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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 12-21-08, 11:04 AM   #1
graywolf
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Flying Pigeon is Chic

http://flyingpigeonnyc.blogspot.com/

I am beginning to think I would not want to be seen riding one.
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Old 12-21-08, 11:36 AM   #2
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The photographer could have taken the packing foam off the bikes in some of those shots at least
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Old 12-21-08, 12:26 PM   #3
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Nah, it's supposed to be like that. It's the top tube protector of the 3-speed crowd.
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Old 12-21-08, 12:59 PM   #4
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I hate these things. They seem to be a cheap knock off fashion accessory, like all the faux channel bags girls have been carrying around.
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Old 12-21-08, 02:13 PM   #5
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I hate these things. They seem to be a cheap knock off fashion accessory, like all the faux channel bags girls have been carrying around.
But it goes so well with your pink Safari Jacket.
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Old 12-21-08, 03:34 PM   #6
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If you're a girl - pink is in. Its also suitable for a gay man. And well - it goes with everything pink. The boys stick with the safe black!
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Old 12-21-08, 07:57 PM   #7
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http://flyingpigeonnyc.blogspot.com/

I am beginning to think I would not want to be seen riding one.
Looks more like a blog for pitching the Flying Pigeons. The marketing team pulled a few out of stock and pulled off just enough packing to photograph then drove around to various New York landmarks and photographed them to make them look like they were in the "wild." I have to agree they would have been more successful if they would have unpacked the bikes properly.
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Old 12-22-08, 12:47 PM   #8
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The aggressive and deceitful portrayal of these bikes in the "wild" would make Mao Tse Tung very proud.
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Old 12-22-08, 12:56 PM   #9
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A billion Chinese can't be wrong. The bicycle was the main means of transportation in China before the car took hold and for many Chinese it is still the principal means of getting around to day to day activities.
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Old 12-22-08, 01:23 PM   #10
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for many Chinese it is still the principal means of getting around to day to day activities.
And each of these many Chinese hope to one day own a car so they won't have to ride a bike ever again.
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Old 12-22-08, 05:30 PM   #11
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And each of these many Chinese hope to one day own a car so they won't have to ride a bike ever again.
Wonder if they'll leave the bubblewrap on their cars.
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Old 12-22-08, 06:02 PM   #12
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I think that may be my first fake blog I've seen. I guess they needed to prove they can waste airline fuel with the best of them. Must have been a fun job though.
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Old 12-22-08, 06:50 PM   #13
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And best of all you don't need to lock them up anywhere in NYC ...because they're anti-theft by design!!! LOL....



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Old 12-22-08, 08:10 PM   #14
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A billion Chinese can't be wrong. The bicycle was the main means of transportation in China before the car took hold and for many Chinese it is still the principal means of getting around to day to day activities.
Only 1 in 100 Chinese has a car per figures I found on the web. 1.3 billion Chinese and 13 million private vehicles so the bike is still primary transportation for most.

Unless you like a 1920s Raleigh utility bike though I see no reason to buy the Flying Pigeon or the similar bikes from India. Very heavy gas pipe frames, geometry designed for maximum stability and one speed in the stanard models. Steel rims too it appears, great fun trying to brake with when wet.

Personally I would much prefer a Pashley if choosing a modern reproduction of an old British roadster.
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Old 12-22-08, 08:14 PM   #15
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Dutch roadsters still have steel rims -stopping when wet isn't a problem when the bike is equipped with drum brakes. They are still very popular in the Netherlands.
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Old 12-22-08, 09:07 PM   #16
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A billion Chinese can't be wrong. The bicycle was the main means of transportation in China before the car took hold and for many Chinese it is still the principal means of getting around to day to day activities.
By choice or necessity?
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Old 12-22-08, 09:27 PM   #17
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I ran into the guy who imports them one afternoon in Central Park. Of course the bike he was riding was covered in bubble wrap.
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Old 12-22-08, 10:18 PM   #18
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these things are an insult to the roadster tradition. I thought the whole "communist chic" fad was over anyhow.
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Old 12-22-08, 10:20 PM   #19
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I think that may be my first fake blog I've seen. I guess they needed to prove they can waste airline fuel with the best of them. Must have been a fun job though.
I'm sure it was, a couple of the Flying Pigeons in the back of a pickup, a camera, and a couple pretty people for garnish and then an afternoon to drive around NYC.
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Old 12-23-08, 12:41 AM   #20
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bogus site, but they sure have some cool links.
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Old 12-23-08, 03:43 AM   #21
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these things are an insult to the roadster tradition. I thought the whole "communist chic" fad was over anyhow.
Oh I dunno, If the Chinese workers have even a little pride in their work the bike might make a good starting point for a "new" cheap DH-1 replica. It would be useless to me as I require a 17"/47cm frame and the "one-size-fits-all" 21" frame would be much too big. I suspect communism is and will be in vogue for the immediate future.
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Old 12-23-08, 06:38 AM   #22
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Oh I dunno, If the Chinese workers have even a little pride in their work the bike might make a good starting point for a "new" cheap DH-1 replica. It would be useless to me as I require a 17"/47cm frame and the "one-size-fits-all" 21" frame would be much too big. I suspect communism is and will be in vogue for the immediate future.
And my problem is just the opposite....I need a 25.5"/65cm frames

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Old 12-23-08, 05:53 PM   #23
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Well, actually the blog is from Flying Pigeon NYC the area distrubutor and dealer so of course it is ad copy. There now are several of them: like FP-LA, FP-Portland, and Morgan Imports here in NC. So only need someplace like Chicago to complete their distributorship. A couple of years ago you only found Chinese sites. It is probably a good way to generate sales in a place like NYC where there are a 100 customers for a utility bicycle and a million for a chic fashion accessory. There is someone in Ann Arbor MI selling them cheaper on ebay but they are rather stripped down with the vinyl seat and no lights.

Gas pipe frame? First that is a very derogatory term. It is and elitest slur on untility bicycles. Even back in 1900 such bicycle were made with straight gage high tensile tubing, I know of no bicycle ever made gas pipe. Straight gage tubing is heavier but stronger than butted tubing. Using thin gage double butted tubing on a utility bicycle is about the stupidest idea I can think of, the thin center section of DB tubing will buckle rather than bend, and if you try to straighten it it is likely to break. Not something you want for a transportation bicycle.

The one size fits all is a real problem, not as most here probably think, you do not need to have to have a fine a size break as you do with a drop bar bicycle but it does kind of limit the range of people they will fit. Besides I like the looks of a 24" roadster it just looks right to me. However the standard 22 inch size should work fine for folks from 5-6 feet tall. Not too good for anyone much outside that range.

As to build quality, I have never actually seen a Flying Pigeon, I doubt that they are much different in quality than Raleigh bicycle of that type were but we are talking mostly 1930's technology. It would be nice if they came with a 3-speed hub, but I guess that they would have been considered a needless luxury in a country where 90% of the population had to walk and there was no money for repairs. You have to replace the indicator chain quite often on a 3-speed used for serious transportation purposes. That would have been a needless expense for them, and I am doing all right in my old age riding my 3-speed in the normal gear, except for one hill I have to down shift for (a single speed in the mountains, what a great exercise idea).

The price of a pigeon ($380 with shipping) is a bit above my price range these days, but if I was still working I might just consider one. They should make great park bikes, cuising lazily with your head far above the crowd.

The purpose of a roadster is to to get you and a bit of cargo from point A to point B in all kinds of weather without too much effort. If you have to go long distances the idea was to load yourself and the bicycle on a train and have local transportation on both ends of the trip. They were not intended as a way to get exercise (you got just as much walking), nor to make you one of the in crowd.

I tend to forget that most of the people here were not even alive when bicycles were used for transportation in most of the industrial world, and all they know are various "sports" bicycles. It is sad that it is very hard to find a transportation bicycle outside of what we think of as the third world. It is even sadder that people who have to use a bicycle for transportation can only find toy "sports" bicycles to use. For anyone not knowing what I mean by "sports", that are all your exercise and special use, and fun bicycles: road bikes, mountain bikes, track bikes, etc. The 10-speeds of the bike boom and the later mountain bikes allowed the snobs to ride a bicycle without having to worry that other people might think they could not afford a car. OTOH, the oh so proud "I don't own a car crowd" drives me nuts knocking on my door and asking me to drive them into town; I now tell them to call a cab.

Last edited by graywolf; 12-23-08 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 12-23-08, 09:24 PM   #24
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I don't know how the quality on the FP is. It certainly IS possible to have quite a bit lower quality than an old Raleigh- even comparing a 1930's bike to a modern one- I say this from the experience of owning an India-made bicycle. To give you some examples- rims aren't perfectly round, so when you true up the wheels, you get higher tension spokes at the weld, where it peaks out a bit. Kickstand frame isn't welded straight- using a jig would have avoided that, but for some reason, they didn't. Front rod brakes as made wouldn't properly clear the front front fender. Rear coaster brake doesn't fully disengage when coasting, so it makes noises as you coast. It's still a rideable bicycle, but definitely a cheaply made rideable bicycle, not a quality piece of equipment.

One thing that seems very positive to me about these bikes is that they have shops actually servicing what they sell. On some of this oddball stuff, you have to be mechanically adventurous or else know what you're doing to go at it on your own, and having a shop to set up the bike and make adjustments would be a big step forward in making ownership a positive experience.
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Old 12-24-08, 02:16 AM   #25
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It is probably a good way to generate sales in a place like NYC where there are a 100 customers for a utility bicycle and a million for a chic fashion accessory.

Actually New York City has a much larger market for utility bikes than so called chic fashion accessories. New York is, after all, home to Worksman Cycles and there are a slew of Dutch imports that people use for just about everything imaginable.
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