A few more Taipei Cycle links

E-bike, Events, Road 5 3

I have mentioned the Taipei Cycle Show in a few posts this week, so I will keep the theme going today by sharing a few interesting links that I noticed in the past few days.

Road.cc posted about award winning products at the show, and a couple of wheelsets that they mentioned caught my attention. The carbon tubular Equinox wheels don’t look all that out of the ordinary at first glance, until you see the molded nylon(?) spokes.  Two spokes are molded together at the base creating a single point of attachment to the carbon hub shell. I couldn’t find much information about this wheelset beyond what is written in the road.cc post, but I would love to find out more if anyone has information about the spoke material.

The other interesting wheel that you can see at road.cc is the Line Wheel from MID, which uses a micro-fiber cord in place of traditional metal spokes. It is hard to believe that the wheel would remain stiff the way each cord is tied at the hub, and I wonder how much the cord material would stretch during use as well. Regardless of any doubts though, I am very curious about these wheels and would love to try a set.

NeilPryde has come a long way since entering the bicycle business with two new frame models in 2010. Their newest bike, the Bura SL, was shown for the first time in Taiwan last week. It is a sub-750 gram frame (in a large size) and is set for a September release. Aesthetically, I like the tube shapes, gussets, and hidden seatpost clamp. See more pictures on NeilPryde’s Flickr page, and read more about the bike at BikeRumor.

This post has been road focused so far, but I can’t post about the Taipei show without mentioning electric bikes. Nick Foley shared a nice collection of photos of e-bikes at the show on his Google + page, and the ‘flow’ e-bike by Fairly Bike won a d&I (design & innovation) gold award at the show.

Finally, I will point those of you who are interested to mountain bike coverage from Taipei. The guys from Pinkbike were there, and posted quite a few pictures from the show floor. Be sure to check out their product round up post as well.

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5 Comments

  1. Mike March 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm -  Reply

    I like the Microfibre cord spokes, it reminds me of some of the kevlar / carbon systems used on high end wheels.

    You should understand that spokes are strictly tension members, so when you ask about stiffness, it’s all about proper tension and then do the spokes stretch over time. In this regard, many flexible fibers and composites are BETTER than steel, as they do not stretch as much, providing a stiffer wheel.

    • James Thomas March 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm -  Reply

      Hey Mike, Maybe stiff was the wrong word, but I hope it was clear that I was referring to the wheel as a whole. I have built enough wheels to understand that spokes are under tension rather than compression. My concern about these has more to do with the construction (the knots at the hub flanges) than the material itself. Interesting point about composite fibers not stretching as much as steel though.

      By the way, when I first saw this it made me think of the old Kevlar web Tioga Disk Drive wheel. I never had a chance to mess with one of those, but they definitely fascinanted me when they first came out.

    • art March 21, 2012 at 10:19 am -  Reply

      I’m not sure what you mean by this. Aramid fibers have an elastic modulus that’s a bit lower than steel, so I wouldn’t say that they “don’t stretch as much”. Perhaps you’re suggesting that you can make a stiffer spoke at the same weight because the density is a fifth as much? It’s true, but in this case the minimal weight savings will be offset by poor aerodynamics. (Bladed unidirectional carbon spokes, like used on Lightweights, are a different story)

      As far as “stretch over time”, polymers a generally susceptible to some degree of room temperature creep, whereas steel is not. I haven’t seen any numbers for creep magnitudes or time constants for these spokes, but I wouldn’t expect much of a problem.

  2. Mosen March 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm -  Reply

    Would love to see the other end of cord-spoke and the way they adjust it…

  3. Nick F March 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm -  Reply

    I love that cord-spoked wheel – I don’t know how I missed that at the show.

    It’s like they built a wheel using entirely FiberSpoke repair kits!

    http://www.bicycletouring101.com/getimage.php?w=800&o=no&i=JamieSpokeRepairKit.jpg

    I too am a little skeptical about the long-term stiffness of that wheel due to the knots and the braids… but you’ve got to admit it has a wonderful (if slightly goofy) simplicity.

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