Higher-End Trek aluminum frame (ZR9000) made in Taiwan!



stephob12

New Member
Jul 8, 2003
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Hi everybody,
I got a brand new 2005 Trek 8500 frame made out of fine ZR9000 alloy. The frame looks great, but after closer inspection, I found a little sticker "made in taiwan" on it. I also noticed that the "handbuilt in the usa" sticker, that the 2004 8500 used to have is gone. That's strange, as

a) the 8500 frame and design hasn't changed from 2004 to 2005 (on the Trek website, they still use the 2004 image for the 2005 bike)

and

b) I always thought that only the lower end aluminum frames (Alpha SL & Co) and not the pricey ZR9000 frames are made in taiwan.

No big deal for me, the quality and finish of the frame is excellent. But still an interesting fact, I find. Seems like Trek is about to produce all non-OCLV-Bikes in Taiwan...

Cheers,
Stephen.
 

capwater

New Member
Sep 15, 2003
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Most major companies have their frames made in Taiwan, in fact tons of CF stuff (frames, cranks, etc) come out of there. Great quality stuff can be had as well as the low end. For what it's worth I just built up a Nashbar AL frame from over there and it is pretty dang light. I know Litespeed is still making USA bikes. The pre-03 Kleins also were USA made, but now like so many of the Trek-family bikes have foreign frames.
 

JackTheLadd

New Member
Jul 16, 2005
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stephob12 said:
Hi everybody,
I got a brand new 2005 Trek 8500 frame made out of fine ZR9000 alloy. The frame looks great, but after closer inspection, I found a little sticker "made in taiwan" on it. I also noticed that the "handbuilt in the usa" sticker, that the 2004 8500 used to have is gone. That's strange, as

a) the 8500 frame and design hasn't changed from 2004 to 2005 (on the Trek website, they still use the 2004 image for the 2005 bike)

and

b) I always thought that only the lower end aluminum frames (Alpha SL & Co) and not the pricey ZR9000 frames are made in taiwan.

No big deal for me, the quality and finish of the frame is excellent. But still an interesting fact, I find. Seems like Trek is about to produce all non-OCLV-Bikes in Taiwan...

Cheers,
Stephen.
Hi,

A while ago I owned a Wilier Evasion. It had an Easton Elite aluminum frame. Nice bike, but nothing crazy. I emailed Wilier directly asking about where the frame had been made. The reply said that they made most of their aluminum frames in Italy, and their carbon frames are mostly made in Taiwan.

Moral of the story? You never can tell (and there's nothing wrong with Taiwanese bikes!!) :)

Cheers,
J.
 

dhk

New Member
Sep 1, 2003
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stephob12 said:
Hi everybody,
I got a brand new 2005 Trek 8500 frame made out of fine ZR9000 alloy. The frame looks great, but after closer inspection, I found a little sticker "made in taiwan" on it. I also noticed that the "handbuilt in the usa" sticker, that the 2004 8500 used to have is gone. That's strange, as

a) the 8500 frame and design hasn't changed from 2004 to 2005 (on the Trek website, they still use the 2004 image for the 2005 bike)

and

b) I always thought that only the lower end aluminum frames (Alpha SL & Co) and not the pricey ZR9000 frames are made in taiwan.

No big deal for me, the quality and finish of the frame is excellent. But still an interesting fact, I find. Seems like Trek is about to produce all non-OCLV-Bikes in Taiwan...

Cheers,
Stephen.
Actually all the low-end Trek frames are made in China. Taiwan is a more expensive location, so only the middle-range bikes are made there. But, none of this is new, or a secret. You can easily see the stickers on the front of the headtubes, and the Trek dealer I know here will gladly discuss where the bikes are made.

While we're on the subject, heard recently from a framebuilder that a lot of the frame tubesets that Columbus and other italian and US companies are sourced from Taiwan as well. Seems to me that Taiwan is pretty widely acknowledged as the source of choice for most of the world's bike brands, from Trek to Kestrel to Colnago.
 

stephob12

New Member
Jul 8, 2003
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dhk said:
Taiwan is a more expensive location, so only the middle-range bikes are made there. But, none of this is new, or a secret. You can easily see the stickers on the front of the headtubes, and the Trek dealer I know here will gladly discuss where the bikes are made.

Right. I did not claim that I found out something entirely new. What strikes me is that the 8500 (Trek's best aluminum hardtail, ZR9000) used to be "Handbuilt in the USA" until 2004 . And that the 2005 frame has not changed at all (colors etc.) but is now made in taiwan. The Trek website uses in fact the same image for the 2004 and 2005 8500 bike, the "handbuilt in the USA" sticker is well visible. So I was expecting to get an US-made frame. As said above, I don't really care where my frame is manufactured.

The intention of my post was to state my conjecture that from 2005 on -opposed to pre 2005- Trek produces no more aluminum (Alpha SL, ZR9000) bikes in the US, i.e. only the OCLV-Bikes are made in Waterloo.

Cheers,
Stephen.
 

Ronanmk

New Member
Apr 28, 2005
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JackTheLadd said:
Hi,


Moral of the story? You never can tell (and there's nothing wrong with Taiwanese bikes!!) :)

Cheers,
J.
It's true, but I also find it funny that my TCR1 Giant came with a BIG sticker on the downtube that says "Designed in the USA", and a smaller one with the "Made in Taiwan" legend :)
 

litespeedguy

New Member
Sep 13, 2003
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When I was growing "made in Germany" was desirable & "made in Korea" wasn't - "made in Japan" had a less than desirable connotation as well in those bygone days.

My point - the world is a changin !!! could Taiwan and China be the new Korea and Japan ??? we're at a crossroads and most Americans are still mentally back a few years.

It's the overhead associated with American labor that's driving companies to the Far East ; I would like to think and hope however that American or European companies that set up shop over there are intent on managing the production of the end product to a high standard.

And I'm probably going to take some heat on this forum for owning a 2003 Litespeed - "Made in USA" .

But a just ordered 2 Hybrids from Specialized and I think they come from Taiwan.