Step inside Asiabike to experience a hive of activity that lays to rest its unassuming outer appearance, where two wheelers of all nature from city to racing to desert bicycles are made to be exported around the globe.
Words Krishani Peiris Photography Mahesh Bandara
Initiated in 1994, Asiabike has a proud legacy in manufacturing and exporting bicycles to international markets, mainly the European Union and India. Focusing on quality and standards, the company produces bicycles that are made according to customer specifications, covering all segments including freestyle, BMX, MTB, folding bikes, trekking, kids bikes and high-end bicycles made of alloy. You will be able to glimpse excellent examples of these on the ground floor of the main office space.
Being an exporter, Asiabike lends their expertise to producing many types of bicycles. For the traveller they manufacture Road Bicycles, designed for travelling at speed on paved pathways; Touring Bicycles made for long journeys and known for durability and comfort; and Commuters meant for short and long distances. For day to day activities of city dwellers, Asiabike builds City Bikes, for the urban scuffle, with a strong yet light frame, and easy manoeuvrability; Utility Bicycles, for commuting and shopping; and Folding Bikes that can be folded. For thrill seekers there are several options—namely, Mountain Bicycles, for off-road cycling with durable and sturdy frames and wheels along with cross-wise handlebars to counter sudden jolts; Fatbikes for snowy or sandy terrain with exceptionally wide tires, fondly known as desert bikes; Racing Bicycles built for speed with lightweight frames and components; and BMX bikes used for stunts and racing on hilly dirt tracks. Last but not least, the company also caters to little ones with dainty bicycles of various colours.
Walking through the factory, it was apparent that manufacturing bicycles requires great attention to detail and efficiency. The process of producing a bicycle involves six main steps—wheeling, welding, cleaning, painting, decaling and assembling. At Asiabike all materials are sourced locally and internationally where the main parts are brought down from reputed companies in China and Japan.
To grasp the complexities involved in producing a bicycle, one has to start at the beginning, at the store room where components are first conveyed to the relevant production lines. The wheeling and then the welding, cleaning, painting and decaling are done in two separate production lines that run parallel. Wheeling involves the creation of the tires along with spokes, rims, hub and tubes, which is housed in a different section.
Proceeding to the other end of the factory, at the entrance there were several groups of workers prepping for assembling. The parts selected from here are then washed in a special chemical bath before being fired in a purpose-built oven. The fired components are smooth to the touch and free of rust. Further into the factory, there were several lines with parts moving in and out of rooms. One section houses a sophisticated three paint booth system that enables Asiabike to incorporate various combinations of colours. The paints for this purpose are sourced from Taiwan.
Afterwards is the decaling process where stickers are pasted without a hitch by hand before being wheeled off to be assembled. At the assembly point the wheels and all necessary frames are fixed together to verify the end product before the front wheel and the handle is disassembled; only 90 percent of the bicycle remains assembled for packaging and shipping.
The quality of the production is inspected every step of the way showcasing the stringent quality controls at place in the company to ensure that nothing but the best is delivered to the client. All employees have been trained to perform their given tasks quickly and efficiently without room for error as most of the time they would have to work on several different bicycle types at once.
With the ability to produce nearly 300,000 bikes annually, the company pays heed to the needs of their workforce, which includes differently abled employees as well. Further, striving to do their part for the environment, the factory has their own water treatment plant. Always going that extra mile to make sure that bicycle production in Sri Lanka is taken to the international arena, displaying quality and ability, Asiabike forges ahead creating their own niche market among clients.
114, Galle Road, Henamulla, Panadaura
Tel: (+94 38) 223 2327
Fax: (+94 38) 223 4104