Trek Bicycles Factory Tour

Company Spotlight

Scott Daubert is the head of Trek Racing and he gave us the background on Trek’s Racing efforts and how they relate to product development. His department is immaculate, by the way. The Trek Racing department operates almost as a stand alone business-within-a-business with its own space, own staff, own budget and own game plan. The sponsored athletes are integral in the communication of what they need for their own racing needs, whether it be triathletes like Chris Lieto to Team Radio Shack to the Trek World Racing Team and more.

Scott Daubert

Racing Department Racing Department Team Radio Shack Chris Lieto's sons bike

CNC Machine lathe press Honey Stinger is a tool?

From the Racing department, we proceeded into the Fabrication area. However, due to some recent changes in certain processes (since the Discovery Channel was last in, apparently) all of us journalists had to surrender our cameras before entering and sign NDA forms of confidentiality. It really is a shame, because this truly was the highlight of the tour for me. Jim Cosgrove was our guide and he is THE MAN, when it comes to building with carbon fiber. His background is in aerospace and he answered all of our questions, and there were many. UD (unidirectional) vs. weave, 12k vs 3k, plans to recycle excess materials, approaching ultimate limits of the material, possible other materials….Jim had an answer for everything.

And the carbon fiber fabrication process was amazing! From the bundling of the fibers, to cutting the layers, to forming the shapes, to hand laying the material in the molds, to bonding, baking and finishing…it’s all done in house for the mid to upper end carbon fiber road and mountain frames and forks.


next: ACG and ID departments

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of Mtbr.com for over 12 years and enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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  • Alan Kilby says:

    This would be an amazing place to work! Maybe someday!

  • Francois says:

    This doesn’t even have photos of the Trek MTB Park. I heard it is truly awesome with 10+ mile rides and a ton of features.

  • gregg says:

    I think like a lot of big, successful companies, Trek gets a bad rap for the whole “evil empire” kinda thing. But visiting their home base and interacting with the employees (from the secretary in the lobby, to head of carbon fabrication and design, to the cafeteria lady ringing up lunch…) the atmosphere is very much down to earth and genuine. Sure, some of the designers looked like they were lacking a few hours of sleep, but having a dream job means giving a lot for your Passion and getting back all that you put in and more.

  • Bryan says:

    I have an old VRX 400 frame laying around, I wonder if it’s worth anything?

  • Gordon says:

    Pfft. I was riding trail in Delaware in 1965 with a SS cruiser. No need for gears or handlebarbrakes. Used the same bike I delivered newspapers with. Sheesh, guess I invented trail riding. Anyway, I now own 3 Treks and having a ball.

  • Warren Hudson says:

    “Mountain biking begins” … I always laugh when I see this.

    Bikes were being modified specifically to take on the mountain ranges back in the 1890s. There is a book by Jim Fitzpatrick called ‘The Bicycle and the Bush’ Hesperian Press 2002 that would open a few eyes.

    “Mountain biking begins” … rubbish.

    Warren.

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