5 clever cycling innovations from the Taipei Cycle Show

Cunning new products that have caught our eye

by Mat Brett   March 5, 2014  



Taipei Cycle is home to a vast number of bikes and cycle-related products, some of them fantastic, some of them... not so good. Here’s our pick of some of the smartest innovations we’ve spotted so far...

1. InterLock

The InterLock is a seatpost that incorporates a bike lock with the cable being stored away inside your bike. You have all that empty space in there doing very little, so Adrian Solgaard of Vancouver, Canada, figured you might as well use it to store a lock. The lock cannot be removed from the seatpost so you can’t forget to take it with you, and it’s easy to carry in this way.

The cable is 90cm long so you can thread it through your frame and rear wheel and around a suitable anchor point. It pushes down inside the seatpost and into your bike frame when not in use, and it locks in place. The lock is currently available in 25.4mm, 27.2mm and 31.6mm seatpost diameters.

InterLock launched last year via Kickstarter and now it’s in production. They’re talking to a potential UK distributor this week.



2. Super Molasses quick release skewers

People have been using quick-release skewers as makeshift tyre levers for years; these ones from Gold Ti Enterprise are actually designed with that in mind, hence the hook on the end of each tightening handle.

The Super Molasses skewers, which screw tight rather than using cams, weigh just 36g the pair.


3. Upon bike tent

This single-person tent uses your bike as part of the structure, and you blow up an air pillar for the other end. The upper shell is fast-drying nylon and the ground sheet is ripstop waterproof nylon. The whole thing weighs 1,050g. Topeak already do a bike tent but that is an even more minimalist affair which uses the front fork as part of the support for the tent - so you have to take the wheel out. The up-side of the Topeak tent is that there is little chance of you night's sleep being disturbed by your bike landing on top of you in windy conditions. We're not totally convinced that couldn't happen here.



4. TranzX 90° Quick Park stem

This is pretty neat. The new 90° Quick Park Stem allows you to turn your handlebars parallel to the frame while keeping the front wheel straight for easy storage in a confined space.

You just release the safety lock, flip the lever up, and you can pivot the stem to the side. It saves you undoing the steerer clamp bolts – not the most arduous of jobs, but a pain if you have to do it regularly.



5. Wireless brake warning light

Do you reckon your bike needs brake warning lights? We’re not so sure, to be honest, but this is still a pretty clever innovation. Essentially, sensors in the brake shoes can tell when the brake pad hits the aluminium braking surface. This triggers a wireless signal that can be picked up by a rear light – or multiple rear lights, if you like.

This is the V-brake version (above), obviously, but rim calliper and disc (below) models are available too.


9 user comments

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Yesterday morning I went out for a ride and broke my handlebars. After wending my sorry way home I went to park my now floppy barred bike in the shed, and I couldn't help but notice how much easier it was to park. In that moment I was struck by a vision of purest genius - a stem with a quick release to allow the bars to be turned in the briefest moment!

I told not a soul, immediately recognising the life changing nature of this vision. But now what infamy is this? A mere day later some scoundrels have seized upon my idea, developed a fully fledged product and attempted to sell it to the unwitting masses.

Right is on my side. I will not rest until these impostors are struck from the earth!

posted by sponican [63 posts]
5th March 2014 - 10:52

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The QR stem would be handy on commuter bikes - let's home someone brings it to the UK

Ride your own ride

posted by CanAmSteve [120 posts]
5th March 2014 - 11:08

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Item No 1
Price - more than Item number 2

Item no 2
A set of standard Bolt croppers from Amazon
Price - £6.99


Sorted Smile

posted by duc888 [30 posts]
5th March 2014 - 13:24

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That 'integrated cable lock' idea has been used on mopeds/scooters for ages. On a bike, if you make the cable hardcore enough to be worthwhile it weighs a ton and isn't flexible enough.

Haven't folding bikes had flip stems for ages? All you need is a split at a 45 degree angle with some sort of lock.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [764 posts]
5th March 2014 - 13:46

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QRs that double as tyre levers strike me as a bad idea for at least 2 reasons: metal levers more likely to damage rims and no cam (screw up) for tension means more likely to come loose in normal use through vibration. Bike tent is a solution in search of a problem - there are lots of quality tents with super light poles, so it can't be about saving weight. In a breeze the bike will fall onto the tent, causing it to collapse and potentially harming the occupants. And the fact that the bike is structural presumably means you can't erect your tent then go for a ride on your bike. Wireless brake warning light is equally pointless. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

posted by surly_by_name [138 posts]
5th March 2014 - 13:55

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The quick release stem is really cool. I could definitely see a use for commuter bikes as it would cut the floorspace necessary for bike storage significantly

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
5th March 2014 - 15:43

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surly_by_name wrote:
In a breeze the bike will fall onto the tent, causing it to collapse and potentially harming the occupants.

and on soft ground a kickstand would sink into the soil in a moment, with the same harmful result.

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posted by DavidC [34 posts]
5th March 2014 - 21:07

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These type of tents are all more hassle than they're worth - invariably a bog-standard tent is quicker and easier to set up for not much more weight.

The Quick Park stem looks like a great idea though!

posted by sporran [39 posts]
5th March 2014 - 22:12

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I guess the one advantage of the bike tent is that if someone steals your wheels then you'll know about it. Actually that's probably a disadvantage as you'll also be rendered homeless.

posted by thelimopit [118 posts]
5th March 2014 - 23:09

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