Shanghai Workcycles?

shanghai u lock

A couple weeks ago Matt Ransford sent me the image that inspired this post about the connection between transport bikes and colonial rulers. Accompanying the image above Matt writes:

“I’ve got another one for you, this time from Shanghai. It’s not as impressive in the photo as it was in person, but this U-lock had to have been at least 1-inch thick rebar. The removeable bar is hooked at one end and locked in the can at the other. The lock itself is a simple padlock, but it’s at the far end of that can so that you can’t get any leverage if you try to get in there with bolt cutters. Pretty impressively brute DIY solution.


I’ll add that it’s all the more impressive because such a lock can be made (and probably was made) entirely from scrap parts (the fire extinguisher can being the best part). That’s good design, as opposed to most of the pointless bike crap invented by professional designers.

shanghai workcycles transport

Just a couple days later Erwin van Doorne, also in Shanghai, sent me the above picture of his bike having a flat repaired. Translation of his Dutch explanation:

” Occasionally I get a flat tire (there is sometimes a lot of glass and metal on the road here) but for a couple kwai they patch your tire.

zài jiàn,

The bike is a Workcycles Transport 2-Tube and it’s outfitted as Dutch as can be, right down to the Bobike child seat and Dutch milk crate on the front carrier. The frame is 70cm huge so it’s a fair guess that Erwin would have trouble finding a bike to fit his 200cm or so frame in China.

Note that the bike mechanics are patching the tube with the wheel in place, just like we do in the Netherlands… but most of the western world seems to be unaware of. I particularly like their little, portable workbench to keep the tube and glue clean during the patching process.

Thanks Matt and Erwin!

One Response to “Shanghai Workcycles?”

  1. Jim Says:

    Are you kidding – patch the tube on the bike? Most American roadie dorks, of which I’m one, don’t even know what a patch kit is supposed to do. New tube in, CO2, throw old one out. Don’t get me started on CO2.

    We are such a callow society.

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