There are tons of wonderful custom frame builders around the US and elsewhere, but I’ve never seen one with price quotes that low income people could afford. I’m curious to see if there are any affordable bicycle options, besides the usual ones build in third world countries with dubious labor and environmental regulations, shipped thousands of miles then slapped with an “Assembled in the USA!” sticker. I know affordable is a relative term but you know what I mean. I always just buy used…
Oh and this is a vivid reminder of what “made in china” means: http://www.chinahush.com/2009/10/21/amazing-pictures-pollution-in-china/
What’s affordable to you? There’s real made in USA stuff around $1,000. But, then you’re going to have a very hard time finishing the build with all US or ethically made stuff.
If the ethical construction of the bicycle is important to you, $1,000 for the frame would have to become “affordable,” because that’s what it costs to make a bike domestically, and even then just barely. None of the US bike builders are getting rich, maybe a few are doing pretty well, Serotta, IF, Waterford, and the like but the costs and time required makes it a hard business. You’ll be above the $1,000 mark for any larger manufacturers that produce their frames in any other ethical locales I imagine as well.
Alternatively, you could buy used, and save a bunch.
but where does the tubing used by local builders come from? and the steel that is used in the tubing?
best make one out of bamboo… everything.
you should get pictures of pollution in Taiwan, because that would make more sense
i have a feeling that china undoubtedly contributes steel that goes into the tubes. also, a lot of crappy bikes are made in china, although not really relevant here.
[quote=tjayk]but where does the tubing used by local builders come from? and the steel that is used in the tubing?
best make one out of bamboo… everything.[/quote]
I actually thought of this when writing my post. I couldn’t find much online, but it seemed like Reynolds makes their stuff right in the UK, and Columbus in Italy. Like I said, I couldn’t find a real answer, so I might be wrong, but I suspect that any of the decent tubesets (that keep in mind can run up to $400 alone when not bought in huge bulk, a lot of why domestically made bikes are expensive) are made in ethical environments for quality control reasons.
those companies only turn metals into tubes. they probably don’t refine/alloy it and definitely don’t extract it.
total jerk, China is very big. Most bicycles made in China are made in shenzhen or jiang su area. Coastal cities. If you fear that your bike is made in a coal mining town where people are dying from air pollution in 2 years, I can assure you that isn’t the case.
Y is correct, billet production and tubing production are two very different things. And I do agree that the raw material is most likely coming from China or some other country that still allows this type of pollution.
On a personal note, I think white liberal politics love these pictures of third world countries where people are getting paid 1 dollar a day and not allowed to sleep and have to work 18 hour days. Instead of finding out what the real situation is and actually understanding the world, they choose this romantic idea of them liberating some 8 year old child laborer by shouting about Chinese human rights.
Tjayk i have said this before and i’ll say it again. China does make crappy bikes. But they also make Tour De France machines for your fav Swiss, Canadian, Belgian bicycle co. They have caught up with Taiwanese manufacturing, and in some ways surpassed it. But this shouldn’t come as a surprised, because most all Chinese bicycle factories are run and owned by Taiwanese.
I know that most Taiwanese made frames come from very good clean factories that pay their workers pretty decent wages. Esp the higher end aluminum frames made by welders that have been with the factory for 20 years. They usually get profit sharing or bonuses depending on how well the company does that year and are very respected, they are referred to as [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sifu]shi fu /url by people in the company.
Sorry I hope i didn’t just destroy your 3rd world fantasy.
sick 3rd world burn!
Sorry I hope i didn’t just destroy your 3rd world fantasy.[/quote]
I realize that Taiwan operates on higher standards than China which is why i didn’t mention Taiwan. This post was just a general question, but it seems many of you would rather turn it into a personal attack. You cannot deny the relevance of the coal town pictures since that powers Chinese industry. I am not even interested in buying a bike, I don’t agree with buying new when used bikes are abundant. I was just curious. If the tubing is so expensive when not purchased in bulk and that is significantly raising prices it sounds like American frame builders should form a co-op to buy tubing. Does something like that exist?
I have no input on ethically produced bicycle frames besides that it would be expensive.
Those photographs show a striking resemblance to the old pictures from when the US was still developing. Just thought it was interesting.
when are we going to just go back to exploiting africa?
[quote=SausageWallet]I have no input on ethically produced bicycle frames besides that it would be expensive.
Those photographs show a striking resemblance to the old pictures from when the US was still developing. Just thought it was interesting.[/quote]
coal mining ftw
coal mining ftw[/quote]
colon mining ftw[/quote]
Seriously though: buy an old bike. Buy a used bike. Better yet don’t buy anything.