A technician assembles a Wilier bike, attaching a brake caliper to a rear mount with an impact wrench.

Gallery: How Wilier’s assembly line cranks out 50 bikes a day

The blend of traditional and modern tools and techniques produces a relaxed approach, but they aren't waiting around.

Ronan Mc Laughlin
by Ronan Mc Laughlin 27.03.2024 Photography by
Ronan Mc Laughlin
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Bike factory assembly lines come in all different shapes and sizes, from the high-volume non-stop lines like those James saw on his recent visit to Giant to the single-mechanic, artisanal workshops of the custom space. Most brands sit somewhere in between, as I learned on a recent visit to Wilier Triestina’s headquarters in Rossano Veneto, near Venice, Italy.

On the one hand, Wilier is a household name and a WorldTour-sponsoring bike brand, providing bikes to both Astana and Groupama-FDJ this season. On the other, its assembly line lives and breathes Italian character. There’s no clinical efficiency or lab-like spotless workshop, but a blend of modern and tradition. The assembly line is almost quintessentially Italian: traditional and stylish (oh my, those Wilier paint jobs), relaxed and slow but steady moving but with a certainty of a job well done … “Tranquilo.”

I visited Wilier recently for a separate story but I was intrigued when I spotted the assembly line during a tour of the brand’s headquarters and snapped some quick pictures to share here. Wilier builds its medium-range and high-end bikes on this assembly line at its longtime home. Frame production and assembly of entry-level bikes, on the other hand, are handled at Wilier’s own Taiwanese manufacturing facility.

This assembly line, with six to eight staff on at any one time, can build up to 40-60 bikes per day. It’s not a constantly moving production line, but the mechanics aren’t waiting about either; here’s how they do it.

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