Chinese folding bikes

Commuter 19 7

My last post about commuter bikes for the masses generated some really good discussion from all of you. The discussion got me thinking- the “commuter bikes for the masses” concept would make a great design contest for the blog. I’ll let you know a little more about that soon, but start thinking about it now if you are interested in the whole idea of a bike for the “blue ocean” of non-cyclists out there.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I didn’t take as many pictures of bikes in China this time as I had on previous trips. Mainly, it was because I just didn’t have the free time. I did take a few though, including the one shown here. Small-wheeled folding bikes like this one seem to be very popular in Chinese cities. On each trip, I consistently see bikes like this from Chinese brands that I am not familiar with- Xinrui is one that I saw a lot on this latest trip. Some of the bikes are pretty interesting and often the built in rear rack is used as a passenger seat as seen in this photo.

It is not a folder, but a friend who lives in Taiwan recently told me that he bought a Tyrell bike (I think it is a Japanese brand, but I am not sure). That is another company that I had not heard of, but you can see the bikes they make on their website. The SZ is interesting with its flat carbon chainstays to provide flex for the rear suspension. I think the overall design is very nice-the frame shape looks a bit Moultanesque, if I can coin a term. Also check out the PK1 with a titanium frame and SRAM Red components. I don’t know what these bikes sell for, but based on the materials, components, and the Rolf wheels, I would guess that they aren’t cheap.

If anyone knows of other popular Asian market brands, I would be interested to hear more about them. Obviously there are brands like Giant that are well known worldwide, but I suspect that are many Chinese and Taiwanese brands to are only sold domestically and are not well known in the Western world. Fill me in if I am missing any big ones.

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19 Comments

  1. Ron October 9, 2008 at 9:46 pm -  Reply

    James,

    Don’t forget our great Huffy, proudly manufactured in China under working conditions that approach human rights violations. I’m not even sure Huffy is American anymore!

    Didn’t you notice any Huffies floating around there?

  2. Joe October 9, 2008 at 10:29 pm -  Reply

    Dahon, KHS, and Merida are prominent in Taiwan. Dahon somehow got some mad publicity from the local mass media, and all the sudden every single bike I see on the street of Taipei became Dahon. They basically owned the folding bike/tiny wheels market.

  3. CYKELPORTALEN October 10, 2008 at 1:22 am -  Reply

    Pacific Cycles in Taiwan, maker of folders to Riese&Müller BIRDY and Airnimal, make there own very interesting range
    http://www.pacific-cycles.com/

  4. ian in hamburg October 10, 2008 at 2:07 am -  Reply

    When I was in China the bikes looked as if they were made of cement tubes coated with lacquer – very heavy and cumbersome.

    Too bad they’re all ditching their bikes for cars, but at least they now have time to contemplate their new-found wealth while sitting in traffic jams barely able to breathe.

  5. mplsmitch October 10, 2008 at 10:12 am -  Reply

    I think some of the most interesting bikes I have seen in Asia are the mamachari(roughly mom bikes)of Japan. These are extremely popular among Japanese moms as a way to haul infants and groceries around in the city. The Frackers brand, manfactured by Maruishi is a good example.
    http://www.maruishi-cycle.com/frackers/child/index.html

  6. Yokota Fritz October 10, 2008 at 2:03 pm -  Reply

    Mamachari = “Mama’s Chariot”. Supposed to be ironic.

    Did I mention Flying Pigeon was at Interbike? They’re looking for USA distributor but didn’t want me taking photos at their booth.

  7. Murray Elliot Breen aka ‘surf-the-arts’ October 10, 2008 at 6:22 pm -  Reply

    Wo! …That PK1 is $5,700US.

  8. James October 11, 2008 at 9:57 am -  Reply

    No Ron, didn’t see any Huffys on this trip. Strangely, the only bike I noticed from a prominent American brand was a Trek (and the rider happened to be wearing a full Discovery kit).

    I usually see bikes in Asia from companies like Pacific, Dahon, Giant etc, but I am interested in finding out more about the Asian brands that we are not familiar with in the US. Aside from Xinrui, which I mentioned in the post, Hondo (or something like that) was another unfamiliar brand I noticed on this trip.

    Thanks for that list Jessica. I do recognize a few of those names as bikes I have spotted in China. That is exactly the kind of info I was hoping for. I’ll check a few of those companies out when i have some time.

    Interesting about the mamachari bikes too. thanks mplsmitch and fritz.

  9. Reeta October 13, 2008 at 4:46 am -  Reply

    Very little is known about the fate of the folding bike pictured above, other than unverified reports that its name will be “Joice” and it will retail for $400. Based on a video making the rounds on You Tube, it appears to be made by a Chinese company called Sun, but even that isn’t totally clear and I’m betting initial availability will be limited to China.
    —————–
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  10. Jamie October 13, 2008 at 10:29 am -  Reply

    The BBC is reporting that the Beijing government is introducing a scheme to keep cars off the streets:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7666563.stm

    The residents enjoyed the clear skies so much during the Olympics, that they’re going to trial a scheme for 6 months meaning each car has to spend 1 day a week off the roads.

  11. Paul Jou October 14, 2008 at 2:55 pm -  Reply

    I remember Jacky is a famous bike brand in Taiwan about 90’s…

  12. Folding Bike November 11, 2008 at 6:51 am -  Reply

    To experience the various facets of folding bikes like disk brakes Black, Skin Wall, Reflective Stripe Alloy, Cold Forged SS, Rear Hub Freewheel in your folding bike or strida, Just order your folding bike today on http://www.myfoldingbike.com/

  13. Motorcycle Jacket December 19, 2008 at 12:30 am -  Reply

    Hi

    I think the folding bikes are so better for riders. I think after riding a rider can fold this bike.

  14. Kevlar Gloves January 6, 2009 at 1:45 am -  Reply

    HI

    I think there are so many people like these bikes because after riding they can fold easily to this bike.

  15. Bikes January 27, 2009 at 1:26 pm -  Reply

    Fiberglass frames which are reinforced with steel are quite popular in China. In the USA the typical discount folding bikes are created with aluminum or thin steel tube frames. My family owns two such fold-able bikes which we share between a family of five.

  16. Bike-to-Go November 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm -  Reply

    Can anyone identify the folding bike shown in the photo?

    I live in Seattle & I lucked onto a bike identical to the one shown at a Goodwill bike sale.
    I’ve been wondering ever since what brand it is since it’s unmarked. I read about Chinese delivery guys in NY importing cheap bikes from China and figured this might be one. And here we are: the bike in the photo is MY BIKE! (Only mine is silver and has flat tires right now.)

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