I’ve been talking to people as of late about Pinarellos and other ‘high end’ carbon bike manufacturers. Most (if not all) of them are made in China which means it can be hard to get a cut rate deal since all of the frames are built for export rather then domestic consumption. However, you know and I know that these frames can’t be sold in Taiwan from the factory but… a few frames slip off the production lines all the time. Adam has one. Rob is thinking about it and maybe a few of you reading this might have considered the option as well.
Many cyclist are label whores, but consider that companies like Pinarello receive these ‘Italian’ frames from Taiwan then customize, assemble the full bikes, and resell them to the label whores like us. So if you are dumb enough to buy a bike in Taiwan that was made there then shipped to Italy (or wherever), then shipped back for you to buy at 900% markup… well you are dumb.
Case in point: I have the lightest ridgid mountain bike fork in the world. One company (you know who) was selling it for $700 USD. The same fork with an off shore label sold for ~$200 USD. Guess which one I bought.
When you think about it you realize how stupid the system actually is. I was looking for one of these ‘off the back of the bus’ cross frames and found a web page for a company in Taichung. If you lust for the status you can buy sticker sets and rebadge (or is that badge?) your frame after the fact. These frame are as crazy light as they are cheep. So cheep they are almost disposable.
There in lies the real problem with these ‘generic carbon frames’. OEM frames are elusive animals. You can’t find any information about them since they are unbranded. Or they are branded in China and most of us don’t speak Mandarin. So it is a good thing that the Adams of the world are doing all us cheap bastards of the cycling world a favour by testing these no-badge/rebadged frames out for us.
So when you see ‘Made in America’ or ‘Made in Italy’ understand that at least %50 of that was, but not the frame. Which is probably a good thing since China makes the best mass market carbon products. Saying that will probably start a shit storm, but hey calm down. I'm just saying.
As for me? Well I ain't nobody's whore.
PS. Scott and BMC are made in Taiwan and China, but TIME’s are made in France.