Tech Special: The Latest Mountain Bike Tech From The Taipei Cycle Show 2016

The Taipei Bike Show is one of the most
important industry events in the calendar. There is loads of cool stuff here. And as
you can see, I now work for GMBN so I get to show you all of the most amazing
lightweight cross-country gear out there. And there’s some other stuff, too,
like a dropper post and…Anyway, let’s start with tires.
There’s loads of new stuff. ♪ [music] ♪ [00:00:26] – This bike looks a little on
the large side. It is. It’s a 36er. You don’t see many of them around.
I’ve got no idea how it would ride. I think I might flip the stem. Hope is showing two new cassettes. Now, we’ve got the wide-ranging
cassette, which is machine, into two pieces, so the larger four cogs made out
of aluminum and then the smaller seven cogs are made out of steel, 10 to 44 teeth
and it is super light, 284 grams for the cassette, so that’s pretty punchy. You’ve also got a downhill-specific
cassette, so that’s seven-speed and that’s a 10 to 24. KS is showing their wireless
dropper post. Now, it’s still at the prototype stage yet, so they say they’ve
got the functionality where they want it, but it’s the asthetics that they’re going
to be working on next, so ultimately, this wireless box at the back won’t be
there and then also the switch will look very different as well. But as I say,
functionally, they’ve got it where they want it. It uses the normal KS internals,
so a mixture of air and oil, and then you also get your micro-adjusts
still as well because all the wireless electric stuff does is
literally flip a switch. – The switch that would normally be
activated by a cable. Now, no word yet on when this is actually going to hit the
market, but by the look of it, they’re quite a long way down the line. So we’ve come to Crank Brothers to check
out their stamp pedals. Now, they were actually announced back in August, but
they’re shipping now, so we thought we really needed to take a closer look. The first thing that you’ll see is the
fact that they come in two different sizes, the idea being, of course, that
people’s feet are different sizes. So the smaller one is 100 millimeters
across, and that’s optimized for shoe sizes between, apparently,
38 and 42. Then the larger one is 110 mill across and that is for
shoe sizes above 43. Now, the other thing you’ll notice as
well, is just how narrow that pedal is. So it’s only 12 millimeters, giving you
great clearance, and then also lowering you over the bike still further. And then,
if you look closer still, there’s 1.5 millimeters of concavity there as well, so
that’s going to be a really nice, secure grip on your foot. There’s a couple of really interesting
new things over at FSA. Now, I’m stood here by their revised
crank sets for 2017 and they’ve gone into what they’re calling a modular
system, so in theory, the same crank set can run any format of chain rings, so
one, two, or three. And also, you can use the same cranks for boost and
standard. So you simply swap out that spacer, the chain rings bolts straight
onto the cranks, you swap that spacer to go from a boost chain line to a
standard chain line. In theory, that would mean your Q factor’s a little
bit wider, but that may or may not be of interest to you. Also, the other
interesting thing they’ve got is their new 1-by chain rings. Now, they’re
making them out of steel. FSA rightly pointed out that a 1-by chain ring
gets quite a lot more wear than a 2-by setup, so they’re making them out of steel
so in theory that is going to last a lot longer. No word on chain wear but
here we go. And then the other thing they’ve got is a new dropper post. This is
their gravity one. They have also got a cross-country one where it’s a little bit
lighter. Really nice, cable-actuated, 100 mill of travel or 125 mill of travel. For those of you riding 27-plus, or
in fact just looking into it, you’ll be pleased to see, no doubt, that a
lot of the big-time manufacturers are increasing the range they offer in that
size. So Maxxis here will now offer the Recon, the High Roller, and the
Minion in a 27-plus size. We’re over at Praxis Works and we’ve
spotted a new crank set. It’s called the Lift. It’s actually a carbon chain set
even though it doesn’t look like it. They’ve had to paint up what was their
prototype crank set in order to bring it here and launch it at the show.
Now, It’s compatible with Praxis Works bottom brackets. Now, you’ll be familiar
with them because they may well have answered your prayers if you suffer
from a creaky press fit. So basically it’ll fit any kind of bottom
bracket standard. Now weight is supposedly about the same as XX1 so super duper light
and it would be compatible with boost and standards and any ring configuration
you want to throw at it. It’s a pretty versatile crank set. ♪ [music] ♪ It’s not new but it is very recent. This
is SRAM’s NX1 drive train, so it brings 1-by group sets right down to lower
price points. All the features there that you’d expect, you’ve still got a
narrow-wide chain ring, monster range on the cassette, and also no chain slap. Sticking with SRAM a minute, we’ve also had a good look at their new-
level brakes. So these are designed for cross-country. They took loads of the tech
that was in their Guide series and then condensed it all, made it a little bit
lighter. So they’ve gone from a four- piston to a two-piston brake. Their
Ultimate, that’s the lightest one in the range, is about 318 grams
for a complete front brake. So that’s about 60 to 80 grams lighter
than the equivalent Guide brake. One of the really nice things about them
is that the range goes from super cheap right up through to high-end as well, so
they’re actually accessible to everyone. This is Topeak’s Joe Blow Booster and it’s
their solution to the problem of seating tubeless tires. So you turn your normal
track pump with a flick of a switch into charge mode. Then, when you pump,
the air is stored in this cylinder here, right up to 160 psi. Then, with a flick
of that switch again, the air is released at the volume of an air
compressor straight back out. For many people, the announcement
that Aaron Gwin was going to use TRP brakes this year might have been the first
they actually heard of this company, but it’s long-established, and in fact the
model Aaron’s using, the Quadiem, isn’t exactly new either. It’s been around for a
year. But I thought I’d take you through it anyway, just in case. So, as the name
suggests, it’s a four-piston design, two different sized pistons, actually, a
14-mill and a 16-mill, meaning that they actually actuate at different times so
that improves the modulation. Otherwise, as you might expect, there’s
a reach adjust on the lever and a carbon blade. And we can probably imagine that
they’re going to be going really quite fast this year. Now if you think you need
to brush up on your braking performance, then if you click just up there, we’ve
got a great video on how to brake like a pro. Or if it’s more tech that you’re
after, click just down there and you get straight through to the GMBN tech
playlist. Otherwise, make sure that you subscribe to the channel.
Do so just there.