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Old 12-03-06, 06:31 PM   #1
fholt
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Bicycling Mag article about China's "Flying Pigeon" commuter bike

So Bicycling mag had an article in the latest issue about all the bikes folks ride in China, mostly in Beijing. I've been there and seen this, and that most of them are this "2 wheeled model T", heavy (50# acording to this article) single speed, black, braking challenged, and and built with a reinforced top tube "which was designed for carrying pigs".

I tried to google up a photo of someone carring a pig on their bike, and came up blank. Anyone got ideas where I might find a photo like this?

Incidentally, I've seen most everything else carried on either a 2 wheel or 3 wheeled bike. It's amzing to see a whole family on a bike there, Dad pedaling, mom riding sidesaddle on the rack, while holding the baby. Filthy air, no helmets, perhaps that's why they come up with 1000 dead, 10,000 injured while riding in Beijing (in 2004). And you thought YOUR commute had some chancy bits....
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Old 12-03-06, 11:06 PM   #2
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pigs on a bike:

http://www.terragalleria.com/vietnam....viet7695.html
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Old 12-04-06, 05:25 AM   #3
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Bicycling Magazine can only dream on reaching the potential 500M~ riders in China. They are bitter because their advertisers don't cater to these riding masses.
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Old 12-04-06, 06:15 AM   #4
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For some reason that article didn't interest me. I scanned through it and on to the next.
Although I did like Selene Yeager's article about "How to Get Showstopping Legs" and the 58 page ad from Veltec Sports.
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Old 12-04-06, 11:04 AM   #5
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At least it has a Brooks...

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Old 12-04-06, 01:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
At least it has a Brooks...

Hey - you could pinch that one, the keys are in it!
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Old 12-04-06, 03:41 PM   #7
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A Flying Pigeon with an engine kit. Importers have been shipping these engine kits to the USA for a few years now and are very popular. There easily installed on most bicycles available here. The EPA tried to ban them but they're still entering the USA by the tractor-trailer load across the Canadian border on the weekends when all the border guards are home.
http://thatsdax.com/index.html
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Old 12-06-06, 11:32 AM   #8
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Out of interest, I used to commute to work (about 9 km, all flat) on a single-speed flying pigeon, circa. 1970, and when it comes to carrying laptops, lunches and picking up beer after work, they can't be beat. I'd say 50 lbs. is a conservative estimate. It's like pedaling a small tank.
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Old 12-06-06, 12:29 PM   #9
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Somebody's selling one of these on Craigslist
http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/bik/243980051.html
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Old 12-06-06, 04:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou

A Flying Pigeon with an engine kit. Importers have been shipping these engine kits to the USA for a few years now and are very popular. There easily installed on most bicycles available here. The EPA tried to ban them but they're still entering the USA by the tractor-trailer load across the Canadian border on the weekends when all the border guards are home.
http://thatsdax.com/index.html
They have some cool stuff.
Those engines look nice, might pollute a bunch though.
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Old 12-07-06, 06:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
At least it has a Brooks...
Plastic top, not leather. They are not comfortable...
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Old 12-07-06, 08:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou

A Flying Pigeon with an engine kit. Importers have been shipping these engine kits to the USA for a few years now and are very popular. There easily installed on most bicycles available here. The EPA tried to ban them but they're still entering the USA by the tractor-trailer load across the Canadian border on the weekends when all the border guards are home.

Ummmm, yea', sure, whatever. You can bring whatever you want in from Canada on weekends because the border guards don't work then. Why didn't I think of this???

Time for your medicine.
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Old 12-07-06, 10:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou

A Flying Pigeon with an engine kit. Importers have been shipping these engine kits to the USA for a few years now and are very popular. There easily installed on most bicycles available here. The EPA tried to ban them but they're still entering the USA by the tractor-trailer load across the Canadian border on the weekends when all the border guards are home.
http://thatsdax.com/index.html
Cool! I've never seen the rear-wheel engine kit. Most seem to fit over the front wheel.

Apparently Flying Pigeon quality suffered greatly from the late 80s into the 90s, but is starting to improve again. Still, my old LBS in Beijing said that the components are crummier than they were in the 70s and early 80s (the frame is still indestructible). I remember reading an article about how the Flying Pigeon company is diversifying in the face of lowered sales and increased competition -- they make a lot of "modern-looking" bikes now, in addition to their traditional models.
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Old 12-07-06, 10:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou

The EPA tried to ban them but they're still entering the USA by the tractor-trailer load across the Canadian border on the weekends when all the border guards are home.
http://thatsdax.com/index.html
OMG, I that is awesome.
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Old 12-07-06, 10:43 PM   #15
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There is a Flying Pidgeon locked in Downtown Berkeley that has a bent back rim and has one of those old Kryptonite locks that can easily be wined and dined with a pen. It's totally abandoned, and was going to pinch it. When I went to do the deed someone stole the front tire.

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Old 12-07-06, 11:27 PM   #16
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sounds ironical, and gives the impression that the chinese cannot build proper and decent and light bicycles.

my diamondback parkway, bought in miami, 1996, has very loud and clear inscriptions
designed in Usa, MADE IN CHINA.
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Old 12-08-06, 08:51 AM   #17
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It was interesting to read about the increasing difficulties for transportation cyclists in China. I assume the government is trying to boost the country's fledgling motor industry. Britain did a similar thing in the 80's - hobbling buses, rail, and bikes in favor of roads, roads, and more roads. They're paying for it now. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for China.
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Old 07-03-08, 09:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikepacker67 View Post
At least it has a Brooks...

My Chinese market 'Wu Yang' bicycle has one of those too. The plastic top is real trial to sit on when it comes to longer rides.
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Old 07-04-08, 06:36 AM   #19
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Rod brakes, lol.

Someone came into the co-op I volunteer at with a similar Chinese bike. Didn't impress me much.
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Old 07-04-08, 04:28 PM   #20
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Rod brakes are seriously robust and will work very well provided they are setup and adjusted properly. The problem is most folk these days don't know how to do that. I ride rod braked bikes all the time, - 1953 English Hercules roadster, 2005 Indian Hercules tricycle, 1947 Raleigh ladies sports, 1980s Chinese home market Wu Yang roadster bicycle, 1970s Chinese home market Phoenix agricultural bicycle, - and I've never had any problems at all with stopping in a hurry if I had to.
For serious utility and transport bicycle riding I'd always choose a rod braked heavyweight roadster (what folk tend to call a 'Dutch' bike even though the design is English) over the garish looking hyper-tech offerings that pass for a bicycle in these modern times.

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Last edited by Sianelle; 07-04-08 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 07-04-08, 06:50 PM   #21
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I guess since this thread has been dug up i should at least link the article (which was not available online when the thread started (2 YEARS AGO): http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6...5416-1,00.html
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Old 07-04-08, 08:02 PM   #22
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Brilliant article and just as interesting today as it was back then
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Old 07-04-08, 09:12 PM   #23
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Thanks for posting the article!
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Old 07-06-08, 08:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sianelle View Post
Rod brakes are seriously robust and will work very well provided they are setup and adjusted properly. The problem is most folk these days don't know how to do that. I ride rod braked bikes all the time, - 1953 English Hercules roadster, 2005 Indian Hercules tricycle, 1947 Raleigh ladies sports, 1980s Chinese home market Wu Yang roadster bicycle, 1970s Chinese home market Phoenix agricultural bicycle, - and I've never had any problems at all with stopping in a hurry if I had to.
For serious utility and transport bicycle riding I'd always choose a rod braked heavyweight roadster (what folk tend to call a 'Dutch' bike even though the design is English) over the garish looking hyper-tech offerings that pass for a bicycle in these modern times.

Couldn't agree with you more; these are utility bikes, pure and simple. Can't figure out why hipsters pay so darned much for the same thing with fancy paint (as they do in NYC), or why they buy VERY EXPENSIVE European versions of the same idea.

Give me a Flying Pigeon or a Shanghai Forever any day; best value for the money.
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