Thursday, June 25, 2009


A further explanation of how "Made in ....." is also determined, in addition to actually being made in-country, appears at and is cited below. The author, Kerry Roberts, is the past president and chairperson of the National Bicycle Dealers Association and provides consulting services to the bicycle industry.

"When it comes to knowing where your bike is made, shouldn’t it be as easy as looking at the sticker on your bike or what is printed on the box in which your bike came? After all, how confusing can a label that says “Made in the USA” or “Made in France” or “Made in Italy” be?

Well – in a word – very. It is very confusing because your definition of “made in” is different from the bike industry’s definition.

A typical rule of thumb is that the country claiming origin has to add 60% or more of the value of the final product.

For example, you and I can import an unpainted carbon fiber racing frame from China to Spain which will ultimately retail for $4,000 with Shimano components in the United States. The frame and fork may only cost $200 from the Chinese manufacturer. In Spain, we will paint, decal, assemble, and box the bike for shipping to the U.S. Our cost to paint, decal, assemble, and box might be $300 and the cost of the components might be another $800. So is this bike “Made in China” or “Made in Spain?” According to the bike industry's definition, the bike is made in Spain.

The sticker will say “Made in Spain” as will the shipping box to the United States because over 60% of the value will be added in Spain.

Let’s say we take the same frame and have the Chinese manufacturer paint it, decal it, assemble it into a bicycle, and ship it to Spain. When we ship it to the United States, the label will have to say “Made in China.”

Part I and Part II of this series:

Stories, including cycling trip stories, for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact


  1. why is a colnago ferrari priced at 15,000 dollars? maybe you'd like to explain?

  2. Ron, I wrote about this bike in October, 2008 ( The Colnago high end bikes are made in Italy. This particular bike is a limited edition run of 99 with 25 going to the United States. Ernesto has the ability to set the price as he wishes.

    To its credit, Colnago has been very good about identifying which bikes are made in Italy and which are not. Colnago videos coming in future....