Superstar Brings Manufacturing in house with new I/O Chainrings and Bash Guards

Superstar iO-chainring2

Superstar is a company from the UK that up to this point has has focused on consumer direct sales for a number of different parts. When it came time to introduce their new I/O narrow wide chain rings and Trident bashguard however, the company wanted to cut down on lead times from their Asian suppliers. That meant bringing production in house. After making a substantial investment in machinery, the first run of UK made parts are starting to roll off the line in typical Superstar fashion.

Using a narro-wide alternating tooth pattern like many of the new rings popping up, the I/O chainring also has what they call precision machined debris gullies to help evacuate the UK mud (or any mud/debris). Machined from 7075 T6 aluminum on their own machines, the rings are compatible with 9, 10, and 11 speed chains and are offered in 32, 34, and 36t rings with 104 BCD in a number of colors.

Check out the bash guard next…

In order to program their CNC machines, Superstar has been working with Delcam who supplies their CAM software which works inside of Solidworks. Delcam put together this video that gives you a look inside the Superstar manufacturing process.

trident bash guard superstar

In addition to the I/O chainrings, Superstar is also machining their own aluminum bash guards with the Trident. Again machined from 7075 aluminum, the 4 bolt, 104 BCD guards are machined to remove as much weight as possible while still protecting the ring under hard impacts. Sold as 34t compatible with a chainguide, the company says they are compatible with up to a 36t chainring without a guide.

You can pick up the Trident for £22.99, and the I/O ring for £25.99, here.

 

Comments

John - 05/21/14 - 1:59pm

That’s great but can’t get them in the USA. I tried to order some bits from Superstar in the past and was told they won’t sell to the USA due to is highly litigious environment.

MotoPete - 05/21/14 - 2:08pm

“precision machined debris gullies” = no explanation/pictures??? More technical reporting + less product release a** grabbing

Elliot - 05/21/14 - 2:35pm

@John some of us readers are in the UK… and can’t get loads of stuff only available in the US, its an international site…

Mindless - 05/21/14 - 2:41pm

Nobody cares about a company that refuses to ship its product to US.

Skip - 05/21/14 - 2:49pm

Correction @Mindless –
“Noboby [in the US] cares about a company that refuses to ship its product to US”
reminds me of the american “world series” mentality

Luiggi - 05/21/14 - 2:53pm

@John, that’s weird.. I ordered several bits from Superstar, and I live in Argentina… Heck, I think its the first time I’m able to get something from an international vendor who doesn’t sell to the US market…

John - 05/21/14 - 3:24pm

@Elliot, understand this is an interantional site. Just saying Superstar has cool products I would like to try but can’t get here in the USA, just like YT, ION, and CANYON. And if they did sell to the USA it could drive down prices for all of us consumers due to the economy of scale. You know the USA rough market population is 560% larger than the UK.

Neil wilkinson - 05/21/14 - 4:13pm

It’s Neil from Superstar here. We have nothing against you guys in the US but unfortunately most UK insurers literally triple the premium if we add the USA to out sales areas. In fact it’s the only country in the world with this issue. Unfortunately it’s to do with suing each other. We can’t just sell without insurance I’m afraid we employ too many staff who rely on us doing the right thing and looking after their livelihood.

We are working with the insurers to jump through the hoops required to get costs to something workable but there’s a huge amount of work and time involved. But then shipping costs are always an issue for direct selling on small ticket items.

But there’s lots of pretty cool stuff kicking off for us at the moment so keep your eyes peeled for new UK made kit.

Regards, Neil (superstar)

J N H - 05/21/14 - 4:30pm

@John, dealing with the US is an expensive business for European companies. If you’re selling sports equipment in the US it’s more less certain that sooner or later you will get sued by a health insurance company trying to recoup costs. Getting cover to sell to the US would drive the prices right back up. Thank Geico for your not being allowed to get Superstar products.
.
As for YT, Canyon and co, they’ve had issue with the Horst Link patent in the past, now that that’s expired YT at least are working on coming to the US.

John - 05/21/14 - 5:14pm

@ All,
Thanks for all the comments and discussion. I never implied Superstar, its policies, and its products are inferior. Quite the opposite, I want to try them but as in my original post stated the reason they gave me for not selling to the USA. Neil just verified in his post. I and a large portion of the mountain biking Yanks hate what companies like Specialized have done by creating such a litigious environment. It limits small companies entry into the market thus limiting innovation and our enjoyment.

But as its expensive for European companies to do business with the US, it is equally expensive for the average Yank to buy European mountain bike products. Cost is usually 25-50% higher than a USA product of similar quality. I have BOS and a Nicolai ION 16 along with a Turner and Cane Creek suspension…performance is the same but price is not. So when we (Yanks) want to buy a European product we are consciously going to spend significantly more for the sake of experimentation.

Just a shame, USA has the largest mountain bike population and expendable income (we don’t all sit on the couch and eat McDonald’s)…would be nice if Superstar could tap into it like other UK companies.

Cheers,
John

Mindless - 05/21/14 - 5:41pm

Everybody sells to US but Superstar without troubles. Every single other component company will ship. What makes Superstar so special? Not being able to find a proper insurer? It just does not add up.

People sue other people in Britain just the same. They sue in Germany even more. This whole talk about excessive litigation in US is completely overblown.

satisFACTORYrider - 05/21/14 - 6:54pm

YT will be here soon. they signed cam zink for a reason. wish Last from Germany would would come over.

Wayne - 05/21/14 - 7:51pm

I can get Superstar’s products in Canada. Just sayin’

Psi Squared - 05/21/14 - 7:55pm

Obviously mindless thinks he knows better than Neil from Superstar. Please, mindless, give us all the details that you must have.

phil - 05/22/14 - 3:51am

Google on the uk forums to see failure rates on superstar components
You will see why theres ni merit in the theory of USA insurance being more expensive,our company sells safety critical parts in aviation

There’s a greater chance of being sued I your product breaks….thats the bottom line

phil - 05/22/14 - 4:00am

Mindless is correct we sell fasteners to the usa often safety crittical

Google superstar and check out failure rates it becomes obvious why its difficult or the risk is too high for an insurer with increased failures come increased risks of litigation that’s plain and simple

phil - 05/22/14 - 4:14am

John its not for you to infer superstars parts are inferior after all there are companies selling similar inferior products from far eastern factories in the USA right now with different name brands

However we sell fasteners to the USA often safety critical and have no difference in insurance premiums or risk factors in the UK or USA

if you know where to look the implication of inferior goods has been reconciled on various UK froums so there are insights already out there it seems to get rid of an image Fruit has decided to target a wider audience

Fruit as Neil liked to be known on other forums had a great buisness model which has been discussed on other boards and had its defenders and detractors and I am sure doing a bit of research before you buy as you would making a purchase it will become more obvious that components with a higher failure rate and track record of failure, again already freely available information on the WWW becomes a more balanced reasoning of why it may be more difficult or too much of a risk to sell in the USA

Mark - 05/22/14 - 6:06am

You sell direct but are not much cheaper if i shop around,i can get raceface atlas bars that only cost £5 uk pounds more than your direct sales handlebars so your direct sales and cutting out the middle man costs are failing big time,good job on moving to in house production but i still find your products expensive so will stick with raceface and straitline.

jen - 05/22/14 - 9:45am

a set of their cheap pads almost killed me.. fell apart at high speed :(

Neil wilkinson - 05/22/14 - 3:51pm

It’s Neil from Superstar here again. Please do read around about what people think of us on the internet, but bear in mind people can post whatever they like often with no evidence or basis on reality. There are a few trolls out there who keep banging on about poor quality or seconds etc, but if they care to visit us they will see thats completely fabricated. I suspect there are a few people in the industry who we have upset probably has something to do with it.

For example our pads are EXACTLY the same as 2 of the big OE players in the brake industry, the same part just with a different logo. We offer 45 day trial on them so you can try them and see they are exactly the same. We have sold over 500,000 (no joke ive checked the figures!) packs so far. If they were like some people claim i would have thousands of lawsuits looming….

As for everything else we get sub 0.1% return rate, but as we sell hundreds of thousands of items a year i am sure you will find someone complaining out there if you look hard enough – the same as any company. The insurance thing is nothing to do with our return rate (infact the insurers have no idea what that is), we have claimed zero times and we expect to continue for the next 50 years never making a claim…

As for the raceface bits which are still more expensive, you can get some bargains but can you get the whole range at that price? I didn’t think so! There are always clear out bargains out there and we don’t need to half price our products to shift them as they are great value at full price.

Anyway ill leave the trolls to continue bickering, i find it really amusing when i see them slating our product and recommending another brand which is the same item from the same factory with a different logo on but its “so much better quality”. (probably as they work for that brand….)

hey im off riding! CYA

Regards, Neil (superstar)

jen - 05/23/14 - 12:02pm

Sorry neil they are not exactly the same and you know it, i have had two sets of your lovely pads fall apart on me, secondly they may be from the same factory but they are not the same as any other brand. Finally you insane rantings one single track world mean that i think that you are not the sort of person i would want to have my money.. sorry but thats how i feel.

Tim R. - 06/26/14 - 4:23am

Neil, you’re not alone, everyone’s seeing it in this business. If you think it’s bad where you’re at, it’s bloody fricking murder trying to manufacture anything here and sell it here. I’ve been in the design side of the bike biz since the 80s, and am sitting here today on a full product line, complete, proto’d, with several seasons of field testing in, some parts nearly a decade of riding, and it’s all shelved. No one can make the numbers come close to working in the domestic market. The costs and risks are simply not worth taking on here. Sure, we double our potential market, but the odds of getting sued to ruin by those very same people and their insurance companies approach a guaranteed certainty.

For example, the liability on a domestic made plain-jane, bare-bones, nothing revolutionary crankset alone… adds over $300 per unit to the MSRP. That’s adding more than a complete Raceface crankset ON TOP of an already expensive product to make. If we order some crappy stock cranks from an asian sweatshops catalog, that liability penalty drops down to… $12 per unit. Blame is the real reason hardly anyone produces consumer products in this country anymore. It’s a cultural problem, and one far too big for me to solve. We’re looking at moving everything to Canada instead, & selling only to Canada, Europe, & Japan.

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