20 March, 2009

Taipei Cycle Show Update #2

We spent most of Taipei Cycle Show day 3 and 4 looking for new products and found a few cool components including these stems:

How about this fillet brazed chrome plated stem? The manufacturer can make a quill version too. These are on our short list!


Or you may prefer a chromed lugged stem.


Or an adjustable stem? Or two?



I was also impressed by this dynamo headlight, very bright and with a wide range of mounting options.


And there are these new and less expensive barcons for 9 and 10-speed.


Here is a new bar shape that might be worth trying.


There's a lot more, but I didn't have time to photograph everything. There is a new and relatively inexpensive double kickstand that gets narrower when raised, not unlike the Pletcher we now stock. We saw a new Sugino 110/74bcd double crank. We also investigated making a new VO saddle bag support with a quick release feature.

Tom has a post about the show too.

62 comments:

frankenbiker said...

The first adjustable stem is really nice,also the chrome lugged version.Are they steel or aluminum?The black bar seems like a less expensive version of Nitto's albatross,to bad it is painted or coated.I would love a chrome or polished aluminum vrsion.

Mr. Beattie said...

I think adjustable stems are great... just not for a urban/city bikes where there is a greater chance of someone snipping your cables and stealing your bars/stem with a 5/6mm allen and a pair of wire cutters.... but that's just me.... I really wish there was an option other than Pitlock for threadless stems/headsets.... or maybe there are products out there that include theft deterrence?

doc said...

I'd be curious about the lights. Asymetrical beam? I see the one already has a Shimano plug on it.

Michael S said...

fillet brazed quill stem? yes please!

JPTwins said...

VO saddle bag support? Yes please!

Steve said...

That fillet brazed threadless stem is gorgeous. 26.0, I hope? The very similar Nitto track stem is unfortunately 25.4 only (and only comes in 3 long sizes).

Kevan said...

Chris -

The fillet brazed threadless stem and off-brand 9/10 speed bar-cons really caught my attention. Can we assume the bar-cons index with Shimano?Any idea how they would compare pricewise?

The adjustable threadless stem looks nice, but I have three concerns. First, if the stem is round then you need to be concerned with getting the rotation just right, otherwise your bars wouldn't be level. It would be better if it was oval or keyed to prevent rotation. Second, the design requires that the steerer tube be exactly the right length, not unlike an integrated seatmast. If someone hasn't decided what length of stem they need, they probably haven't decided on a final stem height either. Finally, I see no way to preload the headset, unless there's a bolt/top cap assembly hidden underneath the adjustable stem portion.

Thanks for the updates. It's fascinating seeing all this new stuff.

kilroy said...

Greetings,
The last thing I need is a bicycle or bicycle related parts,but.........that fillet brazed chrome stem is really enticing.
kilroy

Gunnar Berg said...

nice stems. a nickel plated fillet brazed quill would be a winner for me. The chrome is...too shiney. is that possible?

Anonymous said...

YES CHRIS I WILL BUY THE FILLET AND THE LUGGED AND I WILL DO IT RIGHT NOW> > > > > I don't care so much about the adjustable. Thanks. Chrome or nickel, I'll buy either way.

michael white

bikesf said...

I agree. It's time for a nice adjustable stem, the first one. Vintage track bikes use them. I think for most riders they would be fine. I would worry about slipping or loosening under heavy out of the saddle sprinting, but I suspect a lot of "real world" riders don't ride like this often. This design probably won't slip though, the 2 bolt pinch design is hard to beat. I would buy one.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure they will sell, because people will buy anything that is fillet brazed, but I can't look at a fillet brazed and chromed stem and go "hey, great, a stem that looks exactly like a forged aluminum stem, except that it is twice as heavy, five times as expensive, and marginally shinier." Maybe we could start replacing all forged Al on the bike with fillet brazed steel -- steel brake calipers! Brazed shift levers! Weight and good sense be damned, it's fillet brazed, so it has to be special! Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the craftsmanship, but I wish it were going into frames rather than mufti.

Sugino 110/74 double = the holy grail. Easily procured chainrings, wide range of sizing possibilities, minimalist looks (since the spider mostly hides the inner ring. I've run 46x30 using a 110/74 triple and single chainring bolts and loved it, though it's not great to look at and you have to fiddle with the BB a bit. A purpose-built crank (or just chainguards larger than 42t, which are impossible to find) would be awesome!

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for a reasonably priced, gentle angle, thread less stem with a single bolt to mimic the quill stem.

These lugged versions are absolutely beautiful.

The bar is interesting. Any bars that look like the one on the wright brothers bike in the Smithsonian?

fmackay said...

Fillet-brazed quill please!

Lights are very reminiscent of the Schmidt Edelux, I would be interested to know how the performance (and price) compares.

Bars look very porteur-esque, with a a little more forward curvature and maybe a bit more drop than the Belleri, but hard to be sure from that angle.

Ian Dickson said...

110/74 DOUBLE? Really? I'll take five.

Anonymous said...

what about the stem attached to those bars? hubba hubba....

Terry said...

The lights look nice. At the right price, I would be very interested. On a related note, I would be interested in any updates you may have on your testing of the new dynamos mentioned a while back.

JB said...

Ditto the excitement about the Sugino crankset.

I would love to run a 46/granny double with a wide range cassette, but right now it's only available with wicked expensive cranks* with specific chainrings.

I also like the adjustable stem. I don't know that I want one on my bike, but I think it would be a great, simple, fitting tool to have in a shop.

*Aside from the cranks you stock, I'm thinking of White Industries VCB cranks. The black anodized rings go against Velo Orange aesthetics, but 142 Q-factor, square taper, wide gearing possibilities? right up your alley.

Beer Blood said...

Surly Builds favor bar ends :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/abedrous/3366158454/sizes/l/in/pool-417924@N22/

Most of us are stuck with the dura-ace ones at around 90 dollars, pretty reliable.
how much them there bar ends be costin' ?

beer blood said...

correction:

price range for shimano bar ends is 56-95$( USD)

95 was at sheldon harris

brian said...

+ a kajillion on the fillet brazed quill.

smasher said...

Decent barcons? Absolutely--especially if they can be switched between index and friction modes.

Anonymous said...

suppose you get a lugged quill stem like that. Here's what the retro guys will do: fill the windows on top with whatever paint complements their favorite lugged steed. Everyone would want one. It would be a lugged pandemic.

I would prefer if the threadless stem of either type were 90 degrees. With threadless, I find I need a bit more rise to compensate for lack of quill.

best,
mw

kilroy said...

Greetings,
Again, I'm impressed with fillet brazed stem. I would consider one in a quill, polished aluminum, etc. version. Chrome would be a deal killer for me. You have whetted our appetites and I'm salivating just waiting to see other items. Today is the 1st day of spring, but it feel like Christmas.
Best regards.

jimmythefly said...

A 110-74 double crank is about the only crank that'd I'd buy new, at retail pricing.

That first adjustable stem is very nice. I assume VO wouldn't use the 31.8 size, though. I'd want to figure out how to put a light switch in the end of it.

Michael S said...

You can't fillet braze an aluminum stem.

Hank G. said...

Like most commenters a chrome plated filet stem in both threadless and quill versions would be great.

The first adjustable stem pictured unlike every other one I have ever seen manages to look really cool.

Anonymous said...

Sugino 110/74 is what I'm after. Show us pictures when you get the chance.

Gunnar Berg said...

Someone expressed a concern on the weight of the fillet brazed steel sten vs cast or drop forged aluminum. I'd be surprized if the steel was noticibly heavier.

Anonymous said...

Adjustable stems -maybe an interesting idea for many folks. Unfortunately, I doubt that it would be practical to sell in the US because of liability concerns.

Can you imagine the trial lawyers salivating over a design like the one with the round extension. The first drunken fixie-doofus who spins their bars around while they are trying to skid (and light a cigarette at the same time) and crashes is gonna make the lawyer a nice summer house, at the very least. They'll have a field day as jurors who know nothing about bike parts can at least see that there was no way not to lose control if the bolts came loose.

A good idea that needs to be evaluated WRT the legal climate we live in. At the very least the design needs to be made more fail-safe and then it would be cool to see.

Super Lawyer Master of the Universe said...

Lawyers Rule !!!!

christopher lee said...

that bars great! i've been noticing a lot people in portland taking way swept back cruiser bars with a small rise and flipping them upside down. i've tried it even and it's an interesting ride to say the least. but it looks just like that bar!

Rick said...

Maybe we ought to wait to see what the fillet-brazed stem actually weighs before condemning it. I have two 140mm quill stems in the parts box, one steel and one aluminum, and the steel one feels decidedly lighter. Similar clamp to the one in Chris's picture.

Anonymous said...

Surly + VO =

See Tom , I told you.

Anonymous said...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7935825@N04/3372201388/sizes/l/in/pool-417924@N22/

See I told you Ian Dickenson

Anonymous said...

See, I told you Le Cagot

Please understand that by saying bad things about Surly® , you are not helping me develop the type of business I am trying to get for him.

Anonymous said...

Him ?

Chris

Anonymous said...

The threadless fillet nitto weighs 279g in a 100mm length. Normal, decent quality Al stems go at about 160g in that size. Weight difference is probably a little less for a threaded setup.

Again I ask: why in the world would you ever want such a part? I don't know how many of you have ever fillet brazed, but once you know how to braze reasonably well all that is required to create a nice fillet joint is a bunch of time sitting around filing and polishing (or a shop assistant to do the grunt work for you). For a stem the end result is something that looks exactly like a forged aluminum product with a slightly different finish, while weighing and costing more. Custom builders push them because it's another handbuilt element they can add versus buying off the shelf, but going out and buying one is just insane.

Again, I'm not against fillets - if you love them (and I do), get a fillet brazed frame. At least then the time spent filing, squinting, calipering, and polishing will go into something well designed for its purpose, not a silly piece of mufti. If you just want to show other bike nerds how much money you have, buy yourself some nice bags or an obscure crank or something, and leave the fillet stem on the shelf.

erik said...

absolutely on the fillet and lugged stems, all of them look excellent but particularly those two.

well done.

Hank G. said...

I have a 3TTT Pro Chrome Corsa. Tig welded chrome plated steel quill stem. It weighs 246g which is less then the Nitto Pearl alloy stem of similar size that I have. I would not judge until I had all the specs.

Tim D. said...

The lugged threadless stem looks very nice.

landotter said...

Beer Blood a dit...

Surly Builds favor bar ends :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/abedrous/3366158454/sizes/l/in/pool-417924@N22/


That's a stock LHT apart from the tape, saddle, and pedals. (and the accessories of course) Smartest specced bike for the money that's on the market. The XT/Alex Adventurer wheelset is brilliant.

Hey--who's gonna make clamp on studs so we can adapt shifters...for the stem?!

Alternately--I forget the builder, Japanese, who puts the studs on the head tube instead of the down tube.

Winga said...

When can you get those cranks and how much $?, if it wasn't for the price I would buy the TA`s. Also I flipped Nitto Albatross bars like those pictured on a fixie and it is an interesting ride. Your leaning down to reach them but because they sweep back so far you've got plenty of bend in elbows. Plus the width gives good leverage when climbing. With that said, I prefer road bars for any long distance riding.

Chick a la WIngo said...

The bar ends pictured are MicroShifts. I found the online for sale at 794.05 Rand ZA ( south african Rand) , about 83 dollars US.

Zillion Bucs said...

Microshift manufactures their stuff and then 'private labels it' . bikenashbar has from time to time sold shifters made by them.

Anonymous said...

All of these products are great, particularly the chrome-plated and adjustable stems.

The chrome-plated stem would have saved me the trouble of plating my own.

Anonymous said...

I'd be very interested in a 110/74 double if the "Q" is low. Do you have any pics?

Garth said...

Alternately--I forget the builder, Japanese, who puts the studs on the head tube instead of the down tube.


Grand Bois does that on their "M" model. "M" is for multi purpose. I believe TOEI makes the frames.

I believe TOEI also makes the Ebisu Frames.

I was lucky to get one of the last Heron Wayfarers, and am very happy. Ebisu was the runner up, but I wanted something heavier and not limited to 32mm tires. TOEI was simply too expensive, but I think they are the most elegant cycles. It's a personal opinion, of course, but I like them more than the French built bikes.

Concerning the threadless stems. I don't understand why they persist. My Jamis Aurora came with that, and w/o thinking, I though it was cool. Until I wanted to raise the bars. What a nightmare. I ended up buying a whole new fork!

Garth

Uncle Ankle said...

Why is a 110/74 bcd double such a wonderful thing? I thought the point of the 110 bcd was to get a smaller inner ring with only one set of bolts, but once you go with separate bolts you might as well keep the 130 bcd outer ring for stiffness, looks and chainring availability?

Or is there great demand for 34t outer rings?

Uncle Ankle said...

As for the bars, they look nice, like an actually useful moustache bar.

I think I would prefer a less gradual drop for a less splayed lever position (assuming they are used with drop bar levers). Sort of like a zero-reach, minimum-drop drop bar or a roadie Jones H-bar.

Steve said...

An anonymous poster asks:

Again I ask: why in the world would you ever want such a part? I don't know how many of you have ever fillet brazed, but once you know how to braze reasonably well all that is required to create a nice fillet joint is a bunch of time sitting around filing and polishing (or a shop assistant to do the grunt work for you). For a stem the end result is something that looks exactly like a forged aluminum product with a slightly different finish, while weighing and costing more. Custom builders push them because it's another handbuilt element they can add versus buying off the shelf, but going out and buying one is just insane.


Sure would be nice if you provided your name. Considering how much of your personal opinion you're provided, it would only be polite.

As for why fillet brazed stems, because they're beautiful, that's why. In threadless stems, forged aluminum simply falls short, in my opinion. In general, IMO, threadless stems tend to vary from ugly to butt ugly, and from barely acceptable to hideous eyesores. Perhaps the only exception to this general rule are the fillet brazed stems. Your tastes, of course, may vary. Some actually believe those eyesores are attractive, or so I'm told.

You, perhaps, might have the skill and equipment to braze your own, but I certainly don't, and I doubt there are many who do. Perhaps you should think of it a business opportunity.

landotter said...

Garth wrote:
Concerning the threadless stems. I don't understand why they persist. My Jamis Aurora came with that, and w/o thinking, I though it was cool. Until I wanted to raise the bars. What a nightmare. I ended up buying a whole new fork!

The Auroras, like Surlys, come with a fairly long uncut fork with a good 3" of spacers. If the shop hadn't monkeyed with it, adjusting the bar height would have been trivial, requiring a single hex wrench.

However, if you wanted silly Rivendell height bars, instead of bars level to the saddle--which is easy on the Auroras--it doesn't matter which system you started with--you'd have to replace the stem in the threaded case, and use a raiser or extreme rise stem with the threadless.

You story simply sounds like either you got sold a bike that was too small, your shop unnecessarily cut the steer tube to make the bike look racy on the sales floor, or you have an extreme preference for bar height that would challenge either system.

Threadless saves the industry money, is dead simple, strong, and adjusts with no special wrenches. Adjust it on the road, and never fear another frozen wedge. Quills are fine and good for folks that enjoy the looks, but that's the reason to prefer them these days, not from technical merit. And there's nothing wrong with an aesthetic preference. ;-)

I am very glad that VO is getting some pretty silver threadless models onto the market, the main problem with threadless was the overwhelming representation of the color black.

Anonymous said...

Both quill and threadless work fine. I use both. Both can be problematic, like anything else. A fillet brazed stem is a lovely, durable, and acceptably light component which is a perfect match for a steel frame. And it will still look new long after most alloy parts bite the dust, just as a great steel frame will most likely have longer service life than a great alloy frame. Many of us will happily buy them.
michael white

Anonymous said...

Both quill and threadless work fine. I use both. Both can be problematic, like anything else. A fillet brazed stem is a lovely, durable, and acceptably light component which is a perfect match for a steel frame. And it will still look new long after most alloy parts bite the dust, just as a great steel frame will most likely have longer service life than a great alloy frame. Many of us will happily buy them.
michael white

Anonymous said...

strange double post, did I hit the button twice??? oh well.

Ben said...

if the price was right I would buy the light, silver of course

Anonymous said...

Another vote for the adjustable quill stem. The Al clamp will likely polish up alright, and with the clamp flipped so the bars are above the extension you won't have as much quill poking out.

Perhaps a second clamp of some description could fit in front of the one holding the bars so us rando folk can mount lights, gps, mace, lightning rods etc.

Cheers

Stevy

Steve Fuller said...

Mmmmm chrome lugged stem.

jay said...

The Syntace F139 is a rather beautiful stem. It's the most polished thing on my bike after the TA chainrings. The transition from the clamp area to the extension is well-executed. The handlebar clamp is 25.4mm, so you don't need a shim for Nitto bars. Plus, it's 130g.
The faceplate is two black pieces though, and the design is such that you can still see into the stem after mounting a handlebar.

SprocketScientist said...

I really really like the fillet brazed stem.

david_nj said...

Whether or not it's attractive, I really take issue with chrome plating where it's not absolutely necessary. A quality chrome-plating job is simply hell on the environment.

In the case of bicycle parts, nicely polished alloy components look just about as good. Now that I understand it better, it baffles me why so many parts are clearcoated and/or anodized. The clearcoating looks like hell as it gets chipped and wears. I've found that reasonably well-polished alloy bit don't have corrosion problems at all.

Anonymous said...

I want those bars!!!