A SNEAK PEEK OF TAIPEI CYCLE 2018
The pre-show really did put our curiosity into overdrive
ycling Plus Malaysia, along with 22 cycling media press, was recently invited to join the Taipei Cycle 2018 preshow media tour in Taipei and Taichung by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), to drum up enthusiasm for the Taipei Cycle Show scheduled for October 31st to November 2nd.
Taiwan, the bicycle mecca for manufacturers, importers and enthusiasts, is the self proclaimed “kingdom of bikes” that boasts over 4,500 kilometres of dedicated bicycle paths, which are well-ridden by locals and cycling tourists. It is also ground zero for the amazingly successful bike-share programme Youbike, which has exceeded 60 million in terms of usage in 2018.
Headlining the pre-media tour press conference this year was Walter Yeh, TAITRA President and CEO. The outgoing president spoke on how the bicycle industry and consumer experience is on the cusp of cycling digitalisation and the era of smart technology. Not surprisingly, Taipei Cycle Show 2018 will showcase how technology integration of IOT and Big Data will transform the industry. Efficient manufacturing with Industry 4.0 process improvements as well as intelligent and flexible manufacturing will lead to faster customisation prototypes that would significantly improve design and innovation.
On the first day, we were bussed to Taichung Iron Hill Cycling Sport Village, for a day of product presentation, Powerpoint displays, and Q&AS. In attendance was a diverse mix of brands from internet startups to the more wellknown brands that conduct their R&D, development and manufacturing in Taiwan, proudly acclaimed as MIT (Made in Taiwan).
They let us to have a go at their newest products scheduled for launch at Taipei
CCycle 2018. From January through April 2018, Taiwan’s e-bike exports reached 82,000 units worth USD113 million, increasing 34.35% and 55.51% respectively compared with the same period in 2017. This massive export potential from conventional bikes was clearly shown on the display booth that day, while many traditional mountain bike brands such as Giant, Merida, KMC were displaying their e-mobility solutions.
The TRB1, BESV’S full suspension E-MTB reminds me so much of the heroic Black Kamen Rider television series I watched while growing up. The grasshopper lookalike full suspension bike is powered by Brose - a leading motor manufacturer from Germany that features a large 756Wh (36V, 21Ah) battery. More riding, less worry about battery. The JR1 meanwhile looks like a conventional road bike but the e-assist system is visible upon close inspection, as it is tucked away into the down tube. Even the pedal assist button is camouflaged on the drop bars. Weighing 15.7kg, I can foresee that this will be a very attractive option to MAMILS who would want to keep up with their younger or fitter counterparts.
Taiwan, the bicycle mecca for manufacturers, importers and enthusiasts, is the self proclaimed “kingdom of bikes” that boasts over 4,500 kilometres of dedicated bicycle paths, which are well-ridden by locals and cycling tourists.
Ever want to ride like the Greg Minnaar? The winningest racer in World Cup Downhill history - has worked with MAXXIS to produce Assegai (as-se-gai: slender, iron tipped, hardwood spear used by Southern African people) a tyre that combines the best tread and character from the DHF, DHR II, Shorty and High Roller. It is currently available only in downhill spec, 27.5/29 x 2.5 with dualply butyl sidewall 3C Maxxgrip compound. It weighs a hefty 1.3kg but a lighter enduro version is coming out by the end of the year.
RST showed off their wireless e-dropper, that weighs 580g for the 30.9, 125mm travel version. The post is also available in 100mm and 150mm travel versions. The dropper is controlled by a small wireless unit at the top of the post body, which is powered by a rechargeable, replaceable CR123A camera battery. This battery can be recharged via the built-in mini-usb port, or easily purchased from any convenience store.
Rove, a dynamo hub power generator UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) system that stores power in a built-in battery while cycling and helps riders charge their devices on the go.
The Merida EONE-SIXTY is the e-assisted version of the highly coveted ‘pedal powered’ ONE-SIXTY. It comes with the Shimano Steps E8000 system specially developed for MTBS and 500Wh battery with three assist modes.
Giant presented 3 full suspension E-MTB models with a pedal assist system termed Hybrid Cycling Technology. The e-bikes are engineered with lightweight and strong ALUXX SL aluminum that features 140mm and 160mm of Giant’s tried and tested Maestro rear suspension technology. The Yamaha Syncdrive motor is powered by a 500Wh Energypak battery. A quick spin at the test track showed that the high performance Yamaha motor has very a fast pedal engagement and absolutely no power loss at high cadence.
KS took the opportunity to show off their Ether product line-up. Designed for enduro, the Ether is light and strong enough for everything from XC to DH. It has an updated LEV dropper with a refined piston design.
KMC’S new e-bikes feature chains that can withstand high mid-motor tensile and torsional stress. I’m told that the new 12-speed chains drivetrains will be coming soon to the market.
IKIN is the first e-mobility foray by SYB - Shenyang Bicycle International. The same guys that carry Kuota and Argon 18. Unlike BESV, IKIN doesn’t hide the fact that their road bikes are pedal assisted, what with the bulky battery installed quite prominently on the down tube. Interestingly enough, the 23.3kg fattie version even has a “walk-assist” mode.