Trek is Positively Wisconsin - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Trek is Positively Wisconsin


WATERLOO (WKOW) -- Trek's headquarters is to cycling what Lambeau Field is to football: They're both hallowed ground.

Where Lambeau has Starr and Favre, Trek has Lemond and Armstrong.

"The start was here actually just down the road in Waterloo." says Trek representative, Nick Howe, "Trek started building touring bicycles."

That was back in 1976 and Trek has been on the rise ever since.

It's now the biggest manufacturer in the US and second largest in the world.

It got that way, in part, by staying a private company that was more concerned with product than profit.

"One of the great things about Trek is our committment to people here in Wisconsin." Says Howe, "The committment to having manufacturing here, to building all the high end bikes in Wisconsin."

And the manufacturing process is amazing.

From design, to paint, to construction, Trek is ahead of the curve.

Its high-end frames -- that look like one piece -- are actually several carbon fiber pieces glued together.

Howe demonstrates, "You've got a male and female end and you put them together with a little adhesive."

The result is a super-light, championship-caliber bike.

There's a small handfull of rooms at the Trek facility that are strictly off limits. That's because the developments they make behind those doors will influence the future of cycling for years to come.

And Trek's secrets are rarely patented because then they'd have to disclose how they do it.

"That's why we're so protective of our manufacturing process," says Howe, "and why you still see manufacturing occuring in Wisconsin."

Trek is on top of the world right now with Lance Armstrong back in the Tour de France.

"Michael Jordan's shoes were something that everyone wanted and Lance Armstrong's bikes the same thing." Says Howe.

And they will likely win, even if Lance doesn't.

"If Lance could be a great teammate and help Alberto Contador win, he would indear himself to the European cycling community and solidify himself as the greatest cyclist of all time."

And everyone will know that a company that's Positively Wisconsin took him to the top.

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