Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shadow Optic, the Manufacturing Partner Paradox

Read "Shadow Optic, the Manufacturing Partner Paradox" to gain additional insights into what is happening in framebuilding. The Italian firms mentioned are Colnago, Pinarello, Bianchi, Wilier, Scott, and Dedacciai.

Follow on Twitter: ITALIANCYCJOURN

Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at There are more than 2,300 stories in this blog. The search feature to the right works best for finding subjects in the blog. There is also a translate button at the bottom so you can translate each page.


  1. "Well-known bicycle brands are now effectively sales and marketing departments, with varying degrees of in-house R+D capabilities."

    I ran into this recently. The Merckx brand has been bought by new owners, the "factory" moved to a new location in Belgium, and they want nothing to do with supporting pre-2012 Merckx products. If you need a replacement part don't bother asking them.

  2. Thanks for the link! Excellent article. Larry says:I was not surprised that FUJI was the only one not trying to hide origin. Of all the brands mentioned, they probably have the least to lose. The brand was stagnant in the USA for many years and never really traded much on history, passion for the sport, etc. As for Colnago, in Italian cycling magazines the advertising for the “100% Made in Italy” frames prominently features this fact while the ads for the rest of them don’t say anything about where they are made. To me this is fooling nobody, and I’d make a small wager that the respective values/selling prices of the Made in Italy Colnago’s vs the Asian ones are very different, not only at original retail but also in sales via ebay, etc.
    If this scheme truly works long-term, it won’t be long before Ferrari makes some of their cheaper cars in China while keeping production of the top-of-the-line models in Maranello. I wouldn’t bet on anyone paying much for a Chinese-made Ferrari but who knows?

  3. FUJI is the least reticent about acknowledging its Asian OEM perhaps because it has deep roots in Japan, (hence its brand name 'FUJI') and because the brand recognizes the potential of the Asian cycling market in its own right.

    FUJI currently promotes Asian pro cycling with its sponsorship of the Hong Kong based Pro Continential Team - Champion Systems.

    The photo of the FUJI Altamira Team Edition in the article is actually the 'Replica' version of the Team bike as the 'Pro' version comes with DT Swiss wheels and other refinements not featured in the photo.