January 16/12 17:49 pm - Pacific Cycles Factory Visit
Posted by Editoress on 01/16/12
Canadian Cyclist was invited to visit a number of Taiwanese bike companies in the fall of 2011. Here is one of our factory visits - to read the overview to our visit and access all the articles, go to the main page Here
Pacific Cycles is a somewhat legendary member of the Taiwan cycling industry. The 31 year old company, in addition to its own bikes, has been a boutique design house for many brands, including Banshee, Niner, Airnimal, Diamondback, Evil, Orbea, Louis Garneau and Kurt Kinetic - 15 in all at last count. Among their own brands, the highly innovative Birdy folding bike is the best known (primarily in the European market).
Pacific Cycles original factory
Visiting the factory is like entering a mad inventor's workshop. Two, three and four wheel designs are spread everywhere - both pedal-powered and electric. Within minutes, we were all racing around the shop floor on a plethora of one-off designs. Pacific has also been involved in building one-off and short run designs for specific purposes, such as a handcycle add-on for a wheelchair user.
With only 120 employees and producing (by Taiwanese standards) a miniscule 40,000 bikes per year (40% Own Brand and 60% OEM), the assembly line has a somewhat relaxed feel to it. Pacific is in the position of being able to pick the brands it wants to work with, choosing its customers by their innovative flair - no 'me to' production here.
The company has a strong environmental policy, eschewing carbon for aluminum because carbon is not as environmental (no recycling option).
"Be Small, Be Thyself," says founder George Lin.