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Ebike Test Ride MTB 29er

fluxebike14curb_1298x865
29er XC racing bike is the basis for the prototype e-bike

In April of 2014, I rode the first e-bike mountain bike from our partner.  This 29er Cross-Country (XC) alloy frame mountain bike was outfitted with a custom e-bike power kit that can be divided into four major components, including battery, torque sensor, motor and LCD console.  My first impressions of the bike was very sleek, flat black lines with oversized head tube, and sloping downward strokes of a beautifully balanced geometric frame.

As  a previous XC mountain bike racer who had competed in the Xterra World Championship, I had seen many bikes fall apart during the race over the volcanic mountain terrain of Maui, Hawaii.  The owner assured me that through years of testing and experience in building the stiffest bikes on the planet, that there would be no damage to behold of the frame.  Previously, at the Taipei International Cycle Show in March 2014, the owner showed me a carbon version of the frame used last year on trail with no damage seen except for some pelted rock surface scratches on the bottom tube from rocks debris.  This was to show actual use and the toughness of the carbon.  In addition, the owner also stood on top of the bottom bracket of bike by laying the bike horizontal and standing on the rear portion to demonstrate the stiffness of the carbon.

I then got onto the bike to test it’s handling, maneuverability, power, and braking, I was immediately impressed with the response of power from the acceleration.  Smooth and controllable and responsive even in tight snap turns, flicking the bike frame close to the ground.  I didn’t even notice the extra weight from the battery pack and hub transmission, nor did I notice any degradation in turning ability, breaking response time, and acceleration.

Finally, I would want this e-bike in my collection of road and mountain bikes.  Not was this only fun to ride but the exhilarating, fast, and a powerful experience.  It is an easy transition from XC racing mountain bikes to e-Bike mountain bikes.  This new chapter in e-Bike racing has yet remain to be seen in the early developments of e-Bike mountain bikes.

Prototype Flux eBike specs:

Frame: custom Flux Alloy 29er frame size L
Wheels: Custom built
Tires: Maxxis Ikon
Fork: Magura TS8 R 29″ 15mm axle
Stem: Truvativ Stylo T20
Handlebars: Truvativ Stylo T20
Seatpost: Truvativ Stylo T20
Saddle: Prologo Kappa
Grips: Syntace Moto
Shifters: Sram
Brakes: Magura MT-2 with regenerative braking switch 180mm/160mm
FD: Sram X7
RD: Sram X9
Crankset: Driveline X5
eBike components: Bionx custom 500W/90Nm with Lithium battery pack

Total weight: 19kg

– See more at: http://voracitybikes.com

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Taiwan’s Top-3 Bicycle Makers Expand Deployments in China

Source: TBEA
by Steve Chuang
Date: 2011/09/06
Taiwan’s Top-3 Bicycle Makers Expand Deployments in China

Despite global demand for bicycles having slowed this year compared to last year, Taiwanese bicycle manufacturers have still scored banner sales so far this year, and are ready to expand deployments in China.Although sales of Taiwan-made bicycles in Europe, Taiwanese makers’ largest export destination, have slowed this year, likely due to weakened consumer confidence resulting from the recent fiscal crisis in Span, Italy and Ireland, riders globally are still willing to pay for relatively higher priced Taiwan-made bicycles. TBEA’s latest report shows, while the export volume declined by 12.41% to 2.2577 million units in the first half compared to that in 2010, the export value steadily rose by 11.3% to US$787 million, with the per-bicycle export price averaging US$348.93, 27% higher than a year earlier.

Higher Exports to USA
Recovery of the U.S. market and steadily growing consumer demand in emerging countries helped to offset a decline in exports to the EU bloc. TBEA chairman Tony Lo says, despite exports to the EU dropping by 20.63% to only 1.4525 million units in the first half, Taiwan’s makers scored 13.33% higher exports of 371,000 units to the U.S., with total export value surging 42.46% to US$212 million.

Disaster can be a blessing in disguise sometimes, for exports to Japan in the first half also rose 15.63% to 131,300 bicycles for a value of US$50.5 million, mainly due to the devastating earthquake in northeastern Japan on March 11 that crippled gasoline and electricity supplies to drive more consumer demand for bicycles.

Lo says bilateral trade of bicycle parts between Taiwan and China has significantly increased since the ECFA (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement) signed in mid-2010 came into effect this year, powering growth momentum into Taiwan’s bicycle industry further. The top-3 bicycle makers in Taiwan are mapping out expansions to tap opportunities generated by ECFA, including Giant Manufacturing Co., Merida Industry Co. and Ideal Bike Corp.

Giant
Giant, the largest supplier by market share globally, has invested US$36 million to build a new plant in Kunshan, eastern China, which came online in July with maximum output of two million bicycles yearly, with the vice president of sales and marketing in China, Young Liu, confirming the plant will be expanded to roll out three million units starting in 2013.

Giant is also considering raising investments to expand factories in Tianjin and Chengdu. The Tianjin plant may be expanded in April 2012 to raise maximum output to three million units from the current 1.4 million, with the Chengdu plant capacity to be raised in the second half of the year to one million units, so by 2015 production in China will total seven million bicycles, says Liu.

Clearly China has built on its long-existing tradition of cycling to emerge as one of the largest bicycle markets worldwide in recent years, especially when rising affluence amid the growing middle class enable upgrading to fancier, higher-priced Taiwan-made bikes, hence justifying Giant’s planned expansions in the country.

The company sold 5.25 million bicycles worldwide last year, about four million of which in China. Apparently recognized as a global brand, Giant sold for average of RMB1,300 last year but has risen by over 30% to RMB1,700 so far this year, says Liu. With the Chinese spending ever more on recreational and sports equipment, Giant has scored a 30% increase in sales in the first half and expects to sell over 4.5 million bicycles throughout the year.

Unfazed by slowing growth globally, Giant founder King Liu remains confident, saying that continued concerns about carbon reduction and eco-protection will keep fueling global demand for bicycles in the second half.

Giant, with over 11,000 outlets globally and 2,200 in China, finished the first half with combined revenue of NT$22.754 billion, up 6.95% from a year earlier, and aims to push the figure to NT$48 billion for 2011.

Merida
Not to lag too far behind Giant, the No. 2 Merida also plans to invest US$35 million to set up its third plant in Jiangsu Province, eastern China, aiming to strengthen local presence, with the plant to be its largest in greater China capable of one million bicycles a year in output.

Following several months of expansion, Merida optimistically says monthly output at its Shandong plant has doubled to 45,000 bicycles in July, and has also decided to budget NT$100 million to set up two more painting lines to boost maximum monthly output to 60,000 units.

The maker, mainly focusing on mid-to-high-end segments, scored combined revenue of NT$8.82 billion in the first half, up 18.6% yearly to set a record high.

While average price of Taiwan-made bicycles having surged 34% to US$496 so far this year from US$370 at the end of last year, Merida has also witnessed its China-made bicycles sell for 10% more than last year.

Merida’s factories in Taiwan generated sales of NT$5.796 billion in the first half, for a 14.82% growth from a year earlier, with the Shenzhen and Shandong plants scoring 14.27% and 118% growths, respectively, in sales of RMB350 million and RMB140 million during the same period.

The firm’s assistant manager Wang Lung-chin says the growth potential for mid-to-high-end bicycles in China is enormous, hence the banner sales so far this year, and simmering sales will continue into the third-quarter boom.

Ideal Bike
Also betting on the buoyant bicycle segment in China, Ideal Bike is determined to raise NT$300-500 million for its Chinese bicycle retailer, Fuji China, to expand the number of retailers to 100 nationwide and attain sales goal of 10,000 units in China by the end of this year.

Founded last year with only 10 outlets, Fuji China has 65 chain stores and sold over 5,000 bicycles in China in the first half.

Ideal Bike president Hermes Chang says bicycles will increasingly be regarded not only as transportation but also accepted by Chinese consumers as recreational and sports equipment, a trend also driven by provincial governments who are building more bicycle paths mainly for leisurely riding, as well as a movement the company plans to ride by adding more Fuji China chain stores.

To evade the vicious cycle of underselling, Ideal Bike is making higher-end bicycles and has opened its new factory in Shenzhen this year, equipped with manual painting lines and advanced clean-room facilities. The NT$50 million factory will further vertically integrate manufacturing to speed delivery to local markets.

Streamlining manufacturing and expanding retail capacity in China enabled the maker to post NT$212 million in June sales, with a 49.86% yearly growth, to finish the first half with aggregate revenue of NT$1.514 billion, up 7.31% year-on-year. The company’s full-year EPS (earnings per share) may exceed NT$1.5.

Source: http://cens.com/cens/html/en/news/news_inner_37619.html

Exports by Taiwan`s Bicycle Industry in 1st Half of 2011
Result Year-on-year Growth Rate
Export Volume 2.2577 million units -12.41%
Export Value US$787 million 11.30%
Average Export Price US$348.93 27.07%
Export Value of Bicycle Parts US$365 million 18.54%
Import Value of Bicycle Parts US$374 million 18.93%
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Test Ride eBike

fluxebike13bikepark_1298x865
29er XC racing bike is the basis for the prototype e-bike

In April of 2014, I rode the first e-bike mountain bike from our partner.  This 29er Cross-Country (XC) alloy frame mountain bike was outfitted with a custom e-bike power kit that can be divided into four major components, including battery, torque sensor, motor and LCD console.  My first impressions of the bike was very sleek, flat black lines with oversized head tube, and sloping downward strokes of a beautifully balanced geometric frame.

As  a previous XC mountain bike racer who had competed in the Xterra World Championship, I had seen many bikes fall apart during the race over the volcanic mountain terrain of Maui, Hawaii.  The owner assured me that through years of testing and experience in building the stiffest bikes on the planet, that there would be no damage to behold of the frame.  Previously, at the Taipei International Cycle Show in March 2014, the owner showed me a carbon version of the frame used last year on trail with no damage seen except for some pelted rock surface scratches on the bottom tube from rocks debris.  This was to show actual use and the toughness of the carbon.  In addition, the owner also stood on top of the bottom bracket of bike by laying the bike horizontal and standing on the rear portion to demonstrate the stiffness of the carbon.

I then got onto the bike to test it’s handling, maneuverability, power, and braking, I was immediately impressed with the response of power from the acceleration.  Smooth and controllable and responsive even in tight snap turns, flicking the bike frame close to the ground.  I didn’t even notice the extra weight from the battery pack and hub transmission, nor did I notice any degradation in turning ability, breaking response time, and acceleration.

Finally, I would want this e-bike in my collection of road and mountain bikes.  Not was this only fun to ride but the exhilarating, fast, and a powerful experience.  It is an easy transition from XC racing mountain bikes to e-Bike mountain bikes.  This new chapter in e-Bike racing has yet remain to be seen in the early developments of e-Bike mountain bikes.

Prototype Flux eBike specs:

Frame: custom Flux Alloy 29er frame size L
Wheels: Custom built
Tires: Maxxis Ikon
Fork: Magura TS8 R 29″ 15mm axle
Stem: Truvativ Stylo T20
Handlebars: Truvativ Stylo T20
Seatpost: Truvativ Stylo T20
Saddle: Prologo Kappa
Grips: Syntace Moto
Shifters: Sram
Brakes: Magura MT-2 with regenerative braking switch 180mm/160mm
FD: Sram X7
RD: Sram X9
Crankset: Driveline X5
eBike components: Bionx custom 500W/90Nm with Lithium battery pack

Total weight: 19kg

– See more at: http://voracitybikes.com