We have received another, and probably the last, shipment of Belleri "Porteur" handlebars. This box is all seconds, that is bars that had at one point been mounted on new bikes and taped. We speculate that these came from unsold bikes from a large shop or factory in France.
These bars have been very popular and we've had nothing but glowing reports from customers who have tried them. I've heard that there are a couple of hundred more of these bars available somewhere in Europe and perhaps we can track them down. In any case, we plan to have a similar bar made by Nitto in the future.
On another subject, I am distressed by what I sometimes see as an anti-Chinese or even anti-Taiwanese bias among American cyclists. My own attitude is very different. VO is committed to sourcing both expensive parts from Europe and Japan, and less expensive alternatives from other countries. It would be great if everyone had TA pedals, but some can't, or won't, spend that much on pedals, no matter how nice they are. It makes sense to stock two or three lines of pedals of various quality and price levels and offer customers a choice. So I'll look to Taiwan, China, anywhere for alternatives.
I'm very anti-nationalist and am happy to source stuff from any country in the world if I think it's well made, a good deal, and made by a small company that I think is well run. But I won't source anything from a concern if I even suspect they don't treat their employees properly. People are people and a worker in the US or Europe has no more right to earn a living than one in China simply because he or she was lucky enough to be born here. Too many people forget that we are citizens of Earth first; being citizens of a particular country is a very distant second.
The whole anti-China thing that we sometimes encounter in the US smacks to me of nationalism and even racism. Trade and open communications are what help people, not sanctions, boycotts, and and political posturing. I'm sure, for example, that our neighbors in Cuba would be a lot better off if the US had taken a more friendly tone 40 years ago. Governments, like people, respond best to positive stimulus, not punishment.
Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now and go back to sourcing parts.
Note: As I mentioned in the very first post. This blog is not just about bikes. It's my policy to occasionally go off on a tangent and stir up some discussion about environmental, political, social, or economic issues.
21 December, 2007
Posted by Velo Orange at 8:40:00 AM