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  1. #1
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    Where are Ellsworth being made...

    It has come to my attention that not all Ellsworth bikes are made in the USA. The Glimpse and the Enlightenment appears to be made in Taiwan and so are the wheelset. There are some talks about it on the net, nothing much on mtbr.

    So where is Ellsworth going here? I can see there at lots of video on the site showing the factory, explaining how each step is done at manufacturing, but also show temporary workers lacing $900 bucks wheels, specifying their carbon bikes are made in Taiwan.

    There is also a video of how carbon fiber cause pollution and must be treated before its released back to the atmosphere and the step is costly. I don't see how that is related outsourcing the factory.

    I know there are people that thinks there is no difference as to where the bike is made, its who are the people making it. In one of the videos, Tony mention the wheels are laced by those people at Buddha when they have nothing to do.

    Where is Ellsworth going here? I have two, the third one is on its way to my door. I though only the Glimpse is made in Taiwan which makes sense due to its budget price. But the Enlightenment too? Is Ellsworth planning to move their entire line over slowly?

  2. #2
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    I am a big fan of Ellsworth and was annoyed to see them make the Glimpse overseas. Their carbon stuff is made overseas too, but to be honest not really sure if there is a place in the states to build carbon bikes. Honestly though they seem more open and honest about these things then most companies. They did build their own manufacturing facility two years ago so I don't see them abandoning state side manufacturing anytime soon.
    It would be nice if they hired a full time marketing guy though. Tony is a nice enough guy but he is an engineer and talks like one, and doesn't do the company any favors when he talks to customers. I really like their bikes, my epi is my favorite bike of all time, and one of the things I like about the company is the made in the usa. I hope they continue to make bikes in the states, and start using a larger seat tube.
    Live fast, Die young, Leave a good looking corpse!

  3. #3
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    Trek makes carbon bikes in the US and Cannondale did until recently. The funny thing is, my Cannondale dealer said that when they moved production overseas, Cannondale charged him the same price for the bikes. So if they are cheaper to make overseas, guess Cdale is pocketing the difference. Seems like, for the same price, they could employ US workers, who would then have money to buy expensive bikes.

  4. #4
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    I am not surprise to see the Glimpse being made overseas as that is a budget bike as Tony said. The fact that they developed a new factory overseas makes me worry. A company don't just develope a new factory for just one frame (especially Ellsworth as they only sell a very low qty per year compared to other brands). So that means all their newly developed frames will be made in Taiwan...?

    lol ... bridgestone, nice point. Tony can't do marketing. I think all of these small brand can't (i.e. Dave Turner as well). And getting a little side track here, Jetlites. Jim Taylor was a great engineer (RIP) but his lights never got popular.

    Maybe I am not aware of this but is there environmental issue for producing carbon fiber frames in the States? Tony mention about the pollution it will cause, and all the steps they have done to keep it down to almost zero. Are the States environmental rules not accepting those readings so they have to sent carbon manufacturing overseas?
    Last edited by alanchan; 12-04-2010 at 11:26 AM.

  5. #5
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    ""Trek makes carbon bikes in the US and Cannondale did until recently.[/I][/I]""

    In addition, Calfee and Serotta build carbon bikes in the States. IF will build you a carbon bike. Cervelo built its 2010 limited edition "Project California" weight weenie special at its California facility, and Guru, a Canadian company, builds many carbon bikes in-house in Montreal. Western Hemisphere carbon bikes are very real and very doable.

    ""The funny thing is, my Cannondale dealer said that when they moved production overseas, Cannondale charged him the same price for the bikes. So if they are cheaper to make overseas, guess Cdale is pocketing the difference. Seems like, for the same price, they could employ US workers, who would then have money to buy expensive bikes.""

    Doesn't surprise me. I'll never buy another Cannondale, and I've owned three. When you spend decades trumpeting the value of U.S. manufacturing and then dump your U.S. work force in the middle of an economic calamity, don't expect my business in return. The hypocrisy is too galling. I could deal with a company that had been open about its real values and willing to pass the not-made-here savings to customers, but Cannondale's about-face made me gag.

    I can see the value of overseas assembly for bikes and parts in the everyman price ranges. This is good for cycling as a whole because it makes the practice accessible and puts more people on bikes. If my mom, a casual rider, buys an imported Electra Townie (she did) because it costs $400 and not $700, I'm totally ok with that.

    What I can't accept is putting people out of work and charging the same money when your target price is $5-$10k. That kind of dough will support a U.S. welder/mold operator with profit to spare. In addition, all of the Shimano/SRAM kit already comes from overseas. The real profit gain is only on the frame portion of the bike!

    Maybe Ellsworth couldn't get a monocoque (lugged is much easier) built to their specs in the U.S. or couldn't find a carbon fabricator to meet their specs. If that's the case, you can understand what they did from a practical standpoint. Otherwise, see Cannondale, above. Ellsworth used to produce promotional clips that spoke in glowing terms of their commitment to their U.S. workforce...

    -Tim

  6. #6
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiknBob
    Trek makes carbon bikes in the US and Cannondale did until recently. The funny thing is, my Cannondale dealer said that when they moved production overseas, Cannondale charged him the same price for the bikes. So if they are cheaper to make overseas, guess Cdale is pocketing the difference. Seems like, for the same price, they could employ US workers, who would then have money to buy expensive bikes.
    Why should "seems to me" be a company mission? It is the same choice that most consumers might make in deciding their buying on Wal-Mart versus some other dept store.

    Basic economic theory says that everyone is making decisions based on their best interest.

    The bike companies are going to price the bikes to what the market will pay. But they will produce the bikes as cheaply as they can. Those are two independent goals. If the two goals don't yield a profit, they go out of business. If they work well, they will make a fat profit.

    They are not going to pay big money to a few employees in hope they buy bikes to make that money back. They are simply going to maximize profits based on market price and make the bikes as cheaply as they can.

    Where this backfire for a company is losing customers that will not accept a foreign make bike. You have the dollars and if you don't like that a company is making bikes overseas, regardless of the reason, don't buy it. Vote with your dollars.

  7. #7
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    "Basic economic theory says that everyone is making decisions based on their best interest."

    More advanced economic theory introduces concepts of unequal information and zero-sum games. Buying cheapest only seems like your best interest when you don't have a full overview of the hidden costs.

    Our money goes overseas, our wealth is diminished, and pretty soon you shop at Walmart because you have to, not because it's your "best" option.

    The argument for keeping a factory like the Cannondale plant in the U.S. isn't specifically so those workers will turn around and buy the bikes with their income. The idea is that many industries employing skilled workers creates a robust basic middle class that can buy things like bikes, cars, and electronics that are made here.

    In the case of extreme luxury items like $5,000 dollar bikes (Flash, SuperSix), we're way past the impulse/necessity motivation that drives most Walmart purchases.

    At that level, you definitely can build a bike in the U.S. and make a profit while doing it. I did vote with my dollars, and I voted Lynskey last month. It could have been a Cannondale.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinnerTim
    "The idea is that many industries employing skilled workers creates a robust basic middle class that can buy things like bikes, cars, and electronics that are made here."
    Bingo.

  9. #9
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    Tim...well said.
    whatever...

  10. #10
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    EW Glimpse is not a true Ellsworth ICT frame but a rebadged TW frame (KHS sell the same frame...) - check the rear "horst" pivots, in a completely different height / location to the rear axle dropouts compared to the US made ICT frames

    the true ICT frames (i.e. Truth, Epiphany, Moment, etc.) are still made in the US by EW's Vancouver (Washington) factory


    the wheels are made in TW and are rebadged wheelsets, sold under other brand names...nothing revolutionary lots of companies do this trick!

    the carbon fibre frames are also made off-shore, the best CF production is off-shore, nothing new there...all big brands have their CF made usually in China or Vietnam

  11. #11
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    Most of the big brands make their premium carbon bikes in Taiwan, not China or Vietnam. The latter two seem to be the go-to for lower-line LBS bikes and virtually all department store bikes.

  12. #12
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    The most difficult things when it comes to "where things made" topic is not to be political. We are responsible for the way things are, all of us.

    Added cost to companies especially in California is ridiculous, then it's Labors, insurance, EDD, ect. Before you even get to the real reason Ellsworth is here in the first place make great bikes. R&D cost alone is a lot already, and we want them to keep doing it so we keep getting better bikes.

    I don't know one company that when they make money, they just took it and run. They put it back into the business, hire more people, make better products.

    Get rid of BS regulations and taxes, so it would level the field. It ridiculous that we are giving China the pass to dominate the financial. Except for government workers, almost every business stop growing, it should be the other way around. We have become more Socialist than China when it come to economic freedom and social program

    I hope to see the day when even WallyGoose bike are Made in USA

  13. #13
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    So out of the all three products Ellsworth produce in TW, the frame should be the best? If the Glimpse is not ICT, then its stupid. But why won't it be? I mean Tony went out and design another frame?

    I am really interested in the wheels and can't wait for them to arrive. According to Ellsworth, they are not rebranded wheels. If they are, then Tony lied. Also at $900 retail price, I want to see what its made off. There are many option at that price, Crossmax, Spingery, maybe not custom like CK or 240s, but definitely the high end wheelset market and you can find them new for $300 on eBay...

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