There were quite a few new products with clever designs in Taipei, but a few stood out more than others. Not just to us, but to the judges of the third annual Taipei Cycle d&i awards, co-organized by TAITRA (the Taiwan External Trade Development Council) and TBEA (the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association), and executed independently by iF Design Asia. The design competition included 185 entries from 16 different countries including Germany, Japan, China, USA, Canada, the Netherlands, France, Italy, UK, Austria and Israel, with first time entries from Switzerland, Korea, and Slovakia. With 49 winners selected, products ranged from bikes, to racks, to wheels, and anything in between. This year’s winners had some truly incredible ideas, and a few that may leave you scratching your head…
With Mad Fiber’s closing, it looked like companies like Gigantex are honing their full carbon wheel skills in order to take their place, and the Equinox MiRacle doesn’t disappoint. Built as a single carbon structure, the wheels use a reversed spoke angle with the spoke attaching to the side of the rim opposite of the hub. The whole thing is very aerodynamic, with good looks as well.
You’ve already seen the InterLock on our pages, but the lock integrated into the seatpost concept was good enough to win them a design award.
Here’s one for the bike packers, or really anyone who wants to bring a tent with them thanks to Üpon’s diminutive size. Basically an ultra light single person tent with an inflatable A-frame, the opposite end of the tent can utilize the bike for structure, or simply tie off the guide lines. Part of the Üpon design philosophy is that all the parts are supposedly multipurpose – the stuff sack can be used as a dry bag, the Air Pillar as a floatation device (ok?), guidelines are ropes so automatically multipurpose, and the two way pump inflates and deflates the tent.
KMC gained some recognition for their chains, both for their City Hunter single speed chain and their Ceramic-Like coating for geared chains. The city hunter is designed to withstand the rigors of urban commuting with Double X StretchProof hollow pins, and the Nickel plated outer plates. Supposedly the orange is supposed to enhance visibility, but unless it is reflective, that might be a tall order. On the Ceramic Like coating side, the treatment increases the chain hardness and makes it run smoother for better durability and longer life. As an added bonus the coating acts as a rust proofing adding to the life of the chain and decreasing maintenance.
Based on the name and the display it would be easy to overlook the Super Molasses Wheel Axle by Gold Ti Enterprise, but it’s actually an interesting design. It’s basically a replacement for quick releases that uses a titanium axle rod and a tightening handle that doubles as a tire lever. Supposedly the locking force of the system is 10 times that of the EN Standard, yet the Super Molasses wheel axle system only weighs 36g. For both wheels.
Ibera had their PakRak Multimount bag on display which is a unique take on the quick disconnect bag. Instead of having a rack that is proprietary to the quick fit system of the bag, the PakRak instead uses an adapter that fits 90% of the racks on the market, and the bag attaches to that. The four point attachment means it will be held firmly in place, and the clamp on system allows for installation and unloading of the bag in three seconds.
You might have seen the Tern Link + Trolley rack as well, but it is definitely a cool design that should make traveling with a folding bike even easier. Even if you’re just folding up your bike and putting it in the car, the integrated cover will keep everything around it grease free.
Magura won an award for their eLect suspension fork, and the matching rear shock system isn’t even out yet. When we first tested this fork in Sedona we were impressed, as it uses accelerometers and gyros to figure out where your fork is and what it’s doing and locks it out automatically. The system can be operated manually as well, and is only about 15g heavier than the standard DLO2 damper. The real magic will be with their new rear shock system that will lock out both the fork and the rear shock automatically.
Much lower tech but still very cool, the Super B Precision Tools Storage stand is something most cyclist can appreciate. Storage seems to always be an issue and the Storage stand tackled many of the them from the bike to your gear. The outer hooks are cushioned to cradle your bike without scratching it, while the shock cord center will hold any number of things like a helmet without damaging the retention system. Hooks are offered underneath for things like gloves, and the whole thing folds up when not in use.
As the central point of the Vanmoof commuter, the Darfon Excimer E-bike system is what gives the Vanmoof the claim of the world’s first intelligent commuter. One of the sleekest e-bikes we’ve seen, the Darfon system hides the battery in the top tube, the pedal sensor in the bottom bracket and the motor in the front hub. An onboard computer and dashboard is built into the top tube and includes a touch pad. Equipped with a GPS tracking system, the bike is powered by a 250w front hub motor with juice from the 204Wh battery and power controlled through the torque sensor.
Not quite as sleek is this universal DIY e-bike kit from Jin Fen Technology. The idea is pretty simple, it is a fairly inexpensive e-bike kit that you can bolt onto a number of bikes thanks to the direct drive motor on the rear wheel.
YouWang Mechanical Co. showed their version of a cargo trailer with a two wheeled Frebike that attaches to the rear axle via quick release. The trailer uses a trampoline material for the cargo bed and folds when not in use. Trailers can be customized with personalized engraving.
No, that’s not a battleship on the seat, it’s a brake pad for Canknow’s Wireless Brake light system. Details were slim on how it actually works, but the idea is this – you replace your brake pads with CanKnow’s pads and they sense when you are braking and signal a brake light to turn on wirelessly. There are also rear brake pads which have an LED built into the tip of the brake pad making a second light unnecessary. Brake pads are available in road, mountain V-brake, and disc brake and add very little additional weight to the system. The wireless transmitter can signal one light, or many. If these work as claimed, this could be a very useful invention for the future.
A folding tricycle? Sure, why not? Allied Internationals’ MODZ folding tricycle claims to be easy to use and fold down when the little one is done riding.
If you travel with your bike, Biknd’s Jetpack is worth checking out. Simply remove the wheels, bars, and strap your bike down to the interior axle carriers, stash the wheels and you’re good to go. The bag fits a full sized DH bike, and offers excellent protection with inflatable walls along with wheels and a handle for making that connection through customs.
TranzX had two stems given awards, with their Anti-Shock and the QuickPark. For more on the Anti-shock check out the link, but the Quick park essentially allows you to turn the bars 90º to quickly store your bike in less space. There were a lot of these designs at the show, which should help those with limited room store their bike.
Two pumps were given the d&i honors with Beto’s Easy Hand Pump, and Airace’s Torch. The Beto pump uses a special head that attaches to a valve with the push of one hand. Just pop it on the valve and you’re good to go, no locking cam required. The Torch is more of a standard road mini pump with a 5 inch CNC design that locks to the valve with a thumb lever on top of the pump. Wahoo’s RFLKT iPhone powered computer got the nod thanks to it’s mirroring of your iPhone’s app.
We told you the BioLogic FixKit multitool was good. The d&i judges thought so too. AGS Global won an award with their Cycling Eyewear with magnetic interchangeable lenses. The lenses slip over a post, then two magnets close securing the lens in place.
Instead of the regular recycling process for their defective tires and tubes, Innova is turning them into Recycled bags called Cyclours.
Mac Mahone’s Raven pedals won an award for their super thin design that is thanks tot he super short 30mm spindle. That spindle runs in a 30mm oversized bearing housed in a 6066 aluminum body with replaceable pins. Of course the Morgaw saddle won an award as well. We can see why.
SR Suntour was recognized for their Active Crank Sensor (ATS), which functions by detecting the movement of slots on the 2 disc plates using a photosensor. No contact means more accuracy and a durable, quieter sensor.
KS dropped into an award with their LEV Ci carbon dropper post. Not only is the carbon post lighter, but the system uses a revised cable and remote design for even easier installation and use.
The Fantasy front fork may look like a run of the mill fork, but it uses a clever assembly method with the fork created from two blades which are welded up the middle, instead of the typical crown and two legs. That means better alignment, and also less weight with the 700c disc fork here weighing 500g.
These Hubsmith hubs have an interesting One Way Adjustable Gap system that needs a better explanation. But they also supposedly only require one length of spoke per build for any rim, and have a nice steel plate on the freehub body to keep the cassette from digging in.
Check out Taipei Cycle for more d&i award winners.