The Natooke shop in Chengdu does bicycles and they do them well. Jacob and Larry, founders of Natooke Chengdu, came to the Chengdu Living studio to talk about their personal history with bikes, starting a Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise (WOFE), bike culture in China and the U.S.A., and fostering a budding bike scene in southwestern China.
After listening to the podcast, if you want to learn more about Natooke, their bikes and their business, you can follow them on Facebook, check out their weekly-updated thread on the Chengdu Living Forum, and follow them on WeChat (QR code below).
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If you enjoy the podcast, please share it! We look forward to recording more of these and continuing to chronicle and share the story of life in Chengdu.
- 1:45 How did Jacob and Larry meet?
- 4:00 What’s your history with bikes and bike mechanics
- 5:00 Bike culture in China versus in America
- 8:45 The Natooke focus on bike culture, personalization, style, and community
- 12:00 The focus on customization and personal empowerment
- 15:00 The process of opening another Natooke branch, and why it’s in Chengdu (and what is Flying Banana)
- 20:00 What were the difficulties of making a Natooke a WOFE (wholly-owned foreign enterprise)
- 28:15 Have things becomes easier since successfully registering as a WOFE
- 30:15 Natooke’s customer base, changing the customer’s perception of value, and building a reputation
- 34:45 Competition in the fixed-gear scene in Chengdu
- 36:45 Bamboo bikes, Source Cycles, and different the characteristics of different material bike frames
- 43:30 Aesthetics, fashion, and the fixed gear craze
- 46:00 What makes a fixed gear bike different from other bikes?
- 52:45 Keeping your bike safe, riding safely, knowing the rules of the road
- 1:00:00 Honking in China
- 1:07:00 Friday night rides, beer bike, Summer for Natooke
Songs Featured in this Episode
- Wayward – Hurricane feat. Michele Chiavarini
- Donna Summer – Bad Girls
- TEEN – Not for Long (Saint Pepsi remix)
- Breakbot – Fantasy
- Baccarra – Yes Sir, I Can Boogie