At Marwi, crazy robot tech meets good old fashioned manual labour

Inside component manufacturer’s Taiwan factory

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:

BikeRadar was in Taiwan on a media tour hosted by TAITRA, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. TAITRA is promoting the Taipei International Cycle Show which takes place from March 2-5 2016. 

Matthew Allen

Senior Technical Writer, UK
Former bike mechanic, builder of wheels, hub fetishist and lover of shiny things. Likes climbing a lot, but not as good at it as he looks.
  • Discipline: Road, with occasional MTB dalliances
  • Preferred Terrain: Long mountain climbs followed by high-speed descents (that he doesn't get to do nearly often enough), plus scaring himself off-road when he outruns his skill set.
  • Current Bikes: Scott Addict R3 2014, Focus Cayo Disc 2015, Niner RLT 9
  • Dream Bike: Something hideously expensive and custom with external cables and a threaded bottom bracket because screw you bike industry.
  • Beer of Choice: Cider, please. Thistly Cross from Scotland
  • Location: Bristol, UK

Related Articles

Back to top