Supposedly manufacturing is returning to the USA for the first time in decades. A novel concept but Cmith / Emory Bicycles has been preparing for just such an occurrence for over ten years. Emory founder Clayton Smith knew, that after 15,000,000 units of bike production had moved to China and the concomitant number of necessary jobs (somewhere over 100,000) around year 2000, that, the normal American bicycle industry was gone, maybe for good. He busied himself with contract stamping; tool and die work, performed on the same machines that had turned out thousands of Emory bicycles.
Soon even this type of work began to dry up as more and more production poured out of America and into China.
About ten years ago it occurred to Smith that his real mission was to get back to the bicycle and back to basics. After all people hadn’t changed; the same number of bikes were being made as before just not in the USA. How to start anew, when no one else had even tried in decades. Sure, there were high end bikes; carbon fiber and such but even those bikes were dependent on imported components – some parts were made in the US by people like King or Profile, but the standard bicycle had no champion. Again how to make bikes again?
When Smith made the first cruisers, he called them Sand Cruisers and named them after deserts – like the Mojave and the rare cro-moly Kalahari – the only part of the bike Emory made was the frame, fork and chainguard, everything else was standard American bike industry parts. But now all those parts were no longer made domestically.
The answer would require coming up with a whole new system and that’s exactly what Cmith / Emory has done . . . invented the CMITH standard which is like no other, and fits no other bicycle made in the world. Around this system (the bottom bracket, head tube and hub) any frame can fit. That is to say the tapered roller bearing CMITH system will accommodate any number of frame configurations, styles and different materials such as: painted mild steel, cro-moly, stainless, even titanium.
Since there were no supply chains Smith would have to make his own. This meant providing over thirty different parts made in house. Ostensibly – impossible.
And it would have been unthinkable only a few years back but Smith had kept up with the newest technology and in 2019 purchased the Eurotech machine you see pictured here. This sophisticated machine contains dual spindles and dual turrets and can mill as well turn parts on one machine eliminating the need for multiple machines and extra operators. This unit will allow Emory bikes to achieve quality and precision impossible from “off the shelf” imported parts.
The result: The Best Bicycle Ever Made, right here in Jacksonville Florida. However it will still take many long hours until total tooling is all in place; not one part can go missing, everything has to fit the first time. By years end, Emory bikes will be ready to roll out the door. It may even take longer; but despite all obstacles (like the recent pandemic) Americans deserve quality made American Bicycles by Emory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *