25th day of chinese bikes of the days, U bike

click for big

Green U bike. See the raleighoid fork? See the cable brakes, see that the back wheel is locked? See the nice chainguard? See the tiny bike wheel in the upper left corner of the picture? It is hard NOT to have a bike in the photo sometimes...

This bike has a really nice padded seat for the pal/sweetie. "girls" bikes are used ubiquitously by either sex. I am pretty sure that there was once a stigma against them, as there was a paucity of old rod braked raleighoid "girl" bikes, but almost all newer bikes have step through frames. Guys ride with girls on their racks, girls ride girls, but rarely do girls ride guys on their racks (mind out of gutters please). Girls giving guys a ride on the rack created cat-calls and jokes.

No one really wanted to give a 190 pound westerner a ride on their rack. Dammit.

Click here for a really big photo if you want to soak in the nuances of a pretty average bike in china.

Note the really crapperific rear brake cable routing. This is why I conjecture rod brakes have such longevity in places like china. The cable brakes pictured here likely barely work or perhaps not at all. If the cable breaks, it needs a bike specific replacement cable. In a rod brake, the corner bicycle repairman can just use a spoke, or other rod/wire thingy to make your broken brakw work.

I think that rod brakes, on average, work better throughout their lifetime than cable brakes in a low maintance situation like most bikes endure in china. Sure the braking is never great, but averaged across the life of the bike, they provide more stopping power. Cable brakes give you great stopping power for a while, and then none. Rod brakes offer crap throughout the life of the bike, but it is there on a daily basis. At less than 10 MPH average speed, you really don't need all that much stopping power.

Getting toward the end of my photo stash, might have another week in me. Maybe two. Anyone got any contributions to flesh out my waning collection of photos? Chinese bikes photos gladly taken, as well as asia, africa, etc. etc. etc. Email tas at tariksaleh dot com.

Anyone have a classic chinese bike (forever, pheonix, or flying pigeon or the like) bike here in the US? Want to let me borrow it for a bit, sell it to me cheap? Drop me an email. A rod braked raleigh might suffice. Especially if you are within a reasonable drive of Northern NM (colorado, arizona, Utah)...

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