In the bike industry specifically, as in many others, the words “Made in U.S.A” aren’t just a novelty stamped onto metal parts; it’s a pride in quality craftsmanship and a way to support those we share our soil with.
As a California boy with many close family ties to the US Armed Forces and American Industrial Machines, I may seem a little biased when I start to write about the importance of American manufactured and built products. Even now I’m looking around my desk and see some athletic tape for a sprained ankle that has me laid up for desk patrol, with print around the inside of the roll reading “Made in USA.” I even see an Intense Cycles 275 being rolled past my office door going from service to our will-call center back to the customer who owns it. The Intense frame, all aluminum, was made just down the freeway in Temecula, CA, a whole half an hour drive from Jenson USA headquarters.
I’m asking you to take pride in what we do make here.
Thinking about that frame fills me up with a well of pride, patriotism and nationalist sentiments. I’m thinking about how we can make anything here in our own backyard, and what a great and innovative nation we live in. I start to think about other bike brands that design and manufacture their products here in the US.
Chris King Precision Components are made in Portland, Oregon
Brands like Wolftooth Components, based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, make all of their chainrings and CNC’d parts with local manufacturers in Minnesota. Chris King Precision Components in Portland Oregon comes to mind as well while I ponder more cycling companies that pride themselves on a fierce “Made in America” mentality. Also ODI grips comes to mind, they manufacture all of their products literally just down the street from us in Riverside, CA. In addition to these more well-known brands, there are hundreds of other U.S.made brands out there such as Stinner Frameworks from California or Independant Fabrications from New Hampshire, that will custom make you a frame right here in the US out of American steel.
All of these brands and many more, pride themselves in their ability to do something here at home, giving jobs to their local communities and driving the American small business machine. These companies gain a cult following for the quality of the products they produce, but also by attracting those who share the same “We can do it” mentality.
As Americans, we are bound together by the soil we stand on and the history we share. We root for each other and want to build each other up. Buying American Made is an ethos that stems out of our bonds with each other. It’s a way of respecting our heritage, ingenuity, and drive. American Made is not always the easy or most lucrative path for manufacturers. This drives a pride in craftsmanship and a personal touch that is very seldom matched coming from the manufacturers to the customers.
Wolftooth Components sources local manufacturers in Minneapolis, Minnesota
It is this return to the values of quality and pride of homegrown products alongside a desire support our fellow countrymen and communities, the people who live and work right here in the Good ol’ US of A, that drives this proud passion for US made cycling products
This isn’t an ‘us vs them’ situation, and companies do have to consider costs and capabilities of local and foreign production. There is a myriad of high quality products that are manufactured all over the world. But, my hope is to inspire you to be proud of the amazing things and people of this nation, and to support America’s part in being a nation of innovation, production and excellence.
I’m not telling you that you have to totally part your custom bike with Made-in-America parts. I’m not telling you to boycott or raise a stink about the lack of American made derailleurs and tires either. I’m asking you to take pride in what we do make here. Support your local manufacturer when you can by purchasing a product or two and talking about it or share it on social media. And as always even if you can’t always buy American made products, you can still support your American made bike shops, and we’ll continue to bring you the best parts, service, selection, and knowledge.