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  1. #1
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    The folder made it to Xian and back


    Bike at XiAn Bell Tower Plaza

    Well, as a bit of a test run I packed my bicycle, and me, off for a short trip, by rail. I went to Xian (I am in China). I will say that the trip was much more pleasant with the bicycle. I was able to do what I wanted and not waste a lot of time matching myself to bus schedules.

    Of curse, that meant that I was able to stop at malls I would have normally passed. I went to this mall and ended up going back a second time to get a new dual band handheld (an Amateur Radio thing).

    locked to a tree outside the electronics mall

    One thing to consider is the weight of the bicycle. It is one thing when it is being ridden, another when it is rolling, and yet another when it is being carried in a bag. It must be in a full coverage bag. All bags are x-rayed; so it isnt like I am sneaking anything on board. However, it must be in the bag. This means carrying the bag with the bike in it.

    Keep in mind when thinking of what you can carry, China rail stations are huge and there are a tremendous number of stairs. Further, once the train arrives, and the gates are opened, you need to be prepared to run to the train. That run will involve at least two flights of stairs and some fair distances.

    The train to Xian went well except for a few little issues. The first and only, real, problem going to Xian had to do with the quality of the carry bag for the bicycle. I got a travel bag when I got the bicycle. However, the shoulder strap was attached to the bag using D rings. The rings were split on the flat of the D. This allowed the rings to stretch open once they were under the load of the bicycles weight. The result of this was that when I got to Xian I was not able to use the shoulder straps, making it harder to schlep the bicycle across the platform, down the stairs, through the tunnel, up the stairs, and out the exit.

    The next day I went to a high quality outdoor store and got some good quality equipment rings. Problem solved.

    Also in the train ride to Xian I was able to slide the bike under the bottom bunk in the compartment. It just barely fit, due to width when folded. On the way back it simply did not fit at all. I ended up putting it on the bunk and resting my legs on top of it as I slept (which seems to have induced a bit of a snore).

    All in all, it seems to have worked well. It was worth having hassle of packing the bike for the convenience of having the bike with me to get around. I was also able to ride my bike from the train station to my hotel instead of waiting a couple of hours for the busses to start running.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Thank you for the report!

    So what folder is this?

  3. #3
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiten View Post
    Thank you for the report!

    So what folder is this?


    This is the bike I got. I do not see a similar model on the US website. It is labeled as a, "Dragon D7," the frame is also labeled, "CNY Domestic;" so, it is unlikely that it is available outside of Asia. I really wanted to get a smaller one; but, the guy at the bike shop insisted that it would have trouble with me.

    I ended up getting the one with the rear shock because, oddly enough, it was lighter than the rigid one.

    On the Chinese site it is a model FAA072. Here is the official picture from the website:

    And, the general, "about this bike,"
    After the shock of a city with a strong sense of movement of the car, affordable, suitable for students, general office workers to use.

    ● Dahon special aluminum suspension frame
    ● Aluminum Grease FlowTM frame lock technology
    ● Radius TelescopeTM adjustable aluminum double risers
    ● KSPEED SP-STORM aluminum alloy shock absorber alloy reinforced seat
    ● Al " V "brake system
    ● Dahon 7-speed dedicated transmission system, a miniature-type forged aluminum alloy chain plate
    ● Formula alloy front hub
    ● Kinetix Comp double-layer aluminum alloy rim
    ● KENDA FLAME tire particles
    Total price was $1,989 CNY ($308 USD). I included the travel bag in the picture because they threw that in at no extra charge; however, as mentioned, the metal rings that allow the strap to attach to the bag were not up to the task.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    wow that's quite alot of bike for 308 and it's a dahon also. we'll never see these and their more interesting ones in north america it seems.

  5. #5
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    Oh, yeah, the Dragon---I remember that from your post in the other thread.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    One thing to consider is the weight of the bicycle. It is one thing when it is being ridden, another when it is rolling, and yet another when it is being carried in a bag. It must be in a full coverage bag. All bags are x-rayed; so it isnt like I am sneaking anything on board. However, it must be in the bag. This means carrying the bag with the bike in it.
    That's interesting. When checking in for a flight from Lanzhou to Xian, in front of of me a guy joined his family standing there, along with a folder. He started folding the bike while in the queue. Next time I saw him on plane, where he was placing the folder in the overhead luggage compartment without any bag or anything. It was all done as a matter of fact, as if it were a normal thing that people do, e.g. chatting with people while folding the bike before the counter etc. I wonder whether this full bag coverage is something enforced onto commoners traveling by train but not onto those traveling by plane.

    From that trip I also got a Dahon-like bike, but for less than half of your price (like Boardwalk w/6sp). The carrying bag they gave was of such a bad quality that the cloth was tearing under the weight of bike after 2 blocks of walking. In my case, I needed to sneak into my hotel room with the bike.

  7. #7
    Idealistic Troublemaker bjorke's Avatar
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    I checked a 16-inch folding bike into the airport at Beijing with no bag. They sold me a plastic wrap for about $5US and wrapped it in tape. No problem, only the American staff at United seemed surprised
    My Cycling Log: http://www.endomondo.com/profile/202754 BikeForums Cycling Team on Endomondo: http://www.endomondo.com/teams/1747411

  8. #8
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiten View Post
    Oh, yeah, the Dragon---I remember that from your post in the other thread.
    Right, that post was very similar to the other one. When asked what kind of bicycle it was, it seemed easier to copy and edit a prior post than to type something, that would essentially be the same, again.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
    I wonder whether this full bag coverage is something enforced onto commoners traveling by train but not onto those traveling by plane.
    I think this is probably the issue. China has a lot of little little rules to inconvenience people on bicycles; yet, when traveling with the, obviously well off, riding clubs, the rules are not demanded of us.

    As you see, I was traveling by rail, not flying. However, I was traveling soft sleeper (first class sleeper), where there is a lot more permitted; but it was still the train.

    In fact, I have never seen a bicycle on the trains in China (and I have been here since 2006). When I asked about it, I was told that they must be shipped as freight. In the past, when traveling, I have shipped my bicycle that way. Not only is it an added expense; but, it is also a huge nuisance to deal with the freight office on every leg of the trip. On the plus to using the freight approach, it allows you to have a standard bicycle in the town being visited.

    One man I know who lives in the town I am in visits Xian often. I saw him riding a folding bicycle in Xian and asked him about taking it on the train. He also told me it is not allowed and that he has two bicycles, they both just look similar.

    So, I got a lot of, "it is forbidden," even when I asked at the station. However, when I went and looked at the rules,the only rule I found dealt with size limitations. I then asked at the Dahon bike shop I was told that it must be in a bag and not visible; which is a lot easier to live with than, "it is forbidden."

    Next trip I may unfold it on the platform after exiting the train to save myself the effort of lugging it all the way out of the station. My concern with this idea is that I really don't want them to know what is in the bag at all. Yes, the security people know; but, they are seldom looking at the monitors and even when they are, they are only looking for "dangerous" articles.

    n all thought, you are correct, there is a huge difference in how people in China are treated based on if they are presumed to be poor and if they are presumed to be wealthy. The first clue is the word used to distinguish the two classes in China. It translates to, "important people," and ,"not important people."
    Last edited by Robert C; 08-04-11 at 06:54 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    n all thought, you are correct, there is a huge difference in how people in China are treated based on if they are presumed to be poor and if they are presumed to be wealthy. The first clue is the word used to distinguish the two classes in China. It translates to, "important people," and ,"not important people."
    I was, in particular, shocked by guards chasing away bicycles from the front of Beijing Walmart. (Now, for those uniformed, a Walmart is in China on the side of an upscale locale.) It was OK for the cars to drive up and park at the building, but bikes had to park on the other side of the street. The same was with my Beijing hotel that had an exclusion zone around it, where bikes were not allowed, with guards on duty to monitor safety and chase away the bikes.

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