
    Taiwan is not a communist country, it's actually a democratic nation and their welders are quite well paid in proportion to their living costs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    Taiwan is not a communist country, it's actually a democratic nation and their welders are quite well paid in proportion to their living costs.
    China is and Taiwan is in bed with them. I know I make a good living in proportion to a kid who works at Taco Bell but that isn't the point... At least the Taco Bell worker can afford a car. I just want to know a percentage of those who are willing to pay extra to have a product made in the USA. Companies keep telling us that the American buyer isn't willing to pay for USA made products as they swiftly sell us foreign made goods at unbelievable profits.

  10. #10
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    I must love China since all my bikes and parts seem to come from there.

    To be honest as a expat in Asia the pay sucks here the inflation is killing us and you cant expect your incitement to match that or you will get frowned upon. Trust me the situation is far from rosey. The cost of living is rising in these parts too and it wont be long before these bikes will cost the same to manufacture; add shipping etc and it might end up costing far more.

    If I were American I would buy American and I would expect to pay the same price for it. If large companies were willing to invest they can achieve near same results; I can see how this would be a problem for smaller organizations where handmade/custom frames are involved (o wait they are local already).

    As far as QC go's the products are good and they are easy to come buy. The problem is principal and it comes at a price affecting both Americans as well as the locals because they will not reap the benefits.

    China/Asian Workers - Work hard with very little compensation come compared to the western world
    Americans - loss of income

    The same can be said for many industries and many countries. The outsourcing industry is nasty and the only people who benefits in the long run are the stake holders.

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  11. #11
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    If you want to buy American-made, not just American-designed, you almost have to make it your primary criteria. Just about every bike that fit my interests in the 90's was American manufactured, but these days, none of them do.

    Between health care, housing (still expensive relative to wages despite the bust), tuition and so on, the cost of living here poses a real problem. We're likely to see the day soon where an upcoming generation of Americans will have to seriously look for their jobs globally, because the lack of work and high cost of living here will force the issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA
    China is and Taiwan is in bed with them.
    Not paying much attention to world news, are we? Just give mtnbiker72 the point and move on.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel242
    Not paying much attention to world news, are we? Just give mtnbiker72 the point and move on.
    Sorry, not trying to come across as supercilious. mtnbiker is right but looking at my Specialized bike it has a sticker on it saying "Handmade in China" and not Taiwan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Punkeyboozter
    I must love China since all my bikes and parts seem to come from there.

    To be honest as a expat in Asia the pay sucks here the inflation is killing us and you cant expect your incitement to match that or you will get frowned upon. Trust me the situation is far from rosey. The cost of living is rising in these parts too and it wont be long before these bikes will cost the same to manufacture; add shipping etc and it might end up costing far more.

    If I were American I would buy American and I would expect to pay the same price for it. If large companies were willing to invest they can achieve near same results; I can see how this would be a problem for smaller organizations where handmade/custom frames are involved (o wait they are local already).

    As far as QC go's the products are good and they are easy to come buy. The problem is principal and it comes at a price affecting both Americans as well as the locals because they will not reap the benefits.

    China/Asian Workers - Work hard with very little compensation come compared to the western world
    Americans - loss of income

    The same can be said for many industries and many countries. The outsourcing industry is nasty and the only people who benefits in the long run are the stake holders.

    STOP FEEDING THE MAN
    You couldn't have said it any better. The problem that I have is that the bike industry is small enough that if they wanted to have a positive impact they could. I do not know of any bike company that is traded on the stock market. The stakeholders are few and call all of the shots so why are they selling everyone out? They are lacking corporate social responsibility. The bike companies that still produce here (in the USA) get it and understand that it isnt one major company that makes a difference but all of the smaller ones as well.
    Last edited by FireLikeIYA; 05-03-2011 at 06:30 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA
    The problem that I have is that the bike industry is small enough that if they wanted to have a positive impact they could. I do not know of any bike company that is traded on the stock market. The stakeholders are few and call all of the shots so why are they selling everyone out? They are lacking corporate social responsibility. The bike companies that still produce here (in the USA) get it and understand that it isnt one major company that makes a difference but all of the smaller ones as well.
    The market does not work in collusion. The whole idea of it is a small world is great and all, but if I'm Trek or Rocky, and my competition can undercut me by moving production to X. Then I have to have a different advantage to offset my lower grade components or higher price. Otherwise I get killed in the marketplace.

    Look at Cannondale. They were one of last, bigger, holdouts. They succumbed too. If the choice, as they see it, is overseas or 6 feet under. Then it isn't a choice. Will this always be accurate? That is a question still in flux.

    There are few bikes made in the US right now (or Canada, or Europe) that are mass produced. Still a decent number of small production stuff. Intense, Ventana, Moots, Turner, Strong, etc, etc. They tend to be smaller and more expensive than the Specialized and Giants of the world.

    The companies are all in business to make money (typically by making bike stuff), but if they don't do that, then the rest won't follow. Can they find a way to make money in their home country (Canada for Rocky, Knolly, USA for others) - that's the $64K question.

    Can they do it so their investors/bean counters think it's a better idea than overseas. That's even bigger than the $64K question.

    And add in that GT/'Goose/Salsa/Surly/Fisher are all part of a bigger whole. So their answers have to come from up the line, and not necessarily from the head of just their bike co.

    The one thing it isn't anymore is a question of quality. You can get great, and crappy, bikes from any of the countries above. The US, China, and Taiwan are all capable of making great bikes. Boils down to design and QC now. It happens all the time at price points across the spectrum too. The $750 bike I bought in college is light years behind what I would get today for the same amount, much less what it'd be adjusted for inflation.
    Last edited by JmZ; 05-04-2011 at 06:25 AM.
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  14. #14
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    What's the difference between "Hell no", and "It doesn't really matter to me"?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer
    What's the difference between "Hell no", and "It doesn't really matter to me"?

    it doesn't really matter to me = it doesn't really matter to me
    Hell no = I absolutely do not want a USA made bike/frame

    Sorry, I could have made it clearer... The poll was a result of late night blogging.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA
    China is and Taiwan is in bed with them. I know I make a good living in proportion to a kid who works at Taco Bell but that isn't the point... At least the Taco Bell worker can afford a car. I just want to know a percentage of those who are willing to pay extra to have a product made in the USA. Companies keep telling us that the American buyer isn't willing to pay for USA made products as they swiftly sell us foreign made goods at unbelievable profits.
    Maybe you should do your homework a little more...Taiwan is not in bed with China and welders in Taiwan make family wages.

  17. #17
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    Hey guys

    Just to give my opinion, I wouldn't pay any extra for US made. I am a Brit and therefore put no value in American made products. I don't think they are bad but no better than Taiwanese or Chinese made products. So I think for a company like santa cruz to charge more for American made products that is only of value of to a few people that live in America is crazy. If you think about how many of their customers are American and care and the number of Americans and non-Americans, would consider their products if they were 10% cheaper.

    Now I should say that if we were talking about British products, would my opinion be different? I hope not but I do love Hope. Remember just my opinion, don't take it too seriously.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMajor
    Hey guys

    Just to give my opinion, I wouldn't pay any extra for US made. I am a Brit and therefore put no value in American made products. I don't think they are bad but no better than Taiwanese or Chinese made products. So I think for a company like santa cruz to charge more for American made products that is only of value of to a few people that live in America is crazy. If you think about how many of their customers are American and care and the number of Americans and non-Americans, would consider their products if they were 10% cheaper.

    Now I should say that if we were talking about British products, would my opinion be different? I hope not but I do love Hope. Remember just my opinion, don't take it too seriously.
    Your reason is valid and basically echo's what the guys are saying. I suspect when he say American he really means a bike made in his country. It is better to support your own people first before looking else where.
    I love Hope products too
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  19. #19
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    After teaching Economics for the last fifteen years, I have come to believe that the only way for the U.S. to keep itself employed is to start manufacturing more of its own items. We must also play hardball with the rest of the world to make our prices competitive. We can no longer prop up the world economy. I know there is a stigma that comes with factory jobs in the U.S. that needs to go away, but maybe a couple more years of suffering through a tough economy will finally make people realize that we can't have such a high number of high paying service industry jobs. I will continue to go out of my way to buy American if that's what it takes.

  20. #20
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    After watching that one local television undercover investigation, where they took hidden cameras to a Chrysler manufacturing plant, and many workers were drinking and smoking pot on the job, I must say I truly feel safer buying a Taiwanese made bike. Here's the link I'm referring to.

    I bet this kind of stuff goes on all the time in American manufacturing. Whereas Asians (beside some egregious Chinese safety examples) seem more dedicated to their work.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer
    After watching that one local television undercover investigation, where they took hidden cameras to a Chrysler manufacturing plant, and many workers were drinking and smoking pot on the job, I must say I truly feel safer buying a Taiwanese made bike. Here's the link I'm referring to.

    I bet this kind of stuff goes on all the time in American manufacturing. Whereas Asians (beside some egregious Chinese safety examples) seem more dedicated to their work.
    It does go on all the time. But, when the guy in the U.S. plant loses his job to the Asian and the American ends up stealing your bike you will wish you had bought more American products. Doesn't anybody see the bigger picture of keeping manufacturing jobs in America? You can only over inflate the economy so long with smoke and mirrors before you have to actually make something that you can put a finger on.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer
    After watching that one local television undercover investigation, where they took hidden cameras to a Chrysler manufacturing plant, and many workers were drinking and smoking pot on the job, I must say I truly feel safer buying a Taiwanese made bike. Here's the link I'm referring to.

    I bet this kind of stuff goes on all the time in American manufacturing. Whereas Asians (beside some egregious Chinese safety examples) seem more dedicated to their work.
    Wow, you are selling out your fellow country man over one investigation made for prime time television...N-I-C-E! So you are assuming that stuff made in Taiwan is superior because of this? Although I am not an expert I have been to a few different countries in my life and my better half is from Asia and from my experiences this is not the case. Overseas workers do not have a higher education and are no harder working than the rest of us (In many cases it has seemed to be the exact opposite). It all comes down to US businesses taking advantage of a suppressed economy. It makes sense but in the end they are selling our country out.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTTURNER
    You can only over inflate the economy so long with smoke and mirrors before you have to actually make something that you can put a finger on.
    As long as we keep drilling it into people heads that they're total failures if they do anything but fondle a mouse for a living the problem will only get worse.



    I do try to buy USA made products, but for my bike I want the bike I like the best, not the one I like the best that happens to be made in the USA, if the one I like best is made in the USA and is in my price range, great!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA
    Wow, you are selling out your fellow country man over one investigation made for prime time television...N-I-C-E! So you are assuming that stuff made in Taiwan is superior because of this? Although I am not an expert I have been to a few different countries in my life and my better half is from Asia and from my experiences this is not the case. Overseas workers do not have a higher education and are no harder working than the rest of us (In many cases it has seemed to be the exact opposite). It all comes down to US businesses taking advantage of a suppressed economy. It makes sense but in the end they are selling our country out.
    Yes, I'm a firm believer in the Work Ethic.

    Lazy, hillbilly rednecks producing things in the states does nothing for me. I understand in one of the auto manufacturing plants down south, some of the instructions are in picture/diagram form, as some assembly line employees cannot read.

    I mainly blame our educational system.

  25. #25
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    Lets not build a false equivalence over Chrysler vs Japanese auto companies. After all, you can easily turn that around and compare Asian aerospace companies against their American counterparts and have just as good of a laugh in the opposite direction.

    Anyway, back on topic. While I admire the principle, I don't believe in going out of my way to buy an American made bike. The legal and political environment we're in would mean I'm just p***ing my money against the wind and settling for something that I don't believe is the best. We can start to fix things by doing a better job leveling the import/export playing field.

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