At ORA Engineering, we do more than just make top-quality bike frames. We focus on building strong, lasting relationships that help both parties innovate and excel. To shed light on this approach, we engaged in a conversation with our long-term ally, Rikulau. This conversation aims to capture the viewpoint of a distinguished bike brand and explore how our collaborative philosophy adds value to our partners. Rikulau is a well-known brand in Taiwan, famous for their high-quality titanium and stainless steel bikes, and they advocate for integrating cycling into everyday life in Taiwan.
Before we dive into our detailed discussion, explore more about Rikulau and their outstanding product lineup here. Tune into a conversation between ORA's Vice President Agnes and Rikulau's President Chengnon, highlighting the importance of trust and shared goals in building a strong partnership.
The Genesis of a Unique Partnership
ORA: "Can you introduce who Rikulau is and share the story of how our partnership began?"
Rikulau: "Of course. Rikulau was officially established in February 2006, but our journey with ORA started a few months earlier, in November 2005. I discovered ORA online and decided to pay a visit. That visit kicked off an 18-year collaboration. ORA's been a huge part of our growth. Now, when people think of titanium alloy bikes in Taiwan, they think of us. We've even made a name for ourselves in Southeast Asia and China, and that's something we couldn't have done without ORA's help.
ORA: "What made you decide to partner with us?"
Rikulau: "The story began a long time ago. When I first decided to make titanium alloy bicycles back in 2005, I had little knowledge and no experience. ORA didn't just see me as a potential customer; they saw a partner. They welcomed me with open arms and took the time to teach me about frame production. I remember being ORA's booth assistant at the Taipei International Bicycle Show in 2006. That experience, along with the guidance and advice from ORA, built a bond that is truly unique in this industry."
Building Trust Through Challenges
ORA: "We've had our share of ups and downs over the years. Could you tell us about some challenges we've tackled together?"
Rikulau: "Sure. A great example was when we first explored the idea of developing different materials. I remember during the 2006 Taipei exhibition, I was intrigued by stainless steel tubes from other companies. This led to a conversation with ORA, and eventually, you were open to trying out stainless steel, not just sticking to titanium alloy. This flexibility and willingness to innovate in response to market trends really boosted my trust in ORA."
ORA: "I'm curious, how do you think we've handled any mistakes and your feedback?"
Rikulau: "You’ve handled them really well. Whenever there were issues with the frames, you didn't just replace the frames with no extra cost but also used the moments as opportunities to refine your processes. This kind of responsibility and focus on quality isn't something you see often among suppliers. It's this consistency, despite the higher cost, that reassures me about ORA's commitment to being the best."
ORA: "From your perspective, how have we managed the balance between quality and cost in our partnership?"
Rikulau: "It's been a key factor. ORA has always understood the pressure on brands regarding costs. You've actively sought a balance between maintaining high quality and managing costs, especially when the market's tough. This approach not only supports our growth but also aligns with market expectations. ORA's willingness to review and adjust pricing based on my feedback shows a real commitment to a partnership that is all about sustainable growth."
Beyond Manufacturing: A Shared Philosophy
ORA: "Looking back, how would you describe the evolution of ORA's role in this partnership?"
Rikulau: "ORA has significantly evolved from being just a frame manufacturer to a partner who shares a deep commitment to service, innovation, and continuous improvement. This vibe fits perfectly with what we're about at Rikulau and is a big reason why we work so well together."
ORA: "In your opinion, what should brands consider when selecting their suppliers, and how does ORA fit into this?"
Rikulau: "For any brand, key considerations in choosing a supplier include the reliability and consistency of the product, and the willingness to assist the client beyond mere transactions. ORA excels in these aspects. You not only provide consistent quality but also engage in a way that treats our products as your own. This level of commitment and responsibility is hard to find and super valuable."
Innovating Together: The Electric Bicycle Project
ORA: "Let's chat about our latest project with electric bikes. How did we get started on this, and what does it mean for our collaboration?"
Rikulau: "Oh, the electric bike project was quite the adventure for us both. Initially, I was skeptical about electric bikes, believing cycling should be purely about physical effort. However, the concept of making cycling more accessible and effortless changed my mind. The challenge was integrating this new technology with our metal frames, especially since we specialize in titanium and stainless steel, which are harder to mold compared to aluminum alloys used in most e-bikes."
ORA: "And how did we come into play in overcoming those challenges?"
Rikulau: "ORA played a crucial role. Even though you were a bit hesitant about electric bikes at first, you embraced the challenge. We had to figure out how to hide the battery and tweak the frame for a hub motor. ORA's skills in metalwork and willingness to try new things were crucial in solving these issues. We ended up with a bike that's both good-looking and functional."
ORA: "Looking ahead, what do you think this project means for our partnership?"
Rikulau: "It's a big deal, really. It's proof that we can keep evolving and trying out new things together. It shows that we're not just about maintaining the status quo but are willing to explore new territories and adapt to changing market trends. The success of the electric bicycle project has opened new paths for us, and I believe it's just the beginning of more innovative collaborations between Rikulau and ORA."
We're glad you joined us for this conversation with Rikulau. This conversation not only highlights the milestones of our partnership but also underscores the values that drive ORA Engineering – building not just products, but relationships that stand the test of time. As we look to the future, we're committed to these principles and eager to connect with brands that resonate with our philosophy. If you're seeking a long-term, innovative partnership in bike manufacturing, we invite you to reach out. Contact ORA Engineering today, and let's turn visionary ideas into reality.