Taiwan: The Cycling Island

Frame production at Giant Bicycles, Taichung.

I traveled to Taiwan a few years ago to visit an assortment of bicycle factories, check out the cycling culture while riding around a little bit and report back on my findings. The piece was published in the print and digital edition of Momentum Mag in May 2016. I’ve now reformatted the article and added some new images to the ‘Photo Stories’ archival section on my website. Have a look:

Taiwan: The Cycling Island – Writing & Photography by David Niddrie

Taiwan is a small island nation sometimes called the ‘Bicycle Kingdom’ and a staggering amount of the frames, components and accessories we’re familiar with in North America are designed and manufactured here. It was my first time visiting Asia, and first experience looking behind the scenes at cycling manufacturing on a massive scale. I’ve been to many bicycle trade shows, handmade builder expos, events and gatherings in Canada and the USA, but the scale of the global cycling industry – of which Taiwan is a huge part – was mind-boggling. Please head over to my main website and take a look at my piece on Taiwan, the brands, the people behind them and what this ‘cycling island’ is doing to promote and encourage city cycling in a nation of millions.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting the inside scoop for my readers and have a pile of outtake images, sound clips and interview notes from these adventures. I’ve done similar visits to facilities in Germany and the Netherlands and I would love to do this again sometime! Learning where and how bike share bicycles are made, going behind the scenes at an innovative e-bike company, photographing a custom build from assessment to the first pedal. Or something completely different, like vinyl LP manufacturing in Western Canada. Anyone want to partner? Contact me!

Hands on manufacturing at Velo Saddles.

4 thoughts on “Taiwan: The Cycling Island

  1. Really interesting read, I work in a local Giant-Liv store and found it fascinating to see photos of where the bikes are crafted from an independent perspective.
    Thanks again, great read.

    • Thanks for your comment, James. Glad it resonated! I was just blown away with the sheer scope of operations at these factories, but especially Giant. That shipping area shot for me gives a good sense and, as mentioned, that was just a slice of it. Keep up the good work getting people in the saddle! Cheers, david.

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