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.