Buy British ?

kmcd21
kmcd21 Posts: 105
edited December 2010 in Road buying advice
I try to buy British products whenever possible, even if it may not be the best spec or most attractive.

As I am about to spend a large amount of money, is it wise to buy from one of the following British manufactures ?

looking to buy a fast,responsive , comfortable bike around or slightly above 1000GBP Planet x or Boardman ?
I dont think I have the patience to wait for the 2011 boardman bikes as there is nothing released yet.

Thanks guys
Enduro- YT Capra AL1- 2016
Road- Boardman Team Carbon- 2010
XC- Gary Fisher Marlin- 2002
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Comments

  • Pretre
    Pretre Posts: 355
    I'd be interested to know what's so "British" about those 2 brands, apart from the shop/designer? :?
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    By 'British' I assume you actually mean something that was made in this country? In the case of your examples would mean "all parts made in Taiwan/China and assembled in the UK by someone on minimum wage". There are relatively few bikes frames still built in the UK and you'll struggle to get anything within your budget.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Don't forget that even if the frame is British made, the groupset, wheels, tyres, cockpit, saddles are most likely not British made as a standard build (apart from some high end gear like Brooks saddles etc).
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    Monty Dog wrote:
    By 'British' I assume you actually mean something that was made in this country? In the case of your examples would mean "all parts made in Taiwan/China and assembled in the UK by someone on minimum wage". There are relatively few bikes frames still built in the UK and you'll struggle to get anything within your budget.

    I would not even go as far as assembled in the UK.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • At least the profits are likely to end up in Britain - which is the "least worse" option.

    I started up a factory making toothpaste tubes in China. Unlike most of these ventures, we were selling TO the Chinese. So the tube materials were not British, nor were the factory workers (short of shipping the people out there, we had no choice, as toothpaste tubes (empty) neither travel well no is it econimical to do so)

    BUT at least it was a wholly-owned British company. That counts for something.

    In recent years the government have done very little to support UK manufacturing so it's hardly surprising that we don't make anything any more.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Even if components are foreign sourced British brands still provide UK employment in assembly (full or partial), trade & retail sales, admin, marketing & employment for UK service providers such as print, transport, professional services etc.

    How many British components could one source for a bike?

    Plenty of steel frame & fork builders, carbon Dolan or titanium Enigma, Sabbath or Burls
    Brooks saddle
    Middleburn Cranks
    X-lite components (about to be relaunched)
    Handbuilt or Hope wheels
    Hope hubs, brakes,lights
    Outland pedals & skewers

    Any other options?
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Boardman CX Team
    Trek 8000
    Sirrus framed 'special'

    Prev: Avanti Corsa, Routens, MBK TT, homemade TT bike, Trek 990, Vitus 979 x 2, Peugeot Roubaix & er..Raleigh Arena!
  • Custom built steel frame?

    The new 953 steel compares well with Carbon fibre and titanium. Plenty of british artisans could build you an exciting frame with that...
    left the forum March 2023
  • As has been mentioned there are plenty of UK frame shops that will build you a superb, made to measure custom steel or titanium frame.

    A couple of other UK component manufacturers to throw in the mix:

    Royce - superb engineered hubs and bottom brackets
    http://www.genisysconsulting.co.uk/royce-uk/

    USE - make great seatpins, stem, bars, chainrings and other bits and bobs
    http://www.use1.com/
    Expertly coached by http://www.vitessecyclecoaching.co.uk/

    http://vineristi.wordpress.com - the blog for Viner owners and lovers!
  • plowmar
    plowmar Posts: 1,032
    Problem is O P that we ride on the wrong side of the road and there just isn't the market for large scale production, to benefit from economies of scale.

    So we have to buy foreign at you price range and just be sure we can see what's behind us.

    (I think that's right, isn't it?) :wink:
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Custom built steel frame?

    The new 953 steel compares well with Carbon fibre and titanium. Plenty of british artisans could build you an exciting frame with that...

    Not for a grand.
    More problems but still living....
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    To correct some assumptions above:
    AFAIK no-one makes carbon frames in the UK, not Dolan, not anyone apart from the handful of frames made for the WCPP
    Sabbath titanium - choose one of 2 factories in Taiwan/ China likewise Burls and I'm not sure Enigma's ti offerings aren't of Eastern origin either.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Custom built steel frame?

    The new 953 steel compares well with Carbon fibre and titanium. Plenty of british artisans could build you an exciting frame with that...

    But isn't that stainless steel made in the USA not the UK?
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • Dgh
    Dgh Posts: 180
    Why the obsession with buying British? Would you insist on British bananas, or coffee, or tea?

    I'll buy British if British companies sell me what I want at the price I want (I own a Brompton). I'll buy foreign if they do likewise (I also own a Scott and a Trek). I don't see why I should buy inferior or over-priced goods just because someone in Britain is going to make the profit. I don't see why I should discriminate against foreign companies and employees if they can provide a better product at a better price.

    Why not just buy the best product for you in your price range, regardless of where it's made?
  • Monty Dog wrote:
    To correct some assumptions above:
    AFAIK no-one makes carbon frames in the UK, not Dolan, not anyone apart from the handful of frames made for the WCPP
    Sabbath titanium - choose one of 2 factories in Taiwan/ China likewise Burls and I'm not sure Enigma's ti offerings aren't of Eastern origin either.

    Thanks for clarifying - I did wonder if that was the case.

    Out of interest, I wonder what the best value most British bike for £1k would be then?

    Something built up using a 631 frame from the likes of Bob Jackson (for example) with handbuilt wheels I assume?
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Boardman CX Team
    Trek 8000
    Sirrus framed 'special'

    Prev: Avanti Corsa, Routens, MBK TT, homemade TT bike, Trek 990, Vitus 979 x 2, Peugeot Roubaix & er..Raleigh Arena!
  • balthazar
    balthazar Posts: 1,565
    Out of interest, I wonder what the best value most British bike for £1k would be then?

    Something built up using a 631 frame from the likes of Bob Jackson (for example) with handbuilt wheels I assume?
    I think so. Bob Jackson frames are as little as £400 including forks; I don't know of any others made the same way, for less. It's a practical start to a great £1k bike.
  • kmcd21
    kmcd21 Posts: 105
    No obsession with buying British- I just think it is beneficial to buy British items at a time when there has been a slump in the economy. Every bit helps.

    The two manufactures i mentioned appear to be very capable of producing bikes of 1000-1500 GBP and get raging reviews ! it is not unusual to see some mainstream bikes out there at 2x the price with mediocre reviews.

    Thanks for the advice on steel but I really want a carbon bike this time round.

    Best to wait until new yr see who gets the greatest reviews for my price range.
    Enduro- YT Capra AL1- 2016
    Road- Boardman Team Carbon- 2010
    XC- Gary Fisher Marlin- 2002
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    With Chinese factories churning-out carbon frames at a cost of less $150 how can anyone else compete when it's simply a question of global economics.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    Monty Dog wrote:
    To correct some assumptions above:
    AFAIK no-one makes carbon frames in the UK, not Dolan, not anyone apart from the handful of frames made for the WCPP
    Sabbath titanium - choose one of 2 factories in Taiwan/ China likewise Burls and I'm not sure Enigma's ti offerings aren't of Eastern origin either.
    The tubing for the titanium bikes does come from the Far East AFAIK but defintely built over here by one Mark Reilly, the XCR and Niobium steel tubing from the Columbus factory in Italy I'm guessing but again definitely built over here, and that for me would be the important thing.
  • kmcd21 wrote:
    No obsession with buying British- I just think it is beneficial to buy British items at a time when there has been a slump in the economy. Every bit helps.

    The two manufactures i mentioned appear to be very capable of producing bikes of 1000-1500 GBP and get raging reviews ! it is not unusual to see some mainstream bikes out there at 2x the price with mediocre reviews.

    Thanks for the advice on steel but I really want a carbon bike this time round.

    Best to wait until new yr see who gets the greatest reviews for my price range.

    Well there's no way you'll get a British bike then
    Expertly coached by http://www.vitessecyclecoaching.co.uk/

    http://vineristi.wordpress.com - the blog for Viner owners and lovers!
  • Steve Goff seems great value - 853 for £500!:

    http://www.steve-goff-frames.co.uk/frames.shtml
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Boardman CX Team
    Trek 8000
    Sirrus framed 'special'

    Prev: Avanti Corsa, Routens, MBK TT, homemade TT bike, Trek 990, Vitus 979 x 2, Peugeot Roubaix & er..Raleigh Arena!
  • Out of curiousity, anyone know where Sturmey-Archer make their hubs, cranks and chainrings? I doubt much is made in the UK.
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • cal_stewart
    cal_stewart Posts: 1,840
    just buy whats best. As a soldier i hate it when we get kit that keeps british jobs as 9 times of of 10 its shÄt and the company is going out under because its product is shÄt and nobody wants it.
    eating parmos since 1981

    Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Aero 09
    Cervelo P5 EPS
    www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40044&t=13038799
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Dgh wrote:
    Why the obsession with buying British? Would you insist on British bananas, or coffee, or tea?

    I'll buy British if British companies sell me what I want at the price I want (I own a Brompton). I'll buy foreign if they do likewise (I also own a Scott and a Trek). I don't see why I should buy inferior or over-priced goods just because someone in Britain is going to make the profit. I don't see why I should discriminate against foreign companies and employees if they can provide a better product at a better price.

    It's pretty straightforward really - support local manufacturing and, when the economy goes pear shaped and your currency devalues, your manufacturing products become very cheap to foreign countries and they buy you out of your recession.

    That's why Germany is doing relatively well and we are going nowhere.

    So, in answer to your question, you should support local industry because it helps keep you in a job.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • pianoman
    pianoman Posts: 706
    How about a Moda bike? Went to have a look over at Cheshire Oaks today and they seem incredible well specced for the price. Apparently they're even releasing a £1,000 TT bike with American Classic Victory 30's sometime early next year!

    Have a look here:

    http://www.eurobike.uk.com/list.aspx?CAT=65

    All assembled in Derbyshire. You can't make it up can you :wink:
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    The materials aren't English made PianoMan, Far east again with a different name on the downtube, the same as countless others. Nothing new there.
  • warpcow
    warpcow Posts: 1,448
    Out of curiousity, anyone know where Sturmey-Archer make their hubs, cranks and chainrings? I doubt much is made in the UK.

    Weren't they bought up by some Asian company? I'm 99% certain they're not British anyway.

    I'd probably buy British if it was something I couldn't easily get anywhere else, to a price I found reasonable. Things like Hope products and hand-built steel frames are about all that come to mind right now. The real plus would be after-sales service such as Hope's.

    I do own a set of Middleburn cranks, but I heard they moved production to Italy a few years ago. Are Crud-Catchers 'proper' British?

    There was a thread on STW sometime this last year about the minimum possible price of a British built frame, and, with input from some builders/designers/industry-types, they came up with about £500 for an ordinary steel HT. Then it was going to take a few years to break-even too, I think.
  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    on a side note but following up on warpcow comment. I know of a UK based bike company that has frames made from 853 and it is more cost effective to send the tubes from the UK to Taiwan for welding and paint and then shipped back than it would be having it done in the UK.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    nicklouse wrote:
    on a side note but following up on warpcow comment. I know of a UK based bike company that has frames made from 853 and it is more cost effective to send the tubes from the UK to Taiwan for welding and paint and then shipped back than it would be having it done in the UK.
    Yes I've heard that too; pathetic isn't it?
  • vorsprung
    vorsprung Posts: 1,953
    kmcd21 wrote:
    No obsession with buying British- I just think it is beneficial to buy British items at a time when there has been a slump in the economy. Every bit helps.

    The two manufactures i mentioned appear to be very capable of producing bikes of 1000-1500 GBP and get raging reviews ! it is not unusual to see some mainstream bikes out there at 2x the price with mediocre reviews.

    Thanks for the advice on steel but I really want a carbon bike this time round.

    Best to wait until new yr see who gets the greatest reviews for my price range.

    Well there's no way you'll get a British bike then

    Yep. I decided that I wanted to try a Carbon bike this time and came to the same conclusion

    There are several UK companies that sell rebadged chinese carbon frames as their own brand but I couldn't find any evidence of actual UK manufacturers

    There are a couple of French places that actually make carbon frames but they are very very expensive

    Titanium is similar but there is a tiny amount of actual manufacturing

    Steel there is lots of choice, many small UK based makers. My commuter bike is a Cotic Roadrat with a Hope headse, Brooks saddle and wheels I built myself. That's probably about as British as it gets
  • AndyF16
    AndyF16 Posts: 506
    I know of a UK based bike company that has frames made from 853 and it is more cost effective to send the tubes from the UK to Taiwan for welding and paint and then shipped back than it would be having it done in the UK.

    A bit OT but I used to have a customer who had made the stainless steel chassis for MRI scanners here for many years, they then decided it was cheaper to send containers full of materials to the UAE, to have (probably Indian) guest workers there fab them up and return finished chassis to the UK :shock: One problem is that shipping is now 'too cheap' with humongous container vessels plying the high seas :idea:
    2011 Bianchi D2 Cavaria in celeste (of course!)
    2011 Enigma Echo 57cm in naked Ti
    2009 Orange G2 19" in, erm orange