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  1. #1
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    Are all Specialized bikes made in Taiwan/China?

    Among the Specialized bikes I owned or seen around, they are either made in Taiwan or China. So I was wondering if all Specialized bikes made in Taiwan/China?

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    Yes

    Yes, ALL Specialized bikes are made in Taiwan, although they charge you hard bucks for their sleds. They say that's because they high-tech spec their bikes, and that cost real daddy bucks... Maybe that's true, but since they have their Brain, FSR and A/M# aluminum technologies around for quite a while, it should be cheaper to buy one, but it's not. Carbon frames are even worse. Well, they sell a lot, so who am I to say?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black RONIN
    Yes, ALL Specialized bikes are made in Taiwan, although they charge you hard bucks for their sleds. They say that's because they high-tech spec their bikes, and that cost real daddy bucks... Maybe that's true, but since they have their Brain, FSR and A/M# aluminum technologies around for quite a while, it should be cheaper to buy one, but it's not. Carbon frames are even worse. Well, they sell a lot, so who am I to say?
    Thanks for the reply. I just saw the "New Cannondale - Made in China" thread (link: New Cannondale - Made in China. I must say you added an interesting post there.

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    A clear example of fleecing the consumer is how the companies that go overseas are still charging boutique or boutique + pricing on the frames.

    They sometimes try to claim it's because that manufacturing costs out there are on par with the US, which is a lie, even with shipping. If that were the case, then it would be a lot easier and sensible to have factories in the US with American workers and managers that can communicate easier and faster. It would make more sense to hire more workers for the companies that do some work in house.

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    No good All about hype...

    Quote Originally Posted by amunoz83
    Thanks for the reply. I just saw the "New Cannondale - Made in China" thread (link: New Cannondale - Made in China. I must say you added an interesting post there.
    Thanks!

    You see, I own a Specialized bike and like it. But I always loved Cannondales. I live in Brazil and here it's very hard for you to find the bike you really want - many importers don't bring all the bikes from a brand's line, plus we have a very limited bike market; these are top brands and very expensive here in our current money and Cannondale only have stabilished for real this year, and we don't have really an official Specialized importer, so we get our bikes in very obscure ways, from side importers or from travels overseas.

    My bike sure rolls and handles very well, can't tell it's not a good ride overall, but to compare Specialized to Cannondale, to me, is like having a Ford but looking at a shiny BMW. The Ford is good, but BMW is better. That's the way I feel about Specialized. Maybe I'll be crucified by saying this, here in a Spesh forum, but don't get me wrong, I do like my Specialized bike A LOT. I wouldn't sell it if I get a Prophet, I'd keep my Enduro because its a solid ride for me. The only thing that concerns me is that I think Specialized puts too much effort to make you think you got the latest in bike technology when it's just a re-run of the old mechs. They are all about advertising and marketing, and yes, it bothers me a little too much. It would be a lot better they say it's proven system than saying it's a new one year over year. The FSR IS a PROVEN system, and they should be proud but not brag themselves as a miracle to bike universe. That's what I like about Cannondale (and some other US homemade brands such as Intense, Turner and Ellsworth, to name a few), they are kinda humble and they are quiet about their steps. Specialized is getting too much attention on the lamelight as much as Santa Cruz. They are like Rock Stars: they like attention. And rock stars always have tired me fast.

    My Specialized is a '05 Enduro 130 and now there is a lot of speculation around the new Stumpjumper, that is supposedly to be spec'ed with the same numbers as mine. Take a look over here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...71268#poststop. See? They killed an already good bike in favor of hyped trends at the time and now they come back with a similar spec'ed bike 3 years later. They should learn to keep what's good and just move it forward along the stream. But they are all about hype. And that really wears my patience out. They change the models too much within a small space of time too often. That makes you feel you always have a outdated bike, and worse, makes you wonder if it will worth the money buying a bike in the middle of the year but that probably will be already old/changed/discontinued in the next season.

    Like I said, who am I to say? I own one of their bikes, and I have to give in, it's pretty darn good. But I still think they should start investing in a tradicional trend that defines them out of the hype trends. They can be innovative just keeping what's good in its place. That would be the best innovation Specialized could pull.
    Last edited by Black RONIN; 06-09-2007 at 05:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    A clear example of fleecing the consumer is how the companies that go overseas are still charging boutique or boutique + pricing on the frames.

    They sometimes try to claim it's because that manufacturing costs out there are on par with the US, which is a lie, even with shipping. If that were the case, then it would be a lot easier and sensible to have factories in the US with American workers and managers that can communicate easier and faster. It would make more sense to hire more workers for the companies that do some work in house.

    Have you looked at a the dollar recently? Not to mention the standard of living in Taiwan. Personally, I am shocked that Specialized - and many other companies - are still doing business in Taiwan. It is just way too expensive. Most companies making low tech goods left for the mainlands years ago. Very surprised that the bike companies have not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    A clear example of fleecing the consumer is how the companies that go overseas are still charging boutique or boutique + pricing on the frames.

    They sometimes try to claim it's because that manufacturing costs out there are on par with the US, which is a lie, even with shipping. If that were the case, then it would be a lot easier and sensible to have factories in the US with American workers and managers that can communicate easier and faster. It would make more sense to hire more workers for the companies that do some work in house.
    But specialized has a good reason to charge boutique pricing.

    All the litigation they get involved with costs a lot of money you know?

    Sueing everyone under the sun, bankrupting the little guys... That isn't cheap!

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    Use the force Luke

    Quote Originally Posted by ar1981
    But specialized has a good reason to charge boutique pricing.

    All the litigation they get involved with costs a lot of money you know?

    Sueing everyone under the sun, bankrupting the little guys... That isn't cheap!
    I wasn't going to touch in this subject, but since you did...

    Specialized has a dark side and this is it. Specialized is not in the game among other players, they want to run the stadium and kick everybody out. It makes me wonder how they manage between politics and bikes, since they are always worried about others' life and about what everyone is doing just to be sure if any of their so "hard earned" patents aren't being misused (of course Specialized has its own way of understanding things, that always seemed a little distorted to me...).

    Many small productors just give up when they come across with all burocracy and obstacles (demands, costs, project inputs) that Specialized charges on them.

    Look, I'm just being polite. I won't start any war in here. Politics and ideologies aside, what everyone should care here is about the bikes. Buying it or not for whatever reasons is a reason of your own, and we saw that a lot in other threads when things get confused.

    There are a lot of problems with Specialized, but those don't come up because they are so over-rated these days, just how Sony was back then. And Sony smacked the ground and they had to adapt themselves to the real world. You bet one day Specialized will have to wake up. Hope before they hard-teeth smack the ground. That gonna hurt.

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    A bunch of whining cry babies. You don't like the company, dont buy the product! Jeez... but there are obviously enough people out there that think it is a superior product or they wouldn't be buying it.

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    Please Explain

    A few of you have alluded to the dark side of Specialized. Could you please elaborate? Without specifics this smacks of an internet smear campaign. AR1981 says that they have bankrupted the smaller players and I'd like to know how they have done this and who they have done this to?

    It is so easy to throw a blanket statement out there, but if you are going to make the claim I would like to at least know it is based in part on facts.

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    I would like to see specifics on this as well. I have been in the IT industry quite a while, and I have worked (IT) in an automotive manufacturing facility that did its own engineering/inventing. When you trademark and patent items, you really have to defend them or you risk developing a pattern that others will take advantage of. If you let a couple of designs that are similar to yours go by unchallenged, another company might use that in defense of stealing a different design of yours. With trademarks, you have to really stay on top of them for the same reasons (look at Apple and how sue-happy they are with "pod" in the name).

    I just wouldn't mind seeing who they wiped out of business and why.

  12. #12
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    Not sure where we're going with this one, but back to the Taiwan thing.

    Is there an implication that the quality of the product is less because it's manufactured there? Last time I looked at the welds etc on my SJ FSR, I was pretty impressed.

    I've had some very annoying failures on my specialized bike, but none relate to the frame itself, despite my upscale proportions.

    After riding handmade custom road frames for years - and breaking them - lots, I'm impressed with the durability versus weight of the present rig.

    Play nice.
    ride your bike, ride, ride, ride...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackjack
    Not sure where we're going with this one, but back to the Taiwan thing.

    Is there an implication that the quality of the product is less because it's manufactured there? Last time I looked at the welds etc on my SJ FSR, I was pretty impressed.

    I've had some very annoying failures on my specialized bike, but none relate to the frame itself, despite my upscale proportions.

    After riding handmade custom road frames for years - and breaking them - lots, I'm impressed with the durability versus weight of the present rig.

    Play nice.

    I know, got to love MTBrs, The Taiwanese can't make bikes because they are unskilled but are more than capable of making computers, robots and complicated electronics. Not to mention, supplying the world with some very good scientist. But no, welding two pieces of aluminum together requires so much skilll...

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    It's ok guys, notice how none of them have written back. Besides, where do you think they come up with these ideas?? Other mtbr threads of course... it's a vicious cycle of idiots reading other idiots posts and taking them to heart and believing everything you read on this forum is true. Don't get me wrong, there are a bunch of people here that know what they're talking about and have a lot of years in the industry, unfortunately nothing separates from them from the guy that's been riding for 6 months on a santa cruz (nothing knocking santa cruz) and is only riding it because his best friend told him that specialized are crap bikes and all of the chainstays on the carbon bikes (yes they are aluminum) snap because the Taiwanese don't know how to make the bike.
    All the companies that have a big name got that big name for doing something right. Anyone is still free to chime in...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnRider160
    It's ok guys, notice how none of them have written back. Besides, where do you think they come up with these ideas?? Other mtbr threads of course... it's a vicious cycle of idiots reading other idiots posts and taking them to heart and believing everything you read on this forum is true. Don't get me wrong, there are a bunch of people here that know what they're talking about and have a lot of years in the industry, unfortunately nothing separates from them from the guy that's been riding for 6 months on a santa cruz (nothing knocking santa cruz) and is only riding it because his best friend told him that specialized are crap bikes and all of the chainstays on the carbon bikes (yes they are aluminum) snap because the Taiwanese don't know how to make the bike.
    All the companies that have a big name got that big name for doing something right. Anyone is still free to chime in...
    I just wanted to know background information about the manufacturer. In no way was I trying to or intending to bash the company in this thread. Yeah, maybe, I should've just called Specialized and got a response from them.

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    Stratos.

  17. #17
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    Not bashing

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnRider160
    It's ok guys, notice how none of them have written back. Besides, where do you think they come up with these ideas?? Other mtbr threads of course... it's a vicious cycle of idiots reading other idiots posts and taking them to heart and believing everything you read on this forum is true. Don't get me wrong, there are a bunch of people here that know what they're talking about and have a lot of years in the industry, unfortunately nothing separates from them from the guy that's been riding for 6 months on a santa cruz (nothing knocking santa cruz) and is only riding it because his best friend told him that specialized are crap bikes and all of the chainstays on the carbon bikes (yes they are aluminum) snap because the Taiwanese don't know how to make the bike.
    All the companies that have a big name got that big name for doing something right. Anyone is still free to chime in...
    I'n not bashing Specialized bikes. I really think they are one of the best industrialized bikes in the world, and it doesn't matter if its made in Taiwan. It's a fine designed bike that has its merits. I even own one and like it.

    The point of this discussion was to measure if all Specialized bikes are still good if they are made in Asia. And the answer is YES. But I brought to the light the fact that it didn't make Specialized bikes more affordable, in fact their prices rised within the years. But that's okay for a Premium brand to charge for their name on the frame when it's so high rated like Specialized is.

    Fact is that many times, the product doesn't speak for the company, and Specialized is known as a major shark in the business. Just to speak of one thing, they own the patents for the Horst link system. They did not invent it, they bought it. Fact is now that anyone who wants to use the horst, has to pay Specialized. Is that wrong since you bought it with your money and if anyone else also wants you charge them? No. But Specialized sometimes pushes way too hard to things go their way.

    The philosophy of the company is not what we ride, but it sure would make a difference if they were more open. You see many other companies using Maverick forks in their bikes because Maverick has a friendly policy about that. Specialized should take lessons from that. The same with Santa Cruz/ Intense VPP. The system is so proven good that many take cues from it. Giant Maestro, just to name one. Any distant cue from the FSR triggers their alarms. Man, if they are THAT good to serve as inspiration for others, that's good because, hey, they are the REAL thing. Wouldn't be nice to see the Brain licensed for a few selected brands, just to popularize it even more? I think so. And that wouldn't refrain me from buying a SJ or an Epic, because they are the original bikes with the system, but give a chance for more people to test and prove it as good and they will head towards the brand which did it. The Lefty front suspension is very under rated for non Cannondale riders, but once one try, he realizes what a great thing it is. Imagine that in more bikes (let's not discuss the technical issues it had to be solved before the Lefty be released for aftermarket), that only would draw the attention to Cannondale. Just like the VPP and alike systems does to SC/ Intense.

    Specialized are #1 in the world today for a lot of reasons, but only one stands as the main for us riders: they do make good bikes. And that should only make that a better reason for them to be followed instead of feared. Well, but perhaps we're only a bunch of whining cry babies, gonna know.
    Last edited by Black RONIN; 06-12-2007 at 10:19 AM.

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    I can't believe that I am playing the role of corporate apologist, but I don't think any of the examples provided thus far can be extrapolated to paint Specialized with the brush of evil corporate empire. Obviously, there is a predictable opposition to big businesses, especially when they compete with smaller companies.

    The reality is that Specialized, like many larger corporations, invests a tremendous amount of their resources into developing a differentiating advantage. Once that advantage has been developed, it is fair to protect it from competitors who have not contributed to that investment and are therefore not entitled to the benefit. It is altruistic to believe that all companies should pool their technology so that the entire industry has more to offer. If this is the case, what impetus would cause anyone to invest in research or new technology development? Wouldn't the more prudent course be to wait for someone else to put money into R&D?

    It is the investment in research, marketing, engineering, quality assurance, and other financial burdens that causes the prices of bikes to rise despite foreign manufacturing. Who knows how much money is invested into bike development on products that never make it to fruition? There is much more to the final price tag than manufacturing costs and companies like Specialzed, Trek, and Cannondale have taken significant risks by investing so heavily in design and bike development.

    Lastly, Specialized cannot protect companies from themselves. Just because a company may or may not have a connection to Specialized as a supplier or someone who licenses its technology does not testify of its business acumen. This is an industry of passion, and sadly, that may attract talented people who are not particularly skilled in running a business. The fact that a company may have certain requirements for its vendors/suppliers only underscores the care that it is taking to assure quality and reliability of its products and ability to supply them.

  19. #19
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    Good job! Good point

    Quote Originally Posted by mauricus
    I can't believe that I am playing the role of corporate apologist, but I don't think any of the examples provided thus far can be extrapolated to paint Specialized with the brush of evil corporate empire. Obviously, there is a predictable opposition to big businesses, especially when they compete with smaller companies.

    The reality is that Specialized, like many larger corporations, invests a tremendous amount of their resources into developing a differentiating advantage. Once that advantage has been developed, it is fair to protect it from competitors who have not contributed to that investment and are therefore not entitled to the benefit. It is altruistic to believe that all companies should pool their technology so that the entire industry has more to offer. If this is the case, what impetus would cause anyone to invest in research or new technology development? Wouldn't the more prudent course be to wait for someone else to put money into R&D?

    It is the investment in research, marketing, engineering, quality assurance, and other financial burdens that causes the prices of bikes to rise despite foreign manufacturing. Who knows how much money is invested into bike development on products that never make it to fruition? There is much more to the final price tag than manufacturing costs and companies like Specialzed, Trek, and Cannondale have taken significant risks by investing so heavily in design and bike development.

    Lastly, Specialized cannot protect companies from themselves. Just because a company may or may not have a connection to Specialized as a supplier or someone who licenses its technology does not testify of its business acumen. This is an industry of passion, and sadly, that may attract talented people who are not particularly skilled in running a business. The fact that a company may have certain requirements for its vendors/suppliers only underscores the care that it is taking to assure quality and reliability of its products and ability to supply them.
    I see your point and you are right. Thanks for such immersive explanation. Really.

    Mauricus, may I ask you one thing? Since there's a huge debate about bike companies moving production to Taiwan, what are your thoughts about it? You made a very interesting insert about the costs of research and development other to production, all invisible forces that may lead to price increase. Do you think that, in the case of Specialized and more recently Cannondale, producing the frames in Taiwan is really a financial advantage if we consider all the other variants you mentioned and yet some others, as logistics?

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by Black RONIN; 06-12-2007 at 03:49 PM.

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    No one even mentioned that Specialized does not manufacture their bikes anymore, if they ever did. I doubt Specialized owns a factory in Taiwan, but subcontracts the work to a major frame builder like Merida. No different when frames were built in the U.S., but still subcontracted. I doubt my '97 Stumpjumper, with a "Made in USA" frame, was built in Morgan Hills. So what's the big deal? The first Stumpjumper was Japanese made anyways.

    Specialized is a big corporate business, and their goal is to make the most money regardless where their products are made. Specialized does not manufacture; they do marketing and R&D. Whatever design they come up with gets sent to a manufacturing site overseas where the product is then cranked out. My brother's FSR is made in Taiwan, and it is well made regardless of country of origin.

    As for the boutique pricing, you can go buy a better spec'ed bike at www.bikesdirect.com. Just don't complain about questionable frame/suspension geometry. I think Specialized still provide good value compared to Ellsworth or Turner, and have more R&D experience compared to KHS or Jamis.

    Their marketing on the other hand, is just annoying. What's the deal with their "super duper secret metal matrix alloy"? Yes, it has different alloying elements, but that does not make it special or worth the extra price IMO.

    Oh yeah, they have a website dedicated to water bottles only www.specializedwaterbottles.com

  21. #21
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    In my opinion Stratos was taken out because they couldn't afford to defend a patent lawsuit and had to be bankrupted. Stratos was producing/licensed an inertia valve shock system that was invented long before Specialized hired their inventor for their inertia valve system. Specialized values a monopoly in this field and hence Stratos "had to go". This has nothing to do with protecting a return on R+D $'s. This is about exploiting a patent "judicial system" that favors the cubic dollars.

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    Smile Just to share

    Quote Originally Posted by amunoz83
    Among the Specialized bikes I owned or seen around, they are either made in Taiwan or China. So I was wondering if all Specialized bikes made in Taiwan/China?
    To my knowledge, Specialized has sold about 49% of company to a Taiwanese bike manufacturing company Merida few years ago, thus it did not surprised me if all Specialized frame are made in either China or Taiwan as Merida has manufacturing facilities in both countries.

    As for why some frame indicates Made in China while other indicates Made in Taiwan, it is simply a matter of business profit margin. For entry level models that are usually sold in mass qty. at lower price, the profit margin is usually low, thus to ensure a lowest possible manufacturing cost while maintaining a profit margin, it is only obvious for the manufacturer to produce the frame in a country demanding the lowest possible manufacturing cost, thus explains frames made in China. However, for higher end models that usually sold at lesser qty. but with premium price, manufacturer can afford to make these frame in country with high labor cost, thus explaining Made in Taiwan.

    However, it really does not matter where the frame is made as long as the Quality Control of the product is duly observed and performed; thus offering a quality frame at a price that can meet every segment of the market demands.

    From my observation, Specialized is simply following the route of Nike, keeping what they are best at, and that is the branding and marketing of the product, while selling and outsourcing what they are less competitive, which is the manufacturing.

    Whether is Specialized or Cannondale.....just ride hard

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnRider160
    notice how none of them have written back.
    If other people want to know why Specialized are such a corrupt company then they can do the research for themselves...

    It's not my job to educate them.

  24. #24
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    If one comments in this manner, then it's normal to be asked to back it up. You can't be that surprised by the response. Otherwise, commenting in an attempt to "educate" them without backing it up will usually be ignored. I imagine that most posters would agree and feel the same way. When seeing something posted that is so inflammatory, more people are beginning to question it. This should have been happening a long time ago, but better late than never.

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    I bought a Specialized Hotrock A1 FS for my son yesterday and was bit disappointed that the frame and forks were made in China. At least it said Handmade in China. Well maybe I am asking too much, every thing else that I own is made in China these days.

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