In the world of bike collaborations, this one is interesting: Toyota in Taiwan and Breezer Bikes of Sausalito have branded this “X frame” folding bike that was used as a sales incentive this last summer at Toyota dealerships in Taiwan.
Note the cute little Toyota logo imprinted next to the Breezer logo on the saddle.
The 6061 alloy bike weighs 34 lbs, features 6 speed Shimano Revoshift shifters and Kenda Kwest 16 x 1.5″ tires. The marketing in Taiwan apparently makes a pretty big deal about Joe Breeze’s design reputation in the United States, although Breezer in the USA sources their folding bikes from Dahon. My guess is this bike is maybe an offering from Breezer’s sister company, Fuji Bikes, though as far as I know Fuji has never marketed this style of folding bike before.
The bike has a claimed market value of NT$15,000 (about US$450) — I see them on Taiwan “for sale” sites for NT$7000 (~US$200) and less, which sounds like a pretty screaming deal. I might have picked one up for that price if I knew about these during my visit.
We saw this JCE “SMOFO” electric folding bike in Taiwan. The Smofo appears to be sold directly by the manufacturer in Taichung City for about NT$28,000 (about US$900). This was at a roadside rest stop area with a battery charger plugged in.
The Lithium Ion battery is hidden in the top tube between the hinge and and steerer and provides a claimed 30 km of range. Rear hub motor, rear disc brake and front caliper brake, handlebar control with three power settings, 17 kg with battery.
Mark also talks about this Smofo bike over at Bike Hugger.
Most of the bikes I see in Taipei are basic mountain style bikes from Giant or Merida with little in the way of personalization. Check out this marvelous rig with the Kirin Ichiban Beer customization, though.
The bike itself looks like a junky Next “full suspension” “mountain” bike shaped object. The owner has obviously put a lot of love into the look of the bike, however, by painting the frame and carefully applying decals and detailing. That rear disc wheel is amazing.
Kirin Ichiban is a Japanese beer brewed from rice.
Today we participated in a short ride to promote tourism in rural Taitung County. The countryside of eastern and central Taiwan is populated with indigenous peoples who lived in Taiwan prior to Han Chinese immigration. The economy is primarily agricultural and the people seem more relaxed than their cousins in the big cities of the northwest.
Everything about today was a highlight. We met Bethany, a Chinese Christian who passionately works to encourage the indigenous children to achieve. We watched tribal dances that stir the soul. We met Kevin Lin, an endurance athlete who ran across the Sahara Desert in 2007. He’s a super super nice guy. He’s mostly a runner but also enjoys bicycling on road and trail and participates in triathlons.
Another highlight was a visit to an ice cream shop in Chihshang Village. “Popeye,” a local chamber of commerce volunteer with Betel nut stained teeth, enthusiastically explained “this is most famous ice cream in all Taiwan!” It was yummy indeed.
Finally, in the middle of this sits the incredible Papago Resort. This is the view from my room balcony.
It’s well past midnight in Taiwan and I’m hitting the sack just as your day is getting started. Have a wonderful wonderful. I’ll point you to Mark V’s posts at Bike Hugger:
About 150 people celebrated “Let’s Bike Taiwan” today at Sun Moon Lake, a resort destination in central Taiwan. Taiwan officials, working with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and Giant Bicycles, are working to promote cycling as a healthy and environmentally friendly activity on the island and are opening bike facilities all over Taiwan. Over 1,000 km of bike trails are now available to ride on throughout Taiwan.
Visitors traveled in tour buses to Sun Moon Lake, where they rented bikes from a brand new company owned Giant Bicycle store. Everything from inexpensive mountain bikes to the top of the line Giant TCR Advanced is available for rent.
The festivities began with a grand opening ceremony for the Yeutan Bikeway, a bike trail that connects the west side of the lake over the dam to the eastern side of Sun Moon Lake, bypassing the stretch of Highway 21 south of the lake.
From the bikeway entrance, the cyclists rode 4.5 km into Checheng and along the Xianshan Bikeway, where everybody stopped at Meihe Garden to take in the views and sample several varieties of tea. The Sun Moon Lake area is the tea growing region of Taiwan.
Everybody then continued another 2.5 km uphill to stop at Fleur de Chine resort, where they boarded boats for a lake cruise, then returned to Lalu Hotel to conclude the festivities with a 10 course meal.
The cheesiness of the whole thing was amazing fun. China Airlines flight attendants did a dance involving bikes [watch for video soon from Bike Hugger], us Americans were all interviewed by Chinese television, the local girls went crazy when a boy band showed up to promote cycling, and a great time was had by all.
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