Boasting stunning natural scenery, Yilan has long been dubbed as “the back garden of Taipei”. With a slow pace of living, local residents and tourists in Yilan have found bicycles to be the best means of transportation.
Located just 6 minutes away from the TRA Yilan Station, Yuancheng Bicycle Store has been in business for more than half a century. The small shop is crammed with bicycles of all sorts and is operated by Jiang Kuo-Wei, the 2nd generation owner.
With 5 years of experience as the store’s proprietor, Jiang commands an adequate understanding of almost every part and detail of bicycles. Having been accustomed to accommodating customers’ needs directly, Jiang remarked that the aesthetics and forms of bicycles are not the only factors that matter; the comfort of riding is just as important.
With that said, Jiang wishes to offer his recommendation of a new product – the Gripfast stem shock absorber.
Sharing his secret for comfortable riding – an ingenious compact device
Jiang provided a brief overview of bicycle shock absorbers, and according to him, shock absorbers come in two categories (fork shock absorbers and rear shock absorbers) depending on their position of installation with varying internal structures (i.e. spring, hydraulics and so forth).
Presently, the fork and rear shock absorbers available in the market are designed for rough terrain such as rocky formations and natural paths like forest trail.
Gripfast on the other hand is a shock absorber that is installed between the handlebar and the frame to significantly reduce the discomfort and stress on cyclists’ hand joints when riding on urban terrain such as asphalt roads, cement pavement and other damaged/uneven road surfaces.
The product features relatively shorter travel (14mm) and when compared to fork shock absorbers, Gripfast offers better traction and greatly reduces the chances of the bicycle toppling over when braking.
When asked how he learned about the product, Jiang explained that one of his close acquaintances (a middle-aged cycling enthusiast) came across Gripfast at a show and found the product to meet his needs perfectly. Wishing to share his wonderful discovery, the gentleman wanted Jiang to pick up the product so that other cyclists in the club would be able to buy it.
Thoughtful installation – a gesture that brought the utmost satisfaction to his father
As Jiang stocked up on Gripfast, he thought of his father and installed one on his father’s road bicycle. Jiang took the bike for a trial and without the product, Jiang found the vibrations from the road to be uncomfortable to his shoulders and wrists whenever he rode over potholes or gaps.
But with Gripfast, the discomfort was significantly reduced. His father was also very satisfied with the shock dampening results after trying it out himself. In addition, Jiang also noticed that when seniors ride bicycles, they tend to prefer to keep their waists high and the product would actually raise the front set of the bicycle when installed, consequently easing the pressure on the back and waist of the cyclist.
According to Jiang, road bicycles are still the mainstream product in the bicycle market. Nonetheless, numerous amateur and recreational cyclists also want to experience the thrill of speed on road bicycles.
However, gloves offer limited shock dampening effect and thankfully Gripfast, the innovative shock absorber that has received the Award of Innovative Design at the 2012 Taipei International Cycle Show and accreditation to EU’s CE standards, has come to the rescue.
A favorite product of cyclists and senior riders
Although the product has yet to enjoy full-blown exposure, Jiang is very optimistic about Gripfast’s potential in the market. He firmly believes that through breakthroughs in different areas such as materials, shock absorber travel, economy of scale and so forth, Gripfast would become a crucial component for bicycles in the near future.
And as such, Jiang has reached out to the distributor – Extraordinary Microscience — and engaged in active communication for distribution.
After having distributed the product for more than a year, Jiang noted that his store has sold numerous Gripfast units, with 60-75 year-old retirees (a demographic that has the financial means and takes the quality of their sports and recreation seriously) as their primary clientele.
All customers have responded positively after trying the product and were amazed by the compact device’s ability to dampen the vibrations caused by uneven road surfaces.
On the topic of interaction with EOM, Jiang felt he was fated to become acquainted with President Kuo and was impressed by the passion that the EOM team has for its products.
Jiang also added that he was not just a user; he was more than happy to be Gripfast’s distributor and that hopefully through aggressive promotion, consumers would get to experience unprecedented comfort while riding.
EASY DIY Gripfast – Bicycle stem shock absorber
Designed for bicycles with threadless stems of 1 1/8″ (28.6mm) in diameter.
Features: Accredited to EU’s regulations; dramatically improves shock absorption by 63% and protects riders’ wrists and alleviates numbness
MSRP NT$ 3,200; now available at NT$ 1,688 + 100 (for shipping)
This special offer is only available to subscribers of the Epoch Times in Taiwan (valid before August 8th)
Extraordinary Microscience (EOM)