Made: How Bicycle Times gets printed

Each issue, Bicycle Times takes you on a pictorial tour of a manufacturing facility, because we know that you, like most devoted grin chasers, dig seeing how things are made. It’s only fitting that our debut tour focused on our own magazine.

Since mid 2011, Rotating Mass Media, publisher of Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag, has partnered with Schumann Printers to produce its magazines. That’s when Bicycle Times Issue 13 rolled off its presses in Fall River, Wisconsin, 17 miles north of the world headquarters of Trek Bicycle Corporation. We asked Bicycle Times contributor and ace photographer Dave Schlabowske to take photos and provide the narrative.

Schumann has four web presses. Under the guidance of Mark A. Schumann, the pressroom has the most up-to-date press technology available. Computer to Plate (CTP) plates are digitally created using CIP 3 and G7 Extreme color technology. This technology creates a .ppf file to carry color space settings for the press fountains at each press. Color-up is completely automatic and extremely accurate, saving both time and paper. All presses are equipped with new CLC (Closed Loop Color) controls. Schumann was the second printer in the world to have installed CLC on all its presses.

Every four impressions, color bars are electronically scanned and interpreted. Computers translate this information and set the color. Standard of Web Offset Printing (SWOP) density standards are consistent throughout the press run. All presses are equipped with automatic computer controls to assure paper guiding, tension and cutoffs.

The company, founded by Jack Schumann in 1963, is lead by Daniel C. Schumann, its second-generation president. It prints more than 350 magazines, including MAKE, the popular DIY publication. Take a tour here.

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This piece originally appeared in Bicycle Times #30. To make sure you never miss a story and to help keep the magazine rolling, purchase a subscription here.

 

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