Photo by Michael Turton
The hard part about building up a bike for Taiwan is trying to figure out how you are most likely to use it. This creates a bit of a conundrum, as Taiwan's unique riding features lead to two very different types of bicycle.
Taiwan has some of the most amazing roadways for a fast road bike. Without snow, and a healthy construction industrial complex fueled by local politics, the roads are often beautifully paved. There are long stretches of flat, fast tarmac all along the western plain.
The mountain roads are also pretty nice, but with Taiwan's typhoons and heavy rains, there are many roads that are under constant repair. There are also hundreds of rough mountain roads that string across the central mountain range. These offer high adventure and technical bike handling, but they are often worth the reward.
To tackle these two conditions with one bike is a daunting task, but not impossible. I did that with my old Salsa Las Cruces.
Now, James Murray from Warehouse 185 has introduced his own take on the ultimate Taiwan bike.
This new rig is a carbon composite frame, which will be featured as a Warehouse 185 house model. It offers internal cable routing, disc tabs, and room for knobby cyclocross tires in the 32/38mm ballpark.
This bike is also built up with a few intriguing extras.
James is using SRAM Apex, the groupset that is making the triple chainring obsolete. This is matched with a Mtb derailleur for a rear cassette range from 11-32 teeth.
The wheels are Crank Brothers Cobalt 29ers to be strong enough for the hard stuff and the stresses of disc brakes.
Ah... now for my favorite part. This is one of the few road bikes out there that is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes using a hydraulic cylinder mounted on the front. The added hydraulic cylinder is not as stramlined as a typical road bike... yet. The technology is evolving rapidly and the industry interest in hydraulic disc brakes is certainly there. It may only be a matter of time before the hydraulic discs move from dirt to pavement.
This bike is really a great study in the form of a Taiwan Bike.
For more information on this bike and its components, or on the availability of this frame, feel free to contact James Murray at Warehouse 185.
321 Buzi Rd.
Warehouse 185 is located HERE