Previously, we took a look at ten British, German, Continental European, and American manufacturers making exciting stuff.
Now it's time to head to Canada. Chances are you've heard of some standout Canadian bicycle manufacturers such as Devinci, Rocky Mountain and Norco Bicycles, but what do you know about the components manufacturing industry in the country where Pinkbike is based? With 9.984 million square kilometers of land, Canada is the second-largest country in the world, although it only ranks 39th in terms of population with just over 37.5 million inhabitants. We might not have the same depth of manufacturing industry here that some other countries do, but we make up for it with the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
WE ARE ONE
The "proud-to-be Canadian" brand was born in 2017 when former racer Dustin Adams decided to start laying up carbon fiber rims to provide quality wheel building from his hometown in Kamloops, British Columbia. The Canadian company has grown each of the three years they've been in business, and now offers multiple high-end carbon wheel options and a bar and stem combo.
In pursuit of the do it yourself
process, Adams does everything in-house. This allows for 100% ownership of the process, proper quality control, and prototype testing which can be done whenever necessary, within the same facility, for immediate feedback.
We Are One's website
|The biggest differentiator for a company our size vs others is our ability to create, pivot, and produce at a much faster rate with pinpoint accuracy. We behave like a rapid prototyping house, but also have the tools to scale a project into production really fast. This allows us to prove out concepts and to make determinations quite quickly – not wasting time on something that isn’t going to become successful.—Dustin Adams|
NORTH SHORE BILLET
All of the products on North Shore Billet's website are made in the brand's Whistler facility. The team there prides themselves on doing as much in house as possible, bringing in raw aluminum and shipping out finished packaged parts around the world. The only process that they outsource is anodizing.
Over the years North Shore Billet has also made parts for most of the local Canadian bike companies including Rocky Mountain, Norco, Knolly, Banshee, and Chromag. For most of these companies, North Shore Billet is either making prototype parts or derailleur hangers for their bikes. In the case of Chromag, North Shore Billet has been producing a significant portion of their bike parts (stems, chainrings, seat collars, and weld in frame parts such as dropouts and disk brake tabs) for over 15 years.
Allen said that it is challenging to directly compete with companies who manufacture in regions with lower labour costs. To offset their disadvantage of having higher labour and input costs, North Shore Billet uses the latest machine technology and manufacturing processes to reduce overall costs. While this helps, all manufacturers have access to the same equipment and technology so they also have to focus on making a consistently great product while maintaining high quality standards.
North Shore Billet's website
|When people get our parts in their hands and on their bikes, they appreciate the difference and are eager to support a small company that cares about what it's making.—Chris Allen, North Shore Billet|
Vorsprung Suspension provides a range of suspension upgrade and tuning products that they design, develop and manufacture in-house in Whistler, British Columbia. Their workshop also provides suspension services, including custom tuning, repairs, and servicing.
In 2011, before the company even officially existed, Vorsprung founder Steve Mathews had begun work on what went on to become the Tractive Valve Tuning System. Vorsprung says that the kits identify damper architecture weaknesses and problems and improve upon them with upgrade parts. Tractive kits are available for RockShox's Monarch Plus and Super Deluxe rear shocks and Fox's Fit4 damper.
Vorsprung's other products include Luftkappe air piston kits that enlarge the negative air chamber to reduce the initial spring rate and increase the mid-stroke rate. They also recently launched their Smashpot Coil Conversion Kit, a fork coil spring conversion system for single crown enduro forks, which features externally adjustable hydraulic anti-bottoming technology to deliver a precise amount of bottoming resistance. Vorsprung Suspension's website
Blackspire makes chainguides, chainrings, cranks, stems, wheels, pedals, saddles, seatposts and more.
Black Spire Designs was founded in 1985 by Charles Gordon and is located in South Western British Columbia at the foot of the North Shore Mountains. The company manufactures and assembles all of its parts with the exception of some handlebars and stems with the six CNC machines and several processing machines they have in-house.
|We manufacture in Canada because we are less expensive than many of the quality makers in Taiwan, and certainly some of the those in less well-regulated countries. When we say the product is made from aircraft-grade material, we can back it up with reliable test results. From foreign countries, test results are mostly junk.|
Foreign goods may be less expensive, but the real expenses of running the business start after the goods leave the factory. And when you look at SRAM and FOX they have shareholders to respond to. And big salaries to pay. So everything is relative.—Blackspire Designs
Founded by Jack Pittens and Steven Park, Nine Point Eight Inc. launched their first dropper seatpost to the world in 2013. The company is located in Ancaster, Ontario, near the Niagara escarpment and engineering geeks will understand the name 9point8 as the accelerational constant due to gravity - 9.8 meters per second squared. Their Ontario factory is modest, with a small engineering team and four full-time employees covering all manufacturing, fulfillment, and service. Their in-house manufacturing shop has CNC milling, CNC turning, manual machine tools, vibratory finishing, laser, broaching and honing machines, and automated and manual inspection and testing systems.
All engineering and design is done in Ontario, as is prototype development and ride testing. They started off manufacturing everything in house or locally and while they have evolved to source most components offshore, they still manufacture select critical components in house.
|We take advantage of the manufacturing capabilities and competitive cost of select offshore parts manufacturers, while maintaining creative and quality control in Canada.—Steven Park|
Daambuilt is a custom bicycle frame builder out of Montreal, Quebec. You'll have seen by now that we aren't highlighting Canadian frame manufacturers in this article, but Daambuilt also makes accessories for bikes, including custom racks and, most recently, a linkage fork.
It's been a treat to follow the whole project and see the linkage fork come together on Daambuilt's Instagram. Daambuilt's website
PINNER MACHINE SHOP
Pinner is a small company (a one-man show) in Whistler, British Columbia. Peter Fowler works out of a home machine shop that currently uses manual equipment and not CNC machines.
The shop offers Boost Adaptor kits for Hope, Onyx, DT Swiss, and Chris King hubs that are machined to order, a derailleur hanger Thru-Tool for Chromag, Devinci and Trek frames, as well as custom machining solutions. Pinner Machine Shop's website
Straightline Precision Industries Inc. was founded in 1996 by Mike, Dennis and DJ Paulson with the intent of producing machined and fabricated components for local industries. In the beginning, it was all manual machines in a garage. Today, Straightline Precision uses newer CNC machines and is a diverse contract manufacturer of components for the aerospace, instrumentation, medical, heavy machinery, and sporting goods industries.
In 2006, Straightline Precision added Straitline Components as an in-house brand that designs and manufactures aftermarket mountain bike components in Canada. Everything but the anodization is done in Canada. Anodization is done in Portland, Oregon, because the procedure is heavily regulated in Canada due to environmental concerns. The brand manufactures everything available on their website with the exception of a few screws/bolts in Canada in their CNC machine shop that has a variety of high-end CNC lathes, mills and turning mills.
|The biggest difficulty is cost. With us manufacturing all of our products right here in Sidney, BC, the cost of material, labour, shipping, overhead etc. is far higher than if we were to get our products made overseas. However, we pride ourselves on quality and in order to continue to provide our customers with the high quality products they have come to love, it is essential for us to continue to manufacture the products ourselves.|
Chris Dekerf is a respected bicycle frame builder based in Richmond, British Columbia who won the “Artisan Award” at the 2016 North American Handmade Bike Show. He also builds titanium and steel forks which are works of art.
|Building forks is a unique and special craft in and of itself. A well designed fork that is matched to the frame correctly is critical for the bike to steer and handle properly. Chris has a long history of building bicycle forks for everything from traditional lugged road bikes through to his current ‘Tuning’ fork designs for all road and mountain applications. The design of the ‘Tuning’ fork is similar in esthetics to the wishbone used on rear of Dekerf frames which makes for beautiful frame and fork package; either in steel or titanium.—Dekerf|
In business for more than 20 years and distributed in more than 40 countries, Race Face is definitely not a little-known company. However, there really aren't very many Canadian components manufacturers that are able to manufacture in this Great Northern country of ours and it is a little-known fact that Race Face actually makes every single one of their carbon cranks (Next SL, Next R, and SixC – Plus the Easton Cycling EC90 crankset) in Vancouver, BC. The brand does this using carbon sourced from the USA, a truly made in North American product.
Race Face also has a semi-automated wheel assembly/building line in Vancouver where they build portions of their Race Face wheel line including the Next SL, Turbine SL, Turbine R and Next R.Race Face's website
We know there will be some brands that we missed, so let us know your suggestions in the comments. We're keen to discover more brands doing it in-house in our backyard.d
10 Lesser-Known American Manufacturers Making Exciting Stuff10 Little-Known British Manufacturers Making Exciting Stuff10 Little-Known European Manufacturers Making Exciting Stuff10 Little-Known German Manufacturers Making Exciting Stuff
I know no other community quite like the pinkbike community...
In order to save some time, I often only the comments...
I had no idea they were manufactured right around the corner from me.
The last time I buy anything from this company. At least have the balls to name the mysterious ‘foreigners’ The homogenous east, land of crap mass produced products right? Taiwan, Thailand, China, Vietnam, they’re all the same right?Well guess what, you can pick a crap supplier or a good one. It’s what makes the mountain bike industry go round, and you know it.
Maybe these are the kind of reasons why people should buy products from developed countries with proper regulations (like Canada, it seems), or why the governments of such countries should correct the price of things when they cross the border to account for all environmental and social costs.
I wonder if other manufacturers in the bike industry use the bright dip process. I just read about the NOx off-gas from that process - sounds nasty.
Those guys are rad. Amazing service to, if you encounter any issues.
Wouldn't buy again.
They have a test for this. Fill your post to 100 psi, and submerge it in the kitchen sink. If you see air bubbles escaping at the seal, there is a faulty seal. Take pictures and send them. They will fix the issue. There has been some staff change over in the last year and the guy doing customer service there now is really awesome.
Thanks, I'll try that out and will contact 9.8 again.
Their new Mugen hubs look promising. Their newest alloy rims also look stellar.
How did you come up with this name?
At least I had a good laugh
Dude they make stems,handlebars, pedals, wheel sets, seat post clamps etc
Oops wrong comment