The way you ride a bike may never change but bike technology is always evolving.
The people up at Trek Bicycles in Waterloo are constantly searching for that next big breakthrough to keep their company and athletes ahead of the competition.
NBC 15 got an all-access, behind-the-scenes pass to Trek's manufacturing facility. We wanted to find out what goes into making a high-quality bike from start to finish.
Building the best bike is a science.
“I think that's what drives a lot of people here at trek is actually trying to find different ways to make things better to really push the limits” said engineer Reggie Lund.
And at Trek it all starts with an idea.
“We can start with a concept and idea in our head and get it tested by the end of the day,” added Lund.
Engineers sit down and design a prototype.
“We get to really know the product and we get to really design what we want to ride,” said fellow engineer Chad Manuel.
Then, it's time to ride.
“I can have idea go test it out and see what happens and try to figure out how to make it better again,” said Manuel.
“A huge amount of our research comes from our employees riding their bikes,” he added.
After they decide on a design, the idea moves to the carbon room.
“This is really the beginning of the process where the carbon is molded into the shapes that will go into the bike,” said Lund.
The bike frames are made out of carbon fiber.
“Carbon fiber, for it's weight, is actually one of the strongest materials out there,” said Lund. “Right now, the higher-end, high-performance bikes are made out of carbon fiber,”
The frames are baked in an oven so the parts fuses together. Then they harden, cool, and are sanded and cleaned up.
“Every detail has to be perfect,” said Lund.
Finally, the frames are painted and decals are put in place. Throw on some handle bars and wheels and you've got one sleek looking ride.
“This is our current Madone, it's our high-end race bike,” said Lund. “It's fast, it's very comfortable and it's just a great all-around race bike,”
These bikes may look futuristic but the people at Trek are just getting started.
“We are very proud that we are always pushing the limit on what a bicycle can be,” commented Lund.
It's all so you can finish first.
“We want to be the best bike company in the world and we want to create the best bikes in the world and we want the best athletes on them also,”
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