The day before I made a visit to the A Day Bike Fest 2017 at the Airport Link Makkasan station, and was pleasantly surprised to see the fair increased in size from previous years, there were more distributors and retailers selling accessories. Perhaps the downtrend of cycling caused the big boys to come out, hoping to create an uptick in demand by offering discounts.
For me this has always been a good time to purchase last years, or even older stock, bicycles with some serious discounts. I don’t care if my bike is wearing previous year colors or not, it’s going to get scratched one day anyhow, and more reasons why I prefer the color black for my bicycle.
I attended the fair this time because it was a good opportunity to see all the folding bikes I had been eyeing, and others, in one place. I decided it was time to make a decision, or so I hoped.
Anyway, to get back on track, walking around the fair I came across a shiny bike looking very much like a Brompton, on closer inspection I realized it was a Chinese rip off! A bit brazen was my first thought, but then I remembered that the patent for Brompton had already expired already, though Brompton tried to copyright some parts of the design or something, so I guess what that means is anyone can reproduce/copy as long as they pay a fee, but I don’t know anything about copyright laws therefore that could be all wrong.
Anyway, at Baht 15,000 net it was a bargain, but I can’t vouch for quality, durability or engineering, also I’m not adventurous enough to risk my life on one of these either. But must say, sales were going very briskly.
This is not the first time we’ve seen a Brompton copy, also available in Thailand is the MIT Cycle, an Alloy contraption, from China of course…. AND once again with fiddly knobs.
I’ve never been fond of alloy bikes, they have that vibrating buzz throughout the frame that ends up going through your hands, groins and buttocks, it is just plain uncomfortable. Though with big wheels and fat tires it’s not so prominent, on smaller wheeled bikes, you better make sure it has fat tires and good suspension (eg. Birdy).
At the end of the day, if you are feeling suicidal, or don’t think you will ride the bike very much, sure a China Brompton could be for you.