Monday, July 2, 2012

Buying My First Foldable Bike

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Bikes & AccessoriesBuying My First Foldable Bike
                     AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                   
My First Foldable Bike - in its folded look
My friend Sin, a fairly new but avid biker has been encouraging me to take up biking. Looking at his various blogs at hApPy HaPpY, he seems to be enjoying himself - going biking, meeting up with new friends and having eats during his biking treks. Cycling trips up to 130km a day was commonplace to him. These crazy bikers, they have foldable bikes which they keep in their car boot, and pop it out to cycle whenever they have the urge. Lunancy!

But he kept on encouraging me, and there I was telling myself "Can I do it? Am I up to it physically?" No problem he said, start of with the short distances. So I made up my mind, and went out looking for a bike.

Top of the range "Bike Friday"
Through a Facebook friend, I met up with Andy at the pro-shop in the The Club @ Bukit UtamaBandar Utama, Kuala Lumpur. He introduced me to a fantastic bike, a Bike Fridaythese bikes are hand-made in the USA and custom-fitted to individual buyersI test-rode it around the complex. It has an infinity gear-drum unlike most bikes which have gear-cogs, meaning that there are unlimited gears, perhaps something like a car's clutch. Changing gears was a breeze - seamless & so quiet it's hardly noticeable. But then the price at RM9,000+ was beyond my budget. Perhaps next time, if I get to be really keen on biking - AND if I hit a jackpot.

A Doppleganger from Japan
That "Bike Friday" did me a favor, it got me really interested in bikes. But the price wasn't right for a novice like me. So Andy then introduced me to the Doppelganger, a Japanese bike. It was both beautiful and rugged at the same time - appealing to the macho in me. The price at RM1680 was very attractive. But I decided to shop around first. By the way, I posted pictures both bikes on FB and most of my friends like the Doppelganger for its looks.

I had promised Sin that I would be getting a bike within a week, so he recommended me to Johnny, the owner of My Bicycle Shop located at the Oasis Complex in BU4, Bandar Utama also. Johnny was very helpful and understood that a new biker like me had uncertainties about their biking future and may not want to spend too much on their first bike in case their interests waver.

My Bike!
He showed me the XDS-AFB260. It was a beautiful bike too, although not as rugged looking as the Doppelganger. The price at RM980 was just right too. It came in two color themes - white & red, and black & orange. I went for the latter as it fitted well with my blog color theme. So I finally got my first folding bike!

Water Bottle & Holder

Johnny threw in some accessories - lock-set, water-bottle and holder for free.

And I got the most important accessory, a helmet, for RM80. It was futuristic space-age looking, with reflector strips, adjustable chin-straps and tightening head band.

Helmet - Front View
From the front, wearing it, I could pass for one of Darth Vader's death-troopers. Watch out you guys - make way!

Compact when folded - fits into car boot easily.
Folding it was easy, with multiple levers to unlock the folding mechanism. First, lower the seat shaft all the way down so that it forms a leg to support the bike, then push the pedals inwards and fold towards the bike. Unlock one lever and fold the handle down, unlock another one and the bike folds into two. Presto, a compact parcel.

I am slowly learning the finer points of biking. Weight is important, so is the number of gears. Then one have to consider whether the bike is for casual on-road travelling or for speed-racing or even for off-road / mountain biking. Me? I'll just stick to the basics and take it one step at a time, that is if I until proceed to take the next step. Heh! Heh!

Note: This blog was first posted at Jotaro's Blog / WoW! / Buying My First Foldable Bike

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Bikes & Accessories / Buying My First Foldable Bike
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  1. Welcome to the folding bikes world. Once you get one, you will never think twice about buying a non-folding bike

  2. Just found your blog via the crazy bee's blog. I can't wait to read on!


    1. Dear Drew,
      Your comment is much appreciate and will inspire me to write more.
      I basically started blogging on biking so that my friends & I would be able to go back and recall our rides - the fun we had and the crazy things we did.
      I will be adding you blog to my reading list so that Brompton fans here in Malaysia will be more updated on the Bs and what one can do with it.

      The AhPek Biker

  3. Nice to stumble across this blog! My wife and I are looking at folding bikes to purchase with something around the RM1300-1600 range. We are in Penang and I noticed your XDS-AFB260 (I have seen this on and they seem an attractive price - how do they perform? I was thinking of getting a Tern or a Dahon... s0 many to choose from LOL

    1. HI Steve,
      Firstly my apologies for this late reply. I have been away with some friends cycling in Japan (i.e. Tokyo, Kamakura & Hakone) and many thanks for reading my blogs.
      Back to your question about the XDS-AFB260, I must be frank to say that it is a heavy bike, suitable of fairly flat road but difficult on slopes (unless you have very strong legs, LOL).
      However XDS have come out with some newer range of bicycles of 16 & 20 in. wheel diameters which are now much lighter. Some of these can be as cheap as RM900. The Terns & Dahons are priced much higher than this from RM1800 onwards depending on the model.
      I hesitate to actually recommend you a bike as I am not sure of you cycling habits (i.e. fun cyclihg, tougher cycling or bike touring). Should you need further advice to feel free to contact me.

      The AhPek Biker

  4. Way back in March 2013 my wife and I cycled along Hangang River from Seoul to Yangpyong (about 70kms) before turning towards Incheon. I rode a RM450 20" folding bike with ~15kg load and my with wife rode an XDS-AFB180 with ~12kg load. We managed to cover 180km after 4 days. Of course, the cold weather(3-5 deg.Cel) and the hills were really challenging. We went leisurely at ~10km/h on flat road. What a bless, the foldies gave no trouble at all. Until today I'm still riding that XDS-AFB180.

    Besides cycling in Korea, I've made a single day trip from Kepala Batas(Seberang Perai) to Ipoh(~160km) using XDS-AFB180 with 10kg load.
    As I'm getting older (I'll be 60 in 2015) I tend to prefer the foldies....

  5. Hi Hassan,
    Great to hear from you.
    Your adventure in Korea sounds thrilling, and there is no reason to try to ride fast unless one is into racing.
    Riding at one's own leisurely pace will give the opportunity to appreciate the surrounding area and also a chance to meet new local friends.
    I hope to be able to emulate what you have done in Korea one fine day.
    By the way are you from Kepala Batas?

    the AhPek Biker