Posts in the category Taipei Show

Factory Tour: Inside the SR Suntour Headquarters in Taiwan

SR Suntour Factory Tour Taiwan Fork and Ebike Procution Facility Chang Hua583

Admittedly, most cyclists’ thoughts probably turn to inexpensive forks when you mention SR Suntour, and that’s a shame. It’s not that SR Suntour doesn’t produce these forks. They do. And in large quantities. The truth of the matter lies in the fact that the company has a long history of technical innovations in the bike industry that just happen to allow them to produce that suspension fork you’ll find on a bike under $500 and make it affordable while still working exceptionally well for the price. That, and a vertically integrated company that allows them an economy of scale. As the continuation of SunTour which started as Maeda Iron Works in 1912, SunTour is responsible for bringing us technologies we still use today, like the slant parallelogram rear derailleur.

In 1988 when the Japanese founded company moved to Chang Hua City in Taiwan, Suntour brought with them a new casting technology based on the melt-forging process. They called it Accurad forging (AC4C) and it involved injecting molten metal at high pressures into molds. Sharing a lot of similarities with casting, Accurad forging meant that the finished product was free of air bubbles or inclusions which can plague standard gravity casting. Combining the benefits of forging and casting, the process allowed for complex parts to be produced much more cheaply, giving rise to affordable components. Low end components aren’t as sexy as many of the forks you see splashed across our pages, but when you’re talking about producing something in the millions of units rather than the thousands, it takes some serious manufacturing skills to ensure repeatability at that scale.

However, SR Suntour isn’t about inexpensive parts, rather value and performance at any point in their line. The company’s Taiwan headquarters and factory is actually geared towards production of their higher end products – basically Taiwan produces forks with magnesium lowers and China makes forks with aluminum lowers. While the Chang Hua factory is capable of producing up to 5,000 complete suspension forks in a single day, their factory in Shenzen, China handles their higher quantity goods and is capable of making up to a whopping 20,000 forks in a single day. As you can imagine it takes a lot of people to keep a facility that size moving so you’ll find around 500 employees in Taiwan and around 900 at Shenzen. On top of that SR Suntour has a third facility in Kunshan, China that employs another 400-500 people. All together SR Suntour produces around 10,000,000 suspension forks per year with their Taiwanese facility running 8 hours a day, and usually two shifts in China. Together that makes them the biggest fork producer in the IBD market.

Earlier this year we found ourselves in the Fu Hsing Industrial Zone where SR Suntour Taiwan calls home. Take a look around the factory next…

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Factory Tour: From Raw Metal to Finished Pedal, VP does it All

VP Components Modus Taiwan Factory Pedal Production Tour409

There are a number of things that come to mind when thinking about Taiwanese manufacturing in the bicycle industry. On the small island you’ll find every level of producer making complete bikes right down to the individual bolt. Much of the production is similar to what you would find in the US with companies getting a number of different parts from their suppliers and then assembling the final product on their own factory floor.

Then there are companies like VP Components. Where raw materials are swallowed up by the gargantuan facility only to be spit out as finished goods. VP may be a relatively new name to the US market on the consumer side, but if you’ve ridden bikes for any amount of time you have probably used their products without even knowing it. Situated as one of the largest suppliers of OEM headsets in the world, VP is also one of the last producers of high quality, inexpensive square taper bottom brackets. Oh, they played a big roll in the development of reliable methods to mass produce the ISIS BB standard in Taiwan as well.

All of the buildings on VP’s campus work together in harmony to fulfill VP’s specialty of one stop production. Their customers receive completely finished and packaged products that are ready for the store shelves, or to be assembled into bikes. Capable of producing up to a half million items in a single month, bottom brackets, headsets, and pedals all roll out of the facility on a regular basis. And yes, they have their own BMX track….

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Factory Tour: Inside Lezyne’s Impressive Taiwan Facility

Lezyne Taiwan Factory Tour Cedric Gracia Pumps New Product647

Since their beginnings in 2007, Lezyne has always been about design. Even the name Lezyne is supposed to bring the word design to mind (which is why they rhyme, it’s not pronounced le-zeen). Lezyne is the brain child of Micki Kozuschek, a former professional triathlete, who started on the business side of the bike industry with Maxcycles. From there, Micki moved to the US and founded a company you have have heard of, called Truvativ which as we know, was later sold to SRAM in 2004. Three years later, Micki was back with a new project, Lezyne – Engineered Design.

Based in the US with a headquarters in San Luis Obispo, CA, Lezyne doesn’t really see themselves as a US company necessarily, but an international company with a quickly growing facility in Taichung, Taiwan. On our recent trip to Taiwan for the Taipei show, we had a chance to ride the amazing High Speed Rail down to the manufacturing heart of the bicycle industry and to check out Lezyne’s facility first hand.

If you time your visit right, you may find yourself with a cappuccino made by the one and only, Cedric Gracia…

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Taipei Show Randoms Pt. 2 – Huge Gallery of the Interesting, Crazy, and Peculiar

Bikerumor Taipei Show Random parts weird oddities (6)

In addition to all of the products you know and love, there was another side of the Taipei show to catch your attention. This jersey is a pretty good example. Most likely a tongue-in-cheek jab (we hope!) at the state of professional cycling, at the least, it was certainly eye catching. Sometimes you would find genuinely innovative products, other times you would leave shaking your head. This is a collection of some of the best, the most humorous, and just plain weird. Enjoy.

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Taipei Show Randoms Pt. 1 – Cool Stuff from Gates, X-Fusion, Jones, and Much More

Bikerumor Random Parts Taipei Show 14 (27)

Everywhere you looked in Taipei, there was something cool to see. The Taipei Show is quite a bit different from your average trade show, as it is geared almost exclusively to OEMs and distributors which makes it a cross between showing what’s new, and showing what is possible. In the case of Gates Belt Drive, for them it was a perfect opportunity to showcase what is possible with the Pinion Gear Box. Between the sealed gear box and a Gates belt, it may be the closest thing to a maintenance free drivetrain that we’ve ever seen.

While gates didn’t have a lot of new product, they did have a display showing just how many options you have when it comes to a belt drive. Check out the options plus a whole lot more, next…

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Taipei Show Round Up: Fat Bikes are Big

Fat Bike Round Up Taipei Show bikes tires fatbike 29+ (29)

There were two overriding themes as you walked through the aisles at the Taipei show, one was e-bikes – specifically frames designed for the apparent invasion of Bosch Drive motors. If you didn’t have a frame or a complete bike with the Bosch system, then chances were pretty high that there was a fat bike somewhere in the booth. This was in spite of the fact that many locals stared puzzlingly at the behemoths, indicating that fat bikes are still an oddity in many parts of the world. But it was also an indication that fat biking is just now hitting the industry in a big way, and everyone seems to be taking notice. In addition to the big products we’ve already seen from Vee Tire, Sarma, Kenda, Maxxis, Panaracer, and others, there was plenty more where that came from in Taiwan.

Check out new bikes from Fuji, Ford, and plenty more, with some speculation on new standards, next…

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Award Winning Design in Taiwan with the Taipei Cycle D&I awards

Taipei Show D&I Award Winner product (1)

There were quite a few new products with clever designs in Taipei, but a few stood out more than others. Not just to us, but to the judges of the third annual Taipei Cycle d&i awards, co-organized by TAITRA (the Taiwan External Trade Development Council) and TBEA (the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association), and executed independently by iF Design Asia. The design competition included 185 entries from 16 different countries including Germany, Japan, China, USA, Canada, the Netherlands, France, Italy, UK, Austria and Israel, with first time entries from Switzerland, Korea, and Slovakia. With 49 winners selected, products ranged from bikes, to racks, to wheels, and anything in between. This year’s winners had some truly incredible ideas, and a few that may leave you scratching your head…

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Taipei: Corsair Toro DJ, Imperium DH Get Official, Plus New Hubs, Pedals, Rims, and more from Atomlab

Corsair Atomlab 650b DH dirt jump rims hubs pedals (2)

In a sea of products from multiple nations, this red, white, and blue Corsair Toro certainly stood out. Initially spotted as a prototype under Jim “Hacksaw” Severt, the Toro dirt jump frame is officially being added to the line up of Corsair bikes. Billed as a 4x/DJ frame, the Toro is built to be as versatile as it is tough so you can race on the weekend and dirt jump in between. In addition to the Toro, Corsair had a few other new frames on display, including what could be a new 650b all mountain bike?

Check it out, plus some awesome new hubs and parts from Atomlab next…

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Taipei: Award winning Folding designs from Tern and Biologic

Tern Biological folding bikes iphone cycling computer tools suitcase (21) Tern Biological folding bikes iphone cycling computer tools suitcase (1)

As sister companies, Tern and Biologic really started catering to the folding bike crowd, but lately Biologic has been expanding to offer smart accessories to riders of any bike. Take their new FixKit multi-tool for example, it features 20 different integrated tools including one of the most useful pedal wrenches/axle nut wrenches we’ve ever seen in a multi-tool. By folding out the allen wrenches, and covering them in the neoprene sleeve, it extends the leverage of the wrench meaning you might actually be able to remove that stubborn pedal. When you’re done, the patented design folds into a shape no bigger than your standard multi tool. And at only $34.95, it’s pretty easy on the wallet as well.

Biologic had some other nifty items on display, plus some award winning designs from Tern, next…

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