The final day of the Taipei Cycle Show saw me wandering the distant corners of the final hall, and then returning to the first hall for a final look for things I may have missed. As it turns out, I unintentionally saved some of the best stuff for last, including a new, incredibly well-priced and versatile drivetrain from Microshift, plus what’s probably the coolest folding e-bike I’ve ever seen.
With a number of manufacturer booths looking to display their products to eager brands, the second hall offers a far deeper look into the inner workings of the cycling industry. Sometimes it is brands looking to have something specific made, other times it’s simply a conversation of what file type their logo needs to be emailed in, what the packaging should look like and how many units they’d like to order.
Want more? You’ll find all our coverage from the
2019 Taipei Cycle Show here.
Abus’ Game Changer aero road helmet is said to be one of the fastest and yet, most breathable aero road helmets on the market. However, when it came to the 2018 Road World Championships, the eventual winner was wearing something else from Abus …
Alejandro Valverde was in this, the AirBreaker. Borrowing a number of aero cues and design features from the Game Changer, the AirBreaker is Abus’ lightest and most breathable performance helmet to date.
Like the GameChanger, the AirBreaker is made in Italy and offers a number of features requested by the Movistar team. For example, the tapered and buckle-free Y-straps are designed to reduce wind noise at speed While the vent shaping prevents direct sunlight from cooking your head.
The honeycomb on top is designed to retain water when cooling yourself “Landis style”.
The helmet is optimised to stash sunglasses at the back. I weighed a size large CEN sample at a respectable 228g. The AirBreaker will retail for US$250. Europe is getting it now, with US-certified models to come later.
A big exhaust and detailled channeling aims to make the most of the frontal vents. Likewise, the minimal brow pad is designed to help wick sweat away, and not hold onto it like a sponge. Perhaps the only thing missing relates to safety, with no rotational force dissipation technology featured.
Abus is also now getting into smart locks. This bluetooth-enabled lock allows secure key and code-free useage, and you can invite friends to be able to unlock it. An alarm will sound if the lock gets moved while it’s secured – the booths nearby looked less than pleased with my demo of the function.
Remember the Shimano XTR Scylence hub that recently got cancelled? Foss’ Zero Drag Hub offers many of the same benefits, including perfect silence and ultimately low drag when coasting. As shared in our Instagram Stories (now gone, sorry), they had a wheel on display that showed no signs of slowing once it was freewheeling. It was eerily quiet too.
Is it a plane? Is it a bird? No, it’s an All Wing saddle!
Designed to be free of pressure for your sensitive spots, the All Wing aims to allow unimpeded fit when in a lower riding position or when climbing.
MicroShift is moving away from trying to offer Shimano-compatible parts and is instead taking its own path. Advent is a new 9-speed shifter, rear derailleur and cassette set that’s built for mountain biking, gravel or whatever else you want to put it on. With a clutch-equipped derailleur, it’s ideal with a single chainring setup. The standard cassette is 11-42T, although the derailleur can handle anything from a 36-46T. The real selling feature is that being 9-speed, it’s super reliable and easy to setup. It’s also only US$125 including a flat bar shifter, rear derailleur and cassette (drop bar version is more). Oh, and it’s BYO crank and chain. If there’s one product from the show I’m most keen to review, it’s this.
MicroShift offers both a trigger shifter for flat bars, or its own shift/brake levers for drop bars. The levers feature external cable routing, while the two shift buttons are generously spread apart from each other to avoid accidental shifts. The shifting has a distinct positive feel at the lever, and a surprisingly crisp sound at the cassette. There is also an optional left-side dropper post lever (seen in the background). Speaking of shifters, another new product from MicroShift is a SRAM Eagle 12-speed compatible dropbar bar end shifter. Why would you want that? Well, it may prove perfect for the bikepacking crew who like to run mountain bike setups with dropbars.
From most keen to review to the most interesting thing seen. The new Jivr Bike is a folding, chainless e-bike. Currently shipped consumer-direct from Europe, Jivr was at the show seeking global distributors.
The frame hides an internal driveshaft within its two-piece stamped aluminium frame design. With no chain there’s no mess or maintenance.
Up front sits a 250W hub motor that’s powered by a Panasonic battery within the frame. The system offers a claimed cycling range of 50-60km.
The Jivr packs down quickly and even smaller than that shown. The whole bike is said to weight 18kg. Expect to pay approximately US$3,600 for one of these.
Arofly aims to bring power measurement to a far more affordable price with a completely different take on measuring output. The key measurement is done at the rear tyre valve, where the AroFly uses tyre pressure changes. plus cadence and speed, to estimate power output. It’s said to be accurate within +/-5%, so it’s certainly aimed at the entry-level user who’s keen for a ballpark figure. Pictured is the AroFly Elite, which includes everything pictured for just US$289.
An even newer version is the Arofly Link which is designed to work with any ANT+ -enabled computer. This system will soon launch on Kickstarter, with a market retail of $249. It’ll be interesting to see just how accurate and repeatable this product proves to be, especially given inconsistent surfaces are likely to play a large factor in tyre pressure differentiation.
Booth after booth, the Taipei Cycle Show is the place to be if you’re looking for something to be made.
Many of the world’s bicycle pumps come from one of two manufacturers. Beto is one …
… and Giyo is the other. This booth was filled with an entertaining number of familiar pumps. Giyo’s new Bluetooth-enabled pumps work with a phone app to display an accurate pressure. It’s the same concept as Silca’s Tattico Bluetooth pump.
Both Beto and Giyo do have some minor global retail presence, but more often, their pumps are found under other brand names. Airace’s booth wasn’t far from Giyo’s.
If you’re a small brand looking for a quality frame to put your name to, the Taipei Cycle Show is the place to be. Some manufacturers have strict “NO PHOTOS” signs, while others almost encourage it.
Ciclovation’s XShifter turns a mechanical drivetrain into an electronic (mostly) wireless one. A mobile app is used to setup the system, including selecting what brand and type of rear derailleur you’d like it to operate.
The system, consisting of the mini pod shifter, servo motor to control the rear derailleur’s short segment of cable, and the mount don’t weight too much. Price is US$699 for a full front and rear setup, and US$399 for just the rear setup.
This booth had a weird number of chicken-related bicycle bells, but these were most eggcellent.
It’s been far too long since my last tool photo (haven’t done so since galleries one, two and three). Cyclus’ new Dual Disc facing tool is designed to work with IS, Flat Mount and Post Mount, and can work with almost any axle type.
And similar to VAR’s new tool, it’ll face both tabs simultainously. Expect to pay EU€400 for this. As for the company, Cyclus’ blue branding means the German tool company has traditionally kept a low profile within the USA (Park Tool has a trademark on the colour for cycling tools).
Taipei Cycle Show had me stopping on several occasions to look at brands I’d never heard of. DNP cassettes were such an example. The company has been in business for over 40 years, producing drivetrain components, but the recent boom in e-bikes has seen the company focus on cassettes and freewheel products.
From pumps to tools, it’s easy to find familiar products being displayed by the actual manufacturer. And it’s hardly a bad thing for a brand to source a product from an expert supplier.
KS’ drop-bar dropper remote is looking rather polished. It’s comfortable to use, too.
Mercury Wheels was showing off its latest aero road hoops – the A5. Designed with help by industry wheel expert Paul Lew, the wheels feature a unique aerofoil profile with a Kammtail edge. The A5 is the first depth being offered, and the 55mm actual depth is said to mimic a rim that’s 67mm deep, but reportedly without the crosswind stability issues.
Mercury has been testing its wheels extensively in a wind tunnel and is confident the new shape is faster than the industry benchmarks. The A5 is available in both rim and disc options, with the former said to resist in excess of 220-degrees celcius from its wound carbon construction. Rim widths are 19.1mm internal and 28mm external. The rims are tubeless-ready too, made to the brand new ETRTO road tubeless standard.
The hubs are Mercury’s own designs, featuring weight-relieving cutouts and a hole pattern that’s optimised for 2:1 spoke lacing. The 2:1 is something Campagnolo has done for years, and aims to better balance left to right spoke tensions, resulting in a stiffer and more durable wheel build.
The hubs will soon be pewter in colour to match the printed and reflective rim graphics. A pair of AR5 wheels will cost US$2,400, with the rim brake version weighing 1,650g.
Talk of recycling and environmental sustainability wasn’t a common theme at the Taipei Cycle Show, but that doesn’t mean it’s non-existent. This company was showing off recyclable raw materials suitable for bicycle construction.
Even the cheaper alternatives have cheaper alternatives. SunRun is a manufacturer of many entry-level drivetrain, brake and wheel components.
YBN is one of the more underrated chain options. At least in Australia, they can be tough to get, and the information available on them is poor at best. This is surprisingly common with many Taiwanese, Chinese and Japanese companies where they typically focus on a product that will speak for itself. And with that, I’ll announce that YBN now offers 12-speed chains.
YBN also now offers quick link pliers. One for closing and one for opening. Today’s shameless related plug is my recent article on all things masterlinks, including pliers. And while I missed these in the test, a quick play makes me certain the Super-B/Shimano plier is still the pick.
The consumer day means the show is done and dusted for many manufacturers. This aluminium extrusion company had a number of familiar frames on display previously, but they were nowhere to be seen on the last day. And with that, it’s time to call a close to my time in Taipei. Until next year!