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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two things bugged me about Santa Cruz now:

Santa Cruz are now making many of their bikes in Taiwan making the brand mainstream and not so special anymore. Like Trek, Giant, Specialized.

Santa Cruz have now started to restrict free trade by telling their USA dealers they can't ship to other countries - just like Trek, Specialized, Giant.

So I figure they just want to be another mass market brand like those others (the best products don't do this - DT/King/Thompson/Ellsworth/Turner/Fox/SRAM/SHIMANO etc).

No more mojo and soul to me. So after being a Santa Cruz fan/owner for a long time - Superlight, Chameleon, Superlight (I loved these bikes and helped many of my friends buy their Santa Cruz's) - I have now passed on the Blur for my next ride and have moved to Turner (have a new Flux - anyone want to buy a USA made 2002 Super Light?).

My friend - one of the better XC Endurance riders in our country (Australia) - passed on a new Superlight of 06 (cause stock wasn't available, and Santa Cruz decided to restrict free trade and bar USA dealers from shipping to him - rather than just making local prices competitive and letting the market decide). He now has a new Ellsworth Truth - purchased through the local importer but as a matter of principal he passed on a second Superlight (he is now selling his 03).

We both feel (and many more I know) that Santa Cruz have lost that special something - and they gave it up just like that! Too bad.

Too bad about the restrictive trade practices and for losing your soul (even if your designs hang in for now - but how long until we see a range of Santa Cruz tires/gloves/shoes/kid bikes etc)....

Bye Santa Cruz enjoy your seeming mass brand aspirations and new ways - hope it works for you - but you just lost two evangelists and past fans.
 

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Coldass said:
Two things bugged me about Santa Cruz now:

Santa Cruz are now making many of their bikes in Taiwan making the brand mainstream and not so special anymore. Like Trek, Giant, Specialized.

Santa Cruz have now started to restrict free trade by telling their USA dealers they can't ship to other countries - just like Trek, Specialized, Giant.

So I figure they just want to be another mass market brand like those others (the best products don't do this - DT/King/Thompson/Ellsworth/Turner/Fox/SRAM/SHIMANO etc).

No more mojo and soul to me. So after being a Santa Cruz fan/owner for a long time - Superlight, Chameleon, Superlight (I loved these bikes and helped many of my friends buy their Santa Cruz's) - I have now passed on the Blur for my next ride and have moved to Turner (have a new Flux - anyone want to buy a USA made 2002 Super Light?).

My friend - one of the better XC Endurance riders in our country (Australia) - passed on a new Superlight of 06 (cause stock wasn't available, and Santa Cruz decided to restrict free trade and bar USA dealers from shipping to him - rather than just making local prices competitive and letting the market decide). He now has a new Ellsworth Truth - purchased through the local importer but as a matter of principal he passed on a second Superlight (he is now selling his 03).

We both feel (and many more I know) that Santa Cruz have lost that special something - and they gave it up just like that! Too bad.

Too bad about the restrictive trade practices and for losing your soul (even if your designs hang in for now - but how long until we see a range of Santa Cruz tires/gloves/shoes/kid bikes etc)....

Bye Santa Cruz enjoy your seeming mass brand aspirations and new ways - hope it works for you - but you just lost two evangelists and past fans.
Don't you have any dealer shops located near you?
 

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Overseas....

As for the overseas issue, most other boutique manufacturers do the same thing, if they have an overseas distribution center or dealer, they go through them. I don't think Santa Cruz is that much different there. Do they want to get bigger? Ya, no doubt, I think they want to get bigger, produce more bikes, sell more bikes, and hopefully their product quality will stay as we all know and love....no matter where they are built.
 

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Pass me a tissue...sniff, sniff. Man, you'd think we just found out that the Chris King company was really a front for Alqueda or something by your reaction. Cold, SC is just a bike company...not a living entity. Frankly I find it amusing and maybe a little disturbing that people get emotional about brands rather than the bottom line of performance, value, and durability. I realize a rational discussion about production origin and how it affects economies is justified. Notice that I said "rational", not "evangelical" as you put it.

Speaking of rationality, isn't there more going on here than SC just making a greedy corporate move to a partial Asian manufacturing of some of its lineup? I don't claim to be an expert on this whatsoever, but wasn't Kinesis SC's frame supplier? Isn't Kinesis actually a big Asian manufacturer with an outlet on the U.S. west coast? Didn't Kinesis start dropping some of the manufacturing for SC because of at least a couple of reasons?...(1)they couldn't keep up with ever increasing numbers of frame demand, and (2)Kinesis made some business alliances with at least one other company to expand their lines...like Mountain Cycle. Again, I'm not privy to the inner sanctum board meetings to know all the details behind some of these moves, but these two issues are at least contributory to SC moving some of its frame production overseas.

SC has grown dramatically since its inception...kind of a victim of its own success. Hardly a company exists that after such dramatic growth in the bicycle industry finds the almost inevitable need to outsource some of its production overseas to compete. In a perfect world, at least just from the perspective of the benefit to the U.S. economy, most products we consume would be manufactured here in the U.S., but that type of economic utopia just doesn't exits on this shrinking planet. Additionally if you're that concerned about outsourced Asian production of bike frames, then maybe you need to look at all those other Asian outsourced products bolted to your U.S.-made frame. If you're going to be a purist on this issue, then maybe you need to expand your microscope.

Obviously you have the right to make your purchases based on whatever litmus test that you feel is justified, and others have the right to disagree with you. Personally I'm not going to make my bike purchases based on evangelical fervor. I'll drop SC like a hot rock at the first indication of notable manufacturing defects and/or bad design issues and move on to another bike company. As it is, there are 4 bike brands represented in my personal stable...not because I have an emotional attachment to them but because they work.
 

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Have to admit, I almost bought an Intense 5.5 instead of my recent BLT, but went with the Blur LT mostly because of the shock choice available. I did consider that both were made in the USA. Had the Santa Cruz been an import, I may have leaned more toward the Intense, but probably still would have bought the BLT for the stock RP3 shock on it over the Manitou.

Having said this, I ride a made in Taiwan Giant, two made in China Redlines, a made (welded) in Canada Evil, a made in the USA Cannondale and both my Bullit and my Blur LT were US manufactured frames. The quality of all these frames varies. My Cannondale cyclocross frame was defective from the USA factory, but Cannondale made, painted and shipped me a replacement in one week, which was amazing, considering they just changed model years and had to paint my replacement frame in last year's color to match my fork. A previous Cannondale, had a (mass-produced) misaligned chain guide mount on the BB. Their customer service, actually the frame's designer, sent me a free adapter plate when I called him on the phone. Evil is in Boston. When I have questions about their frame's deraillure hanger (or their chain guides), they answer the phone and sent parts right out.

So while no man-made products may be perfect, US companies, or at least companies that are located in the same country as the consumer, often seem to have superior customer service over ones that have US branch offices and must report back to overseas headquarters. This does not always mean that a US company's products are always made in part or entirely in the USA. SRAM is an excellent example of this, and their customer service is the industry's best. I know from experience that a company's ability to offer a high level of customer service depends not only upon their products, but how extensively and efficiently, and where, they stock their products, and what control they have over their own products that they sell. Look at Yeti. Excellent quality products from a company right here in Golden, Colorado, but only a couple of frames are still made in the USA, the rest are imports now. And their choice of painter, Spectrum down in Colorado Springs (Waltworks uses them too) has the worst customer service for screwing up custom paint orders, denying any communication problems and threatening customers that try to resolve these deficiencies. Yet Chris and the gang at Yeti is able to get them to produce adaquate paint results for their (mass) frame production. A company has to control its product completely, regardless of where it is made.

So will I not buy an imported bike frame just because it was not made in the USA? No, it all depends upon the particular company. Santa Cruz has had a lot of problems with demand and production delay and stock in the past, but excellent customer service. if importing some frames helps, if they still have complete control over the quality, perhaps that will help them deliver more frames, and on time. They are not a custom frame builder, so there is no novelty in waiting three months or more for a Santa Cruz frame, even if for the color of your choice.

We'll have to wait and see. This will either help them, and us, or hurt us all. Depends upon how they run their business. If they go cookie-cutter imported mass-production, could be state of the art, or could spell the end of the company, at least as we know it.

I have more problems with the overseas labor laws, or lack thereof, than any quality issues with any imported frames that I ride.

Cheers,

Dave
 

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Hahahahahahahaha.

It's not SC's fault you don't live in America. Why don't you buy one of those high end brands made in Australia? Oh that's right, there are none! Well, it's good to know you're still supporting America's economy by buying a different American brand. Thanks! I think I'll have a donut and a burger with the taxes you paid for your Turner.
 

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Say you make it a point to buy 'Made in America' what about the rest of your bike, where do you think a good majority of your other components, rear der, forks, etc. are made! Probably not all in the US of A.

Dorry you think SC lost their Soul, but I love my ****ing Nomad! btw, made in the USA but that was not intentional :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I never said it was a bad thing that SC are building in Taiwan. Or that the product would be bad by being made there. It is not about this.

This isn't a rational comment. It is emotional. Branding is like that. So are buying bikes. We are not machines - we buy bikes beacuse of an emotional need - so a big part of what and why we buy is emotional. And with this is what we "feel" about a brand. I feel different about SC now and Iknow others do to.

Most boutique brands do not restrict any trade. Why would they. I can assure you that the companies that place channel restrictions don't do as well as they could. Why? Cause it usually props up a poor local wholesaler and retalier who are making fat margins and this then inlflates the local retail price that restricts volume.

Anyway Australia and the USA now have a free trade agreement (yes I know that you inward focussed American's most likely have no idea about this).

You see in Australia SC has a great local distributor - but there are only a few dealers with SC bikes, and rarely do they have stock. So you can imagine it is a bit frustrating when you want to buy a bike or part and you go to the LBS, or call the local distributor and they have no knowledge, no stock, and then quote you a delivery time that includes the time they need to import. This is all to common - so I like 75% of the riders I know buy direct from the USA or UK - bypassing this low value supply chain.

Now Trek/Giant and co. have much larger dealer channels, and impose export restrcitions on their dealers. But this just stops their product being sold. Why? An example is this. I wanted to buy a pair of Bontrager Race X Light wheels for my new Turner. Guess what. No stock in Australia. So delivery in Jan - perhaps. And the retail price here is.... $1800 (that's about US$1350). This is a joke so of course I don't buy Trek/Bontrager.

Oh, and for the person who said I was the unlucky one to not live in the USA. I live in Australia pal - not Afgainistan - and let me assure you it is pretty good here as well.
 

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All I can say is.......

- Check your facts about how much of SCB's production is offshore. The majority of their lineup is made here in the USA.

You see in Australia SC has a great local distributor - but there are only a few dealers with SC bikes, and rarely do they have stock. So you can imagine it is a bit frustrating when you want to buy a bike or part and you go to the LBS, or call the local distributor and they have no knowledge, no stock, and then quote you a delivery time that includes the time they need to import. This is all to common - so I like 75% of the riders I know buy direct from the USA or UK - bypassing this low value supply chain.

- Get in line and wait, just like everyone had/has to. It's supply & demand, pure & simple.
When the Blur was first shown at Interbike, I placed my order on the spot. - It took nearly a YEAR, and I live in the States. If you feel the need to circumvent a Companies/Countrys policies then feel free to use Ebay or something like that.

Oh, and for the person who said I was the unlucky one to not live in the USA. I live in Australia pal - not Afgainistan - and let me assure you it is pretty good here as well.[/QUOTE]

- If you'll recall, YOU threw out the immature name calling in the first place. There isn't a need in here for any of that, from anyone.

- Peace, Dave.
 

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Old man on a bike
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Santa Cruz is among the better bike companies, good products, reasonable prices, good people to deal with (at least in my experience). I'd prefer them to keep production here for economic reasons, not quality particularly, but it's up to them to conduct business as they see best for their survival and to meet their goals. They've been outsourcing production (in the US as well as Taiwan) for quite a while, so why are you only emotionally disaffected now?

Your rant mostly centers on your inability to find someone to bypass Santa Cruz's distribution practices, which they probably put in place to try and increase the sales of their product in Australia. Your biggest problem in this is where you are; shipping is damn expensive and you don't have a huge population. Restricted access can be a double edged sword, some good some bad. Don't you think we here in the US don't also deal with a trade restriction in the form of authorized dealers? Maybe you should try and become a distributor/dealer yourself if you have a better way of doing business.

Just what is your definition of a boutique brand? If you were to create one in Australia, I wonder if you'd also turn to Taiwan for production...
 

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You have to realise that while the mountain bike scene is definitely growing in Australia, it's simply uneconomical for shops to keep tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of boutique stock on their floors. A Sydney retailer might sell 20 Santa Cruz's in a very good year? At around about AUS$2600 for a frame (obviously lower cost price) that's a lot of cash sitting idle if they only sell 10. The importer takes a risk to bring stock into the country, and as a result, Santa Cruz has a responsibility to try and protect them. (The Aussie importer, Neezy, are great to deal with too btw..)

I bought a Heckler locally. It took a long time to arrive. I could have ordered another colour and got it sooner. With the premium I paid (at the time, the AUD was weaker against the greenback) which was probably around 40% more than importing the frame/parts, I've gotten fantastic service, a relationship with the bike shop, advice, free repairs, discounts and so on.

My Heckler is made in Taiwan. It has had less issues (zero!) than many friends bikes including 100% USA made Cannondales.
 

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I agree, but it is probably not smart for any shop to keep stock in all of Santa Cruz's bikes and frames, I know local shops that have had blurs hanging on the walls for a year plus. Run the risk of not moving those bikes.

Is the cost cheaper if you bought through one of the American e-LBS, say Esquires (above) place Boutique Bikes?
 

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Coldass said:
I never said it was a bad thing that SC are building in Taiwan.
Yeah, you did, when you said this was one of 2 things that bug you about SC. "Good" things usually don't bug people.

Sure, we all have emotional connections, but I guess branding has never been one for me. If someone makes the "perfect" bike/part for me, I don't care who it is, I buy that kit. If I am going to have an emotional bond, it's to what I ride, not some builder/groups of guys/corporation that is making the bike and advertising trying to get me to buy it.

Props to the designer and the craftsmen who designed and built it if it'sa great bike, but I don't get teary thinking about them and their ideology/philosophy. I also don't get pissed at my bike and sell it (though I guess you should really give it away so as not to profit on evil merchandise) if they decide to change their business model.

Ride you're bike, enjoy it, sell it if it doesn't work for you, find someone in the states to send you parts if they are too exensive there, use ebay, and tell the fat [email protected]#%s gouging you at your LBS to KNOCK IT OFF and price competatively.

I hope you read the Turner page before buying your Flux, there was a riot after Interbike about how Turner had lost HIS soul by eliminating the Horst linkfrom this designs. I guess you can't trust anybody these days...

:rolleyes:

Good luck! Have fun riding whatever you got!

(Sorry for the typos)
 

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Since Nineteen Forgotten
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Richard said:
See ya

TNT hahahahahahah!!!!!!!
Now, now play nice..

I'm all the way out here in the middle of nowhere and I have to find ways to get my SC or whichever brand frame it is I'm ordering to be shipped to me. Luckily my LBS is very competitive with his prices because he knows we can get stuff online, but I can see the original poster's point when manufacturers prohibit their dealers from shipping their brands out of their designated region.

If I wanted a Specialized, I have to go to the nearest dealer, and for me that's Hawaii. The dealer refuses to ship the frame or bike and sell only to walkin customers. But I have not heard of Boutique brands doing this for their frames only.

If I wanted a Chamelon and go to my LBS and find his price too high, I can browse online and find a competitive price. In most cases they will ship all the way out here in Guam.

I hope you enjoy your Turner, but if you do find yourself missing a sweet SC ride, you can PM me for my LBS' contact and address. I'm sure he'll get you a good deal on a frame.
 

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Who is John Galt?
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I have an Australian friend who saw the similar lack of Harley's in Australia as an opportunity. He worked out a deal with my brother to buy up all the used H-Ds he could find and ship them down under. Then he sold them at double the money. Maybe you can do the same with SCs?
 

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Agreed

Coldass said:
I never said it was a bad thing that SC are building in Taiwan. Or that the product would be bad by being made there. It is not about this.

This isn't a rational comment. It is emotional. Branding is like that. So are buying bikes. We are not machines - we buy bikes beacuse of an emotional need - so a big part of what and why we buy is emotional. And with this is what we "feel" about a brand. I feel different about SC now and Iknow others do to.

Most boutique brands do not restrict any trade. Why would they. I can assure you that the companies that place channel restrictions don't do as well as they could. Why? Cause it usually props up a poor local wholesaler and retalier who are making fat margins and this then inlflates the local retail price that restricts volume.

Anyway Australia and the USA now have a free trade agreement (yes I know that you inward focussed American's most likely have no idea about this).

You see in Australia SC has a great local distributor - but there are only a few dealers with SC bikes, and rarely do they have stock. So you can imagine it is a bit frustrating when you want to buy a bike or part and you go to the LBS, or call the local distributor and they have no knowledge, no stock, and then quote you a delivery time that includes the time they need to import. This is all to common - so I like 75% of the riders I know buy direct from the USA or UK - bypassing this low value supply chain.

Now Trek/Giant and co. have much larger dealer channels, and impose export restrcitions on their dealers. But this just stops their product being sold. Why? An example is this. I wanted to buy a pair of Bontrager Race X Light wheels for my new Turner. Guess what. No stock in Australia. So delivery in Jan - perhaps. And the retail price here is.... $1800 (that's about US$1350). This is a joke so of course I don't buy Trek/Bontrager.

Oh, and for the person who said I was the unlucky one to not live in the USA. I live in Australia pal - not Afgainistan - and let me assure you it is pretty good here as well.
I hear you,
the real bad thing is when companys don't pass on the savings on the over sea fabrication,
like specialized their Enduro 5500$ and made in taiwan not thank you. I ride a Intense 5.5 made in temecula ca. I work about two miles from the intense factory, and I visited them once they make everything there milling dropouts all that. Turner is about 4 miles from intense, i havent made it over there yet but I am sure I will get a chance soon. Dont get me wrong I am a fan of santa cruz, just not a fan of outsourcing, if they ever outsource all their frames I wont be a customer.
And as far as Australia DUDE why do all the bada## downhillers come from australia? Must be good stuff to ride there eh? Not like socal where you have to take the car to the trail head. I'm sure Austrailiens ride in the backyard. Socal has some bada#$ trails but its a bummer you have to drive out to them.
 

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You're making an assumption that they lost their sole due to moving manufacturing and putting restrictions on exports. Common sense tells me they're doing those things to increase value, however it's unclear on what they're going to do with the increased value. If they pocket all the cash themselves, then 'yes' you could argue they're turning greedy and lost their souls (boo freakin' hoo). But, what if they take the additional funds and pump it back into R&D and product development to crank out some of the hottest rides ever? Would you still consider them sell-outs? I don't see anything wrong with their business tactics as long as they continue to churn out sweet rides.

P.S. Don't hate the player hat the game :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There are some great comments here that have made me feel that I haven't thought about this from all angles. I was perhaps a bit to strong so here it is in a better way...

I have loved riding my SC bikes and most likely always will. I understand that they have always stood for good value - it just surprised me when they slapped export restrictions on their frames.

I did buy my last SC SL frame from the local distributor (Neezy - they are great), and I would buy through them again if I did buy a SC. But I just don't like that SC had to play enforcer try for force us to buy that way and restrict trading from the usual mail shops (their competition is important to keep local prices fair). I am disapointed with this that's all.

And I know SC still make their newer bikes in the USA - Trek make their high end bikes in the USA also. It is just to me the Tawain/Giant manufacture signals a shift to a more mainstream brand, less bouteque - which for most may not be a bad thing and make them more accesable. But I'm after that special bike from a smaller brand that has the soul I'm looking for. That is Turner, it might have been Ellsworth or Ventana (my shortlist).

Enough said.

CA
 

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VPP vs SINGLEPIVOT

Hey I don't know what are you talking about all the SINGLEPIVOTS and HTare made in Taiwan but all of the VPP are made in the USA in factory call SAPA that makes Turner as well.Santacruz owners be proud with your ride it's still not a mass prouduct company and I hope it's remain the same as it now a boutiqe company that we all proud to own and LOVE.
 
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