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Trek Bikes headquarters tour

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This wall chronicles the Trek bikes used to win Grand Tours by Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador

This wall chronicles the Trek bikes used to win Grand Tours by Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Check out the custom, plastic, chain guide

Check out the custom, plastic, chain guide (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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The industrial design department is also a source of new models and creative custom bikes

The industrial design department is also a source of new models and creative custom bikes (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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A prototype of Trek’s production Transport load carrying rig; it’s a two-seater, but not a tandem

A prototype of Trek’s production Transport load carrying rig; it’s a two-seater, but not a tandem (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek keeps the lights low so that colors can be better assessed

Trek keeps the lights low so that colors can be better assessed (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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A Top Fuel graphic sample

A Top Fuel graphic sample (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek makes plastic models of their frames to use as graphics prototypes; expensive, but not as expensive as using the real thing

Trek makes plastic models of their frames to use as graphics prototypes; expensive, but not as expensive as using the real thing (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek’s industrial design and graphics department

Trek’s industrial design and graphics department (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Prototype production happens behind this door, and we weren’t even allowed a peek; Trek has a machine shop and full-time prototype welder on staff in this department

Prototype production happens behind this door, and we weren’t even allowed a peek; Trek has a machine shop and full-time prototype welder on staff in this department (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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We weren’t allowed in, but we peeked through the product development window

We weren’t allowed in, but we peeked through the product development window (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Where the product managers sit; in this case Trek’s commuter and fitness segment

Where the product managers sit; in this case Trek’s commuter and fitness segment (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Which wouldn’t be complete without coffee

Which wouldn’t be complete without coffee (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Like this tandem trike prototype

Like this tandem trike prototype (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Or an Enfield inspired belt drive e-bike

Or an Enfield inspired belt drive e-bike (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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A custom one-piece OCLV bar and stem; Ott says Subaru-Trek rider Sam Schultz has been testing this prototype

A custom one-piece OCLV bar and stem; Ott says Subaru-Trek rider Sam Schultz has been testing this prototype (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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There’s plenty of cool stuff lying around the office, too. How about this sub-17lb Top Fuel?

There’s plenty of cool stuff lying around the office, too. How about this sub-17lb Top Fuel? (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Project One makes up a huge part of the photo studio’s workload; one Project One model requires a Photoshop file made up of 600-1,000 layers, so that riders can select all of the available options through the Project One website

Project One makes up a huge part of the photo studio’s workload; one Project One model requires a Photoshop file made up of 600-1,000 layers, so that riders can select all of the available options through the Project One website (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek shoots more than 350 models over a two-month period every model year

Trek shoots more than 350 models over a two-month period every model year (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Video production area

Video production area (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek has a full photo and video studio onsite

Trek has a full photo and video studio onsite (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek maintains a full fitness facility for employees

Trek maintains a full fitness facility for employees (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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The ID department lounge

The ID department lounge (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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How about a 'Tron' inspired kids' kick bike?

How about a 'Tron' inspired kids' kick bike? (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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A speedo on the left and voltage meter on the right

A speedo on the left and voltage meter on the right (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek’s cafeteria

Trek’s cafeteria (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek plans to soon replace the 2011 alloy Session 88 in the lobby with a 2012 Session 9.9 carbon bike

Trek plans to soon replace the 2011 alloy Session 88 in the lobby with a 2012 Session 9.9 carbon bike (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Both Armstrong and Contador were on the latest edition of the Madone in 2009

Both Armstrong and Contador were on the latest edition of the Madone in 2009 (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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In 2007, Contador took a redesigned Madone to the top step in the Tour de France

In 2007, Contador took a redesigned Madone to the top step in the Tour de France (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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The TTX sported Livestrong and 10/2 Nike graphics

The TTX sported Livestrong and 10/2 Nike graphics (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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2005 ushered in the TTX time trial bike; Trek used Computational Fluid Dynamics to determine its aero shape, and team liaison Scott Daubert hand carried the first frame to the Tour for Armstrong to use in the TTT

2005 ushered in the TTX time trial bike; Trek used Computational Fluid Dynamics to determine its aero shape, and team liaison Scott Daubert hand carried the first frame to the Tour for Armstrong to use in the TTT (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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In 2004, Trek incorporated Boron into the bottom bracket shell of the first generation Madone; the material was still regulated by the US Defense Department and only allowed in NATO countries. Trek found it hard to manufacture with, yet still sold it in 2005, which Ott said was the most expensive Madone Trek have ever made

In 2004, Trek incorporated Boron into the bottom bracket shell of the first generation Madone; the material was still regulated by the US Defense Department and only allowed in NATO countries. Trek found it hard to manufacture with, yet still sold it in 2005, which Ott said was the most expensive Madone Trek have ever made (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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2003 was a dramatic year punctuated by Joseba Beloki’s stage 9 crash and Armstrong’s field crossing on his Trek 5900

2003 was a dramatic year punctuated by Joseba Beloki’s stage 9 crash and Armstrong’s field crossing on his Trek 5900 (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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The aftermath of the infamous musette bag crash during stage 15 of the 2003 Tour de France

The aftermath of the infamous musette bag crash during stage 15 of the 2003 Tour de France (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek’s original carbon time trial bike brought the company's engineers into the wind tunnel for the first time; it helped the Postal Service team win the TTT at the 2002 Tour de France

Trek’s original carbon time trial bike brought the company's engineers into the wind tunnel for the first time; it helped the Postal Service team win the TTT at the 2002 Tour de France (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Armstrong’s original Tour-winning Trek 5500; Andrew Rosch, Trek’s marketing assistant, who accompanied us on our tour, pointed out that this bike is actually heavier than the 2012 FX 7.7 fitness bike

Armstrong’s original Tour-winning Trek 5500; Andrew Rosch, Trek’s marketing assistant, who accompanied us on our tour, pointed out that this bike is actually heavier than the 2012 FX 7.7 fitness bike (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Contador’s custom rig, straight from stage 20; he rode a yellow bike on the final stage

Contador’s custom rig, straight from stage 20; he rode a yellow bike on the final stage (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek's Speed Concept, with its innovative Kamm Tail airfoil tube shapes

Trek's Speed Concept, with its innovative Kamm Tail airfoil tube shapes (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek’s Top Fuel is shown, partly because it helped usher in a new chapter of Trek’s World Cup cross-country racing endeavors with the Trek World Racing team

Trek’s Top Fuel is shown, partly because it helped usher in a new chapter of Trek’s World Cup cross-country racing endeavors with the Trek World Racing team (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek’s latest edition of their 29in wheeled Superfly carbon hardtail; Gary Fisher, with Trek backing, went all-in with 29ers in 2001

Trek’s latest edition of their 29in wheeled Superfly carbon hardtail; Gary Fisher, with Trek backing, went all-in with 29ers in 2001 (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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OCLV carbon and a unified rear triangle

OCLV carbon and a unified rear triangle (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Who could forget the Y bike, circa 1995?

Who could forget the Y bike, circa 1995? (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Those original klunkers were pretty innovative, if you think about it

Those original klunkers were pretty innovative, if you think about it (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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The frame is a Schwinn Excelsior

The frame is a Schwinn Excelsior (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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And drum brakes

And drum brakes (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Complete with motorcycle levers

Complete with motorcycle levers (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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One of Gary Fisher’s original klunkers is on display in Waterloo

One of Gary Fisher’s original klunkers is on display in Waterloo (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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The Speed Concept featured impressive integration of its brakes and other features

The Speed Concept featured impressive integration of its brakes and other features (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
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Trek’s foyer offers visitors a walk through their history, from humble beginnings in bicycle touring to the Lance Armstrong era and their mountain bike evolution

Trek’s foyer offers visitors a walk through their history, from humble beginnings in bicycle touring to the Lance Armstrong era and their mountain bike evolution (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

Trek Bicycle Corporation’s HQ in Waterloo, Wisconsin is an impressive place to visit. The 205,000 sq ft facility houses 800 employees, and one of the only large-scale bicycle manufacturing factories left in the US.

The employee roster breaks down roughly 50/50 when comparing white to blue collar workers, illustrating that Trek's domestic production is more than a token effort. The 400-or-so-strong white collar workforce makes up the vast majority of Trek’s engineering, product management, graphic, marketing and business support staff. However, Trek also maintain a three-person suspension development lab in Southern California, run by Jose Gonzales.

At the heart of their Wisconsin headquarters is Trek's carbon manufacturing. All of their Madone 6 Series road bikes – 16 models, if you include framesets –are made in Waterloo, along with other top-tier models including Speed Concept 9 Series time trial bikes, and Top Fuel, Fuel EX 9.9, Remedy 9.9 and Superfly 100 full-suspension rigs, are made in Waterloo. Trek's US production amounts to roughly 25,000 bikes annually.

The Trek Top Fuel is one of the mountain bike models made in Waterloo, Wisconsin

Unfortunately when Cyclingnews called on Trek, the production line was filled with 2013 bikes so our tour guide, mountain bike brand manager Travis Ott, wasn't allowed to show us the factory. Waterloo also serves as the base for Trek’s Project One program, which allows users to pick custom graphic and paint packages, as well as the sizing and specification of their new bike.

Check out our image gallery for a photo tour of Trek’s facility.