Gearbox Shifters, Hairnet Helmets, & Magnetic Hubs - Taipei Cycle Show 2018

Nov 5, 2018
by Mike Levy  


Pinion has a new shifter! It's not a trigger shifter! I thought that I'd get that out of the way at the start, but their revised twist shifter does look much sleeker than what they've been using up until now. The biggest difference is the cable routing: The old shifter (below on the right) used to route the two cables straight out from the front of it, which could make the front of your bike look cluttered if you also like to have brakes or a dropper post.

Instead, this new model has the cables coming out parallel to the handlebar, thereby making things look much, much nicer. It also sports a new grip design, an anodized aluminum indicator ring, and what appears to be larger and less-likely-to-strip hex-head bolts to clamp it onto the handlebar.


Zerode Taniwha review test. Photo by James Lissimore.


I can get behind all of those changes (they address many of the shifter complaints I had in my Zerode Taniwha review), but are we ever going to see that trigger shifter? It hasn't been ruled out, and Pinion has been working towards a trigger shifter for years, but because of how the gearbox mechanism works and how the indexing is in it rather than the shifter, they say that it's way, way more difficult than people think it is.

Have you ever seen inside of a Pinion gearbox? I mean, if they can design that complicated yet completely reliable thing, they could surely do a trigger shifter if it were a possibility, so I'm inclined to agree with the Germans on this one. You know, it'd probably be easier to do if they were to use electronics... Just sayin'.



Taipei Cycle Show


You might have seen Tag Metals' nifty 'Speed Alignment System' a few days ago that, while sounding like something high-tech is really just two clever slots they've machined into the back of their stem that would theoretically line up with two vertical lines that suspension manufacturers may or may not put on their steerer tubes. Tag had a bunch of other new bits in the booth as well, including their T1 carbon wheels that can be had in 29'' or 27.5'' diameters.

Carbon wheels from a brand that has 'Metals' in its name? Well, with a 28.6mm internal width, 24mm height, and 445-gram weight for the 27.5'' version, the rims look pretty straightforward to me, and Tag say that they're more focused on reliability than coming up with something flashy that may or may not be needed. The rims are a proprietary shape, and they're laced up with brass nipples and Sapim's Race spokes. At the center are Tag-branded hubs that feature interchangeable axles and tilted-in flanges for better spoke alignment. MSRP is still up in the air but they'll be somewhere around $1,600 USD.


Taipei Cycle Show
Taipei Cycle Show


Tag's pedals are in the same vein as the wheels: Not the lightest, not the flashiest, but with a focus on durability. They're obviously not going to be the thinnest pedals out there with that approach, but inside the 20mm tall, dual-concave body is a full-length axle with two large sealed bearings out at the end instead of those silly micro-sized bearings that belong on an RC car.

They're available in two different platform sizes, too, with a smaller option that Tag says is ideal for US 4 to US 10 sizes and a larger platform for those with flipper feet.



Taipei Cycle Show


I spent a lot of time in this booth, solely because nearly every square inch of their wall space was covered in different headtube badges that they've made. How many can you recognize?


Taipei Cycle Show


Remember that carbon fiber run bike from a few days ago? The one with the carbon wheels? Here's a better look at the all-carbon fork, steerer tube, and stem that sits on top of it. The aluminum bolt that runs down the center of the stem to attach it to the steerer is also what clamps the handlebar, thereby saving even more weight.

This whole assembly felt like it weighed about as much as a sheet of paper when I picked it up, and it's apparently quite sturdy (for a child or 2ft-tall adult) due to its long-fiber construction. Almost cool enough to make me want to reproduce.


More stuff for the wee ones, this time from ODI. The Ruffian Mini Lock-On is just 100mm wide, or about 30 to 40mm shorter than most full-sized grips, and it's essentially just a shrunk down version of what you or I would run. It even sports the exact same diamond grip pattern, too. The flanges put it in BMX territory, but those are easy to trim, and you can choose from a zillion different clamp colors, just like with the adult grips.

You can even get custom laser etching for an extra $3.50 USD, which you pretty much have to do. Imagine being a little grom and having your name on the grip collars?
Taipei Cycle Show





The Foss booth pulled me in from a few kilometers away because cutout... Like a crow to something shiny, really. Magnetically controlled clutches aren't a new idea, but I'm inclined to think that they'd be much more common if they worked well over the long haul.

Anyway, Foss' hub uses two DT Swiss-esque ramped clutch plates that want to be together thanks to magnets, and the idea is to drastically lower the drag compared to a more traditional system that's always in contact. That angry bee noise that a lot of us love so much is awesome, but it's also the sound of resistance.





Would you be interested in a series of articles looking at the small and often unrecognized bits and pieces that keep our bikes rolling? Because if so, the bushing bosses at Igus would certainly be included in that. I imagine some would struggle to get excited about what Igus produces compared to all the other flashy stuff on bikes, but we'd all be screwed without these slidey bits inside of our forks, shocks, and other places.



Taipei Cycle Show


This glorified hairnet is definitely not enduro-approved, or approved for anything, but I do like the classic look. I inquired about a MIPS version or if they had a full-face in the works, but it doesn't sound like that's in the cards. Anyway, here's the helmet for everyone who chooses style over safety... Good luck and Godspeed.



Taipei Cycle Show
Taipei Cycle Show


No one needs ceramic bearings for their bike, but that doesn't mean that I don't want some. Enduro Bearings had their Eagle 12 Speed Pulley System on display that includes two replacement pulley wheels and also an idler wheel, each one using different spec XD-15 ceramic bearings that are best suited for the job. They're also saying that it isn't just smoother, easier rolling bearings that help, but also that the large diameter aluminum centers add a bunch of rigidity, which in turns makes the shifting feel crisper.

Price? $299 USD, so they will essentially double the price of your high-end SRAM derailleur, which will be a hard pill to swallow for most riders. That said, Enduro Bearings claims that this kit will outlast your derailleur so you can move it to the next one, and that the Eagle 12 Speed Pulley System is actually quite a bit less expensive than some other ceramic options out there.



Taipei Cycle Show


Here's something that might be able to make those titanium full-suspension frames made by BaoTi look even nicer: Custom engraving for when having your own fancy titanium frame just isn't fancy enough. Picture ordering up your lust-worthy Ti frame and being able to send them a file with your (or someone else's) art that you'd like engraved onto it.

I don't have a clue how much it costs as I couldn't get any information out of them, but I do know that I need this.

Must Read This Week

100 Comments

  • + 160
 Would you be interested in a series of articles looking at the small and often unrecognized bits and pieces that keep our bikes rolling?

YES!!!!
  • + 38
 The humble BB, gets left standing in stagnant water for most of its life, then gets pulled out and takes many, many uneven cyclic load from pedalling and then gets a stationary hammering descending. Not to mention questionable bearing preload setups. Can we have some love for the BB?
  • + 13
 If possible, please try to do an article on fork bushings! They have such an influence on the way that the fork rides, slightly too small or slightly out of misalignment can make a fork feel very sticky and terrible! Here is some food for thought... Why don't mountain bike forks have a dynamic bushing setup where one bushing is attached to the end of the stanchion like most motorbike forks do? Wouldn't be difficult to pull off... all it needs is a thin type 3 anodize tube pressed into the lower legs for a bearing surface in the case of a conventional fork or in the case of the dorado and emerald, a suitably finished surface on the inside of the upper tubes. It would greatly reduce bushing bind under heavy loads that occurs with statically spaced bushings
  • + 10
 @naturaltalent: The reason they don't do this is due to the manufacturing process. MTB lowers are made with a thixo molding process. Just like plastic mold injection but with magnesium. One side effect of thixo molding thicker parts like MRB lowers is an issue called porosity. Once they machine a smooth cylindrical surface for your dynamic bushing to glide on it would expose pits and voids on that surface9not good for bushings or sealing). After sorting the bad parts they would have to make so many molded parts to get a small handful of good parts after machining. They would be very very expensive forks. Certainly doable but not cost effecting to do. Unless you want steel or aluminum lowers from billet and double the weight.
  • + 4
 @naturaltalent: All true but i'd say having that appropriate surface on the inside of the leg would make it CONSIDERABLY more expensive. You need to finely machine, maybe even polish and make hard enough (hard anodising of the stanchions and all...). And given the amount of clearance in my old Pike (first gen, serviced only twice in 7 years, but it still had no bushing clearance after all that time) and the clearance in my 2015 Pike, i can only say they went the cheap and easy route to make the forks lately. There is no other explanation for the clearance than looser tolerances to make the production cheaper (the stanchions don't need to be aligned as well, the diameter of them and the bushings not as tightly controlled, etc.).

And, how do you pull that thing apart? Do you take the axle holder on an MX fork off and pull the stanchion out from the top? You can't do it the normal way since the bushes would get stuck in each other.

On the other hand, the Obsys supposedly has this setup: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a9uIR0er0k
  • + 1
 @naturaltalent:
Ohlins with worlds experience got it bang wrong first time, if they could not put this shit together then who can? Definently a big task for pb as we are all experts here!!!
  • + 4
 @KUNTHER: Sorry, maybe I didn't provide a super clear explanation. Yes, of course the porosity is not ideal for a sliding bushing and raw magnesium is also not suitable for a sliding bushing. What I was getting at is the inside of the lower would be machined to accept a thin tube of aluminum that gets pressed in (that has been anodized the same as a stanchion would be) and then the bushing would slide in the tube, thus providing a suitable sliding surface in the lower leg. I do agree, it would be very expensive in a conventional fork and we are probably not likely to see this ever, just thinking out loud here.

@Primoz Slip fit onto end of stanchion with a retaining collar. Saw that video about the Bos fork, thats what intrigued me to throw this thought out there.
  • + 3
 I have an Igus catalogue on my desk that I flick through probably once a week.
  • + 2
 @KUNTHER: No need to do an article about fork seals/bushings when we have SKF. You either have them or you dont have them yet.
  • + 4
 @adespotoskyli: too be fair ohlins doesn't have the best track record in the mtb world for pulling things off. I would be curious to see fox do it.
  • + 1
 IGUS that could be nice
  • + 1
 yes
  • + 1
 Not necessarily. Currently the bushings are made out of teflon, they are similar to the bushes in shock eyelets. So a steel band with a teflon coating (i suppose, i haven't looked at any THAT closely). Teflon has great friction properties as in the coefficient of sticktion and friction are the same - teflon doesn't have a 'breakaway force'. I suppose Igus would, but Igus would be better when things get dirty. Generally everything is done to keep the insides of the forks smooth.

@naturaltalent point there, but... How would you remove the retaining collar? I can see it working with an upside down fork, where you open it up at the top, remove the lower's bushing and pull the lower out of the uppers. What about with a classical fork, that's closed off at the bottom?
  • + 78
 When will @mikelevy report on the real issues? Like the fact that Wakidesigns is Nino Shurter’s secret troll account.
  • + 9
 If only Pinkbike did a 'comment of the day' ????
  • + 19
 Except Nino is on Eagle and Waki insists that it's for sissies. Double bluff?
  • + 5
 @BenPea: or ultimate troll. Hmmm
  • + 6
 Unless he types these comments on the turbo trianer, there is no chance!
  • + 41
 "Pinion has a new shifter! It's not a trigger shifter!" The end. Cool story Mike!
  • + 4
 I am so triggered I lost grip of reality.
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: it’s really grinding my gears that they can’t find a solution to this gripping issue
  • + 18
 Won't be pulling the trigger on a Pinion any time soon then...
  • + 4
 An e-shifting Pinion would be the only motor welcome on my bike.
  • + 5
 I hate grip shiters. Had a pair in the early 90's. After a rowdy descent you accidentally shifted a few times and you found this out on your first pedal stoke to top tube nut rack. Never again. Fuk that.
  • - 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 5, 2018 at 13:35) (Below Threshold)
 @Boardlife69: they need to upshift their perspective
  • + 5
 @Boardlife69: big fan of gripshift in the 90's here, never had that problem.
The only flaw to me was grip in the mud
  • + 2
 @ismasan: Agreed. I ran XO gripshifts right up till a couple years ago. I never had a problem with accidental shifting. In fact the shifts had a much more satisfying "click" with the higher groupos. I'm back to XTR triggers and they have their own perks. I seem to be over the problem of breaking off shifter pods with my knees, so my Grip Shift preference has subsided.
  • + 2
 Fuck pinion then. Shimano already has a trigger shifter that works awesome on the alfine and is wayyyy cheaper. Zerode need to go back to that and make one in aluminium. Then all we need is a disc brake track hub to get rid of the engagement issue.
  • + 6
 @choppertank3e: that’s like... just your pinion man
  • + 2
 Yes so much about Pinion that dont make sence, maybe in an other 20years we will get something that can compete with Derailuar, until then whos funding r&d?
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: it gets the "thumbs up" from me
  • + 1
 Aftermarket trigger/thumb shifters are on the way from Cinq, prototypes were on display at Eurobike 2018 -

www.cyclingabout.com/eurobike-2018-bicycle-touring-bikepacking-adventure
  • + 20
 I'm not so sure you want to be engraving your structural frame tubes. #stressrisers
  • + 3
 After a local rider here had the headtube snap clean off his 8yo Ti bike last week I've been looking online at all the Ti frame expensive stress crack horror stories. Hell no. You can paint my plastic bike with all the fancy designs you like. Save the titanium for that future collarbone plate.
  • + 16
 300 dollars for Jockey Wheels? They better come with a bottle mount for that.
  • + 1
 ugh yeah steep man. It seems like a nice upgrade tho as the actual jockey wheels seem kind of chinsy on stock
  • + 11
 For that price I would want them to come with a mech
  • + 3
 some idiots call them pulley wheels.

for more $ you can buy these:

www.chainreactioncycles.com/ca/en/ceramicspeed-titanium-pulley-wheels-coated/rp-prod144651
  • + 6
 @rexluthor: the reviews are funny
  • + 5
 @rexluthor: Those Ti wheels say they are "probably" the best pulley wheels in the world. You would think at that price point they would be more confident.
  • + 2
 The ceramic bearing cable roller is an excellent thumb-watts-gained-per-dollar-spent investment.
  • + 7
 I have just under a thousand miles on a magnetic hub system like Foss, but it’s not identical. I ordered a prototype hub from ECC-Tech factory (they cost $62/pair for MOQ 30) and was surprised to see 72 POE, incredibly robust pawls, lightweight CNC machining, Japanese bearings, threaded reinforced thru axle shafts, and anti-bite on the freehub—impressive and original attention to detail. The hubs are rock solid and have required no maintenance. If I had 30*62 dollars sitting around I’d be in for another pair. They are analogous to P321 hubs my friend has, but louder (unfortunately imo).

I am posting here simply because most riders don’t realize how cheap good hubs actually are, or how easy it is to rebrand this stuff and mark it up ridiculously.
  • + 1
 Whats the hubset weigh?

Thanks!
  • + 3
 30*62 dollars = 1850$ That's a lot of money for a 2nd pair of hubs.
  • + 1
 @redmr2man: 161g front, 284g rear HG.

@mikelevy would love the cutout hub in their Alibaba ad video showing the mechanism at work:

www.alibaba.com/product-detail/New-ECC-wholesale-mtb-bicycle-hubs_60788379287.html
  • + 1
 @zdebruine: No mechanism in work, but a couple of cutouts:

sc01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1a1T9zeySBuNjy1zdq6xPxFXaR/ECC-supply-high-end-alloy-MTB-hubs.jpg

sc01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1kiGSq2uSBuNkHFqDq6xfhVXax/ECC-supply-high-end-alloy-MTB-hubs.jpg

Shot them a message as I'm curious if they have anything with 150/110 spacing for 12/20 thru axles. Doubtful but intrigued none the less
  • + 1
 Hmm. Might be worth trying. Though I am weary of things from Ali Express
  • + 2
 The links show a hub with 24 teeth, how did you get the 72POE?

Model name E-901

Engagement gear teeth 24 teeth

I see the E618 hubs have 6 pawls and 72POE but there's no mention of the magnetic freehub
  • + 1
 72 POE so 5 degrees of take up?

Pretty cool looking hubs though.
  • + 2
 @hbar314: I don't think their ad specs are correct. Either that or my prototype was different than production, which I doubt.

They also make a very reliable leaf-spring based mechanism (much like Hope) which I use on all my bikes.

Unfortunately it's an MOQ of 30, but I was thinking of starting a thread on MTBR and doing a kickstarter group order.
  • + 1
 @zdebruine: The magnetic start ratchet says MOQ of 2 so that's not a huge deal.

How many degrees of take up are you seeing on that hub?
  • + 1
 So basically koozer, which was junk.
  • + 8
 A lot of high priced carbon frames deserved a good looking badge but they don't even care!! Gone are the days when a frame had soul and was made with love.
  • + 3
 Santa Cruz, for example - unworthy badge. It's cool they made BSA aka Birmingham Small Arms. Haven't seen a BSA bike since around 1955
  • + 8
 I love a good bush
  • + 4
 You say that now.
  • + 6
 @alexsin: i prefer full on Barbie
  • + 1
 Comment
  • + 3
 @panzer103: Literally laughed out loud. :-D
  • + 0
 I bought a pound of Yoko Onos bush and smoke it like Afghan weed. Take a while to kick in but when it does...
  • + 2
 Those Ruffian's are pointless. A handlebar with heat shrink for a grip is still way too large a diameter for my daughters hands. Sure they can grip a normal grip but reach a brake lever too? No chance.
  • + 1
 Those head badges,when are the big brand start to do them again but with good solid glue?ellsworth used to have them and the lettering was beautiful to ,but now, no no senor ,brands are loosing their identity,but that just my tought
  • + 3
 you know what that expensive, thin, titanium tube with stress uniformly distributed around it needs?

bits milling out of it.
  • + 1
 I so want Pinion to succeed but why work towards a one shifter approach with two cables? Why not a left (down-shift) and right (up-shift) option for those who prefer using their thumbs? Make them Shimano and Sram compatible and you may get a few more takers.

Maybe.
  • + 2
 Pretty sure I read somewhere that someone had managed to use a Rohloff trigger shifter on a pinion gearbox. It makes sense, if Rohloff can do it for a similar system (albeit in a hub) why can't pinion...?
  • + 2
 The proper orientation of that Pinion shifter is at 12 o'clock so it looks like a dirt bike throttle. How this is missed is shameful. Know your roots.
  • + 3
 That new twisty shifty thingy looks pretty well refined and thought out. I wonder if it'll fit my singlespeed?
  • + 1
 When I see things like those 'helmets' (if can call them that) I can't help but think who would waste their time on such nonsense and who the hell would ever buy it. Like Mike said 'good luck and godspeed' indeed.
  • + 1
 Clearly those are strictly for when you are riding an Eroica retro ride, and not for any other time.
  • + 2
 I will never buy a bike without a proper headtube badge. It complements my extensive collection of hats with feathers in them.
  • + 1
 I have a slight obsession with the Deviate Guide, a UK designed bike with a Pinion box. They mentioned recently that they are working on a trigger shifter. Will be interesting to see what they come up with...
  • + 1
 How has Pinion not figured out/released a trigger shifter yet? Noone will truly care that much about the Pinions till they sort that out
  • + 3
 I'm not sure how this Foss hub works.
  • + 1
 Here you go (if you're good at reading patent applications): www.patentsencyclopedia.com/app/20160052337
  • + 2
 Effigear is doing a trigger shifter for their gearboxes. Since 2015, which in bike years is like a hundred human years
  • + 2
 what about tout terrain / cinq5, I thought i had seen that they were making a pinion trigger shifter...
  • + 2
 Those helmets look utterly ridiculous
  • + 1
 They are inspired by russian tank crew helmets for sure! The point is those tank helmets looks better in my opinion.
  • + 2
 Yes Those helmets would have been cuting edge 40 years ago?
  • + 2
 Are those Enduro Bearings enduro specific?
  • + 1
 No they are strictly for pump track use
  • + 1
 how about some 140 mm lock ons odi?
Preferably Ruffians and Cross Trainers...
  • + 1
 Ceramic bearings for your Eagle really? That derailleur just became $600 Eek do you really need them?
  • + 1
 Unless your maybe into boxing, and folk hit you too much upside ya head I cant see the glorified hairnets catching on much.
  • - 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 5, 2018 at 9:46) (Below Threshold)
 What do you mean. It’s a genuine Down Country chic. Will go nicely woth Brooks saddle with integrated storage.
  • + 1
 Do these Foss hubs allow the rear wheel to spin backwards without having to pedal backwards? Or whats the deal with those?
  • + 1
 Can you please put the brand/product names in here (i.e. for the helmet)? Otherwise I don't know how to look them up.
  • + 1
 Make a wireless trigger shifter, then rotate the cables enclosed at the gearbox.
  • + 1
 There’s to many intelligent people on here for me!
  • + 1
 It's magpies that like shiny stuff not crows. Just saying.
  • + 1
 No one here has issues with engraving a frame?
  • + 1
 Village People helmets. They need to be matched with enduro chaps
  • + 1
 What splendidly ugly pedals.
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