A visit to Phil Wood
This business has been an industry icon for many years, its products reknowned for their for their uncomprising quality and performance. Today I caught with the proprietor Peter Enright and son Garrett at their premises in San Jose (older readers are no doubt now stuck with Burt Bacharach ringing in their heads…).
Regular readers may remember that last year Pete and I shook hands at trade shows on three continents in 3 weeks! Today we agreed that this was a record neither of us is in a hurry to repeat or better!
As you walk around the floor listening to Peter, you can’t help but recognise the systemic appraoch to design and manufacturing that results in such high quality products for every mode of cycling and wheel chair transport for which global demand is just accelerating.
From various bar stocks very little is wasted with most often the “off cut” being the root stock for another product. Nothing at PW is chromed – everything is polished, heatreated, polished again to deliver that lustre, even with anodised products. Very little is outsourced and a great deal of product development is centred around re-engineering componnets to result in a better than OEM outcome once installed.
Belt drive is once example with some incredibly clever and simple solutions having been developed, including proprietary installation and maintenance tools. Servicing is one thing that they prefer to handle for all products on the rare occaisions it is required.