TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN)—Taichung Bike Week gets underway this week in the heart of Taiwan’s manufacturing region as product managers gather to hash out final decisions about spec on 2013 bike lines.
Taichung Bike Week and Ride On run from Tuesday to Saturday, providing a low-key venue for European and North American product managers to peruse wheels, tires and various components.
About 150 companies have rented rooms in the city’s four host hotels to deliver product presentations and meet with potential customers. This year, Ride On, an event organized by FSA, Crankbrothers, Fox, Magura, Mavic, Vittoria and Hayes Bicycle Group, moves downtown to Hotel One, a long walk or a short shuttle to the Taichung Bike Week hotels—the Splendor, the Tempus and the Evergreen. Free buses link the hotels. Ride On had previously been held at a resort located about 45 minutes outside of town.
First Group, a partnership between Continental, Deda Elementi, Selle Italia, Cane Creek and Reynolds Cycling, returns this year with the five brands set up together in the basement level of the Tempus Hotel.
Bike Week buzz is likely to center on Campagnolo’s new Electronic Power Shift drivetrain, which the Italian manufacturer is showing to product managers for the first time this week, as well as further developments in trends like disc brakes for road bikes. SRAM is rumored to be showing its updated version of its top-of-the-line Red road group.
Steve Fenton, owner of Pro-Lite and an organizer of Bike Week, said he’s expecting 2,000 product managers to show up this week. Registration for the annual industry dinner sponsored by Munich’s ISPO Bike and scheduled for Wednesday evening filled to capacity quickly with 210 registrations in the first five days it was open.
With product timelines inching backward, many product managers from the heavy hitters—Specialized, Trek, Giant and Cannondale—have already buttoned up spec decisions, but Bike Week continues to be relevant, particularly to Europeans on slightly later spec schedules.
The event moves back one week this year, a compromise between North Americans pushing for pre-Thanksgiving dates and Europeans happy with the traditional first week of December timeframe.
Editors from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News will produce digital newsletters from the event. Stay tuned for live coverage from Taichung this week on the website.