Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Taiwan: Land of the Bicycle

I'm back after a long break from blogging! Had an eventful June/July period, the most significant of which was the trip to Taipei!

Taiwan is the land of bicycle manufacturing, where most big brands base their operations. Naturally there will be many bike-related industries, such as bike accessories, modifications, customization services all around. Just in Taipei alone there are so many bike shops, but most of them are small shops. Very few large shops, and even fewer large folding bike shops. I had identified a few larger shops in Taipei to visit. Also happened to pass by some bike shops which I did not know was there.

The shops are rated according to 3 criteria: Range of accessories, Accessibility and Variety of folding bike stuff. The stores below are those which I feel are worth going, be prepared to get poisoned!

城市绿洲
104台北市中山區中山北路一段21號1樓
http://www.hometec.com.tw/
Accessories: 5/5
Accessibility: 5/5
Folding bike stuff: 4/5

Giant bike shop I came across near 巨蛋。

Stripe Magic (魔術方塊摺疊車專賣店)
104 Taipei, Taiwan台北市中山區復興北路36巷1號1F
Accessories: 5/5
Accessibility: 4/5
Folding bike stuff: 5/5

Bike shop outside Hualien Train Station

柒號公園自行車有限公司
臺北市信義區松隆路10號
Accessories: 3/5
Accessibility: 3/5
Folding bike stuff: 1/5

Bike shop at 淡水老街. Good to rent bikes from here to cycle to 渔人码头.

Bike shop opposite Miramar
Accessories: 4/5
Accessibility: 5/5
Folding bike stuff: 2/5

There is another bike shop, 八里羚羊車店(蒞達自行車行), which is apparently quite good with a wide range of Dahon bikes and other brands. However it is not near any MRT station, thus we did not pay a visit to it. Although it should be quite easily accessible by taxi. The address is 台北縣八里鄉頂寮三街16號. Accessories: ?/5, Accessibility: 2/5, Folding bike stuff: 5/5?

Some of the other more interesting things can be seen in the pictures below...

Book on Shimano Road components maintenance!
At one of the book stores along 书局街。


Colour-coded modifications!

Black Vitesse at 城市绿洲

White Boardwalk at 城市绿洲

At 城市绿洲

At 城市绿洲

Pink brake pads at 城市绿洲

Carbon mini velo at 城市绿洲

Bike with kangaroo-like pouch on the top tube。 Seen at 五分铺。

Integrated front and rear lights at La Boutique Du Velo.



Carbon mini velo with special wheels at Stripe Magic.

85 comments:

  1. hi,
    I'm going to TW tomorrow with my kids. May visit at least 1 bike shop in Taipei.
    Would you recommend getting anything from TW? Is it worth it to bring a folding bike/min-velo or just accessories/clothes?

    Thanks.

    Richard

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's worth getting a folding bike if you know your bike stuff. you will need to check the condition of the bike and tune it, unlike the ones you get locally where the local bike shop will tune everything for you.

    Accessories there are generally cheaper, and a lot of them cannot be found outside Taiwan, so get them if you like them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your prompt reply and advise. I went to Metro near my hotel in Taipei. As they'r having stock-taking, their staff were too busy to help. Some bikes like LG were on sale. But the rest like Pacific Reach & Dahon are on Retail price. Summer Jerseys, shorts were on 50% sale but limited selection.
    Will definitely go back again to shop.

    Cheers, Richard

    ReplyDelete
  4. glad to hear that! so what did you get from taipei?

    ReplyDelete
  5. @ Richard Chin. Where is the bike shop you found? What hotel is it near? What metro stop is it near? I arrived in Taipei this evening and plan to visit some bike shops tomorrow? I am mostly interested in road/Tri gear and some bike accesories. Thanks for a quick reply.
    johnclarke27@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. @John: sorry for the late reply. I only managed to visit the First shop on Steve's list. ie 城市绿洲, 104台北市中山區中山北路一段21號1樓 , http://www.hometec.com.tw/.

    It's a basic Outdoor mountaineering shop with a section on some folding, MTB, clothing. Not much on Road/Tri stuff. You can visit some shop. All the best in your TW bike shopping.
    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am so glad to have stumbled upon this blog as I been trawling the Internet for info like these w little success. Good job Steve for your sharing.

    I am heading to Taipei this weekend, would you advice me to get a 20" folding bike from there?

    I was looking at the Dahon Dash P18 or MU SL, Tern P18 or Tyrell FX because I wanted a light bike with road components. However prices from MBS is not cheap. My budget is around $1500.

    What would you recommend to get please? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you should only get a bike from overseas if you are familiar with the bike you are buying. this is because you will need to check and assemble the bike yourself.

      for your budget, the Tern Verge P18 would be a good buy, if available.

      Delete
  8. Thanks Steve for the advice. I have more or less decided on the Dahon Dash P18(if I can find) due to the price, design, weight & components or get the older Dahon Silvertip.

    Tern Verge P18 is attractive but is priced $300 higher locally, heavier & new in the market.

    Will make a trip to Nehu district if time permits.

    Are Dahon's easily upgradeable ie. seat post, handle bars, components etc? Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Veylocity, how much did you pay for the silvertip from Taiwan? Do you know the price of Dash P18 and Dash X20 there?

      Any good shops to recommend?

      Thanks.

      Delete
  9. The Dash P18 is a good bike, fast and light. only downside is that it does not fold compactly. can put in car but difficult to bring on public transport.

    Most components are easily upgradeable, don't worry about that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a little update: Got my Silvertip from Dayu district when I chance upon a local riding a MU Ex. He was very helpful & directed me to a local store.
      They don't have the Dash P18 but offer me the Silvertip instead.
      Tmr is F&E day, so I may go accessories shopping at those shops listed here.

      Delete
    2. ahh..nothing like meeting a local who can show you where the good stuff is. The Silvertip is a good bike, with mid-range components. Just ride and enjoy it, and if you feel the itch to upgrade, it can be upgraded easily and be fully customised to your needs.

      Congrats on your purchase!

      Delete
    3. Thks Steve. Today I took a cab to Urban Oasis but it was closed for renovations till 30 Mar :-(
      Then I took a bus to Stripe but it was only opened at 1pm! Wasted the whole morning.
      Had a nice lunch & went to Stripes after 1pm but didn't have much things I could get for my Silvertip...went away disappointed. Worse was that the service wasn't really fantastic... The conversation seems to be one question answered by one word by the guy there...very unfriendly.

      Delete
    4. Heh I guessed you could have checked the opening hours first. The bike shop is not for beginners, it's more for experienced riders who know exactly what they want. When I was there I received good service, the mechanic answered all my queries and spent a lot of time in the storeroom looking for the components I wanted. he even trued the wheelset I bought before packing it in a box.

      Delete
  10. Hi, I would like to go taiwan for a ride. I have a dahon silvertip. which i find its a bit big to transport over. Is it really so worth it to buy a bicycle there (i can do the some knick knack repairs). I am looking at either a dahon vitesse p18, vector or speed pro. if not other compact foldies that are cheap in Taiwan. Is it possible to obtain the bike at more than 30% discount?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. some Dahon bikes there are probably 20 to 30% cheaper, depending on the model and the year. sure you can buy a bike there and ride, but probably not for long distances with a new and unfamiliar bike.

      note that they may not have the bike you want in stock. anyway way, the silvertip is rather bulky to transport, unless you have a strong reason to transport it, such as for competition.

      Delete
  11. I am going Taiwan next month, and I would like to get a Dahon Dash P18 or Dash X20. Do you guys know the prices? How much did the Dahon Silvertip costs when your were there??

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  12. And if I manage to get a Dahon Dash P18 there in Taiwan (one of the shops), are they able to exchange e.g. my wheelset from Kinetix Comp to kinetix Pro with some cash top-up? I do not want to carry additional wheelsets back to Singapore, heavy. =)

    ReplyDelete
  13. In Taipei now. Would you please suggest two of the best folding bike shops?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi I am not sure of the stock status of the bikes, if you want you can call them and ask. not sure about the wheel upgrades too, once again you can call or email them to check.

    ReplyDelete
  15. i would like to order giant xtc composite frame from taiwan. can you recomende me one of the shop please! I'm search the online shop from taiwan but not found.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think there is an online shop for Giant bikes. you have to either go to Taiwan to get it from the shops or go to your local Giant distributor.

      Delete
  16. Hi,

    Do you know of any shops that sell MTB stuff like handlebars, stems, pedals etc. etc. ? Full sus frames and such.

    I went last year Dec and visited 3 shops, mostly in the central area of the MRT. The prices aren't that much different from local shops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No idea about MTB stuff. I only know some shops with folding bike stuff.

      Delete
  17. i went to this shop in near Da An mrt.
    hsin yi road section 3.
    you can find at least 3 bike shops along that stretch.
    i bought a louis garneau folding bike for nt9900. the boss was a very nice guy! highly recommended.

    you may PM me if you need directions to get to the shop
    yeanseng@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Steve,

    Got to your blog via LCSG.

    Will be in Taipei for a week or so as a tourist this Dec2012.

    During this period, would like to buy a foldie for my spouse. It will be a 20" wheel size and most probably either a Dahon or a Tern.

    For Dahon, would be looking at the Mu P8 or Mu P24 or similar. For Tern, would be the Link Series D7 or D8 or similar.

    For above models or series, would like to have your pointers on:

    01. Which is more conducive to folding and drag along to MRT station and perhaps onto a SBS Bus, in case no choice.

    02. Rims and Tyres must be for all weather version.

    03. Crank Size to be max out aka preferably 52T if not at least 48T, single crank is OK.

    04. Cassette to be mini 7 speed.

    05. Egronomy grips are a must

    06. Brakes preferably calipers type instead of V-Brakes

    07. Possibility of installing mud-guards later if required.

    08. Possibility of installing rear rack + touring bag later if required.

    09. Possiblity of installing a double kick stand later if required.

    10. In your honest opinion, which Model will be the "BEST BUY" (in Taipei) in terms of price range and suitability based on above parameters/guidelines?

    Lastly, my spouse's height is about 1.52m (52kgs) and since I will occassionally be using this Foldie too, should be suitable for my height of 1.72m (75kgs) too. Currently, I am riding a Mongoose HT.

    Looking forward to your replies or pointers soon. Thank you.

    Regards,
    Ivan Lim

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great to see more people getting interested in folding bikes! For a start, if you are not familiar with folding bikes, I would suggest you buy a folding bike locally. Even though it may be slightly cheaper in Taiwan, you don't have any warranty or after sales service.

    If you plan to upgrade or change some components on your bike later on, it will be much easier to just bring the bike back to the local bike shop, they will gladly advise you and may even do some minor stuff for free.

    The bike models you listed above all fold similarly, and so will be similar for bringing up public transport.

    Get at least an 8 speed version, as you can upgrade later on to 9 or 10 speeds without needing a new wheelset.

    Get the P8 or above series, P stands for premium and D stands for deluxe. The components for the premium models are better than the deluxe models. Same for Tern, the P9 has much better components than D8 besides 1 more speed.

    The P24 has more speeds, great for touring but will be a bit heavier due to the 3 speed internal hub.

    I believe all these bike models have ergonomic grips.

    No caliper brakes, except on some models that are marketed as folding road bikes such as Dash X20 and etc.

    All the bikes can have mudguards and racks, no problem there. Same for double kickstands.

    For best buy, get the Tern Verge P18. a bit pricey but it does everything you wan. Else get the P8 or P9 model, Dahon or Tern doesn't matter.

    When you go Taipei, look for accessories or other component upgrades instead of whole bikes, unless you are familar with folding bikes and can service them yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Steve,

    First of all, great site!I'm still pretty new to bikes and would like some advice.

    I have a Tyrell FX and am looking to upgrade the shifters and brakes levers.

    However, there are so many choices out there I don't really know how to choose.

    I'll be in Taiwan soon as well and I'm wondering if u have any models of shifters,derailleurs, brake levers u can recommend me to look out for in Taiwan .

    Thx!
    PH

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi you don't need to go Taiwan to find those upgrades, they are easily available locally. You can go Mybikeshop and they can recommend you something.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi,

    Would you be able to give direction on how to get to the 3 shops you mention above?
    It is near the MRT?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  23. the shops are all within walking distance of the mrt. just enter the address in google and look for the nearest mrt station.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Can you tell me which shop you bought the Wheelsport wheels from and roughly how much they cost? I have a friend going to Taiwan next week and he's kindly offered to bring a pair back for me. I want to provide him with all the info so he doesn't have to visit too many shops and also to avoid him getting ripped off. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm sorry but I cannot reveal the price of the wheels, since the wheels are being sold at MyBikeShop. just get it from MyBikeShop, the price is reasonable and there will be after sales service such as tuning of spokes if there is any problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steve, I understand your reluctance to mention a price but can you recommend a sop name. My **** Shop quoted me S$480 for the wheelset which is way too ex. Pity I missed the sales from Urban Cycles when they were clearing stock for S$230. Guess I'll have to get my friend to ask around all the bike shops that he can find in Taiwan.

      Delete
  26. stripe magic has it, the address can be found above. best to check with them if they have it in stock

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks. Appreciate your info.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Bro can check with you where do you bought your rear Derailleur adaptor for your broadwalk?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Stripe Magic may still have it, or you can find it on Taobao

    ReplyDelete
  31. Bro Stripe Magic is in Taiwan or Singapore?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Bro can you help me to check with Stripe Magic or Taobao see whether they got stock?cos i can't find maybe because i don't know how to search by using the correct word.Thanks bro

    ReplyDelete
  33. Bro,thanks.I already call Stripe Magic they got stock,my friend is going to Taiwan 1st Nov so i will ask him to bring back.They quote me 200 to 400 NTD

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for the info.

    By the way, if I will to buy a bike from Taiwan.
    Will I be asked for GST payment at custom?
    Or anyway to go about this?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  35. Bro, Check with you whether getting Dahon foldie from Taipei have international warranty? If yes, how to register? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think there is international warranty. From what I know, warranty is only local, and for original buyer. If you bring back from Taiwan, you are on your own.

      Delete
  36. Hi Steve
    I'm planning a month's ride in Taiwan, am stuck wondering if I should buy my touring foldable here or there?
    Can I write to u direct asking for advice?

    Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you an experienced rider? Can you fix up a folding bike out of the box? If yes, then there is no problem riding a new bike at Taiwan. Not easy getting used to a new bike, and attempting to tour long distances on a new bike.

      Delete
  37. Hi folks,

    Really enjoy reading your posts! I wonder if there's a directory or websites for all the bike shops in Taipei?? It'd make life easier to search what one wants, don't you think? Why can't the dealers in Taipei work together to create websites and clubs so to expand their bsiness since Taiwan ia the land of bikes..? Cheers!!!

    reed

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hello,

    Would like to ask your help in seeking an Oyama TFD 1605D folding bike, it's a brompton look alike somewhat :) Maybe you can give me some lead which shops in Taipei has this. TY

    James

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm I have not heard of that bike before, and I have no idea which bike shop carries it. Sorry can't help here.

      Delete
  39. Hello,

    Would like to ask your help in seeking an Oyama TFD 1605D folding bike, it's a brompton look alike somewhat :) Maybe you can give me some lead which shops in Taipei has this. TY

    James

    ReplyDelete
  40. I think some of us rather buy the bikes from Taiwan or Online because of the uncertainty or prices and availability of certain brand/model of folding bikes. Basically, there are only a handful of dealers here which are controlled by local distributors. Most of these bikes are usually available in overseas market but not here. Somehow, here in Singapore, some models are harder to acquire, and thus the fluctuation of prices and who gets to own it?
    Can't blame the customers if they become distrusting and suspicious of our local operators who somehow get to monopolize the small market here. The Overseas market are more transparent and upfront in pricing and availability.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi,

    I'm gg to Taipei next week and intends to grab 2 folding bikes back to SG.
    Can you recommend a reputable shop that deals in both Tern and Birdy. Reason ís because Tern X20 (Me) & Birdy Frog (Wife).
    I found google and found this shop. 捷世樂 地址:台北市內湖區內湖路1段91巷16號. Any advise?
    Btw, is there any tax refund at the aiport for the bikes?
    Allan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For Birdy you can try 城市绿洲. Not sure which shop has Tern bikes.

      Not familiar with the shop you indicated, there are so many bike shops in Taipei itself.

      Also not sure about tax refund. If you get tax refund in Taiwan and return to Singapore with the bikes, you may have to pay local GST instead. Just get the bikes you want and bring it back normally, should not be a problem.

      Delete
  42. Hi there, we are currently looking for a kid's bike for our little girl who is 7yo this year. My hubby is arriving Taipei today and staying in Shenkeng Shiang area (Beishen Road). Will you be kind enough to recommend some nearby bicycle shops which are opened on Sundays? Thank you very much in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually I can't say I'm very familiar with the bike shops in Taipei. On this page I'm just sharing some of my personal experiences during my visit to Taipei. I think the 城市绿洲 shop is open on Sundays, but not confirmed. Monday would be a better time to visit the bike shops.

      Delete
  43. Good day, I will be heading to Taipei from 1May for a F&E tour and will be interested to get a TERN bike back. Staying near XIMEN area and would like recommendation on nearby bike shops. Tks

    ReplyDelete
  44. hi! i'm going taiwan in the middle of this year, i was wondering do you know if i could get components cheaper in taiwan compared to sg. for example a alloy rigid fork? or groupset?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some components will be cheaper, by probably 20%. But it really varies quite a bit depending on the shop you go or the brand. You need to do your homework before you go. Check out the prices locally or online, so that if you find the component in Taiwan, you will know if it is cheaper or not.

      Delete
  45. Hi Steve,

    Do you have the address in english for Stripe Magic? Tried google translate but not very helpful. Would appreciate your help. Thanks a lot

    ReplyDelete
  46. Steve,

    Got the address and location of Stripe Magic. Many thanks to you.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi, I planned to do touring about 80-100km a day for about 20 days from Hanoi to HCMC. I have a Mountain bike but want to do with Folding. I am keen on Speed TR but heard it is no more in production. Can you recommended one with spec similiar to TR
    cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can check out the Tern P24h. Very similar to Speed TR.

      Delete
  48. Looking for electric conversion, can't find, guess China's popularity hasn't spread to here yet, with all the hills here, one would think it is.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Land of the bicycle, but no electric bike or electric conversion kits for purchase any where, weird! I have to go back to USA to buy from sellers who got it from Taiwan in the first place. Disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
  50. hello! good morning! i need help. is there anyone who can help me to find a store where can i buy an "A-BIKE with 8-10 inches wheels". i just want to buy two pcs. i'm really having a hard time to find that kind of bike. please, whoever knows where it can be buy, please give me the address and telephone #. thanks in advance! have a nice day. God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Which brand of Taiwanese made folding bicycle do you recommend for parts and service in Less developed Southeast Asia (INDONESIA, Vietnam, Cambodia. Burma, etc)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KHS is good. It uses standard parts that can be replaced easily, and is value for money.

      Delete
  52. Hi, I intend to shop for a KHS F20-t3 in Taipei next week. Could you advise which shops to go that sell KHS folding bike?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi, I am planning to shop for the KHS F20-t3 in Taipei. Could you advise which shop to visit to look for KHS folding bike?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm I'm not too sure, you could try to check online to see where are the dealers for KHS bikes.

      Delete
  54. Hi!
    I am interested in importing used (second-hand) bicycles from Asia. Can Taiwan be an option? Are there shops for used ones? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  55. The shops in Taiwan mostly sells new bikes.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi Guys. Im staying at Sheraton Grande Taipei
    No. 12, Sec1, Zhongxaio E. Road. Im only in town for 2days. Can anyone recommend a shop/store that sells cycling jerseys & Bibs and if possible some Tri-Clothing. I dont mind taking a taxi here and there if it under 20mins drive. Thanks in advance. Rich

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go to the first shop listed in this blog post. They have lots of cycling wear and accessories.

      Delete
  57. Hi i want to buy a bicycle for my 2 and half year old daughter,, could anyone suggest a shop near to NTU,, if all in one shop available that would be better thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can check out Big Box at Jurong East, there is a good selection of kids bikes.

      Delete
  58. Thanks for the post.

    Would someone have a list of stores selling Birdy folding bikes, and accept orders from overseas?

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi Steve

    Is it true that same model/ brand cycle are cheaper in TW? if yes, how I can buy a model from there and get it shipped to India?

    Mrigank

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Taiwan brands such as Giant or Merida are cheaper in Taiwan. Probably need someone to buy it on your behalf and ship it over.

      Delete
  60. hello i like to buy a brompton but i found him to expensive for the number of occasions I need him to use Are there cheaper copies available in China ? I prefer the brompton because he is smaller when folded (has to take him with me on the subway)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No there are no cheap copies. It is difficult to copy the folding of the Brompton as the design and manufacturing requires high precision to fold properly.

      Delete