Where Are Specialized Bikes Made?

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The Specialized bike brand is one of the most renowned bike brands in the world and produces quality bikes. But in this modern age, many American companies choose not to produce their product locally. So, it may not be surprising to some that Specialized is not produced on American soil. So where does Specialized have its bikes made?

Specialized bikes are manufactured almost exclusively in Taiwan through a contractor that owns many bicycle factories named Merida. The rest of the production is based in China. Other famous major bicycle brands, like Trek, Giant, Scott, and Cannondale, also outsource production to Asia.

In our increasingly global world, it is no longer financially logical for many American-based companies to produce their products locally in America. Big and small American companies are encouraged to look overseas for a several reasons, mostly labor costs. The American bike company, Specialized, is no exception.

Where Are Specialized Bikes Manufactured?

Though Specialized is an American brand based in California, like many other western companies, its production is outsourced to countries in Asia where infrastructure is in place, in the form of numerous factories, to accommodate the brand’s big orders.

Most of the Specialized production is centered in Taiwan through what has become the brand’s main contractor, Merida. Merida is a major bike manufacturer that produces over two million bikes annually for various brands worldwide. They are renowned for producing bikes of high quality.

Because Merida’s factories are spread between Taiwan and mainland China, Specialized bikes are produced in both countries. However, the higher-end bikes are produced in Taiwanese factories, while the lower-grade models are occasionally produced in China.

Why Are Specialized Bikes Made In Taiwan?

Production of Specialized bikes has not always been outsourced to Asia. During the brand’s initial years in the 1970s, bicycle components were imported from Italy to the U.S. It was not until 1981 that Specialized received its first bikes.

As years of a steady increase in production and popularity went by, Specialized opted to sell more affordable bikes. Following this, by 1995, the brand began to lose support from its existing distributors and struggled commercially.

In 2001, its founder and former CEO Mike Seynard moved to sell 49% of Specialized equity to Merida to keep the company alive.

With that, the production of Specialized moved to Asia, specifically Taiwan and China. Mike Sinyard remained the company’s CEO until March of 2022 when he appointed Scott Maguire as Specialized’s new CEO.  

Specialized, along with many other well-known bike manufacturers, has chosen Asia as a production hub because the cost of labor is much less than that locally or elsewhere in the world.

Making items in China has become a no-brainer for many companies worldwide as manufacturing costs are cheap compared to any other country. Still, the quality of the product remains worthy of the client’s standards.

Does Specialized Have Good Quality Bikes?

Overall, Specialized bikes are good quality bikes. Some people may be put off by brands that outsource production to other countries, but when it comes to Specialized, outsourcing production does not create an issue with quality. Even if the product is made overseas, the brand is known for investing time and effort in quality control.

Yet, you can still identify different levels of quality within the company’s bike catalog. Similarly to other big manufacturers, Specialized sells bikes that range from high-end to low-end. Higher-class bikes are generally more expensive but exhibit the highest quality, which justifies their price.

Conversely, Lower-end bikes do not show the same level of quality as the higher-end ones. Most sales occur in the cheaper market, which increases competition with other brands. It becomes difficult for bicycle manufacturers to lower prices without lowering the cost of production, which affects quality.

Nevertheless, Specialized has managed to put out consistently high-quality bikes compared to its main competitors. Customers who spend a lot on high-end Specialized bikes are sure to be satisfied with the quality, but so should customers who choose cheaper models.

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Where Do Other Major Cycling Brands Manufacture Their Bikes?

Similar to Specialized, other major bike brands also choose to have their bikes made overseas. Companies originating in western countries usually look elsewhere for the production process, as the local infrastructure (factories) may be lacking or simply too expensive.

Does Trek Have Their Bikes Made In Asia?

Trek is an American bike giant and competes with Specialized in the American market.

The two brands have their differences and similarities. Trek does have some locally based production, which Specialized does not; however, Trek does most of its bike manufacturing in Taiwan, just like Specialized. In truth, the Madone 6 series is the only Trek bike to still be made in the U.S.

The company initially started making bikes locally in Wisconsin. After several years, like many other companies, Trek saw an opportunity for higher profits and production and opted to produce bikes in Asia.

Where Are Cannondale Bikes Manufactured?

Cannondale is another reputable American bike brand that is known across the globe. This brand, in particular, has always tried to stand out from its competitors.

You will not be surprised to hear that, despite having its center of operations in Connecticut, Cannondale does not stand out from other American bike brands regarding the production location, as their bikes are also produced in Taiwan.

Generally, higher-quality Cannondale bikes are produced and assembled in factories in Taiwan, but lower-quality bikes are produced in Vietnam. Still, it should be noted that some bike assembly still occurs in the U.S.

Before switching production to Asia, Cannondale produced its bikes locally in a factory located in Pennsylvania. Production strategies changed in 2010, two years after a Canadian corporation named Dorel Industries bought Cannondale for 200 million dollars. The Pennsylvania manufacturing facility was subsequently shut down.

Does The Scott Brand Outsource Bikes Production?

The Scott brand is possibly one of the most well-known bike companies in the world. The company has come to be recognized for being one of the most innovative in the bike industry overall. 

Scott Sports was originally founded in America but has had its headquarters in Switzerland for many years. Regarding production, Scott follows the same philosophy as other major bike brands and has its bikes mainly produced in Asia, specifically Taiwan.

Does Giant Manufacture Their Bikes In Taiwan?

Unlike other brands in this article, Giant is not an American-based bike manufacturer. However, Giant has its origins in the country responsible for producing so many other bike brands, namely Taiwan.

Giant began as a small Taiwanese bike manufacturing company that sold bikes locally. The small company eventually grew and created partnerships with other bike manufacturers to become an internationally recognized bike supplier.

This now ultra-successful company is one of few major bike brands that nowadays can advertise their products as being entirely locally made. Giant has become one of the biggest bike manufacturers producing millions of bikes worldwide. 


After selling half of the company’s equity to Merida, Specialized moved its production to Taiwan and China. The cheap labor costs in these countries cannot be competed with, which is why other major bike manufacturers like Trek, Cannondale, Scott, and Giant also produce bikes in these countries.

Specialized is known to have good quality bikes that stand the test of time.


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