Our final tech roundup from the 2023 Taipei Cycle Show focuses on the Design Award winners. This isn’t all of the winners, just the most interesting ones (with links at bottom to some of the others that we’ve covered individually). From bikes to hubs to kickstands and batteries, these are the ideas that could shape the products we’ll be riding in the future.
The Trigon AR01 looks like most other modern aero road bikes until you get up close. Small protuberances on the frame, located on the sides of the headtube, downtube, and seatstay-seat tube junction, keep air flowing more smoothly over the surface to reduce drag.
It’s called Vortex-Tubing Technology, and they say it cuts a cylinder’s drag in half, and the protrusions allow for thinner (lighter) wall thicknesses than dimples would, so it’s a win-win.
We’ve seen strips and grooves from Ridley before, and Zipp’s known for their dimples, but Trigon’s design has the bumps, um, bumping outward, and has them spread across more of the frame. And, apparently, the UCI is OK with this.
Small fairings over the disc brake calipers smooth air more, but still leave plenty of room for ventilation. While the AR01 name suggests “Aero”, it actually means “All-Rounder”, offering lightweight and stiffness in addition to aerodynamics.
And it fits 700×32 tires, so “All Road” isn’t out of the question. It’s available as a complete bike with BLKTEC cockpit, Dura-Ace Di2 and Fulcrum Racing wheels for $8,990.
The Zephyr Route Oh La La is an “electric rally” bike designed to go far. It has two PowerTube batteries for a total 1500W of power. Combined with front and rear racks and a compact build, it looks like a sweet way to get around town, or up the mountain for a picnic, or exploring a new city all day…which was the point of the design. It’s inspired by the Tour de France, and with a 200km+ range, you could take it up the mountain for a day, watch a stage, and then roll around town celebrating all evening.
The upcoming KMC Racing Duo is a chain plus chainring combo with teeth specifically shaped for the chain’s rollers. They match up perfectly, maximizing contact and power transfer for a claimed 5% improvement…for as long as you can hold 400 watts, that is.
This rear hub design from Wei-Ting uses a SFE (Separate Floating Engagement) design that puts a ratchet ring directly on the freehub body, all the way at the outer edge. It clicks across individual pins that line the entire perimeter, with stepped engagement to offer quick engagement since only every third pin is engaged at any time. The design’s main benefit is that it can use larger diameter bearings and place them further outboard, making for a stiffer hub.
The AirShif auto-shifting derailleur is interesting in that it takes a concept more typically used with internally geared hubs and applies it to an external derailleur. Using the app, you input your gear combos and set preferences for cadence, with the ability to have several modes. Pick the mode you want and the system will shift for you to maintain a desired pedaling cadence range. (click to enlarge any photo for more detail)
Yes, this is basically the same system we saw at the 2019 show, but for some reason it’s now won a Design Award.
The Gouach Repairable e-bike battery system is a great concept. They say that in many cases, when a multi-cell e-bike battery fails, it’s often just one or two cells inside that have gone bad. And pretty much every e-bike battery is a multi-cell design (listen to our interview with Bosch about e-bike battery safety to learn why), with 20+ individual cells in each battery pack.
So, if one cell goes bad and then you need to replace your entire battery pack, clearly there’s a lot of waste happening. Gouach solves for this by making e-mobility batteries with user-replaceable cells. Much like you’d replace a remote control battery, you simply pop in a new cell where needed, no soldering or electrical engineering expertise needed – the system tells you which cell needs to be replaced.
They’re offering ready-to-install battery packs as OEM options for bike brands, plus developer kits (shown here, coming soon) for those who want to design their own system. They’ll do custom battery designs for brands, too.
Random Gadgets & Accessories
This section is going to be rapid fire… here’s a CO2 chuck with a bezel that lets you adjust the air pressure limit for your tire. Just twist it to the setting you want and it’ll inflate to that PSI rating.
If you need more air than a CO2 can provide, this Co-Luck AIr Turbo HP/HV mini pump switches from High Volume to High Pressure and will “easily” inflate to 300psi.
CL-Massload makes all sorts of accessories, but this AxleMount kickstand for e-bikes is brilliant. If you have an e-bike, chances are high that the bolt-on kickstand comes loose or has sheared the bolts and broken off entirely. This has happened to me on multiple bikes because the extra weight is simply too much for them.
This system attaches the kickstand directly to the thru axle, using a specific interface on the dropout. So, no, you can’t add this to your existing bike, but here’s hoping bike brands adopt the interface (shown in detail on their website) and start using the already robust thru-axle as the attachment point.
The Digirit Pedal Park has a strong magnet in it so you can stick your bike to any metal rack, rail, pole, fence post, wall, sign, whatever.
Wellgo is working on a Quick Release Device that lets you quickly take any pedal on or off the bike without tools. The pedal slots into the mount and, basically, uses the pressure of your weight on the pedal to keep it cantilevered in place, but with a sleeve that slides over the slot to physically capture it so it doesn’t just fall out at certain angles. Ideal for commuter and folding bikes where you may need to get your bike into tight spots, but not intended for performance bikes.
Velo’s Angel Revo saddle won an award for it’s eco-cred. From materials to construction processes, the nitrogen-infused foam and bio-plastic shell substantially reduce the emissions and energy when making it…and it’s also a very comfortable saddle, I’ve been riding one on my road bike since it launched.
TransX showed an adjustable height dropper seatpost. Just pull the lever up and you can adjust it’s height by up to 30mm independently of its travel. Good for bikes with multiple riders of different heights, it makes adjustments quicker and easier.
Fulchee’s QUIK Thru Axle has two tricks up its sleeve. First, it has an adjustable length, helping it fit more bikes with fewer SKUs. On the other end is a twist-to-lock nut. Rather than thread the axle in like normal, you slide it in, then twist the nut on the opposite side to capture the axle. Then close the lever to pull it tight.
The design not only prevents the axle from coming out if the lever comes open, but since would-be thieves won’t know how it works, it provides some security for your wheels, too…but takes just seconds to open and remove if you know what you’re doing.
This light-duty cable lock hides in your handlebar, just twist the lock out of the bar plug and pull it out. The cable end slides into the lock, working just like most of the cable locks integrated into hitch racks.
RideRever Arc hydraulic brakes are made for those with smaller hands, using a lever that sits closer to the bar but with a leveraged actuation so it doesn’t just pull into the bar under hard braking. It uses a twin master cylinder design to deliver plenty of power from a very compact design. Bleed ports on top and bottom mean you can use them on either side for Moto/UK or US brake placement, no need to swap hoses between them.
This disc brake piston return tool uses a grip lever to expand the plates, which you put inside your brake caliper to force the pistons to retract should you accidentally over extend them by squeezing your brake lever when the wheel’s removed. Compared to other tools that use a twist-to-expand design, this makes the job much quicker and easier.
Vincita’s Big Nash is an oversized rack bag meant to haul what you’d otherwise put into pannier bags, but designed for folding bikes or those with smaller wheels that sit too low to use traditional pannier bags. MSRP is $139, available in multiple colors.
Check out more fun stuff from Taipei Show in these roundups:
- 17 Weird & Wonderful Bikes
- Tech Randoms: Cockpits & Components
- Tech Randoms: Wheels, Drivetrain & VanLife