Touring - buying bike bits in cheaper countries?
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10-15-08, 01:41 PM
to cut a long story short (read my other thread), I want to go touring places which my current bike can't really handle.
I live in britain and I'm currently cycling through switzerland and italy, three of the most expensive countries in the world, does it make sense to go to a cheaper country to buy a new bike and give the current one to a friend to look after?
For example, I'd like to head to SE asia, which will be much cheaper in general, but I don't know if bikes would similarly be cheaper or even if they would have the same selection.
has anyone tried something similar or even just checked out the local bike shops on their travels?
10-15-08, 02:01 PM
Very interesting point.
Some things to consider- currency exchange rate (of course), also when you bring it home
certain warranties may not be valid for you. For example- I think Shimano warranties are
world-region specific based on each company division. If you need warranty work or replacement
for a part bought outside your region, the warranty may not be honored.
10-15-08, 04:29 PM
In "cheaper" countries, your selection will generally not be very good. Also, many of these same countries have high import tariffs on expensive imported goods. So no, I don't think it's a good idea to wait and hope to buy a satisfactory touring bike in SE Asia at a bargain price.
US is pretty good online as long as the postage isn't too much.
It is about 50% cheaper than Australia, for example (although now that the Australian dollar has crashed the difference is much less)
10-15-08, 08:20 PM
Uhm... So you want to spend a lot of money to fly to SE Asia in order to buy a relatively cheap commodity like a bike...?
I have no doubt that if you look around, you can find some cheap junker in the UK, for maybe 50-100GBP than what you'd pay in, say, Thailand. I can't imagine you'll recoup the cost of the flight with what you'd save on the bike.
10-15-08, 09:48 PM
Living in SE Asia, I can say that the major bike brands here are well represented and the shops have no qualms selling a bike at near wholesale prices just to p*ss off their competitors. Sales taxes hover around 7 - 10 per cent and this is routinely knocked off as well.
Group sets and components are relatively affordable as well, unless compared to closeout/stock clearance prices of major online retailers in the US. I got an XTR 9 spd RD for about US $55 and a pair of XT non disc hubs at $45, but these were 2006 models sourced from a buying house in Taiwan which I was told, usually clears 'old' stocks at $10 - $20 a piece.
On weekends there's no shortage of eye candy bicycles to look at on the bike paths and off road trails, but the pricey ti and carbon fiber stuff gets quite monotonous after a while. The rich in these growing economies just cant get enough of the latest and best. Sadly full on custom touring bikes are rare, but rising steadily. A friend sold 2 dozen LHT frame sets last year, 80 per cent of which have gone home overseas with their new owners. It cost a very tempting US $330 then, but has risen to about $500 now.
The closest thing to sourcing a touring bike in Bangkok or Singapore is to get a good deal on a rigid mountain bike or cyclocross bike and do the requisite mods.
For starters look at www.probike.co.th/www/v2/showroom.php
They should stock the 520.
SEAsia is great place for bike touring. Summer all year long and maybe an added bonus of getting a bike and, ahem, even making a profit selling it off back in Europe. It's been done many times before. :)
+1 on probike Bridgestoned. Great shop. I only needed some bags&bits, but there complete bike selection was allrite a few years back. Staff was vy helpfull.
Another thing for folks to consider if thinking about buying a bike in South East Asia is size. If you are taller, or have an odd fit (long legs/short torso), getting a proper bike in SEA may be more expensive-or not available.
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