I have found many Taiwanese websites with mountain bikes, but I need an indicator as to which brands are good and what prices are like. CAn anyone advice me?
Prices seem to be very low here. Found some stuff at RT mart in NeiHu which sells for the equivalent of 50 USD but looks as if they would sell it for a few hundred in Europe…
The cheapest Giant I’ve seen (with no discount) was 3,000NT, but if you’re a big foreigner (like me) it’s way to small. I found a guy that said he could put together a bike for about 6,000NT that would fit me (a 21 inch I believe). This would not have been a Giant. This guy also said he had frames up to 25 inch (that would be a huge bike).
Are you after a regular bike, or something special/expensive?
I got a Giant, with front shock, the good Shimano gears, and a lighter (aluminium, I think) frame, for 4000NT. It’s good. I know ither people who are perfectly happy with very similar bikes.
Yeah… bit more info on your budget, needs etc.
A perfectly good bike for Bri and others @ 4k probably wouldnt be what I or others might deem good (no offence Bri - I spend waaaay too much money on my bikes)
AWOL’s right. If you’re looking for a bike that’ll take you offroad without bits falling off or failing after a few hard rides – i.e. a real mountain bike as opposed to a street bike that LOOKS like a mountain bike – you’ll need to spend at least NT$15,000 (if you’re a cheapskate like me) or upwards of NT$50,000 (if you’re a bike fiend like AWOL).
For around town or rides on the city’s bike paths, NT$4,000 would be more than sufficient.
I can ADVISE (not advice) you to consider what you really want. I have a NT 1550 mtn. bike from Carrefour whose pedal snapped off the day I first rode it, but it’s been able to take out the abuse I’ve meted it the past 2 weeks. Anything above NT 10000 is extortion (unless you’re hitting the serious trails… I don’t have enough faith in my ‘Jalafoo’ bike for that!). You could also try some used bike place; there are some listings here about those.
How much for an “around the city only” bike? You know the kind–the ones with the baskets that don’t look like mountian bikes.
How about “beach bikes” ? Those big-framed monsters with no hand-brakes?
NT$ 1,000? NT$ 2,000? Or a minimum of NT$ 3,000?
Any recommendations for where to buy these old-fashioned bikes?
Way upwards of $50k for me…
An around the city bike can be picked up for peanuts. I have a riding buddy that rides big $ bikes on the weekend and a little ladeez round towner in the city, basket and all. Around 2-3k would set you up.
No idea what a beach bike is… hope its made of plastic though as sand, metal and sea air dont mix too well.
www.formosanfattire.com lists Taipei (and other areas) bike shops…
Thanks for the info and the link, AWOL.
I’ve heard some people call these bikes “cruisers,” while others refer to them as “beach bikes.”
From a Web site about the Aero Cruiser:
“The Aero is the perfect low-maintenance, all-round fun-riding cruiser. It sports just one speed, a coaster brake and loads of style with a classic cantilever steel frame, whitewall tires, wide handlebars and a comfy seat.”
So, this is more the kind of bike I would be looking for in Taipei. A bit more stylish than the cheapies, mostly ladies styles I’ve seen.
I’ll check the stores mentioned in your link.
aha - Cruisers! Got it… nice one.
Alans X bike and Jimmys (see the FFTA site) - they had some nice cruisers last time I looked… the CT and Schwinn ones are very nice indeed.
Fee, I just bought my wife one of those ladies’ ride around town bikes with a basket. Of course it’s not for the trails (I hope to get her one of those some day), but for around town it’s great. Many of that style are one speeds. I got her a 6 speed, made of aluminum not steel, with twist-grip shifter, a rack on the back, basket on the front and a U-lock, for a little over NT$3,000. She loves it.
This may not be relevant for you, but I’m so happy about it I have to explain. We also got a baby seat for our 8-month old. We didn’t know if she was old enough, but she is. Some baby seats are made of metal, some of bamboo and some molded plastic. Many attach on the back rack but this one is a molded plastic one, with shoulder straps for the baby, that fits between the rider’s legs. Admittedly it forces the adult to ride bowlegged, which is not good, but it seemed best to have her within view. The baby loves it too, sitting there watching the world go by. So now the three of us ride the riverside bike paths together.
My 4000NT mountain-bike is a bit mroe than ‘looks like a mountain bike’. It’s better than a purely city bioke. Thicker tires and shocks make even riding around the city (up and down curbs etc) better. Also if you go on the riverside paths you might do just a little bit of (almost) off-road.
Of course if you want to do some serious mountain-bikign, you’ll want to get a serious bike, but I disagree with people who say a bike like mine will fall to bits if you take it off-road. Back in NZ, I had a bike that wasn’t even as good as this one, and I did a few serious mountain-biking rides on it. Nothing fell off. I’m sure this bike could handle the occassional off-road.
Basically, I’m saying don’t waste shitloads of cash on something you’ll never need.
Right-o Brian… when I come back in December I am going to take you up for a 4 hour assault in the mountains around Taipei. Lets see if your ‘mountain’ bike can handle the mountians!!
Any bike around the city will suffice… the ‘suspension’ found on cheaper bikes is hardly worth it. But Brian is right - and as we have said - buy the best bike for your budget and your needs, and you cant go wrong. For me, here in Australia, all I need is a hardtail for commuting and the occassional mountain ride. However in Taiwan, riding in the city is about 100 times more dangerous than the mountains so I gear up with a decent mountain bike… Taiwan has too many beautiful mountains to waste time riding in the city…
I really just want the bike for general fitness and the occasional ride down hiking trails near the Nei Hu area (and maybe when I vacation dwon south).
Mother Theresa, great post. Thanks for the info.
Yeah, I have considered such a bike. The price is certainly right, and I want to use the bike to go to the market and go to the store and so on, so a basket is a must. Actually, I want to load up on the accessories, like a bell, a back storage area or seat, and those pegs that they put in the middle of the back tires, so that a buddy can stand behind you and be carried on the back of your bike (sorry, confusing description but it’s the way a lot of students ride “double.”)
Anyway, so the info about the baby seat for the bike is great. Though we don’t need it now, it may come in handy someday in the future.
Awesome. Nothing can beat family bike rides.
I still may go for the “cruiser” instead of the ultra-basic ladies model. I’ll check the places AWOL mentioned.
Looking forward to biking the city.
I just bought a Giant bike, Iguana, paid 10,000 NT for it after discount. Really nice deal for what you get, seems real solid frame and lots of reviews on the internet says it’s top quality. Compared to the cheap bikes I had before it rocks! Half price than overseas. I haven’t taken it off roading yet but I guess it’s the best thing for getting into it without totally breaking the bank. The next bike up is 35,000 or so, you want to be serious before you start spending that much!
Seemingly there’s a bunch of riders meet 7:30 am on saturdays at ZhengGe Da Xue (Zheng Da university) for two hours mountain biking.
If anybody is into biking give me a shout… south taipei, muzha, wulai etc…
Alan from Alans X Bikes leads groups of mtn riders on Saturday morning in the mountains of MuZha. Alan is a lovely guy, an awesome rider and very welcoming of new people. I would recommend hooking up with him if you want to get off the flat city side/river walks.
AWOL, in your opinion is the bike Headhoncho describes above adequate for the type of trails the FFTA does? I’m curious as I want to get a bike when I get back but am not sure if I will use it often off-road. Don’t want to spend tens of thousands for a river dike riding bike. On the other hand it would be nice to have a bike that was at least capable of a little off-roading should the mood strike.
In general do you agree with Sandman that around NT15000 is the minimum I can expect to pay for a bike I want to ride in the mountains?
I’ll take you up on it too, but jsut make it 1 hour (and then add another hour, because you’ll be surprised at how slow I am going up hill).
headhoncho, and anyone else who’s interested, Miltownkid, Mesheel and myself go out most Sat or Sun mornings for a ride along the riverside parks. It’s always good. You’re mroe than welcome to join us.