We've done a lot of legwork today pounding the halls of Taipei Cycle and here are five of the most eyecatching products and services that we spotted.
ControlTech Affilado integrated carbon seatpost/saddle
ControlTech revealed the Affilado integrated carbon seatpost/saddle a few months ago but this is the first time that we’ve seen it in the flesh.
They have done away with a standard saddle clamp and dual rails, and come up with this instead. Why? The idea is to save weight. They reckon this entire integrated system, using unidirectional carbon fibre and 6AL-4V titanium bolts, is just 258g – lower than the weight of many saddles alone. That’s with a 31.6mm diameter seatpost, 300mm long. It’ll be available in other diameters soon.
ControlTech also say that his design has better vibration absorption than other carbon saddles.
The saddle is mounted to the seatpost at three points: one on the nose and two at the rear. Spacers at either end can alter the angle +/-2° and you get 20mm of fore and aft adjustment.
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot’s Liv Envie Advanced Pro
This is the Liv Envie Advanced Pro belonging to France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot – or a replica of her race bike, at least. Those rainbow stripes are courtesy of her status as current World Champion in both road racing and cyclocross. Her braided rail Fizik saddle gets a similar treatment.
Liv, as you probably already know, is Giant’s female-specific brand and the Envie Advanced Pro is designed with aerodynamics in mind, hence the narrow but deep frame tubes and the positioning of Giant’s own SpeedControl SL Ti brake behind the fork legs. The arms of the rear brake are designed to sit right behind the seatstays too.
Ferrand-Prévot runs a complete Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, Dura-Ace C50 wheels and Vittoria Corsa Evo CX tyres.
Birzman’s new torque wrench
Birzman will be offering a new 5Nm torque wrench later in the year that will fit both 4mm and 5mm hex bolts. The idea, as with any torque wrench, is that you tighten your bolts to the required point and no further. It can be disastrous if you overtighten bolts, particularly on carbon frames and components.
With the Birzman design you put your thumb on a little button as you tighten and you get a very definite click when you reach the correct point.
The torque wrench doesn’t yet have a name or a price but it’s likely to be ready in time for Eurobike at the end of August.
Birzman intend to incorporate similar technology into other multitools over time.
A couple of new pumps are on the way too, one of them coming with a head that can be removed and fitted to a CO2 canister.
Prologo’s new My Own saddle selection system
Lots of brands have their own systems to get you onto the right saddle – Selle Italia have their idmatch, Fizik have their Spine Concept and Specialized have been measuring people’s sit-bones for years. Now Prologo have the My Own system to get you on the right saddle.
It’s really straightforward and doesn’t hurt a bit! You go to your Prologo dealer and they’ll sort you out in a couple of minutes, doing a few measurements and inputting everything to online software.
These are the stages:
• You specify the type of riding you do: road, cross-country mountain biking, triathlon or whatever.
• You sit on Prologo’s cube that’s equipped with pressure pads that show the width of your ischial bones. The dealer measures these and adds 30mm for the saddle width.
• Then you reach forward on the floor as far as you can while remaining seated on the box and the dealer measures the angle of your back at the lowest vertebra.
• The dealer inputs your height and weight and the software calculates your BMI (body mass index). That’s important because it helps determine the amount of pressure going onto the saddle.
• The software takes all of this information and gives your ideal saddle.
The process takes just a couple of minutes.
While we were visiting Prologo, they also showed us these team edition saddles. They provide the seating for Lampre Merida, IAM Cycling, Tinkoff Saxo, and Bora Argon 18. We’ll show you some other limited edition saddles in the coming weeks, but we’re sworn to secrecy at the moment.
Protanium’s eco-friendly Okovanlig electric bike
Electric bike brand Protanium use PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified plywood for the Okovanlig eBike that’s made in Germany. The lithium battery sits sandwiched between two plywood panels that sit where the down tube would otherwise be.
It comes delivered in a cardboard box with a manual for assembly. The designers say it’s a simple operation
The Okovanlig has won a gold design and industry award at Taipei Cycle.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.