- American made ‘dales are no more
Cannondale who up untill now have always been built in the US, yet had a reputation a few years back (probably more due to the silly designs than any manufacturing fault) for failing (cannondale = crack’n’fail)
Specialized who have been built in Taiwan by Merrida for as long as I have been seriosuly mountainbiking yet their frames never got a reputation for cracking despite quite a few of them doing so (’04 SX swingarms, pre ’04 enduro shock mounts, Demo cage/frame thingy)?Posted 8 years agojim the saintSubscriber
I’ve just read this on bicycling.com
Will this have an affect on whether you’d buy one or not?
Major Cuts at Cannondale
Parent company Dorel will cut jobs and outsource manufacturing responsibilities to Taiwan, saving $4 million annually.
Compiled by Katie Ginda
Dorel Industries–the parent company of bicycle manufacturers Cannondale, Schwinn, GT and Mongoose–announced today in a press release its plans to cut its Pennsylvania factory workforce by two-thirds and altogether cease U.S. frame manufacturing, outsourcing responsibilities to Taiwan, by 2010. The changes were announced as part of a company-wide restructuring scheme, which aims to establish five “Centers of Excellence” around the world. Its global headquarters and innovation center will be located in Bethel, Conn.; its European complement in Basel, Switzerland; its footwear and apparel center in Vancouver, British Columbia; its center for global mass market products in Madison, Wisc.; and its manufacturing center in Taichung, Taiwan. In addition to these five centers, Dorel plans to establish a bicycle-testing laboratory in Bedford, Penn., the current location of its manufacturing plant. Dorel plans for the Bedford location to cease bicycle frame manufacturing and reduce from about 300 to 100 employees by 2010. Instead, the Pennsylvania location will focus on final bicycle assembly, testing and quality control, bicycle warranty repair and customer service, while Taichung will assume responsibility for manufacturing oversight, sourcing, testing and quality control. The total cost of the reorganization is expected to be $4.5 million, but after the changes are implemented, Dorel expects to save an annual $4 million.Posted 8 years ago
its only the outspoken forum regulars (US and UK) who actualy think that american is better, oh and Brant-Lynskey fans.
I truly think Lynskey are the best in the world at doing Ti.
I did email Frank The Welder last week about doing a production run for me as well. But he never replied 🙁Posted 8 years ago
who is Frank the Welder? I’ve read interviews with him, i know he worked for Yeti back in the day and built sinister bikes recently, but what exactly makes him that much better than anyone else who welds bikes on a production line in Taiwan? Or is it just like having a british built road bike from a small shop with the shop (probably the same as the welder/brasers) name on the downtube. Except in aluminium obviously.Posted 8 years agoGarry_LagerSubscriber
Long time CDale rider, doesn’t concern me too much. The Taiwanese make quality bike frames for all levels of the bike industry. Cannondale are pioneers in aluminium though, been making alu bikes longer than just about anyone. So you would hope that heritage could be preserved. It’s not like moving a steel frame fabrication over to Taiwan in that respect.
The change of ownership is far more of an issue. They went bankrupt a few years back due to an ill-advised foray into motorcycles and were taken up by a venture capital firm. I think the original family-owned management structure remained in place. Last year they were then bought by Dorel – a mattress making conglomerate (!!) who own GT, Shwinn, Mongoose and other such terminally-ill brands. So it will be interesting to see whether CDale can remain such an innovative brand in that umbrella organisation.Posted 8 years ago
what exactly makes him that much better than anyone else who welds bikes on a production line in Taiwan?
I’m sure he’d point out lots, though to my mind, as you say, a good weld is a good weld.
No – it was more the point of being able to offer a frame built by him in America just as a fun thing to do. It’s the old Tesco jeans vs (Designer) thing.
Man – twitter and skyping Taiwanese factories messes with your head. Hard to write proper sentences. Sorry. Will try harder.Posted 8 years agoIWHMember
Most of the ‘dale frame fittings seemed to be produced in Taiwan anyway so I doubt this’ll make much difference. It makes sense to take advantage of the far better construction capacity and investments they’ve made in Taiwan then plug away with upgrading a US factory just out of tradition (almost).Posted 8 years agopantsonfireMember
What proportion of the final cost of a bike is down to the cost of welding some bits of metal into a frame. I bet its not a great deal I imagine the greater part of the cost is down to the bits that are hung off the frame. As most of the components on a c/dale are made in Taiwan shouldnt the sticker say designed and assembled in the USA.Posted 8 years ago
What are we all going to do though when no one can make a poxy bike frame in the UK. Or anything else come to think of it. It may be all fine and well for the office jockys who live on this site. But where are all the proper men going to get jobs, when everything from a tooth pick to a plane, is made in the far east? I’m sure its only a matter of time before someone in Asia can do your accounts, tax returns, or analyse figures from an office in Taiwan on a large scale and put people polishung chairs with there arses out of jobs as well.
Cannondale have been making frames that look like Marins for years, hardly makes you want to buy the Dale bikes just because they are made in the USA. Some of the frames made in Asia are ok though. I doubt they arethe quality of some of the smaller botique brands though.Posted 8 years ago
Its not they are of lower skill but do people in Mcdonalds cook you up food as good as Gordon Ramsey. Both are skilled in there own ways, but I’m sure Gordon Ramsey takes a little more pride and care in his risotto than the former who might not be quite as happy earning £5 an hour.
Just simply saying if foreigners are of lower skill is far too simplistic an argument and is trying to imply anyone who dares question this is xenophobic in some way.Posted 8 years agoglenhSubscriber
I’ve never had any problems with my ‘dale crackin’n failin’, but then I’m not fat……;-)
However, I certainly didn’t buy it because it was made in the USA, so I don’t really care to be honest (although it sucks for those who will lose their jobs of course). Far east manufacture can be just as good if not better provided proper quality controls are in place.Posted 8 years ago
Welding, especially steel is pretty easy to be fair though. When we were working for du pont/ICI etc etc, we would have had our arses kicked for knocking out some of the filed down ultra neat welds you see on some bike frames, it may look better, but doesn’t neccesarliy give you as a good a weldPosted 8 years ago
Lots of labour intensive jobs have left the west for the east because wage costs here are higher. Its not rocket science
If workers push for better conditions / rights / health & safety / etc etc then the cost goes up. But the public still expects a bargin so what does the factory owner do to stay in business ?
This does mean that the poor in the east can now begin down the economic road from subsistance farmer to factory slave to middle class worker – just as many in India did in the last couple of decades. Sooner or later we will run out of cheap third world labour.Posted 8 years ago
When we run out of cheap labour in the far east what will we do then? Have no jobs here and Pay Yeti prices for On One frames! I’m sure anyone with half a brain can work out this is a bad thing all round in the medium to long term. Least Brant and Dyson make a mint in the mean time though and help all the needy countrys become middle class. I’m sure that was top of the agenda for such companysPosted 8 years ago
As we continue to out source our less skilled jobs we get large sectors of the working population with no chance of employment. They vote, so you end up with governments bailing out dying industies – like the UK car industry. Rather than re-training and re-educating. The other likely outcome is more protectionism.
Doomed then really.Posted 8 years agoMr AgreeableSubscriber
I remember reading in a BMX mag a while back that the average wage of a welder in Taiwan is £22k or so, which is more or less what I get for being a middle class office jockey. The reason Taiwan has such a big and cost-efficient bike industry is down to investment and economies of scale, not because the workers are paid in rice.
I do hope that frames continue to be made in the West as well though, it must be way better from an R&D point of view.Posted 8 years agobigdawgMember
The change of ownership is far more of an issue. They went bankrupt a few years back due to an ill-advised foray into motorcycles and were taken up by a venture capital firm
dont know how to quote, but this was 2 different events for cannondale. The bike company went into liquidation due to sudden realisation that they were about to have to recall every bike and replace the cranks, internal bolts and a few other bits on every bike made, it was the cheaper option – the bikes however when fixed ar still (7 years on) amazing pieces of machinery way ahead of their time – Ive got one and have been riding it for 4 years now. It was however only the motorsports co that went into liquidation.
A couple of years later howeverthe original owners of cannondale sold the bike company out (for $xmillions), I gues theri retirement fund. IT had nothing to do with motorsports.
Personally I think its a bit sad. If you rode in the early 90s bikes were made (properly) in america (incl kona specialized etc…). It was just the way it was, IVe still got a 1994 cannondale that I still ride to this day – its a fantastic frame. What it doesnt say is if the bikes are still going to be handmade or just chucked in a jig and welded by machines…Posted 8 years agoduckmanMember
One of the Ironies for me is the Meridia factory was built as an exact copy of the raleigh factory, as it was perceived as being such a good example of a bike factory.It’s sad, in the late 80’s I lusted after a cannondale with it’s huge down-tube, as an alternative to a Zasker, now where are these companies?Posted 8 years agoRudeBoyMember
I have a US made ‘Dale, but I don’t think it’s any better than a lot of Taiwanese stuff. The Far-Eastern industries have improved considerable from 20 years ago or so, and most bike stuff is made their anyway.
As for manufacturing standards; I’m not sure if a welder in the US, on a pretty basic wage, is in any way superior to a welder in Taiwan, on a relatively similar basic wage. Maybe a small workshop, with a couple of blokes who really enjoy building bikes, might have greater attention to detail, but I doubt workers in big factories are really any more motivated, based on geographic location.
Cannondale make nice bikes, but they’ve always been spensive, compared with yer Marins, Treks and Specializeds. If they want to compete, then they need to be able to match production costs with those companies, and get their products out to compete directly, at certain price points.
Santa Cruz’s are made in Taiwan, and people still buy them. Likewise On-Ones. The ‘brand’ is a myth; the reality is that most of it is mass-produced in huge factories.
I truly think Lynskey are the best in the world at doing Ti.
No bias at all, then, eh, Brant? 😉
I don’t care where the **** thing is made, as long as it don’t fall apart.Posted 8 years ago
Mass produced ones will be made where its cheap, boutique handmade specials will be made close to home where shipping / spares / customer support matter more.
not 100% sure your right, specialized, scott etc by all accounts have good support, where’as i can think of at least one South Wales based company that regularly gets slagged off for its attitude to warranty work.
Couldn’t give a monkeys where they’r made, or that they look like old Marins. Anyway, I’d say its more an evolution of the super V (which gained a higher pivot and became the gemini, which looks remarkably like a prophet).Posted 8 years ago
The topic ‘American made ‘dales are no more’ is closed to new replies.