The Taipei International Cycle Show is the first major show of the year, and it’s our first chance to see what’s coming for this season and beyond.
The show begins with an awards ceremony, and this year, prizes were given to 49 product debuts. With 1,477 exhibitors there is plenty to choose from, and this year’s accolades went to everything from lightweight alloy frames to bike-compatible tents.
This is our pick of the award-winning products – check out the gallery for more images.
SR Suntour ACTIVE crank sensor
This new innovation for e-bikes controls the power input by sensing the pedal torque, so it can calculate how much assistance to provide. Crank sensors on e-bikes are nothing new, but Suntour’s unit detects movement by using a photosensor (light sensor) in the chainring cover, where two slots recognise the crank rotating forwards (it doesn’t read if back pedalling). The claimed advantages of the system are a lack of drag from a sensor and simple installation on a standard frame and bottom bracket.
Hubsmith hubs HS-R023
Hubsmith’s minimal alloy hubs are designed to work with straight-pull spokes, although the real innovation is the bearing adjustment – it uses a patented system with a one-way adjustment ring. As hubs are used, play can develop – the Hubsmith system allows simple resetting and elimination of gaps to prolong the life of both the bearings and wheelsets.
BETO EZ Pump
The new EZ pump uses a unique eight-fingered clamp within the head to make fitting it to a valve simple. Push the self-clamping head onto the tyre valve and it automatically locks down – it works with either Presta or Schraeder valves.
MacMahone Raven pedal
The Raven pedal has a full-size platform, but is super slender in all other dimensions. The body is constructed from 6066 alloy, and twin oversized 30mm bearings keeps it spinning on their short 30mm diameter chromoly axle. MacMahone claims the Raven offers lower weight than a traditional platform, with better clearance too
KS LEV Ci dropper post
The LEV Ci offers a 65mm drop on its full carbon mast, which is more than 50g lighter than KS’s standard alloy dropper. The remote also uses a new lightweight Recourse cable system, although it retains the standard KG alloy remote trigger.
Super Molassess wheel axles
We’ve included these because we just love the name, but as wheel skewers go the Super Molasses are certainly light – 36g a pair. Rather than standard cam quick-releases, these spin up to tighten. The handle doubles as a tyre lever, so when you’ve got a puncture and have to remove your wheel, you’ll already have a lever at hand.
KMC City Hunter chain
The City Hunter is designed for shared-use bikes, such as London’s ‘Boris bikes’. The oversized oval plates are corrosion-proof, as are the inner plates. The Hollow pins are designed to be stretch-proof too, making for a chain that can go far longer between servicing.
KMC Ceramic-Like chain
Take a standard KMC chain and coat it with a high-tech material that has all the qualities of ceramic while being tougher and cheaper, and you have the new Ceramic-Like chain from KMC. Sounds good, but could do with a better name.
Novatec Factor 21 wheels
Novatec’s new 27.5 carbon rimmed wheels use an all-new 33mm deep, 23mm internal width rim shape. The rim uses Novatec’s proprietary bead-lock design and Matrisilk structural reinforcement to create what they claim is one of the stiffest carbon rims on the market.
Innova Downhill Monster tyres
Here’s a new idea for off-road rubber – Innova’s integral plastic studded tyre. It comes in two variants. The Downhill BIG Monster features prominent yellow studs that are designed to grip and maintain stability in wet or even snowy conditions. The LITTLE Monster has red studs that sit flush inside the shoulder blocks to increase support and improve cornering grip and stability.
Kinesis Scandium R915-1 road frameset
We’ve seen a resurgence of quality aluminium frames in recent years, and Kinesis is set to follow suit with a new Scandium-infused alloy frameset. Until now, frames using Scandium have been simple round-tubed affairs, due to the difficulty in shaping the alloy, but the R915 has been created using ‘super plastic forming’ (air forming), a new process for shaping the tubes of bicycle frames. At 1,100g (56cm), the R915 is light for an alloy frame. Kinesis also promises ‘reasonable prices’ for the R915.
Xpedo power meter pedals
We’ve already covered the new Xpedo pedals and now they've received an award for innovation in Taipei. A close-up look revealed that there really is a lot packed into the pedal body, so it’s no surprise that they’re significantly deeper than a standard pedal.
DIY e-bike kit
Although it looks like a cross between an old school add-on engine and an instrument of torture, this add-on kit offers a highly adjustable system that’ll fit onto almost any bike. It promises low relative weight at an affordable price too. We’re actually quite intrigued to try it out because we remember testing a precursor to this more than a decade ago – it ran on petrol and destroyed tyres in a matter of hours! Hopefully the DIY e-bike kit will give better results.
Darfon + VAnMoof Excimer e-bike system
Darfon electronics have teamed up with Europe’s Van Moof to create an e-bike that uses a touchpad dashboard to control its 250w front-hub mounted power. All the electronics have been integrated into a pretty standard-looking VanMoof bike. Front and rear lights are integrated into the extended top tube and there’s also an integrated a 204wh battery. The bike also has a built-in GPS/GPRS tracking sensor.
Upon lightweight bike tent
The Upon is an ultra-light and very packable tent – it packs down to about a foot long in its own dry bag and uses your trekking bike as the main support for the sleeping compartment. An awning flap gives further protection from the elements, and the V-support at the far end is inflated to create the structure. The Upon comes with its own pump and the company even claims that the inflatable A-pillar can be used as a floatation device!
Ghost AMR Riot Lector 9
The AMR Riot might only pack 130mm of rear wheel travel, but it's slack, long and low angles certainly give the impression that it's ready to rip the trail to shreds, given half a chance. It also features a tweaked suspension design, using an extra extra linkage – known as the Riot Link – to create a supple beginning stroke that gets more progressive towards the end of the stroke.