16 February, 2009

Taipei Cycle Show Wish List

I just booked my flight for next month's Taipei International Cycle Show. This is the most important bike show of the year. It's the place where you can find almost anything related to production bikes. Everything from trikes for toddlers to TdF bikes to work bikes will be on display. The volume of components and accessories manufacturers simply boggles the mind. And if you can't find what you need, you can certainly find a factory to make it, just so long as you order enough of them.

Tom and I will spend four days at the show, mostly meeting with manufacturers that make components for us. We'll also be looking for new items to import. After the show we plan to visit four factories that make some of our products, including a new factory that will make stainless steel racks.

This post is here so you can tell us what we should look for in Taipai. But please be realistic: a VO folding lugged titanium fixie camper won't happen.


Anonymous said...

classic, simple, steel step through frames just like raleigh used to make. things with a classic bike feel for all those fixie kids.

Anonymous said...

i don't care about the ti folding camper. . .

so how bout magnesium?


dan.liu said...

Hmm...how about this? Shimano used to make an altogether better aero brake lever, the old Exage ones, with a spring-loaded quick release button. Good ones are tricky to find on ebay. As someone who prefers the shape of the shimano levers over Tektro's, I've settled with the low-end BR400 that feature some spectacular shattering plastic.

Perhaps if you happen across some folks making narrower aero brake levers? Or could convince Tektro to make a slimmer version? I know I'm in a minority that don't like the wider Tektros, but this *is* on my wish list.

Brian said...

Quill stems other than the ubiquitous Nittos. Something with style like an old Pivo.

Or, a fillet-brazed, chromed steel quill ala Herse or Cinelli.

More polished (or just classic-looking) rims.

Then for the blue sky wishes, Figure if Singer and Herse could build 20 lb bikes back in the 50s, we should be able to do the same 50+ years later, (man on the moon and all that) so, lighter classic-looking components.

robatsu said...

How about rubber quick release lever covers? A trivial item, but also adds a classy touch, and virtually impossible, for me anyhow, to find these days. Colors would be nice (I need some yellow ones...).

Tom said...

I was sooo looking forward to a lugged ti fixxie camper with 650b wheels and roller cam brakes.

cleve said...

The main things I'd like to see are a really nice double or triple- compatible chain guard and a Panaracer Pasela-quality 650b 40-42mm tire

Anonymous said...

Please look into the possibility of a better quality 650b x 38 tire.
The Col De La Vie should be called the "Col de la Merde" - what an absolutely terrible squirmy tread pattern on that beast. Ugh.

And while you are at it, a Pasela NON-Tourguard folding tyre in 700 x 28/32/35. Again, maybe with a smoother, fine file tread pattern.
Hell, I'll even cope with a wire bead if that is what it
takes . . .
And something in the neighborhood of 25 - 40 dollars would be a lot more acceptable than the $55 - $65 for a fairly fragile Gran Bois tyre. For that money I might as well ride sew-ups.

Anonymous said...

A CNC aluminum MiniMag flashlight holder that attaches to a Nitto style 26.0-24.4 drop bar or mount. The new Cree LED conversion kits available make this a no brainer necessity.

dan.liu said...

Why do people not like the Nitto stems?

Anonymous said...

What about a "Rinko" headset and/or folding fender? I'd love to have an easy and quick way of disassembling my bike for travel. Plus on the East Coast the trains are convenient enough to consider Rinko randonneuring.

giant hogweed said...

I would love something like a 650B 38mm hetre

franklyn said...

Product porteur rack that can be attached to fork crown mounts a la Kogswell P/R.

Strong, quality 650b rims

35mm, 38mm, or 40mm 650b tires with better treads than CdlV

non-leather touring saddles with bag loops

Chris Kulczycki said...

Regarding tires, we hope to one day offer VO tires, but the mold costs and the big minimum orders and the large selection that's already available make me think that there are better places to invest our resources this year. Not to mention that haven't found a manufacturer that's a good fit.

We are all excited about 650b bikes, but there are not yet enough 650b bikes out there to sustain all the models of tires available. Besides, I rather like the Col de la Via.

Schorsch said...

Hubs! Nice, minimalist freewheel hubs, for 6 and 7 speed freewheels. Large flanges, spaced for next-to-no dish.

If you can remake the Maxi-Car hubs, all the better.

Anonymous said...

I've asked before and now that it actually seems like an appropriate thread to ask on, I'll ask again...
Inexpensive but decent looking front rack, silver, aluminum or steel.
In terms of size, something along the lines of the front constructeur rack.
Thanks and bring back lots of goodies and ideas!

twblalock said...

I have a pet peeve about currently available brake levers. I am trying to put bullhorn bars on a geared bike, and unfortunately there is no good way to get brake levers and bar-end shifters on the same bullhorn. Inverse levers won't work, because the shifters are plugging up the end of the bar. Regular road levers are unsatisfactory - they look ugly and the mounting angle isn't quite right. That leaves cross (auxiliary) levers, which are small and flimsy.

What I would really like is an inverse-style brake lever which can be strapped around the bar instead of plugged into the end. Something like your City Bike Brake Levers, but with a cable that feeds in from the other direction. If you could make those, they would also be useful for bars like your Montmartre and Belleville bars. People could use bar-end shifters with those bars and have inverse brake levers at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Two things I constantly wish for:
1)A simple, well made, good looking, polished cassette hubset, 8/9 speed compatible. Ideally under $125 for the set.
2)A production crankset with a small enough BCD to run a wide range double. Needs to be clean looking, polished and have affordable rings available - and the arms need to be affordable as well - say under $100.

These are clearly just wishes - I don't expect to see either of these anytime soon, if ever.

Henry G said...

A set of guidonnet brake levers that would follow the contours of the bellville bar and the upcoming Belleri style flat bar (some drop would be nice).

With bar-end shifters you would have a nice set-up that would provide more hand positions with a finger on the brakes for city riding.

Tom said...

how small a BCD do you need to run your wide range dbl? most 74/110 cranks go down to 24t.

a very well made front rack is in the pipeline. Stainless. Not sure if there's a need for a super cheap version, if we are the only ones making it.

True mixtes are very labor intensive, lugged, twin tube, cromoly. A single top tube, tig welded version? Is that something to look into?

Dan Liu- the tektro R100A has a smaller reach. I'll check the body, but that may be the same size as the R200A....

Nitto is doing a great job with their stems. We could buy a stem with a smaller size run, a barrel finish that is not as nice, and melt forged instead of cold forged. Still interested?

A steel or alloy dbl or triple compatible chainguard is the Holy Grail. It is not realisitic to expect a universal fit to cover every crank shape, front derailleur shape, chainring size, and chainline ever made.

Inverse levers that clamp on the outside are a great idea! how to make them elegant though, that;s the issue. A big chunk of aluminum would offend me. I could only imagine how cool a shimano version would look.

Anonymous said...

How bout a nice mixte frame for shorter women (like 5'0"ish)?

Anonymous said...

74/110 means running the inner and middle rings only, no? Works but looks wrong...
"a very well made front rack is in the pipeline. Stainless."
Super! How much and when? ;)

Erich Zechar said...

A bright, as in 600+ lumens, battery-powered LED light, in vintage style. I have bought the MTE SSC P7 flashlight for my wife's commuter and will be picking up another for myself, the thing is ungodly bright for night commutes, costs $40. Unfortunately the barrel is an ugly shape and black, without a good-looking way to mount it to the bike. If you had something like this, styled it to match your other components, and sold for $100 or less, you'd sell boatloads.

robatsu said...

I second the hi flange freewheel hubs. Preferably loose bearings, make the races/cones Campy NR compatible.

Some other things on my wish list, most of which, like the hubs, are probably not economically feasible:

Some kind of conversion kit to make recessed brakes compatible to non-recessed frames. Current options are ugly, tend not to work w/fork crown darumas unless you drill (horrors...). Universal is obviously not possible, but maybe for Tektro long reach?

Higher quality/finish non aero levers. Should fit campy hoods. I like drilled/slotted. Opportunity for nice logo...

Hoods that fit Campy non-aero brake levers. Superbe and Modolo owners will rejoice too.

A triple rear derailleur (silver and shiny) w/the elegance, but not so much of the cost, of the Dura Ace RD-7700-GS. With its large pulleys, it avoids the (to my eyes) gawky long pulley cages of most triples.

A front rack just like the constructeur ones you currently sell, but make the crown tang detachable as on rear rack. Grossly simplifies fitup.

Spring wire derailleur cable housings.

Elegant looking fender mounted taillight, dynamo, battery, or solar powered.

144 BCD chainrings for road bikes.

Lapize pumps, shiny shiny. Mounting hardware would be nice.

Rims w/the performance and polish of CR-18's but with a smooth profile across the top, not the sorta zeppelin/angled look of current ones. 20 mm width would be cool.

Loud bell that looks good too.

26.4 mm seatpost, fluted or C-Record style (ok, just kidding about this one..)

robatsu said...

Oh yea, one last totally unrealistic wish - a triple crankset more or less along the lines of the Sugino Mighty Tour.

Anonymous said...

Short reach centrepull brakes. I'd like to mount mudguards (properly, not bodged) on a couple of bikes and it's modern brakes rather than tyre clearance causing the problem.


Anonymous said...

PLEASE bring back more of those squeal free brake pads!

All the cantilver users I know can't wait to get them...can VO make a fortune selling them to other shops??....

Anonymous said...

Something to make me ride more and eat less crap. Could you find something there that would do the work of self-discipline for me? And I don'r want to spend more than 19.95 on it.

Christopher said...

Wingnuts please! I missed out on the last NOS ones.

james said...

Dia Compe center pulls with old style bolts for older frames.

Aero levers with light and dark brown hoods, maybe other colors to match leather bar tape.

An attractive silver thumb shifter

Reelight taillights available by themselves.

Jan said...

Make this: a handlebar with merckx-bend.

These will have a lot more drop than the more common maes-bend, usually around 165mm or so.

This is a good thing for many people. The top of the bars end up in a higher position for better comfort, the drops will stay in the same, great aero posision.

The bends are also way more comfortable, with a gradual bend; much better for large hands.

These bars are no longer possible to find.

Henry G. said...

I'd second the deep drop bar request. The Deda 215/Newton "deep" is the same drop as a Noodle not close to the old Belgian/Pave bars.

No one makes a 145+ drop bar anymore. THe only one I have found is the 145 Modolo X-boost and that has a very shallow bend like modern compact wing shaped bars. I think 150-155 drop would have more appeal then 160+ though.

Henry G. said...

What ever happened to the proposed VAFAC brakes? If you can't produce a modern set of MAFAC Raid calipers how about a constructeur set of studs and springs that would allow mounting the current Dia-Compe calipers to MAFAC braze on studs.

Spencer Salmon said...

No Frostbike?

Anonymous said...

If you are willing to do production frames, a nice sport-tourer would be heavenly.

DB chro-mo, room (and eyelets) for fenders with 25-28mm tires with side pulls, and all day geometry. You could go tigged, but simple short-point lugs would be grand.*

Think something like the Bob Jackson Audax bikes, but with dt shifter bosses. If you build it, I'll order the first one.

Anonymous said...

60mm 650b fenders
40-45mm 650b Pasela grade tires
more flat bars
TA style crank
hi flange threaded hubs
old style cable housing
old style panniers f/r

higher quality VO components

Terry said...

I would love to see a bar end shifter for the Nexus 8. Jtek makes one, but it is rather clunky looking.

C said...

Another vote for deep drop bars. Nobody makes them these days and not all of us like shallow drops.

A crankset that would allow a 30 or 32 tooth inner ring. 94bcd would work. So would the TA.

I know clothing is a nightmare but I'd like to see some wool offerings that don't have crazy short sleeves, short zippers, and a square cut waistline. Too many I try hang down past my butt in the back and bunch up in front. Rapha is great stuff but crazy expensive.

Simple shoes that would be SPD compatible but also have a relatively thin, saw tooth tread so they'd still work great with clip and strap pedals. Not overly chunky like most shoes are these days.

An updated version of the TA rack. Make the struts a little longer so they'll mount to cantilevers. Use the same solid rod as TA. That rack is still way lighter than anything anyone else is making. For holding a lightly loaded front bag do you really need a burly, tubular rack?

Convince DT to do a nicely polished version of their hubs.

Ian Dickson said...

A silver, 94 bcd double crank with 46/30 or 48/30 rings. Also, an attractive derailleur that will handle a 34t cog.

It doesn't hurt to ask.

Anonymous said...

Regarding reverse brake levers and bar-end shifters:

One way is to do a clamp-on brake lever. You're going to lose some usable length of the handlebar, but that's not too bad. In spite of the other comment, the method that Jtek uses for the Nexus shifter is about perfect - low profile, small bolt, smooth shape so it doesn't hurt the hand.

Another way is to make an adapter to fit onto the mounting bolt of the Tektro-style brake levers and hold a shift lever. Sort of a bar-end pod that would fit into the recess of the brake lever where the rubber plug usually sits. A longer bolt would hold both pieces in place. Tektro is the obvious maker, as an accessory to their own levers. You could use any downtube shifter ala Rivendell, but please make it Shimano-lever compatible.


fmackay said...

Chainrings in "obsolete" sizes; I seem to be collecting these by accident. I'm sure these would sell and save many a vintage chainset, but purely selfishly I need 118mm for my everyday bike, 151mm for my fixie (yes, I could get a NOS Campy ring from Campyoldy for only £77...) and I have just acquired a bike with a Stronglight 99 (86mm), which brings us back to compact doubles.

Clamp-on inverse lever; I'm sure I have seen these on ebay, but can't find any pictures. A fat-but-rounded clamp like this could look ok. Many old French levers have similar clamps.

Not-ugly shifters for hub gears would be nice, although the need may be lessening with the Jtek Nexus shifter and SA's statement (on their blog) that they'll make moderately attractive thumb/bar-end shifters similar to that for their ASC-remake for existing 3 and 8 speeds (presumably the cable tension for 5th gear on 5 speeds is too high).

Anonymous said...

Something that I would REALLY like is a DT shifter for Sturmey-Archer hubs. A bar-end one in bar end style would also work, but DT would be great.
M Burdge

Anonymous said...

How about something relatively simple - a reinforcement for the rear fender where it gets attached to the brake bridge ?

Old high-end Frenchy bikes had a nice diamond shape piece contoured to the fender and bolted or riveted in place.

I would guess that thin aluminum would be flexible enough to be adaptable to 700 or 650b with one stamping. Maybe Honjo or Tanaka already make these ?

Thanks guys !

keithwwalker said...

I also recommend a clamp on reverse lever that works with bar end shifters.

I have already requested a 24mm clamp from Jtek. You might as well talk to him about it, instead of dealing with the logistics of Taiwan you can deal with someone right here (reasonable price, made in USA, basically a modification of a mature product).

Second, please make a threadless 1-1/8 stem that isn't ugly. Maybe that isn't possible, but what I am thinking of is something in the style of:
Cinelli Grammo fabricated stem:

or the Nitto 65 Crystal Fellow 8 Stem (I know this is threaded, but it is beautiful):

Finally, 52mm 700c Hammered Honjos.

Schorsch said...

keithwalker: Wow, we have very different definitions of "not ugly." I personally think the current VO stems are b-eautiful.

I'm glad to see that others want a high-quality, high-flange threaded hub.

Also, I mentioned this on the iBOB list, but the previous handlebars on the Masi Randonneur were amazing, and fill a gap that other bars don't cover. Specifically, they are fairly wide, have useable ramps, and a good degree of flare in the drops. Masi no longer makes them, but I'd bet their supplier will be at your expo.

Anonymous said...

I second twblalock and Henry G, it would be nice to have good city bike brake levers, everything is too cheap or too mountainy. Currently there is no non-inverse lever to equal the quality of your city bars. That is all. Have fun in Taipei, I had a great (and strange) time at Roxy 99 when I was there, but that was years ago.

Victor said...

Does Nitto still make the deep drop road bars that Grant P spec'd on the Bridgestone RB-1? I think they had a drop of 160mm and I believe they are the Model 165. If those were available in 44cm or 46cm (measured c-to-c), I'd put them on all of my bikes. I just don't care for the 140mm drop but that's all that's available these days. Thanks!

keithwwalker said...

OK, you are right, the VO stem is not ugly (I have the Grand Cru seatpost and this would be a good match, btw); what I don't like is that there is a prevailing 'sameness' to most if not all 1-1/8 stems - protruding bolts...

The VO Stem is a nicer version, imo, of the Nitto UI-5GX. But in a threadless world, it is hard to get threaded good looks...

Victor said...

On the subject of nice-looking threadless stems: The path to elegance is 2 bolts instead of 6. Take a look at these by Courage Cycles of Portland, OR


Tom said...

some ppl want utility in the form of a removable face stem. Everything we have seen is kinda ugly for a quill.

Mark said...

Since I know they are common/cheap in Asia, bring back a few cottered cranksets. I happen to have a need for two cottered cranksets, preferably single ring. Don't ask why.

Some things that someone other than me may want:

A production frame with horizontal dropouts (not track ends) long stays, and clearance for decent size tires/fenders. Diamond and mixte versions, and tig welded is OK.

Fibrax brake pads with the leather inserts for use with steel rims. There are a lot of steel rims out there - it would be nice if they had decent braking in wet conditions.

Brakes that don't use/require recessed nuts.

A decent, inexpensive front rack that mounts to the wheel axle or fender eyelets.

WCrawford said...

+1 on the tripple-compatible chain guards. that would be SO awesome. even if I had to buy a whole new derailler, to me it would be worth it.

Other things:
coat tail guards. again, hard to fit - but the market is there i promise! if not, maybe some kind of fender that scoops down further to achieve a similar effect? girls want to wear skirts, and i want to wear an Abe Lincoln style trailing coat.

(wicker) baskets that fit on decaleurs?

nice (classic) looking, very bright, battery LED lights?

a nice brass bell with a 'whirl' style button. you know, the kind that has little gears inside and makes a really nice loud BRRING BRRING sound when you press it.

ok that's enough =).

Anonymous said...

The city is spelled


jimmythefly said...

Polished RD that'll clear a "mountain" cassette, for use with a double front.

Simple, elegant computer.

94BCD double crank. I prefer an octalink BB, but I know that makes me a bit of an oddball hereabouts.

A tool that clamps or mounts to the brake mounting points of an old fork or old frame. This would be a wheel-truing tool, and would transform a craigslist frameset into a truing stand.

Clamp-on pump pegs that would fit the Lezyne pump or other not-framepump sized pumps. Sized for OS steel tubes.

Flickstand. Kidding!

Anonymous said...

Tom was kidding about roller cam brakes, but I wonder if there's actually a small market for those. NOS ones go for small fortunes on ebay, when you can find them.

I'd love to have inverse brake levers that fit barcons or bar-end lights.

It would be nice to have replacement hoods for Shimano and other non-shifting aero brake levers, in gum or white.

Also, there might be a market for MAFAC-style rubber brake lever covers, in gum, white, or black.

Second the desire for a more elegant, less mountain-y city brake lever, preferably with quick release. The Dia-Compe levers that you sell are a step in the right direction.

Since we're dreaming here, why not a set of guidonnet levers? Just to be more pie-in-the-sky, they could work either alone or inline with aero levers, like CX levers.

A quick-release for saddle bags. I've seen homemade ones that use wheel skewers.

A better way to attach water bottles to frames without bottle bosses. Minoura makes a very function solution, but it's ugly. I've had bad luck with the metal bands.

Oh, and the rackaleur from a few days ago.

Rick said...

Ditto on the skirtguards; my wife Gina of Bicycle Fixation will buy your first set (if they look Frenchy/vintage).

fmackay said...

Having thought a bit more about chainrings, how about a "drill-your-own" ring? This could cover all the obsolete size bases. Just a five-arm ring with undrilled arms going almost to the middle, and the back side marked for the customer to drill holes and cut the arms down to the size required.

Mark said...

A few other things I forgot:

Kool Stop Continental brake pads, in Salmon. These are surprisingly hard to find, and about the perfect new brake pad for old bike with caliper brakes.

I will second the call for a reverse brake lever that allows for bar end shifters. The jtek version is OK, but not really the right style for a classy city bike, and kind of pricey.

Any decent hardware for mounting flashlights as headlights. Today's LED flashlights are great, and a better buy than many bicycle headlights, but mounting options are pretty much a DIY affair. Maybe carry some of the flashlights and mounting bits together as a package, and also sell the mounting bits separately for those who already have a favorite flashlight.

Anonymous said...

A 130mm spaced 28h fixed hubset, with top quality bearings and some nice style would currently be top of my list and some good welded seam double wall and eyeletted 28h rims in a mavic - CD finish.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Thanks for all the suggestions. Of course VO's primary aim is to provide components and accessories for rando and city bikes. Some of this stuff overlaps to road bikes, fixies, loaded tourers, etc. But those bikes are not our primary focus.

Anonymous said...

The Jtek inverse levers ought to work with an Albatross bar, no? Which takes barcons?

Anonymous said...

I'd be in the market for a double groove, compact (not angular "ergo") bend 26,0 silver drop bar.

robatsu said...

One last thing - how about a Lauterwasser handlebar. They look best very shiny, maybe even chromed steel.

Old ones sell for boatloads on ebay, and the wish for new ones arise fairly regularly on various forums. Don't know what is the minimum run you need for handlebars, but it is hard to imagine you couldn't sell a few hundred.

Anonymous said...


and some of the older style clear and transparent colored brake cable, in a modern, lined version.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for the Lauterwasser bar.

Tyler said...

How about reviving the Suntour Command shifter? Or having something similar to a WTB multi-mount made, compatible with Shimano bar-ends instead of thumb shifters. Both of these items are desirable for a lot of practical reasons but since they arrived on the scene just before integrated shifting there aren't enough original examples to fill the need.

Charlie said...

Two things:

1) A real chaincase, that can protect the chain on single-speed or internal gear hub from salty slush in the winter and road grit, rain, etc. in the summer.

2) I can buy drop-bar brake levers for small hands, and I can buy them for V-brakes. I can't find ones designed for both. That would be an immediate buy for a bike I'm planning to build up. (I know that V-brakes aren't traditional, but my experience with good quality V-brakes has been really good.)

Anonymous said...

I second the requests for traditional mounting bolts for Tektro brakes.
This wouldn't require making anything new, just persuade Tektro to sell you some of the traditional bolts they already use on some of their brakes.
The R556 is already available in some places (UK) with traditional mounting.


nickelbag said...

I'd like some nice FW hubs too. Polished. sealed or loose balls, hi-flange, or maybe a hi-lo rear, like maxicar(so you can change spokes without removing FW).
Also the deep, Merkcx-style bars would be awesome.
nice Non-aero levers would be good.
Retro-friction shifters!
some nice FWs (suntour or dura-ace style), with a 12t cog.
Low Q cranks, in a 94 or 74/110 BCD, with square taper, and elegant, thin arms. Like old Ritchey Logics, or Specialized, or even a little campy style.
keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I checked with one of the UK stockists of hex nut mounting Tektro R556 brakes. These have to be ordered as a custom batch from Tektro minimum 250 off. They didn't have the bolts as spares.


Anonymous said...

+1 for Lauterwasser bars. Dropped Northroads aren't doing it for me

Anonymous said...

Yes, Lauterwasser shallow drop bars!!!! Velo Orange would sell a ton.

chdean said...

One more vote for the Lauterwassers.