January 23/13 12:05 pm - Ideal Bike Factory Tour
Posted by Editoress on 01/23/13
Canadian Cyclist was the only Canadian publication invited to attend a factory tour last fall in Taiwan, hosted by TAITRA, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. TAITRA administers the Taipei Cycle show, the third largest bike industry show in the world (after Eurobike and Interbike), and the largest for manufacturers (Eurobike and Interbike are mainly for retailers). 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
Ideal Bike is one of Taiwan's largest bike manufacturers, that produces a number of brand names that may surprise you: BMC, Ridley, Fuji, Cinelli and, for Canada, Garneau, Opus and Norco. All of these bike brands have some of their models produced and assembled by Ideal. In 2011, both the winning Tour de France (Evans) and Vuelta Espana (Cobo) bike brands came from Ideal.
The company focus, as might be expected from their client list, is the mid to high end of the market, with 50% going to Europe and 30%-40% to North America. They produce both OEM and ODM products, and have factories now in Taiwan (R&D, painting and assembly), China (frame building, painting and assembly) and Poland ( assembly, and production of the Bosch e-bike), for a total capacity of nearly one million bikes per year. In 2011 Ideal had sales of $200 million (US).
Currently, the company builds 60,000 aluminum bike frames per month, 20,000 chromoly steel and 10,000 carbon fibre (bonded, not monocoque). They also are quick to note that the top carbon models from clients such as BMC and Ridley are painted and assembled at Ideal, with frame construction being done elsewhere in specialized facilities. Higher end bikes are painted in a 'clean room' area, with assembly on an individual basis rather than on a line.