Randoms From the VR Taipei Cycle Show 2020

May 27, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  

If someone said we could go the Taipei Show without the jet lag, long days and bowel-troubling lunches at Mos Burger, we'd normally jump to it without a second thought. The show may have been cancelled this year, but rather than sack it off completely, the organisers have still put on a VR version to display the winners of the World Design Guide Awards that they hand out each year. This means you can tour around rooms including 'Gold Award Winners', 'Bikes and E-Bikes', 'Smart Service' and 'Parts and Components' to check out some of the interesting bits and pieces on display from the comfort of your kitchen table.

We've collected some of our favourite bits from the VR show below, but if you'd rather go around at your own pace, click here.

Qbicle Flat Pack Bike Box

Anyone who regularly travels with a bike knows that it can be a pain to find a constant source of bike boxes or find somewhere to store a bulky bike bag when it's not in use. Qbicle's Flat pack bike box could be a solution to that, as it looks like it will last longer than a bike box but can also be packed away flat after use and stored away. The weight of the box is 3kg, and you can add a set of wheels that brings it up to 4kg; the dimensions of the box stored away are 78x76x6. There's a video of the previous version of the box being assembled below:

Zeno's Funky Brake Pads

Brake pads with added cooling fins are nothing new, we've seen options from Kool Stop and even Shimano themselves but these new Supercool options from Keno are the most over-the-top solution that we've come across. The idea is that some of the heat from the pads will dissipate through the fins and the more surface area you have, the greater the dissipation. This should keep the temperature of the brakes lower and prevent brake fade.

Zeno's thermal imaging showing standard pads (left) vs Supercool pads (right)

Zeno have pad options for Formula, Magura, SRAM and Tektro and a pair of pads costs $18.48. More info, here.

Jagwire Elite Bleed Kit

Jagwire's latest tool is a universal bleed kit with separate kits for DOT fluid and mineral oil systems. The kit includes syringes, 1/4 turn valves, straight and 90-degree clips and bleed blocks for most popular 2-piston and 4-piston brake calipers.

Ridea's Expanding Gecko Grip Bottom Bracket

You don't have to stick around long in the Pinkbike comment section to find some complaints about Press Fit bottom brackets. It's easy to understand why when their tight tolerances of up to 0.05mm can lead to creaking if the shell they are pressed into is slightly off. Ridea 6CBB Gecko Grip claims it will be the solution to the problem with an installation similar to threaded BBs that adapts to the shell shape without risking any damage to it. As you thread the BB, the Geck Grip ring expands, presses against the frame and locks the cup, allowing the ceramic bearings to move smoothly alongside your crankset. Gecko Grip claim that the BB shell suffers less mechanical stress while the BB is installed and its tight connection eliminates creaks. The BB is made from carbon and weighs 60 grams, it is for use on BB86 / BB92 frames. A video of one being installed is below:

Northwave's Winter XC Shoe

Northwave's new Magma Core XC shoe claims to be the first that uses Primaloft to keep your ankle and lower leg dry and warm in winter conditions. The shoe is due to be released later this year and will also feature Northwave's Boa-esque SLW2 tightening system and a carbon-reinforced Jaws sole with a stiffness index of 8.0.

Outbraker's Brake "Power Booster"

This isn't the first time we've covered Outbraker at the Taipei show, and while we've previously looked at their ABS systems that limit the power of your brakes, this time they're back with a product they claim boosts their power instead. The Brake Power Booster is an extra reservoir that sits next to your lever and you can change its size using a dial on top. We think the name is a bit misleading, as it will only move your pistons in and out, closer or further away from the disc, so while it may feel like you have more power as you squeeze the lever, you're only really feeling an earlier bite point. This could work for riders who aren’t satisfied with the amount of lever throw they have, but we don't see it being much more use than that.


  • 87 0
 that scamming brake pad is so efficient, it cools down the whole room.
  • 8 2
 Yea, the image is kinda useless. The infrared thermometer temps are more valuable.
  • 4 0
 I was just gonna say that, looks like the ambient temperature is way colder!
  • 24 22
 Greta is.going to fully endorse this product to help solve global warming
  • 7 4
 @onemind123: You have to buy the green version as it look like a tree.
  • 1 1
 Only 2 degrees different. The ta is the air temperature. The colors don't really mean anything. More of a scale guide. Look at the x and the m and the ta.
  • 1 0
 Quote from their web site. "Spercool have many different type for mainly brake type on market". Must have used google translate
  • 1 0
 please note that those scans are from 2015 Smile (or they just saving on license fee Smile )
  • 3 3
 Brake pad serving as multitool and bottle opener - sign me in!
  • 38 0
 Well it’s no pond beaver is it....
  • 60 8
 nor a Dick Pound
  • 3 0
 @dtax: RIP to our lord and savior
  • 6 0
 Don't worry they will drag this out for months too
  • 34 6
 Are you really trying to sell me winter shoes in May?
  • 29 2
 for the Aussies and Kiwis it makes sense
  • 6 0
 May means winter in Panama
  • 10 0
 @hamncheez: coldest my winter gets is 18°c
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: for the whole southern hemisphere really!!
  • 3 0
 Here is raining and snowing, so it´s welcome
  • 4 0
 @ctd07: Lucky you, frost in my backyard and 2° C on my commute yesterday morning.
  • 1 0
 They're selling to suppliers who are buying for 2021, or maybe even 2022
  • 27 0
 painful to watch that person try and use the bottom bracket install tool
  • 3 0
 Thank you. It was making me cringe.
  • 1 0
  • 9 3
 I've been wondering why something like the "power booster" isn't a feature integrated into production brakes. even if you needed a wrench to adjust it. Sure it would probably lead to people turning the screw instead of doing a needed bleed, but still safer than not doing the needed bleed and still riding. Is there something I'm overlooking here? I feel like this would definitely be a value added feature.
  • 18 1
 Hope has bit point adjustment that actually works. Some others might also.
  • 12 2
 As PB mentions, it's actually more of a bite-point adjuster, which is a common feature on many brakes (just not Shimano).
  • 8 0
 This is the feature you are paying for if you buy sram RSC. It is simpler than this though, it just moves the piston closer to the lever.
  • 12 1
 The power booster does the same as overfilling the system does... you have to readjust for pad wear. Also that video is pure BS with indicating "more pressure" because as long as there is no added leverage the pressure cant be higher. Worst case the fluid expands too much under heat and destroys a seal in the low pressure part of the lever.
  • 22 0
 Can I add like three of those babies "inline" on some cheap ass brakes and get DH performance??? Smile
  • 3 0
 @mammal: watch this and let me know your thoughts:
  • 2 0
 @SickEdit: Overpressurizing the system will also push the pads into the rotors, so not a booster per say, so really it only works on brakes that don't have a bite adjustment.
  • 1 0
 @mammal: Totally forgot about the shimano 'free stroke' adjuster screw. I guess its been a while since I bled my brakes.... But Shimano states to bleed with it all the way turned in (lowest volume) so really you can only adjust the bite point further "in" (more lever pull). Maybe the system isn't designed to handle the extra volume? It'd be nice to be able to take up some slack in between bleeds (while following mfg. instructions)
  • 4 0
 @ismasan @TheOriginalTwoTone , that's great and all, but tell that to my new set of Saints. Adjuster is present, but doesn't do squat. I've also heard this from MANY other shimano users (my first set with the adjuster).
  • 5 0
 @stiingya: I did it to my BB7s. Worked great!
  • 1 0
 @mammal: FWIW, I agree that the Shimano pad contact adjust doesn't do jack. Through multiple pairs that I have owned. The Codes were the only brakes that had a functional pad contact for me unless you go back to my mechanical BB5's (Hope might too, but never ran a set). I switched to Magura last year in hope that the pad contact (BAT) adjust would mimic the functionality of Sram's, but theirs is more useless than a screen door on a submarine.

So for me, this would be a viable product. I'd enjoy pad contact adjustment back in my brakes. I find also that you can utilize all the pad material instead of chucking it in the garbage at the point it feels like crap (yet there is still material left). Sure you could re-bleed when the pads get low and get some extra fluid in there, but who's gonna do that...
  • 1 0
 @mammal: there are videos showing what it does and how to use it.
  • 2 0
 @ismasan: Man, thats professional, Hollywood level CGI. Its almost believable.
  • 3 0
 The shimano brakes already have a mini version of this on their levers. If you bleed your brakes with that little screw out against reccomendation, when you have everything buttoned back up, that little screw advances the piston, creating a totally useless indiscernable feel in bite point and function.
  • 3 1
 @mammal: Just because many people don't know how to use something properly doesn't mean it doesn't do anything.
  • 1 0
 @noapathy: instructions, please! Signed: a happy BB7 user
  • 1 2
 @krashDH85: Shimano brakes + Magura rotors = closer pad contact. Magura rotors are 2.0 mm and Shimano are 1.8 mm. Found this out by accident - works great. And still enough clearance for no rubbing.
  • 8 0
 If you take into account where in the hydraulic system this so called "power bootser" sits, you really don`t need to be a genius to understand that this does have no effect at all.
1. every modern hadraulic disc brake uses two bypass bore for the medium to flow freely from the high pressure area into the reservoir, when you let go your brake. This is needed for pad wear adjustment and heat management.
2. it is like haveing a longer or a shorter brake hose - as soon as you dial the booster in, you would fill the reservoir, as the "free play" or bite point is only effected by the brake design (e.G. caliper: how the quad rings are angeled and on the lever how far the main seal sits before the reservoir bore)

I only see a use if you are miss matching brake calipers to different levers (Shimano levers on Magura MT7 Calipers) as the reservoir has not enough volume to compensate the pad wear. Appart from such a use case there isn't much I would use it for.

Trust me on that I have designed brakes for me living.
  • 2 0
 @mammal: I read it here all time, even reviewers, Kazimer included, saying so. Then in real life the ones I've set up work perfectly. I can only think people's doing something wrong.
  • 2 0
 @Muckal: I may be fuzzy on the details, but this is what I remember. Just be careful with all that power.

Step 1: Buy beer.
Step 2: Commence repair.
Step 3: Done.
  • 1 0
 @x-rider: but how is it different than overfilling brakes?
i mean overfilling workes great for me. ive 3dprinted some gauges to accommodate different "preloads" while doing the standard bucket-bleed.
this should do the same, doesnt it?
  • 11 0
 Love the bike box idea.
  • 1 2
 Really? I noticed that he didn't hang around building it in case you noticed how bloody massive it was in tbe first place. Not sure what it achieves.
  • 4 0
 I have made two similar bike box's out of corrugated plastic purchased from a hardware store. My better box is solid construction and has wheels, while the other one folds in half like the one in the video. Both box's cost under $100 and that included contact cement, caulking glue and velcro strapping and wheels.
The purpose was that they are lighter and cheaper than the bike box's sold in shops.
The other really nice feature is since they are a lot lighter than the typical bike box's, depending on your bike and box weight it will be within the limits of checked in luggage, and companies like British Airways will let ship your bike in the oversized box for free. Am hoping British Airways will still offer this once air travel gets back to normal if it ever does.I always have weight space left, so I cram in gear etc.,to bring it up to the weight limit.
  • 2 0
 I have one of those bike box, you need some coaster wheels and velcro strap to make it rollable. I think Qbicle sells those as well. It's a lot easier to push around in airport and train station compared to lugging around a EVOC case.
  • 9 0
 Looks like it took them 3 hours to crank the AC in the testing room to prove there pads.
  • 6 0
 and 5 years to release the results
  • 5 0
 Outbraker....specifically designed to out-break any other part extending from the front of your handlebars.
  • 2 0
 Having a working contact point adjustment on Shimano brakes sounds nice, but they definitely could have packaged it better. That doesn't look very crash proof. Also, if you think Shimano finned pads rattle...
  • 5 2
 If that Outbraker just gives you a functional point of contact adjustment for Shimano brakes, that'd be pretty nice....
  • 3 0
 The products look pretty good. I'm into the travel box, compression BB, and the add-on brake pad adjustment.
  • 8 4
 Someone made a functional bite point adjustment for Shimano?
  • 5 1
 Remove wheel. Pull brake lever once or twice. Put wheel back on. Top off brake fluid reservoir if you’re feeling fancy.
  • 4 0
 Or... you could use a threaded bottom bracket!
  • 1 0
 An aftermarket bite point adjuster for brakes that don’t come with one sounds great to me instead of having to shell out for the top of the line model just to get the bite point adjustment...
  • 3 0
 The guy in the expanding bottom bracket who kept missing the bottom bracket with the tool around 1:00 made me so angry.
  • 1 2
 surprised it's taken this long for someone to make an inline bit point adjuster! seems like such a simple idea but I don't think I've ever seen one before, I hope it's not too expensive cause I'm super interested in getting some!
  • 1 0
 I've had issues with my Saints not pulling close enough to the bars as I would like. I'm thinking of getting the booster to do the opposite..
  • 1 0
 I've been using the Jagwire bleed kits at my workshop for 3 months now and have nothing bad to say about them. They are solid!
  • 2 0
 What about a winter bike box expanding booster?
  • 1 0
 Didn't Shimano already have a build in booster? If you pull the Lever fast the breakpoint wil be harder
  • 2 1
 This needs more Mike’s. Sorry James.
  • 2 2
 Nice to see some legit rotor and fork/caliper temperature plots from brake pad cooling tests, instead of marketing diagrams.
  • 15 0
 Would be even nicer if the ambient temperature had been the same in both tests and not cooler for their own product...
  • 14 0
 While these plots can be cool, they can also be misleading... Infrared imagery is notoriously fickle. This is especially true when you are trying to image a highly reflective and/or low emissivity surface (like a rotor). Something as trivial as the angle of incidence of ambient light sources on surfaces like these can have an effect.

There are no miracle materials (available to the bike industry, anyway) or heatsink geometries that will yield a 50C (bear in mind this is ~120F!) decrease in rotor temperature in identical boundary conditions.

This is nothing more than enhanced marketing mumbo jumbo. Always be skeptical.
  • 4 0
 @justinb03: Yes, this. I also noticed they used an emmissivity value of "1" which would yield false readings to begin with. Definitely not as critical as the points you made, but just something else worth noting.
  • 3 0
 To be honest the only thing I noticed being cooler was the ambient temperature, axle/qr and fork lowers. Brake rotor and caliper/fins/pads were seemingly the same temperature. What are they selling here?
  • 2 0
 Is there any vehicle that uses brake pad cooling fins outside of cycling?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I think they are selling one of their kids artwork done in paint
  • 2 0
 @SickEdit: Googled "cooled brakes". found "water cooled static brakes for industrial equipment". It's not a vehicle maybe, but it sounds badass.
  • 1 0
 @SickEdit: Many vehicles can get away without them for a number of reasons, including:
- Cars, motorcycles get the benefit of more cooling airflow at higher usage speeds
- Weight is relatively very important on a bike which reduces available braking system mass and increases the relative heat emission load per component (less rotor/caliper metal to reject heat from)
- Cars can direct ducted cooling air directly at the brakes, with forward velocity creating a bit of a pressurized effect
  • 1 0
 @vinay: The temperature scale is a bit misleading at a glance. The upper and lower limits are the same in each picture. And the upper limit "pink" is 43.4 C while rotor temps are 152 - 202 C. All temps above 43.4 C will be pink. You have to look at the measured values to get rotor temp. They probably chose that temp scale to make it easier to visualize the rest of the system.

As @johnthewolf said, it's also potentially a bit misleading that ambient temps weren't the same in each pic. This makes it hard to understand the actual cooling effect that the finned pads are responsible for.
And @justinb03 is right too, shiny rotor emissivity will make it difficult to get an accurate measurement from an IR cam. They should back it up with some thermocouple readings and test at constant ambient temp.
  • 1 1
 @crazyXCsquirrel: thats standard. For reflective metal that's fine. If you are reading through glass you need to calibrate it. Do you regularly work with thermal imaging? I do pretty often.
  • 1 0
 They likely just didn’t brake as hard when using their finned pads. Of course it’ll all be cooler!
  • 2 0
 @SickEdit: I struggle a bit with the idea and point of finned pads. The disc is a low thermal mass so will heat up quickly, but its also running in free air so has all the cooling possible. A sintered pad with be pretty high in terms of thermal conductivity, a finned pad will help protect against fluid boil in extreme cases. But in reality I can't see them having much effect on brake fade, as thats the temperature at the disc/pad interface. But I'm not an mtb brakes designer so just my punt.....

In terms of vehicle applications these things are controlled with disc mass, disc cooling and depending on the application cooling directed at the caliper/pads. If fluid boil is a potential issue (more common in carbon ceramic applications) then shims on the pad backplate can be used as thermal barriers or fancy caliper pistons to prevent heat transfer to the fluid. I have never seen finned pads on vehicle applications, mainly as I imagine there is other methods of removing heat, plus a brake caliper in a car sits inside the wheel so packaging space is limited to start hanging bits off the pad backplate....
  • 1 0
 @SickEdit: Submarines.

I don't know why I wrote that, but it amused me.
  • 2 0
 @chrod: Ah, I indeed looked at the scale as that 43.4degC was the max in both cases. Now I notice the crosshairs, aimed at the disc. Which doesn't make sense to me. It seems to me that part of the heat generated goes into the pads, the other part goes into the brake rotor. Cooling fins at the backplate of the brake pads would only help dissipate part of the heat that went into the pads. Limiting the transfer of heat into the oil but it wouldn't change anything about the brake rotor temperature. What I'd be interested in would be if they'd aim the crosshairs at the hose connector at the caliper as an indication of the oil temperature.

And indeed as mentioned earlier, leave everything else the same if you're doing a comparison like that. System (rotor, oil, caliper) and ambient starting temperature the same, run it for the same amount of time, same amount of "hand" force, same amount (and temperature, and turbulence) of airflow etc. Ambient temperature clearly wasn't the same and they weren't transparent about the rest.
  • 1 0
 @SickEdit: MotoGP teams had to resort to covering up their brakes in colder weather. They were getting too cold for the carbon/carbon setup to work.
  • 1 0
 Bb hu-dz-yau wu-ha mya wtf????
  • 1 0
 Gonna go virtually ride my bike
  • 1 0
 And when is this available?
  • 1 0
 Dick pound, dick pound, dick pound, dick pound, dick pound
  • 1 1
 Oh no, brake pads... Here we go again!
  • 1 0
 Deity cranks, huh?
  • 3 5
 Dick pound the pond beaver in VR!!!!!

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