Taiwan Bike Tour: Pacific Cycles, Part 2 – Crazy Bikes, Wild Suspension & Original Di2 Prototypes!
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…
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.
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.
Banshee was one of the few name brands on display that we can openly say is made by Pacific.
And a full suspension motorized e-mountain bike for Ave Bikes.
Remember these guys?
Full suspension wasn’t limited to mountain bikes. Check this cobble crusher, perhaps a precursor to Trek’s Y-Bikes?
Nor was it limited to full size bikes.
Performance Bike’s house brand Scattante is made alongside good company.
Pacific Cycles is also tinkering with components. Here, some rather unique prototype hubs.
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.
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.
The motor housing on the derailleur is actually smaller than current gen Ultegra Di2! It’s only serving eight speeds, though.
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.
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.
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!
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.