Friday, 16 August 2013

Slow Boat from China

A San Eagle bike, spotted in town
I was out and about when I saw this bike.
It's a San Eagle bike.
What interested me was the front dynamo, a feature commonly seen on Dutch bikes, but certainly not on the mass-market mountain bikes, city bikes, and hybrids sold in Sweet Albion (that's England, for those that didn't get the reference).

Anyway, back to the San Eagle bike.
Turns out not to be Dutch at all - it is made in China by the Foshan Saneagle Bicycle Manufactory Company.
I've not heard of them before, but they claim annual export sales of 10 million dollars (presumably US dollars, but they don't say) a year, so they must be pretty big.

the interesting features of the bike are the front wheel dynamo ...

Dutch-style front wheel dynamo on a San Eagle bike
 ...and the side caliper brakes. I've got side caliper brakes on my 20-year old Cinzia folding bike. My father has side caliper brakes on his 65-year old Raleigh Lenton Clubman. But I didn't realise anyone still fitted them to "modern" bikes - just about everything has "V-brakes" these days!
My personal view is that "V-brakes" are more powerful, but more prone to "squeak" while braking!

Side-caliper brakes on a SanEagle bike
And of course, as you can see in the picture at the top, there is a partial chain guard, to keep the oil off your leg, and a reasonable looking rear luggage rack for attaching panniers etc.

The bike I saw seems to be an earlier version of the "SE26P09" City Bike model.
I can fuss that rear hub gears are better than a derailleur for a "city bike", and it needs a front basket but never mind all that - the important thing is that it is being used!

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