I am now the proud owner of a new vintage Shanghai Forever SFB10, made by China’s largest cycle manufacturer. It sports a steel frame, slightly sparkly deep blue finish, brooks style seat and the most unique breaking system I have ever seen.
The break pads are pulled upwards and contact with the underside of the rim rather than the side wall. Even more odd though is that there are no cables, the levers control the pads through a network of steel rods – cut down wheel spokes! Genius! Well it would be if the brakes actually worked but thanks to a set of incredibly cheap nuts and bolts they hardly stay together, plus the wheels are basically egg shaped. Can’t expect too much for a 400RMB (£40) ride. Plus using breaks on Shanghai’s roads is basically cheating; trucks, taxis, buses, scooters and angry grannies all need a moving target!