Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

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bigfriendlyvegan
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Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:36 pm

I was having a discussion with a bloke today about Brook's saddles and I mentioned Bell saddles and that they were Aussie made. It got me thinking about all of the other bike bits. Aussie made frames are easy, Aussie made seats - Bell at least.

What about everything else? Could I put together a completely Aussie made bike? (Not one off custom pieces, production pieces only).

Cheers,
David

(P.S. I figured the retro section would be the best for this question. I doubt it would be possible these days. Completely Taiwanese, yes.)

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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby sogood » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:33 pm

Are there Aussie made bike tyres these days? I'd be surprised if it was a yes. And it's an item that can't be easily machined together.
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:26 pm

sogood wrote:Are there Aussie made bike tyres these days? I'd be surprised if it was a yes. And it's an item that can't be easily machined together.


Could go for solid rubber tyres, like on a penny farthing
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby il padrone » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:28 pm

Have to be single speed because I'm not aware of any Australian-made derailleurs or hub gears :?
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:39 pm

This is a retro forum, so feel free to jump back in time. Did Malvern Stars, for example, use any Aussie parts?

David

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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby hartleymartin » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:53 pm

From what I understand, the lugs were made in England by BSA. Hubs were generally Sturmy-Archer (also made in England). The wheels on my Malvern Star were made by Araya (of Japan). I have doubts as to whether it is possible to assemble a bicycle here in Australia. Is anything still made in this country? I'd have thought that India and China have taken over manufacturing everything for dirt cheap.
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby LittleWheelsandBig » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:36 am

Velocity rims, some carbon handlebars a decade or so a ago, ditto hubs and cranks, BT frames. Not much else nowadays from memory.

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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:32 pm

That's a bloody disgrace that is, and a real shame. Given that we're such an innovative mob you'd have thought we could have manufactured something. Says a lot about cycling culture in Australia over the last 10o years or so, doesn't it.

Thanks anyway,
David

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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby il padrone » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:38 pm

No, we have the technology, no problems.

The problem is all down to small population (market size) and the unfavourable relative production costs in Australia compsred to China and Taiwan :(
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby hartleymartin » Fri May 01, 2009 1:48 am

I thought about having a go at building all-Australian-made bicycles. I'd call the guaranteed 100% Aussie bicycle the "Patriot" model. However, I just don't have any money to invest in it, and it would probably end up prohibitively expensive to the point I'd go bust anyway.
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby sogood » Fri May 01, 2009 6:58 am

il padrone wrote:The problem is all down to small population (market size) and the unfavourable relative production costs in Australia compsred to China and Taiwan :(

Well, I wouldn't say that the market size is the key issue. Look at Taiwan, similar population as Australia but is the centre of bike manufacturing of the world, even before China opened its manufacturing base, but were able to sustain their manufacturing through volume export. So the key isn't domestic market size but labour and associated costs and willingness to develop that industry. Further, government supported that industry from a low tech base and now, it has mastered the high end technology and is even pulling the manufacturing of "Italian bikes" to that island.

We have simply priced ourself out of this sector of the global economy. And lets hope we don't go the American route and depend on foreign debts to sustain and over-inflate our standard of living.
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby AUbicycles » Fri May 01, 2009 7:46 am

It is not only a cost of production issue - factor in the location - Australia relatively far away not right next to any other large markets.

hartleymartin I would love to see how you go, wonder if you end up with a bmx frame and CF road racing rims.
You might have to settle for a "designed in Australia" solution" as I would be guessing that even for classic or vintage bikes from Australia that some parts/components were only imported and never manufactured locally (especially if we are excluding custom) though don't hold back to prove me wrong.

Cheers
Christopher

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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby sogood » Fri May 01, 2009 8:32 am

AUbicycles wrote:It is not only a cost of production issue - factor in the location - Australia relatively far away not right next to any other large markets.

True. But if it's cheap enough, then there's never been a shortage of buyers. In any case, I think that we all know that manufacturing is not an area we can compete on internationally. After China, there'll be India, Africa amongst other countries and regions where we won't stand a chance with.
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby lemmiwinks » Fri May 01, 2009 9:09 am

AUbicycles wrote:You might have to settle for a "designed in Australia"


That's as close as my Shogun Samurai gets.
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby 531db » Fri May 01, 2009 9:37 am

In past times, VEW made hubs and brakes and ATP handlebar stems.

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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby sogood » Fri May 01, 2009 9:52 am

Here is a related question.

Which countries have a sufficiently broad bike industry that can complete a bike build with only local components?
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby lemmiwinks » Fri May 01, 2009 9:55 am

sogood wrote:Here is a related question.

Which countries have a sufficiently broad bike industry that can complete a bike build with only local components?


China, Taiwan and maybe the USA many years ago (Schwinn from the '50s).
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby drubie » Fri May 01, 2009 10:11 am

sogood wrote:Here is a related question.

Which countries have a sufficiently broad bike industry that can complete a bike build with only local components?


Also Italy and perhaps the UK. I'm pretty sure you can still build a fully US manufactured bicycle as well, but it would be expensive and probably a mountain bike.
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby hartleymartin » Fri May 01, 2009 10:18 am

AUbicycles wrote:It is not only a cost of production issue - factor in the location - Australia relatively far away not right next to any other large markets.

hartleymartin I would love to see how you go, wonder if you end up with a bmx frame and CF road racing rims.
You might have to settle for a "designed in Australia" solution" as I would be guessing that even for classic or vintage bikes from Australia that some parts/components were only imported and never manufactured locally (especially if we are excluding custom) though don't hold back to prove me wrong.

Cheers
Christopher


Well, I had also briefly looked into the possibility of "Made in Australia from local and imported parts". The obvious place to start would be the frame tubes and lugs, followed by wheels. I had even wondered if it would be possible to make leather saddles under license from Brooks and resurrect the Bell Saddle label. What patriotic Aussie wouldn't want to have one of these of their bicycle?

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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby lemmiwinks » Fri May 01, 2009 10:37 am

hartleymartin wrote:The obvious place to start would be the frame tubes and lugs,


Martin, I fear you may have been reading the Rivendell Reader too much! Don't get me wrong, I commute on a lugged bike with downtube shifters, have another one as a flat bar, and a few lugged frames lying around the place but I am a niche market. In fact I prefer to be given my bikes or pick them up for no more than $15 from the tip shop.
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby sogood » Fri May 01, 2009 10:41 am

drubie wrote:I'm pretty sure you can still build a fully US manufactured bicycle as well, but it would be expensive and probably a mountain bike.

What tyre?
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby drubie » Fri May 01, 2009 10:43 am

sogood wrote:
drubie wrote:I'm pretty sure you can still build a fully US manufactured bicycle as well, but it would be expensive and probably a mountain bike.

What tyre?


Aren't Bontrager tyres still made in the US?
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby lemmiwinks » Fri May 01, 2009 10:44 am

sogood wrote:
drubie wrote:I'm pretty sure you can still build a fully US manufactured bicycle as well, but it would be expensive and probably a mountain bike.

What tyre?


Hoosier, Cooper, Firestone :mrgreen: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby drubie » Fri May 01, 2009 10:57 am

drubie wrote:
sogood wrote:
drubie wrote:I'm pretty sure you can still build a fully US manufactured bicycle as well, but it would be expensive and probably a mountain bike.

What tyre?


Aren't Bontrager tyres still made in the US?


Actually, scratch that. It looks like they're made in Thailand. Kenda http://www.kendausa.com/bicycle/bicycle.html still make stuff in the US though.
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but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.

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Re: Can you put together a completely Australian made bike?

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Fri May 01, 2009 11:02 am

sogood wrote:Here is a related question.

Which countries have a sufficiently broad bike industry that can complete a bike build with only local components?


Japan, I think. All of the parts on my Miyata, Centurion and Nishiki seem to be made in Japan. They don't have original tyres, however, so I'm not sure about that.

David

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