Sunday, May 31, 2009

Woke-up late... and a bike review

Haha, we didn't get to attend the Earth Run 16k marathon at Fort Bonfiacio today. Well for starters, Dad woke up early... but he found out he was late when he saw the envelope were the race number was stored, "5:00am Call Time, 5:30am Races Start".

Woops! It's 5am and we're not there yet. Well he decided we won't be going anyways, because once we get there the race would have started. Its a lesson for us all to read/listen before we act.

With our eyes wide-open, Dad decided to have breakfast at our local fastfood fave, Jollibee located at Congressional Ave. But in turn found out it was closed and went for a U-turn and had a breakfast buffet meal at Grills and Sizzles.

A while ago I was checking the PMTB boards and found out that there was a Last Day of Summer ride to La Mesa Eco Park, haha I wish I could've joined if I learned earlier we weren't going to the Fort. So much for that, I'll try it out next time when there's an event posted. I surely want to take on La Mesa Trails in the near future.

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Anyhow I mentioned yesterday regarding a bike review of the Maruishi (I mispelled it as Marushi) 20" Full Suspension Folding Bike. But to put it clearly I haven't confirmed if it "really is" a Maruishi, but according to the store owner it "was" a Maruishi.

So anyways I bought this bike @ BZKLETA Cycle Shop last May 23, 2009 (just a week ago), their shop's located at 150-8 Aurora Blvd., Quezon City, its just below J.Ruiz Station LRT2.

When I got there only one folding bike was available, and it was this service bike they had. At first look it was radically cool, but fugly. The part that it was fugly was because it had a rear-drum brake, which was of course totally outdated. Nowadays bikes use either caliper, v-brakes or disc brakes. These are the brake-systems that works well in any weather condition.
Sadly the bike only has front caliper brakes installed. Second the bike is also fugly because of rust, which is already given since its a surplus bike. The bike's price tag goes around 4,500 php, which is between cheap and expensive. Cheap in the case it sports 20" rims and tires, and the part where most of its components are original Shimano Japan. Plus this is a full suspension folding bike.

Without hesitation I took home the bike.

Once I got home I went out for a test ride. And these are my conclusions...

The tubes are flat, and of course its unusual that they sport presta nozzles and not the common schraeder nozzles. Finding a pump would be a problem. So before I started reviewing it again, went out to the LBC (local bike shop) to find replacement tubes with schraeder nozzles. When I got there I also found out that the brakes are hard and rusty, plus that the left brake lever is the rear break, and the other one is the front just like a motorbike's braking system.

Having the tubes changed and the brakes re-wired to their proper set-up I rode the bike home via a 2km. rough terrain (rough pavement) with a mix of uphills and downhills.

So first, here's a review on the wide stretch:

First of all once you ride the bike you'll first feel the rear suspension going down because of your weight. With six-speed shimano mountain gears, starting-up with the highest gear to the lowest was an easy start. Handling was good, but of course with a crank fit for most folders, it doesn't offer the best speed.

After riding on the wide stretch I turned at a corner and took a detour with the rough pavement, here I tested the bike's suspension. In which it responded quite well with the the mild bumps... except of course the bump that almost threw me off the bike, the 20" wheels can't handle deep pot-holes... so there's a limit in where this bike can go... and it definitely not the trails.

a few meters after the rough pavement area was the uphill, in where all the downside of Full Suspension bikes appear... especially FS Bikes without lock-out options, and this one didn't have that option installed. Took me almost 2 minutes to climb a-not so steep slope, that I had to stand while pedaling just to reach the top.

Downhill as usual is never a problem, as the bike responded well maneuvering itself away from mild pot-holes and bumps... although unlikely the rear drum brake didn't respond well, that I had to put mild and short pressures on the front breaks just to stop the bike....

And to put clearly, the bike is a folding bike and is meant to be handled for leisure and commuting purposes, and not meant to feel the ruggedness of trail riding, even though it has the geometry of mountain bike.


Japanese Full Suspension Folding Bike with 20" Rims
bought @ BZKLETA Cycle Shop for 4,500 php

(it actually came with a Amoeba Seat-Clamped Rear Rack,
but removed it and fitted it to DIA)




The suspension coil says it can handle 450lbs., but i'm not sure if it can.



Shimano SIS Index with 6-gear cogs and Rear Derailleur,
this is what made the ride expensive.




Rusted 20mm travel Suspension Fork... it works sometimes,
But would be best to replace it in the near future




Here's how it looks like when folded, it's not as compact as it looks like.
The stem doesn't fold unlike most folders, but this want fits inside a Camry's trunk

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