I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the Co-Motion Nor’Wester steel road bike. With Co-Motion’s production facility located close by in Eugene, OR, I decided to drive the bike back down rather than ship it. This was a great opportunity to tour their facility as well.
Co-Motion has really grown over the years. They started off in a small one room workshop, and have moved twice since then. The most recent move was into the building pictured above, which they had built specifically to meet their needs. This building houses every tool and machine needed to fulfill the Co-Motion philosophy. That philosophy is that if they can make it, they will make it. They don’t just weld frames here. Three CNC machines are used to create parts such as dropouts, seat collars and eccentric BB shells, injection molding is used to make cable guides, paint is laid in two different down draft paint booths, vinyl decals are created and printed, parts are machine polished, and they even weld stems out of stainless steel.
Co-Motion differs from many custom builders due to their size. This shop is a full on manufacturing facility, and designed for efficiency and quality. They take pride in making as many parts in house as possible, and this isn’t just limited to finished parts that make it onto the bikes. They produce fixtures, jigs, and templates that allow for a very refined workflow. All of this equates to a quality product and shorter turn around time.
Hit the jump for a visual tour of the Co-Motion facility and a look at welding and brazing of the frame. Stay tuned for part 2, CNC machining, and part 3, paint and polish.
When you first walk in the door at Co-Motion, you enter a nice showroom filled with both tandems and singles from past and present. This company fleet is made up of show bikes from years past, as well as some demo bikes. It’s nice to have a collection of inventory around for any visitors to test ride. While they can’t keep every option, size, make and model around at all times, they have enough of a selection to give you a good feel of what you are buying.
The CAD drawing of custom geometry is displayed at the miter station.
This is the control panel for their manual machine lathe where the majority of mitering is done for the Co-Motion bikes.
This handy jig is used to easily and accurately drill water bottle bosses on tandem tubes.
For those that prefer a more shapely rear end, Co-Motion has a hydraulic stay bending machine.
This is the jig used for brazing S & S couplers prior to mitering and welding.
A fresh silver brazed S & S coupler on steel tubing in the cooling tank. This thing was still steaming when I photographed it.
A finished S & S coupler.
For those who like their parts a little more shiny, Co-Motion now has a machine polisher. This S & S coupler really shines, and the polished version is a new option for 2013.
Steel TIG welds. All of the Co-Motion steel welds are single pass and left bare for paint.
In Part Two we take a look into the CNC machining and parts creation done at Co-Motion.