SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production170

If factories are where bicycle components are born, then for SRAM, their Development Centers would be where products are finally conceived. Given SRAM’s global nature, new products could be developed in the U.S., Europe, or Asia, but most of them are now sent from the design centers to the new Asia Development center to undergo final testing and analysis. As it was explained to us, the ADC is specifically there as a bridge from the engineering side of the process to the manufacturing side.

After testing is complete, the products can then be transferred to the factories for full scale production. Having opened just before the Chinese New Year in 2014, the ADC illustrates SRAM’s commitment to Taiwanese manufacturing with a state of the art building that is just as impressive on the inside…

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production169

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production171 SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production185

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production186

Located on the outskirts of bustling Taichung, the Asia Development center is positioned in an area that seemed more open and spacious than one would expect, which suits its image. This is not some well used manufacturing building, the ADC is as fresh and new as it gets.

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production172

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production173

Step into the front of the building and you are greeted with an interior worthy of any of SRAM’s locations. If it weren’t for the Mandarin on the walls and bizarre candy in the jars, you’d be hard pressed to say just what country you were in.

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production174

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production190

In addition to the product development side, this is also the location for SRAM’s Taiwanese STU or SRAM Technical University. Anyone in Taiwan is now able to get the same level of training that we would see from SRAM’s STU in Colorado Springs.

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production175

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production176 SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production180

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production181 SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production178

Employing more than 164 individuals, one of the most important parts of the building is the Materials Research Group or MRG. SRAM’s engineers and materials scientists have access to high tech equipment like an Optical Emission Spectrometer to measure the exact make up of materials by zapping it with heat or an arc and measuring the light waves that are produced. This is especially useful when introducing new materials and new manufacturing process and enables engineers to have a better understanding of the final product.

Next door to the MRG is a Precision Measurement Lab, which is exactly like it sounds. After removing your footwear, you can enter the climate controlled room that is filled with measuring instruments like a CMM, and 3D scanner that is used to replicate physical parts in CAD. Another door down but not pictured is the Test Lab. In 2011, SRAM integrated their separate labs into a single group called Global testing to make it easier for the different locations to be on the same page. We weren’t allowed to take any photos since there were some, uh, prototypes hiding in plain sight, but many of the same test rigs we saw in Colorado Springs were here as well.

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production183

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production189 SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production184

It wouldn’t be a SRAM Development Center without some clever architecture. Suspension forks fill in as stair railings. Also, a blue pike?

SRAM Taiwan Factory Tours Suspension Shifters Derialleurs Carbon production182

Each new building continues to add to SRAM’s global presence – what better way to represent that than a world made of SRAM parts? SRAM’s carbon production facility is up next. Make sure to check out part 1 below, if you haven’t already.

Factory Tour: SRAM’s Taiwanese Manufacturing Part 1 – RockShox Suspension, SRAM Drive Train, More

23 COMMENTS

  1. @Patrick – Hopefully it will be deleted. Everyone makes product that has issues. Just look at the automotive industry. I don’t work for SRAM but I would not turn down the opportunity to. They are a true industry leader and innovator. Sometimes things go sideways when you push the boundaries, that is part of being an innovator.

  2. My personal experience is to buy Sram over shimano.
    I have force and red. Red has been perfect for me, force pretty darn close. I like it better than ultegra or dura ace.
    I have x11 and XO and X9 all have been great with x11 being about as close to perfect as it can be. I also have latest shimano XTR the derailleur and shifters are junk and have never worked right even after serious adjustments by qualified mechanics.
    I think when you make a comment you should state what broke and how it broke with a complete description of you and what led to it breaking. I see people write things about bib shorts that fell apart in a couple months and I have the same bibs and they lasted me years. How did you wash them, how did you dry them, how did they fit you in the first place etc.

    A statement of “something that breaks comes from” is a useless statement without facts.
    my experience with Sram after the last 6 years and close to 40000 miles is nothing but praise.

  3. @syj you’re right, my bad. I took that from my lbs the last time I was shopping for a new bike. They’ve been in business for 80 years.

  4. As a guess, I’ll say that Shimano had the LARGEST amount of defective items in the bike industry with the cantilever brake spring covers. That wasn’t a high-end item, so no one mentions that here. There were a lot more economical bikes out there with them then the high end parts that often get criticized on Bike Rumor.

  5. How many of those engineers and factory workers at these factories in Asia actually ride what they make (or help design)? Seriously, just wondering

  6. Been on SRAM since 2009 and I have had no real issues compared to other road groups, currently running on my TT and road bike. Only just replaced my original Red groupset in December. They have rushed stuff to production but overall they have bee good for me.

  7. @TJ from my experience (I work for a fitness equipment manufacturer in Taichung) many employees ride bikes everyday. Our Taichung location has a pretty large and diehard road club that gets together For weekly rides. Surprisingly, Taiwan has quite the cycling culture even with middle income citizens.

  8. Every 2 people in Taiwan owns a scooter. Or, more than 400 scooters per Km^2 in this island.
    Cyclist like me that breathe exhaust seemed abnormal.

  9. @French – Thanks for the background. I’m glad to hear they’re not just making things ‘for westerners’ that they don’t get to use.

  10. “If it weren’t for the Mandarin on the walls…”

    Fun fact: While Mandarin and Cantonese are different spoken languages, they share the same written language (which has traditional and simplified variations).

  11. Gee @donald. Seems like you’re justifying the very people which you admonish. I have the latest XTR, installed myself, and it works a charm. I was actually thinking so when on the trail the other day. Everyone is going to have their experiences and will either be printed or spoken their views. How the audience will accept said opinion will determine their thinking.

    I have no real issues with SRAM’s shifting. I just prefer Shimano because you can do double shifts both ways. If SRAM had that I’d consider a 1×11. Loving their suspension at the moment though and am seeing what the development centers are doing. Good stuff.

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.