The latest e-mailed newsletter from Wheel Giant of Taiwan - the annointed trade publication of the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters' Association - contains details of the 20 winners of the TBEA's six-year old innovation awards. And with price-cutting China casting a huge shadow over the Taiwanese bike industry, the attempt by Taiwan to portray itself as a hotbed of innovation and 'added value' has never been more important

Taiwanese innovators give themselves pats on the back

The Giant Prodigy bike won the Special Innovation Award in the TBEA’s Innobike awards.

This internal industry awards scheme lauds products which possess "technical and design innovation, functional and market practicality, environmental-friendliness, cost-effectiveness, secure quality management and testing procedures."

A statement from the TBEA said:

"So long as [the Innobike award exist], we can be sure that Taiwanese bicycles will continue to thrive and enjoy sustainability."

Other awards included plaudits for KMC’s new maintenance-free chain. "The unique surface treatment technology on the maintenance-free chain is applicable to all kinds of bicycle chains. Road-tested in Europe, this chain has a useful life that is five times longer than a regular chain without maintenance," said the TBEA judging panel.

TH Industries bagged an award for its ‘budget’ carbon-fibre crankset with a monocoque crankarm.

"Weighing under 550 grams for a complete crankset, not only is TH’s Team Issue crankset super-lightweight, but is also offers superior strength compared to other brands’ high-end offerings."

Presumably this is a reference to the sexy carbon-fibre cranksets from Campag and Colnago’s £600 500gm crankset.

TH sponsor French professional team, Bonjour.

Sunny Wheel’s snappily-named SW-BC06 childseat is another of the notable prize winners. It converts to a stroller once off the bike.…/BMUEN2002010202.HTM

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