It is dangerous to drop into a bike shop. Doubly dangerous especially those in Taiwan. In my last trip there in April, I made the huge "mistake" of following my friend Ying Chang into a neighbourhood bike shop in Da'an. My eyes spotted a beautifully unusual bicycle where instead of the usual top tube, it featured two thin rod like tubes almost like a mixte European frame of old. And more than that, near the stem, it had of all things, a built in coffee mug holder!
I have always been a great connossuer of good design and this really resonated with me. That plus the fact that it was in a highly polished dark blue turquoise with golden brown fenders, with smart matching tan brown handlebar grips and spring "Brooks style" saddle, really got me deep into temptation. I told Ying Chang that this bike is so beautiful and the price would probably be about US$700 or so. When we were told of its price tag, which was less than half of my expectation, it would be a great sin if I missed out on taking this souvenir home. O yes, and that included the original Giant side panniers, a side stand as well as a bell!
Problem was that it is a bit of a hassle bringing a huge bike box into the High Speed Train 300km from Taipei to Kaoshiung where I was to fly home. However, YC managed to arrange for a bike dealer there in Kaoshiung to deliver the box to me when I arrived at the airport for US$12!. True to Taiwanese efficiency, the package came exactly 8 min after I rang them. Scoot Air took the box in with no hassle to Singapore, and later on to Perth.
You can always count on good friends to share your joy, especially with new toys. Pete Roscoe was only too eager to help me put this beauty together and we had fun seeing this baby being assembled. Jan too was excited and sharing each other's joy truly is what makes friendships alive.
It was quite straight forward except that we had some problem tightening the headset. This was easily solved with the careful use of Pete's trusty grinder on the fork stem which was surprisingly 2mm too long.
When the bike was finally assembled, I gave Jan the privilege to be the first person to ride it and away she went. Next was Pete. Now, the Mocha is by no means a high end bicycle but the first impressions were very good for a lifestyle urban commuter bicycle. Easy to ride, smooth rolling 700cwheels, comfortable seating position, 7 speed gears that changed adequately and we all had fun whizzing the Mocha around.
The Momentum has boosted my momentum to cycle and I find every opportunity to ride it. Love to take it to my meetings, cafes, to the shops where its roomy panniers swallow all the groceries as well as go for my round the river rides. It was amazing fun when my friend from KL came to visit in May and I took the Momentum for a longish 60km ride all the way from Burns Beach in the Northern suburbs back home through the beautiful Sunset Coast. Yes, this is not a tourer like the Surly LHT but it did the job reasonably well.
The integrated rear rack that is part of the frame also offers a very strong advantage that I truly appreciate. It can take a pillion if the need arise! One day as I was cycling back from the shops, I spotted Mike walking home and offered him a lift. We had pots of fun like school boys doing that, something that I could not do with any of my bikes.
Here is a video about the Momentum features especially the passenger carrying capability rack. Yes, the warning is for a 25kg limit but so long as your pillion is not too heavy, I think its ok but don't sue me if anything happens.
My friends have all teased me about the fact that they have not seen one pic of the Momentum with a mug of coffee and the truth is I don't really drink coffee that much. But watch out for this space, that may happen real soon!
Meanwhile, the Momentum is truly one of my favourite bikes now and I can't wait to ride it again. This lively and chirpy advertisement claims that this bicycle will move you happy. I can tell you this is genuinely true! Yippee...