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"Made in America", does anyone care?(41 posts)

"Made in America", does anyone care?Zman
Oct 14, 2003 11:48 AM
How many of you out there care if your stuff is made in the good old USA?

Myself, I will ONLY buy AMERICAN, when it is possible. I know that I am in the minority but I don't care.

How about the rest of you kind folks?

well, why not?Sao
Oct 14, 2003 11:58 AM
Eh, dem Americans make some pretty nice bikes and parts, ya know.

But as far as being exclusive, well, I admit I am a whore. American frame, French pedals, Japanese grouppo and rims, German's like a freakin' UN bike more than it's an American one.
UN bike/accessoriesms
Oct 14, 2003 12:22 PM
Your post reminds me of the checklist I was making one day as I was riding as to how many countries' products were connected with my ride:

1. USA: Bike (Trek)

2. Japan: Components (Shimano)

3. France: Pedals (Look); wheels (MAVIC)

4. Germany: Tires (Continental)

5. Italy: Saddle (Selle Italia); shoes (Sidi)

6. Switzerland: Jersey, shorts (Assos)

7. China: Helmet (Giro -- headquartered in US, but if you
look inside, the helmets are made in China)

And, I probably forgot something from another country or two. All I need is a Russian product to have all five permanent members of the UN Security Council represented.
correction to last sentence . . .ms
Oct 14, 2003 12:25 PM
After I posted this, realized that my comment about the Security Council is wrong -- I forgot the UK. I guess I could put a copy of Procycling or Cycle Sport in my back pocket to represent the UK.
ditch the Selle, buy a Brooks and you're all set! nm.Sao
Oct 14, 2003 12:36 PM
maybe the titanium came from Russia? nmDougSloan
Oct 14, 2003 1:14 PM
Let's take this to its logical conclusionKerry Irons
Oct 14, 2003 4:10 PM
Over 30 years ago, my college economics professor put this issue in clear focus for me. The big deal then went something like the bumper sticker "Hungry? Eat your Toyota" as the first wave of Japanese cars were putting the hurt on Detroit. When the subject of "buy American" came up he simply said "If you follow that logic, we in Michigan should buy only Michigan-grown oranges." His point was that competition drove the best choices for all concerned, and that illogical actions (Michigan oranges) only resulted in temporary distortions. In the long run, the US economy will either shift to methods of wealth creation other than manufacturing, our manufacturing will become more efficient to be competitive, or our currency will devalue to insure a balance of payments. Short term irrational consumer behavior (buy American) will not change this outcome.
another consideration, thoughDougSloan
Oct 14, 2003 4:29 PM
If you are in Michigan and buy Florida oranges, you can be fairly confident that similar laws govern working conditions, taxes, and there are few, if any, import restrictions or duties.

If you buy foreign, you may be buying a product that has an unfair sales advantage, because it was built with child labor, under dangerous conditions, or with unfair trade practices or restrictions. Detroit and Japan (or Tennessee and China) may not be playing on a level field.

Nonetheless, I think imports ultimately strengthen our products and economy, as it promotes competition (however unfair) and helps to build an economy abroad where we can sell products. How knows -- Chinese may be buying Litespeeds some day?

The equivalent motorcycle bumper sticker was ...Humma Hah
Oct 14, 2003 4:37 PM
... "I'd rather eat WORMS than ride a Jap motorcycle."

I had no problem riding a Jap motorcycle. I personally felt the competition did Harley a WORLD of good. But the Schwinn was better for me, and I no longer own any motorcycles.

I also drove a Toyota ... I felt like the US auto manufacurers in the 70's were treating their customers very poorly, hawking sub-standard goods at inflated prices. But I now own two Chrysler products and one Ford. I think the competition did them a WORLD of good.

Maybe the same will be true of bikes. The dinosaurs (Schwinn being the T rex of cycling dinosaurs), died, with only their names surviving, slapped on imports. Fisher and other innovators thrived, and created a new niche that positively exploded. Today, the few US cycle makers are pretty much top quality, if small. The vast majority of imports are department-store junk, with a few stunningly good exceptions favored by members of this forum.
Your examples prove the pointKerry Irons
Oct 14, 2003 5:02 PM
The system works when we make informed decisions. At the end of the day, that's about price and quality (value). The amount of sweatshop labor is really in the eye of the beholder - foreign labor conditions are FAR better than what the US had less than 100 years ago. The alternative for many foreign laborers is subsistence farming, and they have made the choice as to what they'd rather do. With time (and not very much time) the conditions, wages, etc. will equilibrate, and the the playing field will level all by itself. China cannot artificially supress the value of its currency for very long as the capital flows will simply not allow it, any more than they allowed the Mexican peso to remain overvalued.
That was my intent ...Humma Hah
Oct 15, 2003 4:53 PM
I pretty much agree with you, although there are some things we could do in the western hemisphere that would make sense. Dollars sent to Asia tend to take a rather long way to come back. If I've got to send dollars out of the country for cheap labor, etc, I'd rather it be Mexico and Central and South America. Mexico owes us money, and if things were better there, we'd have less trouble with illegal immigration, and be better customers for our products. A partnership between the US and Mexico might make our products considerably more competitive world wide.

And I think that would evolve quite naturally, the way you say, if political maneuvering did not try to throw barriers in its way.

The cruiser's 1970-model Bendix coasterbrake was, in fact, built in Mexico.
What Fr. Der. are you using???biknben
Oct 14, 2003 12:07 PM
In a very old discussion we tried to create an "All American bike". If I remember correctly, the front deraileur (sp?) had everyone stumpted.
Question: Could You Build A Completely USA-Sourced Bike?Gregory Taylor
Oct 14, 2003 12:11 PM
I've often thought about this -- could you build a NEW completely USA-sourced bike? Not just USA - owned, but USA - manufactured.

Frame and fork -- lots of options.

Hubs and bottom brackets (think Phil Wood) - gotcha covered.

Headset -- nothing better than Chris King.

Wheels? Let go for a set of Zipps.

Now things get sketchier....

Saddles? Cranks? Derailleurs? Tires? Shifters?
I only buy chinese bikes with US logos on thembimini
Oct 14, 2003 12:32 PM
And like a fool pay twice as much believing my bike was made in the US.

Where do you buy a US bike with more than 30% US content in it?

Let's see you can only get component groups from Italy or Japan.

Rims come from France, Italy, Japan, or China (I bet those premium price US labeled wheel actually have Rims from China)

Let's see spokes from Switzerland.

Frames, well all but the most expensive US brands are made in China, as well as many of the Italian brands.

The only thing done in US by the US is to put the US label on the bike and sell it. Yes, a few of the high end frames are made in the US and those bikes are assembled in the US but the majority are made and assembled overseas.

So where do you buy this all American Bike?
I only buy chinese bikes with US logos on themutxjohne
Oct 14, 2003 12:47 PM
I find it Unamerican to buy American. America stands for the best that money can buy regardless. My bike like most has French, Belgium, Italian, American, Japanese, etc.
Bad attitudeZman
Oct 14, 2003 1:34 PM
No bike is 100% American made as far as I know. BUT the frames can be 100% American made as well as a few other parts.

are you surelaffeaux
Oct 14, 2003 2:29 PM
Frames can be welded in the US using tubes made in the US. However, what guarantee do you have that the equipment used to build the frame and tubes is US made? If there's CNC work you can bet that the equipment is not 100% US made.

If you take thinks to their lowest level, you'll find very few things that are 100% US made. If you're on the internet right now, you can bet you're there because of not-US products.

Ride what you like.
Actually, this international thing is wonderful news ...Humma Hah
Oct 14, 2003 4:49 PM
... Stories abound that we got into WWI, to some degree, to benefit certain segments of US industry. Again, in WWII, war turned out to be a boon for US business, driving a stake in the heart of the depression. We were fairly independent in terms of resources then, with rubber being the only critically short strategic material.

But today, a world war, even if it didn't involve nukes, would be bad for business. The world economy is all interdependent. Our dependence on each other should, in principle, help preserve the peace.
not one bit!!philippec
Oct 14, 2003 1:19 PM
And why should I? Buying American would mean buying foreign for me (and many other posters on this board)... This said, one of my frames is made in Tennessee -- are they still in the Union?


re: "Made in America", does anyone care?Juanmoretime
Oct 14, 2003 1:21 PM
American frame, Litespeed Vortex, English post Alien, Italian saddle. Italian Groupo including wheels, French tires, American skewers, headset King, pedals Speedplay and stem. Italian handlebars and tape. I'm OK with the Campy stuff being Italian.
Two of my three bikes are American ...Humma Hah
Oct 14, 2003 1:46 PM
... the two old Chicago-built Schwinns. I adore 'em, and part of that is the fact that they were made in the good old USA.

Its getting harder and harder to find mass-produced US products, especially in cycling and sportswear. Like almost everyone else, I find it hard to ignore low price, and it is hard for US products to compete when we're all pinching pennies. But, as a consequence, the remaining US products probably survive because they're a definite cut above the rest in quality.

Anybody know if White Industries ENO components are US-made? Phil Wood hubs? There are definitely some nice custom-built frames being made in the US. Is Waterford strictly US-built?
Oct 14, 2003 1:58 PM
Whats so special about American products? Seriously, do you believe that other people in the world can't make just as nice a product? I don't understand why this would even enter your mind, or why you wouldnt just buy the products that work the best.

I dont have an American bike, so maybe I just cant understand, but if they make 'em anything like they make cars, I'll stick with the Italians thanks.
You would buy an Italian car for transportation???? (nm)TFerguson
Oct 14, 2003 2:43 PM
I own an Italian car for transportationcollinsc
Oct 14, 2003 4:27 PM
on top of that it is 24 years old.

so, yes, I would.

Your comment though is exactly what I was talking about. What makes the American stuff better? I'm not talking about your local lovable frame builder here (Mr. Sachs would be just as good if he was from Mars).
oh, andcollinsc
Oct 14, 2003 4:34 PM
I wouldnt own an American one. Not because I wont own an American car on principle, but that I have never driven one that I considered worth owning. That is just a matter of taste, and probably all you can say about this bike origin discussion.
1980? Sounds like Spica fuel injection to me nmgtx
Oct 14, 2003 5:16 PM
79 actuallycollinsc
Oct 14, 2003 6:36 PM
almost 25 years. It was the last run of the Fiat Spider that used a Weber carb.
79 actuallygtx
Oct 14, 2003 7:53 PM
Those are great cars. Always wanted one. Great looking cars--I think it's better looking than the Alfa Spider and the rear seat is actually useful. But if I get an Italian car it's gonna be a 67-74 Alfa GTV.
Couldn't care lessterry b
Oct 14, 2003 2:01 PM
I buy the best product I can buy, regardless of nation of origin.
Couldn't care lesskoala
Oct 14, 2003 4:28 PM
Speaking of the best product -- are you the guy with the strong ultra foco in the strong gallery? If so I have a confession to make. I got the same paint scheme on my strong, although its a semi-compact. I would welcome your feedback on the frame and color combo. Thanks, and I hope you feel imitation is the sincerest form of flattery because I thought your frame was the best looking of any in all of the galleries.
Smell the framesaver, Dennis
Not here. Made it Italy only, Vicenza, Travisio, Torino, etc.Qubeley
Oct 14, 2003 2:07 PM
Zman, when you posted this thread, do you have bikes(road bike only) in mind?
This topic is old and boring.
re: "Made in America", does anyone care?lokstah
Oct 14, 2003 2:29 PM
Quality is number 1. Given that, many of the companies that actually manufacture their frames in the US offer that handbuilt quality that's someimtes prized over what's made in, say, a Tawainese factory (even if it's an American design -- think Giant). If I was going to buy a major label ride, I'd definitely consider a Lemond or a Klein for that reason, if not a cool boutique build (like a Sycip or a Calfee).

But I'd also consider an Italian handbuilt frame. Or a French frame (excuse me, a FREEDOM frame). Or Spanish.

There are many definitions of patriotism, and many ways to express it. The bike frame I ride isn't one of them, not for me, at least. Especially not when the componentry is gauranteed to be from all over the place.
I don't care, but I don't care that you care either...filtersweep
Oct 14, 2003 2:35 PM
I drive my American-built Toyota... wouldn't even consider an American car (sorry). What does it really mean to be made in the US?

I ride a French bike with French Wheels, stem, seatpost, tires, Italian seat, all Italian clothes and shoes, and (sorry) a Japanese group (I least I didn't say "gruppo" ;) ). At least it was purchased and built by the LBS.

What would the point be of buying American just for the sake of buying American- particularly for a sport that is so euro-centric.

And by the way, why isn't Japan a cycling powerhouse like Italy? I've never understood that one... they all ride bikes... ;)
re: "Made in America", does anyone care?mapei boy
Oct 14, 2003 3:50 PM
Hmm... Now where did I put that old Paul Derailleur...
I DO!daCaT_
Oct 14, 2003 7:07 PM
I bought a DEAN and it was made right down the block from where I live. Great people there too.
and the tacit implication of your question is what?Tom C
Oct 14, 2003 8:52 PM
That somehow because you will only buy, and you capitalize to stress,ONLY AMERICAN, that somehow you and others who sympathize, are more patiotic because you and they do? Well Levi-Strauss just shut down US manufacturing following suit of the US shoe manufacturers and god knows how many more manufacturing areas that are migrating to cheaper labor overseas. I've never been under any other impression that our own government has sanctioned this for years now and has painted a picture of the US becoming largely a service economy in the future. However I continue to wear shoes and can't really confuse domestic consumption with that flag waving feeling. Come to think of it, I must check my flag and see where it's made.
Not much.djg
Oct 15, 2003 6:30 AM
I will admit that I like buying certain domestic goods, but I'm not an economic isolationist. Moreover, road bikes is an area where you'd have to make some very heavily constrained--if not just odd--choices to get the whole bike (tubes to shifters to tires) built of US goods. I've got one US-built bike frame but one Italian one, a bunch of Italian components and even a few French ones thrown in the mix. I've got some Italian-labeled tires that were made in Thailand that I like a lot. That reminds me, I really like Thai food and I think some of the spices may be imported.

Heck, I think I've got wine from four continents in the house. But if you want to drink only California wine (or only Missouri wine for that matter), then go for it.
I'll passlaffeaux
Oct 15, 2003 1:25 PM
I'll pass on the Missouri wine. I've tried several bottles; that's plenty for one life time. :)
I'll pass too.djg
Oct 16, 2003 8:25 PM
But without the several bottles. I am not a brave man.
re: "Made in America", does anyone care?mackgoo
Oct 16, 2003 4:46 AM
It was for dopes like you Lee Iacocca used to say all Chrysler products were made in America. Hint There are two America's North and South of which the United States is a small part. For Lee made in America meant Mexico and Canada and you fell for it hook line and sinker.
Oct 17, 2003 8:59 PM
...I feel like I should support independent builders, whereever they may be. So I tend to buy things like custom surfboards and low-production bicycles (Santa Cruz mtb, IF road bike). So much the better if they're made in the U.S.

I'm not really protectionist, but given the choice among equal products, i generally buy American. I think it's because I wish we still made things here. We've become a nation of servers and salespeople.

I don't begrudge any foreign workers or companies that do business here. I'm less thrilled with companies that move production offshore without making a good faith effort to keep it here. Case in point: I used to wear Timberland boots when they were made in New England, but stopped when they moved everything to the Caribbean. New England has a proud and long tradition of shoe making; why would Timberland, which made its reputation on that tradition, abandon it?

As for bike stuff, hard to find good U.S. components and I don't see anything wrong with buying SHimano or Campy. They are two companies that seem to strive for quality above all.