Randoms: A Bar / Tire Plug, MTB Tech for the Gravel World, an E-Commuter With No Seat Tube - Taipei Cycle Online 2021

Mar 9, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  
Taipei Cycle Online is the interactive digital version of this year’s cancelled Taipei Cycle Show. The online version is running for most of March, and mainly caters to the bike industry rather than consumers. Still, the expo has plenty of good, bad, and just plain odd. Last week’s ‘Randoms’ article from Taipei Cycle Online is available here.




Gogoro Eeyo

This urban e-commuter is strange and sleek. Made by Gogoro, a Taiwanese company that primarily makes electric scooters, the Eeyo is powered by what the company calls it Smartwheel, which incorporates a motor, battery, and sensors into a disc on the rear wheel. The bike is controlled by a smartphone or Apple Watch app and has an auto-locking feature that locks the rear wheel to impede theft.

Ultra-Short Travel Fork for Gravel


Suntour’s GVX 700C ultra-short travel fork was on display as an option for gravel riders who want a bit of suspension with a minimal weight and efficiency penalty. Like dropper posts on XC bikes and disc brakes on road bikes, this fork is an example of mountain bike technology becoming less prohibitively heavy, even for gram counters. It has 32mm stanchions and is available with 40mm, 50mm, or 60mm of travel.

FSA Flowtron 27.2 Dropper Post


Similarly, FSA has introduced a 27.2 mm option for its Flowtron dropper post, meaning that it is compatible with many drop bar bikes. The post has two options for lever style: one that is meant for flat MTB bars and one that is designed for gravel or cyclocross drop bars. It’s likely that we will see more 27.2 dropper posts on the market in coming years. The drop bar version is part of FSA's new AGX product line, which includes handlebars, wheels, and other products for gravel bikes that blur the lines between mountain and road technology.


Response Handlebar Plug Repair Tool


Taiwanese company Response has introduced yet another nifty repair solution to the market. This tire plug is reminiscent of the Genuine Innovations' bacon plugs, but the tool doubles as a handlebar plug.


94 Comments

  • 53 1
 You know things have gotten better when a gravel fork has the same diameter stanchions as the 140mm Fox fork that came on my Giant Trance trail bike back in 2016.
  • 12 0
 As a mountain biker, I'm a (not totally convinced) casual gravel rider who likes the fact of riding something simple, minimalistic, rigid steel frame and so on...

On the other hand, some gravel riders are progressively following the trend that make their bikes more and more complicated with suspended forks, dropper posts... giving them some good reasons to buy a mountain bike at the end when they will figure out that a gravel bike does a bit but not that much, especially without all-terrain skills.
  • 35 0
 @danstonQ: I love people building ultra specific bikes that make no sense to anyone but the rider. Their custom build may not be my cup of tea, but part of the cool factor is seeing what nobody else does.
  • 6 0
 The Boxxer used to have the same diameter stanchions up until 2009
  • 16 1
 @danstonQ: Nah, I'd love a gravel bike with this fork and a dropper post, just add some flat 760mm bars, single ring upfront, 2.1 tyres, maybe even some suspension out back and you have a perfect gravel bike...
  • 2 0
 I quite like the concept of this fork. Short travel, no rebound adjust to save cost and reduce complexity (you dont need that for gravel anyway), proper size brake mounts, integrated fender, through axle and suntour is one of the few manufacturers that actually encourages riders to service their own forks.

The execution seems lackluster though. At nearly 500€ it costs the same as a Rockshox Yari and 1725g makes it as heavy as a Fox 34.

If I had a gravel bike, I would concider buying this, if they shaved off 150€ or 400g.
  • 1 0
 Edit: I overlooked the rebound adjustment
  • 1 0
 @endoplasmicreticulum: Dead on correct. Also, no boost spacing, which is a no go since my gravel bike has boost and I already own the wheels. I could swap my CX wheel into the fork, but then I may as well use my CX bike, but it has an uncomfortably steep head angle for some of the stuff I ride on my gravel bike, plus I prefer flat bars.
  • 4 0
 @ClaytonMarkin: www.pinkbike.com/photo/18704692 Bike still gets a lot of jokes from my mates but one of my favourite bikes I have
  • 2 0
 @leecozens: The bars are a bit weird, but other then that, this looks like my dream gravel bike. It even has proper sized brake rotors.
  • 40 13
 we really gotta stop supporting so much overseas production if we want any sort of economic autonomy. otherwise one grain of sand into the industry and we're all waiting 8 months for parts
  • 22 0
 I mean a couple companies are starting to do it, like We Are One, and Guerilla Gravity. Hopefully we can get some domestically made drivetrains, brakes, and suspension too.
  • 19 6
 I would argue the opposite. The bike supply chain is messed up because most of the manufacturing is in one or two countries. This same thing would have happened if you had domestic only production. A really robust supply chain will not have just one country in the supply chain but many.
  • 23 9
 Are you comparing the current pandemic to a grain of sand?
  • 5 2
 @p0zi: ya but my point is that the supply chain is currently almost non existent domestically, so even small tariffs and severe weather can severely impact the availability of goods. Not even going to get into what a clusterf*ck getting gear from Asia during CNY is...
  • 4 1
 @trillot: nope, but just pointing out that even before COVID we had all sorts of sourcing issues in the industry that were caused by a myriad of problems, most of them could have been less impactful if the sources for raw materials or components were somewhat domestic. otherwise adverse weather, differing global trade policies, and higher demand all make it harder for customers on the other side of the globe to get parts.
It's just common sense economically really, if you have a mine thats giving you gold, you're going to have an easier time getting gold out of it when it's right by your house vs on the other side of the country.
  • 11 0
 Are you willing to pay more for parts? Most people are not even willing to buy from their local shop when they can save some money going to an on-line parts place. Supply chains are tuned for cost. A pandemic like C-19 is extremely rare. If you try to plan for every once in a 20-50 year disaster your costs will make you completely uncompetitive. I work in manufacturing and finding alternative suppliers and qualifying them is time consuming and expensive. I've been burned by "equivalent" standard parts like bearings that really did not last as long or work as well as others.
  • 2 3
 @jonemyers: me? ya sure. I know delayed gratification is a hard pill to swallow for most but it becomes essential as you age. And honestly the short term pains of higher priced luxury goods is pretty easy to bare compared to the long term pains of having complete dependency on foreign economies. nobody said we should be planning for viral outbreaks. I work in supply chain and logistics so I get it shopping for new suppliers is tedious, but that just proves my point that if you had suppliers in your home area, wouldn't that be preferable for your business compared to constantly having to schedule freight and oversea logistics?
  • 2 0
 @TotalAmateur: agreed but I stand by the supply chain theory that to obtain a widget the supply chain for that widget should be multifaceted and come from many locations.

If that ore mine down the street that I rely on is disrupted (strike, poor management, local policy) I need to have a total equivalent that I am concurrently using so it may pick up the slack.

I maintain strong supply chain management is not about keeping it in your backyard. It is about sourcing from a portfolio and managing it through analytics and forecasting.

And really the issue we are in now for bikes is more an effect of bike companies managing risk one year ago and not predicting their industry would be a heavy winner in this but expecting to lose heavy.
  • 5 0
 @p0zi: Im not arguing any of that, I'm just saying that if you have a multi faceted supply chain that relies on domestic or somewhat more easily accessible suppliers, that will probably be a more reliable and efficient chain than one that is based on procuring ever aspect of production overseas.

I agree with everything you're saying but it doesn't change the fact that with a greater distance to travel/commute freight, as well as differing time changes, port of entry policies, and economic sanctions, you are MORE at risk for disruption than if the supply chain was consisting of several viable options all within your area.

Per example, if I want to source low cost aluminum for wheels, why would I consider someone in Taiwan offering something that I can get domestically, likely sooner, for the same price? I get it that this isn't the case right now, but people need to understand that by supporting outsourcing to China, India, Mexico, you're also supporting their current labor and environmental practices/laws, which in most cases are insanely f*cked.

As altruistic as this site likes to pretend they are, most of the "do gooders" who claim to want a better world are actively keeping the shitty status quo in check by vehemently opposing tariffs and economic sanctions, and continuing to support countries with undeveloped economies, environmental agencies, and labor laws, so that they can have cheaper toys.
  • 6 0
 @TotalAmateur: The fact that you are commenting here on Pinkbike says a lot about the type of biker you are. Most people aren't on Pinkbike and most people wouldn't pay more for parts made closer to home if amazon can sell it for less and deliver it next day. I'm not advocating for that, just noting the reality of the situation.
  • 5 0
 @Spencermon: well I can't argue with any of that, great points. f*ck Amazon. I was told my an old econ professor that the only way to make your presence felt is by voting with your dollar and your attention. Hence I don't do business with the likes of amazon nor do I watch sellout content.
  • 8 2
 And to stop supporting a Chinese gov't that works against the rest of the world in every other way.
  • 3 0
 @Spencermon: in Canada I always go to Amazon.ca to get a good laugh about how much they charge for pretty much everything. Different world just north of the border
  • 8 0
 Move all manufacturing to Texas. What could possibly go wrong.
  • 2 0
 @p0zi: I am no climate doomist, but having the production of everything spread out over the entire planet is both innefficient, as well as costly for shipping. for the rest of our life, container ships will burn bunker oil. the less we are shipping every screw, bolt, gasket and motor from the corners of the earth, the more efficient the system can be. The devil is in the details, but cheap addititive manufacturing, making bulk parts near the raw materials and assembly of goods as close to the consumer as possible is the way forward.
  • 5 2
 @ACree: I find the cognitive dissonance of people that (rightly) think the CCP is evil and works against the rest of the world, but won't talk about the cause and exacerbation of covid because it's anti-china and maybe waycist, f*cking hilarious. not saying you are one of them. but you will get upvotes for your comment, but if you lay blame at china's door for covid, you will get downvoted to beijing...
  • 1 0
 Also I wonder how many frame factories there are in Taiwan, how many fork factories, etc... Cuz when demand doubles, if you have only a handful of factories producing for everyone, they can't cope with increase, they just can't double their capacity overnight, while if you have hundreds of them, each can increase its production a bit to compensate, that's much more doable. Part of the explanation for the price increase in Commencal's email was the cost of empty cargo ships anchored in harbor waiting for a free place to load. That shows how fragile and dumb the system is, always on the verge of cracking. If the production was decentralized, you wouldn't have this situation. Yeah sure you lose in economy of scale and blablablah, but maybe we have to stop buying just a price and think more about the use, the skills, the workers, the necessity, etc.
  • 1 0
 @conoat: that's a great point too.
  • 2 0
 @conoat: anyone who supports the CCP is either pro genocide, or just f*cking ignorant. I also think it's hilarious that the people who always emphasize compassion and humanity, support a country that eats practically any animal no matter if it's almost extinct, and also brutally subjugate and murder it's citizens en masse.


anyone who supports the CCP is an idiot or an evil a*shole, end of story.
  • 3 0
 @ACree: Hence f*ck the NBA, f*ck Disney, f*ck Marvel, f*ck Biden, and f*ck anyone who is pushing this "support the chinese as they destroy the lives of innocents or you're racist and anti progress" narrative.
  • 1 1
 @Will-narayan: Moving goal post argument. How will 100's of factories tuned to meet current demand handle doubling capacity any better than 1 factory tuned to meet current demand? Are those 100 factories sitting 50% empty all the time? The big factory can also sit 50% empty if they want. And the flip side of the Commencal price increase is it shows how efficient the system is. They could have also started out with higher prices to account for temporary shipping costs (which can also happen with ground and air btw) but they left that money in riders pockets.

I'm all for a better system though so if you think yours works, keep at it. Just make sure your logic is consistent and unbiased so we can actually get somewhere.
  • 1 0
 Start your bike company... just producing one bike in USA will cost you 10k$ then selling it in LBS for 24k$, to make some profit on both ends.
After 3months you will beg Taiwan company to sell you one fullsus frame for little money, just to put your sticker on. Hand build in US by the cheepest supplier in Taiwan...
or you can be dentist.
  • 1 0
 @Sardine: Indeed, you're mathematically right, but I'd be very surprised if that translated as mathematically in the real world.

For instance I guess hundreds of factories spread around having to hire a couple more employees is much more possible than 1 giant factory having to hire the same total load of employees.

It's like carrying a massive load with one huge chain or many smaller ones, if one link brakes, the 2nd solution is much more resilient, the 1st one isn't.

Efficient, maybe, but the more efficient, the less resilient. As I said, we have to stop buying a price and look at what's behind.
  • 2 0
 @UncleSpec: And that's the problem. That means one can't get a bike crafted by a fellow citizen ?
Without overseas production we can't just ride ? How did we do before full globalization ?
That's probably why it was built tough, to last, and why we used to repair things rather than throw them away.
And it's not just the frame, what if all components were made locally, what would be the total cost of a bike ?

Well in fact I'm not sure, an Intend fork will cost you 2000 but it's made one by one, if Intend were to increase production but still produce locally maybe it could reach more affordable prices.
Same for Trickstuff brakes.
With local production we only have the high grade product left, we've lost track of what the "in-between", locally mass-produced price would be, but it was all over just 30 years ago.
When I was a kid, toy cars were still made locally, now they've moved the production overseas, are they any cheaper ? I'm not sure.

Because else, the current world is but a mirage, that will last as long as cheap oil allows us to buy overseas mass produced things, then it will disappear.
  • 2 0
 @Will-narayan: cheap oil, at current usage globally, will last a few hundred more years(if more isn't discovered/cheaper ways to extra the expensive stuff aren't developed). the Idea of "peak oil" has been roundly debunked. I mean, the Dakotas contain more oil than Saudi Arabia does. If left unfettered(highly unlikely to not going to f*cking happen) capitalism and free market innovation would likely develop even cheaper forms of power in the interim couple centuries.
  • 1 0
 @conoat: Not sure where you get this datas from. I'm no expert but wikipedia says the bakken formation in Dakota has an estimated recoverable oil of 7.4 to 18 billions barrel. 7.4 being the latest one.
At 100 millions barrel / day of world consumption, well it's about 74 days for this field.
Also the giant Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia has an estimated 88-104 billion barrels, so initially much more than Dakota, though it supposedly peaked in 2005.
If Dakota has more oil with 74 days than Saudi Arabia, we're in some serious shit.

Also IEA has said conventionnal oil peaked in 2005.
And while there may be a lot of non-conventional oil (fracking, tar sands) it doesn't mean it's worth it as it only becomes worth it when the barrel price is high enough, but then if barrel price gets too high it's not worth anymore as no one can afford it anyway.
And the peak of non-conventionnal oil may be for this decade.

So I agree the "peak" won't be as we imagined first, it'll be more like a plateau or top of a hill, then will go down.

Also no matter what we do, burning more oil means for CO2, more climate change. A very grim equation.

Also capitalism and free market have always ignored the laws of physics (infinite growth) so I wouldn't trust "them" to sort my future.

"capitalism and free market innovation would likely develop even cheaper forms of power"
But what if they don't ?
What if oil and coal are a single occurrence in the history of the earth (which it seems to be) and we don't ever find something remotely close to their energy output ?
  • 2 0
 @Will-narayan: did you read what I wrote or.....?

"(if more isn't discovered/cheaper ways to extra(ct) the expensive stuff aren't developed)"

"What if oil and coal are a single occurrence in the history of the earth (which it seems to be) and we don't ever find something remotely close to their energy output ?"

Oil and Coal are being produced as I type this. It simply isn't a static, one time thing. it's a continuous process. Are we currently using it faster than it is created? likely.

also, we already have a source of energy thousands of orders of magnitude more powerful than all the oil on the planet. Just need to figure a cheap way to harness it. remember, Oil and Coal have been known for thousands of years, but only in the last 200 have we figured out how to harness it on an industrial level.
  • 2 0
 @conoat: Yeah I read, but you're basing your future and that of humanity on "ifs", "justs" and "likelies".

What if more ISN'T discovered ? We may have looked about everywhere but the poles by now.
What if we DON'T find cheaper ways to extract the expensive stuff ? If the EROI is just never worth it ?

"Oil and Coal are being produced as I type this. It simply isn't a static, one time thing. it's a continuous process. Are we currently using it faster than it is created? likely."
Likely ? That's one likely that I agree with, but I would go with absolutely. Oil and coal are considered "fossil" because that's what they are. What we are using was produced for the most part (99.99% ?) millions of years ago. "I gotta fil the tank, I'll be there in 85 millions years, see ya!"

And as I said, it's still more CO2 and so more climate f*ck up.

What's the source of energy you're talking about ? Sun ? Wind ? Seems to me we're not quite there yet.
What living beings live thanks to the sun ? Plants, with photosynthesis, but it's pretty slow. "I'm charging my e-bike, see you in 2 centuries".
  • 3 0
 @Will-narayan: I know you guys aren't on the same page but this has been a great discussion lol
  • 28 6
 Even though it’s an ebike, I still appreciate how beautiful that gogoro eeyo is. Congrats design team!
  • 1 1
 agreed!
  • 5 0
 and a ridiculously stupid design. there is a reason the double diamond it the most common bike design. its easy, light and stiff. if you take away the middle beam you end up with two flexy beams. its like leaving the middle part out of an i beam and trying to construct a house with it
  • 2 0
 @Bloodshot0: Yeah, but not really. Down tubes have a large enough cross section to take the majority of the loads in pedalling. You can then engineer the top tube and seat stays to give whatever kind of saddle feel you like. We're not talking about performance race bikes in the case of the gogoro, so why not engineer in loads of comfort?
  • 3 0
 @Bloodshot0: First, its stiff carbon, so there will be not much flex. And even if there's some flex - nice! Kind of suspension. The drawback I see is - you nearly can't adjust the seat post.
  • 1 0
 @yoobee: carbon is not magic. There is no stiff carbon, just uni directional carbon. But you need different layup for twisting too.
You pretty much waste all the benifits for the "unique" design, just to end up with a flexi and heavy, yet expensive bike.
Just take a look at AL woman city bikes and you see how much material you need to use a beam construction compared to triangles.
  • 23 1
 ready for gravelduro?
  • 14 0
 Next stop, downgravel!
  • 7 0
 Nope. I have NRX-E air fork on my commuter. Suntour should provide in specs both vertical and horizontal travel for these things.
  • 1 0
 @Fmxexo: down gravel sounds like a sick carnage sport actually
  • 2 0
 Evil Chamois Hagar + GVX fork would be one badass downgravel bike.
  • 1 0
 @me2menow: Spirit of DH racing from '92 reborn as down gravel, somebody make it happen!
  • 2 0
 It's called Grinduro. And they have events worldwide.
grinduro.com
  • 3 0
 @laksboy: Grinduro is not steep enough.

To do Downgravel properly, people want to see action like this:

Downhill 90 er Jahre (This vid always cheers me up.)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzZkKE9Z35g
  • 1 0
 @laksboy: too much pedaling, not enough shoulder bumping
  • 1 0
 @winko: mass start only
  • 1 0
 @Fmxexo: Downgravel is the whole point of gravel in my opinion!
  • 16 0
 So Response gets an award for ripping off the design of the Sahmurai SWORD tubeless repair kit? Disgusting!
www.sahmurai-sword.de
  • 4 0
 Thanks for making this comment. Been a fan of Sahmuri-sword plugs since 2015. Way before other manufacturers figured it out. This style of tire plug is faster than anything else and seals just as good. Race worthy.
  • 2 0
 Another Sahmuri Sword fan here. The Sahmuri Sword comes with a reamer as well as the plug tool. I've used lots of these bacon-strip plug tools and the Sahmuri is the best-executed design. I'm going to buy another one, to support the guy who didn't just rip off a design.
  • 9 0
 Does it make me a bad person to want a 60mm fork on a drop bar throwback MTB with that 27.2 dropper? Tanwall tires and fade paintjob of course.....if only there was a way to get a disc rear wheel too....
  • 3 0
 Your retro bike is probably Cromoly, so you can weld post mounts onto it easy peasy!
  • 1 0
 Yes
  • 3 0
 @RadBartTaylor: Get a buddy to do the same thing and film a throwback version of 90’s Mtb Masters!!!
  • 6 0
 I have a serious question... why do people even want suspension on a gravel bike? Isn't the point to a gravel bike just to be a more capable road bike
  • 1 0
 Thats like calling an enduro bike a "more capable XC bike"

Gravel bikes are for gravel, I know the industry keeps pushing them as "fun on boring trails" they aren't. If you ride on gravel trails and ride a gravel bike you will have a good time, because that's what they are for. It isnt road, it isnt mtb.
  • 1 0
 "gravel" is a varied and undefined as "trail" is. It ranges from smooth polished dirt to super chunky golf ball sized stones with everything in between. For some types of gravel riding or racing, having suspension might be kind of nice, especially 50+ miles into a huge ride.
  • 2 0
 @VtVolk: 50 miles into a gravel ride you might also realize you haven't touched your dropper, and that its extra weight.
Im a believer that if you want suspension and a dropper, then you probably want an xc bike. Once you get into 2" tires and moving parts you start getting into xc weight anyway, now you have curly bars on an mtb.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: I’m 100% with you. I wouldn’t want 2 inch tires, a dropper, or suspension on my gravel bike. Then again I don’t race and the dirt I seek out is nothing some thicker bar tape can’t smooth out.
  • 4 0
 I can handle weight on my mountain bike, I know ill use it on the way down. On my touring/cross/ gravel bike I absolutely want everything as light as possible without sacrificing strength. Dropper posts and suspension do not fit that role.
  • 6 1
 Does the Gogoro work with any batter or do I need to use a specific brand like Bisquick?
  • 6 0
 I checked the website and it sounds like it also works with Krusteaz and Hungry Jack. Cross platform compatibility is the future of batter powered bikes.
  • 3 0
 @conv3rt: Looks like they edited it. Say "edited it" 3 times fast.
  • 2 0
 @rallyimprezive: shame. I was looking forward to more batter and dough jokes. Bob Loblaw 3x fast is the best I can do.
  • 2 0
 @conv3rt: maple syrup as chain lube.
  • 2 0
 @whistlerbound: highly viscous while also being highly delicious.
  • 2 0
 Is it just me or does the rear axle look off centre on the hub of the ebike? I have visions of the saddle rising and falling faster and faster as it picks up speed.
  • 2 0
 Ummmm just buy a lightweight XC bike and put some skinny tires on surely?? Gravel bikes are evolving slowly into XC bikes at this point lol.
  • 1 0
 I keep thinking of turning my old school steel 29er HT into a gavel bike - 2.1s, drop bars, rigid fork.... but then I look over at my cross bike..... and go about my business......
  • 3 0
 That's a bouncy looking bike
  • 1 0
 Suspension is better on any bike. You realize how chopped up and rough roads are when you ride a road bike with tiny tires and 100+psi.
  • 3 0
 nobody rides tires at 100+ psi anymore.
  • 1 0
 @laksboy: What psi then? I literally haven't really ridden on a road bike for years and years.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: on my actual road bike with relatively skinny 25c tires, I'm at ~90/95 fr/rr as a 170 lb person. Almost no one uses 21 or 23c tires anymore which did require 100+ psi. On my mtb I roll 16/18ish w/cushcore, never over 20. On an actual gravel bike with ~50c tires I hear they're rolling around 50 psi depending on tire & terrain.
  • 2 0
 Giant has made tire repair handle bar plugs for a few years now…
  • 3 0
 His name is Grogu.
  • 2 1
 edit...erase...e-hate....erase
  • 3 3
 Looks like a session? Not sure if the comment is applicable just wanna be cool and get likes.
  • 2 0
 Everybody needs love...
  • 1 0
 I'm patiently awaiting Stan's version of their hidden tubeless repair kit.
  • 4 4
 that e bike with no seat tube looks amazing
  • 2 0
 I have a Samsung no werkie
  • 1 0
 Stick a stealth dropper post in it and praise the devil

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