As you probably know, something we’re very proud of is the fact that we assemble all of our bikes by hand, right here at MBHQ in the Cotswolds. We don’t really talk about it as much as we should, so in this blog I wanted to explain why we do it this way and the benefits to ourselves as a business and most importantly you guys as our fans and riders.
Firstly, we should explain that we design and spec all the bikes ourselves from the ground up, and we work closely with the likes of Tektro, Shimano, SRAM and MicroSHIFT to get an end product that not only performs brilliantly, but nails the price point. (Ben is going to write a blog at some point in the future about how we go from initial concept to the final product so stay tuned for that).
Because we work with so many different brands it makes sense to keep things in their component form until a bike is ordered. When the order is placed it is added to a build file. The build file is managed by Jay, our Warehouse Manager, who works out the most appropriate order to build each day’s bikes. Whatever happens, bikes are dispatched on a first come - first serve basis, but the order in which they are built on the day can vary depending on what’s in the file.
The advantages of assembling the bikes here, rather than overseas like 99% of bike brands, are massive. The main over-riding result is a higher level of quality control than you’d otherwise get and this is made up from many contributing factors.
Each part is checked individually. This goes from the frame and fork, to the headset and every individual component. It’s much easier to check each part on its own before it’s installed than it is to check each part when they’re already fitted in to the bike.
Secondly, we know that each part is greased and fitted as it should be. Many companies put faith in their overseas factories to fit everything for them, but on a factory production line that is pumping out thousands of bikes a day, we know that the desired care and attention each bike gets is not what we’d want it to be.
We tighten all parts to our desired torque level and because everything is fitted by hand with hand tools we can monitor whether a part is even the slightest bit faulty. We also record any change in batch.
The parts for any given bike are picked by one member of staff who quality checks these parts and also does the first level of assembly on some parts, eg. Fit the saddle to the seatpost and grips to the bars. The parts are then passed over to the builder who does his own quality check, puts the bike together, sets everything up tests the bike on the turbo trainer to make sure everything is running smoothly. He then takes off the front wheel, pedals saddle and bars and boxes up the bike, ready for dispatch. It’s worth noting that this process takes place on all of our bikes, not just our custom bikes.
Our bikes are all fully built and tested before dispatch. This means that when you receive your Mango there’s only a 15 minute assembly job before you can go and ride. Brakes, gears, tyres and everything are set up and ready to go.
So there you have it – built in the UK to suit you.
If you have any questions about any of our bike ranges or components our customer service would love to chat! Give us a call on 01285 706 102.