17 Weird & Wonderful Bikes from Taipei Cycle Show 2023

ioklin frameworks steel gravel bike with BLKTEC internal routing cockpit

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. And in the case of this gorgeous blue Ioklin Frameworks Columbus steel gravel bike, some are custom builds to showcase a supplier’s parts.

ioklin frames steel gravel bike with BLKTEC internal routing cockpit

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 rack
Click 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; won’t be going away anytime soon.

speedvagen wavy road allroad bike

While we’re on metal, Speedvagen’s reps were showing off a few of the latest. The Wavy Road is an allroad 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…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 their 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 their website, though.

tommasini mini t compact road bike

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

trigon rim1 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 Argon18 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 ponits 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 allroad bike with internal storage

Sitting next to it is this mystery bike. It’s not online yet, but looks like an all-road bike borrowing features from their 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, updates as they arrive.

giant revolt x gravel bike with suspension fork

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

voltaware 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 Voltaraware, it can deliver up to 150W of juice from 15cm 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, 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 their 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

Their mid-drive Powerkat e-bike with moto-style fork and handlebar looks like fun, too.

frontbital prototype suspension gravel bike frame

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

frontbital prototype suspension gravel bike frame

The model is, I think, called the Fronbital. This one’s a proper test mule they 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:

frontbital prototype suspension gravel bike frame

They told me it allowed them to more quickly test 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.

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

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