A peek at products that won the design awards at the big bike show in Taiwan

The Taipei International Cycle Show opens tomorrow and here’s a peek at some of the products that have won the exhibition’s design awards.

Taipei Show – Taipei is in Taiwan if your geography knowledge isn’t quite what it could be – is important for several reasons. For a start, it’s the first big bike show of the year so we’ll get a very early look at a lot of the products that’ll be on the market in 2013.

Plus, a huge proportion of the world’s bike manufacturing is based in Taiwan so loads of the industry’s big movers and shakers are here. Most of the big European and North American brands – not all, but most – have their bikes built in the Far East. This is where the action is, so Max and myself have hopped out to Taiwan (he came via NAHBS in Sacramento for extra air miles) for the week to see what we can hunt out…

These (main pic and above) are full carbon wheels from Equinox – tubulars, as you can see. They use widened carbon rims for stability and Equinox reckon those spokes are very stiff for direct, solid transfer of power. We need to find someone at Equinox to give us the full lowdown on the spoke material. We’ll hunt them down over the next few days.

This (the front one) is called the Line Wheel from MID and instead of using metal spokes it uses a micro-fibre cord. Spokes made from string, rope and so on aren’t new but MID reckon that their microfibre spokes are the business. 

They claim an 80% weight saving over stainless steel with the advantage of providing shock absorption and vibration damping.

Are they stiff enough, though? MID say so, of course, but we haven’t given them a try. In fact, we couldn’t even get our hands on a production set – these are photography samples.

Hey, this one’s interesting: ABS (anti-lock braking system) for your bike from Ke Chiuan. That’s a first, as far as we know. It’s a purely mechanical device with no electric, hydraulic or pneumatic force. It uses the inertial force to release the brake, then it reapplies… and so on, so you don’t skid.

You fit it on your front wheel only and it’ll work on a slope of up to 30% at 57kph (36mph). If you’re thinking of going faster than that… don’t. They’re making versions for road bikes and mountain bikes – you fit the system to your existing brake callipers or cantilevers.

These are the Cole AC38 Lite clinchers featuring Armor Manufacturing’s DSA2 Wheel system. DSA stands for Dynamic Spoke Alignment and 2 stands for, well, 2.

The spokes are straight-pull rather than J-bend and at the hub end they slot into ‘DSA hub pins’. These sit in holes in the hub flanges. The idea is that they distribute high-tensions loads onto a larger area of the hub flange, and that the pins rotate to align perfectly with the spokes for improved power transfer. The flanges are also widely spaced for increased stiffness and better handling.

Seeing as we seem to be on a wheels theme, check out these HS-RWC001 hubs from Hubsmith, which is a new Taiwanese brand. They’re made from 6066 alloy to keep the weight low and they’re designed to be both streamlined and to shed water.

The freehub body is aluminium but those little plates you can see on there are steel to stop your cassette munching into the splines – and if you’ve ever had an expensive freehub body destroyed, you know what a choker it is. The hubs are held in place with cinch nuts rather than quick release skewers to provide more security.

ControlTech’s Aero Cockpit Carbon clip-on aerobars weigh just 309g –  about half the weight of a standard setup. They’re much shorter than usual – you rest the section of your arm just behind the wrists on the armrest, rather than the wide part just below your elbow.


You still get a small amount of fore/aft adjustment – you just undo those bolts and slide the front end forward. It won’t reach further forward than your brake levers, though, so these are UCI-legal.

The Rasso 366-FS saddle is designed to provide suspension, the rails not attaching to the rear of the shell in the normal way. Instead, the rails attach to a plate that is then attached to the shell. There’s a degree of flex engineered in there and nylon fibres used in the shell provide more.


The structure underneath incorporates a slot – Rasso call it their Fast Insert Track System – where you can slide in a tail light or a saddlebag.

The design concept for these ZG06-2 pedals comes from a bear’s paw, apparently. We’re not sure what type of bear that would be, but a fairly big un by the look of it.

This is an X-Apex Pro skewer with a titanium lever and axle. You’re looking at a weight of 41g. Oh, and you can use the lever as an emergency tyre lever if you need to, but don’t blame us if you scuff up the polished finish.

Finally, this goes by the name of the Dom T2 trailer. The guys at Freeparable Design say it’s stable, lightweight, efficient and ground hugging.

And with that, I’m off to get some kip. More spangly goodness when the Taipei International Cycle Show opens properly tomorrow morning.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight 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 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.