This afternoon, I just did a 15 mile jaunt through the city, cruising through back alleyways and visited the 7th Park Bike Store to get a couple of repairs that were needing to be done my Orbea Opal. I had been to this great bike shop previously when I met the owner of the shop (Mr. Wu) and his manager Steven (nickname: Daxiang, means Elephant in Chinese) during the road race day at the Deaflympics. First of all, Daxiang was the designated driver of the New Zealand support car and did a good attempt to motorpace me when I flatted and had the shocking wheel change (the story is told in the Deaflympics link above). After the race, I noticed an SUV with Orbea decals emblazened across both sides so I introduced myself to Mr. Wu and started talking to him in Mandarin (since he had limited English) and it turned out he was the official Orbea distributor in Taiwan and owns a couple of bike shops in Taipei and employs Daxiang (Steve) as a manager at one of them. Jennifer and I were invited to lunch that day and got the royal treatment and my bike was tuned up for my final race (the 50km Points race).
I really appreciated their help on that day and thought a quick review of their shop would be in order. Yu Ming is one of the mechanics in the shop and is a very good one. He fixed a number of small things on my bike when it was fine-tuned during Deaflympics and is very friendly. His English is limited but makes up for that with his enthusiasm. My repair bill was only $250NT for a wheel true and straightening of my derailuer hanger plus adjustment of the gears/brakes Good value at approx $8USD. They have a very good selection of mid to high-end road and mountain bikes for sale including Orbea, LG, Kuota, Bianchi, Fuji and others. There is also a large selection of the folding bikes for the commuters or weekend warriors. The prices at this shop are pretty reasonable for Taiwan. They have also recently opened a flash "show room" style section of their shop displaying higher end bikes including a fast looking Kuota full carbon TT bike sporting nice Zipp 808s with a price tag of just over $200,000NT (US$6,350). They serve you nice Chinese green tea to sip and also have a professional coffee making machine to serve waiting customers. Daxiang & co regularly host Sunday weekly rides that leave from their shop divided into several groups, A's being the more serious and faster group, B's for the recreational to serious riders and the C's for those who enjoy coffee and socializing at the top of every major climb! I plan to join their rides sometime in the near future. If you check out the picture with the Mechanic working on a bike, you will see the Deaflympics NZL sticker that was used on the support vehicle now being used on their back door!