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I spent my third day of the Taipei Cycle Show in the second exhibition area, strolling the parts and accessory hall – which is somewhat confusing given I spent the first two days also perusing parts and accessories. I digress.
The gates are open to consumers on the third day, and the booths are busier as a result, although with a somewhat different purpose. While many of the business-to-business companies are relaxing and catching up on emails, the business-to-consumer brands have a rare chance to speak directly with their end users.
From new drivetrain components, tyres, and smart trainers, to new saddles, tyre sealant, and forks – it’s all here.
Follow the link for all coverage from the 2019 Taipei Cycle Show.
Best known for its pedals, Xpedo is steadily expanding its indoor trainer range. The yet-to-be-released APX Pro is Xpedo’s flagship smart trainer, set to retail for US$1,100 versus the company’s existing US$690 APX Comp.
Equipped with a 8kg flywheel, the APX Pro offers a peak output of 2000W, a maximum simulated grade of 20%, and a claimed +/- 2% power meter accuracy. While I couldn’t detect it during my brief look, the APX Pro also rocks side-side by up to five degrees for a more realistic feel.
The Xpedo APX Pro features all the usual wireless connectivity and is ready to pair with Zwift, Kinomap, Rouvy, and Onelap. The legs fold in a similar manner to the Wahoo KICKR and it’s said to be compatable with both quick-release and 12mm thru-axles (142mm only).
Alexrims makes rims and wheels for a staggering number of brands, and not just for bicycles, either. While the company is best known for its aluminium products (Alexrims has its own foundry!), carbon is now part of the range, too. New for 2019, all of its carbon rims feature aluminium reinforcing inserts moulded at each spoke hole.
Alexrims recently got into making its own hubs, too. In addition to the original 36-point engagement “Bear Pawls” design, Alexrims is now offering a 72-point staggered pawl option and a 24T cog-type system. All three options are designed to work with the same hub shell.
Alexrims’ 24T ratchet system functions fairly similarly to DT Swiss’ proven Star Ratchet drive.
Bati carbon tubeless hoops for balance bikes. If there’s an ideal customer base to benefit from weight weenie products, its flyweight toddlers. I didn’t talk price.
And in the same booth as those Bati wheels were these two balance bikes. The one in the foreground is said to weight just 790g, and the one behind it is lighter again (and clearly unfinished). The claimed weights sound too good to be true, but amazingly, they’re probably accurate.
Random conversations sometimes strike up the most interesting news, even when there’s no bike in sight. Bjorn is a fresh brand out of Squamish, British Columbia, that’s focussed on sustainability. With frames built from recycled stainless steel, minimal packaging, and efforts towards similarly sustainable components across the bike, it’s certainly a brand we’ll be watching.
I’m not sure what new products Echowell were showing; I was too distracted by this fish bowl.
Jagwire is now offering bar tape. Given that you usually need to change your tape when you change cables and housing, the product offering might make sense. The Pro bar tape offers a tacky rubber-like feel on top of a lightweight 3mm-thick material. It’s available in black, white, and red.
Jagwire’s Road Elite Link kits are now available in a range of colours. The aluminium-link housing is lighter, bends tighter, and compresses less than regular housings.
Drivetrain efficiency is getting an increasing amount of attention as of late. KMC’s upcoming TT chain aims to best all the aftermarket race-day chain options. With modified pins and rollers and an ultra-slick surface treatment, KMC has certainly taken it a step further. The downside? KMC admits the new chain sacrifices long-term durability in favour of outright speed. It’ll be launched in an 11-speed version to start, and retail price is expected to be US$150. At this moment, KMC doesn’t have specific watt-based figures to share, but the company is confident that the chain is very efficient.
KMC’s premium DLC (Diamond Like Coating) chain is now available in a 12-speed version.
KMC has produced chains for Shimano since 1984. These days, everything up to 10-speed is still produced by KMC, with Izumi in Japan taking care of the newer 11 and 12-speed stuff.
The Taipei Cycle Show is predominately focussed around mass-market products, so seeing steel lugs like these is a rare sight.
Maxxis is completely overhauling its road-focussed tyre range. The range will soon consist of three model names. The High Road is the new premium race tyre and the Pursuer is an entry-level and/or training tyre. There will be a middle option, but it’s still to be announced. Apparently, all three models will eventually be available in both clincher and tubeless options, with popular widths available for each. Maxxis say the tyres will suit the new ETRTO road tubeless standard, but also be backward compatible with other systems to avoid potentially dangerous rim and tyre combinations.
The Maxxis Rambler is now available in a 650B x 47mm size. Want to know more about this tyre? We recently tested Maxxis’ 700c gravel range, including the Rambler.
Northwave became an official partner of the Astana Pro Team at the start of 2019. The Italian company now has a special edition of its flagship Extreme Pro road shoe in Astana livery. Expect to see these shoes being raced in at the Tour de France.
The Extreme Pro features Northwave’s new PowerShape arch support design. We’re yet to try it, but it should be a great improvement over the former flat sole shape.
Wandering the depths of the Taipei Cycle Show is quite the experience. From bushings to seals, packaging solutions to specific fasteners – it’s all here, and often in separate booths.
SRAM’s new Red eTap AXS 12-speed chain sent many tool and components makers into a flurry. Pedro’s chain breaker cleverly uses replaceable chain bridges, so making them AXS compatible only required a new bridge. And if you’re looking for more information on this topic than you ever thought you needed, check out our comprehensive review on chain breakers.
The updated bridge design is backwards compatible with recent Pedro’s Apprentice and Pro chain breakers, and it works on all speeds and brands of chains. Pedro’s will also sell the part separately for those who already own an earlier model.
Prologo have a new CPC version of its Dimension NDR snub-nose saddle. CPC refers to the mini grippy suction caps on the saddle’s surface.
Prologo currently has these team-issue saddles in a prototype phase. Hot or not?
Proxim is Prologo’s new offshoot brand for e-bikes. Pictured is the W650, featuring three distinct sections, each with different types of foam. The rear section is treated to a grippy material, and there’s even a handle integrated into the back for easier bike pushing and lifting. It seems 2020 will be the year of performance-orientated e-bike products.
Recon produces one-piece road cassettes in either steel or aluminium. The “one-piece Crmo” steel cassettes are extremely interesting due to the amount of material that’s machined away. This new 11-32T Campagnolo-compatible 12-speed cassette weighs just 214g, which is approximately 50g lighter than a Super Record cassette.
SunRace is now offering Shimano-compatible 12-speed cassettes. Unlike Shimano’s own XTR cassette, SunRace’s work with regular HG freehub bodies for easy compatibility. This cassette offers a 11-51T ratio and is claimed to weigh 579g.
SunRace also produce an enormous range of shifters and derailleurs that are fully cross-compatible with Shimano or SRAM components.
Watch out, RockShox, there’s a new fork brand in town.
Carbon fibre is everywhere at the Taipei Cycle Show. In fact, it’s even inside this tubeless tyre sealant. The sealant manufacturer says the carbon fibres help to quickly seal punctures in high-pressure tubeless systems. No doubt someone will resell this product, but it’ll be interesting to see just how long it takes to come to market.
Velo, the world’s largest saddle manufacturer now have its own snub-nose model. With a mid-width nose and generous padding, it looks quite comfortable. It’s safe to assume we’ll be seeing many more similar-looking snub-nose saddles soon hit the market.
Colour fade is making a comeback, and Velo is clearly capable of doing it on saddles.
A CO2 inflator and bit-ratchet all in one? You can’t walk very far at the Taipei Cycle Show before you see something semi-interesting – but with no one around in the booth to talk about it.
These Yunda wheel building tools look and feel very nice. The truing stand on the right blends the articulating indicator arms from DT Swiss’ Proline stand with the wind-up axle clamping and built-in dishing feature of Park Tool’s TS range. On the left is a spoke tension calibration tool, to ensure absolute accuracy of a spoke tension meter regardless of spoke type or batch variance. Given I saw the identical products at the Pillar spoke stand (and with “NO PHOTO” signs attached), I’m a little unclear on who actually makes these two tools.
Trade shows can be super tiring, and finding a seat outside of a scheduled meeting can be tough. Sometimes you just make do. There’s still one more day to come.