Dark and frosty outside? Get a mug of hot tea, and settle in to watch these videos. Learn about the mysterious inner workings of bicycle factories!
Here's a look at the French manufacturer Peugeot, from 1985:
It looks as though Peugeot manufactured their own tubing, forks, and even rims. Sekine's factory was much smaller and limited in scope, but used some similar processes.
From the How It's Made video series comes this episode about a bicycle factory (CCM):
Interesting because they're manufacturing plain, low-tech steel bikes, in Canada, much like Sekine did. Obviously some of the manufacturing machines are more advanced (in particular more fully automated wheel building), but it's a simple flow- frames, paint, sub-assembly, conveyor belt final assembly.
Campy chain manufacturing, from the How It's Made series:
And a look at modern, mass-production factory wheel building:
Although this factory is in China, the Sekine wheel build process was similar. Hand lacing, with an automatic machine tensioning, then final truing by hand.
Last but not least, a look at Continental bicycle tire manufacturing.
There's also a longer, very detailed Schwalbe-produced video on Youtube that's worth watching. It's interesting to think that even Canada used to have bicycle tires manufactured domestically.
Anyone else have some good links to bicycle-factory videos?