Allied Cycle Works - Why MADE HERE (USA) Matters - a word from the founder

Conventional wisdom in the bike industry says that carbon fiber bike manufacturing can only be accomplished in Asia. We think that’s ridiculous; the U.S. developed nearly every advanced manufacturing concept from standardized parts to carbon fiber itself.

Conventional wisdom in the bike industry says that carbon fiber bike manufacturing can only be accomplished in Asia. We think that’s ridiculous; the U.S. developed nearly every advanced manufacturing concept from standardized parts to carbon fiber itself. The way we see it, we can’t imagine why an American brand wouldn’t make their bikes here.

Making our bikes here gives us an edge over other brands. Because our engineering team works on the factory floor, communication is instantaneous. We implement process improvements as needed and make constant improvement.

One of the challenges of dealing with Asian factories is the need to forecast up to two years ahead of when you need the product. Worse, if you discover a problem, you have a warehouse full of that problem. With domestic just-in-time manufacturing, we never have compromised product on hand and you always get our latest and best work.

Because the factory is ours, we aren’t a customer. When you’re a customer of a big factory that produces bikes for several of your competitors, you face two big problems. The first is that you need to differentiate your bikes from your competitors’ bikes. The second is that you are always working with a limited range of material and development options. And these two factors make each other more difficult.

Were we a customer of a big Asian factory, we would have faced obstacles to using advanced materials like Innegra's polypropylene fibers, PPG's latest paints or Textreme's newest composites. Each of these are high-tech products developed by Western Nations that most Asian factories are unable or unwilling to work with. Because we own our factory, our IP and development dollars are safe. Quite simply, this is what makes our product unique, and better than the others.

So while we know we produce a better product this way, that’s only part of why “MADE HERE” matters. Nobody here at Allied has a Ph.D. in economics, but you don't need one to be able to see how outsourced manufacturing has cratered the middle class everywhere from Michigan to Mississippi. We know that by providing good-paying jobs we are doing our community a service. Making the investment in a manufacturing workforce will lead to others establishing factories in Arkansas; Detroit started its journey to becoming an automotive powerhouse with a single factory. Manufacturing exists in clusters.

People left so-called “flyover” states like ours for the coasts because they wanted cool jobs. Jobs like the ones we are creating are drawing young, vibrant families back to the heartland to revitalize our communities. We now employ 50+ people who never imagined that they could have such inspiring careers in advanced manufacturing while living in Arkansas.

Asian-made bikes appear to be less expensive. But once you factor in all the inefficiencies associated with mass production half a world away, those savings evaporate. While we have the higher labor costs that come with the American workforce, we don't have development travel, freight, import duties, warehousing, or warranty return costs. In the end, the true cost is remarkably similar.

Let’s be honest: carbon fiber frames are fragile. Normally, when a carbon fiber frame is damaged, it winds up in a landfill. It’s an awful waste. We want to see our bikes remain on the road for as long as possible, and we have the ability to repair most damage that normally destroys carbon fiber bikes. From handlebar strikes on top tubes to crunched seatstays, we can repair and refinish your bike—just like it was—and get you back on the road.

There’s yet another reason why made in America results in a better product for you. Customer service. By integrating the factory, engineering, sales, marketing and administration all under one roof, we can keep inventory lean. When we get an order, we have the ability to offer a bike in an industry-leading 12 sizes as well as 15+ paint options and deliver it to you in four weeks. As if that’s not enough, when we ship a bike, it has the correct stem, bar, crank, chainrings, cassette and saddle—no swapping of components necessary.

From controlling innovation and production to making sure that the money you spend with us supports a skilled domestic workforce, all while giving you unparalleled customer service, it is our firm belief that MADE HERE is as much a win for you as it is for us.

Tony Karklins
Founder and CEO

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