Hi, I just wanted to make a thread and introduce myself as I hope to be lurking/posting in these forums in the future. I haven't had a new bike since my parents bought me a mountain bike for Christmas when I was in grade 8. Now I'm 32 and find myself living in Seoul, Korea. A friend got me interested in the idea of buying a new bike to blast around the city and river in (and also burn off some of the excessive alcohol calories from weekend drinking). I decided a hybrid was a good choice to start since the city streets here are a mixed bag... The problem, imported bikes are insanely expensive in Korea. After a little research I found there's a ton of Korean brands in the $120-$250 range online that are cheap out specials... (no name gears, brakes, plastic pedals etc..). Then the bike shops tend to carry Korean bikes for $300-500 that have decent components and AS/warranty service available. Then you can go well north of that for something imported and name brand. As this why my first bike and I was sure once I got into it, I would probably want something else (and not really knowing what I wanted or needed) I opted for a Korean bike that cost around $330 Canadian since I can probably flip it for $200 or so down the line and use that towards the bike I determined I want. The shop I bought it from makes and services this brand, so it's quite small. I'm not too sure about the specifics, but the gears are all Shimano and SRAM with Tektro brakes. The guy showed me a Giant bicycle he had for 3x the price that was fitted with almost identical components. I got front and rear LED lights, bottle holder, lock, bell and a cool wallet/smartphone mount for my Galaxy Note that sits on my handle bars thrown in with the purchase... the smartphone wallet/mount is quite awesome I must say. I'm not sure if my bike is a huge ripoff by North American standards or par for the course given what I paid. Either way I've put about 500km on it in 2 weeks and have zero issues. It seems to fit well and can absolutely fly when I want to.. it's also bizarrely quiet, maybe I just don't hear my own bike but it seems like everyone else's geared bike is playing a small symphony of noises whenever they roll past.
Anyway below is a link to my weekend ride throughout Seoul. This is the kind of ride I hope to make a regular thing. Maybe 3-4x a week. I'm living next to Gangnam station which is like being in the heart of the urban jungle, I'm adjusting to the intense and utterly erratic traffic as I make my way out to the paths
I hope to learn from you guys. I've already ordered new grips, some Giant Connect Ergo Max Plus lock-on grips which should arrive tomorrow, looking forward to getting them on this thing.