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Fresh ideas electrify Taipei Cycle

Thanks to a focus on e-bike related suppliers and opening up to LEVs (light electric vehicle) this year’s edition of Taipei Cycle saw more exhibitors and booths than ever. While the number of overseas trade visitors was slightly down compared to last year’s edition, the strong growth of domestic trade visitors more than compensated for this, making Asia’s prime bicycle show a success.

The continuing overstock issue plaguing the global industry was the big topic at this year’s Taipei Cycle. With companies suffering from high inventories and cash flow issues, many overseas visitors decided to reduce the size of their delegations. This resulted in a drop of overseas trade visitors from 4200 in 2023 to 4000 at this year’s show. With both buyers and suppliers eagerly looking for signs of business to rebound, some exhibitors reported a higher number of meetings than the year before. At an impromptu press conference held for domestic media, Giant’s co-CEOs Bonnie Tu and Young Liu fueled hopes by stating that they expected inventory levels to start dropping as early as Q3 this year, mainly due to increased demand. Managers of French sporting goods giant Decathlon echoed this sentiment, expecting the tide to turn for the better in the last quarter of 2024.

At 23,000, the number of domestic trade visitors was up significantly compared to last year’s show, more than compensating for the loss in international visitors. The fact that show organizer Taitra opened up the show to LEVs and appealed to visitors from Taiwan’s thriving tech and finance sectors with the first ever Bike Venture matchmaking event certainly contributed to this rise, as did a sizable number of bicycle and fitness-related bloggers, vloggers and influencers who were invited to be part of the new Live Studio format. A TV production studio was installed on the 4thfloor of hall 1 and a tightly packed program of presentations and interviews was streamed on YouTube, significantly adding to the reach of the show.

Since the TaiNEX 2 hall could be used in full for the first time, all 200 exhibitors and 850 booths of the TaiSpo show could be fitted on its first floor. So there was no need for a shuttle to the World Trade Center in Xinyi district anymore. Taipei Cycle itself counted 950 exhibitors that occupied a total 3,500 booths on the two main floors in hall 1 and the fourth floor of hall 2, where a range of e-bike related suppliers were hosted. Using both halls throughout the show helped spread the visitors better, reducing traffic congestion. There were still some bottlenecks, mainly around the opening and closing times of the show in the Nangang Exhibition Center MRT station and around noon in terms of catering. But on the whole, getting from one appointment to the next could be done efficiently.

Apart from the ongoing electrification of the bicycle – Europe’s key market Germany saw more e-bikes than conventional bicycles sold in 2023 for the first time ever – ESG related topics took center stage as well. From Formosa Taffeta recycling fishing nets into Seawastex nylon used in bicycle tyres to various companies presenting ways to re-use recycled thermoset carbon fibre and Astro’s bet on thermoplastics to Giant exactly quantifying the carbon footprint of its flagship TCR road bike, sustainability was firmly was in the spot light. One reason for this is the fact that the EU, a key export market for Taiwan’s bicycle industry, is planning to introduce a CO2 tax as early as 2026. Fittingly, the summit of the World Bicycle Industry Association held at Taipei Cycle also had a strong focus on sustainability. The themes of E-mobility, sustainability, gravel, and smart products were also at the forefront of this year’s Taipei Cycle d&i awards. The twelfth edition of the innovation prize featured 47 awarded products, with five products winning the prestigious Gold Award (read more here).

While some companies decided to postpone the launch of new models due to the high inventory levels, Taipei Cycle saw a number of high-profile world premieres, with Merida launching the third generation of its eOne-Forty and eOne-Sixty e-mountainbikes at their home show. There were some less obvious examples of the drive for innovation on display as well that could be seen as the missing pieces of the puzzle for high-end models with advanced integration. Supernova and Brand XY showed a dropper post with an integrated rear light made to be connected to an e-bike battery, and Tektro’s aftermarket label TRP launched dropbar levers combining hydraulic braking with electronic shifting, compatible with Pinion’s electronic Smart Shift gearbox. Other noteworthy innovations aim to further deepen the connectivity of e-bikes, turning them into smart devices.

For 2025, the date of Taipei Cycle as Asia’s prime bicycle show is moving by three weeks and will be held from March 26 to March 29.

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