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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rocky Huang: Cycling Taiwan Video

Support Your LBS:

Final Build

Here is a great video posted by my friend and builder Rocky Huang from T-Mosaic Cycles in Taichung.

When Rocky is not preparing for a race he usually reserves his weekends for taking customers on rides. They usually offer different rides for different levels of fitness, so nobody is excluded.

Although the big box stores like Giant and Merida offer some good deals, you don't get the same level of expertise you get when dealing with a good local bike shop. At an LBS like Rocky's, you might pay a little more, but you get service from a guy who actually knows what it is like to seriously ride a bike and shares the same passion for the sport. Often, the big corporate stores do just enough to move merchandise, but the employees do not have the saddle time it takes to understand the customer's needs. Sometimes with large corporations, excessive overhead drives the sales rather than ensuring the customer has the bike they want and need. In my own experience I have found Giant and Merida stores are great for a quick repair, but generally they are technicians of limited ability. The employees go through a short training course, like McDonalds, and then hit the sales floor. Rarely are the Giant derailleurs ever indexed properly. Visiting Rocky is more like going to a cycling councilor. I can discuss training technique, different component options, geometry, routes and resources. This is a huge advantage of the LBS.

Furthermore, supporting your LBS is a great way to support your cycling community and I hope more cyclists will go out of their way to lend these places their support. The LBS forms a center where local cyclists can meet, ride and build community awareness. They need your patronage to remain a part of your community. To favor the corporate stores is simply penny wise and pound foolish.

I would again like to thank Rocky for his expertise and help with prepping by bike on short notice when I need to ride. Best bike shop in central Taiwan.


  1. I would also add that the good deals on big brands like Giant also often contain a lot of deceptive advertising and traps for the unwary. For example, a hybrid bike cost NT$25K will be advertised as having a carbon-fiber frame when really only the back end of the frame is. Any weight savings are then lost by the heavy, cheap components and wheels that are sold with the bike.

    Sure, this is all part of the cost of learning and almost all new riders are better off buying a cheap Iguana than a custom-made bike at your LBS. But once you start riding regularly and need a new bike, head straight for your LBS!

    I'd like to give a plug for my LBS: Jimmy's bike shop in (#17, Sec 1 Jianguo S. Rd., 886-932-212-037 (0932-212-037)). While some gear heads don't like Jimmy because he has his own opinions on what is appropriate for a given bike or rider (he won't put disc brakes on my ride for example), I've had absolutely top-notch service from him for the past 18 years. Including the time he sent me a new crank set, pedals. and crank tool while I was in southern India with a busted bike!

  2. Excellent! I'll put a link up to Jimmy.

  3. While working in Sun Moon Lake between year 2001 to 2003, I knew Rocky and bought my Stallion at his shop in Taichung. Whenever I was on my off day, I will drive all the way from Sun Moon Lake to Taichung and for sure to stop by his shop.........after so many years, my stallion is still alive and kicking.....a Colnago with Campy drive trains. I will be looking at going back there and ride with Rocky.......sometime in 2011......that's for sure!!

  4. Stanley,

    I was just in the shop tonight. Rocky just got the news that he will be the exclusive GURU custom dealer in Taiwan.

    Furthermore, he has started his own brand of steel framed bike called TYA. I will be running a full profile when he gets everything ready.

    When you return, be aware his shop has moved to Liming Rd. 9Address on the sidebar.

    Thanks for stopping by to read.

    Maybe when you return I will join you guys.