My folding bikes & mini velos

I love bicycles, I love riding, I’ve been riding since I was a kid and basically never stopped cycling thoughout the years.  All I do is dream about riding, going here and there on my bicycle, it’s like an obsession, fixation, or whatever. 

During the course of my cycling years, my craving for new bicycles is not any less than that to my need for cycling. And one of my “things” is small wheeled bikes, I don’t know what it is about them, the nifty feeling, the fact that you can just bung them in the back of the car and take it everywhere, or what it is, but there’s certainly a psychological problem (so says my wife).

My very first experience with folding bicycle was when I had ordered two Chevy FBD 16″ through a friend in Japan, who kindly brought them to Bangkok on one of his frequent trips. The bikes were Christmas presents for my two children, though Mom & Dad would steal a ride on them too many times as the bikes were actually adults bikes, but fitted kids just perfectly too.

After that I ordered two Dahon Mu from Canada through another friend who brought them over when he came in February one year.  This was the first edition of the Dahon Mu, came in electric blue color, the bike felt very light and spicy, but I didn’t keep them as the main intention was to sell them for a profit.

Somewhere along the line I wanted to become a bicycle wholesaler, I started to research Chinese manufacturers through Alibaba.  I came across a company under the name of GogoBikes, somehow I don’t think they exist anymore, but I liked the designs of their bicycles so inquired if they could send me some samples.  Later 4 bikes arrived, and only one was road worthy, the rest had some fault or another, mainly to do with bent forks, or frames not aligned.   Anyway, the one usable bike was similar to the old unfolding Dahon Smooth hound, it was a mini velo road bike with 20″ wheels, quality hubs, a road bike drop-bar, Ultegra/Tiagra group mix, etc.

This bike was super fast and smooth making it a joy to ride, so much so I rode the Gogobike on a century from Bangkok to Bangsaen seaside resort, and even though it came pouring down with rain, I still peddled on,  arriving in Bangsaen totally wet but with a big smile on my face, that’s just how much fun the bike was.

Sadly, like my love affairs, my yearning for my two wheeled friend faded, simply put I got bored with the Gogobike, so I sold it and bought something else, that was a decision I would regret a couple of years later, so much so i was desperately searching for my old friend through online bike forums under second hand bikes, but to no avail, she had left me for someone better.

Later on I got the urge again, and searched for another bike, I remember I was actually looking for a particular bike but can’t remember what it was, but by chance the guy said he had a Chromoly Dahon Speed Pro and if I was interested.  My eyes widen with excitement and he took me down to the car park to show me the bike that had just arrived in his shop, I took one look at it and asked him how much. The Dahon Speed Pro was a rate bike, especially the chromoly frame version, and here was a brand new one, I just couldn’t resist the temptation, and went ahead with the purchase under 2 seconds.

Unfortunately the looks didn’t translate into ride quality, the cheap Chinese copy was far more superior to the the Dahon Speed Pro.  Even though  initially I said I would never sell the Dahon as it was now a collectors item, but I just couldn’t get over the creaking seat tube, harsh handling, brakes that never worked, etc. so I bid my farewell.

After that I never bought another folder, until the Brompton, which turned out to be a grave error, and one that cost me money.

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