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(LA Times)   Step one: import clunky heavy peasant bicycle from China by the container load. Step two: sell to hipsters for $400. Step three: ironically profit from Commie bike   (latimes.com) divider line 114
    More: Stupid, bike shop, San Gabriel Valley, containers, cargo ships, semantic consequence  
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7768 clicks; posted to Business » on 19 Aug 2012 at 10:54 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-19 09:51:23 PM  
Hipsters like commie stuff? I don't understand it. I thought hipsters want to be individuals and do their own thing. Communism is exactly the opposite of that! It makes may head hurt. I guess I'll just put on my Che shirt and ride my peasant bike over to Wal-Mart to buy my chinesse torture socks.
 
2012-08-19 10:00:01 PM  
It's basic. There's a market for basic. Not everyone wants digital displays and blinking lights or a bazillion gears. There's something to be said for a basic bike. When I was a kid I had a bike that breaked by pedaling in reverse, had a single gear, a wide seat and I loved it. It was when my mother got rid of it and tried to get me to ride her 10speed with the curly handles and handle breaks that I stopped riding. I just wanted a basic bike and they didn't make them for adults.
 
2012-08-19 10:18:25 PM  
img406.imageshack.us
 
2012-08-19 10:19:45 PM  

Ambivalence:
I just wanted a basic bike and they didn't make them for adults.


Schwinn makes them. For less than the commie bike too.
 
2012-08-19 10:25:56 PM  

Irving Maimway: Ambivalence:
I just wanted a basic bike and they didn't make them for adults.

Schwinn makes them. For less than the commie bike too.


Umm...that bike is $780. The article says they sold the chinese bikes for $399(assembled). how do you figure it's cheaper?
 
2012-08-19 10:35:47 PM  

Ambivalence: Irving Maimway: Ambivalence:
I just wanted a basic bike and they didn't make them for adults.

Schwinn makes them. For less than the commie bike too.

Umm...that bike is $780. The article says they sold the chinese bikes for $399(assembled). how do you figure it's cheaper?


Scroll down.. they have several under $200.
 
2012-08-19 10:52:09 PM  

Irving Maimway: Ambivalence: Irving Maimway: Schwinn makes them. For less than the commie bike too.

Umm...that bike is $780. The article says they sold the chinese bikes for $399(assembled). how do you figure it's cheaper?

Scroll down.. they have several under $200.


Ahhh. I like the look of the Town and Country too.
 
2012-08-19 10:54:18 PM  

Ambivalence: It's basic. There's a market for basic. Not everyone wants digital displays and blinking lights or a bazillion gears. There's something to be said for a basic bike. When I was a kid I had a bike that breaked by pedaling in reverse, had a single gear, a wide seat and I loved it. It was when my mother got rid of it and tried to get me to ride her 10speed with the curly handles and handle breaks that I stopped riding. I just wanted a basic bike and they didn't make them for adults.


They're called "cruiser" bikes. You can probably find one at Walmart for ~$100, ironically also produced by the Chinese.
 
2012-08-19 10:58:11 PM  
Frying Pigeon?

blogs.kqed.org
 
2012-08-19 11:03:41 PM  
Hipster Mosin Nagants.
 
2012-08-19 11:04:05 PM  
I sold this one for $175 a couple of years ago.

50 pounds of electro-forged Chicago Schwinn. Oh, yeah.

lh5.ggpht.com
 
2012-08-19 11:08:41 PM  

Ambivalence: When I was a kid I had a bike that breaked by pedaling in reverse, had a single gear...


A fixie?
 
2012-08-19 11:10:37 PM  
are any affordable bikes NOT made in China?
 
2012-08-19 11:11:48 PM  
I have a Schwinn single speed that is matte jet black over every inch, including the rims and spokes. And it cost less than these Chinese knockoffs, and weighs about 20 pounds less. This cloud of smug is nearly choking me.
 
2012-08-19 11:12:54 PM  

E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: are any affordable bikes NOT made in China?


Nyet.
 
2012-08-19 11:15:35 PM  

Staffist: Ambivalence: When I was a kid I had a bike that breaked by pedaling in reverse, had a single gear...

A fixie?


i think ambivalence is referring to coaster breaks.

you can get a nice old road bike off CL for way less than these pieces of junk ($150-$300, typically)

i got a 1980 fuji royale in beautiful condition for $180
 
2012-08-19 11:16:26 PM  
and by breaks i meant brakes.
 
2012-08-19 11:24:03 PM  

Ambivalence: It's basic. There's a market for basic. Not everyone wants digital displays and blinking lights or a bazillion gears. There's something to be said for a basic bike. When I was a kid I had a bike that breaked by pedaling in reverse, had a single gear, a wide seat and I loved it. It was when my mother got rid of it and tried to get me to ride her 10speed with the curly handles and handle breaks that I stopped riding. I just wanted a basic bike and they didn't make them for adults.


Paying more for less just makes it more ironic.
 
2012-08-19 11:26:15 PM  
images.wikia.com

Obscure?
 
2012-08-19 11:28:41 PM  
I don't mind heavy (to a point). Single-speed is appropriate in some circumstances. But, I can't abide by being barely able to stop. Steel rims are bad. Wet steel rims are just godawful. I guess you just shouldn't get going fast enough that it's an issue, but holy cow are they bad.

Among my way-too-many bikes, I always have a place for my 60s Raleigh 3-speed. But, I built that sucker up with alloy rims. Because stopping saves lives.
 
2012-08-19 11:29:40 PM  
 
2012-08-19 11:36:22 PM  
Mrs. Kritter gifted me with a 21 speed Hard Rock Specialized mountain bike 19-20 years ago. When I'm on it I feel like I'm going to tip right over the handebars. Worst stance I've ever felt on a bike. Hate it, never ride it. Makes me feel bad because I know she paid a bundle for it.
 
2012-08-19 11:40:13 PM  
Wonder if they'll ever get to the sales record of 9 Million Bicycles in Beijing??>>
 
2012-08-19 11:53:39 PM  

Ambivalence: It's basic. There's a market for basic. Not everyone wants digital displays and blinking lights or a bazillion gears. There's something to be said for a basic bike. When I was a kid I had a bike that breaked by pedaling in reverse, had a single gear, a wide seat and I loved it. It was when my mother got rid of it and tried to get me to ride her 10speed with the curly handles and handle breaks that I stopped riding. I just wanted a basic bike and they didn't make them for adults.


but for 400 bucks?
 
2012-08-19 11:54:24 PM  
Somehow, I suspect that even with shipping you can buy one of those bikes directly from someone in China for half what they're selling them for.
 
2012-08-19 11:55:45 PM  

Irving Maimway: Scroll down.. they have several under $200.


I like how the tandem bike assumes the person actually driving the thing will be male.

/do they still have no top bar on "girls" bikes?
 
2012-08-19 11:56:35 PM  
Can't you just go to Walmart and by some crap Chinese bike for like......$49 bucks at the end of summer?

Oh, and why do the imported Pigeons need chain guards? The only people that will ride them are probably guys wearing skinny jeans, or girls wearing black leggings with a short plaid skirt..
 
2012-08-19 11:57:24 PM  
Next up: the Japanese version? Maybe the power-boosted version?
 
2012-08-20 12:02:35 AM  

SBWorks: Next up: the Japanese version? Maybe the power-boosted version?


I love my mamachari. shiat's a tank. I was riding it with a flat tire and a bent wheel for like two months, barely noticed any decrease in performance.
 
2012-08-20 12:21:40 AM  

ozarkmatt: do they still have no top bar on "girls" bikes?


farm7.static.flickr.com
Handsome She-Devil


farm2.static.flickr.com
Rivendell Betty Foy
 
2012-08-20 12:46:29 AM  

jaytkay: farm7.static.flickr.com
Handsome She-Devil

So no. Therefore my misogynist joke stands.

/Whoo hoo!!!

 
2012-08-20 12:53:42 AM  
Number one rule of business: always be a good middle-man.
 
2012-08-20 12:57:48 AM  
Vintage Schwinn 3 speed. Dad found it for free and fixed it up for maybe $25 in parts. I hate hate the leaning-over-the-handlebars style riding, and it coasts down hills *beautifully*.

My Dad has been riding the same (also 3 speed) Schwinn since the 80s, and puts 1000 miles on a year at least.

Might like something more rugged for more advanced trails, but everyday and even basic trail riding... perfect.

/effing love Schwinn
 
2012-08-20 01:02:17 AM  
Why did boy and girl bikes have different frame styles back in the day?
 
2012-08-20 01:05:08 AM  

Mrbogey: Why did boy and girl bikes have different frame styles back in the day?


Skirts?

/shrug
 
2012-08-20 01:10:15 AM  

StreetlightInTheGhetto: Mrbogey: Why did boy and girl bikes have different frame styles back in the day?

Skirts?

/shrug


Correct. Skirts.

But when a step-through frame is built right (a "mixte") then it's actually a very strong and stiff frame with no downsides.

It's a geometry thing.

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-08-20 01:12:52 AM  
MIXTE
4.bp.blogspot.com

NOT a mixte
farm3.static.flickr.com
 
2012-08-20 01:15:44 AM  

Staffist: E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: are any affordable bikes NOT made in China?

Nyet.


Actually, a Calgary entrepreneur recently moved to Detroit To start a made-in-the-USA bike factory.

Support the rebirth of Detroit.
 
2012-08-20 01:51:26 AM  
Back in the day, yeah, tons of people used bikes in China. Now, people can actually buy automobiles. And sometimes, they can even drive them really slowly.

Ambivalence: It's basic. There's a market for basic. Not everyone wants digital displays and blinking lights or a bazillion gears.


A lot of hipster douches have fixies. There's a HUGE ass market for "basic" hipster transportation that is better/more elite than anyone who has a shiatload of gears & crap on their cheap Walmart 10-speed.
 
2012-08-20 01:59:15 AM  
Stupid hipsters. If you're going to ironically ride around on a commie-era bike, at least get one in authentic commie colors, not that baby-blue crap in TFA.

25.media.tumblr.com

I bought a bike for short-hop commutes in China and actually looked at one of those. I ended up not buying it because, you know what? It's a total piece of shiat. Even in China bike technology has improved vastly beyond what was being cranked out in state-owned factories in the 1950s. But that Flying Pigeon hasn't.

/in case anyone is curious, it was about $40
 
2012-08-20 02:07:15 AM  
Oh good - the bike snobs showed up!

No, SRSLY - I'm looking for a cheap-o grocery-getter type bike - nothing fancy, just something to get my fat ass up the Western Washington hills on the way to the Safeway and help me keep taking off the tonnage. I was thinking a wal-mart Schwinn 7-speed. Anyone have other suggestions?
 
2012-08-20 02:07:36 AM  

StreetlightInTheGhetto: Vintage Schwinn 3 speed. Dad found it for free and fixed it up for maybe $25 in parts. I hate hate the leaning-over-the-handlebars style riding, and it coasts down hills *beautifully*.

My Dad has been riding the same (also 3 speed) Schwinn since the 80s, and puts 1000 miles on a year at least.

Might like something more rugged for more advanced trails, but everyday and even basic trail riding... perfect.

/effing love Schwinn


TOBASOL fan...nice! I've known those guys since college. Some of the best people I've ever known.
 
2012-08-20 02:22:25 AM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Oh good - the bike snobs showed up!

No, SRSLY - I'm looking for a cheap-o grocery-getter type bike - nothing fancy, just something to get my fat ass up the Western Washington hills on the way to the Safeway and help me keep taking off the tonnage. I was thinking a wal-mart Schwinn 7-speed. Anyone have other suggestions?


Not a bad idea. you can always go used and can usually get a decent bike for $100. If you don't care about looking cool then forget fixies. I would also stay away from mountain bikes. Anything steel or aluminum frame with street tires should be fine. Basically if you are starting off make sure you have the proper frame size for your height. Also make sure you have proper lights if you plan on riding in the dawn/dusk/dark. A good thing to do is go talk to a bike shop and check out all the various models and see what brand/style you like. Then you can look online to find an older/used model for much cheaper.
 
2012-08-20 02:33:15 AM  
*sigh* ... who goes to Walmart for a bike? For the most part any bike you would find there is disposable and won't have a long run. If you ever buy a bike from a bike shop you will be able to see the difference in quality/durability. If it's an investment that you plan on riding a lot and for a decent length of time I'd highly advise going to a bike shop. The tech that assembles bikes will likely be an avid biker, can answer all of your questions, guide you towards the bikes that fit your needs/budget, and they have all of the tools to properly assemble and calibrate it whereas going to Walmart you are just getting a worker that poorly cranks out bikes to put them on the floor.
 
2012-08-20 02:38:06 AM  
I live in China and see people pedaling those things around all the time. $400? BWHAHAHAHAHAH. I know what I'm taking unassembled as my 2nd piece of luggage when I go home over Christmas.
 
2012-08-20 02:44:27 AM  

Tenatra: *sigh* ... who goes to Walmart for a bike? For the most part any bike you would find there is disposable and won't have a long run. If you ever buy a bike from a bike shop you will be able to see the difference in quality/durability. If it's an investment that you plan on riding a lot and for a decent length of time I'd highly advise going to a bike shop. The tech that assembles bikes will likely be an avid biker, can answer all of your questions, guide you towards the bikes that fit your needs/budget, and they have all of the tools to properly assemble and calibrate it whereas going to Walmart you are just getting a worker that poorly cranks out bikes to put them on the floor.


If you don't want to spend much money on a bike and (don't want to buy used) that is the only way to go. You can get a decent bike at walmart to go putzing around with. It doesn't need to be a $3-400 bike. Hell I got a bike from the junkyard one time to do my drunken bar rides with. Yeah it won't last you forever but it is a good way to start if you aren't sure what you want like. I started out a mountain biker and started riding a pos road bike for kicks. After awhile I started to upgrade when i realized that i liked road racing. For a basic bike Walmart is fine.
 
2012-08-20 03:00:26 AM  

Tenatra: *sigh* ... who goes to Walmart for a bike?


Ummm... Oh, I dunno, maybe people like me who don't know enough about bikes to fix up a Craigslist job, don't want to pay over $150 on something we may decide is not a good idea for us, aren't making a farking "investment" [protip: stocks are an investment, bonds are an investment, a house is possibly an investment, a bicycle is NOT an investment], and really don't give a flying fark what the hipper-than-thou dude at the bike shop thinks?

For the most part any bike you would find there is disposable and won't have a long run. If you ever buy a bike from a bike shop you will be able to see the difference in quality/durability. If it's an investment that you plan on riding a lot and for a decent length of time I'd highly advise going to a bike shop. The tech that assembles bikes will likely be an avid biker, can answer all of your questions, guide you towards the bikes that fit your needs/budget, and they have all of the tools to properly assemble and calibrate it whereas going to Walmart you are just getting a worker that poorly cranks out bikes to put them on the floor.

But it will run, and it will be enough, until the buyer decides to get a "real" bike.

All I want is something to get me around town on my errands, within a couple miles from home, under my own steam. (Which, by the way, I consider to be far more than most people would even consider doing anyway.) I don't need anything other than basic transport. I've never seen a bike with baskets big enough for grocery bags that weren't add-ons anyway - 30 bucks and I can install them on my cheap-o, or a hundred extra for a "cargo bike". Hmmmmm... which should I buy? Let me think about this...

Lighten up, Francis. I have a co-worker who has a great bike built off a wal-mart Schwinn frame. It looks like a Dutch job. Big baskets, outsized fenders, comically large chain guard... She tells me she spent less than half on all her upgrades than she would have spent had she bought a Dutch bike outright.
 
2012-08-20 03:24:50 AM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Tenatra: *sigh* ... who goes to Walmart for a bike?

Ummm... Oh, I dunno, maybe people like me who don't know enough about bikes to fix up a Craigslist job, don't want to pay over $150 on something we may decide is not a good idea for us, aren't making a farking "investment" [protip: stocks are an investment, bonds are an investment, a house is possibly an investment, a bicycle is NOT an investment], and really don't give a flying fark what the hipper-than-thou dude at the bike shop thinks?

For the most part any bike you would find there is disposable and won't have a long run. If you ever buy a bike from a bike shop you will be able to see the difference in quality/durability. If it's an investment that you plan on riding a lot and for a decent length of time I'd highly advise going to a bike shop. The tech that assembles bikes will likely be an avid biker, can answer all of your questions, guide you towards the bikes that fit your needs/budget, and they have all of the tools to properly assemble and calibrate it whereas going to Walmart you are just getting a worker that poorly cranks out bikes to put them on the floor.

But it will run, and it will be enough, until the buyer decides to get a "real" bike.

All I want is something to get me around town on my errands, within a couple miles from home, under my own steam. (Which, by the way, I consider to be far more than most people would even consider doing anyway.) I don't need anything other than basic transport. I've never seen a bike with baskets big enough for grocery bags that weren't add-ons anyway - 30 bucks and I can install them on my cheap-o, or a hundred extra for a "cargo bike". Hmmmmm... which should I buy? Let me think about this...

Lighten up, Francis. I have a co-worker who has a great bike built off a wal-mart Schwinn frame. It looks like a Dutch job. Big baskets, outsized fenders, comically large chain guard... She tells me she spent less than half on all her upgrades than she would ha ...


I'm voting for the bike shop bike. In the mid-price range, the frame will be stiffer, the components will be more likely to stay adjusted, and less likely to break. Since I tend to beat the shiat out of most things I own, that stuff matters.
 
2012-08-20 03:31:37 AM  

Tellingthem: If you don't want to spend much money on a bike and (don't want to buy used) that is the only way to go


I'm not saying it is completely bad, I'm saying that if you want to get mileage out of it then don't go to Walmart, Toys R Us, etc. for a bike ;)

My BMX bike was $220 from a local bike shop, I put it through 7 years of hell and it's still as good as the day I bought it (aside from some scrapes to the rubber handles and seat). I recently gave it to my fiancee's younger brother and he was amazed, he thought it was a brand new bike until I told him.

I bought a mountain bike from Walmart a few years ago when I was living in a new place and just wanted a ride to get around town. 5-10 miles a day on street terrain and it made it 2 months before I left it for dead in an alley on the day I bought a car, came back 2 hours later to see if it was still there, nope. Hope he had fun with 1/4 of a pedal on one side and just the medal peg as the remnants of the other pedal, bent rim and crappy brakes/calipers. (not to mention other problems it was facing) Someone probably just picked it up to scrap it. I wasn't expecting it to last long as it was only around $70. I could have fixed it but the parts and tools needed would have put me in a position where it would have been better to just buy another one. :p

and I know it doesn't have to be in the $300-400 range, you will usually see the entry level bikes in bike shops at the $150-200 range but it goes up to several thousand.
 
2012-08-20 03:39:44 AM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: All I want is something to get me around town on my errands


Whatever you do, upgrade the derailleur system and gear shifter if you buy a cheap bike and plan on using hills. You may end up spending more than the cost of the whole bike if you buy a Wal Mart cheapo, but trust me, it's worth it.

Well, or you could look for an affordable used one or talk to a bike shop guy about affordable, quality alternatives.

I'm not a "bike guy," but when I ride one, I like my gears to actually work properly.
 
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