As a general query, maybe not purely trick related, how do people feel about Australian manufacturing? In that, I mean, in our web world, strong AUD and ease of ecommerce, is there any interest in buying Australian made if it became available? Or do people really not care that much, and are happy to buy small bits from overseas, regardless of their place of manufacture?
Would the community support a range of parts manufactured in Australia, even if it were more expensive? Or maybe on par with overseas parts, by the time you factor in the costs of international freight?
Or is price the only factor which contributes to a purchase?
Does the idea of community-led design pique any interest?
i personally factor in such things when i purchase goods. Due to environmental reasons and workers rights.
as most would know, workers in most asian countries get paid shit all, and their environmental standards are generally lower than western countries. Then there is also the cost to the environment when it comes to having to transport goods from the other side of the globe.
For example, i bought german tyres instead of ones made in thailand, and happy to pay 70 bux for some US made straps because i know the workers would get a better wage and they would be more conscious of environmental issues.
but in saying that, i am a quite a hypocrite at times. And there is fuck all aussie made when it comes to cycling, and prices here are a joke too.
That’s easy to say though, I mean, the design company behind KNOG (Catalyst) do all the creative here, and offshore their production. I don’t know what their lights actually cost, but I dare say they’d be twice the price if they were made here…
And what do they sell their gloves for at their shops? 60+ AUD, where as wiggle has them for 35AUD?
Their whole company is based on ‘design’ too, so their market are ‘conscious consumers’. So if they were made locally, I am sure a lot of their consumers would be conscious of the fact and would understand the cost premium.
I didn’t really have a point to be honest. I’m not sure if they’re hacks or not, people can vote for that with their wallets - I’m just interested in figuring out how much morals actually count when people think about buying something for their bikes.
PS I don’t want to be a Knog fanboi, but I’ve seen those gloves you mention, and I’d like to note they have a wicked warranty (lifetime), and Knog also have to support a retail outlet in what must be the most expensive real estate in town. You simply can’t compare Wiggle with a bricks and mortar retailer.
I don’t support buying Australian made or owned products just because of said fact. I do support buying the best designed, manufactured, environmentally and ethically friendly and value for money product. I also support private and or government initiatives that would ensure Australian made or owned products are the best designed, manufactured, environmentally and ethically friendly and value for money product.
If I can I will support ‘Aussie Made’ wherever possible. But not many things are, even tho they are Aussie companies.
At the end of the day I will buy what I need when I need - from whoever has it.
All this talk about overseas workers getting paid less than they should - all relative innit? You’ll really only find westerners kick up a stick about this. And of that, most won’t even have seen factory conditions themselves to have a valid opinion. Coming from a third world nation, if we didn’t have said factories, there would be less people with any income at all. You’d be surprised to find that the work environment in asian factories are much better and safer than that of some workshops here. Go figure.
Also as someone said, if all your bike parts were actually made in Australia, your pretty fixie would cost close to a small car.
I work hard for my money, and I enjoy spending it. But I’m not giving my hard earned to an Australian upstart, just for being Australian.
Having said that, I have 4 Australian made steel frames. And not because they are Australian, but because they are high quality and I can have a direct relationship with the builder.
So, that’s point 1. Direct contact with the manufacturer. You can make what people ask for.
I’m more than happy to pay higher prices for high quality hardware. I buy plenty of Thomson, Chris King and Pauls. The european boutiques make nice gear too, but I’m not interested in, nor suited to, ultralight bike parts.
In my opinion, this is the product you need to be making. There is nothing in cycling I like less than shit quality parts. If you go for ‘cheap’ parts you will never be able to compete with Asia. If you differentiate your product through proven research and quality, I’ll buy it at a premium.
So that’s point 2. Product differetiation - based on quality.
Cycleunderground is a great example. Great product, and prices are competitive.
Pretty much what SanEsteban said. Crew like CycleUnderground do a great job of providing high quality components for a really competitive price. I often recommend them to people at work, even though they sell direct and we don’t make any money from it (don’t tell my boss).
If there were more companies doing that sort of thing then I’m sure it would get good support.
Velocity rims are made locally, does that impact peoples decisions, or is it just the pretty colours?
I’m a complete sucker for buying products based on where they’re made: I kinda have a hierarchy of product quality based on country of manufacture (McKenny, feel free to insert graph here). Germany, Japan, England, USA and Australia are all in my top tier, with Thaiwanese, Malaysian, Korean and Mexican products not too far behind, and if I have no other choice, I’ll buy China. It’s based purely on past experiences (mainly in regards to tools and machinery).
I wouldn’t buy an Australian product that was inferior in quality, but I’ve always found that Australian made products are always made well, and out of good materials. If I walk into a shop and see two products side by side, I’ll pretty much always stick to my hierarchy, providing that the wallet can cope. I’ve also found, especially more recently, that if I find an Australian product, I’ll buy it, just in case it’s not available in the future. I bought 3 metres of 6x3" channel steel the other day, and happily spent twice as much to get BHP steel, made locally.
Nick, I’d happily spend more for components made here, even if it was heavier or not as cool as something made OS.