Quality Bike Products (QBP) — the large, national distributor behind familiar brands such as Civia, Dimension, Foundry,Salsa Cycles, Surly, Whisky Parts Co. and 45North — plan to begin manufacturing their own bikes in Minnesota within the next two years. QBP is the largest distributor of bicycle parts and accessories in the United States, with many local bike shops ordering much of their inventory through them.
The bicycles and frames sold through QBP’s brands are currently manufactured in China and Taiwan with assembly at QBP’s facility in Bloomington, MN. QBP Founder and President Steve Flagg says that moving from assembly to production will be a leap for his firm, but “not out of reach for us,” according to Minnesota Public Radio.
“To do the welding and painting we’ll need a separate but nearby facility,” Flagg explained. “We’ll begin that hunt pretty soon.” He hopes to start producing bikes within two years.
While Minnesota is home to many of the raw materials needed in the bike building process, the manufacturing support for key parts will likely have to come from Asia.
“We’ll source out tubing [for the bike frame], and then we’ll cut, miter, weld and then do assembly at our existing facility,” Flagg says. “We do a lot of it already. I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch for us. I think we’re closer than we think.”