Essential step - VISITING a bike shop in Taipei
Thus post will be boring for bike specialists. I am just a regular guy - albeit daily user when I have a bike and climate/weather permits. I am not a fanatic who goes out in the monsoon in Cambodia to make a point of being 'green'. In fact I have in mind to combine tuk- tuk (motorcycle- pulled taxi carts) if a downpour makes driving dangerous or just plain too wet. In SEA outside of rainy season (when it rains almost daily from 3 pm to late night) one doesn't enter the 'mango shower'. You just take rest under shelter and wait the ten minutes) typically.
Anyway, moving on from other people's opinions is proving to be *much* more useful and is more fun han anything at the bike show. I don't regret doing so much research and chit chat, but it 's all abstract without touching a real bicycle. I'll mention the name once I have purchased. It is just a couple of stops on the Tamsui MRT line from Taipei Main Station and a brief walk from that station.
I had visions of Hong Kong style 'make up your mind' rush, but no, the young man spent what must have been at least 100 minutes showing my all seven bikes I expressed any serious interest in. In fact, I feel morally obligated to buy from him any of those models provided his competitors don't sell for BT300 ($100) less. And maybe not even then. My only interest in other vendors will be if they have something fantastic that is so unique of cheap I buy elsewhere. Call it guilt - I hate it when people waste hours if a salesman's time then buy next door to save $10. But I will be a jerk if any other shop has an equal price and let's me test ride! I still think it's very weird to not permit a ride round the block or at least down the street.
Short story - I am looking at larger wheeled folding bikes because I am not convinced my targeted ones are worth the compromises. And they feel weird when I ride them (albeit 5 meters in a crowded bike shop).
I will post specific impressions on any if the models I looked at if requested. I made lots of notes including taking my own realistic measurements (that never matched the shop's/manufacturers). I will get into what semi-dismantling looked promising, such as taking the seat off, in the detailed notes. 'D' means what I calculated the total cm to be (width plus height plus depth)
My preliminary assessments (1 to 5 stars mean bang for the buck or how much I love the feel of the machine. OK, so they're very different measurements - I am not a scientist. NT30,000 = USD1000
1. ? By Flamingo, 14" wheels, 3-speed, internal hub, 11 kilos, D177, Taiwan, NT13,000 ***
2. Jifo by Dahon, -14"? Wheels, 1-speed, n/a hub, 9.4 kilos, China?, D147, NT20,400 ***
3. Mu N360 by Tern, 20" wheels, 3-gears (flow through), ? hub, 13.5 Kilos, D187, Taiwan? NT37,500 ****
4. S11i by Tern, 20" wheels, 11 gears, internal hub, 12.3 kilos, D193, Taiwan?, NT69,270 **
5. C8 Classic by Ori, -18" wheels, internal hub, ? gears, ? Kilos, D192, NT26,800 *****
6. London 7NX by Flamingo, -18" wheels, 7-gears, internal hub, 12.7 kilos, D192, Taiwan, NT26,800 ****
Besides all the technical and practical stuff: tier 1-3...
1. Doesn't do the job
2. Does the job
is is vastly different from tier 4, which is...
A have a $70 beater adolescent boy's bicycle in PNH gathering dust while I am away. So, 500-1k is a *lot* to spend without a 'wow' factor. I am used to riding the monstrous bikes of India, so these fit them into your pocket bikes feel like paper clips. However the Ori in its coppery colour, slightly ugly design and man's handlebars elicited an emotional response from me. The better Flamingo a close runner up. Details to come.
Now to calculate if either of these can actually be transported for no extra fees with zero to minimal disassembly. As long as I can get it in a tuk-tuk it doesn't need to be the size of a postage stamp. Or does it? The investigation continues for the compromise between weight and dimensions versus enough comfort.
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