Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"It's Really Not the Size That Matters...'s what you do with it... REALLY!!"

Taiwan was once the world's leading manufacturer and exporter of bicycles but in the mid-1990s due to dumping charges and relocations of factories to China where production costs are much lower - business basically tumbled down. Though China now is the world's major supplier of low-cost bicycles -- according to the economics ministry, Taiwan retains its edge in high-end products such as racing-style, mountain and folding bikes.

Yep, you READ that right... Folding Bikes!!! The folding bike, otherwise known as "xiao che" in Mandarin or "little foldable", weighs around 10 kilograms (22 pounds).

Pacific Cycles, a Taoyuan-based exporter, began selling its signature folding bikes at home in 2005, and since then they have become popular with city dwellers for their lightweight and convenient features. According to a recent interview with marketing manager Max Yeh, despite a 66 percent price hike to 50,000 Taiwan dollars (about US$1500.00 each) per bike, domestic sales are estimated to increase by 100 percent this year.

Could it be the failing economy -- domestically and worldwide??? People trying to reduce their expenses by not driving - what with the high rising costs of Petrol. Or maybe the growing environmental awareness of the Taiwanese people -- the wish for less traffic jams and cleaner air. Even the Taiwanese government has promised to expand cycling routes and facilities, in a bid to promote cycling as part of its "green policy" aimed at saving energy and reducing carbon emissions. The latter I totally LOVE and AGREE with WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

I can only hope that, like in so many North American & European cities, cycling will become a way of life -- and not just another passing TRENDY fad. And since am already in a wishful thinking mode - I hope also that the trend will spill over to other Metropolitan Asian cities like Manila, Bangkok, etc....


Anonymous said...


Pacific Cycles makes some of the planet's very best folding bikes. If you get a chance, check out their new IF-Mode. It's a truly incredible bicycle that folds.


wtsrudi said...

thanks for the info Larry -- will check out the LINK!