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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Ritte Stuff: Taiwanese R&D

Wired Magazine has published a great article on Ritte Van Vlaanderen bikes, and how the company built itself up backwards.

Apparently, the company started as a joke to make a less obnoxious jersey, and then it grew into producing bikes using Taiwan's R&D.

My favorite part is this:

Canon was at Interbike, the annual bike biz bonanza, three years ago when he hooked up with a Taiwanese firm that specializes in carbon fiber bicycle engineering and manufacturing. (Canon refused to name the company because he doesn’t want competitors cribbing from his business plan.)

“They had a prototype frame that was amazing,” Canon said. “I convinced them to build me 20 bikes. I went out and presold them at cost, then presold 50 more.”

Although he concedes his Taiwanese partner designed “95 percent” of the first-gen Bosberg, Canon insists Ritte called the shots on later models.

“We have a lot more control over the design,” he said. “I’ve designed the new Crossberg. We’ve completely redone the tubes.”

And, he argues, Ritte isn’t doing anything many of the bigger companies aren’t doing too – outsourcing to experts. The way he sees it, he can’t match the expertise of a company specializing in carbon fiber design and manufacturing, so why try?

I find his honesty refreshing. You don't get all the marketing junk about the team of Italian engineers or the bestestest most laterally stiff, yet vertically compliant... blah blah blah.

Taiwan has a great reputation for not just producing, but also engineering some of the best frames available. Lots of open moulds out there begging for a brand to stand behind them.


  1. who makes the bike in the second picture (all black, sram, w/ green background)? looks great would love to have one...

  2. That FM028 is a Dengfu product:

    See if that have that or some other iteration.

  3. Which open mold frame is the one that the ritte bosberg and pedal force cg1 come from?