[Factory Visit] Full Speed Ahead Chain Factory


Our recent trip to Taiwan was originally programmed so we could visit a chain factory where FSA produces their top line components and their 11 speed chain. The reason for a chain factory seems to be based on the idea that something bigger might be coming from FSA in the near future, but with nothing confirmed we had be content with just chains.

The chain is one of those components that if you dont have it, it might be difficult to actually move the bike, it is also a very sensitive component that has to take all the force the rider applies, plus be resistant to wear in often dirty wet conditions. Therefore is was by default going to be interesting to see how the are made.


Our factory visit took place in a very traditional factory in Taichung, Taiwan. It was like stepping back in time to see this factory in the sense that it was serious, no pictures of bike riders, no “we ride as well” feeling, just production and attention to detail. In fact it was reassuring to know that such components are made with such seriousness. At least we know they are unlikely to fail when we need them the most.

This area of Taichung was more built up. Old and new together.
Did this sign say chain factory?
We had an introductory talk in what felt like a room where decisions about countries were made. This was a serious place.
Just in case you forget what this book is for.
Details and radios in a noisy factory, not the easiest method of learning… interesting nether the less.
The FSA chain factory.
The presentation got really technical, to the point that I felt I was back in my physics class at school.
Follow this man to discover chains.

Chain Production Tour

We had  a look around the factory in great detail but had to be careful what we shot as there were a lot of trade secrets to see, but in general we were shown a good range of the process.

Flat metal rolls are made into chain links.
This is a lot of chains to be made.
This makes our chains last.
Links being case hardened.
Pins after case hardening.
Plates are collected for assembly.
chains are put together by machine with people hand checking them.
Plates and pins are pressed together here.
Plates and pins are pressed together here.
More chain machines.
More chain machines.
Plates are they go around a sorting machine.
Plates are they go around a sorting machine.
This machine seems to check the chain for length.
This machine seems to check the chain for length.
Metal in = Chain Out
CNC finishing on chain links.
This is the heat treatment plant, case hardening is one of the most important things to do to chains.
Chain performance including sound levels are quality control checked.
Extensive time on these machines ensures the chains stay true and constant in their use.
The 11 speed chain by FSA.
With most components in their line-up, it’s now down to FSA to make a few more parts and they have a complete groupset.
Pin and chamfer design can be seen clearly here.
One of their test rigs in the factory.

We managed to see what we could and shoot what we could in the production facility, it was an education about what companies do to safeguard their products. REst assured we think that the FSA chain will probably be as reliable as all the others and is a top line product straight out of the door.

Non Water Marked Photos : Courtesy FSA.

FSA Chains

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