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Bicycle manufacturing on rise as cars take back seat

03 March 2016

A high-end bike manufacturing industry is emerging in South Australia as the state’s traditional car making sector winds down.

Boutique manufacturers Astir Frames, Bouwmeester Composites and Finch Composites are taking advantage of South Australia’s strong manufacturing history and access to university testing facilities to gain a foothold in the potentially lucrative cycling market.

The global bicycle industry was worth $US 48 billion in 2014, driven by the sale of about 133 million bikes. It is expected to reach an estimated $65 billion by 2019 on the back of rising fuel prices and growing traffic congestion.

General Motors Holden’s car manufacturing plant in Adelaide will close next year, costing thousands of jobs not only at the plant but also at component manufacturers that have supplied it for decades.

Astir Frames specialises in long-lasting tailor made titanium bicycles. The bikes are built using parts from around the world and assembled in Adelaide, South Australia’s capital city.

Founder James Moros said the decline of the automotive industry in the state was opening doors for him.

“If there are factory machines that are idle, I’ll ask to use them. I’m not scavenging, but I’m utilising available equipment that other people aren’t using at the time,” he said.

“Titanium is a beautiful material. It is precious, low maintenance, and you can leave it out for years without painting it.”

Moros has exhibited at the Tour Down Under for the past two years, and said it was a great opportunity to showcase his brand.

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