We didn’t see as many disc-brake equipped road bikes as you might have expected at Taipei Cycle, although maybe that has something to do with the start-stop nature of things over the past few months with various recalls after major launches. Perhaps the bike manufacturers are waiting for the brake suppliers to iron out the initial problems and for the direction of the market to become clear before committing.
This is the Carbon Racing Disc AR134 from Kuupas. It comes with a post mount for 160mm discs, a 1 1/8in to 1 1/2in tapered head tube, and you can choose between a PressFit 30 or BSA bottom bracket.
A disc brake road disc from Trek? Oh no, hang on a sec… It’s from Itek. It’s just that Itek have a logo that you could very easily confuse with that of the big US brand. You don’t suppose they did that on purpose, do you? Nah, of course not.
Anyway, this one is built up with a largely SRAM Red goupset but with TRP HyRd (pronounced ‘high road’) cable-operated discs.
Axman are equipping some of their bikes with thru-axles rather than normal quick release skewers to cope with the extra forces associated with disc brakes, and they aren’t the only ones to do this.
It’ll be interesting to see how many other manufacturers go down this direction in the future and whether it becomes an accepted standard. It might slow wheel changes a touch in races, but it could be worth it for the extra security.
This is a titanium Spaceframe and Truss fork from Jeff Jones (www.jonesbikes.com). You can have it in steel if you prefer. It’s designed to be ridden anywhere, on and especially off-road. The manufacturer reckons its comfortable but with a more direct connection to the ground than you get with suspension.
The Darfon Panther PS1 eBike has a carbon-fibre body, suspension at both ends and a 250W motor.
It offers three levels of battery assistance and can run up to 80km (50 miles) on a four-hour charge.
Drifting briefly into the mainstream, albeit at the highest level, this is Marcel Kittel’s Giant Propel Advanced SL.
This is Lars Van Der Haar’s Giant TCX Advanced.
Fizik have added World Champ rainbow stripes to the saddle.
And this is Marianne Vos’s Envie Advanced, complete with gold details because she has won… well, just about everything. Those are Rotor's elliptical Q-Rings on Shimano's 7900 (last generation) chainset.
Shifting to a very different gear, the Overlord Course's fork is made from cromo steel, as is the fork.
It's a lugged construction and a good-looking bike all round.
The Classique is another model from Overlord and, again, it’s built around a cromo frame but this time with an alloy fork. The flip-flop hub allows you to run it either fixed or with a freewheel.
The RH+O Emperor is another steel bike, this time made from triple-butted 4130 cromo with stainless steel lugs. It comes in either a chrome plated finish or in this 24K gold version.
The Sanfa’s track bike looks pretty neat too.
This one, the Megalornis from Aryen, looks a bit Moultonesque but rather than being made in Bradford-on-Avon, it’s out of Taiwan.
This Sinic Raptor gets a mention purely on the basis of that top tube/head tube graphic.
Close up, it's quite scary, and on that basis I'm in.
This is the Pacific Cycles Reach with suspension at both the front and rear.
The Reach comes in various different versions, not just this luggage-carrying option.
Giatex make stretching, folding and portable commuter bikes. It’s pretty easy to see how this design works: the position of the down tube is adjustable within a sleeve, so you can alter the distance from the saddle to the bars.
Strida bikes have been around for years, and they fold down super-small when you need to store them or take them on other forms of transport. The belt drive means there’s no lube or grease to worry about.
Yet another folder, this time from TCV Creative Design. It’s electric with wheels of a size more frequently found inside watches. The chainring is about as big as the tyres.
Got two kids to drop off at school? No probs, Xtracycle have the solution. They have a great strap line, by the way: “Ride bikes, carry stuff”. Short and to the point.
This one’s a bit niche though, don’t you think? Can’t really see them doing massive numbers but maybe there’s a need out there.
Speaking of niches, this Taroka unicycle has a V-brake. Why? Absolutely no idea, I’m afraid.
And although the picture isn’t great, this is a recumbent with a canopy that features solar panels.
There you go, look.
Tortola call this a Roundtail design, for obvious reasons. Equally obvious is the question: why? The idea is that the rings absorb road vibration better than a traditional design. Of course, Tortola have some stats to back up the theory: “Laboratory testing and Finite Element Analysis proved that the RoundTail provides more than 10 times the vertical compliance of a standard double-diamond frame, and the ring design absorbs 60 times more road vibrations.”
We’ve never tried it so haven’t got a clue how it feels.
If that’s all strange, this is freaky. It’s a pit bike… powered by a cordless drill.
Yep. Be honest: you didn't know the world was calling out for that, did you? DPX Systems make ways to power all kinds of stuff by drills. You mount the drill on there and it drives a belt that turns the rear wheel. Why not just use an eBike? Well, that’s obvious: you can’t put up shelves with an eBike, can you? Durr!
White on white isn’t easy to photograph, but you still get the idea that the Gios Vintage is a good looking bike in this tricolore finish.
It’s built from 4130 cromo tubing with a cromo fork and quill stem.
Actually, the more I look at it, the prettier it gets.
Why did I take a picture of this bike? Oh yes, I remember. I thought that if I got some Tipp-Ex I could alter the Lambretta logo so that it says 'mbrett' on the down tube and thereby get some personalisation on the cheap. That’s probably not as relevant to you though, is it? Not unless you're also called M Brett. So I’ll move on…
The most unusual thing about the Trioku R3 carbon road bike is that finish. Not sure what’s going on there. File under ‘interesting’.
Moving on to components, this is an interesting one: TranzX’s new antishock componentry. They reckon that the stem includes “an additional interior joint to achieve noticeably heightened riding comfort”. Check out the clamp at the steerer tube. Well, the clamps, plural. Essentially, there’s an inner sleeve the sits next to the fork's steerer tube, then the rest of the stem sits on top and cam move independently of that, just a little bit.
It’s a fairly similar design at the top of the seatpost. The idea is that the small amount of movement will reduce the vibration passed on to the rider.
Prologo have special edition saddles coming with accents in fluoro colours. This is the Nago Evo, for example.
You’ll get One-Touch bar tape in the same pack with the logo in a matching shade. It should be available later in the spring although we don’t have prices yet.
There’s a whole range of components called sold under the Wilma brand name. I used to know a girl called Wilma. True story. Oh no, hang on, I’m thinking of Fred Flintstone’s wife, aren’t I?
There are some people who couldn’t get away with a saddle pack like this one from Yu Fong, but you… you could easily rock it, no problem at all.
This wooden Double Balance bike was on the Source Solutions stand. It looks great.
Team it up with the Rattlesnake cycle helmet from Oxford and you’re onto a winner. It only comes in kids’ sizes, hard luck.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.