Today, right after work, I went into Taipei to check up some leads on some bicycle shops. Before committing myself to a Wilier frame, I wanted to make sure that there wasn’t a better deal to be had.
The verdict is in. I visited four shops and none of them had the service, rebates or premium frames that my LBS, a Giant bike dealer, had. I learned something interesting. Giant shops are supposed to only sell Giant, but most of them sell other frames under the counter, at least that’s what they said. Under the counter means that Giant HQ doesn’t really know about it or aknowledge it.
Anyway, I completely struck out. It was a waste of time. There are two more shops that I’d like to check out before making a final decision. One shop is pretty far away in Tienmu. I asked around if there was a bicycle district, but I was told that there wasn’t.
One shop said that they usually gave 15% rebates for cash purchases, but they had no M carbon fiber frames in stock. Actually ordering one was going to be a problem since Giant have stopped producing the ’09 frames and bikes.
One shop, which was also a Giant shop, but had a lot of MTBs, tried to push the Giant brand. They let me handle the TCR Advanced SL frame. It was extremely light, but they couldn’t match the price of my LBS.
After that, I spent some time with my wife who was home from camp and then decided to go for a late ride. I left the house when it was already dark. I popped on my orange specs and used my light. I need to get more lights. One more high intensity flashlight up front and some taillights.
The ride was interesting. I had never ridden in the dark, only when the sun was about to set. There were a lot less people and annoyances, so it might be feasible to go train after the sun has set with proper lighting.
Today, I picked up a medium Aero wedge pack DX from Topeak as my emergency tool kit. Took two minutes to put it under my seat and I was ready to go. I put in my bike multitool, a mini 18+ by Topeak as well.
I have yet to see the Wilier Cento Uno frame. I might get a peak tomorrow, but it’s going to be tight, as I finish work at about 7PM. Right after, I’ll head to the bike shop before heading out for a ride.
The ride was fast. There wasn’t much wind. As usual, I ran up the stairs at the end of the first part of my ride. I completed 25 km in 34:30. The second part of the ride was also pretty fast. I finished it in 1:05:19. That’s an average speed of 46.2 kph. I toyed with the idea of doing some more laps, but I ran into some trouble, which made me ride home.
For some reason, there was a cop car parked right in the bike lane where I usually go. Instead of decelerating and getting off my bike to avoid the parked car, I tried to squeeze through. It turned out that there wasn’t enough space, so I got off my saddle and tried to jump the Anthem over the gap. Between the bike lane and the lawn, there was a small open drain. This drain follows the bike path all the way. It’s about 6 inches wide and a foot deep. Anyway, my maneuver wasn’t successful and I fell on my bum. I was fine. It was also partly due to the fact that my feet were clipped on to the pedals. In my haste to get back onto my bike, I tipped over and lightly scratched my knee. Before that, I was fine. Now, I had a little scrape, and something fell on my leg muscle.
Anyway, I shook it off and was off again. I came home. The bike seemed to be fine. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the rear brakes were acting up. I’ll have to bring it by the shop to have them fix it.
When I was at the shop, I saw another Colnago EPS frame. It was getting assembled with Campy Super Record 11. This was an expensive machine. I asked who it belonged to. The owner’s brother-in-law said that it belonged to his co-worker. I told him that it was an expensive bike. He agreed.
So here are the addresses and info on the shops that I visisted:
Jack’s Giant Shop
No. 101, Section 2, Chongqing North Rd.
(02) 2550 7321
Alan’s Giant Shop
Roosevelt Section 6, just south of Keelung (Jilong) Circle
The only good thing about getting out there is that at Alan’s shop, they mentioned that they go out every weekend to mountain bike. His wife said that there are loads of trails in Taipei. That could be fun and different to try out. I’ve got the rig to do that.
The Axxman shop, that’s really close to Alan’s shop, was a total disappointment. They only have BH bikes and weren’t helpful at all. The G4 was selling for $2,800. No Rebates. At Jack’s Giant shop, they didn’t have any carbon fiber frames. At least none of them in size M. They had some complete bikes, but their prices weren’t competitive. There is a bigger Giant shop on Songchiang Rd. which I visited, but I wasn’t impressed with the fac that they tried to sell me last year’s T-Mobile TCR Advanced at full price, just with the usual 20% off. The bike is a year old and was $6K new in the US.
I checked out Competitive Cyclist and you can get a Pinarello Prince equipped with Campy Super Record 11 for about $7,500. Unless I’m mistaken, that’s cheaper than what you pay here. The Prince that I saw was selling at $8,200. The Prince frame alone costs $4,500.
I remember that there is a Giant giant shop in Hsinchuang. I’ll go visit it tomorrow to see if they have any deals. It’s in Taipei County, so odds are good. I wasn’t impressed with any of the service I got in Taipei today.
weekly km count: 50
monthly km count: 610
yearly km count: 667 (started in June 09)