I grew up in a Schwinn family. We exclusively bought bicycles made by the U.S. manufacturer that had been making bicycles since the 1800s. (No Huffy bikes, please. And definitely not a Roadmaster brand.) We'd go to our local Schwinn dealer to buy Schwinn parts as well as bikes made — at that time — in the U.S.
I still do a lot of bicycling. And have way too many bikes in my possession (they all have a purpose, I swear), but haven't purchased a Schwinn since the mid-1980s. The brand dropped U.S. manufacturing by the 1990s as bicycle manufacturing largely abandoned the U.S.
It's very difficult to buy a U.S.-made bicycle today unless you're seeking a low-volume specialty bike or a custom ride. U.S.-based bike brands may have local R&D, prototyping or assembly, but the bulk of the production is done in Asia. That's one reason why the supply chain for bicycles and bike parts has been so complicated the past few years.
That could change, though. PN's Bridget Janis writes that Time Bicycles has started construction on a 140,000-square-foot factory in Landrum, S.C., that will make carbon-fiber frame bikes. It says it will be the largest U.S. carbon-fiber bike maker when the site opens.
The Time brand launched in Europe in the late 1980s and is now owned by Cardinal Cycling Group of Little Rock, Ark. It currently makes bikes in Slovakia and will bring the same resin transfer molding process to its South Carolina operations.
Does that mean that I'll soon be adding to my stable of bikes? Only time will tell.