Taichung Bike Week is getting more important each year. My last visit was in 2010 having skipped 2011. Taipei Cycle has been more important, up until now at least. My visit to Bike Week this year has made me realize that for a small brand such as mine, it is very handy indeed.
The problem is that at Taipei Cycle there is no time to have a good look around and meet with many suppliers. I have my own booth and am short-staffed. This year’s Taichung Bike Week has made visits and appointments during Taipei Cycle not so urgent. I have achieved all my supply targets for 2013 and will be able to to just concentrate on meeting with customers at Taipei Cycle 2013.
But the product year on the product managers’ minds at TBW is not next year of course. Which components would be supplied by whom for the 2013 model year was all settled at the 2011 edition of TBW for the much bigger companies. The model year uppermost in participants’ minds this year is 2014.
I hoped to have a chat with Bengt Friberg of Forza Components, but he was very busy. Bengt is a longtime veteran of the bicycle industry who made his first foray into Taichung Bike Week this year along with many others. We did eventually catch up later. Due to busy schedules at Taipei Cycle last year we missed the chance for a meeting. A more flexible schedule is certainly one of TBW’s advantages.
It was a big week all round. Some key bicycle industry bodies celebrated milestones. The Taiwan Bicycle Exporters Association (TBEA) along with the Cycling and Health Industry R&D Center (CHC) celebrated 20 year anniversaries. CHC is a key player in the International Bicycle Design Competition that kicks off on the first day of Taipei Cycle every year.
Interesting things this year include FSA’s new design for its K-Force Light crankset (road) for quicker shifting and increased stiffness. I learned about Tektro’s integrated production line for brake shoes–all done in-house, very interesting. Kind Shock showcased an adjustable seatpost for LEVs. Next year’s d&i Awards at Taipei Cycle will be certainly something to look forward to.
Taichung Bike Week is getting bigger every year. There were only 120 exhibitors in 2010 when I was last here. In 2011 it increased to 150. 2012 saw 195 exhibitors. Given Taichung’s importance as the center of Taiwan’s bicycle industry, it is set to grow in prestige and importance in the years ahead.