MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Wilderness Trail Bikes plans to reshore some wheelbuilding next year to supply U.S. original equipment and aftermarket customers.
The company plans to build wheels at its Novato, California, warehouse, using U.S.-made hubs and spokes and rims made in China.
WTB’s president, Patrick Seidler, told BRAIN the company will invest in automated wheel building machinery and expects to hire two new employees for the wheel building project. He said it will likely start producing wheels in the second quarter next year.
He indicated the move was at least partly in response to proposed U.S. tariffs on Chinese-made bike products. WTB currently has many of its high-end tires made in China, as well as some saddles, grips and rims, all of which would be subject to a 25 percent tariff under a proposal being considered by the U.S. Trade Representative. Seidler will speak at a public hearing about the proposal on Thursday in Washington.