Tektro & TRP: unbridled enthusiasm for innovation

Tektro & TRP: unbridled enthusiasm for innovation
Prototype testing

A look at the bicycle industry reveals various approaches to dealing with an economic downturn. Leading the way is one such strategy, as demonstrated by Tektro and TRP. For 2024, the bicycle component specialist has planned a series of product launches. The first unveiling will already take place at the Garda Bike Festival in May.

Racing environments, especially professional ones, push equipment to its limits. This applies to numerous sports, but is particularly true for mountain biking. Downhill athletes face some of the most challenging terrains on the planet, providing a real-world testing ground that is as unforgiving as it is invaluable. The feedback garnered from these athletes drives not just improvements, but also significant leaps in gear performance and safety standards.

“It’s a behind-the-scenes process that few consumers see, but it dramatically shapes the reliability and functionality of the equipment that eventually hits the market. That’s why it’s crucial for us to partner with professionals when developing new products,” Silvan Schäfer explains. He is marketing coordinator at Tektro Europe, the European subsidiary of Tektro, and has a profound insight into the development process of the Taiwanese bicycle component specialist. “With Colin Esquibel we also have a dedicated field engineer on-site during events, to turn the feedback of athletes into products,” he adds.

Tested by pro athletes: The new S05E rotor

Recently, Tektro and its premium brand TRP announced the release of their newest product to strengthen their position in the market: the S05, a new rotor available in 203mm and 220mm. “Boasting a 10% increased deceleration rate and enhanced temperature stability, the new rotor is engineered to deliver peak performance in the most demanding riding conditions”, Schäfer reports.

Reaching operating temperature more quickly and cooling down faster – these characteristics were obtained by evaluating an optimised ratio of smaller laser-cut holes, enabling the rotor to reach the optimal temperature rapidly and cool down efficiently. The principle behind this technology is as simple as it is brilliant. Since heat travels through metal at a steady rate, more metal mass prolongs the period for heat to spread evenly across the area. With the new rotor, the metal mass between cooling holes is much smaller, and heat can uniformly spread along the brake track faster, since there is less mass to heat. Conversely, cooling follows the same principle.

“This is crucial for downhill and heavy trail riding, where quick transitions between ascent and descent demand responsive braking performance,” the Tektro expert explains. In this context, he also highlights the involvement of several professional athletes in the development process of the new product. For example, the Irish Oisin O’Callaghan and the American Aaron Gwin are both well-known downhill athletes. Recently, renowned South African downhill specialist Greg Minnaar also became part of the group of athletes sponsored by TRP.

Official release at Garda Bike Festival

Schäfer emphasises that the new rotor is applicable not only in the downhill segment but also for e-mountain bikes that require a corresponding braking power. “Generally, the gravity market is an area where we want to make our mark with TRP,” he adds, stating that the gravity segment currently makes up 50% of Tektro’s target audience. According to the marketing coordinator, “30% are e-MTB and 20% are trail customers.”

The new S05E rotor is set to be unveiled to the public at the Garda Bike Festival in early May. With this product innovation, Tektro and TRP intend to communicate a clear message to the bicycle community: their passion for innovation doesn’t waver, even in challenging economic times. This is all the more significant, because the new S05E Rotor is just one of several innovations the Taiwanese are set to introduce in the upcoming months, aiming to refine the profile of their premium brand TRP even more. Schäfer cannot yet reveal what these entail, but one thing is certain: these products also have their origins on the racetrack, Tektro’s real-world testing ground that ensures not just improvements, but also significant leaps in gear performance and safety standards for new products.

This article is sponsored by Tektro Europe