Tag Archives: bicycles

Korean Show

I am pretty sure I am the only westerner here!

It is a compact show, but pretty well attended. Unlike London Shimano and Giant bothered to be here, as well as Cannondale, Specialized, SRAM and Campagnolo (and oh dear, what have they done to their entry level groups?)

Visitors on the first day is a good cross section of ages with many riding here (glorious sunny day). Those who did ride don’t do casual bike wear, so it is a bit like a fancy dress party with many people, not just those riding here, wearing Lycra cycling tops.

As this is a local show for the Korean Market what surprises me is just how much effort the distributors are putting in to the brands they have. Many other countries should take note of the ownership that the companies here feel. Our distributor has had large banners printed up. Presentation is generally really good and the quality of booth materials is impressive. Basically it is more Eurobike than most shows, which at times look as if a half arsed Saturday boy has just lifted the contents of the shop floor up and plonked it in an exhibition centre. The newness of the venue helps here too.

As I suspected there is a large array of titanium on show. This Ibis caught my eye as I once fell in love with a Silk Ti riding it in California.

The other trend which is very apparent is that of the ‘Mini Velo’. These are based around 20 inch wheels with a non folding frame. The idea, I think, is that the bike takes up less room in an apartment. Clearly these arent cheap altenatives, as the carbon frames and these 20inch carbon wheels illustrate.

Another thing which caught my eye was bike storage solutions. The Pretty One should perhaps worry as after seeing the bike safe shown below, I now lust after a five bike version.

E-bikes are also on the march here too, although I am told that the price is still putting a lot of people off. Personally I not so sure about that, as I don’t think an e-bike and a standard bike really appeal to the same users. Good to see that as well as Bosch getting in on the act, Mando (who I am told are a large car components manufacuter) where also showing their cards. Those of you who automatically tune out at the mention of electric bikes – you shouldn’t. They will increase the acceptance of cycling in general as they open the door to users who may have previously decided they were too unfit to ride. Think 40 – 60 something golfers, highly paid professionals with money who aren’t the fittest people in the world. E-bikes may get them in the road and thus not in their Jaguars passing you far to close.

On he topic of giving bikes enough room Landlord were displaying their bike lane light. I have seen this concept before and would love to give it a go. Only real problem I see is giving every other numpty a laser to play with – they aren’t good for the eyes if looked at directly.

Unable to communicate enough in Korean to get one to play with though.

Elsewhere in the show there was a good array CNC MTB parts, available only in Korea from the likes of Fierce. I spotted another brand too.

Proving that annodizing and colours are also never out of fashion, or indeed are coming back continued were Chosen:

Another small Korean CNC specialist were there:

On the same booth was this frame and suspension performance recording and logging machine. All done with GPS and sensors all over the bike. Pretty cool, if tuning a frame.

Finally, my friends from Simplon were there with their mobile specification list (see Marketing Bollocks post from a few weeks back).

Any questions relating to any of this, please ask away (preferably here, and not Weight Weenies, because I don’t check in much). I have the brochure from Fierce (If I didn’t leave it in the hotel) and the other CNC people.

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Where Oceans Meet

Today was the ride that I had been looking forward to.  The marvelous thing about having a bike on holiday is being able to do the normal tourist things, but not being one of those people to sit on a tour bus all day.  Or in a car for that matter.

We got up at 7.30am, and were out of the door by 8.10am.  We headed from Cape Town via Chapman’s Peak, to Simon’s Town and on to the Cape Point National Park.  It was Alex’s (my ride partner’s) longest ever ride, at 140km.  There was wind, 1700m of elevation and baboons.  Yes, you read that right…

What was especially great about this ride, is the fact that Alex only got into riding last year.  He bought a bike from me (which he destroyed, but that is a different story) and it got him hooked.  He now trains more than I do, and although I fared better than him throughout the ride today, that is only to do with muscle memory, and the fact that I have been doing this for years and years.  I also think there is a small element of fear too, when you go farther than you have before.  It wasn’t far off twice his previous max distance.  Towards the end of the ride the recovery that I have managed to build up throughout the years was apparent, as I was able to pull away on the climbs, recover and tuck in again.  What is true though is that his performance was impressive, and by March, when he leaves here, I am sure he will kick my arse on the bike.  I don’t think I will be able to train this much throughout the European winter.

The ride, and the scenery and being at the point of two oceans meet was a great experience.  Riding through the Cape Point National Park is almost like riding through a lunar landscape, well, okay, there is vegetation, and the sea, but a little imagination is all it takes.

Oh, and then there were baboons.  There are also quite a lot of warning signs saying how aggressive they can be and to keep your distance.  I think we were safe though.  Lycra is scary whatever!

Show Day Two

The show continues.  Lots of meetings today, and then a very posh dinner (I wore a suit) this evening.

There is a nervousness about the industry at the moment, and I think it is more to do with retailers than distributors.  The small shops with poor cashflow are likely to feel the effects of the dreaded credit crunch, and the less fluid shops are putting off payment and ordering.

No one really knows what will happen in the long run over this year.  Either in big business or this small cottage industry, it is anyones guess.  As a brand though, I think it is important to remain positive.  People need hobbies.  They need the regular escape that they provide, and being at the higher end of the market, we are well positioned.  People find the money when it is about emotions, passions and, if I am any measure, bicycles.

Alien Cow

Alien Cow

I will leave you with this photo…..  Taipei is a strange place!