Taipei Show Randoms Pt. 2 – Huge Gallery of the Interesting, Crazy, and Peculiar
In addition to all of the products you know and love, there was another side of the Taipei show to catch your attention. This jersey is a pretty good example. Most likely a tongue-in-cheek jab (we hope!) at the state of professional cycling, at the least, it was certainly eye catching. Sometimes you would find genuinely innovative products, other times you would leave shaking your head. This is a collection of some of the best, the most humorous, and just plain weird. Enjoy.
Already a Red Dot award winner in 2010, these seatposts with integrated LED lights from Lightskin are pretty trick. The first LED acts as the on/off switch, and they have multiple flashing modes. There is a wire that extends to the bottom of the post where the battery is tucked inside for easy access.
In the same booth was this interesting take on the storage stem. Instead of the whole stem rotating 90 degrees to one side, this idea uses a splined interface in the middle of the stem that allows the bars to rotate 90 degrees vertically. Definitely a space saver, but it does require a special handlebar since the QR lever has to pierce the bar for it to work.
Another take on the concept is the StemPark from ixow. The French component designer feels that engineered plastic with a robust rotation mechanism is the right way to go. Created from a fiberglass reinforced composite material, StemPark allows you to simply press a button and rotate the handlebars 90 degrees. If it really is as strong as they say, it was a pretty functional solution. The company also had a unique pedal quick release system with a base that threads into the crank. The pedal then attaches to the base with a quick release mechanism.
Sometimes you would just bump into something like this Cyfac equipped with a WF rack system. The same bike also had an interesting take on a kickstand for a road bike, with two small arms that deploy just at the pedal. The rack looked cool because it is mounted to a standard road bike, but it didn’t seem very sturdy. Let’s hope it just wasn’t tightened down…
Suspension stems seem to be making a come back, and this Gripfast Stem Shock Absorber from Extraordinary Microscience (yes that’s the company name) looked interesting. Instead of pivoting down like a lot of suspension stems do, the SSA travels vertically using two two springs mounted under the stem.
Don’t leave your bike underwater without KMC’s EPT chains.
Foss was promoting their Environmentally friendly tubes, which are made from a polymerized un-vulcanized rubber composite. Not only are the tubes lighter than standard tubes, they seal around punctures much more effectively and can be fixed repeatedly with the self adhesive Foss patches. When no longer good, the tubes can be recycled.
The nail in the tire concept has always been a big draw, but in the case of Joe’s No-Flats, either the display tire was pumped to 100 psi, or the tire was solid… And yes, there is actually a company called Joe’s No-Flats.
Looks like TRP won’t be the only company with a dual piston mechanical for long, though the Spyre and Spyke still look much more streamlined. The Nutt is a dual piston brake with a very similar design.
Kashima (like) coated Zoom forks with single and dual arches like Magura? Ok.
All of a sudden I’m craving steak…
Which is better than the things SARS brings to mind.
Karbona had a number of interesting carbon wheels with different methods of holding the carbon pieces together. It’s definitely one of the first that I’ve seed that bolts carbon spokes to an aluminum hub.
TriRig’s Omega aero rim brake was on display bolted to a track bike.
As mentioned, Bosch frames were everywhere. Frames set up to run the Pinion gear box were popular too.
This thing was very futuristic. I sort of like it.
There were plenty of kids’ push bikes like these sweet Tron-esque things here. These would be the pre-balance bike, bikes due to how wide and flat the wheels are. They can’t teach much balance…
Oh, and adult big wheels. Awesome.
And we start devolving into ridiculous stuff like this Segway golf cart.
This was one advanced trike with independent front suspension.
Then there was this cargo trike with rear wheel steering and an impressive cargo capacity.
Need help learning how to unicycle? How about some training wheels?
Or you can skip it all and just attach some pedals directly to the wheels. This thing was extremely difficult to use.
Folding bikes were a big draw, with many more to see than Interbike for example. That’s probably due to the fact that space is usually more at a premium in other countries, so folding bikes make a lot of sense. There is also the fact that the public transportation in Taiwan is amazing so using a folding bike you could travel most of the country on the train system.
The folders start with full size bikes and get smaller from there.
Oh, and a folding recumbent E-bike.
And smaller still. Pacific actually had one of the biggest displays of folding bikes from full size down to what has to be the smallest folding e-bike available (above, black).
I think everything this company makes folds up, including the trailers. The handlebars were neat and folded by simply pressing the red button.
There were a lot of weird bikes, and a lot of them had cool features if you looked close. The white, normal looking bike above had a fender molded into the downtube, while the bike next to it had a basket in the top tube.
More silliness from Ford, the SVT Raptor kids bike. The only reason this is worth mentioning is it has a pretty cool throttle/noise maker that kids will love, and parents will probably despise after 10 minutes.
Kids will also probably love the lizard and snake helmets which are apparently licensed by Animal Planet. The snake and lizard heads were soft foam material, with a traditional hard helmet underneath.
Drill baby, drill. Yes, it’s a drill powered full suspension mini bike. Just pull the lever to let your 18v Dewalt rip and power you through a reduction gear drive to amazing speeds, for a few minutes at least.
For that time you want to look like there is a beer in your bottle cage without actually having a beer?
For an OEM or anyone who wants to start a bike company this is the place to be. Bolts, castings, tubing, 3D printing, patches, bar tape, you can pretty much find it all and make it your own.
You would be forgiven if you thought there was a flower show going on at the same time. In a bizarre yet beautiful trend, people present flowers to vendors wishing them luck and success in the coming year. You sorta got the vibe that the number and size of your flowers directly related to your importance. Seriously, there were some of the biggest flower arrangements I have seen. Some booths had more flowers than displays.
Up above the busy show floor was an entirely different world with elaborate meeting rooms built on top of the booths. Some even had kitchenettes and espresso machines – which surely came in handy due to the crowds at the food options around the venue.
That’s it from Taipei. Stay tuned for a full round of factory tours soon from Taiwan!