Merida bikes

Merida is a major bicycle manufacturer from Taiwan. It’s product lineup contains a wide choice of universal budget models as well as professional road and mountain bike models.


 

History

The company was established in 1972. They started their business with a small store that sold Japanese-made bicycle parts. In 1973, Merida started the assembly of Japanese mini-bikes and organized their sales. Same year Merida opened their first factory in Taiwan.

The assortment of products was constantly expanding, and its volumes grew. Three years after the brand was born, it already was supplying its own bicycles to American market, as well as to some European countries. Since then, it has been constantly expanding markets and increasing its own production capacity.

“Merida” is a family-run business, its founder and irreplaceable leader for over 40 years was Ike Tseng. In 2012, after his death at the age of 80, his son – Michael Tseng, who has been involved in organizing the work of the company’s production units for many years, succeeded his father as chief executive.

In 2001, as a result of a 30 million deal, Merida became the owner of 49% stake in American company Specialized – a well-known and respected manufacturer of bicycles and sports equipment. At this point, Merida has already become the second bicycle manufacturing company in the world in terms of production.

Merida today is one of the largest manufacturer of bicycles in the world. Its products are being sold in more than 70 countries. Merida Industry Co., Ltd. is the 15th largest companies in Taiwan, its estimated value in 2007 was 185 million USD. In 2013, they reached a market cap of 2B$. (according to Forbes)

Since its early years, the company was constantly improving its production, developing new designs and consistently introducing innovative technologies. Automated production control at its factory in Taiwan was first established in 1980, this made it possible to ensure a high and constant level of quality of their finished products.

Merida was first company in Taiwan to receive an ISO 9002 certificate, wich provides the assessment of 20 indicators, and is an international standard in quality management system.

Currently, the company’s production facilities and headquarters are located in Taiwan, and its largest research center is located in Germany. In their research center they develop new products and conduct their tests.

Also, in Europe they have a training base for their cycling team “Multivan Merida“. In addition, the Taiwanese company sponsors the prestigious TransWales and TransUK competitions held in United Kingdom.

In 2002, “Multivan Merida” cycling team have won medals at the World and European mountain biking championships, they are constantly winning World Cup events and have won many national championships on different continents.

While participating in world championships, Merida’s athletes are testing their new products. Since 2012, the company has been sponsoring Russian rider P. Alekhin, who is testing their developments in most demanding and harsh conditions. In 2013, Merida started sponsoring Italian pro-cycling team “Lampre” wich has been using two names since that time- “Lampre-Merida”

Many of Meridas latest developments, after they have been tested by athletes in competitions and proven to be effective, are used in production of their bicycle models. In addition, sponsoring professional cycling teams provides Taiwanese manufacturer with good advertisement, wich leads to increase in sales in world markets.

Companies bicycles of the highest level of quality and with the most modern technical characteristics still manage to have a relatively low price tag. This is explained by the fact that Merida managed to successfully combine the possibilities of cheap labor and low production cost in Asia with high scientific potential of European specialists.

When it comes to components, all Meridas bike models are equipped with parts produced by most famous brands, such as: Shimano, CST, Maxxis, MTB, Crossmark, Mission Speed, Larsen Mimo, etc.


 

Technologies and innovations

Merida’s Taiwanese factory is highly automated, this increases quality of products and reduces their cost. For example, 10 robots, manufactured by Toyota, are used for welding frames from different materials, productivity of each robot is 200 000 products per year.

The frames are painted (also in automatic mode) by powder coating technique. This provides a high-strength polymer coating that is resistant to scratches and UV light.

Innovative design & development of bicycle frames from Taiwanese manufacturer is highly appreciated around the world. Therefore, numerous American bicycle manufacturers purchase Meridas frames for their products. Among them are companies such as GT, Scott, Schwinn, as well as Specialized, which is co-owned by Merida.

Among innovations, which brought the products of Taiwanese manufacturer to the highest level, is the development of so called “ShotGun” pipes (a.k.a.”biovascular design” pipes). These pipes allow redistributing dynamic loads on the frame in such a way, that with a smaller thickness it provides the necessary strength and robustness for comfortable and safe riding.

As a result, the frame weight was reduced by 20%. Special configuration thin-wall aluminum profiles are made by using two technologies.1 By method of hydrofoming HFS, with an active fluid (a water-oil emulsion). Frames produced using this method are lightest. 2. By method of techno forming TFS (simplified technology). Frames made using this technology are made out of cheaper aluminum alloys and are heavier. TFS method is used for production of cheaper models. HFS method is similar to frame forming technology used by “GIANT”, but Meridas frames are cheaper.

In 2009 Merida developed a Magnesium alloy frame, wich is lightweight and has good shock absorbing abilities and is quite affordable. Merida also produces carbon frames using “Nano Matrix” Carbon technology. It uses carbon fiber and a polymeric composition based on nano-particles, which increases the strength of the frame by 1.5 times, compared to a standard material based on epoxy-diane resin. Internal stiffeners are also used to increase the strength of the frame.

Effective damping of vibrations of the rear wheel is provided by a special frame design – “Flex Stay”. The special form and usage of composite material provide a vertical movement of rear triangle (chainstay/seatstay), of a few millimeters.


 

In conclusion

Merida Industry Co., Ltd is a Taiwanese company that develops, manufactures and markets bicycles. The company’s history began in 1972 with a small store that sold Japanese bicycle parts under the management of Ike Tseng (died January 30, 2012, at the age of 81). Until the very last day of his life he led the company, successfully making it one of the most advanced companies in the world.

Today, one of the world’s oldest bicycle manufacturers supplies its products to all segments of the market. Technical level of models and their reliability correspond to standards of other leading brands in world of cycling. Merida uses almost all similar systems in their models, as their competitors. Companie produces models for kids, teens, women, amateurs and professional cyclists.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. The name Merida caught my attention, because it is a state in Mexico (where I live), and so for a moment I wondered if this was a local brand 😉 I didn’t know the brand Merida and that is was made in Taiwan. Very interesting article. I like how you describe the whole assembly process and give the history of the Merida bikes. I like riding bicycles. I used to do that a lot in my youth. Unfortunately, it is a little dangerous to do that in Mexico, so I refrained from buying a bike here, but I hope that soon I’ll be able to take it up again.

    1. Mexico holds the best urban downhill championship in the world. Hope that is going to get better for everyday cyclists.

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