Thursday, June 26, 2008

The phoenix has landed... Chinese bicycle story

I couldn't resist posting some photos of my new bike!

The Phoenix

About 4 months ago I saw this beautiful classic designed Chinese made bicycle parked gracefully on it's center stand at the Parap pool. I ogled it for a good 10 minutes and had to be dragged away by my wife. I had to look; you just don't see bikes like this in Australia any more.

As I was leaving the owner approached his bike so I ran back to complement him on his stylish ride. It turned out he would be leaving Darwin soon and needed to sell the bike! (WOW... An opportunity for me??? COOL!)

I gave him my number and hoped to hear from him for weeks but the call never came. I often thought about the bike but conceded that the opportunity had probably been lost. Then. Just when I'd pretty much given up on the idea. I got a call from a woman living in town who had the bike and wanted to sell it.

The Phoenix.1

Yesterday afternoon I got a lift into town and exchanged a small amount of money for my beautiful new Phoenix bicycle! Cool! It's not a great bike for commuting 10 km to work every day; It's appeal is more aesthetic. Although it is a Chinese bike it looks very much like the British bikes of the 1940s, I'm thinking I need to get myself a tweed cap, some Knickerbockers, long socks and brown shoes... It is also the kind of bike you might still find in Indonesia so maybe just a sarong will do.


Groover said...

The photos are "temporarly not available"? That at least gives me the opportunity to imagine your new ride. I'm very curious to see the pics.

Groover said...

Nice bike. I can see the pics now. It looks like a comfortable ride but you mentioned it's not good for longer rides?

David J said...

Hey Groover,
Yeh the seat is really comfortable. Actually it's the most comfy saddle I've ever sat on! However the bike weighs a ton and has only one gear. It is relatively high geared but that makes inclines slow. Luckily we don't have many of those in Darwin.
I'm not sure of the composition of the materials but I'd say the steel work is a mixture of pig Iron, raw steel and lead... And that's just the tires... ;).
But she's a romantic machine and all style.

Cookiemouse said...

It also looks like a real Amsterdam bike!

David J said...

Thanks Cookie,
It's a bike that needs to be ridden at a different pace.
Tonight I rode it over to the Islamic center for a public forum. The forum went into overtime and I had to come home before the meal began but was given a delicious meal which balanced easily on the rear rack. This caused me to cruise home at a slower pace than I am used to and thus I discovered the perfect pace for this bike.

Marc said...

It's beautiful, I'd buy it in a heart beat!

But, as it's so comfortable, why wouldn't be good for your commute? To a Dutchy like me, it looks perfect for the job. (Style over speed!) :)

David J said...

Thanks Marc,
It's good to know that others see the beauty in this style of bike, (I'm sure plenty of people would)
Yes it's comfortable and I am becoming used to the slower ride. I really like this bike a lot and would love to be able to ride it everywhere but I'm often running late for work and I have to ride 10km along busy roads with 80kmh speed limits, so I find my other bikes more practical. However I'm sure it wouldn't take long to get used to riding her to work every day.

ian said...

Maaan... that's a beeeyoootiful bike !! Congrats, ya lucky dog :-)

David J said...

Cheers Ian,
She sure is a beauty! Just needs a few finer adjustments to keep the old wheels turning true.

Ali B. said...

Great looking bike!! I also enjoyed browsing your old posts... I like that you have incorporated interesting videos! Ali

Wilscombe said...

Hi, I love the bike. An RAF friend of mine rode a similar Raleigh from Calcutta to London just to join the RAF. It took him eight weeks and he thought nothing of him. He had to stuff the tyres with grass around mid-Africa but it was a long time ago. Main reason for comment; I have a Chinese electric bike and I could use a similar (hub) stand. I may have to make one. If you could supply some detail (a photo closeup?) I would be grateful. Thanks Dave George

Anonymous said...

Hi from Belgium,

I bought that same bike at Duba├», Emirates, "full loaded", for a mere 65 €, back in 1991.

pay attention to the chrome work, it is really of bad quality, and if you live near the sea, you'll see it rust as you look at !

I'm restoring it right now, it'll get a new paint job, I'll try to find parts to restore the chrome, or even, why not, buy a new one !

Kind regards,


David J said...

Hey Laurent,
Thanks for your post. You sure are right about the chrome!
Check out my recent flickr photos to see how much it has rusted!
I've had this bike for about a year. It must have been brand new when I bought it! I've kept it under cover the whole time.
It is now covered in rust! Some of the rust will be easy enough to remove with steel wool but most of it has already started to lift! It's horrendous! I should have waxed it when I got it.

Syed Hasib said...

Hi Mate,

I am from Bangladesh and now living in Adelaide, SA.

These bikes rule Bangladeshi roads and in Bangladesh you can get a locally made one for around 80-100 AUD (brand new and quality is excellent). how much did u pay for it ?

Here in Adelaide only one shop sells them (with imported frame from Bangladesh and hub gear from England) and they are hub-gear equipped. costs around 800 AUD.

Nice bike.

Best wishes and ride safe.


David J said...

Hi Syed,
I bought this one for $80 but it was made in China. Unfortunately it's not great quality. I think it was about a year old when I got it.
The bike has deteriorated quite a bit since I've had it and the chrome began to rust almost immediately.
The peddles fell apart very quickly and various other parts have broken, fallen off, come loose or, as with the bell seized up... (It is quite humid here in Darwin)

I still really like the bike though and am planning to tighten her up and replace some dodgy parts with better ones.
I'd really like to see all those bikes in Bangladesh. Actually I'd like to import some bicycle rickshaws, I believe they use a similar frame.

Thanks for your comment and info.

babi laut terbang said...

it's my bike..

David J said...

Hi Babi laut,
Sepeda anda bagus sekali! Saya senang sepeda itu. Tetapi sedikit kecil untuk saya.

Joel said...

David, can you tell me where you bought it from China ? I am looking to import one myself. Most manufacturers in China requires Minimum order of 100 !

Joel said...

David, can you tell me where you bought it from China ? I am looking to import one myself. Most manufacturers in China requires Minimum order of 100 !

David J said...

Hi Joel,
I'm really sorry mate. I don't know how you can import these bikes.
I bought it off a guy who brought it back after traveling in China.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I have the same bick from 1974!!! Perfect and strong.