This is about my bicycles that I’ve owned, love, hated and missed. A story about bicycles that have passed through my life.
On One 4560b – Another frameset purchase from British brand On One, but this time I purchased the frame locally – twice – because the first bike was stolen.
Initially I bought a Giant Talon 27.5 mountain bike, but after owning it for a week I just couldn’t get over the way aluminium feels, so I decided I will purchase a chromoly frame and use the parts from the Giant …. trying to fool the wife but that didnt work 🙂
Anyway, I searched high & low for anyone selling chromoly framesets, I actually called shops around the country, not just those situated in Bangkok, but chromoly is difficult to come by in Thailand nowadays, people are either riding aluminium or carbon. By chance I discovered that Big Mountain in Pakchong carries a range of old style mountain bike frames, including some old 26er frames from Voodoo and Salsa. One day I drove to Pakchong with my Giant, bought a On One 4560b frameset and got the shop to move the parts over to the new frame. I had the bike for about a year before a thief climbed over the wall of my house and promptly rode off with my unlocked bike one night.
As I couldn’t live my life without a mountain bike I went back to Big Mountain bike shop in Pakchong and bought another frameset, this time I had Aim Bike in Bangkok source the components for me, and the above is the reborn bike with higher quality components.
I have to admit that it is not the best frameset, or the best riding bike, a rider sits quite high on the bike which makes cornering at speeds not very confident, also being so high up you are least aerodynamic, but honestly there wasn’t any other choice.
Reise Muller Birdy (MkIII) – A 9 speed, full suspension folding bike, I believe this one is a keeper even though it’s made of aluminium 🙂
Riding trains and buses with a bicycle in Thailand is a pain in the a..e, trains will only take full size bikes if there is a cargo car, and bus companies do not want to load bicycles because they take up too much space, which I admit is true. Bus companies will take bicycles for a charge of 100 baht a bike if there is space, it also depends on the design of the bus, a single deck bus with a low profile will not load bicycles. But the trains are worse. Trains with cargo cars are usually only available in 3rd class, with no guarantee seating, and twice by bike has arrived damaged…. forget claiming for compensation, the State Railway of Thailand are a worthless organization.
Anyway back to the Birdy bike, because this is a folder, I ride to the train station, fold it up and carry it into the compartment I have booked my seat on, no issues, and I don’t have to worry about my bike arriving damaged. I’ve taken the Birdy on a train to Pakchong several times, and Hua Hin once, and it is really a winner not only for the first mile, last mile, but the bike is capable of taking you long distance over and down hills without an issue. It is super comfy, very stable which is unusual for folding bikes which generally have a twitchy ride, this one not.
I’ve often thought about getting a rack for it so that I can try taking it on a 2 – 3 day journey.
Planet X Kaffenback II – I purchased the frameset online from Planet X website and had the bike built up at a local bike shop near my house, the idea was to make it a tourer for long distance rides, hence the setup of mixed road & mountain bike parts. When putting the bike together the bike shop discovered that the fork was not properly aligned, I contacted Planet X and after many emails back & forth they promptly sent me a replacement fork.
I wanted the bike to be fast, but also capable of riding off road, but I discovered that you simply can’t combine a tractor with a race car, it just doesn’t work, so the idea of a road / off-roader bike just wasn’t right. Besides the bike had some nagging traits, eg. toe overlap, tendency to do a wheelie on hill climbs, and I just couldn’t dial in the bike properly.
I did make a couple of century rides on it, one of the most memorable was taking the train from Bangkok to Nakhon Naiyok, from there we road over and across Khao Yai national park to Pakchong and then took the bus back to Bangkok….. all in a day. I can’t tell you how good the beer tasted after that ride.
Gogo Bike – A non folding bike I imported from China – basically a design copy of the Dahon Smooth Hound. The original intent was to be a distributor, but the 5 demo bikes which the manufacturer sent left without a doubt that it was risky, as out of 5 bikes I ordered, only this one was rideable. In a sense it was probably best as I didn’t know anything about the bicycle business.
However I have to say it was a fun bike to ride, very nifty, perfect for a run about in Bangkok city, as you could squeeze in and out of traffic easily. It was also surprisingly comfortable for an aluminium bike, but when you get an urge for something new, you sell to buy a new one.
Bianchi Nirone – My first road bike purchase, I hated it the minute I brought it home, and promptly sold it a week after. Sorry aluminium just isn’t my thing.
Jamis Dragon (15th Anniversary edition) – This 2008 Chromoly bike was one of the best bikes I’ve ever owned, though a mountain bike by design, I rode it several times on double century rides from Bangkok to Hua Hin. Fast and comfy.
This was my first frameset I ever bought after riding the Trek 800 for several years I wanted a much higher grade bicycle, so I had this one built up as per specs recommended by the owner of Nakhon Thai bike shop in Lardprao 101, they did an excellent job, it was just perfect. I have to admit that I spent an arm & and a leg on it, didn’t dare tell my wife how much I actually spent on it.
I sold the bike to an English teacher, and was rather sad that I let it go, but I had this
Trek 800 – My first bike that I bought in Thailand (just couldn’t live without a bicycle), I actually bought 2, one for my wife and one for myself, and this was the bike that got me back into cycling again.
An old school mountain bike made of steel and heavy as a tank, but it was fast and comfortable. I conquered Khao Yai national park on this bike a couple of times, and raced it in Suan Rod Fai Park with a couple of roadies, they just could’t believe how fast the bike was 😉
I didn’t sell this bike, but I gave it to my nephew and now he has discarded it, though I often think of reviving it with a new paint job and modern day parts, etc. but not sure it will be worth spending so much money on such a project, perhaps I should just let memories fade away.