By Luke Friend
Despite the seemingly inexorable shift to building bikes in Asia, it's still very muchpossible to build a dream road or gravel bike consisting almost entirely of American-made parts.
The attraction of ‘Made in the USA’ frames and components goes beyond helping to support domestic manufacturing jobs. Keeping production in-house allows these smaller brands to remain hands-on throughout the process, aiding quality control and encourages creative solutions - many times leading to a reduced carbon footprint.
In addition, it means that the US supply chain often remains unbroken, as US-made materials are favoured over imports. In these uncertain times this could mean the difference between getting your hands on a part now or having to wait months for stock to arrive from abroad.
What follows is a selection of 100% American made products from some of the industries most innovative and beloved brands.
White Industries - the White Industries R30 crank
Based in Petaluma, California, the family owned and run White Industries has been making bike parts since 1978. Known for embracing unconventional thinking, the brand is behind such innovations as eccentric hubs and variable bolt chainrings.
This progressive approach is seen further with environmentally-friendly packaging, and all of the company's production being powered by solar energy.
Its range of components includes rims, hubs, headsets and bottom brackets, but it it is best known for its eye-catching cranksets. Take a close look at a selection of bikes from the NAHBS and you’ll see plenty adorned with White Industries R30 cranks.
The R30 is a lightweight aluminium crankset designed for the road. The arms, made from 2024 aluminium, feature a distinctive boxy design, available in black or polished silver. Teamed up with the brand’s VBC30 chainrings it makes for a stiff crankset that offers plenty of gear-range flexibility; the 2x chainrings are available in a range of sizes from 24-38t for the inner chainring and 38-52 for the outer.
White Industries also makes a G30 crankset designed for gravel use.
Moots Cycles- Moots Routt RSL gravel frameset
Founded in 1981 in Colorado, Moots is one of the most established - and respected - frame builders in the United States. The brand makes its premium products for road, cyclocross, gravel and mountain disciplines - with its 'cross frames making the podium in many elite races in the US.
As well as being known for its titanium frames, Moots also produces stems, seat posts and forks. Its iconic Cinch titanium post is a common sight on many a ‘no-expense-spared’ dream build.
Based in Steamboat Springs, CO, one of the country’s true gravel Meccas it’s little surprise that Moots offers a range of framesets designed to tackle the rough stuff. Its Routt line features three framesets, including the top-of-the-line Routt RSL.
The Routt RSL is created with performance in mind, ready to tackle a range of gravel and less-than-perfect surfaces. This race-orientated offering is built around titanium double-butted tubing that Moots says makes for a stiff and responsive ride.
Elsewhere there’s all the mod cons you’d expect on a contemporary high-end gravel machine. Tire clearance allows for up to 45mm rubber - and it’s not a tight squeeze either: there’s flat mount disc mounts, thru-axles and a full carbon fork. Like all Moots frames it comes in a classy brushed finish as standard but there are plenty of custom options available too. The Routt RSL is offered in seven sizes, pretty much ensuring a dialled-in ride feel no matter your measurements.
Industry Nine - Industry Nine UL250TRA gravel wheelset
From its Asheville, NC base, Industry Nine manufactures and hand builds an extensive range of wheelsets, including plenty of road and gravel offerings.
The cornerstone of each wheel is a hub that’s made exclusively in-house; designing, engineering, manufacturing and assembling all takes place at its North Carolina HQ which, according to Industry Nine, ensures that each and every wheelset meets the highest of standards.
One such wheelset is the tubeless-ready UL250TRA. It’s a thoroughly modern set of all-road hoops, designed to handle a wide range of surfaces and conditions. Offered in both 700c and 650b sizes it has a 25mm internal rim width to help get the most out of today’s wider tires.
Meanwhile, the aluminum Torch freehub has 60 points of engagement to help keep drag to a minimum. Like all Industry Nine wheels you can utilize its Design My Wheel option to create a customized product. Choose from 11 different colors to create a rim, hub and spoke combo that’s unique to you as well as upgrading to ceramic bearings.
The UL250TRAs are also impressively light, weighing in at 1450g for the 700c set or 1380g for the 650b option.
Paul Components - the Paul Comp Klamper disc brake
Based in Chico, California, Paul Comp is synonymous with bike parts that are highly distinctive and easily serviceable. What started as a one-man operation in the late 1980s has grown to over a dozen employees making a number of parts entirely in-house, including brakes, hubs, stems, seatposts and more.
Paul Comp’s move into disc brakes was several years in the making, but the cable-actuated Klamper is worth the wait, with Comp saying that the device delivers "‘absolute reliability, easy adjustability and field serviceability." We agree.
To achieve this the Klamper uses oversized ball bearings and pistons machined from 12L14 steel to create brakes designed to blend impressive power with silky smooth modulation. Pad adjustment is achieved tool-free through an outer pad adjuster wheel and a simple cable barrel adjuster - making it an attractive option for wilderness bikepacking trips. Since its launch the Klamper has developed a loyal following despite the hefty price tag.
The Klamper is available in flat mount and post mount standards. You can also choose between three different (and interchangeable) arm options - short, long and Campy - depending on the brake levers you use.
Thomson Bike Products - Thomson Elite X2 stem and the Thomson Elite seatpost
Thomson Bike Products, that began life in Macon, Georgia in 1994, is now world renowned for both its seatposts and stems.
The Elite X2 is Thomson’s highly-regarded road stem. Using a patented 2-bolt clamp allows for it to be both lighter yet still as torsionally strong as a 4-bolt design. The result, say Thomson, is a stem with reduced flex, allowing you to better enjoy the benefit of stiff handlebars and forks.
The Elite X2 is available in black, silver and jungle green as well as two rise options - 10 and 17 degree - and lengths from 70mm to 130mm.
Thomson’s original product is still its most renowned. The Elite seatpost is something of a design classic; a post that’s light, strong and easy to adjust.
The numbers certainly support this: the 250mm post is made from 7000 series aluminium and weighs just 201 grams. It’s superior strength - Thomson says it's more than 40% stronger than other posts - comes from machining both the tube and the head from a single piece of metal.
The Elite is available in 18 different diameters from 25.0mm to 32.4mm, as well as four lengths ranging from 250mm to 410mm. It also comes in both a straight or layback version.
Chris King - the Chris King No Threadset headset and the Chris King R45 hub
Of all the independent US brands making products on home soil, Chris King Precision Components is probably the best known. Opening for business in 1976, the Portland, Oregon-based company has become world famous thanks to its beloved headsets, bottom brackets and hubs - all of which use its legendary in-house bearings.
The No Threadset headset has been used by Grand Tour winners as well as by millions of other slightly less heralded cyclists. As with other King products, its popularity centers around its precision and its durability; King’s bearings are known for both quality and speed, as well as allowing for easy serviceability. It’s available in both 1” and 1 ⅛” sizes, and is currently offered in 13 colours.
Like the No Threadset the R45D centerlock hub utilises the brand’s made-in-house bearings to great effect. You can choose from ceramic or steel; interestingly the bearing tracks are designed to burnish, which means the hubs actually get faster with age.
The R45D rear hub also features a patented RingDrive system, whose 45 engagement points greatly reduce drag. As with many King products, much of the R45s appeal is due to its longevity, with the hubs being able to be serviced and rebuilt time and again.
Allied Cycle Works - the Allied Allroad frameset
Based in Rogers, Arkansas, Allied Cycles Works specialise in making carbon framesets, with the design and production all taking place in house and its supply chain exclusively drawn from domestic materials.
Allied currently offers three models; the Able (gravel), the Allroad (variety of terrain) and the Alfa Disc (road).
The Allroad has clearance for up to 35c tires ensuring that it’s ready for dirt roads and long rides. However, it’s short chainstays point to a responsive and nimble machine that Allied says makes an ideal race bike too.
Notable design features include a 68mm thread bottom bracket and a wide range of sizing options; 12 sizes from 49cm to 61cm with plus options available in each size offering a 2cm taller headtube.
The Allroad is available as both a frameset only and as a number of complete build options direct from Allied.
Stinner Frameworks - Stinner Gibraltar Disc frameset
Santa Barbara-based Stinner Frameworks have been building bikes for close to a decade, with the welding, painting and assembly all taking place in-house. They currently offer three drop-bar frames, which are available in both steel and titanium and feature custom geometry options.
The Gibraltar Disc is a flat-mount disc version of Stinner’s highly-regarded Gibraltar road frameset. Named after a local road famed for its steep pitches and many twists and turns it should come as no surprise that it's built to handle such demands.
The disc version increases tire clearance to 32mm but elsewhere sticks to the original script. This means a tapered carbon fork, a 68mm threaded bottom bracket and external cable routing. In essence a blend of the classic and the modern. Stinner offers a plethora of build options to complete the custom finish, utilizing components from the likes of Enve, Zipp and Fizik as well as gruppos from Shimano and SRAM.
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