Buying a Neobike Brompton in Taiwan
This site is retained for historical purposes only. Neobike Bromptons are no longer being manufactured or sold.
I've been asked many times about how to buy a Brompton in Taipei. This page should answer most of your questions. If you have more questions then e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
WARNING: The Neobike Brompton is significantly lower quality than the recently refreshed U.K. built Brompton. It is also only available in a three speed version and the brakes are terrible. If you are going to be using a folding bike in hilly areas and/or for daily use as a commute bike then I would not advise buying one of these. Spend the extra money on a U.K. built model and you will be getting a better machine.
Note: 886 is the country code for Taiwan, 2 is the city code for Taipei. You leave these off if calling from within Taipei.
What You'll Get
The L3B. It looks different than the picture because it has a rear luggage rack. It includes the folding pedal, a junky pump, and a carrying bag. It now is prepped for the Brompton front luggage. This is the ONLY Brompton available. The higher quality L3A on their web site is not available (couldn't hurt to ask though). There are no 5 speeds available. If you want to inquire on the L3A call Neobike directly at (886) 2-2541-3253
NEOBIKE INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD.†
Tel: 886-2-25413253†† Fax: 886-2-25367575†
Office Address: Rm A, 3F, No. 112, Sec. 2, Chung Shan N. Rd., Taipei, 104, Taiwan (you need to enter on the side of the building, it is over a bank).
Dahon sent one of their employees to the U.K. to negotiate rights to manufacture the Brompton. Instead the employee formed Neobike and acquired the rights for his new company. Dahon holds several patents that are violated by Neobike's products, including the Brompton, and hence efforts by companies in the U.S. to import other Neobikes (not the Brompton which Neobike can't ship to the U.S. as part of their contract with Brompton) have been thwarted.
The Neobike Brompton is prepped for the Brompton front luggage. You install the 'Optional Kit' then attach the bag or basket of your choice. However these items may not yet be available. David Chen can inquire for you.
David Bicycle Company, 102 Sinyi Road, Taipei Taiwan. Telephone: (886) 2-2700-0788. Also sometimes called "102 Bicycle Shop."
Hereís the address and phone number two more times (g-d Copernic is a wonderful search engine). I donít know what the 10602 is all about.
It will take a few days for him to get it for you so call in advance or better yet go there to talk to him. Ask if the front luggage is available, it wasn't in December 2000, but he said that Neobike said that it would be available soon. The list price for the Brompton is about 8700NTD but he sold me the last two for 7800NTD (around $245). You can pay for it when you pick it up, you don't have to pay in advance.
Take the MRT to the Taan station on the Mucha line. Exit the station (only one exit exists) and turn left. Walk about ten minutes west on Sin-Yee Road (sometimes transliterated to Sin-yi, Shin-yi, Hsin-yi, with or without the dashes) to David Bicycle Shop on your left. It's at the intersection of Sin-Yee Road and Jianguo S. Road. The address is 102 Sin-Yee Road. Print this card out to show to a taxi driver if you don't want to take the MRT. Bring the name card from your hotel so you can take a taxi back there with your bike. If you want to MRT it back then bring a small luggage cart with you.
(click map for wider area map of Taipei)
The Taipei MRT is a very welcome addition to Taipei for the independent traveler. Most of the system is a modern system, similar to BART, MARTA, and the Washington Metro. Unfortunately, corruption led to the construction of the French built Mucha line which is really an elevated roadway with rubber wheeled short trains. Taipei people still talk about the idiocy of building two incompatible systems at the same time. If you have time, take the red line out to Tamshui and have dinner at one of the restaurants along the Tamshui River. The Lungshan Temple stop is close to Snake Alley. The Shilin stop (mysteriously not on this map, must be Shihshan or Shihun) has a big night market nearby. The Taipei Zoo is supposed to be a good zoo (not like the terrible Beijing zoo). I like going to Taipei very much (except in the summer). The food is excellent, the people are friendly, the women are beautiful, and the Bromptons are cheap.
Buy a roll of packing tape (there is a small office supply store on the way to the bike shop from the MRT station). Remove the two latch knobs and latches and don't lose them. Pad the Brompton with your dirty clothes from you trip packed in plastic bags. Tape empty disposable plastic water bottles (with the cap on) around the frame where the bike could be damaged if the box is subjected to rough handling. Wrap tape completely around the box in the two axis that go across the top and bottom flaps. Then seal all the seams with tape and tape the edges of the handle holes.†I've done this three times with no damage to the bikes.
It's a good idea to bring a small luggage cart with you to make handling the box easier. Obviously the correct luggage cart for a compact folding bicycle is the Samsonite Micro Mover.
I have never been charged extra baggage fees but I've always been lucky enough to go business class. Coach may be different.