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-   -   Dahon in Taiwan HEADACHES! (http://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/937530-dahon-taiwan-headaches.html)

Hermespan 03-09-14 11:18 PM

Dahon in Taiwan HEADACHES!
 
I thought to save some money I'd buy a folding bicycle in Taiwan. What a headache! I have read posts by other foreigners (mostly Singaporeans) who have done exactly this - but they were bike nerds and spoke at least one variety of Chinese.

I skipped the capital of Taipei and went more or less straight to a small city on the East coast. Big mistake. I presumed Dahon would be a popular brand in Taiwan. Wrong. Yes, I know now that they are an AMERICAN company, but don't they manufacture in Taiwan and PRC? I figured biking would be a popular leisure activity here. Sort of - it might be for the middle- class out on bike trails for a Sunday afternoon. But, transportation? No. There doesn't appear to be a bicycle sub-culture as in a significant minority of people 20-45 in Vancouver, Canada. The small city has many bicyclists - all students and workers and retired men in rusty beaters. A small minority of those are folders (invariably cheap Chinese off brands).

I have not seen ONE premium folding bike in one week.

But that's not the real challenge. The big problems are...

1. I don't speak Chinese
2. Dahon Taiwan will not tell me where the biggest selection of Dahon bikes is in a retail store in Taiwan (I have asked multiple times - they respond with the contact info for local bike shops that would take me a week and $500 to scout out.
3. I am not familiar with the cities of Taiwan

So, I am lost here and failing to buy a bicycle - the whole point of my trip. Grrrr..

The news I read on several websites of a "flagship store" in Taichung where one could test ride bikes is according to the Taiwan distributor Acme is no longer existing. Or perhaps they are forbidden by some company policy to encourage foreigners to buy here. I find it all very odd.

Here is the news that got me excited...

http://urbanvelo.org/dahon-flagship-store-taiwan/

I tried two of the numbers Dahon's Taiwan distributor emailed me. One there were language problems. At another a young man spoke some English and said he would call me back. Both sounded perplexed and uncertain whether they even carried the line let alone the model.

As must be clear by now I have absolutely no idea how the bicycle trade works. What I expect is based on my experiences as a kid in the sixties at Cap's Bicycles in Vancouver. You walk into a bike shop, you point to a bike, try it on for size and if you like it you pay the man and wheel it out if the store.

Save your time and buy from your local bike shop in your home country.

Hermespan 03-10-14 12:14 AM

We'll Acme just replied again. Yes indeed the Dahon flagship store from six years ago sunk.

But they advised of many shops carrying their line. Unfortunately nothing do simple as a click of a computer mouse to see integrated inventories. This is a chore.

Acme suggested capital city stores. One I called is fluent in English. One offers a cash discount. The Jifo price works out to USD793. Not a substantial savings over US price, no?

Worst however is they have no place to test ride although they would permit me to sit on it. This is a deal breaker. I don't buy a car without a test drive. And I try on clothes to see if they fit too.

Hermespan 03-10-14 12:33 AM

The saga continues from the comfort if a train station veg restaurant ( one of the good value things in Taiwan)...

Fed up with Dahon thought I'd try my second choice (1st choice really, just beyond my budget): Brompton.

M6L - NT5200 (USD 1717)
P6R - NT6000 ($1981)
S2L - NT4900 ($1618)

BTW, everyone is quoting me proves on hundreds, which is an absurdly low price. They *must* mean THOUSANDS.

I have no no idea how this compares to Canada/USA. Besides shipping from Macau, China, UK or wherever else the parts if not the entire bikes might be manufactured, perhaps there is duty. So, even though Taiwan is an advanced developing nation somewhere between second and third (emerging markets stock market investment watchers claim so) it is NOT a cheap country. Apparently not to buy an imported bicycle either.

Challenge here is is finding high-quality locally made instead of US and British.

Azreal911 03-10-14 08:09 AM

you might want to try pacific cycles. Not sure how close you are from their factory or if they would even sell you do directly from them

http://www.pacific-cycles.com/

fietsbob 03-10-14 08:46 AM

Tern is ROC Taiwan made, father David Hon's company is on the mainland PRC.

smallwheeler 03-10-14 09:50 AM

T-Mosaic Bicycles: Manager: Rocky Huang
No. 912-1, Sec. 2, Liming Rd. Si Tun Dist. Taichung, TW. Tel: 886-4-2251-6788
http://tmosaic.blogspot.com/
rockyhuang99@yahoo.com

Modus Velo
Manager: Tim Kao
492 Yumen Rd. Xitun Dist.
Taichung, Taiwan
407
Tel: 04-246-17020
Cell: 0921-240424
email: shop@modusvelo.com

Bike Journey
Manager: A-fu
458 Chung-ming South Rd.
Taichung City, Taiwan
Tel: 04-237-19028

Green Life (Bianchi)
Manager: Aaron Huang
No. 204-1 Guoguang Rd. South Dist.
Taichung, Taiwan
402
Tel: 04-228-796-96
email: achiayu@yahoo.com.tw

Famous Bikes
Manager: Tom Jian
No.5 Xitun Rd. Sec.2
Taichung City, Taiwan
Tel: 0933239055
email: famous.bikes@msa.hinet.net

Bike Dome Dusseldorf
Manager: Chen Chao-bang
No. 90-26 Xitun Rd. Sec.3
Taichung City, Taiwan
Tel: 04-2706-9862
email: bike_dome@hotmail.com
Open Monday-Saturday 1:30pm to 9:30pm

Specialized Fma
Mark Chen
No.166-30, Sec. 3, Xitun Rd. Xitun Dist.
Taichung City, Taiwan
407
Tel: 04-246-18987
Blog:http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/specialized-fma
Website:http://fmabike.com

Bike King Bicycle Boutique
Manager: You Wen-ting
No. 102-2 Taichung Harbor Rd. Sec. 3.
Taichung City, Taiwan
Tel:0926-125000

185 Warehouse
Manager: James Murray
185 Warehouse 321 Buzi Rd. Beitun Dist.
Taichung City, Taiwan
Tel:o4-223-93185

Hong Shiang - Irland GT
Manager: Chen Bing-hong
No. 527 Taiyuan Rd. Sec-3
Beitun Dist. Taichung City, Taiwan
Tel: (04) 2437-0663
Cell: 0923-234544
email: d0923234544@yahoo.com.tw

Sam Bike
Manager: Sam Huang
No. 611 Mei-tsuen Rd. Sec.1
Taichung, Taiwan
Tel: 04-2375-3905
Cell: 0937-218-055
email: sam23753905@gmail.com
blog: http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/sambike-0423753905

Longmao-Bianchi Shop Manager: Tseng Mei-feng
Address: No. 605 Zhong Shan Rd.
Lufeng Neighborhood, Shalu Township
Greater Taichug (Taichung County)
Tel: 04-26655308
Email: longma0922@yahoo.com.tw

Tai Hao Bike Supply Store
Manager: Huang Chao-hsien
Address: No. 90 Han Xi South Rd. Sec-3
Beitun Dist. Taichung City, Taiwan
Tel: (04) 2437-9499

OZO Design Co., Ltd
Manager: A-Min Huang
Address: No.83 WuQuan 3rd St., West Dist.
Taichung City 40348, Taiwan
Tel: 886-4-2375-8416
Cell: 0986-578-544
email: ozofixedgear@gmail.com

Cheng Yi Xing Bike Shop
Manager: Mr. Lai
Address: No. 109 Wu Chuan West Rd. 1st St.
Taichung, Taiwan
Tel: 04-2372-2879

Xingfu Bike Shop (Mercedes Bike Shop)
Manager:?
Address: No. 1211 Wenxin South Rd.
Dali District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Tel: 04-2406-9957
email: mbike@gmail.com

Star Bike
Manager: Chang Yun-cheng
No. 23, Alley 118, Yong-fu Rd. Xitun Dist.
Taichung City
Tel: 04-24638792
Cell: 0963160998
Email: good101tw@yahoo.com.tw

Author Bikes
No. 163, Liming Rd. Sec-3 Xitun Dist
Taichung City, Taiwan















































Hermespan 03-10-14 10:39 AM

Thank you 'small wheeler' - that was very kind if you to provide a city-specific list.

I have only one question...

Do any of these guys let you take a prospective bicycle for a spin? Maybe there is more open spaces and less traffic in Taichung - I don't know. Taiwan is a very densely populated country. Unfortunately the charming little cities with wide streets (e.g. rare) do not have the primo bike shops.

I offered the only bike shop I visited my passport and to *rent* and he politely said no. Actually I would rather rent for a day anyway. The shop had a dozen bicycles out on the curb, saying THOSE ones only were OK for test runs. Not just cheapie either.

Azreal911 03-11-14 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hermespan (Post 16565028)
I offered the only bike shop I visited my passport and to *rent* and he politely said no. Actually I would rather rent for a day anyway. The shop had a dozen bicycles out on the curb, saying THOSE ones only were OK for test runs. Not just cheapie either.

I think for Asians like me the problems with letting you test it is that they are very particular when they buy stuff and once you rode it out the store that bike isn't considered "new" anymore and no one would want that one and would usually ask for a new one in the back. It's a weird thing but it might be how that is over there and it would devalue the bike considerably to any other buying if they see tire wear. Sounds weird since in north america no real person would buy a bike without testing it which is the most practical way to see if that bike works for you.

keyven 03-11-14 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Azreal911 (Post 16567690)
I think for Asians like me the problems with letting you test it is that they are very particular when they buy stuff and once you rode it out the store that bike isn't considered "new" anymore and no one would want that one and would usually ask for a new one in the back. It's a weird thing but it might be how that is over there and it would devalue the bike considerably to any other buying if they see tire wear. Sounds weird since in north america no real person would buy a bike without testing it which is the most practical way to see if that bike works for you.

Umm that's not true at all. I'm an Asian and in no way do Asian shopkeepers think trying a premium car or bike or motorbike or whatever makes it "not new" anymore, and discourage it. That's total BS and insulting and borderline insane.

How does preventing someone from trying out a HIGH-END item - one that potentially costs thousands of dollars - give them a better chance of making a sale? Everyone I know would just walk away. That's poor sales tactic anywhere in the entire world, and has zero to do with cultural bias or whatever you think it is.

Azreal911 03-11-14 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by keyven (Post 16567856)
Umm that's not true at all. I'm an Asian and in no way do Asian shopkeepers think trying a premium car or bike or motorbike or whatever makes it "not new" anymore, and discourage it. That's total BS and insulting and borderline insane.

How does preventing someone from trying out a HIGH-END item - one that potentially costs thousands of dollars - give them a better chance of making a sale? Everyone I know would just walk away. That's poor sales tactic anywhere in the entire world, and has zero to do with cultural bias or whatever you think it is.

Ok, besides calling another "asian" insulting and insane can you give me other reasons or help out on why Hermespan can't go for a simple test ride to purchase a bike even though he's leaving them his passport? if that's the case this shop owner will probably never be able to sell any of those bikes and shut down in no time. But he's still up and running still.

badrad 03-11-14 06:55 PM

Sounds like a crazy catch 22, I wouldn't want to spend thousands on a bike without trying it, but I'm not allowed to try it without buying it first???

Honestly do some people just buy bikes on specs alone? Then regrets later? I can see that for online sales, but not when the bike is in the showroom and right in front of you. Definitely weird sales tactics.

keyven 03-11-14 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by badrad (Post 16569310)
Sounds like a crazy catch 22, I wouldn't want to spend thousands on a bike without trying it, but I'm not allowed to try it without buying it first???

Honestly do some people just buy bikes on specs alone? Then regrets later? I can see that for online sales, but not when the bike is in the showroom and right in front of you. Definitely weird sales tactics.

Exactly. If that's the mentality, then it should extend to houses (if you step inside, it's becomes "used" so look from the outside only please) and cars (US$300,000 up front before you can touch the Ferrari, thanks).

===================
FROM A POST IN TOGOPARTS.COM (a singapore bike forum):
Just to share my bike shopping experience in Mar 2012. Bikeshops in Taipei are rare and spread over many districts. Bikeshops selling folding bikes are rarer still. Taiwanese call folding bikes "Xiao Zhe" literary translating to Small Folding. The LBS owner told us that interest for folding bikes had declined.
...
Get them to fix up a new bike of your choice (shifters wire tension, pedals, wheels alignment etc) and go for a test ride. If no issues ie. funny sound, stiff pedals etc, then you should get that bike instead of another new bike. Ask them to repackage it into the same box, noting the way they assemble & disassemble the bike. Take pictures for reference. I spent almost 3hours at the LBS.
========================

Doesn't sound at all like the shopkeeper is anti-test-ride at all. The fact that the poster states this matter-of-factly shows it's pretty much standard practice. Pure common sense would tell you rejecting any test-ride is the surest way to lose money.

Asians - particularly the Chinese - are not stupid - almost no one except the mega-rich would throw $2,000 on a bike they cannot try. It's insulting to even suggest you have to buy a bike before you're allowed to 'try' it.

DahonAdmin 04-04-14 06:16 AM

Hi Hermespan, I'm the Social Media Manager at DAHON and we wanted to get in touch to apologize for the difficulties you've come up against. If you'd like to contact us directly either send a direct message here or email willow(at)dahon.com and we can help to set things right for you.We were pleased to recently announce we are returning to Taiwan with a wholly owned subsidiary, DAHON TW LLP. This office will handle purchasing, some assembly, RnD and of course distribution. Furthermore, we're excited to share that a new DAHON flagship store will open in Taipei in May. Dahon bikes will also be available in quality bike stores throughout Taiwan in the future. These factors will greatly improve availability and service. In the meantime, please do send us a message with your location and model preferences.
On another note, we always encourage test riding as this is the best way to find the right model from our varied range. So apologies if you encountered this odd policy from a sales agent. It is certainly not the policy of DAHON. Best regards, Willow

Winfried 04-04-14 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DahonAdmin (Post 16640811)
Hi Hermespan, I'm the Social Media Manager at DAHON and we wanted to get in touch to apologize for the difficulties you've come up against. If you'd like to contact us directly either send a direct message here or email willow(at)dahon.com and we can help to set things right for you.

Great customer support :thumb:

byhsu 04-04-14 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DahonAdmin (Post 16640811)
Hi Hermespan, I'm the Social Media Manager at DAHON and we wanted to get in touch to apologize for the difficulties you've come up against. If you'd like to contact us directly either send a direct message here or email willow(at)dahon.com and we can help to set things right for you.We were pleased to recently announce we are returning to Taiwan with a wholly owned subsidiary, DAHON TW LLP. This office will handle purchasing, some assembly, RnD and of course distribution. Furthermore, we're excited to share that a new DAHON flagship store will open in Taipei in May. Dahon bikes will also be available in quality bike stores throughout Taiwan in the future. These factors will greatly improve availability and service. In the meantime, please do send us a message with your location and model preferences.
On another note, we always encourage test riding as this is the best way to find the right model from our varied range. So apologies if you encountered this odd policy from a sales agent. It is certainly not the policy of DAHON. Best regards, Willow

Hello:

I am going to Taipei April 10 and returning April 26, where in Taipei are Dahon bikes carried, I am planning on buying one when i arrive, so i have transportation and then take it back with me to the USA.

Thank You

CenturionIM 04-04-14 02:53 PM

Tough luck, OP.

Personally if I was in TW I would try to check out Tern and Ori bikes. Birdy is more available in Asia also, as pacific cycle makes them. Neither of the three is easy to find in the US.

Forget DAHON. Just come home to ride those.

DahonAdmin 04-07-14 04:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by byhsu (Post 16641981)
Hello:

I am going to Taipei April 10 and returning April 26, where in Taipei are Dahon bikes carried, I am planning on buying one when i arrive, so i have transportation and then take it back with me to the USA.

Thank You

Hi byhsu, you're welcome to email me (willow(at)dahon.com) or message here too. Please include details of what cities you will visit and if you need any language assistance (ie. do not speak Mandarin). Not meaning to clog up this thread with customer service issues, anyone else with DAHON related questions is also free to drop me a message. Thanks!

ThorUSA 04-07-14 02:19 PM

lets hope the customer doesnt buy a Dahon bike which isnt available in the US and than comes crying for spare parts later on, which are not carried by Dahon USA. Than all of the sudden the customer service and more important the dealers get slammed that they dont have parts.

Just saying

thor

badrad 04-07-14 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThorUSA (Post 16650192)
lets hope the customer doesnt buy a Dahon bike which isnt available in the US and than comes crying for spare parts later on, which are not carried by Dahon USA. Than all of the sudden the customer service and more important the dealers get slammed that they dont have parts.

Just saying

thor

LOL!
But of course being the supportive soul you are, you will still take pity on them and help as much as possible!

Hermespan 04-10-14 01:46 AM

To Willow (Dahon rep Taiwan)

Thank you for your contact info. I am now in Saigon (TP Ho Chi Minh) and expect Dahon are not sold here. In Taipei I tried the Jifo and the fit wasn't right for me. Nice fold though!

That new multi-speed bike folder prototype announced at the Taipei Bike Show (but in March not yet being sold) - when is it *realistically* expected to be being sold in USA/Canada and Taiwan? And is there such a thi g as an international warranty that I can purchase for a Dahon?

Hermespan 04-10-14 01:58 AM

CenturionIM,

I tested the Ori in Taipei. It is on my short list (possible purchases). But without modification it appeared that the fold is not as small as Brompton and Flamingo. While sitting on it and 'riding' 3 meters down the isle at a retail shop was 'mmm, delightfully comfy' there seems to be an issue with the handlebars.

Perhaps there is no such thing as a good value, fit in a small suitcase, large enough for comfort folder.

Dannymk6 04-12-14 05:34 AM

I still can get our dahon here but without those accessories that is listed in the website. Looks like tern is more popular here too as they have tern social ride and few event only for tern. Wish dahon here can be more active.

Anyway proud owner of vigor p9 here. :)


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