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  1. #1
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
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    Shopping for a bicycle in Taiwan - the big question WHICH ONE?

    I am shopping for a folding bicycle in Taiwan. I live in Cambodia and Malaysia. Every 4-6 months I visit Canada though in 3 years this will become less frequent. I am not mechanically inclined. I travel frequently by airplane and want to take my bike with me. My riding habit is 5-20 km a day. Usually very flat or a few hills - no steep hills. Every two weeks I tour for 50 km. I am 5'8". My budget is USD1500. I travel in Southeast Asia a lot.

    My wish list...

    Priority I

    1. SMALL: Can fit in standard airline luggage (preferably, but not essentially, without disassembly)
    2. Lightweight: under 12 kilos
    3. Dependable: virtually never breaks down
    4. Comfortable: I have ridden bikes designed for kids/Asians and they seem like toys in terms of position, I am always pushing myself back half on seat.

    Prio II

    3. Can get service and parts in Thailand, Java, Saigon/Hanoi, Penang etc (I don't expect it in Myanmar, upcountry Indonesia, etc)
    4. Folds easily and fast (seconds don't matter)

    Totally unimportant... Colour, Performance, sexy design, price (quality is remembered long after price is forgotten).

    So far I have looked at the standard premium brands: Dahon, Tern, Brompton. I have not seen Bike Friday, Ori, or Moulton. Tomorrow I visit retail bike shops to test ride what they have.

    The perfect bike is one that is simple, functional and good value. I think I would like a 3-speed, internal hub, protected chain and versatility of accessories.

  2. #2
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermespan View Post
    I am shopping for a folding bicycle in Taiwan.
    your list of requirements describe brompton. it's the only bike i know of that actually fits most overhead storage compartments.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
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    Yes, Brompton is on my short list.

    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    your list of requirements describe brompton. it's the only bike i know of that actually fits most overhead storage compartments.

    Dahon JIFFO and Brompton I wish to try side-by-side. My understanding is that Brompton and JIFFO are the only two that fit in the usual checked bag dimensions. To learn that Brompton could got into CARRY-ON is a big plus.

    However, if retailers are as in Canada, they rarely sell competing brands of folders side by side.
    Last edited by Hermespan; 03-08-14 at 09:56 PM. Reason: Add

  4. #4
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    In China, at least, Brompton and Bike Friday were more expensive than in the US. I suspect that Canada is somewhere in-between. While in China I saw a passenger stick a folder into an overhead bin, but I did not take notice of the brand. It was not a Brompton, though.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
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    The challenge is finding a Taiwanese or Chinese company folding bike that competes with Brompton. There doesn't seem to be much of a middle market but instead basic and premium. I was surprised to learn that there is no Asian premium bike company. Maybe in Japan and I am not aware of it. India? India has done great value computer and automotive companies. Maybe a folder? But for now I am shopping in Taiwan.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Maybe not a walk in service, but Both Bike Friday and Brompton , perhaps via SJScycles in UK will ship parts anywhere..

  7. #7
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermespan View Post
    I am shopping for a folding bicycle in Taiwan.
    Considering that and your requirements, it's either Brompton or the 16" models from OriBikes. Since you have the money and you'd rather a shifting hub, consider OriBikes' Mi8 City.

    Since OriBikes is in Ta´wan, you should check 'em out. Ideally, you can find a store that carries both Oribikes and Brompton, so you can try both and make an informed choice.

    Edit: Video that shows details + (un)folding.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    I have not tested this but a mezzo ori could be made to fold much smaller for suitcases etc by a tiny bit of disamblely. One Allen key to remove the stem protution that is much higher than on a brompton. Also the seatpost can be removed. You may find the mezzo/ori is then smaller in height than a brommie, but wider. Again I have not tested this in practice.

    Other options for overhead storage are strida,carryme, super compact Chinese folder on other tread(who else wants one of these). At an outside bet is a diblasi R22, possibly fastest folding folding bike and smallest 20" wheeled folder for sure.
    Birdies also can be suitcase and ride better than an ori or brompton in many ways.

    Sounds like you are really after a brommie of bike Friday but some other options have advantages in ride over the brommie and in fold over the Friday.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    The Strida might not be allowed on the plane in the overhead storage. The OP will have to ask. Also, the Strida, even with 18" wheels and three speeds, is good enough for urban use but not much more.

    Forget Pacific Cycles' CarryMe. I got one for fun, but because of its 8" wheels, it's really too small and too slow.

    The Birdy folds a bit bigger than Brompton or 16" Ori, but it could fit in a bigger suitcase.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ThorUSA's Avatar
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    carefull with the wishfull thinking that you could put any bicycle into the overhead
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...-personal-item

    I have problems putting a soft half full backpack into the square box, provided in every airport to check the size.
    here are the sizes for peeps who dont want to read the full article above
    14-by-22 inches and 9 inches deep, including handles, wheels and legs.

    Much luck :-)
    Having fun selling Terns and Dahons for a living. My personal website is also my business website, same as my profile name, therefore no link given to follow forum rules.

  11. #11
    Senior Member overbyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThorUSA View Post
    carefull with the wishfull thinking that you could put any bicycle into the overhead
    ...
    I don't know the rules for airlines about small bikes in overheads, but I read that Amtrak prohibits folding bikes in the overhead compartments. They must be stowed in the baggage racks.
    You must fold up your folding bicycle before boarding the train. You may store the bike only in luggage storage areas at the end of the car (or, in Superliners, on the lower level). You may not store bikes in overhead racks.
    Amtrak - Plan - Onboard - Bring Your Bicycle Onboard

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Shouldn't he be looking for a decent Taiwan manufacturer? Why no one recommend Dahon (other than the Jifo) or Tern?

    Since he seems to ride pretty often, a Tern Verge Duo or Link D8 seems like a good bet.

    If you look at Bromptons, your best bet would probably be the M3L.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyven View Post
    Why no one recommend Dahon (other than the Jifo) or Tern?

    Since he seems to ride pretty often, a Tern Verge Duo or Link D8 seems like a good bet.
    This has been touched upon in a parallel thread, but from my own experience the quality of Dahons, at least within the Chinese market, is not the same as in the US. They carry stickers of being intended for the Chinese market and may have different model designations. The bolts may be of low quality, holes drilled somewhat off and covered up and the components used can be of lower grade. I did not see similarly disturbing signs with Giant. This could be then brand dependent. As a minimum with Dahon one needs to step carefully.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
    This has been touched upon in a parallel thread, but from my own experience the quality of Dahons, at least within the Chinese market, is not the same as in the US. They carry stickers of being intended for the Chinese market and may have different model designations. The bolts may be of low quality, holes drilled somewhat off and covered up and the components used can be of lower grade. I did not see similarly disturbing signs with Giant. This could be then brand dependent. As a minimum with Dahon one needs to step carefully.
    Interesting. I understand Dahon/Tern might sell a slightly different quality to the China market, but surely they wouldn't do it to their own market (Taiwan)?

    If anything, the quality should be top-notch. Middle-class Taiwanese would not tolerate cheap/flawed products anymore than an American or European would.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
    This has been touched upon in a parallel thread, but from my own experience the quality of Dahons, at least within the Chinese market, is not the same as in the US. They carry stickers of being intended for the Chinese market and may have different model designations.
    Besides, in China, you never know if you're buying the real thing or a bootleg :-/

  16. #16
    Member SixRaven's Avatar
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    I'd suggest the M10... I got it for 1400 USD. I also tested the Brompton, but decided on the ride rather than the fold (although it folds almost as small as the B). It weights 10.4 Kg, got 10 speeds (no internal hub tho); standard industry parts, great build quality, beautiful design, rides great and last but not least: it's made in Taiwan!

    ori4.jpgori3.jpg

    But really, you should ride them (and fold them) before you buy them. That's my main advice.

    Hope you can find the right bike for your needs. If there's anything you want to ask about the ORi, shoot.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyven View Post
    Middle-class Taiwanese would not tolerate cheap/flawed products anymore than an American or European would.
    Thanks, it is good to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
    Besides, in China, you never know if you're buying the real thing or a bootleg :-/
    Actually, the situation is more subtle in my observations. Bootlegging mainly targets items that work as status symbols. Bikes tend to represent a low status and are not much touched by the bootlegging. Once you get to the high class bikes, the market becomes so narrow and of relatively knowledgeable customers that bootlegging is presumably not anymore economically viable. However, I got burnt when buying a bag for transporting a folder, that had a big Dahon name printed on it. The bag started breaking apart within two blocks of a walk with a folder inside (I had to penetrate hotel security at the time). In this case, I guess, I suffered from a leak from the bag manufacturing where counterfeiting is the standard part of the business.

  18. #18
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    ot.[/QUOTE]
    Interesting to note your ori looks more compact than a mezzo due to not having a rear rack.
    The stem looks slightly more compact also???
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8.

  19. #19
    Member SixRaven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    The stem looks slightly more compact also???
    Maybe... never seen a Mezzo in person. Want me to measure it?

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