Do you ever wonder who makes all those everyday bike components? The boring, unsexy, but essential items like bottle cages, saddles, and platform pedals that come bundled with your commuter bike? Regardless of how they’re branded, quite a few of them are made by Marwi, a company of around 1000 employees with factories in four countries.
We visited Marwi's Taiwanese headquarters in the city of Taichung, which houses a manufacturing facility. Although many of the products being made were distinctly low-end, it’s striking how hi-tech some of the manufacturing processes are. Much of the production line is automated, with industrial robots performing complex tasks with minimal intervention from their human operators. At the same time, some processes – assembling saddles, for instance – are almost entirely manual.
Click through the gallery above for a taste of what goes on inside the Marwi factory. We weren’t allowed to film, but this wonderfully cheesy promotional video gives a glimpse of the machines in action: