The Taipei Cycle Show coverage continues inside with more photos of new 2012 products, including:
• New carbon components from Truvativ
• Magura's impressive MT8 brake
• Tomo's Adjuststack adjustable headset spacers
• A new bash guard from Syntace
• Mac Mahone's neat looking 150mm Pluriel all-mountain bike
• More photos from our travels around Taiwan
Truvativ used the Taipei Cycle Show to debut their Noir range of wider carbon handlebars, as well as an impressively light carbon post. The revamped Noir lineup in aimed squarely at those riders who are looking for light weight parts - the T40 riser bar comes in at just 180grams - but may be putting them on their trail or even all-mountain rig. Noir is separated into three different categories for 2012: the top end T40 bar and post (complete with titanium seat clamp bolts), the T30 lineup with two carbon bars, one being a 700mm flat bar, and a carbon post, and finally the T20 680mm wide carbon bar.
Flat bars are alive! Truvativ's carbon Noir T30 bar measures out a full 700mm wide, that's quite a bit more length than most flat options, and may be a great choice for trail or all-mountain riders who want to lower their front end without resorting to a stereotypical skinny no-rise bar that would be better at home on the front of a Euro XC bike. Expect to see more than a few five inch travel 29'ers rocking these as well.
The Noir carbon post uses a one-piece aluminum head with dual opposing seat clamp bolts, those being titanium on the top tier T40 post model. Marked angle gradients make adjustments easier, and both clamp bolts are set at an angle that makes them easier to adjust with hex keys (as opposed to vertical and butted tightly up against the post)
Those looking for light aluminum components shouldn't feel left out though, Truvativ also ups the ante in that department as well with the retooled Stylo range. Just like the Noir components, the Stylo lineup is split into three categories: T20, T30, and the titanium equipped T40 selection. The butted 7050 alloy T40 bar pictured above is available in two rise options - either a low rise 15mm or a higher 25mm model - and measures out at 700mm wide. The T40 stem and post both use titanium hardware just like the high end carbon Noir components, but will no doubt retail for less than their carbon cousins.
Magura had their new brake lineup on display, including the top of the line MT8. This bad boy uses a master cylinder and perch built entirely from a carbon and thermoplastic mixture, a carbon lever blade and alloy hardware to bring the total weight down to 278 grams - and that's including the 160mm Storm SL rotor. I gave them a quick squeeze in the booth and the lever shape feels to be spot on, which isn't surprising given the amount of time that Magura have been putting into dialing in the proper ergonomics on the new brake. I'll be heading South this May to attend Magura's 2012 ride camp in Sedona, Arizona, so expect some feedback shortly after that.
If you saw my Sea Otter coverage from last year, you'll no doubt be familiar with these nifty adjustable headset spacers from my Japanese friend, Tomo. These new spacers are made from plastic, and are half the weight of the older aluminum versions. A single stepped spacer set allows you to choose from 10, 12, 13, and 15mm heights simply by rotating the two halves. There are a ton of different colors to choose from, and they sell for $6 each. I managed to convince Tomo to let me leave with a few sets that you'll surely see on Pinkbike test bikes throughout the year due to them making bar height adjustments quite easy.
German company Syntace was showing off their new bash guard, the Grinder 36. It certainly looks to be one of the more intricate chain ring guards around, with CNC'd ribs and reliefs around it's entire circumference. Total weight is just 72 grams.
Mac Mahone had a number of great looking bikes on display but their Pluriel is the model that caught my eye. The 150mm travel bike looks to be quite beefy, although it is sold as a all-mountain/light freeride rig, and sports an interesting rear suspension layout. The swingarm rotates around a single pivot point at what looks to be about level with the height of a 32 tooth chain ring, while a compact linkage at the top is used solely to keep everything stiff and in line. A pull style linkage actives the rear shock via two links, one on the underside of the down tube.
'Champion of Others' - Who out there was in the 'special' class at school where every student received an award, no matter what? There seemed to be an award for nearly everything possible at the Taipei Cycle show, including this prize for the best 'Nonpaint Water Transfer'.
Pinkbike is in Taiwan to show you upcoming products long before anyone else gets wind of them - see the prototype Maxxis DH tire, X-Fusions air sprung DH shock, or the new KS seatpost - but we're also here to take a closer look inside the factories that manufacture many of the products that we all use. We've brought the VOD machine that is Aaron Larocque with us to document what goes on behind those closed doors, so stay tuned for some very interesting videos.
What is a random story without a photo of Mike petting a small dog? There are an amazing amount of dogs nearly everywhere you look. You see them sitting side-saddle on scooters as their owners buzz around town, and nearly every shop seems to have one at it's storefront. Most factories have some sort of dog to discourage trespassers, and even the littlest ones get a job, as seen here. Snowball may not look threatening, but she could easily lick a person to death within minutes if given the chance.
Taipei 101 stands an impressive 1670 feet above the ground, and is an amazing sight to behold. We drove into the capital city on a cloudy day and the building's top few floors and spire could actually be seen above the clouds while the rest was hidden from view. Inside you'll find a mix of retail stores on the lower levers and business units as you go higher up. There are also a number of restaurants within the building as well, including the Observatory Restaurant on the 86th floor. The building is lit up a different color depending on the day of the week - the orange lights in this photo means that it was taken on a Tuesday - and it is known for being home to an incredible fireworks display every New Year's. Anyone want to meet up in Taipei for a massive Pinkbike New Year's celebration?
As much as I don't like to play the part of the tourist, it was pretty much mandatory that we get ourselves up to the top for a good look around. Unfortunately, the highest outside observation deck was closed during out visit and not even my PB credentials could get me past the mean looking, square shaped security fellow. This certainly isn't a terrible view from this height, though, don't you think?
I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. You're looking at about one quarter of the tuned mass damper that is suspended inside the Taipei 101 building. All 728 tons of it hangs between the 88th and 92nd floor, and is held in place by massive steel cables from above and gigantic dampers from below. The steel sphere counteracts high winds to keep the building from swaying and being damaged in a typhoon.
For a guy who does his best to avoid crowds, I found myself quite smitten with Taiwan's capital city, Taipei. That feeling is no doubt partly due to the city's wonderful people (see above), but also it's amazing array or colors, sights and sounds. I'm talking about architecture that will stop you in your tracks, neon lights and signs that are very likely responsible for a high number of seizures, and amazing food like you've never had before. I can't wait to come back for next year's show to see the city again and reconnect with new friends that I've made.