Trying to decide between TaoBao trike or bike for long distance riding
First off, for those who do not know, TaoBao is not a brand. It is a Chinese website similar to ebay; but, without the bidding.
I am considering going on an extended ride this summer. It will probably be about 1,200 km. I have gone on several 100km rides with the local cycling clubs. I have also gone on solo, multi-day, rides of about 400km here in China.
The problem I have run into is that I, quite simply, end up in too much pain, from the saddle, to really enjoy the long rides. By the second day, and sometimes before that, I end up with my perineum (the skin between the anus and the scrotum) tearing and then chafing and bleeding the rest of the trip. It is not something I can “build up to.” I had this happen after several months of 100+km rides twice a week.
When in the US I ride my recumbent most often (I say most often because I don’t feel that bents work well with multi-modal rides). I moved from a bike-E that I rode for several years to a Bacchetta. However, all I have had in China are DF bikes. You will not find a bent, of any sort in a bike shop. I have lived here since 2006 and make it a habit to drop into bike shops when I see them. On one of my long rides (400km in three days, two nights on the road) a shopkeeper got into a conversation with a friend who was with me. The shopkeeper recalled seeing a recumbent being ridden by a foreigner about two years prior; this is how rare they are. However, I have never seen one.
Some of my friends are a bit concerned about my riding a trike because they look like a hand-cycle ( in general, Chinese people have very strong biases against the disabled). My only real concern is that my bike may need to ride as baggage on a train and a trike may be a problem.
Cost is a concern for several reasons, one of the reasons is that I may need to leave the bike behind at some point; or, when I leave the country. Shipping a bike from china can be extremely expensive. Further, bike theft is so common that in one city I lived it was not even permitted to be reported to the police.
One other issue is that, while on long rides, I have frequently found it necessary to “lift” my bicycle. One case is at toll booth. Bikes (and motorcycles) are permitted to take the sidewalk around the toll booths; but, there is often a bike barrier consisting of a pipe fixed about a foot off the ground. Other times I have had to cross bridges that have consisted of a series of planks placed across the top of a series of small boats. Further, bicyclists are frequently required to dismount, this is typical when going through a gate of any sort (and no matter how wide) and sometimes it is required while waiting for a traffic light.
All this leads to me trying to decide on two or three wheels. If I stick with a DF I will probably go a couple hundred KM; but, no further.
This leaves me looking at this two wheel model (there are a couple of vendors; but, they are all the same).
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=312031 From here
I am also considering a few of the trikes. I will admit it, I kind of like the idea of being able to put up the canopy seen in one of them, on bright days; or, while napping.
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=312032 from here http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=312033 from here http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=312034 from here http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=312035 from here http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=312036 from here
I really think I would like a trike better; but, I am concerned that it will be a never ending hassle because nothing here is set up with Trikes in mind. Any thoughts on any of these for long distance riding?
Robert, you might consider something like a Cruzbike conversion kit (www.cruzbike.com). If you could find a suitable donor bike in China, which should not be difficult, you could convert it to a recumbent, and, when you eventually leave, restore the bike to its original form and take the conversion kit with you.
I don`t think we are "setup" for a trike in the uk either,though lots do.things like narrow bike paths barriers,gravel paths where the centre part is un-even,or rough,just not trike friendly.
BUT for the rest of it,sure why not,i still like the idea of a trike.:thumb:
It is getting close to the point where I make a decision. any other thoughts?
[For those not clear about this thread, it is also relating to a conversation on BentRider. However, I am nowhere near the number of posts there that are required to be able to post anything useful.
As a total aside, I really dislike forums that require a bunch of garbage speed-posts before you have access. It is typically those same forums that have people complaining about speed-posting. frequently th e"suggested" cure for speed-posting is to increase the number of posts a person has to make before they can use the forum. Yep, they don't realize that the failed solution IS the problem.]
What happened to your recumbent that you had in China in the past?
I am slightly considering this one http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=...id=17141835714 However, it is a total blind shoot. I appears to fold. That is all I see about it. There is absolutely no other information about it. The only reason for this one is that, because it folds, I may be able to take it with me when I return to the states.
However, Like I said, I am very hesitant. The seller provides no information at all. Over the years I have become very hesitant to do business here, there is the "It is OK to steal from foreigners" that is so deeply instilled into the Chinese people.
The other one is this one http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=...id=15792829391 . It looks like a much better bike and it is cheaper. The seller actually provides information. However, as a non-folding bike, when I leave China I will probably have to leave it behind.
I still like the idea of a trike, like these, http://xk168.taobao.com/search.htm?s...&queryType=cat I just expect never ending hassles with a trike in China. There is also the fact that the trikes are about 20kg while the bike is about 15 kg
Well, to follow up, I am closer to a decision. I showed the page with the second bike (the orange one) to someone in my office and she is going to call the vendor to discuss payment and delivery.
Well, I odered a mid-racer and it arrived today. It ran me 4999 CNY (about $810 USD). I got it today. So far the onlyb problem is tha the deraileur hanger is bent. They told me they will put a replacement in the mail tomorrow.
Oh, and the paint on the fork is chipped. Beyond that it looks fine.
The only thing that seems odd to me is that the headset cap needs to be left off for the steering to work right. I looked at the pictures online and realized that is part of the design. I am a little annoyed that it came with no instructions or even pictures of what it should look like when assembled; not a big deal, just a bit of an annoyance.
I went with this one:
You can directly use this site(seems an english Taobao) to help you purchase the bikes for you as follow:
However, I think the shipping cost is beyond your imagine. I think, for bike is too heavy to ship.
In my mind bike parts or accessories is suitable and convenient to ship here.
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