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  1. #1
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Hermespan; 03-09-14 at 11:49 PM. Reason: Add link

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Hermespan; 03-10-14 at 12:46 AM. Reason: Spelling

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    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/

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Tern is ROC Taiwan made, father David Hon's company is on the mainland PRC.

  6. #6
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    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
    Tel4-223-93185

    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















































  7. #7
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Hermespan; 03-10-14 at 10:49 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermespan View Post
    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.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azreal911 View Post
    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.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyven View Post
    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.

  11. #11
    Senior Member badrad's Avatar
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    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.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by badrad View Post
    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.
    Last edited by keyven; 03-11-14 at 07:36 PM.

  13. #13
    Newbie DahonAdmin's Avatar
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    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
    Posting as official representative of DAHON - freedom unfolds

  14. #14
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DahonAdmin View Post
    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

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DahonAdmin View Post
    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

  16. #16
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    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.
    65% of all statistics are made up on the spot. - DD

  17. #17
    Newbie DahonAdmin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byhsu View Post
    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!
    Posting as official representative of DAHON - freedom unfolds

  18. #18
    Senior Member ThorUSA's Avatar
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    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
    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.

  19. #19
    Senior Member badrad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThorUSA View Post
    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!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
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    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?

  21. #21
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
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    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.

  22. #22
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    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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