I was reading an article today in a magazine where they where comparing the results of an in depth test between a made in the USA, Baker transmission and one of the overseas copies that sells for quite less. The results were quite interesting regarding quality versus cheap imitations of an original. The results were posted in a scientific manner and the author didn’t tout one design over the over, but rather let the results speak for themselves. The point of this is that while reading the article I got to thinking of a conversation I had the other day with someone when I was bouncing ideas of how I could be more productive and still maintain quality. While bouncing ideas back and forth, the topic of having a manufacturer produce the product overseas in China came up. What got me upset was that they went on and on about how I can come up with an idea or just steal a current product from someone else and have it mass produced in China and churn out so much quantity that I can afford to undercut people and still make a nice profit. That really got my blood boiling. This person just didn’t get it.
I agonize over every angle in a pair of handlebars and every measurement. If I have a lapse in concentration and make a 72 degree bend instead of a 70 degree, and if I can’t fix it, the tube goes into the scrap pile for future use. I literally measure and check every single set of bars and every angle to make sure that they are correct. I hold up every pair to visually check them and I actually envision someone riding down some highway with them and hope that they enjoy them. I’d love to see a picture of each set of bars on someone’s bike or project, and If I see you at a swap meet, show, or out on the road somewhere, I’d like to shake your hand and say “thank you”.
I have trouble believing that someone on some factory overseas has the same passion. If they’re off on a bend by a few degrees, would anyone really care, or notice? Sure, if I produced the product in China, then I can turn out more product faster and cheaper, but I would feel like I was cheating myself and my friends just to make a quick buck. Quality isn’t cheap but it isn’t a license to extort either. Someone can always find something cheaper somewhere, but in the end you get what you pay for.