Colorado Springs will lose another 200 plus jobs next year when bicycle parts manufacturer RockShox closes its manufacturing plant here in favor of cheap Taiwan labor.
The decision to close the local plant was based on saving labor costs and to be closer to bicycle manufacturers that purchase its high-end mountain bike shock absorbers. Schwinn, Mongoose, Giant, Specialized, Trek and other top-drawer bicycles have manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, officials said.
RockShox was sold last year to SRAM Corp., which paid $5.6 million for the company. SRAM manufactures shifting and braking components for bicycles.
David Zimberoff, spokesperson with SRAM, said bicycled manufacturers consider local supply critically important.
About 20 support jobs will remain in Colorado Springs. They comprise technicians, engineers, and testers. Colorado Springs is a good place to test bicycle equipment. RockShox moved to Colorado Springs in June 2000 from San Jose, California.
The company saved about $5 million a year in operating costs by leaving California. The company occupied a two-story 52,000 square foot building on Garden of the Gods Road. RockShox added another 50,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space after it moved into the building.
Perhaps the move came too late. RockShox lost more than $10 million in 2001, and was sold to SRAM, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of bicycle components.