One of the life skills that I wish I learned before the lockdown is riding a bike.
It has been several months since the COVID-19 outbreak and keeping one’s immune system in top-notch state has become even more important.
The World Health Organization continues to emphasize that adults should maintain moderate daily physical activity to enhance muscular strength and physical wellness. Many doctors also advised doing regular home exercises to help increase immunity and resistance from sickness during the pandemic.
To build awareness about physical health and fitness, Taiwan exported US$2.12 billion worth of sporting goods in 2019, up 9.29% from 2018. It introduced brands like Johnson, Dyaco, and SportsArt Fitness, Inc., and 2020 Taiwan Excellence Awards winners Verde Treadmill, the first-ever treadmill that harnesses 75% of human energy and converts it to electricity; the Cycle Boxer, which combines boxing and pedaling for more fun and challenging workouts, and Climbmill, which helps burn calories while toning the body with every step.
Also, Taiwan introduced its line of portable folding bikes, one of the fastest-growing sectors in the bicycle industry where one out of 10 bicycles produced annually in the world is a folding bike. Folding bike makers also got on the recent trend toward e-bikes. The Customs Administration of Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance reported that Taiwan’s e-bike exports for 2019 reached a record high 647,860 units for a 126.21% growth versus 2018, with total exports pegged at US$863 million and average export unit price rose to US$1,333, and North America and Europe accounting for more than 90% of Taiwan’s e-bike export volume. At the same time, the rise in global environmental awareness also helped grow the e-bike market, paving the way for the electrification of folding bikes as a trend for the future.
Folding e-bikes feature two major advantages: it can switch to bicycle mode during exercise, or electric mode during breaks. Pacific Cycles, a Taiwan Excellence awarded company, is a leading e-bike manufacturer that develops high-performance folding bikes and mini velos. For more than 40 years, it has focused on designing and manufacturing distinctive products, including e-bikes. Their HANDY hand-propelled trike is tailored for the disabled; the REACH folding road bike is for long-distance travel and can be loaded into a 29-inch suitcase; and the IF MOVE for city commuting and folds in just 2 seconds.
Darfon Innovation established BESV, a smart e-bike brand and proud Taiwan Excellence Silver Award winner with its PSF1 Folding e-Bike. While most folding bikes are designed with an external battery and motor attached to the structure of an ordinary folding bike, the PSF1 was designed as an e-bike from the ground up to enhance the product’s rigidity, electronic control unit, and overall performance.
Taiwan is the leader in the global bicycle market, with average annual revenue of US$3.8 billion. Bicycle components, which account for over half the yearly revenue, have also provided valuable support to the development of Taiwan’s bicycle industry.
Prime examples include chains manufactured by KMC, one of the three giants in Taiwan’s bicycle industry. It accounts for more than 80% of the global market share. In 2019, as the e-bike sector grew, KMC kickstarted development of e-bike chains and won the e101 e-Bike Chain Award in the 2020 Taiwan Excellence Awards. KMC’s chains are ideal for high-strength, mid-mount motors and with a chainring customized for KMC’s e-bike for more mileage of up to 10,000 km. The special riveted joints provide superb resistance to tensile and lateral-torsional forces to withstand the tremendous power output generated by the motor when pedaling, and also offers a stable riding experience. The company invested US$26.45 million to establish a state-of-the-art, intelligent production line in their Tainan Xinhua Plant to further cement its position as the world’s leading brand.
Meanwhile, Joy Industrial, another Taiwan Excellence Award winner, developed the Asymmetric E-MTB Wheelset for their Novatec brand, designed for off-road terrain. The wheelset is made of asymmetric super rigid aluminum with a strengthened ratchet attached to the hub to enhance steering flexibility and pedaling efficiency. It is also environment friendly with its tubeless tire design, with recyclable production materials that do not require multi-stage processing.
Lastly is Kenda’s XC Cross-Country Tires that provide ideal riding experiences. This brand-new product is one of the lightest XC tires on the market and is recognized by the UCI Track Cycling World Cup with its exceptional braking performance and steering control.
The performance of Taiwan’s bicycle industry makes it one of Taiwan Excellence’s strongest national exports ensuring that its bicycles and components are revered internationally.
Taiwan Excellence promotes quality and distinction in creativity and innovation among Taiwanese brands. The Taiwan Excellence Awards of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, meanwhile, recognizes Taiwan-based firms and their products for their “Innovative Value” offerings under four major areas: “Research and Development,” “Design,” “Quality” and “Marketing,” while satisfying the key criterion of being “made in Taiwan.”