Welcome back to the day 27 of chinese bikes

click for big

Sorry for the delay, back eating solid foods, thus back on the Chinese bikewagon.

Above is a nice typical mixtie bike. There were ralleighoid mixties, and the Ubike mixties seen on day 25 and 24, and then these middle ground bikeys, slightly newer style than the raleighoids, but a not as modern as the U bikes and the really crapperific new ones.

Yet still with the rusty chaincase, beat fenders, kickstands, obvious front end collision damage, rod brakes, inelegant lug attachments, baskets, lock etc. etc. etc.

So typical. For a comparison of a modern take, check out Kona's africa bike project. For essentially a north american take on the classic workhorse city bike:

click for bigger at source.

Looking at this bike, it is nominally the same idea as the chinese bike above. Chainguard, basket, one speed. It is missing fenders and the rear rack, but obviously has braze ons for such. I like this bike as it is made solid of probably not too heavy, but well sturdy enough cromoly tubing, has an american BB (one peice cranks) instead of the cottered cranks of the chinese bikes, and sports a coaster brake instead of rod brakes. Surf around the blog there and see some of the design parameters and look at the issues that these bikes are expected to face in africa. These are designed specifically for NGO's delivering aids drugs in rural africa.

Interesting project. These bikes, I think, have a good chance of being much more useful much longer than the legacy designed bikes churned out by the large factories in india and china, which have been more than adequate for years, but are getting produced crappier and crappier each year.

More on that tomorrow.

No comments: