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  1. #1
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    Winwood Fork

    I saw this today as well. It looks great. Weight is listed at 1750g and 1850g for air and coil forks respectively. Both have 85mm travel with lockout. Retail will be $395 and $345 respectively. In other very cool news, Kenda's 50c Khan should be available shortly, AND it is possible that we may see a Kharma in 29" size as well. That won't be for this season, but it is coming.
    Rockshox does not think it will sell enough forks to do a 29" version, even with a Fisher deal.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Cool. Is this the one I've heard about with carbon lowers?
    A man is only a man, but a good bicycle is a ride.

  3. #3
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! made by .....???

    Thoughts on Manufacturing Overseas
    In 2001, China and Taiwan together accounted for 85% of the $1billion of bicycles and parts imported into the US. 62% of imported bicycles and parts come from China.1
    Serious concerns about humans rights and environmental responsibility in Asia are justifiable. “Respiratory diseases related to air pollution are the leading cause of death in China. Almost all of the nation’s rivers are considered polluted to some degree, and half of the population lacks access to clean water.“2 The decision makers at bike companies whose design and marketing is based in the US, but whose manufacturing is based in China, Taiwan and elsewhere can and will shape policies and practices, including the treatment of their workers and the environmental practices of their factories. The influence of foreign industry in Asian countries is very real.

    Some companies think that you will confuse “designed and tested in USA” plus a little clever wording with “Made in the USA”. We don’t think that you are so gullible. If it doesn’t say “Made in the USA”, it wasn’t. This is not to say that you should only buy American made products, that would be unreasonable, nearly impossible and totally unnecessary. But look beyond the marketing and catalogs. Full knowledge of where and how a thing is made, by whom and under what conditions, that is the requirement of the responsible enlightened consumer.

    For many Asian manufacturers, fair treatment of their workforce is a big deal. There are many Asian factories that treat their employees well. They work in clean, dignified environments with sophisticated equipment, they are well paid and cared for with good benefits and training. However, this is not the norm, nor is it common. Since the governments of most Asian countries have not yet developed far reaching worker’s rights laws or environmental pollution laws and meaningful enforcement (Japan is an obvious exception), the decision to be a decent and dignified employer is left up to the managers of the factories (Asian factories) and their customers (the bike companies). This makes it incredibly difficult to know whether you are buying a product made by a 12 year old boy working 70 hour weeks under a bare light bulb with no safety equipment or training, or by a 40 year old, trained professional working in a clean factory. Especially difficult if the company has a polished “Americanized” image. Most companies will go to some lengths to mislead the consumer into thinking that their product is of US manufacture. Watch carefully for “designed and tested in the USA” and “assembled in the USA”, that doesn’t mean it was made in a sweat shop, but it does mean that it wasn’t made in America. To further confuse the issue, a company could put a “made in the USA” decal on a bike frame that was made in China but painted in the US.

    As potential consumers of those companies’ products, it becomes your responsibility to ask and be informed about the labor management and environmental practices involved in the manufacture of your bike part or frame. In many cases, the outlook is good. Some Asian manufacturing companies pay careful attention to health and work safety issues, training and wages. But there will always be those that will do anything to maximize a profit. Expressing your concerns about fair and responsible manufacturing to your favorite bike company is the best way to promote positive change in Asia.
    The governments and trade unions of China, Taiwan and other emerging economies are competing among themselves -- and they are themselves partially responsible for the decline in wages and labor standards among their own workers. Countries bent on economic growth through export markets are pursuing policies that foster the rapid and unregulated building of foreign-invested factories. As a result these countries have gained millions of new jobs in their export industries.

    However, more jobs have not necessarily lead to higher wages or rising labor standards for workers in these export industries. In many areas, wages have fallen, and working conditions have worsened as a result of intensified competition (to demonstrate lower labor and operational costs) in order to attract new factories that produce goods to sell in the US markets. Bicycle parts and frames are certainly among them.

    Many US companies have been taking advantage of this discount labor pool and loose environmental and safety regulations, and in turn, passed the savings to you the consumer. They are also passing the buck, saying the US domestic labor pool’s output can not meet the ravenous demands of the American consumer. Or that they simply can’t compete in the bike market without taking advantage of the savings that Asian manufacturing offers them. It is a circular argument and it leads back to some simple questions: What is the true cost of making something with the economic, social and environmental costs included? Are consumers willing to face the facts about why that Taiwanese or Chinese part is so much cheaper than the US made one? If everybody is absolutely intent on making things as cheaply as possible, and the consumer buying the product doesn’t care about the economic, social and environmental costs of making things in poorly run factories, then we are doomed to continue this ridiculous charade.

    1. www.ita.doc.gov/td/ocg/imp37511.htm: Top 24 US Import Sources for Bicycles and Parts.
    2. Source: www.state.gov


    The typical bike-related purchase is based on 3 factors:
    Price
    Color
    Weight.

    What about the social cost of your purchase? What is life like for the people who made your bike part? Does the worker that made your bike part have insurance, an opportunity to get promoted at work or a way to save for his family or future? Does he work in a factory that is safe and dignified towards its employees? Do they get reasonable breaks and work a decent number of hours a week?
    What is the environmental cost of your purchase? Is the country where it is made regulating manufacturing waste and emissions? Does the factory where your bike part was made take pollution control seriously or are they contributing to the enormous problems of pollution in Asia?

    The enlightened list has 5 factors:
    Price
    Color
    Weight
    Working environment and social conditions where the part was made
    Environmental responsibility of the manufacturer of the part


    The bike part you bought last week for $60, that was made in the USA
    Was made by a skilled worker, earning between $12-20 or more/hr.
    Who works a 40 hour week (with nationalized overtime laws), with health insurance and retirement benefits.
    Works in a safe environment that is heavily regulated and monitored by local, state and federal agencies.
    They are trained. They are likely on a track that promotes growth, increases in pay, and increases in responsibilities.
    The US has highest literacy (above 99.9% of the population), highest education level (95%) and GDP ($34,142 per capita) in the world.3

    That same bike part that you almost bought last week at such a great low price of $40, that was manufactured and/or assembled in an Asian NIE (newly industrialized economy)
    Was likely to have been made by an untrained worker, earning less than one fourth of his US counterpart ($2-5 per hour).4
    He is unlikely to have health insurance or retirement benefits. Complex, under-funded and erratic reforms have so far failed to increase the number of people genuinely insured.
    His workplace environment and its safety regulations are inconsistent and not well enforced. He’ll work a 60-70hr work week and is not allowed to join or create a trade union.5
    He is likely to "retire” by the age of 27, due to injury, burnout or fatigue.6
    He is working in an environment where rapid industrial development is leading to increased pollution and degradation of natural resources, without adequate governmental regulation or oversight.7
    Only 84% of China’s people are literate, 73% have some form of education, GDP $8976 per capita.3

    "One of the most serious negative consequences of China’s rapid industrial development has been increased pollution and degradation of natural resources. A 1998 World Health Organization report on air quality in 272 cities worldwide found that seven of the world’s 10 most polluted cities were in China. According to China’s own evaluation, two-thirds of the 338 cities for which air-quality data are available are considered polluted."9

    3. Source: U.N. - The Human Development Report, 2002.
    4. Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2001.
    5. Source: http://www.fpif.org/outside/commenta...abor_body.html
    6. Source: web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/Index/ASA170222002?OpenDocument&of=COUNTRIES\CHINA
    7. Source: www.state.gov
    8. Source: U.N. - The Human Development Report, 2002.
    9. Source: www.state.gov

    Growing labor unrest in China is being met with repression, including imprisonment and torture, and a denial of basic human rights such as freedom of association and expression. Protests by angry workers over layoffs, wage arrears, poor working conditions and management corruption have been met with repression and force. Clashes between workers and armed police have resulted in casualties and arrests. Independent trade union movements have been suppressed since the late 1980s. As of April, 2002 Independent Trade Unions are not permitted in China.10

    About 53% of the Peoples Republic of China population lives on $2/day US.
    Estimated earned income for an American female/male for 2000 = $26,255/$42,246 ($US) 11
    Estimated earned income for a Chinese female/male for 2000 = $3,132/$4,773 ($US) (about than 1/8 of their US equivalent) 12

    Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Taipei were among the top 15 highest cost of living cities in the world in 2002. Higher than: Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston and Denver. 13

    As the global labor market supports our nation’s fabricated need to consume cheap junk, as foreign labor conditions grow harsher, as living wages around the world lessen, consumers seem less interested in these issues than ever. We feel that it is the responsibility of every thinking person to know exactly what it is that they are buying, where it came from and what is the real cost of that product and its production. Was it made in a dignified and decent working environment? Are the people working in that factory being treated and paid fairly? Is their health and well being a concern for their employers? Are they paid enough to support their families and save for their future? Please consider these factors whenever you buy something at the store. Bike parts or anything else.

    Emerging Asian economies have no real choice but to build themselves via utilization of their natural resources (mining, timber, oil and coal) and their vast expanses of land and willing labor. That China and other Asian countries must manufacture hard goods in order to grow is obvious. The rest of the world should not benefit from this situation without taking an informed and firm position on the human and environmental costs to the people that live in these developing countries. Asian manufacturing needs oversight and it needs concerned consumers to keep it from oppressing its workers and destroying its own environment.

    Do not avoid Asian made products. Call or email your favorite bike companies before you buy. Insist on fair treatment of people and the environment regardless of nationality.


    Please buy consciously.





    10. Source: web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/recent/ASA170152002
    11. Source: U.N. HUMAN DEVELOPMENTREPORT 2002
    12. Source: U.N. HUMAN DEVELOPMENTREPORT
    13. Source: imercer.com

    Links
    By no means an exhaustive list, but a good start.

    Labor and Safety
    National Labor Council
    www.nlcnet.org
    Bureau of Labor Statistics
    www.bls.gov
    U.S. Department of Labor
    www.dol.gov
    OSHA
    www.osha.gov
    National Labor Relations Board
    www.nlrb.gov
    International Labor Organization
    www.ilo.org
    Child Labor Coalition
    www.stopchildlabor.org


    Human Rights
    Business & Human Rights
    www.business-humanrights.org
    Amnesty International Online
    web.amnesty.org

    Advocacy and Watchdog Sites
    Corporate Watch
    www.corpwatch.org
    Ethical Consumer
    www.ethicalconsumer.org
    They Rule
    www.theyrule.net

    Economics and Development
    Economic Policy Institute
    www.epinet.org
    International Institute for Environment and Development
    www.iied.org
    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
    www.sec.gov
    US Department of Commerce
    www.ita.doc.gov
    The World Bank
    www.worldbank.org
    The International Monetary Fund
    www.imf.org
    United Nations Human Development Report
    www.undp.org

    United States Government Resources
    U.S. State Department
    www.state.gov/www/issues/economic/trade_reports/
    U.S. Library of Congress Country Studies
    lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/
    The CIA World Factbook
    www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration
    www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/
    Congressional contact information
    www.congress.org

  4. #4
    get down!
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    pass the bong, it's getting deep in here
    Rudy Projects look ridiculous

    visit my blog, BEATS, BIKES & LIFE

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkenstein
    Thoughts on Manufacturing Overseas
    In 2001, China and Taiwan together accounted for 85% of the $1billion of bicycles and parts imported into the US. 62% of imported bicycles and parts come from China.
    Funk, how many times are you going to post this same documentorial diatribe? Even though I can see where you're coming from and even agree with some of it to at least a limited extent, I've seen you repeat it in a handful of different threads. Come on, man, enough!
    A man is only a man, but a good bicycle is a ride.

  6. #6
    Witty McWitterson
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkenstein
    yada yada yada
    Whats your point? Are you going to add anything valuable to this discussion, or just spew facts that aren't all that relevant?

  7. #7
    Team Velveeta™
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    too much data for mtbr, but important questions

    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    Whats your point? Are you going to add anything valuable to this discussion, or just spew facts that aren't all that relevant?
    Not to defend mr. funkenstein, since it's questionable judgement to spew 20 pages of highly opinionated text into a one-on-one discussion forum. But I would say that the point is, it's important to the future of the USA to know a little bit about the implications of off-shoring everydamnedthing.

    As a guy who got coughed out of the corporation I had worked for (like a hairball out of a cat) after 8 years of A+ performance reviews, merit bonuses, yadda yadda so that they could replace me with a guy in Bangalore, India for about 15% of what I was paid, it's an issue I care about.

    Just what should be actually done in the USA? How many of us should have full-time, salary+benefits breadwinner jobs? Sure, it's cheaper to produce goods in places where there are no workplace or environmental regulations, but cheaper for whom?
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  8. #8
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    I think we all are at least conscious of the possible reasons why offshore goods cost less, but as the end consumer it is all but impossible to determine where the goods are made and how and by whom. I would like to think that companies like QBP have done their research and chosen vendors that are not exploiting their employees or the environment, but still they may not even know the whole truth.

    Be that as it may I am a bit dissapointed in the price of the Winwood forks actually. I thought these forks would come to market even cheaper. To me the extra $$ for the White Bros fork would be money well spent knowing that it is the best currently available and made in the USA with excellent aftersale support to boot.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  9. #9
    Witty McWitterson
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    Oh, I know where he's coming from, and I do understand.To echo BW's point though. there ain't much we can do about that. It's the market system(something I'm perpetually mystified about), and the bottom line. Americans want 'it' cheap, but we also need to have it made here, with union labor paid 'livable' wages. That just doesn't mesh all the time. I think Tiawan is much better off than many other labor pool countires we're familiar with, so buying from them probably isn't as bad as saaaay, Bangladesh or China. I'd put good money on QBP doing the proper research on this subject before fully commiting too. That company has a good head on its shoulders for sure.

    I know its a pessimistic way to look at it, but in the end, I don't think that there's too much we can do about it. The lines of production are increasingly blurred as this globalization occurs.

  10. #10
    Team Velveeta™
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    there's one thing we can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    Oh, I know where he's coming from, and I do understand.To echo BW's point though. there ain't much we can do about that.
    The one thing we can do: vote with our dollars.

    Since my big-income job went away, I've had to focus on value. It's a fact that very often the stuff that's a better value for the dollar is made overseas. And I'm not judging anyone for getting the best deal they can afford.

    But one of the things BW said was:

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigwheel
    ...To me the extra $$ for the White Bros fork would be money well spent knowing that it is the best currently available and made in the USA with excellent aftersale support to boot.
    There's nothing more true to the spirit of capitalism than choosing to spend your money on what you think is the better deal. The key thing is that, as consumers, we need to think of more than just price-color-weight (to echo funkenstein's real point). Unless that's truly all that matters to us.

    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    It's the market system(something I'm perpetually mystified about), and the bottom line. Americans want 'it' cheap, but we also need to have it made here, with union labor paid 'livable' wages. That just doesn't mesh all the time. I think Tiawan is much better off than many other labor pool countires we're familiar with, so buying from them probably isn't as bad as saaaay, Bangladesh or China. I'd put good money on QBP doing the proper research on this subject before fully commiting too. That company has a good head on its shoulders for sure.

    I know its a pessimistic way to look at it, but in the end, I don't think that there's too much we can do about it. The lines of production are increasingly blurred as this globalization occurs.
    I would encourage you to read _Fast Food Nation_ for a perspective on that. It's a damned fine book, and it's about LOTS more than just food.

    If we just throw up our hands and say, "aw heck, there's nothing I can do about the sorry state of the world, so I might as well shop at Wal-Mart and eat Big Macs."

    ...like the rest of the sheep, then there will truly be nothing we can do about it.

    I'll step off my soap box now.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by team_bfd
    There's nothing more true to the spirit of capitalism than choosing to spend your money on what you think is the better deal. The key thing is that, as consumers, we need to think of more than just price-color-weight (to echo funkenstein's real point). Unless that's truly all that matters to us.
    Hey, what about quality, function, long term durability and aforementioned product support. That is what matters to me.

    I would like to think as I said before that we as bikers have some idea of what's right and wrong. Just the fact that we choose to recreate or just plain get around on a bicycle should be worth some consideration here. The fact that the bicycle industry has grown into an offshore supported enterprise for the most part is what it is and going to be into the foreseeable future. The more USA based products that we can support the better, but that won't stop Globalization, I sincerely doubt that anything less than the big one will do that.

    Off to A&W now for a rootbeer, cheeseburger and some apple pie.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  12. #12
    Recovering couch patato
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    Written from my hotel connection on Mallorca (SP) :

    MTBR posting guidelines say it´s not allowed to re-post identical text, also not on different forums. Exceptions exist, but this would not be one, I personally find it OT, though I must admit this time I didn´t read the whole thing, as it´d cost me 1€ just to do so.

    Please don´t repost that text block, it appears visitors have already read it and don´t see any addedvalue in your reposting it.

    Thanks!

    J
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  13. #13
    Witty McWitterson
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    I've read similar books/publications(ie: Asphalt nation, or other Planning related books-I'm a city planner) to that, and have a close personal philosophy to that ideal. In a poorly written way, I'm saying I agree with you. I don't like numbers posted for numbers sake. Put a freakin' argument behind it, don't just blindly quote. That kinda pisses me off. I'm just in a pretty pessimistic mood today, that's all.

  14. #14
    Master of the Obvious
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    Idea! but what about the fork????

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Written from my hotel connection on Mallorca (SP) :

    Please don´t repost that text block, it appears visitors have already read it and don´t see any addedvalue in your reposting it.

    Thanks!

    J
    Right on Cloxxki!
    Now can we discuss the fork again? I read this thread looking for MTB Information, I would'nt go into a poly-sci chat room and ask about 29" forks, we all have a place on the WWW, so once again what about the darn Fork~!!!!!!!

  15. #15
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    I read "Fast Food Nation" and didn't eat meat for about 3 weeks afterwards. Still to this day I only eat natural, hormone-free meat and eggs. Living about 30 miles west of Greeley, CO the book hit home and I have seen first hand the old feet lots where nothing will grow. Highly recommended book.

    Asia vs. USA manufacturing in the bike industry has been argued to death and i'm not even going there...

  16. #16
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow
    I read "Fast Food Nation" and didn't eat meat for about 3 weeks afterwards.
    I read it too.. my eating habits haven't changed at all. But I ride more? Is there a connection? =)

  17. #17
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    Wow, I had to read all that to find out if there were actually posts regarding the fork. Anyway, what sort of time scale might there be before I could order said fork? A couple weeks, months? Any more details? Disc compatible?

  18. #18
    Witty McWitterson
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    It should be available next month. Disc compatible yes(it'd be suicide to NOT be disc compatible these days!). Simple internals to work on. Large air chamber as well.

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