After starting Wissahickon Cyclery in 1995 and creating a bike shop beloved by the community with the help of his staff, owner Drew Guldalian turned his sights to the bike building business 11 years later. Today, Engin Cycles operates hand in hand with Wissahickon turning out beautiful and show winning bikes primarily from steel. However, new for 2013, Drew will be offering an option for titanium as a build material and is currently working out the details. We asked Drew about his Ti bikes and plans for the future after the break.
Posts in the category Factory Tour
So far we have explored frame construction and parts creation at Co-Motion. This go around we take a look at how Co-Motion pretties up their product. The paint work that comes out of this shop is some of the best I have ever seen. The painters lay down quality paint from PPG Global and House of Kolor in one of two down draft paint booths. Maskings and decals are printed on an in house on a Roland vinyl printer. Stainless steel parts are polished in their new polishing machine using a three step process. All of this adds up to a high quality, eye catching finish.
Make the jump for a look at the machines that make this possible.
In Part One of our Co-Motion Cycles shop tour we showed you the brazing and welding of their frames. We also made mention of the fact that Co-Motion strives to make as many parts in-house as possible. In the second installment of our shop tour we will highlight some of the machines used and the parts created.
Pictured here is one of three CNC machines that reside at the Co-Motion facility. Zach at Co-Motion says:
“This is the Mori Seki CNC lathe with live tooling. This is where we make all our turned parts including fork steerers (single piece uni-crown design), head tubes, BB shells, seat collars, and eccentric BB shells. We also do some full tube mitering for our most popular stock tandem sizes.”
Click through for more hot CNC action, including video of this machine doing its thing…
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the Co-Motion Nor’Wester steel road bike. With Co-Motion’s production facility located close by in Eugene, OR, I decided to drive the bike back down rather than ship it. This was a great opportunity to tour their facility as well.
Co-Motion has really grown over the years. They started off in a small one room workshop, and have moved twice since then. The most recent move was into the building pictured above, which they had built specifically to meet their needs. This building houses every tool and machine needed to fulfill the Co-Motion philosophy. That philosophy is that if they can make it, they will make it. They don’t just weld frames here. Three CNC machines are used to create parts such as dropouts, seat collars and eccentric BB shells, injection molding is used to make cable guides, paint is laid in two different down draft paint booths, vinyl decals are created and printed, parts are machine polished, and they even weld stems out of stainless steel.
Co-Motion differs from many custom builders due to their size. This shop is a full on manufacturing facility, and designed for efficiency and quality. They take pride in making as many parts in house as possible, and this isn’t just limited to finished parts that make it onto the bikes. They produce fixtures, jigs, and templates that allow for a very refined workflow. All of this equates to a quality product and shorter turn around time.
Hit the jump for a visual tour of the Co-Motion facility and a look at welding and brazing of the frame. Stay tuned for part 2, CNC machining, and part 3, paint and polish.
Ted Ciamillo is an interesting guy. He’s built a business around incredibly lightweight road bike brakes, has been teasing a radical (and radically light) carbon-fiber-and-alloy crankset and dreams of pedaling a one-man submersible across the Atlantic Ocean solo.
Fortunately, on our way home from visiting LH Thomson, he opened his doors to us and showed us how he makes the feathery parts. And his sub. We also took the opportunity to talk about the new Gravitas crankset in great detail, as well as see parts for them being machined and assembled.
Before we show you around, Ted let us know he’s updated the Zero G and Gravitas brakes to -wait for it- make them lighter!
As of mid January, the brakes get a new Delrin cable housing insert to replace the barrel adjuster (both versions shown above). Ciamillo’s brakes are designed to use various pad carrier heights with spherical spacer washers to accommodate different rim widths. Before, you could take up the slack using the barrel, but that would pull through as much as 40% of the brakes’ movement, which means you wouldn’t have the intended power at the end of the stroke, nor use the cam’s leverage as designed.
Blaq Design started off a couple of guys in Kent, OH making rough looking messenger bags. They have come a long way since then (out to Portland, OR in fact), and have now opened their first retail location. Blaq Design is made up of Paul Johnson, Jeremy Neal, and their partner Aaron Painter. This year, their biggest project was building up inventory and moving into the retail location. You can find them at:
1100 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
Visitors are welcome Tue – Sun, 11am to 7pm.
And, until Christmas Eve, you can have 25% off all inventory in store only.
I stopped by to meet up with Paul and Jeremy for a tour of the new shop. Make the jump for a photo tour and some interesting details.
As part of our tour of Taiwan’s bicycle industry, we swung by Ming Cycle, one of the world’s largest OEM bike manufacturers.
But they’re far more than just an OE manufacturer. For some brands, they’re simply an assembly middleman. Or a painter. And they own Strida, the unique folding bicycle brand started in the UK. Ming started making them in 2002 and bought the brand in 2007.
We arrived a bit later than expected thanks to some very interesting routes, U-turns, stops for directions and other extensions to our bus trip. As such, the factory side of the building was closed for the day, but we did get to see some of the assembly line (above) and Strida build room. Then, we did laps on them around the conference room…
Our tour of Pacific Cycles continues…
In Part One, we showed you the classics, some folding bikes and some functional bikes that serve the physically challenged community, among others. In this one, we’ve got some pretty wild old-school and modern mountain bikes, a few random things and an extremely limited edition frame they did for Shimano to show off it’s original Nexave Di2 concept components.
Above, a Michael Schumaker Collection Staiger full suspension mountain bike to kick things off…
Founded in 1980, Pacific Cycles is a large scale (one of the largest) private label manufacturers. While they weren’t giving up their client list, I was told they make the frames for one of my personal favorite brands, and you’ll see a few of the brands in this two-part post about them.
First, a bit of clarification: This is not the Pacific Cycle that bought and commoditized Schwinn and others before selling to Dorel in 2004. This is Pacific Cycles-with-an-S that’s introduced some technological firsts to the cycling world and makes some seriously high end frames. And has some seriously unique products and ideas. A quick bit of history, as told by founder George Lin:
- 1985 – First company in cycling industry to use AutoCad
- 1988 – First 7005 alloy frame in Taiwan
- 1992 – First twin shock full suspension bike
- 1993 – Created the Hot Chili, which was developed by Peter Denk, who went on to work in product development for Scott and (currently) Cannondale
- 1998 – Set up their first CNC shop for faster prototyping
- 2012 – 3D scanning & rapid prototyping added, and the first fruit of this labor is the Mando Footloose we saw at Eurobike.
In 2010, they opened a bicycle museum with about 150 bikes, including historical models (including a few Schwinns from the heyday) and capped by the modern ones built by Pacific Bicycles. They’ve seen more than 10,000 visitors so far this year, which is impressive considering they’re not located in one of Taiwan’s major cities.
They developed lots of folding bikes, two of note are the Birdy, Carry Me and, with a designer, the iF Mode shown above, which won an IF design award. The new “baby Mode” is a 20″ folding bike that’s coming soon.
This year, they added 3D scanning and rapid prototyping. The first fruit of this effort is the Mando Footloose folding bike we showed in one of our tradeshow galleries.
Take a tour for the old, the new and the bizarre…