29 Apr 2022

50 years of Merida

It all started with an infamous sign attached to the workshop door of a bicycle shop in the US, one stating; “we don't repair poor quality Taiwanese bicycles”. This was seen by engineer Ike Tseng, who was visiting the US at the time, triggering the desire in him to turn this around and improve the reputation of bicycles 'Made in Taiwan'. 

Ike was a talented engineer and a visionary who had an obsession with quality. It was this obsession that led him to set up a bike factory in 1972, determined to improve the reputation of Taiwanese bicycles and engineering. 

Over the years, Merida has turned from a factory that offered its quality production facilities and solutions to other bike brands into a brand in its own right, one that stands for quality, durability, innovation and reliability. 

With one of the most advanced production facilities in the world of bicycle production based in Taiwan, paired with the highly skilled and forward-looking R&D centre in Germany, Merida has been able to produce a huge range of bikes. With everything from kids' bikes going all the way to World Tour and Mountain Bike World Cup winning race machines, it has also created some world-renowned bikes like the Reacto, O Nine, Ninety-Six, Big Nine, Silex, Scultura and the eOne-Sixty. 

Merida has always been, first and foremost, a very well run and efficient factory. Through Ike's strong influence, it has been obsessed with quality and the constant strive to improve the production process. However, over the years, it has added a strong brand focus and an ever-growing international distribution network which has helped Merida become a well-known and trusted name in the 70 countries it operates in. 

Merida's unique position of controlling its production sets it apart from most of its competitors, who rely on third-party production facilities. Merida handles every step of the process of creating a bicycle, from the first pencil stroke of the design concept to the finished product that is then put into a container, ready for international shipment. 

While Merida was one of the first publicly-trading bike manufacturers on the Taiwanese stock exchange, it remains family-run, with Ike Tseng's son Michael in control of the business. 

In recent years, racing has been a strong part of Merida's DNA. Mountain biking kicked things off in the shape of the hugely successful Multivan Merida Biking Team, delivering an unparalleled amount of World Cup and International Championship wins, but in the last few years, it has been the exciting world of World Tour racing that has inspired Merida fans the world over. 

The interest in racing has driven endless product developments and has helped to give key bikes the winning edge. 

Over the years, the world of cycling and the way bicycles are produced has changed. What remains is Merida's undisputed ambition to build the best bikes in the world and to deliver unrivalled quality to its customers.

While we look back with pride at what we have achieved over the last 50 years, we know that it is just the beginning.