Pinkbike Exclusive Video: How It's Made - Handlebars

by Mike Levy 
 
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Views: 62,088    Faves: 388    Comments: 20


Pinkbike's Mike Levy and Aaron LaRocque traveled to Taiwan to experience firsthand how Spank manufacturers their Spike 777 EVO handlebar, a process that turned out to be way more involved then they ever expected. The two were able to follow the entire operation from start to finish, documenting the process as they went along. What became clear throughout it all was that while a handlebar may look like a rather simple component, one that obviously doesn't include any moving parts, the truth of the matter is that there is far more to it than one might imagine.

Thanks go out to both Gavin and Mike of Spank who made our visit to their facility possible.




205 Comments

  • + 288
 only way this could've been any better is if morgan freeman narrated it
  • + 160
 Do more of these!
  • + 49
 almost sounds like a computer narrated it. awesome though!
  • + 30
 yeah I'm pretty sure it was...the pronunciation of "decals" hahaha
  • + 17
 Seriously. Why such a mono tone narration?
  • + 42
 Canada has a different pronunciation of decal.
  • + 6
 it's the right way haha...i hate when people call them "dee-cals"
  • + 18
 shockabahala - I want Morgan Freeman to comment on a World Cup, and then something other way around: Hart, Hill and Ragot reading a part of Hamlet
  • + 9
 Is it just me or did he sound like the "text to speech" guy on windows?
  • + 13
 I think I'm going to pronounce decals that way now. Much funnier. Deckel!
  • + 16
 and i thought bars were the easy to make................. not anymore
  • + 14
 No, "deckel" is how they would call it if they visited Syntace manufacturing plant - Hier vi add zem deckels to zem hendelbarz
  • + 18
 That sounds just like German ;D
  • + 12
 Did this get narrated by Microsoft Sam
  • + 4
 Sounds exactly like one of my teachers. And what percentage of bars get tested out of the ones that actually get sold.
  • + 11
 DO MORE OF THESE !!! *** carbon bars....rims.....hubs......hell even spokes,
edits like this is so very power full......
  • + 9
 Now a even better question. How are Carbon Bars made Eek
  • + 3
 Great video! Should do more of these for sure! And Tate27, i was thinking the same thing!
  • - 2
 Cool video, but yeah - the "Speak and Spell" narration was almost unbearable to listen to.
  • + 1
 TyranT21 - testing usually depends on what the designer calls out. it can be preference or dictated by the possible risk to the user if the part were to fail. parts that pose a higher risk to the user if they fail are probably tested at a greater frequency (ie handle bars, stems, wheels, frames) as opposed to parts that pose lower risk to the user if they fail (ie grip clamps, shifter levers, etc).
  • + 1
 This is amazing please make more!
  • - 1
 Spank, I didnt know you were asian!
  • + 0
 This was really cool. I wouldn't mind seeing more of these in the future
  • + 2
 insomnia4201 - what isn't? They even do Free Tibet leaflets, I bet half of flags in White House are made in China
  • + 8
 fantastic video Pinkbike more of this content please - your readers appreciate the work you put into these videos, for sure!
  • + 0
 Great job Pinkbike, but there is one problem "non conductive titanium racks" should be "conductive titanium racks", because it the racks are non conductive electrolysis won't start!
  • + 1
 Drinking on the job at 5:02
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  • + 94
 Sick, going all Discovery Channel on everyone, just way better
  • + 39
 I love stuff like this! Keep it up, Pinkbike!
  • + 6
 Same! Brilliant! I watched this whilst eating breakfast this morning before my Design & Technology A Level exam (super important) and it saved my life! Used all the Quality Control check methods and CNC machining examples etc, thank you so much!!

and yes make some more! It's super interesting! Something like rims, forks etc would be awesome Smile
  • + 1
 yes I want more vids like this!!
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  • + 63
 I have a sudden desire to buy spank bars..
  • + 5
 its reassuring to see such quality control used to make a very important part of a bike. However i feel like this is a primarily just an advertisement that doesnt mean much. I had a 777 spike handlebar for a month and it broke pulling up on them out of a corner on a pumptrack. I may have gotten a bad bar but its hard to believe now after seeing this.
  • - 5
 bboutin - Sometimes I have a sudden desire to pay for a spank with bar - hit me nasty
  • + 2
 but there may have been a defect. You can't always pull out the defective products in random sample. Did you try and warranty the bars?
  • + 0
 Bent one set and snapped the warranty. No massive crash just riding downhill, 777 and 777 evo. Had a friend who's snapped on the river gap in Chatel too.
  • + 0
 just got the royala pretty stoked
  • + 2
 Denverdh666...drop me an email at mike@spank-ind.com...we want to hear about this kind of thing...very important for us. BTW...the 777 is a highly weight optimized race inspired product, starting at only 280g (depending on rise) for a 780 wide gravity bar. We make plenty of bars for daily thrashings, so its important to make distinctions.
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  • + 25
 Way better than discovery channel with the guys that searches meteorites, the guys who fish, the guys who blow away rocks from roads, the guys who sells antique crap, the guys who make guns, the guys that are after gold, the guys who... etc.. Good job pinkbike, we need more of this !
  • + 4
 Could not agree more. Don't forget the chicks who make cupcakes, that one's important.
  • + 3
 hey , bro Mythbusters that's the only reason I keep that channel
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  • + 20
 best pinkbike video yet, that was sick
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  • + 19
 The discovery channel like narrator does it for me
  • + 11
 did he breathe even once?
  • + 4
 @conv3rt - Lots of information to pack in there, and I didn't even get to include everything that I would have liked. Certainly agree with you, though, it comes out fast and heavy!
  • + 2
 no doubt. well done and I agree with most that this is a great way to demystify where our bikes and bike parts come from. I'd love to see something like this on carbon frames. keep up the good work.
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  • + 19
 I was always curious how it was done. This made me very happy to see.....
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  • + 17
 That was awesome, keep more stuff like this coming!!!
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  • + 11
 This is awesome brought one of my favorite shows and my favorite hobbies together, they should make more of them.
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  • + 11
 Oh My God - that was incredibly cool
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  • + 11
 That was AMAZING!!! More of these videos would be EPIC!!!!
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  • + 11
 This is the reason I visit Pinkbike everyday... innovation. Perfect.
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  • + 5
 well, right now I'm studying Eingenieering in industrial design, so it will be very usefull that pinkbike upload more videos like this, I really like the video so I´ll be very glad if you upload more videos, I'm a huge fan of pinkbike !!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Fantastic vid- maybe next we could see something more complex i.e. how a fork or shock is made, or a carbon frame? Then maybe I could justify the high price for such items to my wife.
  • + 6
 There will definitely be more of these coming!
  • + 0
 @lacorck

yes please, more of this content!!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I understand that it's all about advertising and stuff, but I love this kind of videos, because they actually show how much work is being done to create such a nice products. I'm looking forward to see more!
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  • + 6
 Maybe I'll stop bitching at the prices of bike components if I see more of what it actually takes to make them.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 I love spank more than bacon. But not thick cut maple bacon.
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  • + 3
 That was trippy. Was that the narrotor from How Stuffs Made? Awesome video. Keep em coming. I'd like to see a walk through of frame contrustion both hydroforming and some carbon lay ups. Think you guys can make that happen?
  • + 1
 Computer generated I think actually. Might be wrong on that.
  • + 14
 Not the same guy, but somewhat similar tone for sure. We'll have more of these in the future.
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  • + 6
 Great job guys. Let's see more features like this.
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  • + 5
 They really need to keep up with making these videos. I love it and would want to see something about making suspension.
  • + 1
 Definitely, that would be sick.
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  • + 2
 poor asian workers polish aluminium by hand without a dust mask. I won't like to have their lungs. I'd pay the extra buck to see them working in a safe environment. But at the price tag should already be included.
  • + 1
 The dust mask would get in the way, if that worker wanted to drink his Sapporo. @ 5:02 Hahaha!!
  • + 2
 I'm suprised more people didn't catch that Sapporo.
  • - 2
 That's why it's called cheap labor. Though I agree, their lives will suck later from breathing that stuff for so long. This is another reason I'm glad my grandparents came to America way back in the day.
  • + 19
 Hey eraz77, that "poor asian worker" is my friend Aloo who subcontracts some finishing work on Spank handlebars after they leave our handlebar facility Anvil...and he owns that factory and drives a new 5 series BMW. Don't let hard work fool you, the Taiwanese are in no way poor! You want to look for poor workers? Lets do a special on China Carbon lay up facilities!

Koin...cheap labor? Have you been to Taiwan? Taiwan is not a cheap place to make anything. The reason we (and most bike/component brands) have production in Taiwan, is due to the amazing technical know how, a distinct passion for workmanship, and control standards that rival any country in the world in place here...as well as logistics (high end bikes are assembled in Taiwan, and here most high end components from suppliers are consolidated to ship around the world). It has very little to do with cheap.
  • + 2
 Then I stand corrected, haha. Nevertheless an awesome look inside the process
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  • + 5
 Awesome video. I'd like to see more of this kind of thing.
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  • + 3
 Maybe I've had a few too many beers, but did they skip the step that creates a larger diameter at the center of the bar? Is it hydroformed prior to bending?
  • + 2
 The bars start at the larger diameter (31.8mm) then are butted down to the smaller diameter on either end leaving the bar clamp zone at the original diameter.
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  • + 3
 I was surfing threw pb and saw this. I then spent an hour watching this over and over thinking my bars went threw all that. Much respect to them!
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  • + 4
 That was incredibly informative and cool! But now my next handlebar will be a spank...
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  • + 4
 its funny how people say made in china is bad....they end up making product better and cheaper in the long run
  • + 3
 Both good and bad.. for their own reasons.
  • + 4
 Taiwan, not China.
  • + 0
 Better? HA! Cheaper? Absolutely.
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  • + 3
 this i batter than discovery's hows made , it would be huge if shimano,sram and all mtbike factories could show how they products are made Big Grin DD
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  • + 5
 Love looking at the manufacturing, more of this please!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 MORE HOW IT'S MADE PLEASE, Make it a weekly thing. That kind of thing is so damn cool.
  • + 2
 There will be more of these, weekly might be a bit much. Theres quite a bit of production in these videos for that kind of timeline but we'll definitely have more of these coming your way!
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  • + 4
 i always wanted to know this !!! thank you pink bike !
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Lovely vid, very informing. One thing that niggled me though is the speed of the narration didn't give me a chance to concentrate on the process being described and such I wasn't able to to fully grasp what was going on and by then we had moved further down the assembly line. Perhaps there were time/raw footage constraints?
  • + 5
 Yup, it comes out fast. You're correct though.. it was interesting trying to work in all of the details that we felt were important. There were a few things that got left out, but the narration was still too quick. More videos to come - practice makes perfect!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Too bad whoever was in charge of powdercoating the white Spank Evo 777 bars didn't bother to factor in the added diameter from the paint and clear coat. Nothing like having to sand down the paint on my brand new handlebars just to get the grips and controls slid onto the bar.
  • + 1
 Thanks Winobot...very good point. We have recently spent tens of thousands to dial in specific tooling for the creation of bars to be painted. Step by step my friend...remember Spank is only one decade old. We are working on it bro!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 That bar on the stress testing machine looks like Sam Hill pedalling on the flat - directly over the bars, elbows out, left-right-left-right-left-right...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 A time elapsed video of the stress tests until failure would have been nifty. Great video!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I don´t still understand how they make the bar thicker in the middle???????????????????????
  • + 0
 The bar starts at the thicker diameter (31.8mm) then is butted down on either end, so the bar clamp zone is left at the original diameter and the ends are made thinner.
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  • + 0
 And there's me thinking they were made by moonshine swillin' hicks out West... Whether you're a world cup rider or a Welshman on a 2nd hand Sunday, we're all sponsored by a Chinese person!
  • + 0
 Taiwan...please. Support these wonderful people and their amazing country.
  • + 0
 Ok, Taiwan! Though I've got to say I'm torn. I don't mind supporting them, but when so much manufacturing has been lost to the east it is through slightly gritted teeth.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 So cool. Thanks for that pb
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Glad to know that the products we ride so hard on are tested so thoroughly throughout the production process.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wonder if the narrator is related to the dude doing the Schwalbe Tire Creation video? Big Grin
www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9RzJAWvOMQ
  • + 0
 *tyre* Big Grin
Really worth watching how Schwalbe tires are made...
  • + 0
 That was interesting... thanks for sharing the link
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  • + 3
 good video, and very iteresting, please show more like that
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Love this video. More like this!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Seriously, did you see the size of that factory for... handlebars! Gone are simple handlebars.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Thanks Aaron LaRocque,Mike Levy and Karl Bukrat and off course PB
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  • + 3
 I'm just happy it wasn't narrated by some "Bro-mar"
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Were they meaning to say decal? Sounds like a computer voice misread the type or something.
  • + 7
 Canada has a different pronunciation of decal.
  • + 0
 Learn something new every day, thanks!
  • + 9
 Western CAN: deecal
Eastern CAN: decalle
Alabama: daeeeeee-cal!
California: de'calo
Australia: d'k'l
NZ: Dye'k'l

Scotland: a wee fkn wRRRiting aye!
Wales: De'wha?
Notting Hill in London: Digitaly itched marking including brand and model name

Everyone else in the world: decal
  • + 1
 Correction - Australia: sticker
  • + 1
 I'm sure you can chew and swallow a bit of the word "sticker" as well: st'er Big Grin
  • + 1
 etched not itched, South London - farking stickers you carnt
  • + 0
 Australian again...Stiggah!...
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  • + 1
 Awesome! I never imagine it was such a complicated process to make bar. Thought it was a lot more simple.
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  • + 0
 Sweet! Now I know how my 777's were made. Pinkbikr should for mote of these. I absolutely loved this video. Just wished it was narrated with someone with a soul lol
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  • + 2
 Anybody notice they skipped out a few stages?
  • + 6
 proprietary info
[Reply]
  • + 3
 That was sick!! Moar!!!
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  • + 0
 i have spank wheels i wish i had money for spank bars too... i would had the spank spike like my rims Razz thanks pinkbike i didnt knew how bars where made Big Grin
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  • + 2
 wich one is the more ecological color of them?
  • + 2
 Green...I guess :grin
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Spank bars rule.
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  • + 2
 as with everyone else: more more more! awesome video.
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  • + 1
 One thing i noticed was that every worker was asian, must be really cheap labor
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  • + 0
 I bought 777 evo bars thinking they'd be sick. But i bent them first run down dirt merchant ... never bent a set of bars befor.
  • + 0
 hey blowfish...please email me at mike@spank-ind.com. We want to hear about any issues in the field.
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  • + 1
 So cool to see what goes into my handlebars! I have had them for awhile and no issues whatsoever with the durability.
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  • + 3
 he sed decal weird
  • + 28
 you spelt said weird
  • + 5
 You spelled "spelled" weird.
  • + 3
 Spelt and Spelled both work as past-tense and past-participial forms of spell. They are interchangeable, and both are common.
  • + 2
 I didn't say "wrong," I said "weird." Also "spelt" is not common in the USA. Even Mozilla picks it up as a misspelled word.
  • + 2
 Thank you Nic! It's good to see good grammar and spelling being valued
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  • + 2
 male Siri? Smile but great stuf anyway. more of these, please.
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  • + 3
 More, more more!!!
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  • + 2
 I just jizzed in my pants! More bike porn please!
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  • + 2
 Wow. more like this please!!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Makes bars seem cheap at twice the price! I would love to see the difference between mass produced bars made in Asia (like this video) and someone like Renthal in the UK.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Videos like these show you why a product costs so much, at 60 odd quid that isn't bad for the amount of work that's gone into a bar! Awsome!
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  • + 2
 My cats name is handlebar!
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  • + 2
 Loved it! My next bar is probebly going to be a spank aswell lol
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  • + 2
 the kept saying butting and I lol'd
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  • + 1
 Is it just me or is everyone now reading the comments in Morgan Freemans voice? Titty Sprinkles.
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  • + 2
 pink bike please do more of these videos
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  • + 2
 Exceptional video. Thanks!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 That was super cool! Do more of these for sure....like Maxxis tires!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I would love to see how Easton carbon handlebars are made.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 OSHA lol? not in asia. Yeah ill stick with ODI or Answer.
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  • + 2
 ride hard, ride spank
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Amazing work....
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  • + 2
 love these vids
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Great video, but why can't americans/canadians pronounce aluminium properly???????? Really gets on my nerves.
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  • + 1
 That was a great video, I hope there's more of them to follow !
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  • + 1
 Can you do one on bike frames? perfebly both materials.
  • + 0
 devinci.pinkbike.com/blog/Devinci-Unequalled-carftsmanship.html
The into of "Life Cycles" also has a pretty sexy montage of the birth of a bike frame - can't find a video of it online though.
  • + 4
 There's more coming! You'll have to wait and see if we do frames!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I wonder how many other brands are made in the same Taiwanese factory. LOADS
  • + 1
 While some vendors do make several different brands I believe anvil industries only makes spank bars.
  • + 0
 Did you leave out the part where the bars get heat treated to regain their strength after the annealing had softened them?
  • + 0
 Sorry Aaron...although we were very careful not to show the other brands made in Anvil, we do make various high end brands that you all know. Soon all brands will embrace the term "made in Taiwan" and use it in marketing...but for now we respect everyones right to privacy.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 This is the best thing Pinkbike has posted in quite some time. Awesome work guys, keep em' coming!
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  • + 1
 Love to see how things are made. More like this plz. Smile
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  • + 1
 Narration couldve been a little slower but all in all it was a sick vid!
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  • + 2
 Yesss! More please!
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  • + 0
 I don't think these guys really know what they're making. They're just making really really nice bent pieces of aluminum
  • + 9
 I highly doubt they don't know what they're making. They may not use them but they should know what they're making.
  • + 1
 Bikes are pretty universal...we came across some guys in the factories that mountain bike as well.
  • + 1
 I'd give them some credit. A lot of these guys work really hard, have great pride in and really care about what they are making.
  • + 0
 va7kpt...very few people in the world know more about the forces applied to handlebars in different disciplines and environments than Spank owner/designer Gavin Vos, and his Taiwanese business partner/tech director at Anvil. Dude, this is the guy who introduced 31.8 dia bars to the world when most of Pinkbike's readers were in diapers. When a new bar design is considered, the people who make these bars for you study multiple simulated and laboratory tests to replicate and intensify those forces, and spend more time than you can imagine on balancing weight optimization and safety/performance. We are all very lucky that they DO in deed know what they are making. The question is...do most of us know what we are riding?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wow makes you think about the phrase Grip it and rip it
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  • + 1
 This guy loves butting!
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  • + 1
 yes please make more
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  • + 0
 I enjoy these kinds of vids as much as the ride-inspiring ones.
Big Grin
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  • - 1
 What the hell are decles? I thought it was DECALS. That said this was pretty awesome to see.
  • + 2
 Canadians pronounce it differently.
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  • + 1
 Insightful great vid!!
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  • + 0
 killer video, hopefully there will be more like it in the future...?
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  • + 1
 Agree. More, please!
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  • + 0
 Wow..they have sick factory!
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  • + 0
 VOD!!!!! PLEASE POST ANY MORE!!!!!
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  • - 1
 Would have been nice to see how real quality bars are made though, Easton/Protaper/Wrenthal that kind of stuff you know
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  • + 0
 Wow i want spank handlbars now! to bad they're heavier than most bars Frown
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  • + 0
 I'd like to see how carbon road rims/wheels are made! Smile
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  • + 0
 I've worked on three of those machines, just not making handle bars Frown
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  • + 0
 That was fucking awesome! Please give us more of this!
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  • + 0
 Does this guy know what a commer is?
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  • + 0
 Was this narrated by Microsoft Sam or something?
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  • + 0
 Just like the old How It's Made!! Same narrating voice as well
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  • + 0
 when is the next episode awsome job pinkbike crew
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  • + 0
 Cool video, but Im not sure I enjoyed the robot voice...
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  • + 0
 2:54 - PacMan!
[Reply]
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