After looking at the bikes and frames, our attention turns to the cockpit and component array at the Taipei Cycle Show. Like the bikes, much of what’s here is to showcase a manufacturer’s capabilities. Some of it might get relabeled under a brand we know, some will be sold directly from the factory, and some is just showing off technical prowess or introducing a new design idea.
The Windner Brachii crankset uses opposed oblong carbon tubes to mimic your forearm bones, providing stiffness in all directions. They’re also wicked light at under 400 g for a set (excluding the spindle):
It’s a Red Dot design winner with a modular design that lets you use different spiders. That makes it compatible with analog and electric bicycles. It’s still undergoing certification, but considering SRAM’s new T-Type XO crankset has holes in it, it’s not such a wild idea.
Windner also makes full carbon saddles with little texture nubs under the clearcoat to keep you from sliding off. And carbon fiber shoe horns with gold leaf, of which I am now a proud owner.
It absorbs shock and lets the saddle tilt and sway under you, but without bobbing in ways that could sap power from your pedal stroke. If you’ve ever ridden behind someone who seems to be sitting off-center (you know you have) or you feel like you’re always putting more pressure on one side than the other, maybe this solves that.
Deda Elementi and Selle Italia have combined forces on their ID Match concept.
Introduced with insoles, the ID Match lets bike fitters place different shapes and widths and stuff on a fit bike (or your bike in a fit) to ascertain the best parts for your anatomy and flexibility.
Once your fit is dialed, the Deda Gera gravel lineup expands from the original cockpit parts to forks, offering two options for gravel, adventure, and bikepacking rigs.
The Gera Curvy DCR above is the more equipped option, with rack, fender, and accessory mounts, plus these sweet offsets that let you bring the gear forward (or backward?) to slim the profile, clear other accessories, or just accommodate different shape bags.
The shapely legs clear a 29 x 2.2″ (700 x 57) or 27.5 x 2.6″ tire. Dynamo and brake hose routing are fully internal, part of their DCR design:
Compatible cockpits, which it makes plenty of, can run hoses and cables and wires inside the handlebar and stem, through the headset, and then into the frame … or fork:
A flattened front edge of the steerer tube makes room for control lines to sit in front of it, and ports just above the taper are where dynamo wires and brake hoses enter.
On the left is the Gera EDG DCR fork, the racier of the two options. It slims down tire clearance a bit to 700 x 45 or 27.5 x 2″, and loses the accessory mounts but keeps the internal dynamo and brake routing. Both forks are €625 each plus VAT. More details at DedaElementi.com.
Sister brand Selle Italia’s new Novus Boost EVO 3D Kit Carbonia SuperFlow has a super long name and a new 3D-printed design on its cushioning. Compared to the SLR introduced at Eurobike 2022, this one uses varied density from front to rear to improve comfort for lighter riders.
Denser latticing at the rear supports sit bones, but more space toward the front gets squishier under the soft tissue as you lean forward to climb or get into the drops. This will probably launch this summer. Its size is 145 x 248 mm, coming first in full carbon with 7 x 9 carbon rails.
After launching “short” versions of its saddles last summer, Selle SMP follows up with a gravel lineup based on its VT20C, VT30C, and Well models. Other than the attractive gray clay color, I’m guessing the difference is padding material, but … well … I didn’t ask. The “C” refers to Compact, which is the shorter 255mm length, versus a very long 283 mm for its regular versions.
ReadyGO’s Lumis LF01 Glow Bike Fender won a design award from the show for integrating a light underneath that bounces the illumination off the bottom of the fender to give the rider a larger visual presence at night.
LightSKIN has been making handlebars and seatposts with integrated lights for years, but now it’s making them brighter. As in, bright enough to see where you’re going, not just help drivers see you.
The update brings a new lens element, cleverly displayed here like a diamond ring, that has 40 distinct angles on its face to direct the light where it needs to go — on the ground, in front of the bike. That lets it comply with European, and German in particular, standards. Max output is 50 Lux of clear white light. Coming soon for regular and e-bikes, the former is getting a new dual-battery system for longer run times, and the latter is powered by the bike’s battery.
IB Grips 1.0 version has integrated turn signals with stealth buttons on the inboard side that let you turn them on and off, and indicate your change of direction. The arrows face backward too, so drivers behind you can see what you’re planning to do.
Running lights add a bit more visibility, and accelerometer-based brake lights provide more safety and communication to those around you. The 2.0 version is coming soon and will add sound to the turn signals, with an amber color for the signal arrow so it’s more discernable. It’ll also add the ability to be dynamo or e-bike powered.
Ebon is a handlebar tape supplier (one of many) that had some cool designs. You’re unlikely to see them in shops under its brand name, but these show just a few of the prints it can do.
CICLOVATION, however, had a retail website for its very colorful, metallic, reflective, and shiny tape. There are tons of options; note the reflective ends on the top right.
Ridenow makes some incredibly lightweight TPU tubes, with a lot of folks claiming they’re thinner and lighter than Tubolito. At just 24 g for a road bike tube (other versions are available, and with black valve stems on all of them, they might be worth a try … if you don’t mind ordering from abroad. And they’re cheap, as low as $5 each if you search around.
In the U.S., RockBros is basically an Amazon brand, however, it seems to get good marks. Its display collection of frame and saddlebags use Fitgo dials (like BOA, but not) to tighten the straps around the frame, saddle rails, etc., to attach them to the bike. These aren’t on its website yet, but they definitely look like a step up from current offerings.
The white looks good too (until it doesn’t), and bungee straps along the outside let you shove small, soft things in there without having to stop. It might be an affordable way to dabble in bikepacking once these launch.
Stay tuned for more roundups and tech from the 2023 Taipei Cycle Show!