About Flying Pigeon Bike
The Flying Pigeon is the bike that has pushed forward not only billions of people, but also is at the forefront of the whole bicycle phenomenon in the People’s Republic of China.
A bicycle was one of the three “must-haves“ of every citizen, alongside a sewing machine and watch - essential items in life that also offered a hint of wealth in those dour times. In Maoist China, the famed Flying Pigeon bicycle was a symbol of an egalitarian social system that promised little comfort but a reliable ride through life. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s the logo became synonymous with almost all bicycles in the country.
The Flying Pigeon was the single most popular mechanized vehicle on the planet, becoming so ubiquitous that Deng Xiaoping - the post-Mao leader who launched China’s economic reforms in the 1970s - defined prosperity as “a Flying Pigeon in every household”. In the early 1980s, Flying Pigeon was the country’s biggest bike builder, and its 20-kilo black single-speed models were the pride of workers nationwide. There was a multi year waiting list to get one, and even then you needed good guanxi, or connections - not to mention about four months’ wages for most workers.
Restoring the Flying Pigeon
I am a fan of SInglespeed/Fixie bike. So as a designer, why couldn't I modify/restore an old iconic Flying Pigeon? It took me 2 months to art direct a classic. I resprayed the body in a workshop, bought some of the parts online and visited multiple bike shops to get the right bike mechanic to put it together. The process was not easy but was a lot of fun. Multiple enquiries were received after I posted on some bike blogs/forums. Asking me where/how they could do the same. The dealer for Flying Pigeon actually increased their prices after their sales went up all of a sudden. I think I am the first person in Singapore to restore Flying Pigeon Bikes to modern SInglespeeds. I call these reborn bikes “FP2”.
I owned the beige FP2. The turqoise and the black FP2 belong to my friends, which I helped build.
Components modified include:
– Sugino Crank,
– Charge Spoon Saddle,
– Brooks Classic Grip
– Velocity rims
Enjoy the pictures