Built for a race that never was.

This one’s been hanging in the rafters for the last 18 months. I probably would not have built it up if I didn’t have a day to myself this Memorial Day weekend. Luckily, I had ordered all the parts for it nearly two years ago, because you can’t even get an 11-speed chain these days. I was just short one Di2 wire!

This Rock Lobster was originally built for my friend Ron. I saw it for the first time at Terún, while sipping an espresso. I think I was riding the Garbage Gravel bike for that ride. …


Tropix MIG 17 T+ (2017)

You might have seen this bike before. It’s one of the holdovers from the original Quan Collection posts. But it’s not my bike anymore. It never really was.

This is now Max’s bike. I bought it years ago with this moment in mind. His old bike is going to Mia. Time flies when you’re riding cool bikes. I won’t go into the details, because they’re pretty much the same as two years ago. I just changed out the seatpost, saddle and stem. Well, now it’s got a drivetrain, and some Stamp pedals, and knobby WTB tires.

Max has gone from…


Old School Monstercross Gravel BMX

Do you see it? I realize it might be hard to spot with the famous “Commando Camo” paintjob. But it’s not a Ritchey. This frame comes from the lesser known Oakland (Alameda) shop of Bernie Mikkelsen, a local legend who doesn’t have quite the same marketing chops as the industry legend in Redwood City (San Carlos). Bernie’s been building frames since before I was born. Before Mountain Bikes existed even.

So what is this? Well, it’s another wild and wacky restomod. That paint job is from D&D, another local legend painter, who just happens to be the one who did…


The last of the Classics from a Century ago.

This is the bike I ride the least. But it might be the most valuable one in the Quan Collection. What is it worth? I don’t really know, because it isn’t for sale. But I know rare art when I see it, and I won’t make the mistake of letting it go again. I’ll take this one to the grave. Or it’ll be the nicest hand-me-down one of my kids will get. We will see which one fits on it better when they’re all grown.

I consider this Merckx the peak of the Classics era. Before modern materials like titanium…


The perfect all-arounder.

Love takes time. I bought this Synapse two years ago, and it took about 18 months and nearly 750 miles for me to fall in love. It really is the perfect bike for me. I’m not usually a fan of red bikes, but it just works. I ended up getting a new aero helmet, new ‘red-bottom’ shoes and even a matching red wind jacket to ride this thing. Red is the color of love right? And you can’t be a MAMIL without matchy-matchy kit to go with your mid-life crisis ‘red sports bike’.

Electronic vs. Mechanical

I’ve been lucky enough to use Dura-Ace…


The official vehicle of the Bike Mayor of Palo Alto.

I have a lot of bikes. After 20 years of buying multiple bikes, I’ve decided that I have had enough. Well, my wife decided for me, still — a decision was made. We’re way past S-1 if you know what I mean. This is the new Quan Collection.

I’m going to share one of my bikes on the first day of each month. This is a forcing function for me to pare down my quiver to just 12 bikes. That’s still a lot, but it means I have to get…


How giving away bikes can save the Bike Industry.

There is a widening divide in our country. It’s been happening much longer than these last four years. Racial tensions bubbling to the surface, so-called “economic anxiety”, xenophobia and in-fighting over dwindling resources. Clearly inequality and division are repeating themes of American History. It affects all Americans, and by ripples and waves, it affects the world as well.

As the modern philosopher Drake once said,

Distance between us is not like a store, this isn’t a closable GAP.

While the Bike Industry has had a banner year, through no fault of their own, the sport of Cycling is still much…


I was raised in a typical Asian-American immigrant family, so my parents never talked about money. Even so, it wasn’t hard to figure out that we were poor. The big blocks of government cheese and food in generic white boxes are dead giveaways. Similarly, we don’t really talk to our kids about money, but they know we’re doing fine financially. They like fancy cheeses, and get driven around in fancy cars. They like the black car a lot. My son says it sounds like the future.

Value Add

The e-tron is the third company car for Karmic — and a huge step…


the reasons behind a reasonable decision

I really wanted this color.

“Why did you get the e-tron?”

I knew that someone would ask as soon as I posted pictures of our new Audi on Facebook. Well, it’s a long answer, but I’ll try to address it with this post. I’ve started a car company (and sold it) and am the Founder of Karmic, an electric bike startup. I’m biased towards well made products, and don’t easily fall into the Cult of Elon. These are my reasons (flamesuit on):

Technology

FSD. Three little letters which supposedly make Tesla the no-brainer choice. But it’s not that simple. FSD isn’t Level 5 autonomy. I don’t…


you are not what you drive

It was actually silver. The Lincoln Town Car that my Dad had bought. I was about 9 or 10yrs old and I couldn’t understand how we could even afford it. Our family were immigrant refugees from Vietnam. We had been operating a small coin-op laundromat in Queens for a few years. But somehow my Dad had saved up enough money to buy what was ostensibly a high-end luxury car back in the mid 80’s. It didn’t make any sense to me.

Then I saw the stickers.

It was just four little letters on the sides and trunk: UTOG

Surprisingly, they’re…

Hong

Founder of @KarmicBikes. Former Mentor at @500Startups and Thiel Foundation’s @20Under20. I’ve hired a lot of people.

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