A Visit to the Remerx Factory
Close to the Slovakian border in Czech Republic, in a little village called Slavičín, lies one of the biggest wheel and rim manufacturers in Europe supplying big names such as Mavic; the Remerx Factory. Milan Sihelsky of Sihel Cycling, the UK distributor of Remerx wheels, visits the factory which has 21 years of manufacturing experience making wheels, rims, axles, hub bodies and spokes.
The offices of Remerx are housed in an old Russian bunker, used in the cold war for making rockets. If needed, all 75 employees could shelter there and, with the factory’s own generator, survive for a month. With the ending of the cold war, there was less demand for rockets and Mr Remerx, with his technical knowledge and love for cycling,, created Remerx Wheels, a company which today produces 7,000 pieces a day, although this doesn’t represent their full capacity; “we managed to do even 20,000 in a day” Mr Remerx says proudly. We also spotted rims in the factory all stickered up for some other well known brands which are sold worldwide.
Remerx sources it'saluminium from France and several other suppliers. This ensures that the supply of high quality aluminium, that the factory in Slavičín needs can always be guaranteed.
The rims start life as a technical drawing. The design is then transferred to a machine that extrudes the rim from a 6m long pole of aluminium,. One 6m pole would normally create three spiral threads. Which is then cut to create the base of the rim.
Mr Remerx explains,“The steps we use and the way we work, creates less waste, we manufacture only 100% recyclable products, so the objective is to produce if and where possible, the whole round of the same material.”
The next step is the joining of the rims which is done manually. The straight rim is inserted into the machine where the two ends are joined. Joins are then glued and baked, holes for spoke nipples are drilled and then eyeletted. The finishing cosmetic touches such as applying stickers, is done manually. This ensures that every rim goes through the hands of an experienced wheel builder where final quality control occurs.
We just couldn’t resist seeing the other two machine’s which are used for quality control testing. The first had a wheel spinning at 40km/h under a pressure of 70kg, the second tested the spokes in tension, spinning them at 1000 revs per minute!
Remerx have a history of innovation using aluminium spokes in their wheels, claiming a weight reduction of 120g per wheel and twice the lifetime of a steel spoke.
We got to the end of our tour, and stood in the dispatch area. Thousands of rims pass through this room daily for riders all over the world. Standing there, reflecting on what we have seen, it’s amazing to think that, even in the Czech Republic, in a little village (whose name few if any of the riders who use their wheels will know) some of the best wheels in the world are made.
Sihel Cycling started as the Remerx distributor in the United Kingdom in May 2012 after being introduced to the brand many years ago when owner Milan Sihelsky raced in the Slovakian national team. “I always liked and believed in the product” says Milan who is now supplying teams, such as Biketreks, exclusively with Remerx products.