We take a rare look inside BMC’s state of the art Impec Lab, in Grenchen, Switzerland.

BIKE Cycling Channel got up close and personal with BMC for a recent feature, showing us the design and manufacturing process that goes into BMC’s cutting edge technologies.

The highly-automated bicycle production plant took five years to make at the cost of CHF40m (around £29 million).

BMC Impec lab

The centrepiece of the sprawling, clinically-clean, and high-tech setting was a towering robotic marvel appropriately dubbed ‘The Star Gate’; a halo-shaped, custom-designed, 3-D radial braiding machine covered in over 100 individual bobbins filled with Toho Tenax carbon fibre tow. It was the first instance in bicycle manufacturing history that a numerically-controlled braiding machine had been used to form the base elements (tubes) of a composite bicycle frame. The Star Gate was the jewel in an fully-automated, human-free, repeatable process that resulted in a perfectly-formed composite tube at the other end.