3D-Printed Titanium, Chocolate Grips, & an Electronic Dropper Post - Taipei Cycle Show 2023

Mar 22, 2023
by Mike Levy  
Taipei Cycle Show 2023

Taipei Cycle Show 2023
Taipei Cycle Show 2023


Brian's obsession with 3D-printed anything might be contagious because I probably spent an hour standing in front of the Reynolds booth while gawking at these gorgeous dropouts printed out of both titanium and stainless steel powder. My first road bike was a beautiful Lemond Zurich made with Reynolds 853 tubing that I owned in the late '90s and I always get a bit nostalgic when I see their logo on a frame, but these bits are infinitely more advanced and cool in a very different way.

Why 3D-printing? The idea is that the component is literally grown from powder using lasers and the end result is material where it's needed and none where it isn't. That explains the wild-looking honeycomb internal structure pictured above, although that's covered up during the manufacturing process, and it also allows for intricate details like cable routing ports and brake mounts that would be bulkier – and heavier – if made via a more traditional process. Plus, it just looks damn cool, doesn't it?


photo


The Chocobike Chocolate grips aren't new, but who doesn't like candy? I hadn't seen these dessert-themed grips before and was a bit surprised when I opened the bag and the smell of chocolate wafted out, enough so that I needed to duck into a nearby 7-Eleven shortly after to satisfy my sweet tooth. They're a bit thicker than I'd prefer and best suited to larger hands, but the compound and pattern felt more comfortable than I expected.

The question is, though, do they smell like salted chocolate after you use them for a while? I should probably find out and report back.


Taipei Cycle Show 2023

Taipei Cycle Show 2023
Taipei Cycle Show 2023


RST's wireless electronic dropper isn't seen often and is definitely worth checking out, especially as it's received a few updates, including a new 170mm version, and doesn't use proprietary batteries. The ELEV8 dropper employs radio frequency to communicate with its remote rather than Bluetooth, with RST telling me that this method requires less power consumption, thereby letting them use a small, lighter, and more readily available 3.7-volt lithium battery. There's an external charging port with a magnetic connection so you don't have to remove the battery, and the control unit at the collar is said to be well-sealed from the elements, an important point given its in-the-line-of-fire location at the back of the post.

A servo motor is located at the bottom, and it pulls and releases an internal cable that controls an open bath air/oil damper cartridge that RST actually sourced from Toyota – it's similar to the struts that hold a car's hood up, which is kinda neat. Reaction time is said to be just 0.6 seconds, which sounds fast to me but I'm not sure how that compares to other options on the market.

The ELEV8 can be had with 125, 150, and now 170mm of travel, and in both 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters, for $999 USD.


Taipei Cycle Show 2023
Taipei Cycle Show 2023


Aerozine was showing a bunch of very colorful stems but it's a completely new one that caught my eye. I wasn't able to get any information from them, but the idea seems to be to go as short as possible, with the handlebar clamp actually sitting above the steerer tube, meaning there's not much room for any spacers on top of the stem. However, it does provide a near-direct-mount position for riders using single-crown forks. I'm not much for bright colors, but the details on this thing sure are nice; check out the steerer clamp, laser-etched angle marks, and chrome face plate.

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

53 Comments
  • 86 0
 Somewhere in the world a small child just bit into a rubber bike grip and is now crying.
  • 25 0
 "I hadn't seen these desert-themed grips before"
That threw me. I was looking all over for the grips with little cacti, or maybe coyotes and road runners
  • 3 0
 "Dessert is something extra."
  • 10 0
 Dammit haha
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I have some silicon grips with lots of cactus thorns already embedded in them for you ;-)
  • 17 0
 Easter is right around the corner and those chocolate grips are looking tasty.
  • 11 0
 smokey with the muchies
  • 4 0
 "My arm pump is virtually gone! One more lap, guise??" - Me with chocolate smeared on my hands and face like a toddler.
  • 2 0
 They exists for years actually. I even installed some on a bike I built for my Mom 8 years ago... and they didn't melt yet.
  • 18 0
 $999 for a dropper wtaf
  • 1 0
 Typo, I'm betting... @mikelevy
  • 5 1
 @Tambo: No typo. www.pinkbike.com/news/taipei-cycle-pre-show-media-tour.html this is from 2018 and it $999 back then.
  • 14 0
 @froman82: I guess it's nice of them to give us inflation discount???
  • 4 0
 Eventually it'll be market price
  • 2 0
 @froman82: jebus.
  • 2 0
 It is wireless though and like all wireless things you don’t need it comes at a premium
  • 1 0
 With the servo motor at the bottom of the post so it has to stick out of your frame a good 2 inches. Also not sure about the clear remote.
  • 2 0
 Marketing was like "please don't make us try to sell this thing, we're gonna price it at $999."
  • 1 0
 Only 170mm drop too. When they're making a 220mm drop, I'll think about it...and still say it's too expensive.
  • 1 0
 No,excuse me,$999 for a R S T dropper...I wouldn't pay 200 for one.
  • 11 1
 3D Printed parts look like garbage castings. I understand the benefits, but you really should have someone polishing the surface finish so it looks better.
  • 12 0
 I feel like a great advantage of 3D printing could be to optimize the internal structure for the load paths without being limited by release angles etc. I suppose that would make the internal structure resemble a bone structure and could probably be designed through FEM optimization routines. These honeycomb structures are just the basic filler options from the 3D printer software without any sensible engineering behind it. It is fine for a mantlepiece but you're going to pick an alternative production method and charge a lot of money for your product, at least do a decent attempt at utilizing those advantages. As it seems here, people would be better off with a basic laser or waterjet cut piece with some CNC postprocessing.
  • 1 0
 Agree aesthetically but I gather that a big part of the CNC approach is to reduce manual labor required for finishing. Still they do look rough AF.
  • 4 0
 "The ELEV8 dropper employs radio frequency to communicate with its remote rather than Bluetooth"

Bluetooth is a radio protocol, so is wifi. They operate at specific frequencies. They're likely using a different protocol like zigbee or even lower frequency. But it's all "radio frequency"
  • 3 0
 Hamateurs
  • 7 3
 Bet them grips are tastier than any American chocolate. I dont know how they manage to make it taste so bad.
  • 3 1
 American dairy...
  • 2 0
 It contains wax and a higher proportion of sugar to make it more heat resistant ie less likely to melt or turn slightly white like British chocolate does.
  • 2 0
 Yum, love that stem, i had been looking for something of that shape. Good for high rise bars if you like your grips near the steering axis.
  • 2 0
 Mondraker did something similar a few years back, it didn’t really catch on. Maybe this one will?
  • 3 0
 Folks can get a longer reach frame and throw the zero length stem on and go nuts.
  • 1 0
 Can you still access the top cap bolt? Or do you need to remove the handlebars to preload the stem before tightening it to the steerer tube?
  • 2 0
 @JohSch: But that one is just plain ugly.
  • 4 0
 mondraker far from the first:

products.mtbr.com/product/controls/stem/azonic/hammer.html this one is so old it's got a 28.6mm clamp option. and I know it's nor the first, either.
  • 2 0
 Looks pretty similar to the Yoshimura ENDH stem, though the ENDH puts the bars in front of the steerer tube, like most standard stems, so still not as short as this one. I have one of the Yoshimura ones and like it. Tbh though, I wouldn't have even replaced my stock stem if my steerer tube wasn't cut too short. I wanted room to add the spacer to mount my kid's Mac Ride seat and didn't have enough stack height. The ENDH has a really low stack, height, as it appears this one does, so I was able to fit the 10mm Mac-Ride spacer under it and have my bars at roughly the same height.
  • 2 0
 @groghunter: I used to run one of these Azonic zero reach stems in the late 90's. The only thing was the bolt that tightened the stem to the steerer tube was under the bar clamp. So you could only fix it in place without the bars on. Making it a nightmare to align the bars with the forks.

bmxmuseum.com/forsale/385156
  • 1 0
 @SoCalTrev: well hey you got a sick stem either way!!
  • 1 0
 @collintimmermans: Indeed. Not sure it's sick enough to justify the retail price though. If I'm spending money on upgrades, the stem is probably about the last place I'd normally spend it. If I didn't have a need, and hadn't found a decent deal on a slightly used one here on the PB classifieds I probably would've just continued to trade bikes with my wife when she didn't want to carry the little one, and still be running my stock stem.
  • 2 0
 @Kebabroll You should check out the Be More Bikes RR (Raised Reversed) MTB Stem. It might be just what you're looking for if you want a higher front end with better steering geometry. You can find them here:

bemorebikes.com/rr-stem.html
  • 1 0
 @BeMore: wowzers, that is an oddity! Bargain at $400.
I’m quite content with my funn equalizer stem and 70mm riser bars. Cheers for the link.
  • 4 0
 0.6 seconds is an eternity.
  • 3 0
 Oh yeesss! Like if you want to drop the saddle and stand up then and don't anticipate when your finger leaves the remote, in 0,6 the saddle has plenty of time to go back full extension!
  • 2 0
 I like that every few years somebody reinvents the Azonic Hammer stem in increasingly nice fit and finishes.
  • 1 0
 It had completely bypassed me that RST still existed. I really wanted a set of 381s back in the day.
  • 1 0
 5-10 yrs and 3D printed ti will look pleasing to the eye, now it looks horrific
  • 1 0
 Aerozine is a pretty cool name for a company.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy pick me up that aerozine stem and Ive got $$ in hand for you when you get back to Squamish, please and thank you.
  • 1 0
 I like those Willy Wonka's grips
  • 1 0
 I'm sorry but did I just read about a $1000 seatpost?
  • 1 0
 how about that stem... yoshimura fans reply here LOL
  • 1 0
 I wanna Try those grips
  • 1 0
 perfect for chilly days







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