budgetbiker- With regards to your 3rd point. Every brand with the exception of a small few has an in-house engineering staff. Only the “companies” that started with a plane ticket and a credit card are devoid of engineers, everyone else does engineering work in-house. Once a product is designed by in-house engineers it will pass to manufacturing engineers at the factory where the dialog starts about manufacturability of the design. Tweaks to the design will be made in order to ensure repeatable production. Design engineers are different than manufacturing engineers. Very few companies(Other than Giant) have manufacturing engineers on staff.