Last month's Taichung Bike Week was a chance for some of Taiwan's smaller, but no less innovative, manufacturers to show off their wares. Here are some of the new products that caught our eyes.
Titanium chain from YBN
YBN (Yaban Chain Industrial Co) claim they have made the world’s lightest chain, at just 210g. It took them two years to develop and test, and they claim it will last 8,000km.
The chain is said to self-lubricate, be rust-proof and, thanks to its unique chamfer design, offer extremely fast shifting and prolong cassette and chainring life by 20 percent.
If it delivers on its promises, it could prove popular with racers – although at US$180 (approx £110) you're unlikely to see too many of these around.
Five-spoke carbon wheelset from Pro-Lite
Pro-Lite's new five-spoke carbon monocoque wheelset will be available in "early 2010", according to company CEO Steve Fenton, and has been designed to combine excellent aerodynamics with high lateral rigidity.
Fenton told us: "It provides the rider with incredible rigidity and perfect responsiveness. It's virtually maintenance free, and it is available for both track and road use."
Seamless shifting from NuVinci
NuVinci's representative boasted that their Continuously Variable Planetary (CVP) drive system – think Truvativ HammerSchmidt, but replacing both the crankset and rear mech/cassette – is the biggest advance in bike drivetrain technology in 50 years. We're not sure about that, but the electric bike we tried out still left us impressed.
You can preset your desired cadence and the bicycle will seamlessly bring you up to speed without any noticeable shifting, and you can adjust the ratios continuously as the terrain changes. The system, which is said to be maintenance-free, has been around since 2007 but NuVinci are set to launch a revamped version this year.
Duro to launch 'world's lightest tyre'
Tyre manufacturers Duro are set to increase their market presence this year with the sponsorship of several elite teams in the US.
Rumours suggest they are set to launch the 'world's lightest tyre' at the Taipei Cycle Show in March. Insiders say these tyres look and feel super-durable yet weigh almost nothing. Stay tuned for updates.
On display at Taichung was their TruShine reflective strip technology. Currently only available on commuting and beach tyres, Duro are looking to introduce the technology to road racing rubber very soon. Look out for these tyres speeding around the Athens Twilight Criterium in April.