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Old 12-22-16, 07:50 PM   #51
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Define cheap first.
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Old 12-22-16, 08:46 PM   #52
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It may be a little insensitive to ask on this thread, but it seems on topic so ... if you were going to let your friend buy a cheap folding bike, which would it be? For just recreational use, a couple of times a year on business trips.
Ok I will tell you the minimums I would look for in a friends inexpensive bike.

8 or more gears on the rear Cassette hub. Make sure it is a cassette hub and not a freewheel. This allows you to have a 2 tooth smaller high gear. One of the real limitation with small wheels is high gear.

Aluminum wheels

Aluminum frame---not a necessity but usually a couple pounds lighter than a steel frame.

20" wheels, either 406 or 451. I prefer 406 because of more tires available.

The advantage to 16" wheels is the package can be smaller but 20" will usually have much wider gearing.

Derailler gearing, not Internal Geared Hub (IGH)--IGH are usually more expensive without as wide of gearing and the IGH is heavier and usually pretty expensive. Others here will disagree and they are right for their own uses.

I would do regular pedals and have a pedal wrench along---I don't like folding pedals.

I like having adjustable handlebar height also---not a necessity.

Dahon makes pretty good stuff and good stuff with prices all over the map.

Really nice bike for the money---not cheap
Dahon MU SL11 20" Folding Bike, Brushed/Red Shimano 105 Shifter and Derailleur | eBay

I know the guy will take $560 for this bike---great value

Dahon Mu D10 20" Folding Bicycle, Brushed Alum/Red with Video 10 Sp Tiagra Shift | eBay

While I love the Look of a one speed, I need gears and I want a high one and low one...
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Old 12-22-16, 08:48 PM   #53
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Ok I will tell you the minimums I would look for in a friends inexpensive bike.

8 or more gears on the rear Cassette hub. Make sure it is a cassette hub and not a freewheel. This allows you to have a 2 tooth smaller high gear. One of the real limitation with small wheels is high gear.

Aluminum wheels

Aluminum frame---not a necessity but usually a couple pounds lighter than a steel frame.

20" wheels, either 406 or 451. I prefer 406 because of more tires available.

The advantage to 16" wheels is the package can be smaller but 20" will usually have much wider gearing.

Derailler gearing, not Internal Geared Hub (IGH)--IGH are usually more expensive without as wide of gearing and the IGH is heavier and usually pretty expensive. Others here will disagree and they are right for their own uses.


I would do regular pedals and have a pedal wrench along---I don't like folding pedals.

I like having adjustable handlebar height also---not a necessity.

Dahon makes pretty good stuff and good stuff with prices all over the map.

Really nice bike for the money---not cheap
Dahon MU SL11 20" Folding Bike, Brushed/Red Shimano 105 Shifter and Derailleur | eBay

I know the guy will take $560 for this bike---great value

Dahon Mu D10 20" Folding Bicycle, Brushed Alum/Red with Video 10 Sp Tiagra Shift | eBay

While I love the Look of a one speed, I need gears and I want a high one and low one...
I am opinionated and there are other valid opinions on here... Warning buy a nice folder and you will start riding it all the time.
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Old 12-23-16, 09:30 AM   #54
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It may be a little insensitive to ask on this thread, but it seems on topic so ... if you were going to let your friend buy a cheap folding bike, which would it be? For just recreational use, a couple of times a year on business trips.
There are lots of caveats including it's purpose: what one plans on doing with the bike. But speaking generically and assuming that someone is going to purchase new ...

If one wanted local LBS support I'd point folks to a Dahon Speed P8. It's been around a long time, there are lots of accessories, it's upgradeable, and Dahon supports their stuff.

Folding Bikes by DAHON Speed P8 - Folding Bikes by DAHON

I've bought one and seen lots of Downtube bikes. Yan's support is pretty good from my casual observation. All the bikes that I've seen were highly modifiable.

Downtube 8FS Full suspension folding bike- Downtube

I've never tinkered with an Origami myself, but Paul Pingis appears on the forum too. Just looking at the specs his bikes looks very competitive.

folding bikes ? origamibicycle

If someone wanted a multi mode commuter for relatively short distances, I'd have no qualms about recommending a STRIDA. The guy at Canada West is pretty helpful. I picked up a new freewheel from him without any issues.

STRiDA - Folding Bike :: MING CYCLE INC Industrial Co., Ltd.

The real question in my mind is fit. The closer you are to a generic size and proportions, the better these bikes will be.
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Old 12-23-16, 09:45 AM   #55
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There are lots of caveats including it's purpose: what one plans on doing with the bike. But speaking generically and assuming that someone is going to purchase new ...

If one wanted local LBS support I'd point folks to a Dahon Speed P8. It's been around a long time, there are lots of accessories, it's upgradeable, and Dahon supports their stuff.

Folding Bikes by DAHON Speed P8 - Folding Bikes by DAHON

I've bought one and seen lots of Downtube bikes. Yan's support is pretty good from my casual observation. All the bikes that I've seen were highly modifiable.

Downtube 8FS Full suspension folding bike- Downtube

I've never tinkered with an Origami myself, but Paul Pingis appears on the forum too. Just looking at the specs his bikes looks very competitive.

folding bikes ? origamibicycle

If someone wanted a multi mode commuter for relatively short distances, I'd have no qualms about recommending a STRIDA. The guy at Canada West is pretty helpful. I picked up a new freewheel from him without any issues.

STRiDA - Folding Bike :: MING CYCLE INC Industrial Co., Ltd.

The real question in my mind is fit. The closer you are to a generic size and proportions, the better these bikes will be.
The use case is recreational use, one or two times a year, on business trips. That would be with the main aims of: something to ride around in the evenings, and which easily packs up for the plane, without weight or size penalties.

"Cheap" is defined as something in this range.
https://www.amazon.com/Stowabike-Fol.../dp/B006JCUPVM
https://www.amazon.com/Ford-Taurus-S.../dp/B00Y4TY66W

and my alternative idea is to just buy a walmart bike for each location and leave them chained up at the offices.
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Old 12-23-16, 09:59 AM   #56
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... my alternative idea is to just buy a walmart bike for each location and leave them chained up at the offices.
If you're happy with a WalMart bike, then go with that. Neither of those folding bikes is worth packing during trips, IMO.

P.S. Since text is easily interpreted multiple ways, nothing I wrote above is meant to be pejorative. It's perfectly fine to be happy with a cheap bike.
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Old 12-23-16, 10:24 AM   #57
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If you're happy with a WalMart bike, then go with that. Neither of those folding bikes is worth packing during trips, IMO.

P.S. Since text is easily interpreted multiple ways, nothing I wrote above is meant to be pejorative. It's perfectly fine to be happy with a cheap bike.
What's wrong with the Dahon (Ford) single speed, other than weight? Seriously.
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Old 12-24-16, 11:57 PM   #58
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What's wrong with the Dahon (Ford) single speed, other than weight? Seriously.
I wouldn't say there is. That's my folding bike I use. I bought the single speed and just upgraded it with components I had or made on the brideport. I'm coming up on 3000 miles and nothing on it has failed on me. The weight isn't much of a problem with the right upgrades. The frame is damn good and sturdy. I took it touring, first ride was Quebec to Toronto and back. I dropped it to 22.3 lbs. Ditched the steel bolt crankset and better wheels, as those were the most weight, dropping it to 26lbs from over 30lbs. The rest were the components that are almost fillers on the bike like plastic break levers and the chain guard which are "Walmarty", but easily replaceable with little expense. I almost got the Ferrari folding bike, but just decided I wanted the sturdier frame. For a nearly 50 mile commute a day, I can assure anyone it does the job. But, understand that while you can ride it right out of the box, for a more comfortable and dynamic ride some things need changing. All folding bikes I came across had handlebars way too high at the lowest setting. All of them came with the ancient, heavy bolt crankset, all had a crap saddle I couldn't ride for a 2 hour and all were heavy. For a $2000 price point one would expect those issues to be averted before purchase. I made the proper investment and upgraded something I will take care of with no more maintenance I would with other bike that anyone here would put into their bicycle.
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Old 12-25-16, 09:27 AM   #59
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Some time ago there was a fairly lengthy thread on Genesis folding bikes bought at Walmart. I found it interesting reading, although to be fair, quite a bit of work went into these bikes. Haven't heard much from the Genesis guys so I suppose they are continuing to work fine.
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Old 12-25-16, 09:48 AM   #60
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i'm one of them! still chugging along just fine. did a few suggested mods from this forum, and trouble free riding!


looks like the genesis folder is no longer made or offered anywhere. just checked their websites...

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Old 12-25-16, 12:13 PM   #61
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i'm one of them! still chugging along just fine. did a few suggested mods from this forum, and trouble free riding!


looks like the genesis folder is no longer made or offered anywhere. just checked their websites...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2XVRgUPZ7k
Thanks for the link on that one. I think the long distance discomfort is due to the wrong type of saddle and positioning. As strange as it sounds, getting yourself fitted for the bike will give an idea of where to set the seat post and position of the handlebars. If you look at how he seats it, all the weight goes into his perineum in a leasure positioning. That would attribute to pain, numbness and discomfort for longer rides. Wish there was a close up at the shifter and breaks or a break down of the bike to see the parts used. But, it is likely the parts are generic as Tern, Dahon and Brompton in terms of single speed bolt crankset, breaks and saddle. Shove a Brooks B17 and some tweeking and you have a good urban bike to run down to the store or work. You do get what you pay for with the accesories. Bike manufacturers usually up the price for putting together a little better bike, but still residing with older cycling parts, ignoring the vast improvements to save cost. I don't think it's the cost of aluminum that drives up the price for bikes in general. I think its the plastic parts they put on bikes to hike up the demand for a more priced bicycle in the quest for a quality built purchase. It creates the economical standards of "entry level" and "high end" market.
If you put out a badly made frame you will get a lawsuit and bad reviews and lose your bike business. If you build a good frame, but cut corners to put in cheeper parts you can save small expenses while create a supply and demand for "better". Comanies like Dahon do this while popping out a $5000 bike that weighs and functions as much as their entry levels. It just feels better. And talking about the Genesis, it's easier and less expensive to buy an entry level such as this and switch out break levers and change the seat and you are likely to have a better bike than the mid level bikes $300 more, and for $80 more for something like an Adamo saddle and break levers off Amazon you get a better comfort for long rides than the mid-level with the same "feels better" euphoria you get with quality accessories they come with
And yes, I do realize bike makers do make the mistake of cutting too many corners, folding bikes snapping in half and such, but even high end Tern and Brompton have histories of this. Whether it be cutting corners or fault of production line it happens. I think the Genesis is an example of quality build of an entry level bike, but ended up closing shop where other bike manufacturers would have cut corners. They were trying to build something good and expand. Either they failed or got bought out by competition.

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Old 12-25-16, 12:59 PM   #62
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What's wrong with the Dahon (Ford) single speed, other than weight? Seriously.
It's fine for what it is. But you're asking the wrong question, IMO. If you travel really infrequently and two WalMart bikes will work fine, why go through the effort of lugging an OK bike along?
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Old 12-25-16, 04:14 PM   #63
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It's fine for what it is. But you're asking the wrong question, IMO. If you travel really infrequently and two WalMart bikes will work fine, why go through the effort of lugging an OK bike along?
There are some downsides to that idea. First, those bikes sometimes need a level of maintenance that would require me to lug a full tool kit and spend some time with it. Secondly they'd probably be locked up outside year-round, which means another round of maintenance. I'd have to have someone check that it's even there every trip. And finally, what if I want to take the bike from the airport to a hotel or vice versa? I can't do that if it's locked up at the office.
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Old 12-26-16, 12:53 AM   #64
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Sometimes there are other issues at play. For me:

- it's not only budget, but my weight. I weigh 110kg/230 lbs. Most folding bikes have a weight limit of 105kg. I bought one last year, absolutely loved it, but I was too heavy and slowly distorted the frame. The 20 inch wheels make it so nimble, and the 8 speed cassette let me ride very fast.

- weight of the bike. Most folding bikes weigh a lot, given their size- 12.5-15kg. The only brands I know which have low weight are: FSIR 20 inch wheels, 9 speed-> 9.4 kg. the 16 inch wheel 8 speed is 8.3kg. A Crius (Singapore brand I think) 9 speed is 8.5 kg, but to reduce the weight their reduced the frame strength and the max rider weight is only 75kg.


The two full sized folding bikes I know are Montague and ChangeBike. Both cost a ton. Changebike, from Taiwan, looks like a normal bike, no rider weight limit, passed the European Union standards. I really want one to be honest- so useful to taking on trains, taking overseas...but it's so expensive.

CHANGEBIKE CO., LTD. |Changebike - iDealEZ, Taiwan B2B online trade portal, powered by Taiwantrade

I had to stretch my budget as it was for my normal bike GT Transeo.
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Old 12-28-16, 12:39 PM   #65
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There are some downsides to that idea. First, those bikes sometimes need a level of maintenance that would require me to lug a full tool kit and spend some time with it. Secondly they'd probably be locked up outside year-round, which means another round of maintenance. I'd have to have someone check that it's even there every trip. And finally, what if I want to take the bike from the airport to a hotel or vice versa? I can't do that if it's locked up at the office.
Yes you are right. The life expectancy of a Walmart bike left in the weather is about 6 months---depending on time of year and location. Within a year you will need to replace all the cables---most shops charge close to $100 for that along with a tuneup. Most bikes do not hold up at all when left in the weather especially when they are not used.

I agree with a earlier post about the Dahon Speed p8 as being the entry level decent bike---in my opinion.
The question I have about your potential use of a folding bike have to do with your current bike usage at home? What do you have and how often do you ride?

Riding from the airport to your hotel---how will you carry your luggage?

If you are not a regular rider you probably won't enjoy riding a couple of times a year when traveling...

Good luck in your folding adventure...
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Old 12-28-16, 03:06 PM   #66
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Yes you are right. The life expectancy of a Walmart bike left in the weather is about 6 months---depending on time of year and location. Within a year you will need to replace all the cables---most shops charge close to $100 for that along with a tuneup. Most bikes do not hold up at all when left in the weather especially when they are not used.
That's a little exaggerated, but scaled down by a factor of 4 or 5 it's what I meant by the drawbacks of needing maintenance.

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I agree with a earlier post about the Dahon Speed p8 as being the entry level decent bike---in my opinion.
The question I have about your potential use of a folding bike have to do with your current bike usage at home? What do you have and how often do you ride?
Personally, 5,000 - 6,000 miles per year, about 2/3 commuting and 1/3 recreational on the road. I don't have any expectations beyond what I wrote originally: something to ride around in the evenings several times a year on business trips. A single speed is fine, in fact it seems preferable for a folder. Less weight, more durable to rough baggage handling.

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Riding from the airport to your hotel---how will you carry your luggage?
My assumption was that it is the same on a folder as on other bikes with a similar load, so you kind of surprise me there. Do folders have considerations beyond a usual road bike that has a rack?
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Old 12-29-16, 12:37 AM   #67
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Walmart bike left in the weather anywhere there is snow will not make it through a winter without needing new cables...

My question about the airport would be carrying the container you pack the bike in and some luggage. Most travelers with folders use a hard case and then your work bag.

I agree with you about a single speed being very simple and no gears to whack. I don't own any singles because I love the efficiency of me on a geared bike ( I always want a 90+ high gear on a bike to be ridden on the road). I had a single speed once for a day and took it back after the first ride.
However I would much rather have a single speed than no bike.

If you are riding that much then you are obviously an avid rider. I just like nice things---I don't go to the extent that Jur or BruceMa go to but I would get a lot more enjoyment and use out of a $800 folding bike than a 250 folding or a pair of 150 bikes.
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Old 12-29-16, 02:12 PM   #68
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I am surprised they're as cheap as they are to be honest. When you think about what has to go into a folder beyond just working as a bicycle, there is a lot of engineering/parts/complexity that must go into them. And keep in mind, people's tolerance of reliability doesn't get easier with folders, so they still need to work day in and day out. Not an easy task! To me, $1000 is a bargain for a bike that has a dynamo hub, a rack, fenders, internal 7 speed hub, name brand tires, etc. It's got to be tough to fit all that in PLUS make a reliable folder!
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Old 12-29-16, 03:09 PM   #69
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I do not think folders are more difficult to manufacture, except brazing/welding the hinges. The difficult part is the designing to make it fold, give a good ride and last, while keeping the weight down. Many cheaper bikes seem to be standing on Dahon's shoulders, so to speak, copying their engineering and simply manufacturing very similar frames, forks and other basic parts while using lower end ad-ons such as pedals. grips, saddles, derailleurs, etc. Perhaps someone in the bicycle industry such as Paul, Yan, Hank or Rick can correct my misapprehension on this .
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Old 12-29-16, 04:36 PM   #70
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I do not think folders are more difficult to manufacture, except brazing/welding the hinges. The difficult part is the designing to make it fold, give a good ride and last, while keeping the weight down. Many cheaper bikes seem to be standing on Dahon's shoulders, so to speak, copying their engineering and simply manufacturing very similar frames, forks and other basic parts while using lower end ad-ons such as pedals. grips, saddles, derailleurs, etc. Perhaps someone in the bicycle industry such as Paul, Yan, Hank or Rick can correct my misapprehension on this .
Dahon created the market, so we are all following their lead. Downtube frames are different, we use suspension throughout our lineup with taller seat tubes and higher BB's. These are all changes I made to improve upon Dahon's excellent market presence

FYI our drivetrain's are much nicer than Dahon's at twice the price. For example our Shimano Nexus 8 hub with Gates belt drive system starts at under $700. Similarly spec'd Dahon's would sell for around $2000 ( if they existed )

Thanks,
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Old 12-29-16, 05:58 PM   #71
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Complexity always adds cost or reliability... one of the truths of the universe. Making/designing a bike that can fold will always be more difficult than making an equivalent bike that cannot.

Yan, who/where manufactures your bicycles? How many are made per year? Just curious, as I had never heard of your brand until this summer. Your bikes look interesting, I was very close to buying one.
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Old 12-29-16, 06:23 PM   #72
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Complexity always adds cost or reliability... one of the truths of the universe. Making/designing a bike that can fold will always be more difficult than making an equivalent bike that cannot.

Yan, who/where manufactures your bicycles? How many are made per year? Just curious, as I had never heard of your brand until this summer. Your bikes look interesting, I was very close to buying one.
Our bikes are made in southern China by an established factory. We have been with the same factory for 12 years. At our peak we brought in 10 containers in a year, each container holds between 290-350 bikes ( depends on the bikes ).

Thanks
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Old 12-30-16, 03:13 AM   #73
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Dahon created the market, so we are all following their lead. Downtube frames are different, we use suspension throughout our lineup with taller seat tubes and higher BB's. These are all changes I made to improve upon Dahon's excellent market presence

FYI our drivetrain's are much nicer than Dahon's at twice the price. For example our Shimano Nexus 8 hub with Gates belt drive system starts at under $700. Similarly spec'd Dahon's would sell for around $2000 ( if they existed )

Thanks,
Yan
The conflict in many industries is the chain of distribution. Most bikes are designed and distributed by a company like Trek or specialize then sold at wholesale to bikeshops and then sold to the customer.

It appears Yan is designing and importing the bikes and then selling direct to customers eliminating the dealer margin. With the small numbers he may be paying a couple percent more from the factory but still should be really easy to put better components on the bikes than Dahon for the price.
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Old 12-30-16, 03:15 AM   #74
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The conflict in many industries is the chain of distribution. Most bikes are designed and distributed by a company like Trek or specialize then sold at wholesale to bikeshops and then sold to the customer.

It appears Yan is designing and importing the bikes and then selling direct to customers eliminating the dealer margin. With the small numbers he may be paying a couple percent more from the factory but still should be really easy to put better components on the bikes than Dahon for the price.
Fifteen years ago I toured a couple of factories in China.. Top Image (I think) and Merida. They were way lower tech than I could believe but it was interesting. I also toured a couple of the Trek factories while they were running in the Madison, Wi area.
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Old 12-30-16, 08:47 AM   #75
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Fifteen years ago I toured a couple of factories in China.. Top Image (I think) ....
Might you be thinking of TopKey, perhaps?

http://www.topkey.com.tw/www/_englis...t_01.php?sid=1
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