Bike Shops in Taipei


#21

Hi,

I am not sure of this question belongs here. I will give it a shot. Perhaps you will be able to point me in the right direction.

Planning to buy a bike. A folding one. Nothing fancy. Ride around, sometimes drive up to Yami Shan. I am thinking of one of the Taiwanese brands. Except of the obvious one - Giant - I have found Merida, Asama, Ayama, Stepdragon and couple more. Would you have any recommendations?

I am currently choosing between Giant FD806, Oyama Dolphin and Merida FB221. They all all at around 6k NTD.

The other thing: do you think buying a bike with only 6-7 speeds is a mistake in regards to occasional mountain riding?

Thanks for any advice.

Simon


#22

Fold up bikes do what they say on the packet and little more. They can be used for hill climbs, but they don’t have as good gearing or posture as other bikes. They can go down hill, but the wheels make them unstable at high speed. They do fold up well though and do well around town and on flat trails. My advice is stick with Giant. There’s a few new models out there now. I especially like the look of “The Clip”, although for round about town I would go for the Halfway, but change the brake pads for heavens sakes or you’ll end up in a ditch at the bottom of a hill. Buy Koolstop pads whichever bike you get.


#23

You might want to try something like this - militarybikes.com/products.html
Looks like a real bike, yet it folds up quite small


#24

Hello all,
shopping for a new bike, I visited (tried to) both these bikeshops today and was unable to find the first one (though it seems it would have been closed as it is Monday), #21, Section 1, Zhongzheng Road, as the street numbers don’t go lower than 100 nor does the street have sections (that is Zhonzheng Rd, pendicular to Zhongshang Rd, crosses the MRT at Shilin. :eh: I was clearly on the wrong street, but where is the other zhongzheng??

Jack’s place (which is a Giant shop) I couldn’t visit because it only opens at 1:00 (sb said earlier they open at 12:00, maybe it’s a Monday thing…) and I was there at 12…

So I ended up at the Giant shop first recomended by motorcyclerider in the first post of this thread (Heping/Guling nxt to Guting MRT). They open at 1:30 (at this point I just decided to have lunch next door) and I got, as promissed, excellent service in English.

I would still like to visit the other 2 places, just to see what they have to say about what bike should suit me better. Could someone help me out as to where the mysterious zhongzheng street is?

Thanks,

Penny


#25

sean’s store is closed on mondays but open all weekend. you’ll find it right by the first alley after the park at the very beginning of the street (between two convenience stores). it is in ZhongZheng Rd, TienMu (turn right off Zhong Shan Rd, further north than Shilin) but some maps have it as ZhongCheng. can walk from Ming De station. it is the street with the baseball stadium, but nowhere near as far up.

another fine brand of folders is Dahon. may be pricier, but often better build and riding positions. obviously not carried in the majority of Giant stores…

in bikes, you DO normally get what you pay for, so often a bit more cash gets a far nicer machine.

i am not terribly fond of the brakes on the front of the Giant Halfway with the single arm fork, btw, no matter which pads you install. the arms are too thin and they bend when applied. but sulavaca has a point, which goes for most lower priced bikes too: swap the pads for KoolStops or Swiss stops and you’ll see a world of difference in most cases.


#26

There’s a store called Stripe that sells only higher-end folding bikes. I haven’t bought anything from them, so don’t know if they are any good. Anyway, here’s the address.

No 1, Lane 36 Fusing N Rd
02 2731 4435

It’s close to Nanjing E MRT station. Walk back down Fuxing N (towards SOGO) about 200m The lane is opposite the gas station, just past the post office. There’s an OSIM store on the corner.


#27

Seven Star on Ji Long really helped me out-I got my 10 year old Merida overhauled, just got an old recumbant bike too so I’m going to bring it there-
talk to “Golden” he really spent time and care working on my bike-avoid the other guy who I call “Lurch”.

I’m going to them from now on. Their retail stuff is really expensive though.


#28

Does anyone know of a place that will let you rent bikes monthly?


#29

Giant have a program for renting touring bikes. Details are at this link
formosaguy.blogspot.com/2008/05/ … -home.html

However, if you are looking to use a bike for a month or more it would probably be cheaper to buy a bike and then sell it when you are finished.


#30

Just wanted to add in my experience bike-buying. Most posts seem to be for people who know what they’re looking for in a bike, and are intending on using it for touring. I just wanted a bike to get me around town, but didn’t want a second hand bike for safety reasons. Also, I’m very tall so needed a bigger than the average frame.

In the end, I bought my bike from the bicycle repair place inside Taida (National Taiwan University, NTU). They said that at that time they didn’t have any second hand bikes for sale (the old bikes outside were all ones they were repairing for students), but their new bikes seemed to be pretty much all in the NTD 1000-4000 range (most around 2000-2500). Obviously, they cater to a poorer student market. The other bicycle stores I’ve seen around the place selling new bikes seem to cater to selling much more expensive name brand bikes for more serious bikers.

I ended up buying one of their most expensive bikes (still under NTD 9,000) because I needed their largest frame and decided in the end to get a model with a bit more going for it than an average ride-around (I am strangely attracted to all things shiny). They subbed out the saddle for one more suited to a bigger bum, reinforced the seat stem bar thingee with a metal thingeemabob inside for a riders of a heavier weight, and appeared (I have no expertise) to make suitable adustments to the bike for my height and give the bike a good safety check and test before letting me ride off into the sunset with it. Service was good :slight_smile:

This could be a good place to go if you just want a basic get around town bike (you know, the league of bike which has a basket on the front) like the ones you see everywhere, but not pre-used.

I don’t know whether they spoke english as I used mandarin, and if you want to find the place there’s a good map here (look for the bicycle store symbol) homepage.ntu.edu.tw/~fss/coconet … us-Map.png.

Hope this helps someone! Cycling in Taipei is as it turns out (excuse the poor grammar) awesome funness so I totally recommend those hanging around for a while pick one up, if only to sail along the river paths :slight_smile:


#31

I also bought my bikes from the Tai-da place (bikes because the first was stolen a few months after I bought it). They are also really great with their service. They’ll do simple things (like adjusting brakes) for free, right away. A friend had a more serious problem with a bike she bought there, and they fixed it for free even though she’d lost her receipt and couldn’t prove she’d bought the bike from them. I’m pretty sure they speak no English.
If you’re just looking to get around town and ride along the river, a pretty cheap/basic bike should be fine, and it doesn’t hurt so bad when someone steals it.


#32

A new bike store with a range of local made bikes and stuff under the Axman name has opened on Roosevelt across from Alan’s store, maybe 100-200 m further down.

fairly high end stuff, looks fairly well made, lots of carbon frames both lugged à la Colnago C50 and some monocoque, some super light stuff, and a rebadging of some local bits including carbon deep wheels (clincher only, as far as I could tell) under the name illo, including some snazzy integrated bars, posts, etc. some MTB too, but the focus looks like road and folders.

one bike in there was fully built up sans pedals at 5.6 kg. SRAM Red and lots of carbon goodies. of course, if you want to race it, you’ll have to ADD weight back up to 6.8 kg…


#33

Pretty cool advice. I’m about to purchase a new carbon fiber Wilier Cento Uno frame and this post made me think a bit. I’ll do a lot more shopping around before I purchase anything. Looks like there are a few shops not too far away, around Guting and Taipei Main Station. If you have any other suggestions for great high end shops with great prices, let me know. I’m looking for deals, not inflated MSRP or beautiful stores.

As things go, I’ve had a great experience with LBS in Banciao. Repairs and tune ups are always free and they have some good rebates. It’s a Giant shop of course, and none of the people who work there use Giant bikes! They are all up in Time, Colnago, Scott and others.

I wanted to know if anyone has verified if they give steeper rebates to locals or if there are better shops with better rebates. These are the rebates that I can get, bear in mind that I’m shopping for a high-end road bike.

10% off anything over 10,000
15% off anything over 50,000
20% off anything over 100,000

I think the Wilier is a good deal since it’s significantly cheaper than in the US, since it’s made at the Mitsubishi factory in Taiwan. With Colnago, Pinarello, and Time, you don’t get that. However, the Giant shop still gives me rebates on those frames.

Also, I’m looking to get a Polar RS800cx Pro Team Edition buy find that they are quite expensive here. Are there any places where I can get Polar bicycle computers for cheaper?

Thanks


#34

[quote=“range”]

Also, I’m looking to get a Polar RS800cx Pro Team Edition buy find that they are quite expensive here. Are there any places where I can get Polar bicycle computers for cheaper?

Thanks[/quote]

eurobikeparts.com for cheap polar , not that its ever cheap.

wilier’s are really nice frames, to be sure, and i’ve wanted one, or a Ridley Noah, for ages. But, can you tell the $4000 dollars difference over a giant TCR advance ? if not, then it’s just pose money, but if it’s worth it to you, then go for it…

(i’m sure there is one, but the difference is not worth that much money to me, as it’s way more expensive to replace after a crash, and I’ve seen enough expensive frames splinter in a big crash in a race to avoid the temptation.)


#35

Again I have to give a nod to Da Vinci by Guting for service and reasonable prices. If you don’t care about service or the boss being a dick, then Colorful Cycles always has the best prices. They usually sell previous year stuff for 15-20% off, and current year stuff for 10% off the retail price. The shop is very small, but crammed full of highend and hard to find stuff, so the boss is always ready to make a deal to clear space for new stuff. I bought a brand new Cervelo R3 frame at Colorful Cycles for $85,000nt, whereas other places were asking from $98k - $115K for the same frame.


#36

Hi,
I’ve done some more research and visited a few shops in Taipei.

I found that Alan’s and Jack’s Giant shops were pretty basic. Jack didn’t have any carbon fiber frames in stock. Alan had a TCR Advanced SL in stock, but he couldn’t give me the discount that my LBS could give me. Alan has a good selection of MTBs. He also goes out each Saturday on trail rides.

I’ve visited Axman on Roosevelt Rd. It wasn’t impressive. I got the feeling that I was bothering them. They had a BH G4 for 93,000NT. I didn’t stay long.

I haven’t been to Colorful or Da Vinci yet, but for now, it seems that my LBS in Banciao has got the most selection. They actually got Pinarello Dogma, Time RXR Ulteam, Colnago EPS and De Rosa King 3 frames in stock. I couldn’t find those types of frames in any of the shops I visited in Taipei. Most shops said that they only sold Giant.

As for the Wilier, it’s actually a Cento from last year not a Cento Uno and it’s the same price as a '09 TCR Advanced SL frame. However, I’m more interested in the second-hand market right now. Since Kuota Kom frames can be had new for about 80,000NT, I’m looking in scoring a good deal on a used one. The new models are about to come out so I think that if you are in the market for some new stuff, the '09 selection will go on sale soon.

I’m looking for wheelsets, a carbon fiber frame and a set of components. If anyone is selling some, PM me.

Thanks!


#37

Just a quick note on TCR Advanced SL frames. They are good, but I’ve read that they have some issues, maybe something to do with their bottom bracket, I’m not sure. I also heard about some cornering issues. At the LBS I go to, none of the staff ride Giant. They all ride Time, Scott, Colnago and other makes. Unlike other shops, my LBS hasn’t been pushing Giant. Also the rebates they give me applies to everything, not just Giant and old stock. Older stock gets even more rebates.

After doing some research, I think that the Kuota Kom or Wilier Cento might be best suited. Naturally, I haven’t been able to try them out yet, but they are within the same price range as the TCR SL. The Wilier is actually made in Taiwan at the Mitsubishi factory. I’ve seen Cento frames sell for about 70,000NT in the US.

I find it funny how some of the shops try to exploit foreigners/customers. The Giant shop on Songchiang Rd tried to sell me an '07 Giant TCR without any significant rebates. Sure it had Dura Ace, but I was surprised.


#38

I only ride titanium frames, CF forks. I’ve seen too many stress fractures, and injuries, from CF frames, usually the BB, TT/HT, or DT/HT joints. Some fractures have happened when riding slowly, the fractures having developed over time. IMO, if you ride CF frames, you need a new one every year, assuming you ride ~200 km a week.

It’s interesting that CF forks and CF seat stays last for years, but not CF frames.


#39

I strongly disagree with you there, maunaloa.

I have owned my CF frame for 3 years, and have done about 30,000 km on it so far that’s 200-300 per week) with no signs of fatigue, etc. I ride hard and fast, and I climb a hell of a lot. I may be small but i can still push out 1000 W in a sprint. I may be a light rider but i have still crashed seriously 3 times in the period. My bike is as stiff and responsive as it was when new. CF bikes just don’t age like you say they do. A recent and very scientific analysis of frame fatigue in a whole range of carbon bikes, printed in Velonews somewhere, put frame flex and aging at about 10% after 10 years of 200 km per week, both due to the effects of age on the resin in the frame material and due to stress cycling causing embrittlement and delamination: that’s way longer than most bikes last, especially aluminium ones in corrosive environments (think sweat getting into the head tube and dirt into the seat tube and chain stays and so on).

While I have seen CF bikes crash and break up spectacularly, it has always been the result of a crash. I have seen my share of crashes in the peloton, and in pacelines, and it’s not pretty. I will not forget the sound of a CF frame snapping. But they snap when loaded in undesired directions, like falling on them sideways. They don’t break from regular use in a short time frame, especially not one year. there are still CF frames getting around from the early 90s, like the Colnago carbitubo (though their later C50 did have a reputation for snapping downtubes, and I have seen that happen to one poor guy once, but it was a crash into a ditch).

I see absolutely no reason not to keep riding my CF frame. It’s lighter than your Ti frame, and it’s probably better engineered: there are things you can do with layered monocoque construction that you simply cannot do with welded butted tubes, no matter how hard you try (though I do like Ti frames and am tempted to buy one to build up as a beach cruiser or a relaxed cyclocross bike). I also have a 25 year old steel frame (Columbus SL) that I ride most other days… it too shows no sign of corrosion nor fatigue, and it will last me another 25 years easy.


#40

Hi Urodacus,

What are your thoughts on lugged carbon fiber frames, like the Look, Time, and Colnagos? Personally, I’d go for a monocoque carbon fiber frame, but I’ve heard good things about the lugged frames.

Over the last few days, I’ve researched the Kuota Koms pretty intensively. There are some issues with this frame, as it is very thin on the downtube. Cracks can form and develop into fractures. As of right now, it’s between a second-hand Kom frame and a new Wilier Cento frame, though the Wilier is almost out of my price range.

If the LBS will negotiate, I’ll probably get the Cento. Otherwise, I’m looking at a second-hand Kom.

Cheers