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by James Huang
March 23, 2017
Photography by James Huang
Day one of the Taipei Cycle Show offered up a whirlwind of new bikes, parts, and accessories, including new ultralight and disc-equipped models from SwiftCarbon, slick stem and seatpost designs from 3T, heaps of new tires, and more than a few wheelsets with suddenly-fashionable carbon fiber spokes. Plasma electrolytic oxidation coatings have reinvigorate the alloy wheelset market, too, with a greater range of options than in recent years.
Nevertheless, US technical editor James Huang barely traveled a quarter of the floor space, though, which means there’s still plenty more ground to cover in the next two days and lots more new gear to see and show.
As with yesterday’s coverage, we’ll be regularly updating this page throughout the day with fresh images and information straight from the showroom floor — as soon as we see it, you see it — so be sure to check back regularly for the latest and greatest from Taipei.
Alligator’s slick cable cutter isn’t new, but it’s still a joy to use. Whereas most cable cutters physically slice through the wire strands, this one melts through them, reproducing the factory finish.
Cleanly cut, and no cap required! The only drawback is the US$550 asking price.
Love titanium bolts? There are plenty of sources to be found at the Taipei Cycle Show.
Somewhere, a weight weenie is drooling on their keyboard right now.
These titanium bolts, from manufacturer GA-E, are forged and machined for superior strength relative to hardware that’s machined-only.
Gigantex has showcased a wide range of full-carbon road wheels – including rims, hubs, and spokes – for several editions of the Taipei Cycle Show. Claimed weight for these carbon clinchers is 1,200g per set.
The fully bonded and molded construction is certainly striking.
There’s quite a lot of hand labor involved in making these.
Gigantex easily has the widest range of full-carbon road wheels on hand at the Taipei show.
The spoke flange is molded as one piece along with all the spokes. Interestingly, note that this rear wheel is fully radially laced on both sides.
This Gigantex carbon wheel is somewhat more conventional in the sense that it uses a carbon rim and carbon spokes, but matched to an aluminum hub.
Dropper seatposts still aren’t really a “thing” on drop-bar bikes, but KS is prepared with the Zeta model, which uses an integrated seatmast-style design that looks appropriately tidy.
By keeping the larger-diameter body wholly below the collar, the KS Zeta dropper seatpost maintains the clean aesthetic that most roadies demand.
Maxxis previewed a new tubeless clincher called High Road. Designed specifically for wider rims, the High Road supposedly uses Maxxis’s most supple casing and fastest-rolling rubber compounds for ultra-low rolling resistance. Target weight for a 700x25c tire is 270g.
The higher-volume Maxxis Rouler-TR tubeless-ready tire will be offered in a 28mm width and uses lightly treaded shoulders for more secure cornering traction. Claimed weight for this midrange tire is 360g.
Want to try tubeless but don’t want to break the bank? The new Forza from Maxxis features a longer-wearing dual-compound tread and bead-to-bead casing reinforcement for durability. Claimed weight for the 700x25c size is 290g.
The Maxxis All Terrane is designed for all-conditions cyclocross racing, with relatively tall knobs to bite into softer surfaces, and ramped leading edges to reduce rolling resistance on harder ones. The tubeless-ready casing will allow for lower operating pressures than typical tube-type clinchers, too. Claimed weight is 375-395g, depending on casing options.
As the name suggests, the tubeless-ready Maxxis Speed Terrane tire is meant for dry-conditions cyclocross racing with a semi-slick center tread matched to generous side knobs for secure cornering. Claimed weight is 375-395g, depending on casing type.
Kenda’s 30mm-wide tubeless-ready Valkyrie Pro looks to be an interesting option for the new crop of all-road bikes.
Mechanical/hydraulic hybrid disc brake calipers were surprisingly common at the Taipei Cycle Show as manufacturers seek to capitalize on buyers who are interested in trying out the technology, but at least want to keep their current levers. Claimed weight for this Pavolution Trigger model is 175g each.
The Taipei Cycle Show is chock-full of interesting products for aftermarket sales, but it’s a rich source of OEM resources. Taiwanese company Trelleborg, for example, had all sorts of different seal types and material on hand for a hugely diverse range of applications.
TRP’s new TT Hydro hydraulic disc brakes for time trial and triathlon bikes actually make a lot of sense. The hydraulic hose is much more tolerant of the convoluted internal routing many of those bikes use, and the fully sealed system will require less maintenance, too, while also being mostly impervious to weather and sweat. Claimed weight is 352g per wheel, and TRP will offer it in both post mount and flat mount options, and 140mm- or 160mm-diameter rotors.
The hoods securely bolt on to the housing of TRP’s new TT Hydro hydaulic disc brakes, and they feature a semi-triangular shape that fits nicely in your hands. TRP will offer them in both black and gumwall colors.
TRP’s new T980 rim brake caliper is aimed at riders that need a direct-mount option and are on an Ultegra-level budget. Claimed weight is 159g per wheel.
The new TRP TR-33 two-piece disc rotor features a stainless steel brake track and an aluminum carrier. Claimed weight is 135g for a 160mm-diameter size.
Laser-cut slots supposedly help evacuate hot gases from between the pads and rotor for cooler running temperatures.
The Praxis Zayante hollow-forged aluminum road crankset primarily gets a cosmetic facelift this season. The chainring spider has also been slightly reshaped to allow for sub-compact 48/32T chainrings.
Praxis’s forging capabilities are competitive with the best in the industry.
Praxis has partnered with 4iiii to offer power meter-equipped versions of the Zayante road crankset. Pricing is remarkably competitive, too.
As one of the original supporters of the T47 oversized threaded bottom bracket format, it’s no surprise to see that Praxis has added compatible cups for its 30mm-diameter crankset models.
Cane Creek has abandoned its old AER composite headset bearings in favor of more conventional cartridges built with aluminum races. According to Cane Creek, they work much better but are roughly half the weight of standard steel bearings. Even better, they can readily retrofitted into existing Cane Creek headsets for $21-32 per cartridge.
The Cane Creek eeNut preload assembly is unbelievably light at just 10g, all in. A more conventional preload plug and cap comes in at roughly four times that.
If there was any question about the legitimacy of adventure bikes, this year’s Taipei Cycle Show added further evidence that the segment is one of few bright spots in the industry. Virtually every major brand had at least one on display.
Giant is now fully embracing tubeless technology on the road, adding own-brand tires to go along with its tubeless-compatible wheels.
Giant’s wheel display at the Taipei Cycle Show featured a neat puncture tester.
As is now common with modern tubeless offerings, Giant’s new Gavia SL clincher will require sealant in order to be airtight.
Internal rim width is still a modest 17mm, though.
Many of Giant’s new helmets feature integrated mounts for rear lights – yet another sign of the industry’s increasing focus on rider safety.
Lintaman cycling shoes aren’t like any others – and that may just be a very good thing. The unusual design is extremely adjustable in almost every direction.
The flexible lacing system can be configured in a variety of different ways to further fine-tune the fit. The setup at right, for example, makes for a tighter fit around the ankle while leaving the midfoot and forefoot areas mostly unaffected.
Lintaman’s flagship Adjust Pro Plus features a uniquely adjustable heel area. It looks strange, but early impressions suggest it works well. We’ve got a set inbound for long-term review.
Lintaman intentionally doesn’t play the lightweight game, but still uses a carbon fiber sole plate. Options are available for both three-hole and four-hole cleats.
Optional covers extend the comfortable temperature range, and neatly integrate with the rest of the shoe. The middle option is made of 3M reflective material for greater low-light visibility.
The Bahrain-Merida team has confirmed that it will use disc brakes (in some capacity) at both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Team riders will likely use the new Scultura Disc for the former.
Since there’s no need to accommodate rim brakes, frame designers have more freedom to open things up around the seatstays and fork crown for additional tire clearance.
Merida is using the RAT quick-release thru-axle system first put in place by Focus. Once the lever is flipped open, one only has to then rotate the skewer one-quarter turn before it’s released from the other side.
The finned flat-mount interface presumably helps dissipate heat on long descents.
Topeak’s new PanoComp computers can either operate on their own by reading on-board speed and cadence sensors, or can pair with an associated app to read GPS data provided by your smartphone. Either way, the phone can safely stay in your pocket.
Topeak’s RideCase system pairs handy smartphone handlebar mounts with additional accessories such as lights and cameras.
The Topeak Omni RideCase uses silicone rubber cradles that stretch to fit a wide range of phones.
Don’t feel like carrying a multitool in your jersey pocket? Topeak’s Ninja T bottle cage-and-tool combo isn’t new, but there is now a separate add-on that lets you attach the tool to whatever cage you prefer.
A new Topeak Ninja CO2+ kit adds quick inflation within fingertip reach.
Topeak’s new JoeBlow Twin Turbo uses a dual-chamber, push-pull design that supposedly inflates tires much faster than conventional pumps. The top-mounted gauge is easier to read than floor-mounted ones, too, and the overall construction feels notably sturdy.
Topeak now has a complete collection of bags for bikepacking.
You would be forgiven for thinking that Topeak is merely jumping on the bikepacking bandwagon with its clever Bikamper tent. But the reality is that the product has been in the Topeak range for roughly a decade.
Wilier Triestina showed off a premium build option for its Cento1 Air aero road bike, complete with Lightweight carbon wheels.
A set of Lightweight carbon bottle cages were fitted, too, along with a Pioneer power meter.
Cinelli’s Ram integrated carbon fiber cockpit isn’t new, but it’s still striking.