CRE8 Talks: Summary of the Taipei International Cycle Show Walk Through

16-Mar-2016

For industrial designers, a bike show is one of the best places where you seek for inspiration, especially when you happen to be a rider yourself. It is inspiring to see all the innovative applications of materials, patterns, and finishes.

With carbon parts becoming more affordable and finding its way into mainstream biking, the production technology also gets more advanced. So we were quite impressed by some very creative use of this super lightweight material for bike rims, seats, seat posts, or handlebars; some even strengthened with titanium which leads to some very interesting designs.

It is always worthwhile looking at color combinations and decals as the bike industry is one of the fore running industries. People are much more open to accept radical new colors on their sports equipment, and will later apply this on new consumer electronics product.

This year you could see matte finishes and matte neon colors dominating the designs, mostly separated into bold surfaces, rather than dissected, small and busy elements.

Fat bikes were everywhere on this year’s Taipei Cycle Show!

With their over-sized tires apparently they offer a very fun way to get over the trails, mostly in snow. The super wide rubber, sometimes up to 4.8”, ridden with extreme low pressure, offers awesome grip and adds bounciness that compensates for the lack of a suspension fork on rocks and roots. Even they were omnipresent on the show, I don’t see them becoming a trend, because of its very niche usability.

However, bikes with 27.5+ wheels, that have been announced already last year, may mark the next big thing in mountain biking. They combine the advantages of larger wheel diameter -better rolling over obstacles- with the better grip that the slightly wider tires offer. At the same time they don’t have the rolling resistance and higher rotational force as fat bike tires do.

E-bikes and Pedelecs trigger new ways to cycle. The integration of electronics, smart devices, and external smart phone APPs, provides more comfort and control over your riding experiences. Things are also going smart in the accessories category. There are smart tools and lights, and even an award-winning pump that connects to its pairing APP to help check tire pressure easily.

Based on our observation and experience, the next big thing to look forward to would definitely be e-mountain bikes. They offer you the sporty aspect and level of exhaustion you want to get, but with the thrill of higher speed, conquering steeper climbs, and now doing three laps on your local home track instead of one.