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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Carbon/Disc All-Purpose Taiwan Road Bike: James Reveals His Ultimate Taiwan Machine

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.

185 Warehouse
321 Buzi Rd.
Beitun Dist.
Taichung, Taiwan

Warehouse 185 is located HERE


  1. Excellent picture to go with the story!!

  2. That's an excellent concept for a Taiwan bike. Beautiful too. Hydrolic disc brakes - awesome. I'd only like to see some eyelets to attach a rack for some light touring to keep my stuff away from my sweaty back!

    On that note, I went to the Specialized store in Neihu and checked out their Tricross. The very nice female shop attendant commented, "Taiwanese people just don't understand this kind of bike," which, in a nutshell, pretty much sums up the attitude towards cyclocross, multi-purpose bikes in Taiwan.

  3. Love it! And the bike makes so much sense. What did you think of the Tri Cross?

  4. There were several versions. But the one I rode was their lowest end. I really liked how it rode and it fit my geo very nicely. I would of bought it but the components were very low end. And to be honest, I really would like disc brakes.

    There is a chromo KHS model that accepts disc brakes. But it's not technically available in TW. I did see one guy in Tainan with one though. He blogged about it in Mandarin. I'd like to get my hands on one actually.