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"Who's on first...?"(8 posts)

"Who's on first...?"Trev84
Aug 30, 2003 10:55 AM

Every now and then I read in these forums
comments like - Oh,

"...Colnago is made in Taiwan..."
"...Look is made by Giant..."

Now, we all know that, for competitions, many teams paint sponsors names on some frames that weren't necessarily manufactured by these same sponsors.

But to say that a - Ford 327/"Champagne"/Pinarello are not from USA/France/Italy is plain - "Wrong."

I've read: * ..."some"(?) Looks are made in Tiawan by
Advanced Composites(U.S.?).
* ..."some"(?) Colnagos are Made by Giant.
* ..."some"(?) Pinarellos are made in a
secret(Area 52?) factory in Taiwan.

If you can substantiate your claim do so with verifiable Info. Enlighten us(me!).

Please substantiate these petty rumors otherwise they will remain , what they truly read to be - simple envy.

My best freinds second cousin once new a guy........firstrax
Aug 30, 2003 11:56 AM
..........who saw pictures of underage asian children welding litespeeds. And the foremen carried AK-47s.
My best freinds second cousin once new a guy........Trev84
Aug 30, 2003 12:09 PM
Exactly my point!

If I'm going to pay through the nose for "Heritage," "Tradition," "Craftsmanship," etc.
and all of those other euphamisms that ad "Value"(Cost!) to a name brand, I need to make sure I am getting what I pay for and not just lining the owners' and the mass producers in Taiwans pockets!
According to Velonews, Giant makes Trek and Specialized..Bruno S
Aug 30, 2003 2:52 PM
Here is the article:

At least they are not assembled by trained monkeys like some asian cars :-)
i wouldn't be too sure of specialized.rufus
Aug 30, 2003 3:10 PM
years ago, i know that giant made many of their bikes for them, but since merida bought a 50% stake in specialized, i'd assume they're the ones building the specialized bikes.
Can't say anything about the European bikes but...TNRyder
Aug 30, 2003 5:51 PM
I do know that Trek does import some frames from Tiawan. You have to exceed a certain price point before you will see a frame that was actually put together in Waterloo Wisconson.
re: It all depends on the model.hudsonite
Aug 30, 2003 6:46 PM
Here is what I know.

Most of the higher end Trek frames are built in the US by Trek. Many of the lower end bikes, children bikes for example are not made by Trek in the US. If you go to a bike store and look at a Trek bike for children you should see the "made in taiwan" sticker or stamp on the frame. The country of origin must be shown under international trade law so you will find it somewhere.

I have been told by a very reliable source that Giant makes some of these bikes for Trek. They are designed by Trek and contract manufactured by Giant and maybe some other companies. Trek does not claim to have their own fascilities in Taiwan, but they clearly indicate that some bikes are not made in the US.

Giant started life as a contract manufacturer. Over 50% of the frames that they produce are still made for other companies.

As for Look. The 381i was made in France this year. Next year they are moving production to a bike plant in Tunisia. This has been documented in numerous places. The factory is owned by Look, with Look employees, but it will not be with French workers. You can be sure the frame will still have the 'French' flag on it. Designed and engineered by the French. Manufactured with French machines and French material(maybe it is US material!!). So where is it made?

I personally do not know the origin of the kg461 frame. The construction/carbon technique is different than the other models and the price point is much lower. There have been people that have suggested that it is being made in Taiwan for Look. Do not know, but it is possible.

I have no idea on Colnago and Pinarello. It is hard to track the origin of frames down sometimes. To give you an idea. It can happen that an Italian company designs a frame and has it fabricated in Taiwan. It is an original Italian design, with original engineering, but they will have the raw unfinished frame built for them in Taiwan under Italian supervision. The frames are shipped back to Italy, the Italians finish the frame, paint it and add an Italian fork and headset. The frame can now be considered "Made in Italy". Is it Italian?

The country of origin of a bicycles can sometimes be difficult to figure out. In some cases it is easy, Giant's are made in Taiwan. In other cases, it is not so easy. If a company spends years on Research and Development in the US, has the tubes made in the US and welded in Taiwan, under US supervision, where is the country of origin?
OK... here it is straight up...russw19
Aug 30, 2003 8:51 PM
First, it is a very misleading half-truth to say that "Giant makes bikes for _______" insert any brand name here. Giant is owned by a Chinese parent company. That company owns a state of the art manufacturing facility that contracts out their factory to other bike brands. It is NOT Giant that is making these bikes, but Giant's parent company owns the factory. So now you are thinking I am splitting hairs, but I am not... here's the difference and why it is significant...

That factory builds the other companies bikes to the exact spec's and tolerances and with the precise materials and alloys that a company like say Trek tells them too. Also, the employees who work on the line that manufactures a certain bike line do not work on the lines that build other brand's bikes. Ex. the guys welding or inspecting Giant's bikes are contract employees paid by Giant... Trek's welders and inspecters are contract employees who are paid by Trek. So the truth is that they are built under the same roof, but that's about where it ends. Often, because of different alloys used in different frames, the machines are not even the same type. It's about as close to say that because they are built in the same factory, Giant builds Trek bikes and then saying that because a company may be in California, that any other bike that comes from California is built by them too. It's a wierd, but very far stretch. And technically, nobody who actually works for Giant is allowed to tell a consumer that "Giant builds Company X's bikes" under the contract that they have, because it would be an outright lie (or half-truth depending on how you see the issue.)However, that doesn't stop employees in bike shops from telling these same half-truths in an attempt to trick or confuse customers.

As for Colnagos, some of their carbon bikes are contracted out. This is done to help them meet the demands of thier sales. As well as to make the carbon frames. There are rumours of bikes made in some 3rd world nations that are only to be sold to other 3rd world nations. But these are called "grey-market" bikes and are illegal to import to the US.

All Pinarello frames are made in Treviso, Italy. Also, all Pinarello frames in the past 3 years all have Dedacciai tubing. Pinarello formed a spin off company called Opera Bikes so that they could use some other materials that they want to expieriment with other than Dedacciai tubing.

Last, I don't think (and this is me speculating as I am not sure on this one) that any Looks are made in Taiwan, but some are made in South Africa. Anyone care to take care of this rumour for me?

Some of this may not be 100% accurate, but it is more accurate than saying Giant makes Trek or Specialized bikes.