by Darren Lee | posted 24 February 2011
The smell of fresh paint permeates the air as you walk into Godzilla Cycles. Smells nice, actually. The first that strikes you is how earthy the place looks, with the wooden cabinets and white painted bricks. Are we in Baby Guess? Just a few racks of baby clothes and some dresses and this shop wouldn't look out of place in 1Utama or Mid Valley Megamall.
You then notice the bikes neatly arranged on the left. On the overhead shelf, three more bikes, all of different makes. A little sparse, you start to think. And what is with all the different brands? Look, BMC, BH, Time, Cervelo… but then Colin Lee, who runs the shop, tells you that these are only display bikes, the "real" stuff (i.e. 2011 stocks) will be coming in real soon, and when that happens the shop will be filled to the brim with its marquee brand.
So what is Godzilla's marquee brand? If you a keen pro scene watcher, you would have noticed the rather fetching Focus bikes being used by Team Milram. The black/blue scheme wasn't that great to begin with, but the almost all white version used this year screams PRO. Well, there's one right here.
You're probably familiar with never ending debate about the origin of a bike and whether it makes a difference. Which is better - China, Taiwan or Europe? Or the USA? And the debate goes on - should you attach a Made in Italy sticker on your frame when everyone knows it is made in the Far East? And no, we shall not join the argument, but suffice to say that Focus' USP (unique selling point) is that it is proudly made in Germany. A closer inspection of the astonishingly smooth joints tells us that the country of BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz does indeed make very good bikes too. Fantastisch!
And in 2011, Team Katusha will be onboard Focus bikes, so their presence amongst the ProTeams will be assured. Pictures of the Katusha bikes are already online - now one wonders when THOSE lookers will come in!
As a newly opened shop, business is still on the quiet side; nevertheless, we find cyclists trickling in every now and then. Someone needs his fork cut, one has a problem with his Ergopower springs, someone else has a peculiar issue with his Specialized seatpost - if you have some strange problem, perhaps you might want to come here.
A concerned customer observes Colin at work (ignore the smile, I did tell him to look serious)
The environment is indeed very comfortable, with benches, stools, adequate drinking water and even a shower if you one day become the shop's resident PRO (maybe I'll try for that position..). Most importantly, there is … air-conditioning. Old timers can only remember all too well that this was sorely lacking at a famous bike shop in Taman Megah ("where everyone knows your name"). Fun as it is to hang out there, you'll always need a shower when you get home.
Moving on… a look at the parts - lots of high-end material here. If you're looking for Dura-Ace, though, prepare to be disappointed. No plain vanilla Dura-Ace here, only Di2 served. And yes, even the new 2011 Super Record "Red" edition is here!
Chorus 11 is a very, very good alternative if Record/Super Record isn't for you.
Another brand carried by the shop, that has made a big splash in the pro peloton recently is Prologo. Surely it doesn't hurt to have Messers. Cancellara, Schlek (both) and company on your saddle right?
You can also get Swalbe tyres here, relatively late arrivals to the Malaysian cycling scene. They range from RM99 training tyres to the range-topping Ultremo R, which goes for RM209.
And how about some lube to keep this running along? It appears we have a wide selection here.
The shop is clearly still a work in progress, though. For example, you won't find any helmets as yet, but I'm told these will be coming. Shoes are another area which the shop might want to look into. And I wonder, all those old Milram mu-mu jerseys surely need a new home….
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