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17 Weird & Wonderful Bikes From the Taipei Cycle Show 2023

There’s no shortage of weird at the Taipei Cycle Show, but when it comes to bikes, it’s a mix of pure concept to show what a frame manufacturer can do and some “normal” bikes to court distributors. Sometimes, it means going to extremes, like with a 540g full carbon road bike frame. And in the case of this gorgeous blue Ioklin Frameworks Columbus steel gravel bike, some are custom builds to showcase a supplier’s parts.

Built to show off BLKTEC’s integrated handlebar and stem, the bike’s paint scheme appears rough and rusted in spots, but it’s all paint, and it looked fantastic. If I could’ve taken one bike home with me, this was probably it. Word is, Ioklin will be exhibiting at the MADE Bike Show this fall in Portland.

Ora titanium gravel bike with custom TI rear rack

Ora Engineering is a Taiwanese titanium bicycle manufacturer, offering shaped tubes …

Ora titanium gravel bike with custom ti rear rackClick any image to enlarge for detail.

… and maybe even custom racks! Noticed a trend yet? Full internal routing and cockpit cables are a thing now — and won’t be going away anytime soon.

Speedvagen Wavy Road all-road bike

While we’re on metal, Speedvagen’s reps were showing off a few of the latest. The Wavy Road is an all-road bike with a groovy paint scheme.

Speedvagen Rugged-er Road gravel bike with RS Rudy fork

The Rugged’er Road fits big tires and adds a suspension fork … I’m not sure if they painted the bike to match the fork or vice versa, but it looks good.

Speedvagen Urban Racer

The Urban Racer probably has Ron swooning right now. It looks retro, but the details from its road bike (swoopy seatstays, integrated seatmast, paint-matched frame pump) would make this just as much at home with some fat slicks as these full knob mountain bike tires.

Speedvagen Urban Racer

Speedvagen Urban Racer

Rear coaster brake yields to a front disc brake in emergencies, and an integrated chainguard levels the whole thing up to Show Bike status. This model’s not listed on the Speedvagen website, though.

Tommasini Mini T compact road bike

The Tommasini Mini T is, well, a road bike with tiny wheels. Go figure.

Trigon ARO1 aero road bike

The Trigon ARO1 won a show design award (we’ll have details on it in a roundup post for all award winners) thanks to cleanly integrated and novel aero features like dimpled surface textures across much of the frame, brake rotor fairings, and more.

2023 Argon 18 Dark Matter gravel bike

The 2023 Argon 18 Dark Matter gravel bike is out now and has more mounts than almost any other non-bikepacking specific frame I’ve seen.

2023 Argon 18 Dark Matter gravel bike

Three mounting points on the fork legs, two on top, four on the seat tube, two on each seatstay, and six on the downtube. Some are pretty close together, making them better for small accessories or just fine-tuning your bottle cage’s position, but still …

new Argon 18 all-road bike with internal storage

Sitting next to it is this mystery bike. It’s not online yet, but it looks like an all-road bike borrowing features from the brand’s performance and endurance road frames and the Dark Matter gravel bike, then adding an internal storage compartment opened with a low-profile lever that would sit flush against a bottle cage. I’ve reached out for more info, and will update as they arrive.

Giant Revolt X gravel bike with suspension fork

The Giant Revolt X Pro gravel bike adds a suspension fork to its top carbon frames, plus a dropper seatpost.

Voltraware wireless charging e-bike platform with cargo trike

This cargo e-bike caught my eye for the design, and then I saw the wireless charging spot it’s parked on. From Voltraware, it can deliver up to 150 W of juice from 15 cm away. As the sign says, don’t put your cell phone anywhere near it.

Polini e-bike motor on Santillo road bike

This Santillo e-road bike has a very distinct look, and it’s also available in human-powered versions. It has a Polini drive system …

Polini e-bike motor on Santillo road bike

… which is named E-P3 — branding that’s suspiciously similar to Shimano’s EP8 at a glance.

Travix folding full suspension e-bike with fat tires

I couldn’t find a website for Travix, but its HAMR folding fat-tired e-bike looked rad. Full suspension, fenders, front basket, and cleanly integrated battery in the seatpost powering a hub motor — very nice.

Travix Powerkat fat tire mini e-bike

Travix’s mid-drive Powerkat e-bike with moto-style fork and handlebar looks like fun too.

Fronbital prototype suspension gravel bike frame

Second to last is this full suspension prototype from Aryen Motor & Aeronautics Co, Ltd., which has a Taiwanese address on its card but Google says is an Indian company making motors and pumps. Such is the mystery of trying to find some of these things after the show.

Fronbital prototype suspension gravel bike frame

The model is, I think, called the Fronbital. This one’s a proper Review mule it used to figure out geometry and suspension kinematics. Note the different mounting points for the linkage (and the comically short rear shock), but my favorite part is the wooden rockers:

Fronbital prototype suspension gravel bike frame

They told me it allowed them to more quickly Review different pivot positions than machining a part from metal, and it worked just fine for kinematics work in the lab. No explanation for the downtube friction shifter, but it looked cool and could be a fun way to provide a rear shock remote lockout without adding an MTB lever to a drop bar layout.

Grat 540g carbon frame from Taipei Show 2023

Finishing off this roundup is a frame (technically #18, consider it a bonus) from Grat Co. Ltd. With a claimed weight of just 540 g for the standard version, and 614 g for the one with a seatmast, it’s rated for a rider weight up to 220 pounds (100 kg).

Grat 540g carbon frame from Taipei Show 2023

The front triangle uses a low headtube with space for an inset top tube cover to keep it clean. Both the top and down tubes have shaping to add torsional rigidity, and the round BB tube can be 68 mm or 86 mm wide depending on the customer’s spec. As shown, it’s 100% carbon with no metal inserts. The rear dropouts are hollow carbon fiber.

Stay tuned for more fun stuff from the 2023 Taipei Cycle Show!

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45 COMMENTS

    • Seriously? Have you ever tried riding those things for more than a couple of miles? Good luck getting groceries or hauling anything. Bikes are great for short trips, but lets not get carried away with the hype. Cars serve a purpose too.

    • I get your excitement, but lets not throw cars under the bus just yet. Bikes are a great alternative, but lets not forget that they might not work for everyones lifestyle or needs. Lets coexist peacefully, shall we? #BalanceIsKey

  1. Are you serious? Riding a unicorn-shaped bike wont get you anywhere in the real world. Stick to reality and get a car if you want to actually go places. #UnicornsAreForFantasyNotTransportation

  2. Thats just ridiculous. Riding a bike with a built-in coffee machine sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Focus on safety and functionality rather than gimmicky features. #CommonSenseNeeded

  3. OMG, those bikes from the Taipei Cycle Show are straight outta a sci-fi movie! Cant decide if theyre genius or just plain weird. What do yall think?

  4. Are you for real? Unicorn-powered bikes? Thats just a fantasy. Stick to reality, pal. Cars are way more practical and efficient.

  5. I cant find an article about the 17 Weird & Wonderful Bikes From the Taipei Cycle Show 2023. Could you please provide more information or a different topic for me to comment on?

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