We went to the PhilBike Expo at SMX, Pasay City on Sunday, the last day, Nov. 27. Here’s what I thought was interesting:
Greeting you at the entrance is this beautiful 1968 Schwinn Orange Krate, which is about as much a callback to one’s youth as you can ever get (or at least my youth that is).
The level of completeness and authenticity of this thing is astounding. Accompanying documentation is terrific and just makes me smh in awe.
Inside is a booth from 3Rics, a local bicycle sidecar manufacturer which I really want to get to know more of. Local manufacturers deserve every chance they can get and they look like they have a quality product here.
There was a Tirecare Philippines booth. I’ve never tried these things but for two wheeled vehicles this is essential gear.
There were two ‘Tracker‘ units, which are one of several models from Vintageelectricbikes.com in the US. They boast a 35 mile range and can go as fast as 36mph in ‘race mode’, and can be fully charged in just 2 hours. They also cost P270k but hey, they wouldn’t price them that way if there wasn’t a market right?
Speaking of e-bikes there were a few Corratecs. They’re German so the phrase ‘if you need to ask the price you probably can’t afford them’ applies here. Nice to know they’re in the country though.
Phatkatbikes were there (apologies for the blurry pics), which are some of the most fun bikes I’ve seen in a long time.
I’ve always wondered where they source these ridiculously large wheels and tires. You do not want to take them seriously which is great because when you ride them you shouldn’t be. You should be having fun.
There’s even a Bambike phat bike version, basically covering both fat wheeled bikes and bamboo bikes at the same time. Bambikes are a local firm that makes bicycles from bamboo, the point of which I don’t get yet, so I’m hoping someone can explain them to me at a later time.
Speaking of things I don’t get, there was a Mensahero‘s booth, which is a bike courier service servicing ‘Manila and some parts of Rizal’ (as per their FB page). I get the eco friendly part, as well as the helping people find employment part too, but other than that I dunno. So mark this down as one of these things which needs to be explained to me as well.
So back to the bamboo bikes, they make a kid version here, which was selling at P6,499.00 at the show, a big discount from its regular P8,999.00 price.
Here’s my boy trying it out.
Notice it doesn’t have pedals, which has been touted as a more effective way of teaching kids how to bike the first time. Another model called ‘Firstbike‘ also shares this philosophy, and was also at the show.
Finally we get to the display booths outside the venue, featuring ‘BMXers 80’s’, which I’m not sure is a club or a shop. Anyway, BMX was a big BIG thing for me growing up in the ’80s myself, and its hard to think of a bike or any machine that was an affordable and accessible vehicle for self expression as much as a BMX back in the day.
Then there’s the Pinoy Retrobikes, whose Facebook group I’ve followed for a long time now, featuring old school single speed ‘racers’ for the purists. The absolute bare bones simplicity is a big turn on for me, and this was the bike of my choice back in the day. Riding one now though would probably result in a heart attack, a broken pelvis, or both, so just looking at them and reminiscing is fine by me.
If outrageous is your thing this is covered by the Custom Lowriders (sorry I couldn’t find a website), whose productions are just killer. If you think they’re crazy well that’s exactly the point. Here we see art and engineering mix and despite what you may think this sort of thing is the kind of hobby from which creative minds come from.
And finally just in case I give you the impression that I’m a professional writer of some sort who wouldn’t put a pic of his kid every chance he gets, here’s a pic of my kid. He’s beside a Ferrari so maybe that makes it relevant? Seriously, he has a Ferrari cap on, and he has the same model toy at home, so looking at a life size version of his toy kinda blew his mind, so there.