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About where bikes are made , is this true?-(11 posts)

About where bikes are made , is this true?-hilloffive
Dec 14, 2003 3:57 AM
I am planning on buying my husband a racing bike; which I think I will buy on ebay. One seller I am looking at a bike with sent me the following as a response to a question I ask about where the bike she is selling is made. I am planning on spending $400 on a new road bike for him and would like to know if this claim is correct. (she suggested I could ask on this message board)

"There is a simple truth about how most road bikes are built. However, dealers and brands try to hind this from customers.

Most Road Bikes sold in the USA are made in Taiwan by 'factories' which you have probably never heard of. Such as IDEAL who builds for Fuji, Trek, Motobecane, Windsor, Terry, and many others.
Another common 'factory' is Merida who builds for the likes of Specialized, Jamis, Mercier, Felt, Bianchi, and many others.

What is interesting is that these 'factories' in most cases only do assembly. They buy everything on the bike from subcontractors who make assorted parts of the bike. Then the 'factory' just applies decals, assembles, and boxes the bike.

In the case of the frame, several frame shops in Taiwan build road frames for many high end brands. Frame builders like Kinesis, A-Pro, and Astro build frames for brands like Fuji, Trek, Motobecane, Specialized, Felt, Bianchi, LiteSpeed and dozens of others. In fact, several 'Italian' brands buy frames in Taiwan and ship them unpainted to Italy; then paint and decal them - mark them 'Made in Italy' and sell them for rather high prices.

The other important components on the bike are the same from brand to brand. That is Shimano pieces and so forth. And many times the 'branded' parts such as stems, bars, and even wheels are all made in the same factories in Taiwan. For example, Ritchey, VeloMax, Bontrager, American Classic, and many other have wheels built in Taiwan (including the rims and hubs and final assembly).

Rebranding is common in the bicycle industry (just like in most other consumer products - think of DVD players, TVs, and even shoes). So a smart consumer can get the best value by not paying much attention to the decal on the downtube - and focus on the bike, the fit, and the price (and the discount).

If you want to check this out - just ask on the message board at "
re: About where bikes are made , is this true?-Akirasho
Dec 14, 2003 5:51 AM

Be the bike.
I don't understand the point.Spoke Wrench
Dec 14, 2003 6:10 AM
Just because a number of products are made in a common factory doesn't mean they are identical.
not that important and risky....C-40
Dec 14, 2003 8:54 AM
What's more important is the quality of construction and the history of reliability for a particular brand, regardless of where it is manufactured.

Buying a used road bike for only $400 is a very risky thing to do in my opinion. For one thing, you can't get much for $400. You also have to know exactly what size of frame to buy and unless you're familiar with the different ways that the various brands measure their frames, it's easy to buy the wrong size. For example, 56cm Trek and Fuji bikes are smaller than most all other brands in a "56cm" size, due to the method of measurement.

If your husband is picky about the brand that he rides, he may be disappointed if you get him some brand he's never heard of. It might better to give him the money and let him find his own bike. Perhaps he will want to spend more for something better. New, modestly equipped bikes are at least $1000 these days.
excellent point...lyleseven
Dec 14, 2003 10:05 AM
Agreed. For $400 you will be hard pressed to get anything worthwhile in spite of the fact that 10 years ago it would buy you a decent bike. At the very least you would have to spend $700-800 for a decent entry level road bike. Better that you give him a gift certificate to a decent shop and let him pick it out and upgrade if necessary. As far as where the bikes are made, today, great bikes come from all over the world.
re: About where bikes are made , is this true?-lithiapark
Dec 14, 2003 10:14 AM
For $400 you might want to check Getaway Bikes. Its a mail order house in Florida I think. I bought a Capri model for $399 plus shipping as a starter bike for my kids this past spring, and it is a good solid bike for the money. It handles well, shifts well, and is put together well. Low end shimano components, but they are certainly functional. I rode a century on it myself this summer. It has 90%+ of the performance of my other road bike which costs 10X as much. The name on the label has, obviously, zero prestige factor. The geometry is the sloping top tube type, so if you get the next larger size than what you think you might need, you will almost certainly be able to adjust the seat to a position that is good, and could change the stem possibly to get the correct reach and drop for the bars to achieve a good fit, and still be sure you had sufficient standover clearance. The pedals of the Capri are flat on one side and have spd compatible clipless hardware on the other if you want to get into clipless shoes.

As to the information they sent you about place of manufacture, I believe this is pretty accurate. The Capri frame is made by Kinesis.
re: About where bikes are made , is this true?-hilloffive
Dec 14, 2003 10:25 AM
thank you; I already found a good deal on ebay at half the list price on a brand new bike. I guess my first post was confusing - I am thinking only of a new bike - there is lots of new stuff on ebay and I like being able to check the feedback rating.

Anyway, I just wanted to check on the claim that all the bikes in my price range were from Taiwan, and I think you have ansered my question.
Dec 14, 2003 12:11 PM
till i get to put in my two cents please..

ebay is risky especially because shipping can damage the bike. If you find a pick you can pick up that would be best. My suggestion is check out ibex bikes or Used bikes are possibly a great deal but the risk is high. As I said, see if you can find something local.

singlespeed or track bikes with a brake can be lots of fun if your neighborhood isn't very hilly. Make sure you get him the right size and remember that there's tons of crap he will also have to buy such as shoes, shorts, pedals(rarely included). And thats the shear minimum. He'll likely need a new seat also. Yes, get a track bike, gears are overrated and they are simple to maintain. Track bike with a brake and spd shoes that he can walk around in. Come to think of it, that's what I want..
Ah ishmael, the seasoned pro, speaks!....................nmdavet
Dec 14, 2003 2:13 PM
Thanks - I think I found out the truth herehilloffive
Dec 15, 2003 3:10 AM
After the few answers here and calling 3 bike shops in San Antonio; it seems clear the ebay seller was telling me the truth. All the racing bikes in my price range are made in Taiwan. Which is really all I wanted to know. Thanks
But I think as a note, maybe I should be more trusting of ebayer's - when they have ratings over 3000 and hardly any negatives.
$400 for a NEW road bike???BWAHAHAHA!!!Alexx
Dec 16, 2003 6:21 AM
Sister, have YOU got a lot to learn! Oy!