Two of the brands shown here, WTB and PowerTap, announced their new products just before the Taipei Cycle Show, so we used our time with them to take a few detailed shots and ask more technical questions (of WTB anyway).
WTB’s products were announced just days prior to the show, but all have availability dates this summer. The rims have an interesting production story. They say they’re still playing around with different materials in different places and different manufacturing partners based on where the rims are going to be sold.
The 27.5 rim shown here has a more UD finish (left) on the inside and it’s made in Taiwan. The 29er has the woven top layer and is being made in China. Apples to apples, it’s coming out lighter, hence the eerily close claimed weights for different size rims. They’re still in testing, but Chris Feucht, product development manager, says all aftermarket rims will likely ship from the China factory and that the 27.5″ is likely to see a weight reduction by the time they’re available. The Taiwanese made rims will likely be reserved for OEM customers. So, build your own wheels and they’ll probably be lighter.
The reason for the difference is basically just dealing with the different capabilities and methods used by different manufacturers.
The spoke holes are made specific to 3x lacing, which means they’re drilled at angles in more dimensions than just staggered left and right. Feucht says they’ll work fine built with 2x lacing, too, but radial lacing would be less ideal. It’d still work OK, just not ideal.
Nothing else to add on the Bridger (right), but this is it next to the Trailblazer 27.5 x 2.8 “semi-plus” tire. (yep, we just coined the phrase “semi-plus”)
The 146g SL8 Team carbon rail saddle is the lightest they’ve ever made. Its shape is a blend of other popular WTB seats, but adds its own comfort features.
A center cut out in the shell and two starburst flex sections let the saddle flex with you. Combine that with a slightly narrower profile and it should feel pretty good.
PowerTap showed their C1 (chainring) and P1 (pedal) power meters just before the show also, so here are just a few closeups.
The powermeter’s transmitter sits aboard the spider, which has offset chainring bolt holes. That design provides the ability to run any standard 5-bolt 110BCD crankarm and replace the chainrings, all without affecting the power meter unit. Strain gauges between the spider and rings calculate your power and send that data wirelessly to your favorite cycling computer. Which, they hope, is the new-ish Joule GPS+:
While they’ve made hub based power meters for years and the new chainring model will give you aggregate-if-averaged power, the pedals are the way to get true left/right power measurements to see if your output is lopsided.
One AAA battery hides inside each pedal, and they attach to your shoe using the Look Keo cleat interface.
Samox is a major private label manufacturer, so much so that if you Google them, links to Alibaba and the like come up. From the examples at their booth, their CNC and forging work is impressive and looks very similar to some lightweight offerings from major brands. So, not much to say here, just a few pics…