Giant makes over 6 million bikes every year from carbon fibers
The ultra-lightweight frames are make from carbon fibers
The bikes weigh less than a kilo and are very aerodynamic
Editor’s Note: The Art of Movement is a monthly show that highlights the most significant innovations in science and technology that are helping shape our modern world.
They have two wheels, can weigh less than a kilo and more than 6 million of them are made each year.
They’re Giant Bicylces – the work of a Taiwan based company which has been making bikes since 1972, and now has over 12,000 retail partners worldwide. The secret to its success? The process is everything.
Tony Lo, CEO of Giant Global Group, is an avid cyclist himself and commutes 35 kilometers on his Giant Propel Advanced SL, which he describes as the most aerodynamic road bike in the world.
“Whenever I get on a bicycle I always feel very free,” he says. “The bike is an arrow, cutting through the wind. Everything disappears except you and the road in front of you.”
Giant’s bikes are made from millions of carbon fibers, each thinner than a human hair, cut by machines and sewn together.
“You want it very light, you want it very strong. But you also want the strength or stiffness only at where you want it,” he says.
“Metal you can shape, but when you make the carbon fiber you can decide where each piece goes. You want the pedal to be very strong – we call that the power core – but in the seat you want it to be a bit soft, so it doesn’t feel so hard,” says Lo.
The bonded carbon fibers are cut into sheets that become the bike frames, and just like fresh bread, the frames are then baked in an oven before being rigorously tested.
“The most important thing we learn is that the bicycle can always become better,” adds Lo.
Watch the video above to learn how to build a Giant bike.