Riding too hard or hardly riding? Cycling in Taiwan vs Overseas


That’s why its so popular in Taiwan right now. Lots of rich kids with more money than sense. Just look at the outrageous number of Pinarello’s and Cervelo’s out there being ridden 30 k of a weekend in order to sip a Latte and try and look cool.

Rapha Clubhouse (Taipei)
Rapha Clubhouse (Taipei)

30k for a Pinarello or Cervelo?



No no no no. They buy them for 130,000, put them in a car, drive to some location and then ride them 30 kms to a cafe in the hills.


All in seriousness though, is their a proper way to ride a bike? As long as you’re having fun, right?

I mean, it’s really too bad that a lot of the 6 figure NTD bikes on the road aren’t being used to their full potential. One side thinks, why spend that much and not use it? The other side thinks, why spend that much and max its potential?

Nonetheless, some of the RCC guys are pretty fast and many of them that go to more legit challenges (can we call them races since they have a cash prize?) see some pretty fast guys (and gals) on some pretty expensive mounts.

Like many other groups and hobbies, there’s other issues at hand with those who have lots of money. However, I think that’s a discussion for another time.


That’s not only young riders… I’ve seen plenty of “old” people riding with 105, ultegra and probably durace… and not even knowing what gears to use… :smiley:

even if you ride 100km each ride… or 200… do you need to spend 130,000 NT’s on your bike? O_o


My philosophy is…if you have the money to buy nice things, why not buy nice things?

I would rather spend more on something high quality and not have to worry about replacing it after x000km, than spending less on something low quality that I will have to replace in x00km.

Now, I’m not saying someone who rides 105 is stereotypically slower than me, since I do not think I live up to the “standard” of my Dura Ace group set, but hell, I don’t need anyone telling me how to spend my money.


Ohhh the K was for kilometers, I get it.

I keep downgrading my bikes as the time for proper rides gets shorter and shorter… I went from Fuji carbon to Giant TCR (alu) to Giant Defy (alu, bought second hand), and now the bike I use more often is a Giant Escape that has become my shopping/commuting/go to the station bike. The Defy is feeling a bit lonely recently.


Its an interesting chicken and egg question isn’t it? Do they get into cycling because they like turning the pedals or because spending a shedload on highly esoteric equipment conveys great status and, heck, you get some great Instagram material? Compare group rides here with group rides back in Kiwiland. You’d get pilloried for turning up for a social ride on a Pinarello and wearing Rapha back in NZ. Some people there still ride steel frames with toe clips, not because they’re retro but because they never saw the point of upgrading.

Granted though I’m seeing some strong riders out there as I pass by on my scooter. A lot of people must have fairly flexible jobs to get in so much daytime riding during the week.


It definitely is.

I had a Kiwi friend that I met on the forums and he had a very similar way of thinking. He didn’t understand the craze around carbon frames. He saw them as fragile and extremely expensive.

I think really does come down to cultural differences. Asia in general, it’s a lot about status. If you can’t use your skill or physical ability outgun the other guy, you can out spend them. Not saying this doesn’t happen in other cultures, but I think it’s a bit more prevalent in the one we live in.


Jobs? What jobs? The fuerdai don’t need no stinking jobs.


Cycling is a great recreational sport. People spend in accordance with their income. Haters gonna hate.


I never understood criticizing anyone for what they spend their money on or how they use their stuff. Do what you like.


I like when people spend money giving it to me.





yeah but nah but, when you see someone riding a 200,000 NT bike whilst wearing trainers, it stings a little.


I was writing that as euphemistically as I could. Of course what I meant was Johnny Huang “works” in his father’s consulting company and gets to ride Taipei’s glorious mountain roads whenever he goddamn chooses.


Last Saturday I had this little bastard riding his crappy bicycle in front of me… I wasn’t pushing 100% but I couldn’t push much harder without risking not to be able to keep the pace before finishing the climb. Well, he was ahead, and he didn’t even looked like pushing hard at all.


Yeah, it was a terrible humiliation. At least I’m sure that he had envy of my bike :rage:


Love this conversation. My thoughts on cycling in Taiwan.

First off, riders here are in general, extremely strong climbers. And I’m talking all ages, from teenagers right up to masters. It’s very impressive.

I have not experienced seeing a lot of unfit riders on expensive bikes… moreso seeing a lot of very fit, strong climbers on expensive bikes made for climbing. If I had to guess, I’d say that yes there are some rich kids & adults mixed in there, dilettantes let’s say, who think nothing of spending on their hobby, but they do ride hard, and there are also probably guys and girls who don’t earn very much and spent a big chunk of income on something they really care about. More power to both groups, I say.

I also lived down in NZ for a couple years and wow, it could not be more night & day difference in terms of consumption habits, or at least society’s judgement of consumption habits. In NZ there was almost a culture of judgement on people who spent lots, especially spending superfluously on something they don’t understand or appreciate properly or have not “paid their dues” on. There is an element of this in US culture too, but to a lesser degree.

In Taiwan of course money is respect. You got the cash, you spend the money, no one seems to think twice or judge it. I can’t really relate to that. It’s one of the only things I get hung up on, living here. But it’s also confusing, because of the extreme cost focus on everything from breakfast hamburgers to semiconductors. Which is it, Taiwan? Spend a lot or spend as little as possible? I don’t get it!


It happens.

Exhibit A, m’lud: