US spoke makers adjusting to steel tariff

By Stephen Frothingham

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (BRAIN) — Two companies that make stainless steel spokes in the U.S. are having to adjust to a 25 percent tariff on imported steel. Both brands said it’s possible the tariff will lead to price increases eventually.

DT Swiss, which manufactures spokes for the North and South American markets in Western Colorado, so far has been able to absorb cost increases from the tariff, without raising its prices.

Wheelsmith, which manufactures spokes in Wisconsin, so far hasn’t seen a material cost increase because it hasn’t had to buy more stainless steel wire since the tariff took effect June 1. The company said it is considering strategies once the price increase hits.

The tariff doesn’t apply to finished goods, but stainless steel wire is considered a raw material.

Wheelsmith brings in stainless wire from Europe to make straight-gauge spokes. For its double-butted spokes, the company brings in spoke “blanks” from Europe that are not subject to the tariff, because they are considered a finished good. DT cuts and threads the blanks and forms the spoke ends in the U.S.

“On the straight gauge, we’re going to take a hit,” said Chip Barbieri, the CEO & General Manager of DT Swiss, Inc., …read more

Via:: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News