By Brice Minnigh
Photography by Stephen Wilde
Bike magazine is back in Taiwan again this year for the Taipei International Cycle Show and another stealth program of two-wheeled shenanigans. The cloak-and-dagger nature of our mission prohibits us from telling you what we're mainly up to this year—but we warmed up by spending a few days cruising the multiple floors of Taiwan's flagship cycle show, soaking up the inimitably Taiwanese charm and making the most perfunctory of efforts to convince a few major North American bike companies to divulge some tiny nuggets of product news ahead of the Sea Otter Classic.
This year's Taipei show yielded a considerably larger turnout than last year's, which was held under a dark cloud of uncertainty in the days after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in nearby Japan. Both Japanese and European companies that had been absent for the 2011 show were on hand this year, filling the halls with the newest, quirkiest and most promising products—and creating a sense of optimism as we enter another season of riding.
Here's an initial glimpse of what we've been up to:
From time to time, it's nice to feel like a VIP.
Bike magazine's logo might be easily replicated, but our attitude is much harder to clone.
Only the most refined hospitality will suffice at the Kind Shock booth—Grace Chen serves up some fresh sushi to help ward off the jetlag.
Kind Shock's new dropper post, the Lev, has received several updates, including a new adjustable cable stop that accommodates a wide range of adjustable seatpost cable routings.
Intermission. 'Nuff said.
HT has a host of new flat pedal offerings for 2012, and with athletes like Aaron Gwin, Brian Lopes, Logan Binggeli and Kevin Aiello rocking their new flats, it shouldn't take long for the word to get out.
RockShox is intimating key changes to its forks, but so far all we can talk about are the new decals…will they be the faux hawk or the mohawk?
Judging from the decal of the new RockShox Monarch, it looks like it will get a three-position adjuster.
When in Taiwan…drink Taiwan Beer.
This components company obviously promises more bang for your buck.