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Going to China

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Going to China

Old 09-10-19, 08:54 PM
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MAK
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Going to China

I will have the opportunity to teach for six weeks in China this December/January. I'm not sure which Chinese university yet as we have agreements with a few schools so I realize that responses to me must be very general.

I'm thinking that having a bike there will be convenient and will give me great opportunities to explore. A folding bike will give me the best bike security because I can take it with me everywhere.

For those who know, am I better off buying and bringing it with me or should I buy it once in China? (Cost, taxes, etc.)
I presume that theft is universal so extra security tips will be appreciated.

I'm really partial to Brompton. Are they easily available there? Any quality Chinese folders that I wouldn't be very familiar with in the USA? I am also going to look for a Flying Pidgeon if they're still being made just to have a unique bike.

Thank you.
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Old 09-10-19, 11:25 PM
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Foreign bikes are more expensive in China than outside. Dahons are cheaper there than outside, but may have inferior parts. My suspicion is that you may find deals around electric folding bikes as there is a lot of developmental activity there. As to regular folding bikes, the market may be challenging as the majority of population treats regular bikes as commodity and better bike market is for nerds that have excess money. I would start with share bikes - for this you need a local phone number (you may buy a SIM on Amazon ahead of travel) and a local bank account. Then I would move to a second-hand bike - talk to bike parking attendants around train stations. In the meantime explore the market. Shops with better bike offering tend to cluster around each other and may be adjacent to a cluster of motorcycle shops.
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Old 09-11-19, 01:06 AM
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Dahon (domestic) is cheap there.
You can find a Dahon Dash for about $450 (usd).
There are also other brands making rather similar looking Dahon/Tern like folders like Fnhon, Crius, etc
Components vary, though imho, even things like microshift branded shifters are ok for general use.

If you don't need to use the bike to get on trains, I'd recommend a very plain looking non-folding bike.
At least it will be less likely stolen.

Take a look at Taobao (their version of Amazon) and you can get an idea on the prices of the stuff there.
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Old 09-11-19, 04:58 AM
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I was recently in China for 2 weeks and second the suggestion for getting app for one of the bike share companies. Those bikes are everywhere. Also once you are there you may decide not to ride. Picture a major city here and multiply traffic by several levels. The motorized scooters do not follow traffic regulations and are flying all over the place. We quickly decided on using Didi, their version of Uber, to get around.
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Old 09-11-19, 07:24 AM
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One of the benefits of riding in China or anywhere else, is that you participate in an activity with others there and begin to get an idea how the society operates. Of course there are rules that everybody follows, just when they are different than at home it seems confusing, but you learn them and this is the fun. Basically it is a point system and who has more points has the right of the way. You get points for having green light in your direction, but these expire when there is little duration left for the green. You get negative points for red, but they gradually expire as well. The greater the number of you, the more points you get. The bigger vehicle you are, the more points you get. The longer you wait, the more points you get. The more pissed you are and the more in a hurry, the more points you get - yes, people recognize that. There are some regional variations across the country concerning details, like rank of the pedestrian or bike rider, and you get these by the ear.
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Old 09-11-19, 02:09 PM
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I studied in Nanjing University for a few weeks. I brought my cheap folder.
I got a heavy chain + lock when I arrived. It came in handy when I went
shopping and going to parks. Even at the campus where I can sneak the bike
up my dorm; I just locked it up downstairs. Had a great time.

Ps, because my luggage was going over the weight limit - left my chain at
the campus bike parking. Hopefully it's still there(and works) when I go
back next year.
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Old 09-11-19, 11:46 PM
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If I give you some $$$ can you bring me back a boatload of cool parts?

Sorry.

China is the mecca of folding bikes. I would love to go there and build up a bike and ride it all over the place. Then, at the end of my stay pack it up and bring it home. The ULTIMATE souvenir! If you were after a decent, reasonably priced folder, I think your biggest challenge would be option overload.

Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
Take a look at Taobao (their version of Amazon) and you can get an idea on the prices of the stuff there.
I agree. Also check out aliexpress.com to get a feel for what you might find.

Have a great trip.
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Old 09-12-19, 01:51 AM
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Hi MAK, if you come to Beijing then I can show you the best folding bike shops here.
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Old 09-12-19, 07:29 AM
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Domestically, the largest e-commerce site is Jingdong (JD.com). However, just that something is there does not translate to what is on the ground when one walks in and wants to see and try out. Still, it indeed represents what local vendors should be able to order for a try-out if they trust that the customer is serious. For using JD.com directly one needs a local person and it may be pretty hard finding anybody familiar knowledgeable about bikes, short of the offer above .
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Old 09-12-19, 09:13 AM
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go for a titanium brompton conterfeits in shezen! best bang for a buck
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Old 09-12-19, 09:30 AM
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I would recommend that you first visit the secret city!
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Old 09-12-19, 11:53 AM
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Thank you everyone for your helpful advice. I'll check the web sites and do more research but it sounds like it will be an adventure, whatever I end up doing.

Thanks again.
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