Old 11-28-16, 06:08 PM
  #46  
Abu Mahendra
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Bali
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Bikes: In service - FSIR Spin 3.0, Bannard Sunny minivelo, Dahon Dash Altena folder. Several others in construction or temporarily decommissioned.

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First of all, let me say that I am not arguing for or against Brompton or any other upper-tier bike maker. What I am arguing against is to project European, American market dynamics and cultural values wholesale without identifying the particular local cultural, environmental dynamics of Asia militating against the bicycle as a status symbol. That is all.

Originally Posted by berlinonaut View Post
Abu, I think you are right in many aspects. In poorer societies the mode of transport is a way of status in a different way. While we see at least in bigger cities in Europe that a bike can be a status symbol (or a statement of a modern, ecological lifestyle that is accepted to even desireable) and not owning a car is not considered as a sign of poverty this is different elsewhere.
The traditional "career" is walk by foot/use public transport, bike, moped, motorbike, car and this has i.e. been true in Europe after world war 2 as well. It is still true in many countries, not only in Asia. The more if the climate is not exactly perfect for cycling. "Getting green" is a matter of education, climate and circumstances. If I lived i.e. in the Namibian desert I would have a car and problably no Brompton. Judging from a wealthy European's or American's perspective is not adequate and maybe even arrogant.

Still the market in Asia is big for Brompton - they do definitively not target the poor (who cycle due to a lack of alternatives) but those who 1.) live in (big) cities, 2.) can afford it 3.) have the education to go for a bike even if they can afford a moped or a car. Even if this is only a fraction of the population it is still a huge market for a company as small as Brompton.
Regarding the heat: If you go to Barcelona in Spain you'll see a tremendous amount of folders. Flats are small, theft-rates are high, therefore people use folders (including a lot of Bromptons). One shop that I visited there sells a lot of electric conversions - summer is quite hot in Barcelona (though not as humid as in Indonesia) and therefor people start to cruise with electric support. It is still a small minority, but the shop can make a living. I can imagine that something similar could happen in Asia, too. Those big cities will in the long run have to address their traffic- and air-pollution-problems as it currently starts to happen in China. As in China, electric vehicles of all kinds may be a feasable soulution as may be biking in general and maybe some of those vehicles will be Bromptons.
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