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Old 11-28-16, 11:55 AM   #26
Azreal911
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No one over the age of 14 looks cool on a skateboard, nowhere, never, ever.
hate to say it but it's pretty prevalent now in the bigger cities in the US and some bloggers (casey neistat) are pretty much using these in their vlogs. all they need to do is get the word out, pretty much how trends flush out these days. Boosted boards apparently can't even keep up with their production from the demands these days and wait times are like waiting for a brompton custom build.

also they are longboards, not skateboards. skateboards are the ones that get the mostly negative stigma as you grind on city property and wreck things with that outlaw image.

Longboards are mostly for high speed and general cruising there's some older crowds using them here.

just stating what I see out there, for companies to ignore trends can usually be pretty detrimental to their future business.

not sure what everyone thinks of this but it looks pretty dang fun!:


also note everyone there doesn't look like 14 and they're marketing it as a way for people to commute on, nothing to do with skateboard parks.

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Old 11-28-16, 12:07 PM   #27
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The new breed of cyclist in the UK seems to use cycling as a means to get a "work out" without having to go to the gym, so I'd imagine going for an electric bike would be counter productive.
Maybe this is the secret. I obviously can't judge on that as I am on the other side of the channel but from what I've read in british bike forums for the majority of riders a bicycle seems not to be a way of transport but a sporting utility. And much to my amusement you even have a special word for those kind of riders: mamil (middle aged man in lycra), which leads to a tremendous amount of more less funny articles in the press.

Mamils are a trend in Germany, too (though until now they have been nameless) but the boost of the electric bikes was started by the older generation who have good money after retirement and totally refuse to stay calmly at home as their parents did. Instead, they buy electric bikes and put the shame on the juvenils they overtake on steep hills. As this was not acceptable now the youngsters are buying electric mountain bikes, as going downhill is so much easier if you do not have to propel uphill first. Commuters start to realize that they do not sweat as much using an electric bike and at the same time are able to commute much further and faster. Hipsters come to the conclusion that a single speed is so much easier to ride if half the power comes from an electric motor. And so on and so on. Cycling and green transport are absolutely trendy and now we go for the smart bike as the next step. The industry loves it. What's left are the mamils, filled with bitterness, - they will get cought via electric shifting and cloud-based training-software - and the ordinary people of all ages that have been cycling for transport for years and years w/o electric support. Those weirdos still think you can pedal yourself - but the industry will get them all, sooner or later.

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Presumably if they brought out an electric assist model it would to some extent get over existing criticisms of the limited gearing options available on the Brompton, I'm thinking if you had power assist available on call you wouldn't need low gearing for climbing a hill. If they have developed a state of the art motor system with Williams they would presumably want to licence it for use by other bike manufacturers, no ?
That's a really good question! I have been wondering why on earth Brompton is trying to literally reinvent the wheel when it comes to ebikes. Maybe they will keep their solution as an USP, maybe they will license the technology - we'll know in a couple of years.
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Old 11-28-16, 12:59 PM   #28
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Good thing you aren't in any Steering Committee type position at Brompton. Seriously, where is the evidence that ANY of those innovations are desired? Especially #4. Personally, I have never considered any other than 20" wheels for myself, but I understand the appeal of 16" wheels to some others. Perhaps the introduction of a 20" model to be sold alongside? Why so all or nothing? And, I don't know, but I suspect carbon fiber with all its challenges for this type of usage would be an easier sell than full Titanium.
Lots more great info guys----I seem to have sparked a few comments--


I think a 20" alongside the 16" would be interesting. Carbon vs Titanium, for me I would take Titanium hands down. Because of the life expectancy of a well built titanium frame vs Carbon and the huge stresses put on the folding frames. From the moutain bike industry I have seen several carbon failures but never a Titanium failure.---Smaller sample of titanium frames however.

Wow--2/3 of the commuters in Shanghai are on electric bikes. I spent 6 weeks last winter in the Philippines and did not see one---I rode nearly every morning----But Palawan the island I was on is relatively poor. However there are tons and tons of 50cc -125cc gas scooters.

The sales graph of Harley Davidsons in the USA looked much like your Brompton Graph except nearly all the sales were US/Canada. However So many were bought and left in the garage unused that eventually used bikes started to flood the market. There are thousands of 3-5-10 year old Harleys that have less than 1000 miles on them. Then Harley sales dropped drastically.

The serious question I would have is what percentage of the bikes sold are being used. If that number is not significant then sales will not continue to climb.

That Brompton has already come to be a major exporter is impressive.

An easy conversion from kg to pounds--2.2 pounds. The electrified Brompton from Nyce in New York is 45 pounds 20.4 kg. It will be interesting to see the price and weight of the E-Brompton.
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Old 11-28-16, 01:12 PM   #29
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Longboards are mostly for high speed and general cruising there's some older crowds using them here.

just stating what I see out there, for companies to ignore trends can usually be pretty detrimental to their future business.

not sure what everyone thinks of this but it looks pretty dang fun!:

also note everyone there doesn't look like 14 and they're marketing it as a way for people to commute on, nothing to do with skateboard parks.
I am not sure how the 'boost' is applied to the wheels, but longboards the ordinary kind, are incredibly popular in Portland's metro area. Scad's of young men (I've never seen one older than ~30) and quite a few young women are using them. I don't care how primo the pavement, however, there is no way a 2" in diameter urethane wheel is going to compete for ride quality with even a 16" Brompton wheel!!! Skateboards are SLOW. Period. Slow and inefficient and.... ... I don't know... you sound a little wistful... a little awed even by that video. Don't be. It's staged. 1 in 10,000 riders get to that level of talent as to stay on a longboard for even a 1/2 mile at a time. A 3mi. commute would be torture. A 10mi. maybe the limit... round trip! I'm not at all, not in the slightest feeling like I am missing anything. A panic stop on one of those things is an exercise in faith. Skateboards are for stunting in skateparks. Cruising, commuting, anything longer than 1/2 mile needs a kick-scooter at the very bare minimum.
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Old 11-28-16, 01:53 PM   #30
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The sales graph of Harley Davidsons in the USA looked much like your Brompton Graph except nearly all the sales were US/Canada. However So many were bought and left in the garage unused that eventually used bikes started to flood the market. There are thousands of 3-5-10 year old Harleys that have less than 1000 miles on them. Then Harley sales dropped drastically.
The difference is: Dentists! Harleys have barely been bought for their usability but for the promise of youth and freedom by people that could afford them: Middle-aged dentists and lawyers. In other words: They are a luxury item. Once they discovered that they were not as young and hard as they believed they stored the thing in the garage, got rid of their leather-jackeds and their weekend-outlaw-roleplay and went back using their far comfier Mercedes', Lexus' and BMWs. When the banks went bancrupt and investments in real estate went bust in 2008 they had to get rid of luxury items and there they were, thousands of bareley useds Harleys. And no more demand for new ones.
The motorcycle-industry as a whole has a problem as riders get older and for the younger generation it is not that cool any more to ride a motorbike. Their market has been shrinking for many years now.

Different story for the Brompton: Those are bought as an utility-item, so people tend to use them and cycling is a trend and healthy as well. There is a noticeable second-hand market for Bromptons and prices are eyewateringly high. In many cases you have to pay more for a used older bike than it costed when it was new. This is due to the fact that production never was able to catch up with demand since the early nineties and that prices for new bikes go up each year. They are not that short on Bromptons that you would not be able to get one but they could sell more with only little effort. That's what they are trying to achieve now.

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The serious question I would have is what percentage of the bikes sold are being used. If that number is not significant then sales will not continue to climb.
If you look at the ads for used Bromptons you will recognize that only very few have not or barely been used (mainly bikes bought for camper-vans and alike), most have normal signs of regular use and a lot seem to have had a really hard life on the streets, especially in Britain. This does not tell anything about the future but if I was Will-Butler-Adams I was quite relaxed. In London alone there are about 90.000 Bromptons pedaled around. In total, until today about 450.000 have been built. Sounds like a lot of possible demand is left.

With the new countries on the expansion plan they can probably sleep well. The US have 322.262.226 inhabitants, China has 1.367.485.388, the Philippines have 100.981.437, all according to wikipedia. A lot of Bromtons to sell. South Korea has 51.500.986 (but some of them own already a Brompton), but then there's Thailand (67,959,359) and we did not talk about India (1.210.569.573) - and neither did Brompton. Then there's the whole of South America...
Britain has 64.596.800 inhabitants (including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Greater London has 13.614.409. If Brompton manages to sell only a fraction of Bromptons per inhabitant they sold there in the rest of the world they will be pretty occupied over the next decades.

You get the message: The idea of WBA is that the Bromton is an intelligent form of transport for the 21st century, especially in cities. Cities are growing worldwide and at the same time space is limited and pollution a problem - good for Brompton. Dahon sells x times as many folders as Brompton does, many of them with lower quality, not as long-lasting and at lower prices. The market is there.

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Old 11-28-16, 02:06 PM   #31
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I am not sure how the 'boost' is applied to the wheels, but longboards the ordinary kind, are incredibly popular in Portland's metro area. Scad's of young men (I've never seen one older than ~30) and quite a few young women are using them. I don't care how primo the pavement, however, there is no way a 2" in diameter urethane wheel is going to compete for ride quality with even a 16" Brompton wheel!!! Skateboards are SLOW. Period. Slow and inefficient and.... ... I don't know... you sound a little wistful... a little awed even by that video. Don't be. It's staged. 1 in 10,000 riders get to that level of talent as to stay on a longboard for even a 1/2 mile at a time. A 3mi. commute would be torture. A 10mi. maybe the limit... round trip! I'm not at all, not in the slightest feeling like I am missing anything. A panic stop on one of those things is an exercise in faith. Skateboards are for stunting in skateparks. Cruising, commuting, anything longer than 1/2 mile needs a kick-scooter at the very bare minimum.
Yeah that was the site advertising but to just hop on any of these elongboards and just go straight is a very viable option, just did a quick search on those electric longboards and commuting lots of them
non staged and just typical people going to work:


here's a guy hopping on for the very first time in his life:

You already state that it is incredibly popular, what's to stop them when they are older and working to pick up a electric version to ride to work since it is something they are used to already? get them while they are early and you have them for life!

The beauty of the small wheels even though it is small you don't need shocks you have your legs as well as the board flexing that absorbs the majority of it. I'm in my early 40's and STILL snowboard and never once complained going down the mountain was too bumpy and wish I had shocks, I've done 30 minute runs down the mountain without needing to stop for breaks every half mile you'll get stronger and used to things just like cycling long distances. And to say electric longboarding is slow pretty much means you haven't seen it yet or experience it. 2nd video has that person blasting 22mph down the streets, their foot never needing to touch the ground. And the new boards all have electric braking to quickly slow down you don't need to put your foot down to speed up or slow down, but for a car cutting in front of you it wouldn't matter if you are flying on a bike or longboard you'll be hitting that car.

In the end I have zero stake in e-longboards or anything of the fact I am just saying for brompton to get into this crowded e-bike/e-vehicle category they have to know what are they up against and what type of product they need to put out to compete. For them to outright ignore it thinking it is just a toy and no one will use it like some of you are saying in this thread is a dangerous move.

side note: blackberry dismissed the iPhone when it first came out that it wasn't a competing product when they where at the top of their game look where that landed them now?

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Old 11-28-16, 02:08 PM   #32
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Are we still in a bike-forum in a section called "folding bikes" and a topic called "Brompton Founder Steps Down From the Board"?
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Old 11-28-16, 02:15 PM   #33
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No one over the age of 14 looks cool on a skateboard, nowhere, never, ever.
This is said about scooter riders, rollerbladers, small wheeled bike riders (folding & minivelos), fat bike riders, etc, etc,...
I personally feel you should do whatever you damn well please,...and not give a crap.
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Old 11-28-16, 03:29 PM   #34
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On the topic that in Asia items made in Britain are status symbols is often true. But that's only half the picture. The other side of the equation is that being outdoors under the tropical sun doing physical labor, riding a bicycle (rather than a motorcycle or car) is still rather déclassé. In the country where I live, Indonesia (population: quarter billion souls), the two economic poles where wealth is concentrated (Jakarta & Surabaya) are terrible places for bike riding. What good does a status symbol do you if you can't really flaunt it without sweating like a pig and looking like a poor peasant?

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Old 11-28-16, 04:19 PM   #35
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No one over the age of 14 looks cool on a skateboard, nowhere, never, ever.

So have you ever seen an adult riding a bike with 20" or 16" wheels?

Grin
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Old 11-28-16, 04:24 PM   #36
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On the topic that in Asia items made in Britain are status symbols is often true. But that's only half the picture. The other side of the equation is that being outdoors under the tropical sun doing physical labor, riding a bicycle (rather than a motorcycle or car) is still rather déclassé. In the country where I live, Indonesia (population: quarter billion souls), the two economic poles where wealth is concentrated (Jakarta & Surabaya) are terrible places for bike riding. What good does a status symbol do you if you can't really flaunt it without sweating like a pig and looking like a poor peasant?
Nobody on a Brompton electric is going to look poor and sweaty. They'll sell a ton of them all over the world.
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Old 11-28-16, 04:29 PM   #37
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On the topic that in Asia items made in Britain are status symbols is often true. But that's only half the picture. The other side of the equation is that being outdoors under the tropical sun doing physical labor, riding a bicycle (rather than a motorcycle or car) is still rather déclassé. In the country where I live, Indonesia (population: quarter billion souls), the two economic poles where wealth is concentrated (Jakarta & Surabaya) are terrible places for bike riding. What good does a status symbol do you if you can't really flaunt it without sweating like a pig and looking like a poor peasant?
Yes it is hot but in the Philippines where I was there were two fairly large groups of riders that rode a couple mornings a week. Mainly locals. All on mountain bikes but doing 20k road rides.
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Old 11-28-16, 04:43 PM   #38
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You say that from the perspective of one who can make out a bike and its price from afar because you are an enthusiast. Most of the Asian world is gonna see someone who cannot afford a motorcycle/car.

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Nobody on a Brompton electric is going to look poor and sweaty. They'll sell a ton of them all over the world.
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Old 11-28-16, 04:50 PM   #39
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Yes, it does happen, it does exist. I, and others, here in Bali do it all the time. What I am trying to say that cultural factors are different here, and impinge on market choices. The cultural factors i described earlier are not unrelated, for example, to the adoption of broad-based public transportation systems. Singapore (pop 6 million) is an outlier here. I am trying to give you a more nuanced understanding of the market, based on actual experience.

Btw, I've been n SEAsia 15 years, have lived/worked in three countries, and been to them all except for Brunei.

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Yes it is hot but in the Philippines where I was there were two fairly large groups of riders that rode a couple mornings a week. Mainly locals. All on mountain bikes but doing 20k road rides.

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Old 11-28-16, 04:57 PM   #40
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You say that from the perspective of one who can make out a bike and its price from afar because you are an enthusiast. Most of the Asian world is gonna see someone who cannot afford a motorcycle/car.
Dude, your fascination with how Asia sees bicycles (in your opinion) is tiring. This thread is about the Brompton founder stepping down, and tangentially about Butler-Adams' plans for the company's future. How those plans affect people you claim would never ride a bike in the first place is irrelevant.
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Old 11-28-16, 05:16 PM   #41
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Was expansion beyond Europe and Britain not a subject of discussion here? Did Berlinaut not assert that British and German items are status symbols in Asia, and suggest that as an augur of expansion potential? Did Rick Imby not invoke the Philippines and Palawan? There are several discussions going on here. Keep your eye on the balls.


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Dude, your fascination with how Asia sees bicycles (in your opinion) is tiring. This thread is about the Brompton founder stepping down, and tangentially about Butler-Adams' plans for the company's future. How those plans affect people you claim would never ride a bike in the first place is irrelevant.

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Old 11-28-16, 05:34 PM   #42
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Was expansion beyond Europe and Britain not a subject of discussion here? Did Berlinaut not assert that British and German items are status symbols in Asia, and suggest that as an augur of expansion potential? Did Rick Imby not invoke the Philippines and Palawan? There are several discussions going on here. Keep your eye on the balls.
Yeah yeah yeah, your country is the super-most-biggest, so let's discuss that they don't like bicycles. That sweeping generalization is ridiculous, adding nothing coherent to this discussion.
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Old 11-28-16, 05:47 PM   #43
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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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Old 11-28-16, 05:55 PM   #44
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Let's just save that one for the forum record as yet another example of Mr. Remi's state of mind.

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Yeah yeah yeah, your country is the super-most-biggest, so let's discuss that they don't like bicycles. That sweeping generalization is ridiculous, adding nothing coherent to this discussion.
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Old 11-28-16, 06:01 PM   #45
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Yeah yeah yeah, your country is the super-most-biggest, so let's discuss that they don't like bicycles. That sweeping generalization is ridiculous, adding nothing coherent to this discussion.
Politely said: At 250 Mio inhabitants Indonesia is at three quarters of the 322 Mio inhabitants of the US. Americans love their cars and have huge distances to cover due to the size of the country and the way cities and roads have been built. Not exactly Brompton country in many areas. Maybe Indonesia is a bigger market for Brompton in the long run, for sure Asia as a whole is - already today.
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Old 11-28-16, 06:08 PM   #46
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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.

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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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Old 11-28-16, 06:20 PM   #47
Diode100
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
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.
If the cultural and environmental dynamics of Asia militate against the bicycle as a status symbol, or against Up market bicycles in general how do you explain that this forum is peppered with reports of the wonderful cycling exotica that is available on the home market only for these very areas ?
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Old 11-28-16, 06:25 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by berlinonaut View Post

... China has 1.367.485.388, the Philippines have 100.981.437, all according to wikipedia. A lot of Bromtons to sell. South Korea has 51.500.986 (but some of them own already a Brompton), but then there's Thailand (67,959,359) and we did not talk about India (1.210.569.573) - and neither did Brompton.




Problem . No place to park the Brompton .
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Old 11-28-16, 06:25 PM   #49
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1. Those bikes may be exotic to you, but not necessarily to them.
2. Exotic does not a status symbol make.
3. Appreciation for design and aesthetics does not a status symbol make.

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Originally Posted by Diode100 View Post
If the cultural and environmental dynamics of Asia militate against the bicycle as a status symbol, or against Up market bicycles in general how do you explain that this forum is peppered with reports of the wonderful cycling exotica that is available on the home market only for these very areas ?
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Old 11-28-16, 06:30 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
4. Increase the size off the wheel to 20' inches. (or better yet, 24')
Because of the way the rear wheel folds "in plane" under the frame, that would mean a new bike no? New front fork, new rear triangle, new frame.
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