Taiwan Bike Tour: Pacific Cycles, Part 2 – Crazy Bikes, Wild Suspension & Original Di2 Prototypes!

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles Staiger Michael Schumaker Collection full suspension mountain bike

Our tour of Pacific Cycles continues…

In Part One, we showed you the classics, some folding bikes and some functional bikes that serve the physically challenged community, among others. In this one, we’ve got some pretty wild old-school and modern mountain bikes, a few random things and an extremely limited edition frame they did for Shimano to show off it’s original Nexave Di2 concept components.

Above, a Michael Schumaker Collection Staiger full suspension mountain bike to kick things off…

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles Staiger Michael Schumaker Collection full suspension mountain bike

Pretty sure the front shock needs some air, otherwise there ain’t much travel. Check the stamped metal spokes! Looks like Staiger is still around, but out of the full susser biz.

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles full suspension mountain bike that suspended the rider at the rear

This was an odd one. Note the beam-type frame is continuous from headtube to rear dropouts. The upper and lower arms kept the seat tube floating between them. The suspension simply isolated the rider from bumps when seated, similar to the way the Klein Mantra or a Softride bike suspended the rider rather than the bike. I got to bounce on this one a few times and it was weird.

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles Banshee mountain bikes

Banshee was one of the few name brands on display that we can openly say is made by Pacific.

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles Ave full suspension e-bike mountain bike

And a full suspension motorized e-mountain bike for Ave Bikes.

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles Honda Factory Racing and Weyless mountain bike frames

Remember these guys?

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles full suspension road bike

Full suspension wasn’t limited to mountain bikes. Check this cobble crusher, perhaps a precursor to Trek’s Y-Bikes?

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles small bikes

Nor was it limited to full size bikes.

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles small bikes from Bianchi and others

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles scattante road bike

Performance Bike’s house brand Scattante is made alongside good company.

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles hubs

Pacific Cycles is also tinkering with components. Here, some rather unique prototype hubs.

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles original Shimano Nexave Di2 electronic drivetrain and suspension systems

This bike contains the original prototype parts for Shimano’s first iteration of Di2. Circa 2004, it foreshadowed the current Di2 road groups and Alfine Di2 but was initially aimed at the casual cyclist.

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles original Shimano Nexave Di2 electronic drivetrain and suspension systems

Controls featured high and low buttons and a mode switch button for the suspension, all linked up to a massive Flight Deck display. Each system came with a unique code that had to be entered to set it all up.

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles original Shimano Nexave Di2 electronic drivetrain and suspension systems

The motor housing on the derailleur is actually smaller than current gen Ultegra Di2! It’s only serving eight speeds, though.

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles original Shimano Nexave Di2 electronic drivetrain and suspension systems

The front derailleur was a standard mechanical pull piece, and the cable was pulled by a much larger motor unit mounted under the bottom bracket. The bulky piece also housed the battery and brains.

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles original Shimano Nexave Di2 electronic drivetrain and suspension systems

Equally as interesting is the integration into suspension, maybe foreshadowing developments with Fox. The fork and rear shock (below) would automatically switch between firm and soft and could be manually set by the rider.

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles original Shimano Nexave Di2 electronic drivetrain and suspension systems

The fork was coil and oil, but the rear shock used air.

Ready to really geek out? You can still find these parts listed on Shimano’s website, too, with downloadable spec sheets!

Taiwan Bike Tour Pacific Cycles original Shimano Nexave Di2 electronic drivetrain and suspension systems

For the introduction to the trade, Shimano commissioned a few custom frames that were, as Lin put it, very expensive because they were hydroformed metal frames for a run of only five or six. Shimano wanted a show stopper worthy of the component tech. Given the era, I’d say they got it.

Comments

Mr. P - 10/23/12 - 10:49am

Great write ups, thanks!

I thought the Performance brand was Italian…

P

reuben - 10/23/12 - 11:43am

What’s going on with the BB Crank surround on that DI2 bike? Generator BB?

Sancho - 10/23/12 - 12:47pm

according to the docs it looks like a crank arm sensor to turn the computer on.

Henry - 10/23/12 - 1:08pm

GREAT ARTICLE! I really enjoy being able to see what those lucky enough in the industry get to see. Thanks!

Dockboy - 10/23/12 - 3:08pm

You mention that the beam-type fs bike only suspends the rider while seated, but I think that you’d still be sprung when standing, and in contrast to the Klein and Softride bikes, your seat height doesn’t change while you ride.

SteezyD - 10/23/12 - 5:45pm

It appears to me that Dockboy is correct.

highfructosecorn - 10/24/12 - 12:30am

Those hubs don’t look like a good idea at all… Maybe if they were meant for radial lacing but those are rotor mounts aren’t they?

daisycutter - 10/24/12 - 5:29am

The hubs are for none standard spokes. If you look closely you can see the round section on the outside of the hub is where the disc brake rotor would be attached.

Wytze - 10/24/12 - 10:51am

The Nexave DI2 was briefly available in the Netherlands, sometimes I still see bikes riding around with the 8 speed internal geared hubs edition. The part around the BB also controls the moment of shifting, so it will not shift when the cyclist isn’t rotating the cranks or is putting to much power on the pedals (preventing chain problems). Within the Nexave group they still sell a more basic mechanical version of the system that will always allow the cyclist to shift, but effectively pros pone the time of the actual shifting of the front derailleur to a moment when the cranks are turning.

bikerdrone - 10/24/12 - 10:55am

Pacific Cycles also make frames for Niner, Evil & Canfield. It´s not that big a secret.

Slow Joe Crow - 10/24/12 - 12:33pm

Those stamped and riveted MTB wheels look like old Honda Comstars.

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