I'm back home again after a crazy, fun and intense trip to Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. Wow! I just don't know how to describe this last trip. I learned so much.
I read back through the Taipei Cycle Show post and the comments regarding my trip to China and Taiwan. I see a debate already brewing regarding China vs Taiwan. I want to repeat what Kid Riemer said, the 2 day trip to China mainland was a research trip. About 65-70% of our mfg is done in Taiwan. The remaining 30-35% is done in the US and a few other countries.
I'll share my observations throughout this week and into next week. They are just that, my observations. I want to be clear that I am by no means an expert on the political climate, the amazing people, nor the history of any of the places I visited while on this trip. I did ask a lot questions while traveling, but please consider these blog posts observations and not fact.
This trip had 2 main focus points along with 1 bonus point.
1) Do research on carbon fiber frame and component manufacturing.
2) Attend Taipei trade show to meet with bicycle component manufacturers and hopefully wrap up some component specifications for 2009 Salsa complete bicycles.
Today, I'm going to tackle point #2.
As I mentioned in my prior post about the show, this show is different and focused on manufacturing and OEM business. Brands go to this show to view new components that the manufacturers hope the brands spec on future complete bicycles.
I went with a clear mission this year. That mission being sharing Salsa's direction with manufacturers and finalizing some component specifications for 2009 Salsa products. I had already met with SRAM and Shimano here in the US, so my focus was on supporting brands beyond the core component manufacturers. In our meetings I showed them our products and shared our complete bicycle direction. It went something like this.
"....In 2007, Salsa had 1 complete bike. In 2008 Salsa has 5 complete bikes. For 2009, Salsa has _____ complete bikes."
One thing became clear. Manufacturers are taking notice of what the Salsa crew is doing. That was exciting. I also learned that many manufacturers are focusing on smaller niche segments of the industry. That was great news to me as this allows riders to have better product. In the end, I'm pleased with the results and I'm pretty set with our specifications for 2009 product. Now we just have to deliver.
So...With that here are a few observations and a few pics from the show.
Lot's of bikes like this at the show. The urban, utility, commuting segments are really growing.
While carbon mtn forks have been around for quite a while, this was the first time I saw a full carbon monocoque mountain fork. I thought this thing was both intentional and beautiful.
Lot's of lugs at the show. I saw too many forks, frames and stems to count. Some looked great. Others looked horrible. It was clear that lugs are making a come back and are not just limited to custom builders.
I find great humor in stuff like this. Often, words get lost in translation. Here's a good example. I believe this was supposed to say Patent Pending.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I tackle the other 2 points of my trip.
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Growing up as a Minnesota farm boy, I developed an appreciation and love for land and open space. This appreciation has fostered two passions, cycling and photography. Both of these passions provide freedom, encourage me to explore and foster creativity. More importantly though, my journey with a bike and a camera reminds me that the world is big and I am small.