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A Portuguese Manufacturer Aims to Unseat Asia in $5,000 Bikes

Carbon Team is investing millions in its frame factory to woo riders seeking “Made in Europe” cachet.
Bloomberg business news
Europe Tries to Make Bikes Closer to Home

During the pandemic, people worldwide rediscovered biking, relishing any chance to get out of the house during lockdowns while avoiding sniffles and sneezes on subways and buses. As bicycle sales in Europe jumped more than 10% in 2020, retailers that had grown dependent on Asian suppliers struggled to meet demand. For Emre Ozgunes, that presented an opportunity.

Ozgunes, general manager of Carbon Team Lda., a manufacturer of high-end bicycle frames in Portugal, is betting he can gain an edge over producers in Asia whose transport costs have been rising, with delivery times sometimes stretching to more than a year. In his niche market of carbon-fiber frames for bikes that cost €5,000 ($5,400) and up, he figured he could appeal to riders seeking homegrown cachet. “Until now, they didn’t have another option,” Ozgunes says. “With Carbon Team, they do.”